14. How to live joyfully, show up authentically and build your dream life with Kevin Packer

14. How to live joyfully, show up authentically and build your dream life with Kevin Packer

In this episode, I have an insightful conversation with Kevin Packer, an entrepreneur, product leader, life coach, and writer. We talk about identifying the important values for you, which will help you build a solid foundation for achieving your potential. Kevin also shares a few powerful frameworks he uses to help him show up, lean in, and work towards his goals. Kevin also has an excellent listener challenge to help you start living your life joyfully and authentically.

Kevin is an entrepreneur, product leader, life coach, and writer. He currently serves as Director of Product at wikiHow, where he helps people learn everything from “how to french kiss” to “how to survive an ostrich attack”.

In his writing and coaching, he combines mindfulness practices, goal-setting frameworks, and lessons from a decade of product management to help people live joyfully, show up authentically, and ultimately build their dream lives.

Ideas we discussed

  • When we're not being vulnerable, we're not being open. When we do open up it helps others feel better as well.
  • Many spiritual and self-help books give us direction but don't tell us how to use the information in our lives which is crucial to make real changes.
  • Coaching allows us to get out of the typical thought patterns that run through our heads.
  • A simple shift in our mindset can unlock a world of possibilities.
  • It's easy to put our hopes on external factors and tell ourselves that "I'll be happy when..." or "I'll be successful when..." what we're doing is carrying around a glass ceiling for ourselves.
  • Instead of putting up an ideal, we have to reach it before we can assume an identity such as an entrepreneur, creator, or writer; change our mindset to assume the role right where we are and however we are.
  • If you find yourself with negative thoughts, take a moment to check your thoughts and try to understand what is causing them and if needed, give your mind a break. Don't take your negative thoughts for face value, especially when your are stressed or tired.
  • Meditation is a powerful tool to help us build muscle to bring our attention back once we have been distracted by thoughts.
  • We can move past our inner challenges by prototyping how we want to show up in low-stakes situations and building up our confidence from there to tackle bigger and more challenging situations until we are no longer confined by the inner challenge.
  • Sharing our experiences online through writing helps keep ourselves in check to ensure we are walking the walk and following what we advise others with.
  • We do need to accept authentic emotions such as anger and sorrow and balance those along with positive emotions.
  • Kevin shared a wonderful idea of an upward spiral. By setting goals of varying sizes across different parts of our lives, we can build upon the success from one goal to the next and start a pattern of good things happening to keep us moving upwards using positivite actions.
  • Being aware of the challenging moments for us and building in safeguards to ensure we don't fall into a negative situation is what Kevin calls "external mindfulness."
  • Learn how creating "Personal OKRs" can help us work towards our aspirations.
  • Use Personal OKRs to achieve your dream life by first defining your direction three months out and then setting a balanced set of OKRs that point you in the right direction. Then define effective, balanced key results, both behavior and outcome-oriented, to help ensure you achieve your goals.
  • Personal OKRs are a great self-correcting way to keep you honest and focused on your goals because they help you learn and adjust along the way.
  • Identifying our North Stars is a personal exercise we must work through by understanding our top three values.
  • A quick way to identify your values is to write down all the people you admire and then write down the characteristics you admire. Then circle the ones you want to emulate and then try them out. See how they feel and adjust along the way.
  • You don't have to have the answer. All you have to do is try out an answer, prototype it, and learn from there.
  • Engaging with life is fun. Try things out and experiment to see how we can overcome the limiting beliefs we carry around with us.
  • Once you have understood your values, no one can take them away.
  • Mini-Sabbaticals are a great way to reconnect with yourself and give yourself a break to fully recover. They are also a great way to assess your life and the direction you are going in, and where you want your energy to be directed for the next year or two.
  • Can't get away for a month or even a weekend? You can start small. Even an hour of dedicated time to spend on by yourself to check in with yourself and assess the direction you are headed in. Make a few goals to take action towards.