Jullien Gordon on Why Living a Fulfilled Life Starts With Being Yourself

In Chapter 9 of 21 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, business coach Jullien Gordon answers "How Are Your Personal Experiences Shaping Your Professional Aspirations?"  For Gordon, it comes down to lifestyle design and in this, personal and professional are the same thing.  Gordon notes that at the end of the day your life is integrated and your behaviors need to be aligned to create conistent behaviors that support that.  Jullien Gordon is a high performance coach and consultant to organizations, individuals and teams who want to increase employee performance, motivation, engagement and retention.  He earned a BA from UCLA, an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and a Masters of Education from Stanford University.


Erik Michielsen: How are your personal experiences shaping your professional aspirations?

Jullien Gordon: There’s no division between who I am and what I do, they are very linked. And so this is about lifestyle design for me, and my career is part of my life, there’s four domains of my life which are myself, my family, my career, and my community. So who I am is actually informing everything that I do, and I think that when we move through life in that way, we just feel more integrated and we feel more satisfied.

The way I think about it is that oftentimes we’re moving through life and there’s five different versions of ourselves. There’s who you really are, there’s who we think we are, there’s who we want to be, there’s who others think we are, and there’s what others need us to be. And to the extent that those five different versions of ourselves are spread out and they aren’t one, is where we find that we’re unfulfilled. Those are where leaks occur in our happiness and our joy. And to the extent that those things can be aligned, and you don’t feel like you have to be someone else—somebody else for somebody else, and that who you are becoming and who you are, are actually one, I find that that’s where I feel most alive and most fulfilled.

So, again, who I am informs what I do and so I don’t see a separation. There’s no separation between our personal and professional lives. If there was, where would it be? At our front door? At the driveway? At the parking lot? At our desk? There’s no line. It’s helpful to talk about them separately sometimes, but at the end of the day, our life is integrated, it’s one thing, it’s not these different compartments. If your day at work sucks then that’s gonna filter into your “personal life.” If your personal life is sucking, that’s gonna filter into your professional life. So there’s no distinction for me between the two. They’re all one for me.