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Jon Sterngold, MD
Like many people, I spent a lot of my life thinking that if I could just get to THAT point, get more money, find the woman of my dreams, publish my book, become the guitarist I want to be, lose this many pounds, that I could find peace and happiness in life. Well, I got to many of those places and yes, it felt great to get there for a while, but lasting happiness and fulfillment didn’t happen to result simply from reaching one or more goals. There was something else going on. It took many life lessons to finally realize that happiness in life is a process - a day-to-day flow of action and rest, planning and accomplishment, health and sickness, ups and downs, growth and development. There simply is no place to land. Life IS change and without the often uncomfortable process of growth and learning, life becomes stale and unfulfilling.

Is it any surprise that when carefully examined, researchers find no correlation between money and happiness? Nearly everyone wants more money but when people with money are studied, they are found to be no happier than those without. So, it’s not about that! I know that many of you know this. So perhaps it’s about having the spouse you want? Well yes, maybe. It helps, but having something is not the same as being something or someone. And being is not a snapshot state, like a brilliant gemstone. It is movement, change, flow, ups and downs, awake and asleep, and it doesn’t look the same from different angles. We are happiest when we live in concert with our values. What is really important to you at your deepest level? What can you do with your life that honors those values? How will you do that? Have you discovered your life purpose? These are questions we can examine in a coaching relationship. When these things become clearer for you, your path floods with new light. It’s easier to see the stones and potholes. The direction of your path simply becomes clear.

Having lived through medical assaults, career change, some family ‘re-arrangements’, the 60s, raising kids, empty nesting, and the onset of late middle age, I lean towards coaching people going through major life transitions. Whether it is work, home, or life-stage change, I want to walk with you along your path. Two sets of eyes, ears, hearts, and intuition can make for a better chance of reaching your goals. As a performing guitarist, shade tree mechanic, triathlete, and parent for nearly 30 years, I bring a broad base of life strategy skills to the plate. My experience in medicine, health, and performance optimization give me a perspective on problem solving from which my clients benefit. I also offer ‘medical coaching’. This is a process through which I can help you to find paths through the medical system for problems that are not straightforward. Sadly too often doctors cannot diagnose or communicate effectively. I can help you with some tools and perspectives to empower you to find your way to diagnosis and treatment. The process of coaching does not include ME solving YOUR problems, but when I can see a direction that might work for you, I do not hesitate to share my insights.

You might be wondering, ‘what’s an ER doctor doing as a life coach’? Good question. Stanford trained, twenty-five years in the ‘trenches’, all the letters after my name, department chief for most of two decades, I was at the top of my game. Or, at least, seemingly so. I developed a severe respiratory hypersensitivity to germicides. The challenges of working long shifts, holidays, nights, and the endless stream of often unsolvable problems paled in comparison to the toll my airway inflammation was taking on my health. It was killing me. After living with this for most of the 90s, I decided I had to get out of this toxic environment. I left my career in 1998 and began a writing project. I also hung out a shingle as a therapist. All was going well when an opportunity to play lead guitar in a classic rock band came my way. Dreams sometimes come true. I’d spent so many nights awake at 3am slaving away in my ER, wishing I could just play my guitar. My wish was granted – by me!! I then devoted most of my energies to becoming the guitarist I’d always wanted to be. This path was sidetracked by a string of family medical challenges, including my own walk with the reaper (from a rare anatomic vascular anomaly I’d unknowingly inherited). I spent a week at my alma mater not knowing if I might die from one second to the next. Finally, I was ‘fixed’ and set free to have my life and a new chance to create my future, my fulfillment, and my legacy. I knew that personal life coaching was my calling. Fortunately, all who knew me agreed! I did my training and am here now, ready and eager to work and walk with you.


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