Chris Jackson is a transformational coach trainer, a leadership, life, and business coach, and speaker.
He wants to help purpose-driven businesspeople activate their extraordinary potential so that they can create successful businesses following their true calling.
Chris started his own spiritual journey in 2014 and incorporated what he believes are the three stages of awakening—healing, personal development, and self-realization.
I'm sitting in a restaurant in Rio de Janeiro. Across the table is Sarah. We've been traveling around South America for the last six weeks. It's meant to be one of the most amazing romantic journeys. I mean the most romantic city in the world, but I feel nothing. I thought I'd be falling madly in love, but we are falling and drifting apart. The next day I wake up in a hotel room in Rio, and I know it's over. I feel this knot of dread. I know I've gotta break up with her. I don't how to tell her.
I'm just baffled, and I'm confused. My mind has been hijacked. All I can do is frantically panic. And I can only think All I've gotta do is just get outta this hotel room. I freeze and I start packing up my bags and I start packing up my suitcase. And all of a sudden, Sarah wakes up, and she's like, "What are you doing, Chris? What's going on?" And all I can say in my panicked state is, "I-I'm sorry. It's not meant to be. This isn't gonna work. I need to break up with you. I'm sorry." Twenty-four hours later, she's booked a flight back to Australia. We don't even hug goodbye. And like that, the girl that I thought I was gonna spend the rest of my life with . . . it's over.
Two months later, I'm back in Australia, and I'm taking a look at my life. And on the outside, my life looks amazing. Looks really successful. But on the inside, I'm empty. I've been in an engineering career for the last ten years that I'm bored with. I'm now single. I'm lonely. I'm thirty years old. What am I doing? I think Did I even want to break up with Sarah? Maybe I made a mistake. I sent her a message, and I say, "Sarah, I'm so sorry. I think I messed up. I wanna get back with you." I don't know if she's ever gonna respond back to me. She doesn't respond.
So I book a flight to Tasmania to spend some time with my family over Christmas. And as the plane hits the tarmac, I check my phone, and there it is. There's a message from Sarah. She wants to speak with me. And now I'm like the guy outta that romcom, that guy that messed it up. And I've got this one chance to make amends, to win back the girl. What do I do? I book a flight straight back to see her.
And this time, when we're sitting across from each other, she's the one that feels nothing. I'm gutted. She says she could never ever trust me again after what I did to her. I'm devastated.
I send her one last message to let her know I'm so sorry for the pain that I caused—I had no idea. And she replies. She says that sorry isn't good enough. And she proceeds to tell me every last little flaw about my character. She tells me I'm passive-aggressive. I don't even know what that is. I've gotta Google it. She says that I'm judgmental. I'm egotistical—I gotta Google that too. She says that I'm disconnected to my feelings. Like, wow, this is intense. This is the most criticism I've ever got from anyone.
And then I reflected back to that day in Rio. I didn't even know myself. And I thought maybe, maybe she's right. What if I don't even know myself? What if I'm blind to this? The next morning I wake up, and I've got a very specific recommendation from my sister for a very specific book from a very specific guy, Tony Robbins—the self-help guru. Right now, I'm thinking I can do with some help. Anyway, I go straight to the bookstore, and I grab the book, and it's called Awaken the Giant Within. I take. I read it. Holy moly! I'm hanging off every word—every page. This guy's deconstructed my whole entire reality. Oh, this all makes sense now. I get it. I really get it. I am the giant. It's me. I'm the giant. I get it. It transforms my life. Everything changes.
I go from being oblivious to being obsessed. I got the source code to my reality now. I learn more in the next thirty days than I have in the last thirty years. Wow. This is big. This changes me. I start showing up so much differently. I'm telling my mates that I really care about them. And instead of shaking their hand, I'm hugging them. I'm looking people in the eye when I'm chatting to them. I feel connected to people. I even ring my dad, and I tell my dad that I love him for the first time in my life. I'm changing at a rapid pace. I don't know what's going on, but this is good. This is so good. I really feel alive. And that's just the beginning. I realize I'm changing from a boy into a man. And I've just activated beast mode. All of that criticism became my fuel. It activated this hunger, this deep yearning inside of me to know who I really am.
And I go on the next six-month journey of awakening. I truly awaken this new man inside of me. I get back into my life, and I'm going to seminars on weekends. I'm going to all these workshops—learning about myself. My friends think I've joined a cult. My dad's confused cos he thinks I'm into all this weird fluffy duck hippy stuff. But it's okay. He knows I love him.
And I'm even sitting at my desk during the day in my engineering job, pretending to work on spreadsheets while I'm listening to podcasts and TEDx talks and audiobooks, feverously just documenting and writing and capturing all this wisdom.
It all shifts. One day I'm scrolling through my Facebook feed, and an ad pops up. "Ever thought about becoming a life coach?" I don't even know what life coaching is, but there's something about it that resonates with me. I click it. And before you know it, I'm on the phone to some guy, and I've signed up to a year-long life coaching training course. But on the first three-day training of that course, holy moly, this is what I've been looking for my whole entire life. I found it. I knew there was more. I knew there was more. And I found it. And I didn't even know what coaching was, but I knew that was something for me to explore, something to expand into.
So the next six months, the beast mode goes up a notch. I put everything I got into this coaching stuff and I'm actually pretty good at it. I helped one guy get off crystal meth. I helped a girl pretty much recover from the same crap that I went through. And it's not even the most important part. The most important part is I feel alive. I know why I'm here. I got a reason for being here, and it's incredible, but I have no idea how this is gonna work out. I don't know anything about business. I don't know anything about coaching, really, but I realize I need to make a decision. I've spent ten years climbing the ladder of success, leaning against the wrong wall. And I can see a path in front of me. I don't even know what it is, but it feels right.
On that day on the drive home, I asked myself, Why? Why am I still in this job? And in that moment, I decide to take my decade-long engineering career, and I walk away, and it's liberating. It's also the most scary, crazy thing I've ever done in my life. What's my dad gonna say? But it feels right.
And what I've realized to be true is that life is the ultimate contact sport, and I'm not here to play a safe game. And life—she's a tough teacher. She gives you the test first and then the lesson afterward. But bless it because all the adversity, all the chaos, all the suffering, all the confusion—it all exists. And it's there because it contains the seed of wisdom for the awakening and for the expansion of who you are meant to be. And I realize this whole time through the chaos, through the confusion, through the suffering, through the joy, through the love, through the adventure, through the whole lot, life has been conspiring in my favor, even when I didn't know it.