Transformational leadership coach Amy Wong’s new book, Living On Purpose: Five Deliberate Choices to Realize Fulfillment and Joy shows readers how to feel truly confident, purposeful and joyful in their lives. Wong is a certified executive coach who has devoted more than 20 years to the study and practice of helping others live lead on purpose. She works with some of the biggest names in tech and offers transformational leadership development and internal communication strategies to executives and teams around the world.

Many people are plagued by feelings of dissatisfaction — even in spite of several accomplishments and achieving success. They’re left wondering if the life they’re living is the life they were meant to lead. By shedding light on the habits we learn early in life that drive us to question our competencies, Wong gets to the core of what holds people back.


How would you classify your latest work? What inspired its inception?

Living On Purpose is a practical roadmap for how to make simple perceptual shifts to live our best life. I’ve been passionate about spirituality from an early age, and knew it was my purpose to help others thrive. From studying mathematics, I learned to discern truth by establishing a set of irrefutable axioms upon which to base a sound argument. The combination of my passions and my studies led me to the inevitable path of author, and in my desire to bring this book to life, it was important to me to help make irrefutable sense of the seemingly subjective world of self-help. The result is a relatable guide to help others out of self-imposed suffering.

How long did it take you to complete?

I knew in 2014 what the book needed to be, but I also knew that I wasn’t ready to write it because I was still in information gathering mode. While I was deep in rich coaching conversations, my own personal experiences of growth and transformation, and research initiated from my own fascinations, I was still mentally forming and cataloging the components that would make up the book.

By the end of 2019, I knew I had everything I needed and I formally began writing the book the first week of January 2020. In March 2020, when the world shut down from the COVID pandemic, that presented its challenges but it afforded me more time to write because all my travel was cancelled. After a full year of writing, I completed the manuscript in late December 2020.

Who are your top 5 authors or writers that you look up to and admire?

Michael Pollan, Dan Siegel, Adam Grant, Diane Ackerman, and Anne Lamott

Why do you write?

It’s one thing to think a thought, it’s another to say it, and it’s a completely different thing to write it. I live for distinctions, frameworks, and making the invisible visible and there’s no better way to do that than bringing thoughts to life through writing. I love translating concepts in ways that bring insights and inspiration to possibilities. To do that in conversation is invigorating, but it’s alive only in that moment and inspires only those that are privy to the conversation. But to do it in book form is a way of making the invisible visible for many audiences for a more extended time. I genuinely want to help make the world become a better place and I’ll have a better chance of doing that by translating thoughts through writing.

What’s the biggest take away you want your readers to come away with after reading your latest work?

Inner peace, joy, and fulfillment aren’t nearly as elusive as we think. Living a life of meaning and purpose doesn’t require loads of effort to change the conditions of our lives, but instead requires small shifts to our perception. The conditions around us are almost impossible to control to our will. But our perceptions are 100 percent within our control. That realization is inspiring, relieving, and freeing.

How is the writing/reading scene in your locale?

Prolific and inspiring. Being in the Bay Area of California, some of the most inspiring thought leaders and authors live just up the street from me and I feel blessed to be surrounded by such brilliance. It keeps me inspired.

What’s the best book you’ve ever read?

How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan. I absolutely loved everything about it — content, style, message, and approach. I found myself immersed in the narrative while equally in awe of his writing and style, page by page. I believe this book single-handedly is causing a cultural awakening.

When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?

In the fourth grade my mom bought me an old manual typewriter from a garage sale, and even though it was old and worn down, I absolutely loved it. I spent a lot of my free time on that typewriter working on a fictional story about a wizard and his influence on the forest around him. After 22 single-spaced typed pages, two bottles of whiteout, and a lot of trashed pages, I remember being disappointed in the final story and realizing that writing is a lot harder than it looks.

That disappointment infused within me a deep appreciation and intrigue for the art and practice of writing and storytelling and I’m certain that it was from that point forward that I read with a more discerning and appreciative eye. But despite being disappointed with my first story, I was still proud that I’d finished it and I think that was when I secretly decided I was a writer. It wasn’t until the release of my first book on May 24, 2022, at the age of 42, that I’d actually claim that title for myself.

How have you evolved as a writer over the last year?

Having Deb Evans, my incredible editor and friend, by my side to check in on my work and provide insight and guidance along the way with my writing was invaluable. Seeing her suggestions overlaid on my thought process grew my strengths and clarified my voice.

I often allow myself to be vulnerable and share my own failures and fears — not as a strategy, but through a genuine drive to create more impact. I’m certain that it’s due to regular reflection of other authors’ work, recognizing what styles impact me the most. I learn best from teachers who aren’t afraid to share their inner and outer worlds and willingly and bravely do so because they know it will be of great benefit to their readers.

If you could meet, have dinner, or have a drink with anyone (writer/non-writer; dead or alive) who would it be?

The motivational author, Louise Hay.

What’s next for you?

To continue to stay the course and keep working with people and teams. I get so much inspiration from those I serve, and I relish the transformative insights that emerge from doing the work with others.

I’m also gearing up for book number two. In the same way that I knew what Living On Purpose needed to be in 2014 but wasn’t ready, I am currently contemplating my second book. I know what it needs to be, but I’m not quite ready to formally engage. I’m still in information gathering mode!



End of Interview