The Authentic Guy - Charles Hinson
I am Charles. I am a Motivator and Manifestor. I motivate myself and others to reach for and obtain the best in life. I have experienced the power of steadfastly holding a deep desire, and seeing it manifest in personal and professional growth for myself. I believe when we become crystal clear about what we really want and align these focused intentions with our actions, we draw opportunity to ourselves. And with that opportunity comes great responsibility to use what we manifest to lift up others and make the world better.
Top Gear Coach - What activity do you love and what does it do for you?
Charles - I love hiking. Growing up gay in the rural South, the woods were my refuge. I needed solitude. I would go into the woods with my dog for hours. I would talk to, scream at and bargain with God. Ultimately, I made peace with myself. Somehow, I always knew after those walks and talks that I would be okay. I was determined to not only survive but thrive. I came to understand that I had to depend on myself. No one was coming to save me. I had to act to create the life I wanted.
Today, I still cherish my time in nature. It recharges my batteries and restores my spirit. Being in nature relaxes my mind and reminds me that I am but a very small part of an amazingly complex planet and vast universe. I allow my thoughts to go where they will, knowing that my subconscious mind is working out solutions to problems. It’s the beauty of letting go. I can do that in the woods. I am able to reflect on all the experiences I have had over the years and how they shaped the man I am today. There are no deadlines, no pressures, no responsibilities, no judgements. It’s just me in nature learning from my past to inform my future. It’s me becoming more self-aware to better align my actions with my values.
Top Gear Coach - Tell me about a huge challenge you have had to face in your life and how it has changed you.
Charles - In 2010 I nearly got knocked off my feet. I experienced the break up of my primary relationship, enduring my ex-partner and his new boyfriend as roommates for over a year. I struggled to make a financial settlement to buy him out, so I could have my home to myself again. At this same time, I was working for an arrogant and incompetent boss who began to systematically dismantle what I had worked so hard to build and was facing the real possibility of losing my job. I lacked any support from my family as they did not approve of my “lifestyle choices”. I found myself on my knees begging for mercy at many points during the year.
I did not give up though. I set clear intentions. I leaned on friends for support and reaffirmed how important they are in my life. And I did a LOT of hiking! I let go and I learned to listen to my intuition at deeper levels than previously. I learned that I am strong beyond my wildest dreams and that I can survive much more than I’d ever imagined. I learned to become patient with myself and realize that sometimes standing still is the best I can do at the moment. Difficult circumstances are an opportunity to reexamine our values and how we are living in alignment with them. This has encouraged me to let go of my ego wheel and steer instead with my heart.
Top Gear Coach - What is the most important thing in your life? Why?
Charles - To me the most important thing in life is this - Not Settling. Too often in life I have settled for partners, friends, and jobs. Sometimes they were not the best fit for me and I knew it. But they served a purpose and I was settling for familiarity. Settling in our lives tethers us to what is, rather than what could be. Relationships with people are essential to staying connected and healthy. Being intentional about developing relationships with those who align with my own values and uplift me is the work of not settling.
Top Gear Coach - What does success in life look like for you?
Charles - Early in my life, success was about achieving career goals. Then it became about achieving financial goals. Later it became about finding balance. Right now, it’s about growing meaningful relationships. My priority is cultivating my relationship with the man I want to grow old with. And I want to become a better friend. I still struggle with making new friends and sustaining connections with long-time friends. But I am being more intentional and doing the work to manifest positive relationships in my life.
Ultimately, I think success for me looks like not having regrets. I have no regrets. At each phase of my life I focused on what was important to me then and shifted my focus when importance changed. Having courage to say yes to opportunities and people that come into our lives, for me, means not having regrets. I try to live by this motto, “Say Yes”. This quote inspires me to say yes…“Walk as far as you can see and when you arrive there, you’ll be able to see even farther.”