"Everyone’s different."

This timeless piece of wisdom that we’ve all known since childhood might seem trite or banal in adulthood, but it is at the heart of what makes personal growth and development possible. Modern life has made us very quick to reflexively categorize ourselves, or box ourselves into narrow groups with a shared label. Part of this is understandable: we want to feel like we belong to something, and identifying with others helps us to feel common ground and a sense of community. On top of that, we are always learning things from the examples of our peers, mentors, and loved ones. This is all normal and healthy, and very much to be expected from an intensely social species such as human beings.


But sometimes this process of identifying with others – and group-labeling ourselves accordingly – leads us to neglect or lose sight of what makes us us. Between our bodies, our minds, our experiences, our values, our hopes and our dreams, each one of us is truly one of a kind. The unique combination of everything that has made you you will never be found in any other human being – past, present, or future. As a fundamental principle of everyday experience, any time spent comparing yourself to other people is time you’re not spending discovering the truly individual qualities about yourself.

Unfortunately, a lot of coaching practice pays lip service to the notion of individuality without ever coaching individuals as individuals. Much of the off-the-shelf coaching frameworks employed by organizations use boilerplate metrics, generic categorizations of personality types and learning styles, and gimmicky surveys that simply put individuals into neat little boxes. Apart from the fact that so many of these models are based on poor science and unsubstantiated claims about a direct link to ROI, they also discount and dishonor the ideal of true individuality. This prevents people from discovering their true calling and fully engaging with their own development, which benefits neither the individual nor the organizations they work for.

To bring the best out in people, coaching must treat people like the individuals that they are – warts and all. This also means recognizing that the same person can be different on any given day. At Energeia, we personalize every coaching session to meet the distinctive needs of the individual in context. We take into account your physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and professional needs and goals, and work with you to develop growth and adaptability strategies that are based on your vision and values. Our self-programming approach to coaching helps people to integrate their mental and physical health and wellbeing with their sense of purpose and meaning and their personal and professional aspirations. And we do this in a way where you – the resident expert on yourself – are in charge of setting the agenda and driving the direction of your life and career.


Why Self-Programming?

A badly-programmed computer algorithm will not perform as effectively or efficiently as it is intended to. Although we carbon-based humans are infinitely more complex than our silicon-based counterparts, the same basic idea still holds for us. Human underperformance and underachievement are really just breakdowns in human “technology.” Aristotle, who first coined the term energeia, recognized this principle in antiquity by observing that, “A change in the shape of the body creates a change in the state of the soul.” William Shakespeare, in King Lear, later wrote, “We are not ourselves when nature, being oppressed, commands the mind to suffer with the body.”

When we neglect our physical health, absorb endless mental pressure, fail to renew and restore our energy and vitality, and don’t engage with our vision and values, we are essentially ‘programming’ ourselves to underperform and underachieve – both in our lives and our careers. With time being a scarce resource, and only so much attention we can apply to anything, we often find ourselves caught in a vicious cycle of soaring and crashing, sparkling and fading – all while feeling like we’re forever stuck at square one. Otherwise, we might be riding a steady wavelength in our lives that begins to feel more and more like a droning low hum going nowhere fast – a comfortable groove which discourages us from leaning outside our safety zones and improving upon what’s already there.

We sacrifice self-care in the service of solely professional development and prioritize pure pragmatism over purpose. Our bank accounts or job titles might suggest that we’re succeeding, but the feedback we receive from our minds and bodies very often paints a different picture. Despite having a seemingly endless selection of self-help guides, professional development frameworks, and wellbeing interventions to choose from, the rates of occupational stress and burnout continue to shatter new records year in, year out. Your own experience might not be quite so grim, but just because you’re not in the throes of a formally-diagnosed personal or professional neurosis, that does not mean that your mind-body-work-life connection is necessarily firing on all cylinders either.

At Energeia, we work closely with our clients to develop fully-personalized and customized self-programming plans and strategies. Self-programming simultaneously combines improving your physical fitness and wellbeing, fine-tuning your mental and emotional health, expanding your personal and social capabilities, and enhancing your repertoire of professional competencies. Drawing upon insights from individual and organizational psychology, neuroscience, nutrition science, exercise physiology, stress management, and other life and mind sciences, self-programming is a model for personal performance, optimization, and development that maximizes energy and promotes focus and discipline.

Our self-programming approach is based on technical eclecticism and model agility. In simple terms, this means that we use elements of many different coaching techniques and psychological or behavioral models, rather than simply using a single cookie-cutter approach or framework, as many professional coaching services do. This allows us to develop personally customized self-programming strategies that flexibly meet our clients where they are, and which reflect their unique needs and personal context.

The term ‘self-programming’ might seem cold or even robotic to some people, but it is simply a reference to the fact that you, yourself, will ultimately be in charge of setting and executing the program that you develop in consultation with your coach. In fact, we try to ‘humanize’ every session as much as possible; using compassion, humor, philosophy, and an appreciation of aesthetics, awe and wonder to help our clients uncover their distinctive gifts and passions. We serve as a guide that helps to lend direction and clarity toward our clients’ personal and professional vision, based on a roadmap that is of their own unique creation.

When mind, body and spirit are aligned, there are no limits to how far you can take your power and potential. Self-programming is an individualized path to achieving that very alignment.


Your self-programming plan is intended to serve as a living document: an ever-evolving autobiographical reference article that is refreshed and updated from time to time to reflect the ongoing evolution of yourself, while also holding true to your most enduring, immutable values and aspirations.

Your Self-Programming Plan

A typical Energeia self-programming plan will include some or all of the following:

A vision statement for your life and career

Your vision articulates the ideal version of yourself, and serves as an internal compass to help you navigate through work and life in the right direction. A vision statement is the stable centrepiece of the evolving, living document that is your self-programming plan. Written in your own words, it will keep you focused on what matters most, and will channel your energy and efforts toward your true purpose.


your most important values and aspirations

Personal and professional development is more sustainable and enduring when developmental strategies are created in accordance with what you truly value and aspire toward – not the expectations or norms of others. Taking the time to explore and establish what really drives you will be a foundational investment in your growth.


Identifying current strengths
and weaknesses

A deep dive into the areas where you excel and those where you currently fall short, based on radical self-honesty and authentic introspection, while avoiding the tricky pitfalls of self-delusion, rationalization, and confabulation.


Goal and intention formation

The sheer number of things you want to achieve in your life and career can be overwhelming. Properly forming and articulating your goals and intentions prevents them from simply becoming meaningless white noise in the background of your consciousness. Together with your coach, you can set meaningful, deliverable goals that align with your overall vision and purpose.


Time management, intention implementation,
and self-accountability

Time is scarce and talk is cheap: all the good intentions in the world are worthless without consistent follow-through. Your self-programming plan will implement structures into your busy schedule that will ensure you adhere to the goals and intentions you’ve set for yourself without succumbing to time creep or endless priority conflicts.


and self/body-awareness practices

There is perhaps nothing more important in the pursuit of self-development than a deep self-awareness of one’s mind and body – it is at the core of your spiritual health. Using techniques such as mindfulness meditation, psychodynamic coaching, and embodied self-awareness, we can help you explore your inner landscape, and guide you to a position of clarity and equanimity that will allow you to sustain peak performance.


and social competency development

Relationship management, conflict resolution, networking, impression management: all of these competencies and more are integral tools in the professional development toolkit. As your career progresses and your responsibilities increase, the world of people can feel like a labyrinthine maze that you’re forever having to navigate. Your coaching sessions, in conjunction with your evolving self-programming plan, will help you master the key emotional and social competencies that will drive your ongoing professional success.


Stress management and

The World Health Organization has dubbed stress “the health epidemic of the 21st century.” Although some amount of stress is to be expected in our busy lives, how we choose to manage it can make all the difference between allowing it to consume us or not. When mindfully attended to, we can learn to mitigate the worst aspects of stress while cultivating a healthy sense of struggle – which has proven benefits for increasing resilience and vigilance.


Sleep and fatigue management

The quality, quantity and timing of your sleep is fundamental to your health, and that makes it fundamental to success in every other area of your life. Poor sleeping habits reliably undermine performance and wellbeing, and compromise efficiency and productivity. Whether you’re a morning lark or a night owl, self-programming strategies can be employed to ensure that you get the most out of a good night’s rest and keep fatigue at bay.


Diet and nutrition

Consuming a poor diet means inefficiently fueling your brain, and preventing it from helping you perform at your best. Modern life has an unfortunate way of derailing healthy eating patterns; be that through lack of time to prepare and cook nutritious food, or the temptation and convenience of UberEats or the office vending machine. Healthy eating, as part of your self-programming plan, will allow you to utilize the food that you consume to better harness the energy of your body and mind.


Physical fitness

Humans are not designed to be sedentary. We are designed to be fit and strong, and to move. Being physically fit allows us to more effectively partition and distribute energy throughout our bodies, including to our brains. Whether you’re a bona fide gym junkie or just beginning the path to physical fitness, we can help you integrate this crucial element of your lifestyle into your busy week.


Increasing psychological capital

Psychological capital refers to the combined resources of self-efficacy, optimism, hope, and resilience that a person can use to help improve their performance and development. Formulating a greater understanding of oneself through a clear view of one’s motives, emotions and behaviours leads to an increase in psychological capital, which makes the mind more responsive to changing circumstances and more impervious to everyday stressors.


Increasing emotional granularity

Emotional granularity is the ability to put feelings into words with a high degree of specificity and precision. Evidence from psychology and neuroscience demonstrates that possessing a high degree of emotional granularity greatly improves our ability to regulate our emotions, and to gain a greater degree of control over our inner mental worlds. As your self-programming plan is refined over time, you will learn to explicitly articulate your goals in ever greater detail.


Building rituals

A plan for optimization, performance and development isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on unless someone sticks with it, and nothing promotes follow-through like happiness. Building rituals into your lifestyle that foster positivity and meaning will allow you to create harmony between the various structures and triggers in your self-programming plan, and strike a balance between energy expenditure and energy renewal, so that you remain affirmative and on track.


Social media self-management

The use of social media so easily becomes the misuse of social media for all too many people. Properly and thoughtfully used, this ever-present feature of modern life can be a game-changing Swiss Army knife for life and career advancement. Improperly and thoughtlessly absorbed, it can be a dumpster fire billowing intellectual and emotional pollution into the depths of your subconscious. Mindful, deliberative engagement with the world of social media can represent a serious investment in your day-to-day mental wellbeing.