What is a Good Life? #7 (Podcast)
Purpose & Men's Mental Health with Alex Holmes
On the seventh episode of the “What is a Good Life?” podcast, I am joined by Alex Holmes, whose work focusses on the mental and emotional health of men.
Alex is the Founder of The Mindful Life, an award winning Podcaster (Time to Talk with Alex Holmes, The Mindful Man), an Author, Time to Talk: How Men Think About Love, Belonging and Connection, and a Therapeutic Coach (using Bibliotherapy amongst other approaches).
In this episode Alex takes us through his journey of experiencing breakdowns at work, to redefining his relationship with himself and those around him, establishing his values, to discovering his purpose in men’s mental health, and he brings up many of the challenges men face in addressing their mental health.
The structure for the newsletter is:
Short video clip from the podcast (2.5 mins)
My weekly reflection related to the weekly video clip ( 2 mins)
Full podcast episode - both video and audio (62 mins)
Two content related questions to prompt your own reflections on life
1. Weekly Clip from the Podcast
2. My weekly reflection
Alex uses the word harmony when describing what a good life is for him in the video above. He elaborates on this by saying for things to be in harmony with each other; that good comes with bad, that death comes with life, gain comes with loss…this resonates a lot with my own perspective.
When I interviewed the initial 120 participants for this project, several participants said that in a perfect world for them, they wouldn’t feel any stress. This idea broke down under the slightest probing, as they often identified times in their life when stress drove them to achieving or experiencing something, that without the presence of stress they may not have done. Growth and some form of stress or discomfort are inextricably intertwined.
We are often seeking an external point or situation when we “have it all”, and we can have peace once everything is achieved, or is in its “rightful” place. From my own observations, this is a total fallacy. Life rarely so succinctly lines up that way, and even if it does, it is merely momentarily.
Often the “bad” we are resisting in life, is merely what we have signed up for or part of the harmonious process and unfolding in life. If you’ve ever experienced moving countries, a bout of loneliness will often emerge for me shortly after the move. Even when I know lots of new people and I am happy with my decision, loneliness from the lack of knowing people for a long time tends to appear. When it emerged when I moved to Berlin a few years ago, there was nothing to fix or resist, it is a process I am now familiar with, which simply dissolves with time and the developing of friendships and community.
It's becoming clear to me that the discomfort that arises in various moments need not disturb the sense of harmony I experience in my life. That harmony stems more from the level of peace I have with this constant, toing and froing, gaining and losing, expanding and contracting. Being ok with there never being an experience of perpetual completeness in the external world.
3. Full Episode - Purpose & Men’s Mental Health with Alex Holmes - What is a Good Life? Ep. #7
Click here for Apple and Google.
4. This week’s Questions
How much clarity do you have on your own values, and how clearly do you communicate them in your relationships (partner, familial, friends)?
When you reflect on a particularly challenging period in your life, did it endow your life with anything you are presently grateful for?
I am a Coach based in Berlin, via Dublin, Ireland. I left behind a 15-year career in Capital Markets after I became extremely curious around what life, myself, and existence are all about.
I create corporate programs for companies to foster greater psychological safety, trust and purpose (click here for reference). While I also work with high-performing, individual clients who have hit their material goals and are trying to understand what comes after performance.
If you would like to work with me, or you simply want to get in touch, here’s my email and LinkedIn.