Finding Your Purpose with Rick Harrigan

Rick Harrigan, certified Life Purpose Coach, joins Cristina and Alex on Uncover the Human this week. They discuss how removing external validation and listening to your inner voice is crucial in finding yourself and your life purpose. Purpose is defined by being, not by doing. It is a continuing journey that we are all on. Rick walks you through his own journey and how to start with changing your fear-based values into fearless values, even how "fun" can be a value. Listen to this episode to find out how you can apply your understanding and knowledge into actionable items in finding your purpose and bringing more joy into your everyday life.

You can connect with Rick through his website:

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Credits: Raechel Sherwood for Original Score Composition.

YouTube Channel: Uncover The Human








Alex Cullimore: Hey there, Cristina. 

Cristina Amigoni: Hi, we talked to Rick today.

Alex Cullimore: Yeah, Rick Harrigan. That was just honestly a blast conversation. Okay. It's great.

Cristina Amigoni: Yes. It was a blast. It's a good thing fun is one of his top values because he definitely knows how to bring it into the room.

Alex Cullimore: Yeah. He can deliver. 

 Cristina Amigoni: Okay. He can deliver. 

Alex Cullimore: Because a life purpose coach. And honestly, I don't even think we need to say more than that. It's just so fun.

Cristina Amigoni: Yes, yes. Must listen to. Must watch. And highly recommend to check him out to make sure that life has a purpose. And it's not just on autopilot zombied way.

Alex Cullimore: Crazy to do that. Very hard to do it the other way, but so much better.

Cristina Amigoni: Yes. Much, much better. Enjoy.

Alex Cullimore: Enjoy.


Alex Cullimore: Welcome to Uncover the Human where every conversation revolves around enhancing all the connections in our lives. 

Cristina Amigoni: Whether that's with our families, co-workers or even ourselves. 

Alex Cullimore: When we can be our authentic selves, magic happens.

Cristina Amigoni: This is Cristina Amigoni. 

Alex Cullimore: And this is Alex Cullimore. Let’s dive in.

Cristina Amigoni: Let’s dive in. 

Alex Cullimore: Let’s dive in. 

Authenticity means freedom.”

“Authenticity means going with your gut.”

“Authenticity is bringing 100% of yourself not just the parts you think people want to see, but all of you.”

“Being authentic means that you have integrity to yourself.”

“It's the way our intuition is whispering something deep-rooted and true.”

“Authenticity is when you truly know yourself. You remember and connect to who you were before others told you who you should be.”

“It's transparency, relatability. No frills. No makeup. Just being.”

Alex Cullimore: Hello, and welcome back to this episode of Uncovered the Human. This week we are joined with our guest, life purpose coach, Rick Harrigan. Welcome to the podcast, Rick.

Rick Harrigan: Thank you, Alex. It's great to be here. Thank you, Cristina, for having me. I'm really excited to chat with you both today.

Cristina Amigoni: Welcome, welcome.

Alex Cullimore: We are thrilled to have you on. This is a great time of year to be exploring what you do. And I'm going to let you tell that story. How did you get into what you do? And what are you doing now?

Rick Harrigan: Absolutely. Thanks, Alex. I appreciate that. So my journey to purpose started way back, even as a kid, is actually instructive as to how I found my purpose. I grew up in New Jersey, very blue-collar household. And from a young age, it was really impressed upon me, go to college. A few people in my family were lawyers. Become a lawyer. Get that high paying job, etc., etc. So college, check. Moved to Los Angeles to go to law school, like California. Took a job in media in the meantime. Never quite ended up getting to law school. Ended up working in corporate entertainment for about 20 plus years doing advertising sales and biz dev. And on the surface, really successful. Good money, nice house, white picket fence, American dream, all that stuff. Internally, exactly the opposite. Feeling stuck, unfulfilled, unhappy, dissatisfied, disconnected, and felt like that for a long time. But kept doing it because I just thought that's what I was supposed to do. That's what society tells you to do. That's what my parents wanted me to do. I was getting all kinds of validation from it from everyone except myself. 

And so finally, about 20 years in when I hit 40, I had had enough. I was burnt out. Just completely at my breaking point. And I realized I need help, number one. And number two, I can't live this life anymore, because it's not the life that I want to live. So I actually started working with a coach who was kind of a spiritual life purpose coach. I was kind of having a spiritual awakening at the time. And he just really helped me shed my fears around money. Shed my fears around perception. The old, “What will people say? What will people think?” And he really just helped me hone in on my values, my beliefs, and really encouraged me to define what my definition of success was, for the first time in my life. And going through that process was the most powerful, transformative process I've ever undergone. 


And I came out of that realizing, “Wow! I want to do this for other people.” Because I knew firsthand that there were many, many, many other men and women just like me kind of suffering in lives that were not really of their own conscious design. So I quit the job, left Los Angeles. I was kind of tired of the traffic and everything that went along with that. Moved here to Colorado. Got my coaching certification. And I knew right away what I wanted to help people do, was to help them find their purpose, because that's what I really did. I found out who I was and what I wanted to do with that. 

So now I help people do the same, whether they are starting their careers, whether they're in the middle of their careers, or whether they just generally want to find their purpose as part of their own self-realization. I help people find their purpose, and then channel it into meaningful, fulfilling work that will make them successful, abundant, joyful, the whole kit and caboodle. It is the most satisfying work I've ever done in my entire life. I love it.

Alex Cullimore: Yeah. Love the phrase, particularly, “I was getting validation from everywhere except myself.” That sums the story in a nutshell.

Rick Harrigan: Yeah. I could really sum that up very succinctly like that.

Alex Cullimore: I think that's something that's very relatable. I definitely felt that many times in my life. And I think a lot of people feel that because there is this societal like, “Well, you seem to be doing fine.” By the books, you're doing great. Just something is not connecting. Every else think like that seems fine.

Rick Harrigan: Everything, except my soul, and my heart, and my mind. Some minorly important aspects of the puzzle. 

Cristina Amigoni: Tiny. 

Alex Cullimore: [inaudible 00:06:23]

Cristina Amigoni: Yes. So how did you recognize that the external validation was not aligning with the internal validation?

Rick Harrigan: Yeah. It was a voice that was there very early on. Even as soon as I even got my first job, there was this tiny little voice that was just like this isn't really what you want to be doing. But the external validation, those voices are so loud, and so much easier to digest than that little voice inside sometimes, that I drowned it out for years. And then there were aspects of my job, in my life that were great. I was going to really nice dinners, and movie premieres, and taking great vacations. So that also made it a little easier to tamp that voice down. 


But eventually, once that became the norm, that validations voice became getting lower and lower in volume. And my internal sense of misalignment kept getting louder and louder in volume, until finally I just came to this realization of all the nice dinners and all the money in the world is not worth it when this internal voice is not aligned with what you're doing. 

And so it was just kind of this slow, steady rise in volume over the years of just simply – Because the more you pay into it, the further and further you get from being able to go back and live the way that voice wants you to live, mortgages and things like that. But eventually, the volume just got so loud internally. 

And there were things going wrong in my life externally as well. I was angry. I was unhappy. Probably not the most fun guy to be around coming home from work. So there was external discord happening at the same time as well. That energy and that voice, it's going to make itself heard one way, shape or form. And some of that external discord helped make me realize, “Wow, I am really out of alignment. And I need to listen to this inner voice and follow what it's telling me to do.”

Alex Cullimore: So you've done purpose in helping other people find purpose. What does purpose mean to you?

Cristina Amigoni: Yes.

Rick Harrigan: Yeah. So the first step in finding your purpose is really understanding what purpose is. And purpose isn't what you're doing. It's not something that you do. It's not your job. It's not the parts. It's the sum of those parts. It's who you are. It's who your being. It's who you feel called to be in every moment of your life. It's your values. It's your beliefs. It's how you manifest those. And it is, in some part, what you decide to do with them. But your purpose isn't defined by the doing. It's defined by the being. 

I often say, purpose is synonymous with true self. Purpose is synonymous with total authenticity. And purpose is just simply being who you really are meant to be called to be and just feel from the wellspring of your soul that you ought to be in this world. It's not an end goal. It's not like you can say, “Oh, I found my purpose. I'm out. Sweet. I won.” It's a nonstop learning, because you're always changing. You're always learning. Your values can change. Your beliefs can change. So your purpose changes as you progress through life. And that's the beauty of it. It's the painting that you paint of your life that's never really done. I guess you could even make the argument until even after you take your last breath. And that's what I really find as the beauty of it is, it's a process. That really is life-giving, life-affirming, and really brings joy to the soul.

Alex Cullimore: That's a great distinction. I like that. As a being, not doing.

Rick Harrigan: Yeah, absolutely.

Cristina Amigoni: That’s a great distinction. I almost wonder if you could walk us through how to find our purpose in 45 minutes or less.

Rick Harrigan: I have a couple of rough guideposts that you could use. 

Cristina Amigoni: Just kidding. Putting you on the spot. 

Rick Harrigan: I could give you some steps for sure. I'll tell you this. Values are really, really elementary to understanding one's purpose. Values are really the building blocks of purpose, and understanding what your values really are. Because they are the guideposts of your life. And I do wear a lot of work with my clients, three different exercises to define what your, roughly, four to six core values are. And when you can define those core values, and you know exactly what they mean to you. And they're very consciously chosen. Not fear based. Because we can have fear based values that don't really serve us. 

When they're consciously chosen, those values are things we can carry around with us, and manifest, and live, and breathe into anywhere we go around anyone we meet anytime, and we can't go wrong. And they are really kind of the signposts that triangulate what our purpose really is. They're really core to purpose work. 

Alex Cullimore: We mentioned before on this, Cristina? 

Cristina Amigoni: A few times. I’d say 50, 60 episodes. A few times in each episode a few 100 times.

Rick Harrigan: I think I gleaned that you, Alex and Cristina, vibe with values. I think that.

Cristina Amigoni: We do. We do. Yes.

Alex Cullimore: I like the distinction of fear-based values too. Some are assigned values. Some are learned values. It's very much like those external voices. There's so many values told to you that shouldn't be there. And what is really your values? So I'm curious, and you don't have to dive in if it's too personal, but like what your values are? What connects you to the work that you do? What got you into your new purpose?

Rick Harrigan: Yeah. I can tell you, my number one value is connecting with others. I love when two people can sit there in their authenticity or in their vulnerability, and just really connect on that level. Like, “Wow! We share some of the same experiences. We share some of the same fears. We share some of the same triumphs. We share the same humanity.” I love connecting with people in that. It's total flow for me when I'm connecting with some – Or a group of people in that manner. 

A couple other of my biggies. Family is a big one. But that one wasn't until my daughter was born. And then I really came to understand, “Wow! This is true family. But that extends beyond just blood as well.” And actually, fun is a really big value for me. And kind of a funny little story about that. When I was getting my coaching certification, we were doing some values work. And I saw fun on the list of values. And I was beside myself. I was like, “How can fun be value? Like how was fun a value?” 

Because I grew up in a very stoic, Irish-Catholic household, where there's no room for fun in life. You live. You suffer. You stay quiet, and then you die. 

Alex Cullimore: To look forward to. 

Rick Harrigan: Yeah, sounds great. Sign me up.

Cristina Amigoni: You're a sinner by birth. There's nothing you can do about redeeming that. Just give it up.

Rick Harrigan: Yeah, suffer, suffer, suffer. And then lights out. 

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah. So I saw this on the list that I asked my facilitator, Dina Cashman, who's a common friend of ours.

Cristina Amigoni: Hey, Dina. 

Rick Harrigan: I was like, “That can be a value?” She was like, “Absolutely. If it brings you joy, if it makes you feel aligned with your soul, absolutely a value.” And it was like the clouds parted. The sun came out. And it gave me permission. Because my whole life I've been like just kind of this fun, loving kid who kind of have to tamp that down and realizing like, “Wow! Fun can be a value. And I can like, go anywhere and try to have fun? Whoa!” 

So doing that values work was some of the most rewarding work that I did, because it also gave me permission to be more of myself and shed some of those learned values, like stoicism, or things like that. 

Cristina Amigoni: Hard work.

Rick Harrigan: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, it doesn't have to be hard. We can have some fun while we're doing it. That was a big aha moment for me. And I see that all the time with a lot of my clients where they're just like, “Wow!” I have this massive list of values and they're like, “I never even thought of that as a value.” And you can see them making all these connections and maybe shedding some of those fear-based values. And it's amazing work to do.

Alex Cullimore: That's incredible. I think that's one that a lot of people can probably relate to as well. Just the idea that you could – The same as like purpose not being what you do. Because we also tie what we do, usually, to some form of like, “Well, it should be a little painful. It should actually suck a little bit.”

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah. You're not working hard enough if it's not suffering.

Alex Cullimore: It’s your purpose, and it should hurt a lot.

Rick Harrigan: You're doing it right. Yeah.

Cristina Amigoni: Where are the scars.

Rick Harrigan: I steadfastly disagree with that.

Cristina Amigoni: Thank you. We do too now, but we have the scars anyway from previous life.

Rick Harrigan: If you have these scars – Exactly, from some of those old fear-based values. I still have some of those scars and wounds. No, I wouldn't say wounds. Just scars.

Alex Cullimore: The idea permission is so prevalent in learning things about yourself. There's so much that we hold back from ourselves because we don't feel like we have permission to express that. That's definitely some learned responses some and just taught responses that there's a lot of societal pressure to not have fun. It’s just how to do something like that. 

So there's a you connecting me to that idea of permission. And I love your description as well, like the clouds parted. This is something where like it's just big aha moments on watches over you like that, then that was it. You can do that.

Rick Harrigan: Yeah, yeah. That's refreshing. Wow! Yeah. And in many ways can be ingrained from birth. And then our system is such where there's this intense pressure on somebody who's 18, 19 years old to figure it all out right now. Pick a major. Decide what you want to do for the rest of your life. And there's this sort of lack of permission to just explore, to try some different hats on and try different things on. 

Sometimes, we can find our authentic selves. But sometimes we need to try some different hats on to really see what the ideal application of that is in terms of career, or job, or starting a business and things like that. And that kind of gets discouraged that permission gets taken away a little bit at an early age, I think when people should really be out there just exploring and wearing different hats, trying different things on.

Alex Cullimore: Yeah. 

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, I imagine that it's not easy work for anybody to go through. And it probably takes quite a bit of creating the space for someone to feel safe and to keep peeling the onion. As a coach, especially after some experience, it becomes pretty clear when somebody is putting up the armor and when somebody is not putting up the armor, and then there's a lot of digging to behead. And you get to the point where it's like, “Okay, a lot of this has to be on the other side and not from the coach side,” of like, if you can't open up, and you can't slow down, and you can't admit, and you can have that self-awareness, there's so far you can go.

Rick Harrigan: Yeah, absolutely. And that's where – Well, actually, when I first started coaching, I worked with men for that exact reason, because I saw so many men were kind of suffering in that sense of stoicism. And asking for help is a sign of vulnerability or weakness. And having undergone that process myself and knowing how powerful it was, I wanted to try and reach as many men as possible to sort of be like, “There's another way. Those clouds can part” 

And that relatability, that aspect of connecting with others, and sharing my own vulnerability in my story and that aspect, I think played a big part in this arming, or not necessarily disarming, but just creating that comfort level. That ability to connect. And in that ability to connect, that's when people can start dealing with those things and turning their gaze inward. And now I work with men and women because I want to spread the gospel of purpose far and wide and help as many people as possible. 

But there's a lot of rapport building that has to occur there. And there's a lot of trust that has to be established for people to really do that vulnerable open digging and shine that light on some things that they might not want to because there might be some pain there. That's where those dreams are, in that dark corner, like, “Here I am. Here I am.” And helping them take down those barriers is all part of the process.

Alex Cullimore: Especially a portion of it. Would you say, and you guys have both done a lot of coaching. There's a lot of – I've met people – You heard some pretty funny phrases around it, with it. There's almost like a belief, and sometimes almost a pride over feeling like, “Oh, I'm un-coachable. Like I can't be reached.” I’ve even heard phrases like, “Oh, therapy can’t handle me.” Like that’s almost bragging about it, which is kind of funny. 

And from my perspective, it feels like it definitely comes down to personal choice of, “Am I going to be able to open up here?” But have you ever really run into a roadblock or feeling like there is something that actually couldn't be moved?

Rick Harrigan: Not after I began working with someone. Certainly, when you're doing a consultation, or even just talking to somebody at a party, or whatever it may be, there's always some sort of hesitation from people who maybe haven't been coached before of this, “I'm a tough nut to crack.” Or, “I don't need help. I got this.” Or what have you. And one of my – Cristina, I’m tearing up.

Cristina Amigoni: Yes. I have a side note when you were finishing your thought.

Rick Harrigan: It's funny, I have a 13-year-old daughter who sometimes falls into that category as well. 

One of my favorite sayings that was given to me by one of my coaches is failure we can do on our own. Success requires support. And that I really take the heart. I'll tell people that. If you think about your life, you haven't done it on your own. Very, very few people have. It always requires support. Or teachers, people who know more than you sharing their knowledge. What have you? Or just sharing experience with people. 

So that sometimes gets people thinking like, “Yeah, this isn't about me preserving some sense of un-coachability, ego, or what have you. This is about me being the best that I can be and finding the success that I want to, and getting people attached to that.” But once people start working with me, and I'm sure it's the same with you, Cristina, they're bought in. And at that point, they're coachable, I guess you could say. They are bought into the process and their success and they want it. They're ready to get after it. 

Cristina, I'm wondering if – You’re laughing.

Cristina Amigoni: I was laughing because I find that the two extremes are the I’m un-coachable with pride, as if there is something to be proudful about. And also the other spectrum is – And sometimes unfortunately happens even with people that are going through coaching or some form of any external help, is the you go through a concept, you go through an exercise, and you touch on something. They answer the questions, whatever it is. You kind of unpack it and it gets to that finish line of like, “Yep, got it. Next.” And I'm like, “Okay, the fact that you say you got it means that you really didn't,” Because there is no getting it in coaching, in self-awareness, in growing. It's kind of like purpose. There's no medal that you get. 

Rick Harrigan: Exactly. 

Cristina Amigoni: So whatever finish line you thought you had, that's just you putting a wall up, because you don't want to see what's behind it.

Rick Harrigan: Yeah, absolutely. There's no certificate of completion. 

Cristina Amigoni: No. No. 

Rick Harrigan: It is just gaining more understanding and knowledge and then bravely applying that. Staring down those fears and taking down those walls and being willing to move past them perhaps with some of the tools in the coaching process. Yeah.


Alex Cullimore: It's a wonderful distinction too, because you can logically tell anybody anything, and it might totally be true. Like, “Hey, there's a different way to live. You don't have to be living in the shadows.” Or, “The sky is blue.” I don't know. You can even say anything. Everybody can receive that. They can understand the words. They can understand how theoretically that'd be true. But it is, in my experience, next to impossible to have some revelation and actually have that really solidify all in like 15 minutes. Like somebody can tell you exactly what you need to hear, and you're going to need to still have time to unwind those habits that led you in different way and rewind new habits [inaudible 00:24:44].

Rick Harrigan: Absolutely. 100% I'll hear that a lot, is I intellectually, like, I get it in that sense of like I intellectually understand this. It makes sense. I see where this is true. But you one of the tenets of our coaching program that Cristina and I both went to is that belief is stronger than truth. And you have to get to that belief aspect of somebody. What do they believe to be true? And the way to do that is in doing. Is in actually starting to live these things that you understand to be true, and start living them in your life. And that's where I love coaching, and I find the beauty of coaching is, it's not just it understandable and conceptualized up here. You create action steps and things that people can do in their lives. And it's in the living it, it's in the breathing, it's in the doing it, that it becomes part of the belief. It's like, “Oh, I tried it, I had this small little victory. So I believe in it a little bit.” And you just keep accumulating those small victories until that belief is 100%. And it really becomes a capital T, Truth, for them, not just here, but in here as well.

Cullimore: I once read something that said “The subconscious needs proof.” And it's doing those experiments. And that's why you can’t just sit and decide, like, “Yeah, I think that's the thing I – That's my purpose. There is exploration of that. You mentioned that before. There’s the actual exploratory period where you connect to these things, you try these things, because without the proof, without something that says, “Yeah, this feels right.” That cannot become that capital T, Truth. I even once heard it referred to as the 18-inch journey. So they measured to some point that I think it's about 18-inches from your brain to your heart. To understand it, it takes a really long time to really work that all the way into the cities.

Rick Harrigan: Yeah, it sometimes take an eternity or a lifetime.

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah. Sometimes it never gets here.

Rick Harrigan: Yeah. That is really, really true. And that's, again, one of the reasons I felt myself drawn to be a coach, because when I was working with a coach – And I had done some psychotherapy prior to that, which was incredibly beneficial. But I had also reached the point where I was like, “Okay, I've filled these holes in, so to speak. Now, how do I start building?” And I will need some action steps, and some goal setting, and some planning and some really powerful planning at that. 

And when I was working with my coach, that's what he was doing. He was just like, “We're going to just keep pushing this ball ahead.” And the next thing I knew, I had – I guess, I quit my job, which had been terrifying to me. Three months prior, I was like, “If I quit my job, I'm going to end up living under a bridge, eating bologna and cheese sandwiches for the rest of my life. And that's it. I'm done. It's all over.” Like it was so binary, that the fear was so strong. There I was six months later quitting the job, and moving to Colorado, and enrolling in a coaching program, which was all about this accumulation of just these tiny steps coupled with some deeper understanding. And it was pure magic.

Cristina Amigoni: That's awesome. How do you help people? Because you've gone through it? And I guess, Alex and I have too in some ways. How do you let go of the old self, because that's a very difficult transition?

Rick Harrigan: Yeah. So it's important to understand what the old programming, or the old belief system, or the old values. You can use any kind of word there. But essentially, understand what that old programming is costing you in terms of perhaps dreams unrealized, how you're feeling, your energy level, how your life is manifesting, and really understand what is the cost of that old programming. 

And then really create a vision of what can be the benefits of creating some new programming, some programming that's a little closer to home. We're catering to that inner voice little more than those outer voices. And paint that picture of what the benefits and what success can look like if you do change that programming, because there has to be buy-in to want to change it. 

The easiest way to get a record, it's kind of like a groove and a record. And your old programming has just got you stuck in that groove. And you have to create a willingness to get out of that group. But you have to create a new groove as well. Or else the needle is going to collapse right back into the old groove. So it's the buy-in to want to change that old programming. What's the cost? And then the vision of, “Wow, what can this new life look like? What's the benefit?” And that's when you can start to create those new modes of thinking, new values, new habits, new beliefs, or reconnecting with perhaps some old beliefs that have become misaligned over the course of life. But you have to create that buy-in and that vision of, “Yeah, there is a better way. And I'm really attaching to that, rather than this old programming.” How about you, Cristina? How do you approach that?

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, I really like that you have to create the new grooves before you can actually change the programming. Because without it, you're just kind of stuck. What is it costing you is definitely the way to start that journey with the willingness to even admit that there is a cost? And so, typically, when people choose to coach and they stick to it, they have that willingness. They have gotten to that disturbance point, whether it's obvious to them, or maybe one of their family members pointed it out, or something didn't work personally or professionally the way they expected it to. 

I think it's Tony Robbins that has said that, where you have to be disturbed to change. So what's going to cause that disturbance? For me, actually, not from a coaching perspective, because I was already being coached, but from a purpose perspective and values perspective, I have discovered my values when they were greatly misaligned. And I was so disturbed. And actually, the sentence that I remember made me stop in my tracks and realize that something was off was that I was working on a project that made me miserable, soul-sucking project. And after a couple of months in there, my son, one afternoon, looked at me and asked me. He’s like, “Mommy, why are you so sad all the time.” And that's when it hit me. That's when I realized I am not only sad, and frustrated, and losing my soul in this, but I'm in it. So I don't see it as that. I see it as like, “Well, it's just part of the journey. I got to work hard. We’ll get to the other side. It's all worth it. It's just temporary. Whatever it is.” 

But when I realized that I was giving that, I was showing that as an example to my children, as in like, “This is what you have to look forward to as an adult.” That's what disturbed me. And I'm like, “Wait, this is not life. This is not the life I want them to think they're going to live as adults. That they have to live this way, and accept soul-sucking projects and jobs, because there's no other way out.” 

And so then I started exploring with coaches, with the help of coaches, why was I so disturbed. What was disturbing me? And one of the things that came up that then has become, I guess, my top value is the connections with other. And so I was greatly lacking connections with others. And that was truly making me suffer.

Rick Harrigan: Wow! Yeah. That's powerful. And that's, again, those values. There's really something there, huh? 

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah. 

Rick Harrigan: Yeah. I believed, and that belief has been confirmed time and time again, that 99% of the time, when we are dissatisfied, disconnected, just feeling ah, or stuck and unfulfilled in life, it's a values misalignment. It's when either what we're doing is asking us to really live a value that isn't one of ours, or we’re just not getting to live any of our values at all. That people find themselves really just flatlining. Yeah.

Alex Cullimore: Really, the flatlining, like you guys have said, it’s sometimes the thing that gets you to bounce on out of it. And sometimes it makes that – Most of the time it takes that. Otherwise it's just stay without, Well, I mean, I'm still surviving. Why change this now?”

Rick Harrigan: Yeah, it definitely was the case for me where the pain had to reach a point of, “I can’t do it one more day. I really can’t do it one more day.” And actually, one of the – I was getting to live there connecting with others value in my old world. The people were wonderful. They were great. It was a really big reason why I stayed in it as long as I did. It was all the internal aspects for myself that were just not adding up in the right way. And I always had felt called to help people in some way, shape or form. And I wasn't in my old job. 

And I think that's really, over the years, what was rearing its head and getting louder and louder and louder and boring, louder and louder and louder. And I'm just glad I came to it. When I did, when I work with my clients that are in their 20s, I'm like, “You're so ahead of the game. You’re so ahead of the game.”

Cristina Amigoni: Yes. Isn't it amazing? 

Rick Harrigan: Yeah. 

Cristina Amigoni: They are ahead of the game. And hopefully, that means that as generations move forward, because there's so many younger people that – At least younger than I was, they are starting to look for purpose, look for values, demanded. I mean, the great resignation is a big demand on my life has to have purpose. At work too. Not just thought outside of work. And so that will kind of shift how society runs. And some of those older fear-based values may start dying out or have less power.

Rick Harrigan: Absolutely. I think, Alex, to your point earlier, I think this generation has a lot more permission, or they're not even seeking permission. They're just doing it, which I think is great.

Cristina Amigoni: They’re not waiting for permission.

Rick Harrigan: Yeah. Better way to put it, for sure. Yeah.

Cristina Amigoni: When do you recognize when somebody has, again, not reached the finish line, because there is no finish line, but the clouds are parting? What do you recognize in your work with them that like, “Oh, now, it's a moment to move into the new groove?”

Rick Harrigan: Yes, they've shifted into the new groove. That's a really great question. It's sort of ineffable. It never looks exactly the same for everybody. Some people are a little more analytical about it. Some people are a little more right-brained about it. But I guess the easiest way to answer that is you can – As their coach, as somebody who's gotten to know them, and probably anybody for that matter, I should say, will notice a very discernible shift in just their energy, and just how they're showing up in the world. Just with more of that sense of freedom and openness, and joy, and fearlessness. And it's not like it happens overnight, but you can kind of see that progression. And then they just kind of hit that tipping point where they'll come into a call and you just get this overwhelming sense that their energy has shifted into, “I'm going to be myself. And I'm going to channel that into the things what I would like to do, to create the things that I would like to see.” 

And it's just this energized shift in their presentation, in their lives. Even if I'm on the phone with a client, I can just feel it coming through. That's kind of when you know. That's kind of when they have shifted into that sense of purpose and being. It's amazing. Like I get such a charge out of it, that it's why I do what I do, is just that like sense of energy, of that connection. And when you resonate and entrain to that energy, it's absolutely amazing. That's kind of a non-answer, I guess. Because there's no demarcation line. It's just a sense. 

And I'm sure there's people that you meet in life and they just have this certain energy, je ne sais quoi, where it's like, “Whoa! Yeah.” They are really living their true selves and their best lives, and they are dialed in. 

Alex Cullimore: LOL living. 

Rick Harrigan: Yes. Yeah, big time. Living in the moment, being present. And just living with joy. Just that sense of joy. Again, that's such a big component to understanding when purpose has sunk in, is just having that sense of, “Wow! Life is really joyful.” And not to be confused with happiness, which is a bit of an external game and can be fleeting. Joy is an insight game. And that's something we can always manifest. Maybe that's the best answer. When they have that sense of joy about life.

Alex Cullimore: I quote, “Joy is an inside game.”

Cristina Amigoni: Yes.

Rick Harrigan: Big time. Yeah.

Alex Cullimore: My partner and I went through our photos of the last like five years. It's been pretty challenging five years. Lots of ups and downs. And you can literally see our just general energy, like on some of the upswings, on some of the down swings. And it's all shot with an iPhone. We don't get the benefit of like the film – In films and make choices. There's all soundtrack that go with it. And you’re like, “Yeah, that's the sad time.” You just go through it and flick your pictures and you’re like, “Oh, no. That was bad. We were not doing well then.” And pictures, we’re smiling. But you can just tell that it's just, “Ooh, that – That. Hmm… on that one.” And yes, a lot of times you're connected. You're there. There's actually – Something happening.

Rick Harrigan: Definitely. Yeah, you could see. It's like, “Oh, the old dinner light wasn't shining as brightest that day.” Yeah. It really is that sensibility of life. Like anything is possible. Gosh! It's just great to be me and be alive. Like it's just the best sense of the world. That you can sense when somebody is really locked into that. Yeah.

Alex Cullimore: So in your personal journey, you got that big moment of permission, especially around the idea of fun. And I would love to know just what are some ways in which you found expressions of fun even in this week or just recently? Or what does that feel like when you – What are expressions of that for you?

Rick Harrigan: Yeah, I'm a goofball. And so, like, I haven't given myself the permission in life to let that inner goofball out, it's just amazing. Like it almost brings tears in my eyes. But especially around the house. We just have the best time together, my wife, and my daughter, and I, like singing songs, doing goofy dances. Like we each have our own individual handshakes that are like five minutes long. It’s amazing. I don't know how I can even remember anything that complicated these days. That's really where it manifests the most. Maybe that's just because I love these people, and they love me back. 

But even with COVID, and lockdowns and everything like that, it's just manifesting that sense of fun every day and just knowing like, “I can bring fun into anything that I do.” I could go to an insurance seminar. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But it's just kind of how the saying goes. I could go to insurance seminar these days and have a blast and just be like, “I want to lock into my value of fun. And so I’m going to try and create some fun.” And then there's going to be some other people that are like, “Ooh, I like fun, too. So let's play this game.” And you can just create this incredible energetic vibe anywhere. 

And I bring it into my coaching calls. Like I like to have fun with my clients. And we'll wisecrack and just make it a little lighter at times. And that might not be for everyone. But I definitely like to coach from my values and that place of fun. So we were talking about this week. So my wife, she has a theatrical background. She's an incredible dancer. And she kills it at the running man. Just rocks. Just pops it. 

So my daughter and I have been trying to learn the running man. And it is hysterical, because we stink. So we'll have like these little running man competitions as we're cooking dinner or something. And just it'll be like my wife, like, “No, it's like this.” And we'll try to do it for like an hour. And we just can't get it. It's hysterical. And it's just little things like that. Just finding these little places where you can do the running man and stick at it and have the best time ever while you're cooking dinner. It's really the little things and just infusing it into those little moments in life where fun, for me, really comes alive.

Cristina Amigoni: That's awesome. Well, life is all the little moments, not the big ones.

Rick Harrigan: Absolutely, for sure. How about you guys? Where are you having fun these days, either in your personal lives or in Siamo? 

Cristina Amigoni: Well, conversations like these are fun. They're definitely highlight of the week in the day. I was actually on Anina’s clubhouse conversation chat this morning. And it’s one of those great ways to start the day, because I have some deep, philosophical conversation with great people that like to open up and share their experiences. And I think the topic today was what's the difference between letting go and avoiding? It’s that connection. So it’s like, “Oh, great. I get to connect with a bunch of people that I don't actually know.” Or I've heard that for the second time in a clubhouse conversation. That's a lot of fun. 

I think with my kids, it's a lot of that goofiness as well. We'll play stuff like 80s pop quiz on Alexa on Amazon, and we'll start singing or anything like that. And also, just like making up stories, especially when there's a tough moment going on. I'll start talking about something that makes absolutely no sense just so that the kids can get their mind off of whatever may be really bringing them down. It's the little moments.

Rick Harrigan: Yeah, humor is a gift. Of course.

Alex Cullimore: I know that there's a lot of just like – Being able to do that. Like this is a great conversation to be able to like connect and be able to do – You're talking about something that's really meaningful to all parties involved. That's always very energizing. And then the fun comes in to be able to joke about these things, to talk about like when we found ourselves in a dead end, something. I've had a couple conversations recently where you get that connection with somebody where you actually get to talk about – You can talk about like difficulties you've had in your life for a long time, but you're just with the right person at the right time and you can have these in just joking ways. And you're almost laughing at yourself for something that was at the time a very painful experience or something. And you have these – And then just to top it off on just the silliest parts of my day. Currently, we're fostering a bunch of cats. We have like six cats on our house right now. And we give them personalities and voices that are sometimes just wildly antithetical to what they seem to be doing. They're very mean sometimes they're very – Like, it's just it's a great time. You, every once in a while, get a very old ripe cat. You just never know. It was just something fun to do. We usually do it now. Nowadays, we've been watching the great British baking show, and that is both something you get invested in and simultaneously can only laugh at yourself for being invested.

Rick Harrigan: And absurdity of it? Yeah. Yeah, it really – I love absurdist humor like that. Taking the air out of the seriousness of life or anything like that is always cathartic.

Alex Cullimore: It's a good reminder. There's a whole perspective out there, and humor is one of the few ways to like very quickly connect to that on a visceral level.

Rick Harrigan: Yeah, definitely.

Cristina Amigoni: My seven-year-old left two jackets at school last week, and they're still not found. And so part of the strategy was like, “Okay, got to go to lost and found and look for them.” I asked him like, “What can help you remember to go to lost and found and look for your jackets?” And he's like, “Oh, I don't know.” It's kind of like a grocery store moment. The minute you walk into the grocery store, you immediately forget everything you had to buy, which happens to me all the time. And so I just adopted this kind of like cheerleading voice, and every 10 or 15 minutes from the night before until I dropped them off from school, it’s like, “What are we going to do it today? We're going to go to the lost and found. What are we going to bring home? What are we bringing home? Two jackets. And how are we going to celebrate? With doughnuts.” I think like the 20th time of me doing that [inaudible 00:47:09]. My son actually looks at me, he's like, “Mommy, that is a great way for me to remember what I have to do today.” Well, I'm glad.

Rick Harrigan: Repetition. 

Cristina Amigoni: Exactly. 

Rick Harrigan: The repetition.

Alex Cullimore: Hash tag 20 years later, he’s going to be like, “I got a steering committee meeting. I’m going to bring a PowerPoint.”

Cristina Amigoni: I know. “What are we going to do today?” Exactly. We’re going to code software. 

Rick Harrigan: Got to lock them into that reward, you know? [inaudible 00:47:47] and doughnut. We’re going to celebrate with doughnuts. Yeah.”

Rick Harrigan: Little coaching celebrations, Rick. 

Rick Harrigan: Definitely. It's the carrot, not the stick, for sure.

Cristina Amigoni: It is the carrot. Yes. Yeah.

Alex Cullimore: Well, this is absolutely a blast to get to do this with you, Rick. Thank you so much for joining us. We're thrilled to have you. You got great energy just in general. And this is fun to do. And hope everybody gets pieces listening on the outside as well. So we have just a couple of wrap up questions we want to ask you, first of all, and this one can be anywhere from a more serious down to less. What does authenticity mean to you?

Rick Harrigan: Well, authenticity, like I said, is very synonymous with purpose. It's just boldly being yourself. To me, it's not just doing the running man in the kitchen. It's doing running man in front of a group of 500 people and doing it poorly, and having a blast doing it, and loving every second of it. So authenticity is doing a terrible running man no matter where you are or who you are with —

Cristina Amigoni: Yes. I love that definition. 

Alex Cullimore: That’s wonderful. 

Cristina Amigoni: So where can people find you?

Rick Harrigan: They can find me at That's my website. Everything you might need to know about me, or working with me, or a couple of the other things that I do, forest therapy. I run a men's group. You can find it all there. So Check it out. 

Cristina Amigoni: Perfect. And we'll have it in the show notes, s always.

Alex Cullimore: Thank you so much for joining, Rick. This has been a blast.

Cristina Amigoni: Yes. Thank you. 

Rick Harrigan: Yeah. Cristina, Alex, thank you so much. I had so much fun. I had no idea I’d be talking about the running man as what authenticity was. You got to love the twists and turns. But seriously, thank you so much for having me on. It has been an honor and an absolute pleasure. Thank you.

Cristina Amigoni: Thank you. And I do expect to see that running man when we meet in person.

Rick Harrigan: Oh, for sure. Count on it.

Cristina Amigoni: That’s going to be the greeting in the parking lot.

Rick Harrigan: I won't be in embarrassed, but you'll be embarrassed for more. 

Cristina Amigoni: Awesome. Well, thank you. 

Alex Cullimore: Thank you so much. 

Rick Harrigan: Yeah, thank you guys so much. Really appreciate it.


Cristina Amigoni: Thank you for listening to Uncover the Human, a Siamo podcast. 

Alex Cullimore: Special thanks to our podcast operations wizard, Jake Lara; and our score creator, Rachel Sherwood. 

Cristina Amigoni: If you have enjoyed this episode, please share, review and subscribe. You can find our episodes wherever you listen to podcasts. 

Alex Cullimore: We would love to hear from you with feedback, topic ideas or questions. You can reach us at podcast, or at our website,, LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook. We Are Siamo is spelled W-E A-R-E S-I-A-M-O.

Cristina Amigoni: Until next time, listen to yourself, listen to others and always uncover the human.


Rick HarriganProfile Photo

Rick Harrigan

Certified Career and Life Purpose coach

Rick Harrigan (CPC, PCCC, ELI-MP, ANFT) is a certified professional coach and a certified forest therapy guide. Rick founded Rick Harrigan Coaching - and his proprietary Purpose Pays Off Coaching Program - under the guiding principle that finding one's purpose is the key to joy, success, fulfillment and true abundance.

Prior to coaching, Rick spent 20+ years in corporate entertainment as an executive in advertising sales and business development working for companies such as BBC America, DIRECTV, IFC, AMC Network, and Sundance....but he left it all when he found his purpose and followed his calling to become a coach.

Now, Rick pays forward his experience and knowledge to help his clients find their purpose and channel it into meaningful, lucrative work they truly love. Purpose really does pay off!