“Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
Below is part of a story that I tell called, “The $2 Story.” It relates to several different times in my life when I found myself with literally $2 (or a bit less) in my pocket. It puts things into perspective.
A number of years ago I was getting ready to move to Colorado from North Carolina. I merged my Taekwondo school with a friend.
Remember, I had created these sales teams, created large incomes, motivated people addressed crowds as large as 2,000 people, sometimes in Spanish. I was the guy that had so much going for him. Yet here I was.
The gas was shut off in my condo, water and electric too. We’ve all heard about Southern hospitality, well it’s true. They assisted me with a turning off of my gas, water and electric. I had to borrow money just to leave. When I arrived in Atlanta and was out of money. A friend of mine snuck $100 into my wallet. He knew what the story was, even if my ego wouldn’t let me ask for help. I’ll forever be thankful to him for that. I made it to Dallas, what a trip that was.
The car I was driving was a 1992 Nissan Stanza. It looked like a 1972. The car speakers were out. I had a mono sound system driving all the way out there. There was a hole in the floor, it rained like crazy during my trip. So I couldn’t open the windows and the air-conditioning didn’t work.
Eventually I made it to Dallas and spent a few days with another very good friend. He also gave me a few dollars to finish the trip.
I mean really, what was going on?
Now the last leg of this trip was from Dallas to Colorado Springs. I drove all night long from Dallas, so I could watch the sunrise against the Rocky Mountains. It was spectacular.
I pulled in to Colorado Springs and stopped at the Pikes Perk, I think it was. I ordered a coffee and reached into my pocket and pulled out all the money to my name. That’s right, you guessed it 2 bucks. No mom and dad, no credit cards. Nothing. I drank my coffee and drove to my friend’s apartment.
I was back in Colorado. The only thing I really had going for me at that time was that I had returned to a place where I would be among champions. People who strive for excellence as part of their daily life. I’ll take a moment here to advise you to take a look at who you hang around with. And the effect that they have in your life, because it is profound.
Now, it was after I was in Colorado, sleeping on my friends couch for a few days that I was recounting the story of two dollars. It occurred to me in the moment that it had happened two times previously and then BAM right in the face three times in particular.
That started a process, a process that involved looking at the previous 12 years of my life. A total and complete review, and I was the reviewer and that the reviewee. The best and most difficult part of playing both sides is that I couldn’t lie to myself. It was face the music or continue in the same way for the next 12 years.
I looked at the businesses I was in accompanies the opportunities the leadership.
I look at the economies during that 12 year time frame.
I looked at the presidential administrations.
Who control the House, who control the Senate?
I looked at the countries I had worked in.
The cultures? The subcultures?
I look at the people the customers – members of the sales team.
I looked at the industries
I looked at everything that went on in my life during those 12 years from successes and failures, marriage and divorce happiness, sadness, everything.
And then it finally came to me and just about bowled me over. The only constant in the entire 12 years that were under review was me!
Powerful stuff after the initial shock wore off. I got excited. Geeeeze! You may be asking yourself how I could’ve become excited about that?
Here’s how – I can’t do anything about the government. I can’t do anything about the economy. I can do anything about the Republicans or the Democrats, the environment, wars, taxation. I’m not in control those variables, but what I do control is one variable that’s the most important. And that is me.
I can do something about me. I can change what I do. I can change how I behave. I can change what I think or focus on the got me jazzed, and now it was decision time.
My first decision was to find out what I really wanted. So I began asking myself a series of questions, and I created a vision for myself that I have not lost sight of since.
Now that I truly understood that my life was totally in my control. I adopted the philosophy. “If you shape it in your mind, you will find it in your life.” This is not a “maybe” or a “might could.” I did, you will too.
It’s time you take a personal inventory. A serious look at what you’re doing and who you’re becoming. A always, the choice is uniquely yours.
The best is yet to come!