Why are we here? What is your purpose? I have realized that you cannot be successful without other people. We all serve others in one way or another, whether you’re a teacher, an artist, a doctor, a builder, a coach, etc. Your service could be in the form of a tangible product, or it could be entertainment. How are you contributing? What do you have to offer the world?
Have you ever noticed that, sometimes, people get into the business of helping others because they themselves are damaged? Actually, I believe that’s the case most of the time. I believe the key to living a fulfilling life is discovering your purpose and going after it. I want to help others.
Have you ever joked about psychiatrists being crazy? I have. It’s kind of funny to think about, but as you may have heard, many a true word is spoken in jest. If you say you’ve never thought there was truth in that joke, I would have to wonder if you were lying, or maybe you’re crazy. I’m joking again. Sort of. I was chatting with a friend about this concept, and if you really think about it, it’s an interesting phenomenon which seems true in many cases. For example, when prison inmates attend their groups, the groups are often led by people who were once incarcerated. I want to use my experiences, challenges, and struggles to help others who may be going through the same thing I have.
You are no wiser than the next person in a particular area just because you have lived on this planet longer or because you have more experience in that area.
I know that one might say I lack adequate life experience at a still-young 29 years old, but I believe I’m intelligent, observant, and critical enough to be taken seriously. I believe age does not directly correlate to wisdom. You are no wiser than the next person in a particular area just because you have lived on this planet longer or because you have more experience in that area. To me, that’s a cop out. It depends on the quality of the experience. Quality over quantity.
One thing I have learned is that most people are actually good people. Most people care about others, including strangers. All people have endured their own share of challenges in their lives. Everyone has a story to be told. For some—myself included—the act of telling the story is quite therapeutic. I do write in a journal, which is a great outlet, but there is something about sharing with others that just feels good. It’s one thing to get your thoughts out on paper, but it’s another when you know people are listening to your thoughts. People can relate to you, and feeling heard and understood is so satisfying.
If you follow me on social media, you have probably discovered by now that I have a strong interest in the use of life coaches, and it probably seems like I can’t shut up about Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, and Dave Ramsey. Well you would be correct; I can’t shut up about them. I often look to them for tips on personal, entrepreneurial, and financial success. I love to watch their seminars on YouTube or listen to their audio books. I never really found reading fiction novels entertaining, but when it comes to personal development, I’m all over it. I still haven’t been able to get through the audio version of How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie because the narrator’s voice always puts me to sleep. So I may need to pick up that physical book.
To me, a life coach is much like a pastor of a Christian church, and a pastor is essentially a type of personal development coach. The motives are obviously different (secular and spiritual), but there is a common goal of improving others’ lives. I’m still searching for answers in my own spiritual journey (I didn’t grow up in a religious household but do believe there is a God), but in my perspective, a pastor seeks to deliver God’s message to people in hopes of improving their lives and ultimately leading them to live in such a way which fulfills God’s word. This is one reason I love going to church. I always enjoy the message, and I hold my pastor in very high regard. I’m currently listening to an audio version of the Bible. Anyway, I could write a whole different blog about my perspective on religion. I’ll save that topic for a possible future post.
Do you know how much time I wasted thinking about it? Too much. I stopped thinking about it and made a decision to just do it.
I embarked into the realm of self-help in late 2014. I was escaping a financially exhausting and mentally draining living situation, so I finally decided to get myself out of that situation and move to a new city. I was also simultaneously struggling with a recent heartbreak from a long-term relationship. I was so fed up, so I sought help because I was tired of feeling miserable and depressed.
Tony Robbins was the first coach I discovered, and he was the gateway to the numerous other coaches I utilize. One concept of his that I always try to employ is the power of making a decision. I contemplated writing a blog. Do you know how much time I wasted thinking about it? Too much. I stopped thinking about it and made a decision to just do it. Just start writing! When I’m sad or depressed, I decide to be happy. If you stay sad or depressed, it’s because you’ve made the decision to stay there. Make the decision to be happy. Is there something in your life that you want to change? Decide! Jim Rohn said, “If you want things to change, you’ve got to change.” I’ll get to Jim shortly.
Here’s a quick story on the topic.
Last week, I was having a drink after work, and I met a guy just a few years younger than I am. He’s 25. Let’s call him K. He was telling me his story of his past. He told me about his aspirations to be a head chef one day. He had recently met face-to-face with a chef of a local high-end restaurant to introduce himself and submit a resume. He also began to talk about his struggles of growing up in foster homes, getting in fights, and having resentment and anger towards his mother. He went on to share that he was so angry and still is. I was just listening and chiming in now and then. When he said he was angry, I simply asked, “Why are you angry?”
K replied, “I don’t know. I just am.”
I asked what he’s angry about, and he said it was because of his mother and how she wasn’t really there for him. So I asked, again, why he’s angry about that.
K replied again, “I just am. It’s something I can’t change.”
“Why can’t you?”
“I don’t know. I just can’t help it.”
Checkmate. I could have sworn a lightbulb appeared above his head. His eyes widened had an expression of shock as if he just had some sort of epiphany. He said, “Oh, I see what you’re getting at.”
The thing is, he made the decision to be angry about something in the past which he can’t change. He decided that he has the inability to stop being angry. He can’t help it because he just accepted that he’s an angry person, and he would rather point blame rather than move on. Who else is going to decide for him to change his attitude; his recent ex-girlfriend who he said meant the world to him or his mom who he doesn’t have a good relationship with? Neither. It’s all about personal responsibility and thinking about what you can do right now. To quote Rafiki from The Lion King, “It doesn’t matta! It’s in de past!”
One thing K told me after we chatted for a while is, “The only reason I’m still talking to you about this right now is because I can tell you genuinely care.” At one point, he asked, “Why do you care so much?”
I told him, “Because not only do you reap what you sow in life, but you reap even more.”
“Tenfold,” he agreed.
When the conversation was coming to an end, before he left, he thanked me for talking with him. He told me that I really helped him out that night and that he learned a lot from me. He told me he knows that I will be successful in whatever it is that I’m pursuing, and he shook my hand and left.
Resentment is drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
Now back to Tony Robbins.
Another thing Tony talks about that intrigues me is the six basic human needs. Understanding these needs has helped me understand why people do what they do. The six basic human needs are: certainty, uncertainty (i.e. variety), love and connection, significance, growth, and contribution. There’s also enough content on this topic for its own blog post.
Lastly, I learned a lot about fear from Tony. Pessimism, stress, and anger are examples of manifestations of fear.
Pessimists, who often describe themselves as realists, are those who have convinced themselves that something cannot be achieved, so they don’t even try. They fear failure. Optimists thrive on failure. They see a possibility to achieve, so they try. Though they may fail, they consequently learn, improve, and progress, which is why the optimist tends to reach goals and become more fulfilled than the pessimist, who remains stagnant and discontent.
Fear is at the root of anger and resentment. Tony says if you tell him what is stressing you, he could discover your deepest fears. People get angry when things don’t go their way because they are fearful of a potential outcome. He also said, “Resentment is drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” In other words, anger and resentment only hurt yourself and get you nowhere.
The late Jim Rohn was Tony Robbins’ mentor. One of his philosophies that continues to resonate with me is how to get out of a blue mood. He says that to get yourself out of a blue mood, talk somebody else through theirs, because when you talk somebody through their blue mood, you will hear yourself say some amazing things, which will ultimately end up helping yourself. Jim was full of great quotes and philosophies.
Finally, Dave Ramsey is not only a master financial guru, but he is one of the strongest advocates of giving to others. It seems counterintuitive that a key to becoming financially free and fulfilled is to give your money away (e.g. donations and tithing). This is the man who coined (see what I did there?) the expressions, “The secret to living is giving” and “Live like no one else now so that later you can live and give like no one else.” Let that sink in.
So, whatever it is that you want to achieve, whatever you’re passionate about, and no matter how crazy anyone else may think your goal is, make a decision to go after it.
These coaches, among others, have changed my outlook on life in a positive way, and I find hope when I remind myself that these three giants–Tony, Jim, and Dave–have all been at the bottom at some point in their lives. Tony had about $19 cash to his name at one time and gave it all to a young boy accompanying his mom for lunch so that the boy could treat his mom to dinner. Jim was in his late twenties, broke, and married with children when he met his mentor and finally started writing down his goals and pursuing his ambitions. He then became wealthy about six years later. Dave was married in his twenties, then broke, got rich, went bankrupt, almost got left by his wife, and got rich again! I’m 29, have a secure job with health benefits, a retirement fund, sources of supplemental income, and a business I’m trying to get off the ground. So I’d say I’m in a good position in comparison to them.
That’s all I have for you in this post. Remember, go after what you want in life. Like Dave Ramsey says, normal sucks, and if your broke friends are making fun of you, then you’re probably on the right track. Like Jim Rohn says, even your closest friends may secretly try to hold you back from your success, not because they want you to fail, but because they don’t want you to leave them behind. So, whatever it is that you want to achieve, whatever you’re passionate about, and no matter how crazy anyone else may think your goal is, make a decision to go after it. Don’t waste time dwelling on the past. Don’t be paralyzed by fear. The world is yours. Get out there. Take action. It’s your life. Make the best of it.