June 17, 2015

Self Improvement Through Self Knowledge

After 20 years of hard work, I had a beautiful wife, 3 wonderful kids, and great success in business. I was living the ‘American Dream’ and I was miserable.

Although excellence and accomplishment bought me acceptance in business, it did nothing for me personally. With each new achievement, I simply raised the bar higher. Instead of growing in happiness, I grew in intolerance, never accepting anything less than perfection. Everything came to a head when my mom had a stroke and the doctors said she only had a few weeks to live.

A colleague gave me a copy of Happiness Is A Choice and the Option 12 Lecture CD Series I devoured the book as though it had been written just for me. I listened to the tapes over and over, sometimes sitting in my car for hours reveling in the insights and peace I would find from trading in old beliefs that were no longer useful to me. Although I knew nothing of The Option Institute at the time, I found this process remarkably effective.

At my company, we conducted an executive offsite meeting facilitated by one of The Option Institute’s teachers. In no time at all, we delved deeply into issues that had kept us from functioning well as a team. Several of the executives shared openly how they were angry with me and fed up with my intolerance of them. I’d never seen anything that cut so quickly to the core and established an environment where they could be addressed positively and creatively.

I then attended Radical Authenticity and realized I was lying all the time to protect myself or others. I finally found peace by simply being my true authentic self, without playing roles. Our executive team now practices authenticity as a core operating principle. Conflicts are no longer issues to be avoided, but opportunities to learn so they never fester and grow.

The Option Institute has helped me in all aspects of my life by allowing me to be a congruent person in all situations. Challenges are always coming, but I take them effortlessly without anxiety. By freeing myself from the need to accomplish, I’ve accomplished more with even greater passion and competence. I’m taking the Grand Summer Sequence this summer. I’m done living the American Dream; I’m now living my own dream!

Mark Tuomenoksa, Business Owner, Massachusetts

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