Key Experiences That Shaped Me Into A Powerful & Loving Coach & Human

This post is a glimpse into key experiences of my life for those who want to know me better. Come on a journey where I go from being an asshole and a people-pleaser, living a life of obligation, compulsion, and apathy, to a life filled with inspiration, joy, enthusiasm, power and love. Read for inspiration of a radical transformation anyone can experience when they choose to create an uncompromising commitment to be themselves.

First, what is a coach? This is a relatively new term, yet a role that had existed in some shape or form since the dawn of time. It’s been called leadership, mentorship, teaching, and a variety of other names. A coach is a leader, mentor, and teacher packed into one. It is someone who helps you learn what you need, see what you can’t, and do what you must.

A coach helps you learn what you need,
see what you can’t, and do what you must

That is a rather important role to play. And how do you know a coach can do all that? They embody what they teach. Or they don’t, in which case they are not a real coach, they just hold an empty certificate validating theoretical knowledge, lacking practical ability and application.

A lot of coaches can give tips that look perfect on paper. But a great coach can tell you what actually works. And there are surprisingly few of those in the ocean of coaches. This also applies to therapists, who suffer from the same malady. Most therapists have never healed their core wounds, and just teach people to cope and manage their symptoms by changing things on the surface.

The feedback I get from my clients resonates one single point over and over — I teach through being, I embody, I show, I lead by example. This is how any coach becomes successful. This is how any human becomes successful. If you are a struggling coach, therapist, or human, look inwards and recognize what is missing, then go train with a coach who has learned what you need to learn.

I have been a leader and a teacher since I was a teenager. But I didn’t start that way. I was a very shy and meek boy until the age of 16. It was sex, drugs, and rock and roll that helped to unleash the leader within, albeit in a very unruly way. It was 8 years of disciplined training starting at the age of 25 that helped me hone my skills, tame my wild side, and become precise to deliver optimal results as a coach, therapist, healer, and teacher.

Here are a few key experiences that shaped me…

1/ University and Community Leader

I entered this stage of my life feeling weak and powerless, I got addicted to drugs and became a high functioning addict who was repressing severe anxiety and depression under a mask of synthetic confidence.

At the age of 19 I was elected as the leader of a social club at university. In this position, I led an event that had nationwide reach with a team of 20 core members and 50 volunteers. That’s quite a thing for an untrained teenager.

How did that shape me? Looking back I can see that I was helping my team with few key aspects:

  • Aligning with what is best for themselves, which was also in alignment with the bigger picture and what was best for everyone.
  • Creating cohesion within the team for the most enjoyable and productive experience.
  • Helping each team member with their particular blocks and challenges. We were not problem-solving, we were generating solutions. That is an attitude shift, one of the key teachings as a coach nowadays.

My greatest gift was to see the bigger picture, to always remember the priority was the greater good, to not let personal feelings get in the way. This has been honed to a much higher degree over the years, something I and everyone needs to keep working on.

While the fabric of synthetic confidence helped me achieve great things and look great on the surface, I continued to hold onto deep shame and guilt that colored my inner life for the next decade. I kept gliding on the surface with this “cool nerd” mask which helped me to cope with the wounds that made me feel “less than” constantly.

Rohan @ Age 19

2/ Career and Mentoring

I interned at Amazon in Seattle, and was consequently hired as a full time software developer and information security consultant at the age of 22. In this role, I was an asshole. I was also excellent at my job. A terrible combination in my present opinion.

I entered at the peak of people-pleasing to gain validation from authorities, while simultaneously being a rebel and having no consideration for others, and also not caring for the opinions of those who “didn’t matter” in my eyes, such as my colleagues.

In my 2 years there I was trusted with 1 intern each summer. That is a lot of trust in a 22-year boy (it’s laughable to think of myself as an adult/man at that age based on what adult means to me today). I wondered what inspired that trust in my managers. Here are the key takeaways from my reflection:

An excellent asshole

I didn’t coddle anyone, neither my teammates, nor the interns. I pushed for excellence. I had a passionate drive to deliver the highest quality possible and accepted nothing less of myself and my colleagues. I had the same attitude towards the interns I was trusted with.

I did not recommend for either of them to be hired at the end of their internship. And I felt great about this decision because they did not meet the bar I set. This is what inspired trust in my managers. I was not there to please the interns, I was there to create excellence. Today this is what my clients love. I don’t make them feel good in our sessions, I help them feel great in life.

I don’t make clients feel good in our sessions
I help them feel great in life.


Focusing on What instead of How

People focus too much on how to make something happen. And forget what they want to make happen. When you are passionate about what you want to materialize, your being will make the how happen.

The biggest waste of energy in materializing a vision is focusing on details that are not important. What made me a software developer that exceeded expectations? It was not my coding skills, it was my conviction to find a solution. Coding is just the how, it’s a technicality, that will come naturally when there is clarity about the solution.

First have clarity on what you want, the how and the rest will fall in place. This is what I practice and teach nowadays. It doesn’t mean to keep sitting and waiting for the solution to magically happen. But it also doesn’t mean getting bogged down by circumstances. It doesn’t mean you give up when you hit the first or the 100th obstacle.

It means you keep your vision focused on the destination and do whatever it takes to find the path there. Your innate intelligence and intuition will guide you there. And it also helps to have a coach or mentor to guide you.

I taught with patience and dedication

I would put in many hours of extra work to train my interns, for which I was not compensated monetarily, and yet I felt it was more rewarding than anything. I did it because I had impatient teachers that pressured me and I ended up learning nothing but anxiety and fear.

I also hated being told what to do and how to do it. I would teach my interns to learn themselves. This is one of the key skills I apply today as a coach, I don’t just tell people what to do, I teach them how to find the solution. I teach them how I think so they can learn to think that way. I teach them how to activate their genius mode.

I wasn’t liked, I came to be loved

This is something I even experience in present day. Right off the bat, in the first session with every client, I give them permission to be angry with me, to call me an asshole, and to hate me. Feel whatever you want towards me. Just stick it out. Feel it, don’t quit. And you will see this hate turn to love. Why would my clients hate me? Because I push all the buttons.

This is something I did even in my corporate career, though at that time it was quite unconscious. Being excellent pushes buttons. So does being an asshole. I was given the best project on the team. I was fast tracked for a promotion while my colleagues who had been there for years with much more experience were still not considered.

Rather than be humble and compassionate, I gloated. I wasn’t a fun teammate to work with many of the times. I was hyper competitive, I was arrogant, I liked feeling better than others because it covered up the wounds of feeling less than which were still raging deep within.

On top of that, I would call out bullshit to peoples faces. Earlier I did it without care or consideration, I did it to look and feel better than others. Today I do that with all my clients, but it comes from a completely different place — compassion and love.

I pop their illusions, and it hurts. I let them direct that pain towards me if they feel like doing that. When that pain passes, they experience a deep relief after years of suffering unconsciously. And the pain turns to love. I do it today to help people heal while being by their side rather than being better than them.

As for my colleagues, Envy can turn to inspiration when you learn to work with it. And I do regret my attempts to feel better through comparing myself to others and putting them down at times, it’s a toxic game that doesn’t really help anyone feel better in a healthy sustainable way. Nowadays I help clients heal these wounds and find a healthy self-worth within which helps them empower others rather than use others to feel better.

I also have deep compassion for “assholes” who can’t help but hurt others on their “path to success”. Butt, assholes, there is a better way that makes life easier for you and others, and you can continue being successful.

Rohan @ Age 24. I was never inspired to take photos of myself while I was at Amazon, that was until I came for my first visit to Brazil which changed everything (more on that below). The two images of me are after my visit to Brazil when I returned to Seattle. The middle image is more representative of my time at Amazon, I was a functional addict.

3/ Apprentice and Facilitator

I walked away from my corporate job after 2 years, one that was paying me multiples of 100,000 dollars. I left for an unpaid volunteer trainee position at an ayahuasca retreat center. I will tell you why I did that by telling you how it shaped me into an excellent coach, teacher, and mentor.

I entered at the peak of my addictive phase. When I quit using substances I crashed hard into my anxiety and depression. What got me through was that…

I honored my heart’s desire

The thing I teach people the most is to honor and align with their heart’s calling. Nothing will fall in place until you do that. If you don’t know what that is, that’s fine, that means your heart is calling you to go on the adventure to find your calling.

In 2014, I went on that adventure, not knowing why I was going and where I was truly headed. For the first time I felt a desire that came purely from my heart, one that wasn’t tainted by my mind. That desire was to move to Brazil and train with ayahuasca.

While this was an easy decision for myself, it was the most challenging path in the social context. I disappointed nearly everyone I knew. I had to deal with a lot of criticism and pushback.

On top of that, all my personal wounds that I had been avoiding all my life started to surface. I entered the dark night of my soul, a phase that lasted for 3 years. It was the most challenging period of my life until today.

There were times I was barely hanging onto life by a thread. The pain was unbearable, the disappointment and criticism was overwhelming, and I didn’t have anything important enough to look forward to. I had no attachments that I valued enough to fight for. Exiting life seemed like an appealing option.

Yet, I persevered, I knew that death is not an escape, life is much more than what we experience in this body and the pain doesn’t get washed away by leaving this body. And I knew that there was joy to be found in life beyond the pain. I didn’t know how to get there but I was determined. I tried everything, and that attitude of trying is what actually shifted everything. It wasn’t as much about the particular tools and techniques as it was about me wanting to heal and feel better. That is what pulled me out — Hope.

I only found my real calling in 2019. It took 5 years after answering my heart’s desire and going through the dark night of the soul to find my real calling, and another 3 years to fully follow it. That is when I quit my job at the retreat center in February 2023.

At the retreat I had gone from trainee to second in command.
Once again I was walking away at the peak of my career.

I loved my jobs, both at Amazon and at Spirit Vine. And yet, I had the wisdom and courage to walk away when the time came. Knowing that hanging on would be a betrayal to my soul. I regret nothing and resent no one. Which would have happened had I stayed longer than i was meant to. Most of all I would resent myself for not honoring my soul’s calling. And this is the primary embodiment that attracts my clients. I follow my heart and soul wherever it calls me, no matter the risk to any conventional mindset.

Rohan becomes Ti0. Age: Eternal.
I am an infinite, timeless being.
I am super weird, and I fully embrace it.

The scalpel and the cotton

Part of my training was to develop insight into human behavior. I honed this skill and sharpened my intuition to have needle-point precision. I learned to cut through the armor and masks that people developed over lifetimes and wore skillfully and with complete confidence that no one could pierce through. The reason my clients love me is my ability to cut through the layers — their masks and armor which have become so strongly attached, they are unable to take it off themselves.

I do this with precision, cutting through to feel just the needed amount of pain. And I then come with the cotton of compassion, a motherly love that soothes all and everything. I’ve had clients with severe physical and sexual abuse, psychological torment, emotional turmoil, and they had to develop strong coping and defense mechanisms to help them survive.

I learned to create a space where they can feel safely held to drop all the armor and masks and finally reconnect with the vulnerable parts of their authentic selves, heal them, and let their beauty shine once again to create life with their full power and magnificence.

I learned this mainly by going through it myself with my teachers and coaches. Realizing that feeling pain is not a bad thing, and suffering is unnecessary when you have the proper tools and techniques. I went through the brutal process of looking at myself, my shadow, the asshole I had been, the pain I had caused. And I saw the pain I had experienced which had made me into that asshole. I developed deep compassion for myself and others who deal with pain and cause pain.

Liminal being

One of the key embodiments was the harmony of polarities, the union of opposites. Learning to be a student and teacher at the same time. Learning to unite compassion and power. Learning to unite reason and faith. Learning to live in the space where paradoxes make sense. Learning to harmonize the conscious and the unconscious to awaken the power of the full being.

I experienced an extremely wide spectrum over 9 years, going from a high-functioning addict to a fully sober creator. From student and apprentice to teaching mastery. From arrogance to humility. From unworthiness to infinite self worth. From anxiety to deep confidence. From depression to overflowing creativity and inspiration.

Learning to be a student was a key experience as a teacher. I needed to experience the struggle of a student to become a compassionate and powerful teacher. It taught me when to lovingly give a powerful push and when to powerfully hold with loving care.

I learned this path through experience and embodiment. This is what makes me a highly effective teacher, mentor, coach, and leader. The biggest obstacle I see in most coaches and clients is idealism. I say this because ideals are based in theory. And I used to be an idealist, until I realized how it was blocking me from having real results. Until we practice we don’t actually know what works. This is why I only teach what I have been able to embody. This is what makes me a Trusted Guide.

A certificate is worth less than the cost of paper on which it was printed.

The top coaches are made in the school of life.

The best of the best learn from their own life and teach what they apply themselves.

The best teacher is Life itself.


4/ The Power of Love

One of the most incredible shifts happened when I fell in love started rising in love with my partner, Ruta, is a woman from a small town in Lithuania, who made her way from a corporate career to become an independent entrepreneur-coach that is loved and respected by people throughout the world. Meeting her created the biggest shift in my life and shaped me into a Powerful AND Loving Coach. While I already embodied both qualities, she helped me reach new levels I could not have thought or imagined, because they are only accessible by opening the heart.

I learned to receive love

I saw how I was rejecting the love from the many people who shared it with me. I was unable to accept I was lovable, I was unable to receive love. I kept pushing people away, making them hate me and fulfilling the prophecy of being unlovable. Until that wall crumbled.

Now I can fully receive love fully, not only from Ruta, also from others. It’s easy to feel unloved. It’s easy to feel like a victim and say others don’t love you and appreciate you. We get programmed to focus on criticism and block love and appreciation. When we feel unloved it is in our power to love ourselves and allow ourselves to be loved.

Meeting others where they are

Also known as Empathy. One of my big struggles was expecting those who wanted to work with me to meet me where I am because they want to learn from me. I failed to realize that the biggest struggle I was going through was meeting others where they are. If I can’t do it, how can I expect them to do the same?

This has been a very important lesson I am still working on. While I have a lot of empathy when I connect with people and start working with them, my struggle is in opening the connection. Even this post was very different before Ruta laid eyes on it and gave me excellent feedback highlighting that she didn’t feel I connected with her, the reader. I hope this updated version makes you feel a connection.

I have struggled with vulnerability my whole life. I also see this as the biggest struggle for many of my clients. We are taught to share the best and cover up the worst. We are told to hide our pain and ugliness from the world and only show our beautiful and intelligent parts. We are told to hide away our authentic selves and show only what is accepted by others.

This relationship has given me the strength, courage, acceptance, and power to share myself fully. Which means…

I have become more expressive

My ability to express my feelings had been disabled. I had lost my ability to smile naturally for the most part, it felt forced, my cheeks hurt. I learned to feel within while holding a perfect poker face. People thought it was a skill, but it was a disability, not a choice.

Over the last few months I am learning to express myself better and better each day. I am healing the wounds that made me feel like it is dangerous to show how I feel. And through this I am teaching others who lost their ability to express, who repressed their feelings and thoughts, to express themselves better each day.

Expressing yourself more is vulnerable. It means there are greater chances to be criticized. This is the fear that shuts us down in the first place. I was generally good at receiving feedback, this relationship took me to another level where I could receive critical feedback even about my most vulnerable parts, and appreciate it. Because something was different from the critical voices I had heard in the past.

It came from a place of love. I saw it was shared to create an opportunity to grow and improve. It showed me where I needed to heal. The most important part is the way it was delivered, with love. This allowed me to open more and share myself fully. And even ask for more feedback. Something I never did before.

Furthermore, it allowed our relationship to deepen. I was creating space for my partner to be open in sharing how she felt. While I listened to all of it, I did not agree with everything. I evaluated all the feedback and took what was helpful.

I also kept in mind that these are opinions, and I was not taking her opinions as a personal attack, I was not choosing to be offended. This was something I did in the past, and something I help many clients to transform. It’s up to us how we receive feedback and what we do with it. We can use it to feel like shit or empower ourselves.

I used to close myself off to critical people and their opinions. A big lesson that came from this was learning not to give undue power to others opinions while still being caring and loving towards them. This taught me to listen without internalizing what did not resonate with me and also not to take feedback personally even when it is about you. Meaning we separate the message from who is giving it and who it is given to. If the message makes sense, use it.


Being single and living alone for over 13 years had created the persona of the lone wolf which made me strong and independent, and at the same time I found it challenging to work together with others. While I had been working on being a control-freak and learning to have a healthy relationship with control and trust, only a love partnership can fully push those buttons and expose everything that needs to heal.

I am learning to be in a family and work relationship where I am co-leading. I am learning to share responsibility, give and receive support, and trust in the wisdom and intelligence of another exceptional being.

The reason I chose to stay single for 13 years is that I wanted a perfect match. Not the perfect person, but a perfect match. Something I always believed possible and awaited patiently. But I did not wait in wishful thinking, I realized I have to become a perfect match for my perfect match.

I can’t be an asshole and wish for an angel. I have to heal. I have to become a person I want to be in a relationship with. I want to become a great person to be with. And this is the most powerful lesson — you create a magical life by becoming that person. If you just wish for that to happen while staying the same, you will just stay in the land of wishes forever. The land of magic calls for action and transformation.

5/ Childhood. Parents. Family.

The most important experiences that shaped me come from family life, and I have intentionally saved this for the end.

Continuing about idealism being the greatest obstacle. Many of us wish for our childhoods, our parents, our families to be different. I was also in the same boat. Until I became a father. I judged my parents, especially my father, a lot. I thought I knew better. I thought I knew what love was and what it wasn’t. Boy was I wrong. And I am so happy to say that. Today I can see the infinite depth of love my parents have for me. And I am infinitely glad to reflect that back.

You can only know your parents love
when you have loved as a parent.

Whether you have been abandoned, orphaned, abused, or victimized in any other way as a child, there is a way to see and feel your parents love beyond all of that. I say that both from personal experience and working with 1000+ people over the last 9 years. There is a field of love we can all connect to, no matter our past. The only condition is your intention.

What we have to overcome is our idea of love. We have been programmed with idealism about the way people are supposed to love. Real love is far from the ideal world. Real anything is far from the illusion of idealism most people live in today. Love is painful. Disappointment is a part of love. Understand love from this perspective and you will know real love.

As a coach, teacher, and mentor, I regularly disappoint my clients and students. I can be hard at times. I can push all their buttons. I take on the mask I need to teach them what they need. I give them permission and space to hate me, be angry with me, and project all their unconscious pain onto me. I don’t take any of it. I just sit back and wait for them to return. I help them see through their pain when they are ready. This is what family teaches us. This is what I teach. Love and Life based in a reality beyond idealism.

Riddled with guilt

I have the opposite story with my younger brother, I was riddled with guilt for hurting him numerous times in our “brotherly fights”. How could I do something like that to someone I care for dearly, someone I am meant to protect? It took a while to realize the wounds that caused me to inflict such pain, and some more time to forgive myself and allow that “badness” to exist within me.

I learned to overcome the judgment towards others who cause pain in the world. It became so obvious we are all just hurting, and in that pain all we can do sometimes is to spread it. Seeing others hurt makes us feel less lonely in our own pain. Later we heal and grow to realize there are better ways to deal with both pain and loneliness.

Until the end

For those who have had the patience and interest to come this far, I appreciate and celebrate you. There aren’t many who go to the end. And this is a key teaching, to see a commitment through. We have been programmed to avoid unnecessary effort. We seek pleasure and comfort. But glory and greatness, joy and love of a boundless and unconditional nature, are only found through effort, persistence, and dedication to go all the way. Only then you can find real power to create a life of love and joy.

Power cannot be handed on a platter

Traumas are gifts wrapped in pain. Healing them activates the power we need to live a great life. Power cannot be handed on a platter. It needs to be activated through effort which teaches us the responsibility that comes with power. Those who are handed power on a platter inevitably abuse it and burn themselves simultaneously. Those who earn it learn to spread it to empower others in a responsible manner. You learn not to hand over power, you learn to handle power.

Only when you deal with the challenges can you have real compassion. Until you have struggled you will only live in a theoretical illusion. You will live in wishful thinking. Let me correct those last two statements, you are not living, you are stuck.

That is not living.

Living happens when you do, not when you think and wish. It is only in doing and being that we discover a reality beyond idealism and wishfulness. And you can’t imagine how different reality is to the dream we live in. It is literally beyond imagination, because imagination is based in idealism.

I started this post by defining the term coach. My post is titled “Key Experiences That Shaped Me To Become A Powerful & Loving Coach & Human”. So let’s end by defining Human. We have been given definitions of what it means to be a human. And this is the life most humans live — defined by boxes that limit creativity, inspiration, power, love, and joy. Human cannot be defined, it can only be described as the aggregate of all the experiences of every single being that has lived and will live on this planet.

You can choose to define yourself as a human living out the expectations that family and society have for you. You can live a life of obligation. Or you can create and keep writing your own endless story. You can become the writer, director, and actor of your own movie. I learned how to do this. I have worked with coaches who taught me how to do this. I have also trained other coaches and therapists, lawyers and architects, musicians and executives, entrepreneurs and even a group of mothers. Every single human is capable of this. There is always only one question. Are you ready?

You can join us for a free session of Breakthrough and begin the journey to create your life. You can also schedule a time to talk with me to learn more or get help finding your path and the right coach for you. I am not the ideal coach for everyone, but I can help you find the right one for you.

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Before you go, gift yourself with deeper insight, clarity, wisdom, power, & compassion. Explore our personalized trainings for Self Mastery and Spiritual Growth wherever you are on your journey.

I have worked with leaders,  parents, professionals, advanced practitioners, from all backgrounds and levels. And I am always excited to get to know and work with people who want to activate their next level of Inner Genius.

Working with us, you will experience breakthroughs and shifts in your self, your life, and your career that create greater levels of impact, for yourself and others. You will naturally increase your levels of peace, harmony, fulfilment, and self-love. You will learn to live, feel, and create at a new level.

Join us for a free session of Breakthrough to activate your next level of Inner Genius, or set up a free 20-minute Pick My Brain 🧠 session with me so we can explore the best way for you to move forward. I am glad to connect if only to point you in the best direction for your next phase.

With love, Ti0

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