GREAT LIFE isn’t always so great.

“I never said it would be easy.  I said it would be worth it.” – Anonymous

GREAT LIFE isn’t always so great.  Trust me I know… I get it.  It’s hard to get up some mornings and get myself to commit.  Some days I want to check out and watch a Netflix all day.  I’ve had a few of those days recently.  It’s done… It’s past.  All that matters is what I do today.

It’s 4:00 and I’m sitting in a Starbucks.  Old thinking is: the days almost over… hell, just relax and start again tomorrow.  But there is no tomorrow.  I don’t live my life like that anymore.  Start tomorrow means today is a day to let my negative thoughts wander; a day not spent headed toward my hopes and dreams; a day to not follow my bliss.  Start tomorrow assumes I have lots of time. I don’t have the luxury of time.  Right now I need to decide on working toward the life I want or surrendering to the way it is… I can’t do that…

So I’m a little stuck today… what do I do when I get stuck; Focus on having a GREAT day:

Gratitude:  I’m grateful for my life; my parents who love me; my health; a roof over my head and food; friends I can call; a car that works; support groups filled with people who care about me… I’m grateful for so much!

Recognize Negativity:  I’m in fear today.  I’m in financial insecurity. While I know I can make money, and that I have money to take care of my needs, I’m not making a living following my bliss. I’m not making a living the way a grown man should… Starting a business is not easy.  I’m afraid I may fail and there is no safety net.  I know my parents are there for me but that’s not an option.  They’ve done so much for me I can’t ask for any more help.  I don’t want to hit bottom.  I’m sick, physically sick of the online application process to fining work.  I’m sick that I’m forced to apply to jobs that I don’t really want.  BUT REALLY, WHO CAN’T RELATE?  Yes it’s ture that I not a success today, but it won’t always be like this. IT WON’T ALWAYS BE LIKE THIS!!!  Yes it’s true that I may fail, that doesn’t mean I’m a failure.  Yes, it’s true, I haven’t given my best effort at marketing myself and my business.  All that can change right now.  I’m not a failure, but I’m feeling the pains of a start up company.  I am smart, talented, and have a GREAT vision for my life and the life of those I work with.  Who am I to not be GREAT?  Who am I to deny God’s gifts to me and those around me?  I am a child of God.  I am an amazing man (as one of my coaching clients said this week).  I am better than I’ve ever been and only getting better…

Excitement: A year from now I’ll be on my feet.  I will work hard every day to align myself with my bliss and follow that path.  I will help to transform thousands of peoples lives!  I will be able to manifest my wildest dreams.  I will be living the life I was always meant to live.

Action: FILL YOUR CALENDER WITH NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES…. THE PEOPLE WHO ARE DESPERATE FOR WHAT YOU HAVE NEED YOU.  Call someone and ask for help.  Get to work.  Use part of the day to focus on applying to jobs, and a small part of the day focused on earning enough to finance your dream.  Pray and meditate and follow your heart and intuition.  Set a plan of action based on peace of mind not thoughts of fear.

Thanks:  I’m thankful for a friend who called today to share some good news.  I’m thankful for another friend who is experiencing success beyond my wildest dreams.  I’m thankful that I’m still very happy for those I care for when they are doing well and that I haven’t grown jealous or bitter at their success. I’m thankful for my friend Greg for reminding me there is always another perspective.  I’m thankful for parents who care enough to be willing to do anything to help me.  I’m thankful I’m taking responsibility for my life and I chose to live the GREAT LIFE today and not put off till tomorrow. I’m thankful I have the opportunity to share this with all those who read this and know that just because I write about the GREAT LIFE doesn’t make it easy to live.

My life is great.  It’s so easy to forget. I had a hard hit financially.  It’s funny how fear of finances is so crippling.  I have some money, and thankfully I have means of earning and people who love me to help me through.  I’m just ready for more.  I’m ready to grow.  I’m ready to take care of myself.  I’m ready to build a business that helps others.  I’m ready for all that comes with this life.  I guess I need to accept the hard part… I need to ask for more help.  I need to push through the discomfort and know this too shall pass.  I’ve done my job and God will take care of the rest. Focus on today being all it can be… Remember a bad day doesn’t mean its a bad life, but a GREAT day one day at a time is the recipe for a GREAT LIFE.

Finding MY Voice

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” – Bill Cosby

Its been a couple months at writing this blog, and while my site statistics are a little flat, I accept that this is all part of the process.  Since there are so few readers of my blog, I thought I’d share very open and honest about my process so far.  I’d have to say that my most difficult struggle so far is in finding my voice.

I’m beginning to realize that I speak from three very different voices.   There is the image of Albert that I want you to see who is “normal.”  There is Dr. Albert, the expert and passionate professional.  The most open, honest, and vulnerable of the three is the Albert who struggles with the same worries and problems that we all have.  No one voice is better than the other and they all have a place in communicating my philosophy of the GREAT LIFE.  The struggle I experience in my writing comes from the fear of not being good enough.  This fear causes me to be who I think you want me to be.  The ultimate sign of people pleasing and the key to failure. 

How do I need to be so that you like me?  It’s a question we all ask…  I think we all know the more important question is, How do I need to be so that I like me?  I don’t like myself when I’m not me.  I don’t like having to pretend to fit in.  The number one reason I love owning my own business is getting the opportunity to work with people I like and with people who like me.  When I worked in a traditional corporate setting, I didn’t always like myself.  I loved my work and loved the people I worked with, but the corporate culture created social “norms” that didn’t feel normal.  I went to work and tried to behave in a way that made me fit in to the culture and realized working in a traditional corporate environment wasn’t for me.  Leaving was an expression of my voice.   

So here I am, trying to find my voice, again.  Am I saying what I think you want to hear so you like me?  Or am I being open and honest with you because I like me?  Day to day it changes.  As I grow, I’m dealing with the pains of uncertainty.  Who am I as I continue to grow?  Who will I meet?  Who or what will I have to let go of?  Will I like the person I become?  Sometime, I don’t like who I’m becoming.  I feel a loss of control.  Albert Einstein said “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”  In my case everything is new and I’m afraid of making mistakes and often do.  I don’t like it… I’m afraid, you might not like me if I were not perfect. But I realize, I’m not perfect but neither are you.

We are not not perfect.  I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone who was.  I’ve known lots of people who present an image of success that is pretty perfect.  I’ve learned through my work with some of them that they are not.  I’ve had incredibly successful people come to me and let me tell you, things aren’t always what they seem.  Some of the most successful people don’t have the luxury of being themselves because the’re too busy managing the way others see them.  I know that is not the life I want.  Yet fear of not being good enough for the life I want causes me to lose my voice and speak from a voice and perspective that I hope will gain your approval.  I can’t… I’m sorry. So fuck it.

Here are the steps I followed to find and express my voice.  I hope you follow them and find freedom in learning to speak from your most authentic self. 3/4 steps to finding my voice:

1. Choose it.  It’s either this life that I love for me, or I choose a life I don’t want for you.  I can’t make you happy if I’m not happy.  So I’ve chosen to follow my bliss and find my voice and share it with those who care.

2. Own it.  This is my LIFE.  This is my purpose.  The GREAT LIFE is not for everyone… Those who want you to live their way of life, probably aren’t living their own.  You define your GREAT LIFE and it’s all yours. Own your GREAT LIFE with pride.

3. Nurture it.  Your voice will evolve.  Challenging old beliefs, opinions, thoughts, may leave you rethink your own position.  Be flexible and open.  Identify when you are holding onto an old belief and question whether YOU actually believe what you believe.

4. Fuck it.  Fuck it because I don’t want to use this word because I don’t like the word but sometimes I need to say it.  Fuck it.  Because those of you who are offended by the word don’t need to be here; because FUCK is a feeling you will have if you pursue the GREAT LIFE, because it’s not easy and you will struggle.  You will make mistakes, you will be disappointed, you will feel scared, you will want to turn back and settle… Fuck it.  I’ve come this far, and there is no turning back.  The GREAT LIFE is my life and I want to live it, learn to accept it, and enjoy it.  I hope you do the same.

Sending you all lots of love and wish you a long and blessed GREAT LIFE.

Personal Independence Day

“In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. Everything that comes out of me is authentically mine, because I alone chose it — I own everything about me: my body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions, whether they be to others or myself. I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. I own my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes. Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By so doing, I can love me and be friendly with all my parts. I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know — but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and ways to find out more about me. However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me. If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought, and felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded. I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me. I own me, and therefore, I can engineer me. I am me, and I am Okay.” – Virginia Satir

It’s July 4th and outside my window I can hear the booming sound of fireworks.  It’s in independence day and the country is celebrating.  Tomorrow morning I’ll be celebrating my personal independence day, as I do every day!

I love the quote I shared with you. It says everything I could write here. So I’ll make this short.  I love my GREAT LIFE…  I’ve said is before and I’ll say it again. This is my life and I can choose to live it for myself and those I love, or I can spend my life working in a job I hate, so I can buy things I don’t need, to impress people I don’t like.  I choose my GREAT LIFE.

Fear of Change to Joy of Transformation

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change” – Charles Darwin

I don’t think I’ve ever read or heard someone distinguish the difference between change and transformation.  The two words are often used interchangeably but are really two different things.  In further exploring and formulating a model for change and transformation it’s become clear that the not knowing the difference could mean the difference from failure to long lasting change.

When I started to work on a simplified model (simplified not simple) for change I was quick to point out the huge difference between change and transformation.  This is easily several chapters for my book but I’ll break it down.  Change is when we want a single aspect of our life to be different.  Example, I want to be thinner!  If I want to be thinner I focus change on that one area (my body) and eat and exercise to support weight loss.  Simply stated, if I want to be thinner I need to eat and exercise to lose weight.  And we all know how simple that is! That’s why we all look so good! Obviously I’m being sarcastic.  For some people focus on diet and exercise may work. That is the only thing they need to focus on to be successful.  For the mass majority of people who suffer from weight issues, it’s not so simple.

Successful weight-loss for most of us requires transformation.  Transformation is when we want a single aspect of our lives to be different but it is necessary to focus change on multiple areas in our lives to support our goal.  If I want to be thinner I need to not only focus on diet and exercise, but on my emotions that make me want to overeat, my relationship to people and my environment, my job, every person, place, or thing that effects my physical health.  Transformation requires that we inventory and manage change in numerous areas of our lives to support long term success toward the goal.  Transformation happens and we achieve long term physical health, and when you are able to say to yourself, “I can’t believe I use to live such an unhealthy lifestyle.”

Transformation is easy.  It’s complex! …but it’s easy.   Transformation requires leverage.  When we begin to change many areas of our life to support change in one area we begin to make progress on multiple levels.  We release the blocks that kept us from getting what we want.  Transformation requires support and accountability from others to help us keep inventory of our “wins.”  Transformation is a slower process, so if you’re looking to get rich quick or get “rock hard abs in 30 days then this is not for you… unfortunately if change worked for you, you probably wouldn’t be reading this.

Change is difficult.  Change is often an oversimplified strategy to getting what we want.  Back to our weight loss example… If I only focus on diet and exercise I will lose weight.  But long term weight loss may not be possible if I engage in temporary behavior to lose the weight.  Maybe, I don’t go out with friends because my meal plan doesn’t allow me to eat out.  It’s possible that once we reach our goals and return to our “normal” routine, we begin to gain weight again.

The quick fix and failure of change strategies that don’t work cause us to give up on what we want.    You start to believe that there is something wrong with you!  You start to believe that somehow you are worse off than others and that you must be a hopeless case.  This is not true!  Maybe you’re afraid to try again.  You don’t want to be disappointed.  You don’t want to get your hopes up. The fear of failure causes us to fear change.  You settle into a comfortable level of erosion that slowly hurts your confidence, worth, and esteem.  There is nothing more devastating than awareness of the acceptance of a life you don’t love.  But there is hope.  You tried to change and you held on to your strategy and it worked till it stopped working.  Transformation may be your only hope.

On a fundamental level I strongly believe that change is holding on tight to the way things are.  If only this one thing would be different then everything would be better. Transformation is choosing to let go.  If I work toward making things better and letting go of those things that hold me back, then I’ll change.  Transformation requires we let go of people, places, things, thoughts, beliefs, opinions, etc., that keep us from reaching our fullest potential; in doing so we become who we want to be.

Transformation is flexible and adaptive to a strategy that is not working.  When we are committed to transformation there is no right or wrong only honest appraisal of what works and what doesn’t and the flexibility and willingness to adapt and to keep pushing toward your goals.  Time is not part of the equation.  There is no milestone to indicate failure or success only a daily pursuit of joy in the journey.  When we practice letting go, we move toward transformation, the fear of change dissipates and we feel the joy of transformation. 




Follow Your Bliss

“Follow your bliss.  If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living.  When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.  If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn’t have opened for anyone else.” – Joseph Campbell

I was recently reminded of Joseph Campbells words of wisdom and was stunned when I asked myself: I’m I following my bliss?  Not only am I unsure about whether I am following my bliss but I was shocked to realize I don’t even know what my bliss is!  It’s easy to get distracted with all I have to do.  My focus on responsibility and obligations can derail me from following my purpose.

After some writing and a lot of thought I was closer to an idea of what my bliss is.  I’ve had moments talking to people, clients, people in my social circles, or my students, where I get an opportunity to share my story, and share the GREAT LIFE philosophy.  I love talking about the complexity disguised by its simplicity.  I’m hopeful the philosophy will inspire others and from what I’ve heard, it has!  My GREAT LIFE, my story, has inspired others and it makes me feel so good.  It is my purpose in this life… it is my bliss.

My bliss is my GREAT LIFE.  When I focus of having a GREAT day I’m in my bliss.  When I LOVE, INSPIRE, FORGIVE, and ENJOY, I am in my bliss.  When I teach the GREAT LIFE philosophy and share my experience, strength and hope and create a space for others to believe in themselves I am in my bliss.  

These days, however, I’m waiting for the doors to open!  I launched this site not long ago and over the past couple of weeks started a marketing campaign.  After two weeks this site is still the best kept secret in new blogs!  It was expected.  I know my fantasy of creating an overnight success is not possible.  The greatest blogs out there (in this niche) take a couple years to build a respectable following.  I understand I’m in this for the long run.  I can’t help but have this burning desire to share what I know with everyone.  After all, this process helped me learn to love my LIFE and I hope to inspire others to do the same.

So how do I follow my bliss, while the creditors are following me?  It’s rough trying to follow your bliss when you’re struggling to make ends meet.  I’d love to offer my advice on how I do it, but I sacrifice more than anybody ever should, sometimes at the cost of my self-esteem and self-confidence.  It’s caused shame and I sometimes feel like a fraud.  Let me tell you this is no way to feel when you’re out promoting and marketing a business that helps build confidence, worth, and esteem!  But the moments of bliss are worth it.  The moments when I get to help a client realize their vision.  Or the moments when I’m able to walk through a difficult time with someone.

Following your bliss doesn’t always lead to a guest spot on Oprah with fame and fortune to follow.  Is fame or fortune the point?  Sometimes we have to let go of security for a life far better than we can imagine.  Tom Robbins (American Author) said “You should never hesitate to trade your cow for a handful of magic beans.”  There is no doubt, years ago I traded my cow.  What I got in return is truly magical.  What’s your bliss?  Do you have the courage to follow it?  I hope you have the courage to follow the path that brings you joy, happiness, and fulfillment.  I hope to meet you along your journey.


Personal Transformation Creates GREAT Leaders

“I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed.” – Booker T. Washington

I’m a strong beleiver in the idea that GREAT leaders are often those who have experienced personal transformation.  I beleive that many leaders have experienced a personal tragedy or run into walls that caused them to radically transform who they are.

In my study of addiction, the twelve-stepper and many of those in recovery will explain that recovery is three-fold. Recovery is physical, emotional, and spiritual.  I would argue that there is a fourth level of recovery, intellectual.  Addicts who radically transform their lives do so in all four areas.

  1. Emotional – Addicts who transform their behavior learn to “turn over” the things they cannot control.  They give up those external forces that cause them stress and anxiety that push them to drink, use drugs, etc.  They learn to calm the emotional roller-coaster that causes them to act out.
  2. Physical – Addicts who transform become different people in appearance.  They end destructive behaviors such as drugs and alcohol and that causes an observable shift in appearance and behavior.  They carry themselves different and often dress different.  They change there surroundings and make an effort to fit in by removing “character defects” and “short comings” and making amends to those they have personally harmed.
  3. Spiritual – Addicts use prayer and meditation and create a “Higher Power” (for some it’s their personal definition of God).  They use this spiritual connection to create a sense of certainty.  This sense of certainty is often expressed in the thought “no matter what happens I will be OK.”  Their spiritual connection gives them peace about a future… by the way future is something that nobody can predict.
  4. Intellectual – Many addicts that transform begin to reevaluate their belief systems and patterns of behavior that caused them to abuse drugs and alcohol.  They evaluate the root causes of resentments toward “people, places, and institutions” and understand “their role” in the resentment.  This level of intellectual understanding helps the addict to adopt new thoughts that are consistent with a healthier lifestyle.

One of the primary objectives of GREAT Leaders Coaching & Consulting is to draw parallels between personal transformation and organizational transformation.  It is my strong belief that the concepts that drive personal transformation are the same as those that drive organizational transformation.  However, management gurus and self-help gurus rarely use the same language but the parallels are worth noting.

A widely studied area of leadership is the idea of transformational leaders.  My favorite theorists in this area, Bernard Bass, designed a way to measure transformational leadership and broke the theory down into 4 components.

  1. Individual consideration – Transformational leaders exhibit a great deal of consideration toward the emotional state of their associates.
  2. Idealized influence (sometimes referred to as Charismatic Leadership) – Transformational leaders act as role models for ethical behavior.  They embody the physical image of a great leader.
  3. Inspirational Motivation – Transformational leaders communicate optimism about future goals.  They are visionary and communicate their vision tho that it is encouraging.  They provide a sense of certainty about the future of the organization.  In my personal opinion  certainty about the future is simmilar to having a spiritual connection.
  4. Intellectual stimulation – Transformational leaders challenge assumptions, and solicit ideas from followers.  They use this information to shift or alter current practices, policies and procedures.

On a personal level transformation is experienced.  I believe that if a leader has personal experience they are able to express the same values that lead to personal transformation to lead organizational transformation.  I believe that in essence organizational transformation is the process of personally transforming every individual to support the change the organization wishes to make.  Leaders who wish to transform their organization must develop other leaders who can express concern for employees on an emotional, physical, spiritual, and intellectual level.

GREAT Leaders who suffered from addiction include:

  • First Lady Betty Ford
  • Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
  • Ray Kroc
  • J. Paul Getty Jr.
  • Buzz Aldrin
  • George Bush Jr.
  • Not to mention the long list of artists, actors, writers, and creators…

It’s Never Too Late.

“It’s never too late to become what you might have been.” – George Eliot

It’s never too late to start over. It’s never too late to be happy.  It’s never too late to fall in love.  It’s never to late to live the life you dreamed of… It’s never to late to feel young again!  Though my mind and body may tell me otherwise.  At 38 years old, this is not the life I had in mind when I was 30… Then again, at 30 I was living a life I couldn’t have imagined when I was 20!  Does it ever turn out the way we plan?

I love my life today, and I’d like to say I wouldn’t change a thing but that’s the beauty of life… It’s never too late to become everything I dream of.  I love my life and do everything I can to change, to grow, to challenge myself, to remove the façade, to be vulnerable, to be me.  The most amazing thing about my process of transformation is the opportunity to experience everthing from a different perspective.  The world and everything in it is different as I become renewed, transformed.

When I was active in my addiction and suffering from severe depression I hated everything.  I was afraid.  I lived as a shut it.  When I had to venture out into the real world I was a really nice guy.  People would say, “you’re always smiling” not knowing it was a defense.  I was afraid and needed ways of numbing my fears.  I discovered several coping strategies (addictions). I pushed people away.  I sought work opportunities that kept me isolated.  I thought shy and quiet was just the way I was, but in my heart I wanted to be more outgoing, more connected to others.  I’m still working really hard on that!  While I am introverted, I practice interaction with everyone.  I genuinely want to connect with people. I love it!

My transformation was in large part due to my relationships with other people recovering from addiction.  I saw these people as beautiful.  I’d hear them talk about feeling of not feeling a part of, not feeling “enough” or feeling like the “biggest piece of shit in the world” which was a tittle I had long held!  These people were fragile, vulnerable, honest, and inspiring.  I saw them with compassion and love.  They did the same for me.  I saw my transformation taking place in their eyes.  While I didn’t always believe it, I knew it was true because I saw them as they saw me, without the mask and without the façade.  I was slowly becoming the man I was meant to be.  I saw them become who they were meant to me.  Thankfully, I began to see myself as the man I should have been.

I am by no means perfect.  In fact just in the last few days I’ve been hit with some very difficult challenges and my work had slowed down.  I’m looking for a steady job while I build this site and hope to get clients.  But this is a road bump.  Joan of Arc said “I’m not afraid, I was born to do this.”  I was born to live a GREAT LIFE and share it with you.  It’s never too late to start.  If you start today, a year from now you will wish you started sooner!  Don’t let another day pass. Start now!!!



Confidence lies within.  Confidence is not an accomplishment or the desire to please others.  Confidence is knowing what you want and having the courage to go after it with or without the approval of others.  Confidence is the act of pursuing that which is in your heart knowing the end result is never the reward but the pursuit of inner strength. – Albert Castanon

What is confidence?  I thought I was confident once.  I made lot’s of money; was really successful; I had the respect of family, friends, co-workers… I was confident.  My title, my watch, my car… that’s who I was… That’s how I rolled!  Then I lost it all.  Now, I don’t know if I ever had confidence.  I know I had accomplishments, and the stuff that success buys,  but confidence?

If you lost it all… job, money, your stuff… If you lost it all would you still have your confidence?  Would you still be you?  The question is important.  These day’s you can lose your job, money, security…  Would you be confident if the things that define you were gone?

I think we would all like to believe that our confidence comes from somewhere inside us and was not the result of external validation.  Who knows?  I guess it’s one of those questions you can’t answer with certainty until you experience it.  I’ve lost it all.  I lost all my possessions… I lost my confidence, self- worth, self-esteem and will to live.  Today, I have confidence or working on it… I know I can lose it all… I did… but that doesn’t change me.  I’m confident.  I am who I am.  I’m not ashamed of my life.  I know who I am, and who I am today has nothing to do with the things I have (luckily because I don’t have much… thankfully I don’t need much).

If your confidence is based on what you earn, what you have, what you do, think about who you would be if you lost it all.  You are so much more than what you have or any titles you hold.  Do you know who you are?  What can you do if you didn’t have all that you have?

I’m in a time of my life where starting this blog and going into a new direction in my career has put a financial strain.  Will I give up? Do I believe it is possible to live the life of my dreams.  Do I believe it is possible to be a successful coach, writer, speaker?  I am successful coach, writer, and speaker!  I’m working on the financial success part of that equation!  I know who I am.  I’m confident in who I’ve become, and now I hope to let others know and God willing, have a career where I could help others build the confidence they need to live the life they dream of.

Overcome Negative Thinking

“For many, negative thinking is a habit, which over time, becomes an addiction… A lot of people suffer from this disease because negative thinking is addictive to each of the Big Three — the mind, the body, and the emotions. If one doesn’t get you, the others are waiting in the wings.” – Peter McWilliams

I refer to most of my negative thoughts as “the usual suspects.”  For me most of my negative thoughts are part of a pattern that tells me I’m not lovable, I can’t do it, I’m not worth it, I don’t deserve it,  I’m not enough; good enough, smart enough, attractive enough, experienced enough, successful enough.  Most of the time I’m able to deal with the thought as it comes I’ve done enough personal work on myself to overcome the thought and focus on the tasks in front of me to living a GREAT LIFE.  Every once in a while I’m bombarded with thoughts that paralyze me from taking action.  In the past I’ve used food, women, drugs, alchohol, TV, the internet, and other people in self distructive ways so I wouldn’t have to deal with the thoughts.  I destroyed my mind, body and emotional health.  Today, I’ve developed a resilience against negative thinking that has transformed my life.

Under the GREAT LIFE page there is a simple but powerful exercise that helped me deal with negative thinking.  It’s a four step process to turning around your negative thoughts.  Since I had a very rough day I want to show you how I follow the formula to change the paralyzing thoughts into action.  The following is a reminder of my 4 step process (Recognize, Reject, Release, and Replace.  Follow this formula to removing negative thoughts from your life.

Recognize the thought: Usual suspects include: “I’m not enough” (smart enough, pretty enough, talented enough, ______enough.)  DO NOT IGNORE THE THOUGHT.  Negative thoughts linger and when enough build up it’s like the bursting of a dam.

* For me today my negative thought was: I’ll never get a job I love, the dream of being a writer, speaker and workshop facilitator will never happen, I just need to get a job and forget what is really in my heart.

This is the kind of multiple thoughts that at once can be paralyzing.  Let’s count them. 1. I’ll never get a job.  2. I’ll never be a writer. 3. Ill never be a Speaker.  4. I’ll never be a workshop facilitator.  5. I’ll have to forget the life that is in my heart.  6. I need to get a job.

Reject the thought by following these three steps:

  1. Is it true?  If it isn’t true we can move forward.
  2. Is it permanent?  If it is true, but not permanent you can change!!!!
  3. If it’s permanent, will you let it stop you? If it is permanent you can choose to let it stop you or you can find a way… There’s always a way!!!

Reject each thought one by one.  1. I’ll never get a job.  That is not true. Fist of all I have a job. Second, though business is slow it will pick up. Finally, if I need to get a job, I’m smart and talented enough to work my way up from any bottom I am willing to start at!  2. I’ll never be a writer. Not true, I’m writing right now. 3 & 4. I’ll never be a speaker or workshop facilitator, I work as a facilitator and part time faculty at a college, I’m already a speaker and workshop facilitator.  5. I’ll have to forget the life that is in my heart.  That is not true, I am committed to living a GREAT LIFE one day at a time, this is the life that is in my heart. AND 6. I need to get a job.  This is not true. I need to earn more.  There are lots of things I can do to earn while working toward my dream.

Release: “For today that thought will not stop me.”  This simple act helps me to let go of my negative thinking and get focused on reality.

Replace: Turn the negative thought into a positive affirmation.  “I will have lots of opportunities to work.  I am a GREAT writer, speaker, coach, and workshop facilitator! I live a GREAT LIFE and I’m committed to the life that is in my heart.  I am amazing at what I do and will earn by being of service to those I can help.”

I say this affirmation five times and throughout the day as I need to.  It’s OK that we experience negative thinking from time to time.  It’s not OK when we are paralyzed by it or feel trapped in our mind.  Practice this 4 step process.  Write it out and read it nightly.  When I first developed this process, I wrote on each of my usual suspects and hung the process of replacing the thought around my bed.  I’d read and memorize the response so when the thought comes up during the day, I am ready!

LIFE is a Miracle if You Choose it To Be

“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein

My life is a miracle.  I’m so grateful for all that I have.  While my life does not look like I thought it would by the time I reached 38, but I really can’t complain.  I am living a life that I truly love and all my experience is a blessing, nothing short of a miracle!

I’ve overcome a number of challenges in my life.  I suffered from severe depression.  I overcame addiction and self abusive behavior.  I hit such a bottom I was convinced I was unlovable and the loneliness and sense of failure made me suicidal.  I set out to destroy all that was good in my life wanted to end my suffering by taking my own life.  A twist of fate set me on a new path… Like I said, my life is a miracle.

I feel so blessed to have had the experience of struggling and suffering.  Having had this experience I’ve been able to help people who feel alone.  I’ve been able to be a miracle in someone else’s life.  I have such an appreciation for all the beauty around me that it’s hard not to see miracles.

I heard a comedian tell this story: “A friend of mine was in a car accident.  My friend said it was a miracle I survived.  No it’s not! I said,  the miracle was everyone else that didn’t get into an accident!”  Not a great joke but the delivery was good… I love this idea that everything is a miracle.  A miracle is a perspective of an experience.  I find so much joy in my life and the service I can be to others.  My experience is a miracle that I wouldn’t wish for anyone.  My life is a miracle that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.  But all I see, all I am surrounded by is a miracle and I hope you can see it and experience it as I do.