My friend Brian called yesterday because, to use his own words, he needed “a shoulder to cry on.”
He was feeling down, depressed and dejected and his voice tone over the phone matched precisely the words he was using. He sounded defeated, hopeless and lost.
Brian has been struggling to build his career for some time and things have just not been going his way. It seems that every door he walks through leads straight to an immovable wall.
And he was at his wits end.
He’d had enough.
He was going to quit.
This call was in stark contrast to my previous conversation with Brian which had taken place just a few days earlier.
When Brian called on Monday evening he was energized, pumped, stoked. He was ready to conquer the world and his voice reflected his excitement. It was so loud I had to hold the phone away from my ear so as to preserve my eardrum.
It seems that earlier that day Brian had attended a seminar by a motivational speaker who had passionately used all the appropriate platitudes necessary for Brian to feel an aura of invincibility.
He had floated out of the seminar room and breathlessly called to tell me how his life was about to change in wonderful and glorious ways.
He couldn’t wait to get to work the next morning and begin his new quest for world dominance.
Sadly for Brian when he awoke the next morning he could not rekindle those feelings of euphoria from the night before. Everything was as it had been before the seminar – the same challenges were still there and, in no time at all, those same feelings of despair were back where they had always been.
Brian had made a common mistake – the same mistake so many of us have made. He abdicated responsibility for his happiness and motivation and delegated it to a stranger speaking from a stage.
He believed that motivation was acquired from someone else.
He had not yet learned that motivation is internally driven and each of us is a world-class motivational speaker with the remarkable ability to set the tone for our own lives through the continuous speeches we deliver to ourselves each day.
For some of us those speeches inspire us to spend each day viewing the world through a lens of scarcity, anguish, worry, self-criticism, frustration and despair.
For others, the great motivator who resides within each of us exhorts us to push aside our barriers, stretch our limits beyond their breaking point and view each setback as nothing more than an ingredient that makes the taste of future victories even sweeter.
The heavenly highs and the bottomless lows that Brian had experienced this week did serve to provide him with a powerful lesson – one from which we can all learn a great deal.
Prior to attending the seminar Brian was struggling to pay his bills, felt he was falling further and further behind each month, and was trying desperately to salvage both his career and his marriage.
And he was feeling down depressed and dejected.
At the time he called me right after attending the seminar Brian was struggling to pay his bills, felt he was falling further and further behind each month, and was trying desperately to salvage both his career and his marriage.
And he was feeling energized, motivated and invincible.
When he called yesterday Brian was struggling to pay his bills, felt he was falling further and further behind each month, and was trying desperately to salvage both his career and his marriage.
And he was feeling down depressed and dejected.
Regardless of how he was feeling, the reality of his situation was unaltered. The difference each time was his perspective.
When he was feeling down and dejected, his belief was that his situation was hopeless. When he was pumped up and energized, his belief was that his challenges were easily surmountable and that he was but days away from owning the world.
Regardless of how Brian was feeling, his situation was a situation – it didn’t change. All that changed was his perspective, and along with that change of perspective came either the weak feeling of helplessness, or the euphoric feeling of invincibility.
Brian’s lesson – our lesson – is that the situation is the situation – it is what it is. We choose what it means to us and how it will affect us. The choices we make determine how we feel and the feelings we have determine the actions we will take.
Some of us treat gigantic adversity like annoying insects, to be flicked away and ignored. To others, tiny setbacks are all that is required for permission to bask in the warm, cozy glow of self-pity.
The difference between being a victor and a victim is determined simply by what we believe to be true.
As we discussed this on the phone, Brian went silent for a few moments. When he broke the silence it was to tell me that he finally “got it.” He finally understood that it’s not what happens in our lives that produces results; it’s what happens in our heads.
Brian asked if I had any advice and we spent several minutes discussing my 30 day challenge (www.habitscausehaveits.wordpress.com/1 ).
He called back later yesterday to tell me he had begun the challenge and that I would be hearing from him every day for the next 30 days.
I know Brian well enough to know that he will continue with this well beyond the next 30 days and that his life will change in ways that he cannot even imagine right now.
I can’t wait to hear about Brian’s exciting new life.
And if you haven’t given yourself the most exhilarating gift possible, please click on the link above and join Brian on your journey of a lifetime.
Till we read again.
P.S. If you haven’t yet subscribed to, or even just checked out, my new blog called Habits Cause Have Its please click here.