The difference between therapy and coaching, resetting yourself to get back into flow, and practicing with intention

Building Blocks: Actionable insights to build an Intentional Life

Hey everybody,

Here’s another batch of actionable insights to start your week off right, so you can be more intentional with how you live, work, and create.

Let’s get started.

One of my fundamentals values is being a lifelong learner—I’m always looking for ways to level up in life, dive deeper into ideas, and make the most of the time I have left this side of the grave.

To that end, I recently joined David Perell’s Write of Passage course to improve my writing and become a better storyteller.

So this week, I’ve got a shiny new article for you, courtesy of an idea from Write of Passage.

Insight 1: Therapy ≠ Coaching

“What’s the difference between therapy and coaching?”

It’s the most frequently asked question I get when people find out I stopped practicing therapy to write online and coach.

It’s a simple question, but if you Google it, you’ll get 24,200,000 search results—and virtually every single one of them is wrong.

My latest article goes in-depth on the real differences between therapy and coaching you won’t find anywhere else.

So if you’re thinking about becoming a coach or therapist, hiring one, or just curious to learn more about them, click here for the full article.

Insight 2: Use transitions to get back into flow

A while ago, I was talking to my friend, Daniel Canosa, who runs a business helping people improve their time management and productivity using Notion.

His routines are well organized, but he’d hit a snag with his writing routine. Some days his routine would get thrown out of whack, and it was a Herculean effort to get back on track.

So I talked to him about combining principles of classical conditioning with transition periods and liminal spaces to get back into a flow state.

Here’s what I mean…

Let’s say you’ve made a productivity playlist that gets you “in the zone” to write. But you’re writing routine for the day has been thrown off—you overslept, responsibilities came up, or some other life-chaos.

How do you get back on track?

Use transition periods intentionally.

When you walk to the kitchen to get a snack, go to the bathroom, or take a walk around your block—listen to your playlist.

Transition periods and liminal spaces are cognitively neutral territory. There’s a certain mental silence about them, so our minds wander because they don’t have anything else to focus on.

So you can use this to your advantage by filling this silence with your playlist.

By the time you walk back to your office, your brain has kicked into “productivity mode,” without any willpower or internal pep talk of “Ok brain, we have to focus and get shit done today.”

It’s a simple strategy, but it’s super effective.

If you want a more in-depth article on how you can leverage principles of classical conditioning to improve your own performance, read this.

Insight 3: Intention separates the mediocre from the great

I’ve been exploring the idea of deliberate, aka intentional, practice and how it’s the defining characteristic that separates mediocre performers from superstars across industries.

If you’re not familiar with Kobe Bryant’s “Mamba Mentality,” and how he approached every practice with intention, this 6-minute video of him being interviewed is a great introduction.

I’m working on an article that explores this concept in depth. So if you’re interested in learning more about the psychology of top performers and how to be more intentional with your habits, keep a look out for it.

Question for the Week

In what ways, specifically, can you be more intentional with your habits this week?

Insights in Action

One of the best ways to clarify your thinking is to write it out.

So if you want to develop your thinking on this question or start applying insights from today’s newsletter, send a tweet to @CoreyWilksPsyD with your thoughts and put #BuildingBlocks at the end so I can find it.

Not ready to “think in public” yet? No problem. You can also reply to this email if you want to share your thoughts with me.

Until next time,

Corey Wilks, Psy.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Certified Professional Coach