What is your Big Thing?

Interview with Jeff Patterson, M.A., P.C.C

What’s your “Big Thing”? Maybe writing a book? Starting a non-profit? Creating your dream company? Writing a screenplay? Producing a large scale event to raise consciousness? Going back to school for a specialized degree? Selling sustainable products that are made with love and intention? Whatever it is, this Big Thing starts with a vision that contributes radical impact into the world. And, it’s possible to achieve, albeit with a little (or a lot of) help.

In our society, it’s easy to fall into the “I can do it myself” trap, thinking that this intense self-sacrifice proves something. But often, all it does is burn us out and prevent us from reaching the mountaintop of our dreams – our Big Thing. So great, we need help, but where do we start?

Meet Jeff Patterson. Jeff is a gifted Success Coach, Author and Professional Speaker deeply committed to supporting those who are ready to fulfill their Big Thing. His intention is to serve humanity in everything he does, which includes helping us move past our blocks and become the people we need to be to change the world. Experience Jeff's invaluable wisdom, vulnerability, awareness and inspiring journey in this intimate interview.

 

Living Wholly: What inspired you to be a Success Coach?

Jeff Patterson: In any career I’ve been in, you could always find me in a conversation with someone, asking them what “Big Thing” they desired to create. I would immediately see and sense things that were in the way for them (internally) and I could also see how they could get there - quickly.

I remember in 1997, during my 15-year career as a professional actor in Hollywood, people were calling me almost daily to coach them. Some were actors, while others were producers, musicians, athletes and execs. There were days where I was on the phone for more than six hours.

I loved it and did it because I had always done it- since I was a young boy… I would listen and share what I saw and ask questions that resulted in these individuals becoming unstoppable… and creating Big Things.

I didn’t consider it a career because it wasn’t something I was seeking to do- I wasn’t trying to coach. It was just me being me. To me, coaching wasn’t a career- it was a part of me. It was an expression of who I was (and am.) It didn’t take long for some of the people I coached to hit high levels of success and when I saw how valuable our conversations were to them, I began seeing how this could really be a GameChanger for people, and the world.

Living Wholly: What does GameChanger mean?

Jeff Patterson: On one level GameChanger refers to a person or individual who changes the way something is done in an industry, or someone who changes the game of the place they’re playing. For example, the actor Wayne Brady’s Improv abilities changed the game in Hollywood, requiring all actors to have Improv experience.

Another context for the word GameChanger is an action, or something that occurs, that changes how something is done, or a catalyst that changes your life. I love the word because it has multiple meanings.

Living Wholly: What is your zone of genius with your clients?

Jeff Patterson: My zone of genius is coaching GameChangers to radically increase their impact. I help highly impactful leaders who want to change the world to make the necessary shifts to step into that reality and leave their greatest mark on the planet – this often stems from realizing their Big Thing.

Living Wholly: How do you know if you have a Big Thing?

Jeff Patterson: There are five telltale signs that what you’re considering is a Big Thing.

  1. It might seem impossible. It’s something that scares you and makes you wonder if you have the ability to do it.
  1. You may not see how to accomplish it. You may see and acknowledge your soul’s goal – your Big Thing – but not know how you’re going to make it happen.
  1. It will bring up unresolved material from your past, and will likely bring up fear. Because, your Big Thing isn’t only a goal, it’s a mountaintop egging you on to touch it. It’s that thing inside that you know you must do, even though it scares the crap out of you. It has you stepping outside what’s comfortable for you.
  1. It’s bigger than you. It will require that you get help. You won’t be able to accomplish a Big Thing on your own – you’ll need some kind of help – some kind of team. And it will require that you open up to others to support you on that path.
  1. It requires you to transform and grow into a stronger and brighter realization of who you are. A Big Thing will elude you from where you currently stand. A Big Thing will call from the depths of your greater spirit, greater energy, and greater creativity than what you’ve given in the past. So if you’re willing to transform, your Big Thing can call you forward in a way that nothing else can.
 

    Living Wholly: What 's the most important key to realizing your Big Thing?

    Jeff Patterson: The biggest element is building your world around your Big Thing. Committing. Showing up. Deciding and declaring, and then doing it. Oftentimes we try to build our Big Thing around our existing life, fitting it in when there’s time in between responsibilities. What I’ve learned is that committing to my Big Thing, and having everything fill in around my Big Thing, also benefits other areas of life. My committing to my Big Thing helped me become a better husband and father. So going all in is one of the greatest keys to realizing your Big Thing.

    Living Wholly: What's one of the biggest traps that keep people from realizing their Big Thing?

    Jeff Patterson: One of the biggest traps is the unwillingness to shift who we’re being. How I’m operating my life, how I’m showing up is what I call my Way of Being. And the reason we often don’t have what we want in life is because we’re not being the person necessary to realize that thing that we want.

    People often say “I am who I am” – they think their personality is fixed. I have learned through lots of pain in my life that how I show up is just a byproduct of my story. So when you shift your story, you shift how you show up.

    Living Wholly: How does going for your Big Thing change the world?

    Jeff Patterson: When you change how you show up in the world – how you think about yourself, the way you think about life, the way you think about those around you, the way you think about what you’re doing – you can shift your experience of those things, which can make you feel different. And when you feel different you do things differently, and when you do things differently you change your environment. When you change you, and you change your environment, you evolve. So if you’re willing to shift your way of being and up-level it – to elevate it – you will watch all your strength, resilience, playfulness, and creativity spill over into all areas of your life. And in this way, it’s impossible to not change the world.

    Living Wholly: What do you hold as one of your most unique gifts to the world?

    Jeff Patterson: When I speak with someone, I can very quickly feel, sense and experience what is occurring in them. I also have the ability to help my client see and create a much bigger vision than they had previously been holding for themselves. The result is a 10x factor that has people going farther than they previously thought possible.

    I remember coaching a young man who wanted to be a “working actor.” I challenged him to be more specific and then to expand that vision even more. Through our coaching, he realized that he wanted to become a leading man on a network TV Series. We then began the real work of creating the shifts that would naturally result in that outcome. In less than a year he booked the lead role as Nick Burkhardt on the NBC series Grimm. If you have watched the show, you may know this actor as Dave Giuntoli. Both Dave and the show have gone on to win many awards and it’s been a very successful show for NBC.

     

    Living Wholly: What teachers have you worked with and/or currently work with to inspire and support your evolution in consciousness?

    Jeff Patterson: I have been fortunate enough to work with many great teachers such as Michael Bernard Beckwith in Los Angeles, Drs. Ron and Mary Hulnick at the University of Santa Monica, Byron Katie and Tony Robbins. I have several coaches I’m working with currently and believe that great coaches have coaches. Stephen McGhee was my business coach for many years and he’s one of a kind.

    All that being said, my greatest coach has been my Father, Al Patterson. He coached me through some of the most challenging times of my life growing up and his creative and bold encouragement is a big part of who I am today.

    Living Wholly: In your words, how are you serving the world?

    Jeff Patterson: I am serving the world by using everything I do to serve humanity. In any activity, I ask myself, how could I utilize this activity to make the world a better place. This is my intention, even though I may fall short.

    I remember when I was an actor in Hollywood, I would take one day each week and I would get in my car and go where I was intuitively led. I might end up on a street corner in downtown LA, or find myself at a bookstore in Beverly Hills. Invariably I would end up in a conversation and coach the person I was drawn to.

    At that time, I believed that as long as I used my gifts for the good of the world, that I would find my way and prosper. So, you could say that I served the world by using my gifts any way I could- all the while having the intention to make a positive difference.

    Living Wholly: What does living wholly mean to you?

    Jeff Patterson: My first thought is that the word “wholly” is very similar to “Holy.” To me, Wholly living means that I treat this life as a sacred endeavor. I don’t necessarily mean that in a religious sense. I mean that I approach my life much like author Gary Zukoff describes as, “A Spiritual being having a human experience.” Living wholly means owning that I am Spirit, mind, body and emotion. I choose to live fully on all fronts of my existence and continually grow into my “greater yet to be.”

    Living Wholly: If you could share a mantra from your journey thus far, what would that be?

    Jeff Patterson: “Temper on your steel.” As a boy, I could only see my Dad (due to parents divorce) once a month for a weekend. One night when I was five years old and in tears, I told my Dad that it hurt too much and that I didn’t think I could take it anymore. He told me something that changed my life forever. He said, “As tough as this is, this experience is building you toward something special in the future. It is Temper On Your Steel.” No matter what I’ve faced in life, I’ve always chosen to believe that every challenge is a gift and that it’s temper on my steel.

    Living Wholly: What are your top 3 suggestions for living a purposeful and fulfilling life?

    Jeff Patterson: Have fun right where you are. If you can’t have fun now, what makes you think that you’ll have fun when you have exactly what you think you need? If I find myself in a situation where I'm not enjoying myself - I ask this question, “What could I do to bring more fun into this?” I listen for my intuitive answer. For example, early in my coaching career I was having many conversations with perspective clients over the phone. I was on the phone from 9am till 5pm. I wanted to have more fun because I noticed I was getting too serious. I asked the question, “What could I do to have more fun?” My answer was, “Sing to every person you get on a call with.” I about freaked out when I heard this. “You want me to do what?!”   So, I did. It was very uncomfortable but something miraculous happened. First of all, I had great fun. Secondly, many of the people I spoke to were touched by the vulnerability and courage I was demonstrating in singing to them. Some of them had breakthroughs just because of that alone.

    Another suggestion is- do what you want to do. If you want to lead people, then find some way to lead. If you want to be a surfer, then surf. So many of us are waiting to be given permission to do and be what we truly want to do and be. Do it now. Be it now. Who says you have to make money at it (in the beginning, if at all?)

    One last suggestion is to define your “Big Thing” and go for it. Many of us know what we want to do, but we hide and wait for permission or a guarantee that we can have it. But that day never comes (unless your vision is small.) The people that are most alive are creating something. The greater the endeavor we commit to, the greater the energy and Spirit we summon from within us. Small goals summon small energy. Want to be radically alive? Have a Big Thing and go for it.

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    To learn more about discovering your Big Thing, and following the path that will lead you to that mountaintop, tune in to our LIVE webinar with Jeff Patterson on Wednesday, October 24, 6.00 pm pst for our "Virtual Speaker Series" via Zoom. Jeff is giving away one private 30 minute session with him valued at $1500. With support from Jeff, we can become the person we need to be to fulfill our vision and uplift the world. Register here to confirm your spot. See you on the Zoom!

    with great inspiration + gratitude,




    Jenny Emblom
    Jenny Emblom

    Author



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