Meet your Life Guide!
Hello! I am Max, a Life Guide that wants to support you in your life’s journey. Helping others makes me feel fulfilled and gives me a sense of purpose. Life guidance is designed to help people overcome the challenges they face in their lives. I use three main pillars to guide my clients: meditation, Buddhist and Stoic wisdom, and spirituality. These three pillars can help people achieve their goals, build better relationships, and live a more fulfilling life!
Max Ortiz Aguilar
Let’s start with the basics about myself! Even though I currently live with my wife in Canada, I was born and raised in Costa Rica. That is right! I went from the “Pura Vida” land with magical beaches, rain forests and volcanoes to the beautiful vast north with four seasons, majestic mountains and pristine lakes. And of course…. lots of snow ^_^
I have an Electronics Engineering degree and a MBA in Operations Management. Because of my profession, I started my career working for multinational technology companies in Costa Rica; first in technical roles and then I transitioned to leadership and management roles. None of my roles ever made me feel fulfilled and for years I was trapped in the “rat race” trying to climb the corporate ladder. Eventually it was clear to me that this was not something I wanted to pursue. I realized that my job was just a means to make a living and that I did not live to work. Don’t get me wrong about work. I still work in a multinational company as an Operations Manger, and I am grateful for everything I have accomplished and all the opportunities that have come to me. However, I have realized that helping others makes me feel better and it gives me a higher sense of purpose.
From an early age, people close to me would ask me for advice on problems they were facing. This started at school where I was a positive influence on my classmates and then continued into high school and my university years. For this reason, when I was a teenager, I had a joke with my family saying that I was an 85-year-old man in the body of a teenager. During my professional career and into my adult years, people have continued to come to me with more complex challenges, which is a natural progression of what we face as humans in this society as we age.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
My Meditation and Spirituality Journey
In my early teenager years, I was introduced to meditation through anime where they incorporate Buddhist elements. I loved the concept of being able to focus, concentrate and calm your mind to reach a higher potential within yourself. However, it was until my mid twenties that I started to study and practice meditation. Both a mental and physical challenge that I was facing drove me towards meditation.
The mental aspect was a strong fear of public speaking. While the physical challenge was related to experiencing acne since I was 13 years old and nothing really worked to cure or control it. It seemed like meditation could be a good option to help my overall health and specifically I could use it to improve my skin and deal with my public speaking fear. In 2009, I was sent to Canada for a work assignment for 7 months. During those months I had the chance to live alone and during that time I practiced meditation daily.
I was also introduced to the book “The Journey” by Brandon Bays. I combined her teachings with meditation and the results were outstanding. Since then, I’ve incorporated meditation into my lifestyle and I started my spiritual journey, which has helped me to change my life perspective. In future blog posts and videos, I will share what I did to improve both my skin and my public speaking fear.
“Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.”
The World Has Changed
Moving ahead to the years 2020 to 2022, it was clear that the pandemic measurements and restrictions imposed around the world had a huge impact on the mental wellness of people who did not have the tools to cope with what was happening. Isolation, divided families, ruined relationships and lost lives are some of the factors that affected many.
During 2022 I started thinking, how can I help others? What can I do to share with people what I have learned as part of my life’s journey? How can I serve others with my inner wisdom and skills to give advice? I decided that I wanted to start offering something similar to life coaching, which I call “Life Guidance”. And this is how Inner Wisdom Life Guidance was born in 2023!
“Don’t be ashamed to need help. Like a soldier storming a wall, you have a mission to accomplish. And if you’ve been wounded and you need a comrade to pull you up? So what?”
– Marcus Aurelius
What is Life Guidance?
Why “Life Guidance”? What’s the difference between that and “Life Coaching”? Let me explain how I came up with this term and approach to help others. Usually a life coach is someone who helps people achieve their goals. They will sit down with you, understand what goals you have and come up with a plan that you agree to follow. This might take a long time depending on the goal and usually represents a large investment. From my point of view, a life coach is assisting you to get better at certain skills needed to reach specific goals and is making you accountable through recurrent meetings for the duration of the plan. In my humble opinion, this has been highly commercialized.
Life guidance could involve some coaching, as defined above; however, the main purpose is to guide the person on what they could do to resolve challenges that they are facing in their lives. These challenges are likely related to situations that impact the mental health of the person, causing them to experience negative emotions. More than defining a plan, a life guide will guide a person through a challenge and provide guidance on what to do to improve how you feel about it, how to approach it and how to resolve it. A life guide will share with you the knowledge on how to help you feel better. The most important thing with this approach is that the person is guided but never instructed on what to do. They will listen to the advice and decide by themselves how to proceed. During this process they will be supported by the life guide for as long or as little as they want. Life guidance is a more flexible and less structured approach to helping others.
My approach to life guidance is based on three main pillars: meditation, wisdom (influenced by Buddhist and Stoic philosophy) and spirituality. We all have “inner wisdom” that we can learn to access through meditation and self-development. Meditation will also give you a better understanding of your mind and your thoughts, and let you decide what to do with them. Through wisdom we look at things from a higher perspective with experience, intuition, knowledge and virtues such as kindness, love and compassion. Stoicism provides reason, logic and a practical way of looking at life by understanding and accepting what is and what is not under our control. Spirituality focuses on loving and accepting yourself, loving and accepting others, realizing that everything is one, everything is connected, seeing the divine in everything and realizing that there is something greater than us guiding our life.
These three pillars will help anyone develop a life perspective that simplifies how to deal with challenges, and a better judgment for making decisions including how to act instead of reacting to external factors.
“You must unlearn what you have learned.”
– Master Yoda
If you have reached this point in reading, I want to thank you for taking your time to learn about me. Besides providing guidance on Mental Health, I also offer guidance on Financial Wellness and Mindful Eating. You can read all the details under “I Need Help With” on the menu of this website.
I offer sessions both online and in person in Calgary, AB, Canada, where I have a consultation room. For more information please visit the Work With Me page.
If you are ready to start working with me, please go ahead and book a session from my booking page. I am looking forward to helping you and sharing some of my knowledge to guide you on the challenges you may be experiencing. It would be an honor for me to be your life guide in your journey.
For those of you who want to start working by yourselves, please check my social media channels and my blog for content that could help you. My life’s perspective and approach to life guidance has been influenced by different people, authors and historical figures. I encourage you to research and check their books and teachings. Some of them are: Buddha, Om Swami, Wayne Dyer, Deng Ming-Dao, S.N. Goenka, William Hart, Alan Watts, Seneca, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Ryan Holiday, Stephen Hanselman, Brian Weiss, Brandon Bays, and Alana Fairchild.
Finally, if you can’t afford my services due to your financial situation, please refer to the Free Sessions section of the Work With me page to learn how to apply for free sessions.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”
– Lao Tzu
Quotes that Inspire me...
These quotes are a great source of inspiration and knowledge that may help you. They belong to people and fictional characters that have influenced how I live, mentor and guide others. You can read more inspirational quotes here.
It is the power of the mind to be unconquerable.
Your mind is a powerful thing. When you start to filter it with positive thoughts your life will start to change.
What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.
Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what hold you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.
Quiet the mind and the soul will speak.
The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.
Gold is the money of kings, silver is the money of gentlemen, barter is the money of peasants – but debt is the money of slaves.
The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.
You must unlearn what you have learned.
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.
If you live in harmony with nature you will never be poor; if you live according what others think, you will never be rich.
Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.
Don’t think you are, know you are.
There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path.
It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.
Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense
You don’t have a Soul. You are a soul. You have a body.
Doubt everything. Find your own light.
There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.
The single most powerful asset we all have is our mind. If it is trained well, it can create enormous wealth in what seems to be an instant.
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.
Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.
All suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their own happiness or satisfaction.
Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.
Excessive fear and self-doubt that were the greatest detractors of personal genius.
We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.
We all have tremendous potential, and we all are blessed with gifts. Yet, the one thing that holds all of us back is some degree of self-doubt. It is not so much the lack of technical information that holds us back, but more the lack of self-confidence.
The mind is everything.
We suffer not from the events of our lives, but from our judgment about them.
No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.