Quality of Life Perspectives: Matthew Coleman

The other day I was chatting with Matthew Coleman, a landscaping specialist from southern California.  He was helping us with some work and we got to chatting.


We started talking about parenting and before I knew it we started getting into one of those deep, fluid, interesting conversations.  The kind you wish you could do more of but find yourself not having the time for.  [In fact, I started to tell myself I didn’t have the time on a busy work day to chat – but thankfully I decided to chill and enjoy the rich experience presented to me.]


A minute into our conversation I realized some gems were forthcoming so I decided to record the conversation (with a phone video camera).  Below is a link to the conversation, in which Matthew shared his perspectives and practices around parenting.  CLICK ON THE PHOTO BELOW TO WATCH THE VIDEO.










Here are some things that stood out from our conversation:

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Less Communication is More

Living Each Day to the Fullest

Taking Risks

Growing up, I was allowed to make mistakes and take risks. Although I’m sure it was hard for my mom to let me go and attempt my goals and dreams at such an early age, it was those experiences –the ups and definitely the downs — that shaped so many of my values and formed the ground work and base I have been able to draw from later. Only by taking risks can you learn your true capabilities and have the foundation to keep growing and developing. I believe that going out and pushing myself the way I did instilled a work ethic that grounds me to this day.

Discovering your own path

There are many people who will tell you this is the way to live and there are a lot of paths out there. It takes a certain amount of courage to tailor make your own path. Sometimes it’s good to be a follower for a while before you can actually be more pro-active and create your own lifestyle. Ultimately, I think the art of living is about having that internal dialog and figuring out what really works for you. Not succumbing to a dogmatic approach and allowing trial and error to be a part of the process.

Realizing our connectedness with others

It’s a great step in the right direction when you realize that it’s not about being special individually. It’s about realizing that everybody really is a wondrous creation. I read something recently; the whole idea that everything is connected and the outlines that separate us are artificial and really just for practical purposes. If you really are connected to everything, then we have access to much more than what we’ve been taught. We basically have unlimited possibilities. It sounds grandiose but I think that’s really true. Television and popular culture really hammers home the have’s and the have-not’s idea. You have the celebrities and you have the people that are struggling to make their mortgage or living on the street. You’re given those two poles and everybody in between is caught up in trying to achieve what others have.


Humility is a very important quality to me. To me, it opens up a world of experiences. I think if you’re true and authentic and you attract people on that level, and show them respect, others will open up and start sharing things. And that is where so many rich experiences in life are waiting I think.

Confronting your fears

I think a lot stems from your ability to confront and deal with your fears. Fear is a natural human state. It’s an emotion but we need to realize it is a natural state that must be dealt with. Fears tend to rule our lives, to dictate what our actions are. And you can’t get a total control over them. I mean, you will remain afraid of something, but to gain confidence about confronting your fears, I think that’s one of the first things to master in life to reap all it has to offer.

Getting in tune with the rhythm of each day

Having a sense of what each day has to offer. Rhythm is something I find more and more as I get older. Some days just don’t seem to shake out smoothly. Other days you walk out the door and feel a day that has a beat, or groove you can hook into. The key is keeping your eyes and ears open and try get in tune with the flow. Work at being in the moment.

Arrogance and ego

Arrogance and ego are qualities that often get in the way of achieving goals. Nobody enjoys the cloying presence of people only concerned about themselves, people who are totally wrapped up in their own perspectives, and in the image they have of themselves-indifferent to the needs and feelings of others. I feel that an essential quality of being a successful human lies in the ability to enjoy and respect others, to appreciate and recognize the positive contributions that others have to offer.