Hey, my name is Oliver. I write about personal growth and living with purpose.
This page gives you a window into my background, personal life, and philosophy.
My Background & Training
I initially qualified in Medicine and Psychology. After being a doctor for a few years, however, I left the profession to work as a full-time writer.
My medical experience taught me so much – not only about anatomy and physiology, but also about suffering and the human condition.
Looking back, I was always more interested in this ‘existential’ aspect of health and wellbeing. Whereas the core tools of a doctor – medical diagnosis and treatment – felt flat and unexciting.
I decided to follow my instincts and step away, which triggered an explosive phase of self-discovery (still ongoing). Learning about my core values and authentic passions has been a great adventure.
Much of this passion now revolves around non-pathologising forms of healing and personal growth – I believe each person has the potential to take ownership of their own wellbeing.
I’m studying life coaching, shadow work, Nonviolent Communication (NVC), mindfulness, embodiment practices, Buddhist compassion practices, and more. And I practise integrating these methodologies into the fabric of my own life.
It strikes me as important to add that I’m not a self-help guru – I’ve found the best creators, mentors and coaches all leave their egos at the door. Instead, see me as a fellow traveller.
My aim is to educate people about personal growth through the lens of my own personal experiences.
(Or, the experience of clients I work with in the coaching room.)
I’m very much learning as I go, and I want to share my insights with you in a way that inspires and supports. Amongst other things, I’m constantly figuring out how to:
- Cultivate purpose
- Embody that purpose
- Pacify my fierce inner critic
If my work encourages you to do the same, I would feel absolutely honoured by that.
I live with my wife in the leafy suburbs of London, where I also grew up.
My heritage is complex – I have an English dad, and Moroccan-Israeli mum (I was actually born in a small village outside Tel Aviv, Israel).
Having a mixed ethnicity can be challenging and at times alienating. Perhaps feeling like I’m neither ‘this’ nor ‘that’ is what spurs me to keep searching my soul for deeper answers about identity and meaning.
As a kid, I was always quiet, observant, and sensitive to suffering. Only recently have I begun to see the positive in this, which as a heterosexual man isn’t easy.
Certain personality typing systems have been invaluable in this regard. While I hold labels lightly, coming to terms with my nature as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) has been foundational for self-acceptance. The same applies to my Myers-Briggs type, INFJ.
At heart, I’m a relentless idealist. Which is one reason I set my sights on medical school at age 15 – I wanted to ‘do my bit’. The other reason is that I’d watched too many episodes of the sitcom Scrubs.
But soon into the career, something felt wrong. After stomaching years of arduous study and emotional investment, I was supposed to be in my element. And yet I felt totally incongruent.
On the harsh NHS wards, I found it easier to suppress my nature as a quietly reflective person who longs for intimate connection, than to be that person. Adrift from my core self, I knew that burnout and profound unhappiness were lying in wait.
Leaving was difficult and scary. But stepping into ambiguity and committing to self-reinvention was an act of self-compassion. And I came to see that actions arising from this place magnify not only our own fulfilment, but love in general.
The Philosophy Of “Purpose Uncaged”
When it comes to living with purpose, there are two main challenges. They sound something like this:
- “What the heck is my purpose?”
- “Ok, I know my purpose… I think. Now what?”
It can be tempting to get stuck on the first challenge. Perhaps we meditate, journal, and talk about what we’re “supposed” to do ad infinitum. Or, we wait for a bolt of inspiration that takes forever to arrive.
And when it finally does arrive, we hit that second, far less sexy challenge. We’ve got a sense of our purpose, but what are we gonna do about it? Here, we face the real obstacles:
- Lack of discipline
- Poor boundaries
- Neglecting to stay tuned-into our purpose
- Many, many more
A purposeful life isn’t accidental. Getting aligned with our truest values hard work. Work that involves courageous, committed, authentic action.
That’s what I mean by Purpose Uncaged – the ongoing work of connecting with our purpose and releasing it into the world one step at a time.
Note, I don’t mean to imply there is a “right” way to express our purpose. I never suggest putting all our purpose eggs into one basket (read: our career).
A purposeful goal to one person might be starting a non-profit. To another, it might be starting a family. And to yet another, it might involve healing from past trauma as a starting point. If it feels authentic, timely and meaningful – and no one gets hurt – then who’s to say?
Whatever the case, on this site I share ideas and practices for integrating purpose across various layers of your life. Think of them as frameworks for your own self-discovery, decision-making, and personal growth.
While I’m a generalist, my main influences continue to be spiritual disciplines and humanistic/existentialist thought. However, I walk to the beat of my own drum and take what works. Here at Purpose Uncaged, I invite you to do the same.
How To Go Deeper
If you want to dive deeper into my world, or just stay in my orbit, here are a few ideas:
- Join the monthly newsletter for updates on my latest content (emails sent on the 1st Monday each month)
- Check out my best articles to get a quick feel for my core ideas
- Learn more about my 1:1 coaching offer on the coaching page
- Follow me on YouTube and Instagram, where I send out additional content
- Follow me on Twitter, which is my ideation platform for potential blog posts (upvote ideas you’d love me to develop!)