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"I’m on fire!" was the opening line in an email that was recently sent to me from a client who is a CEO/ business owner. He proceeded to tell me about all of the forward-moving steps he was taking. Taking right then and there!
Of course, I love hearing that. But as I took it in, something powerful occurred to me: That is our natural state. Imagine feeling "on fire" in business, career, life, and relationships? Not just satisfied, but excited and eager for more. Hard, stress, tired, hurt, angry, bored – all of those and more. Those are just the opposite. They are us in our unnatural state.
Connecting the Dots
Everything you experience on the outside is a direct result of what you carry around on the inside. It is just that simple. Not theory, but an unrelenting truth. It’s something most people don’t truly understand.It’s all about the conversations you are having with yourself. This is the most important thing you are ever going to hear. You can change your outcomes, including your outer experiences, by changing your inner conversations.
I have the privilege every day to help high-achievers take it to the next level. Family business owners, other business owners, executives, and professionals. They want the most out of their lives, their businesses, and their relationships. I get to see them connect those dots, work their processes, and elevate their fundamental personalities. They start talking about “the new me” as compared to “the old me." They walk through life differently.
There is a part of the brain that is reactive. We see the danger. We need to make a split-second decision. We face conflict, and we react. That reactive part of the mind is looking out at the external stimulus and it’s pulling from the internal programming. That internal program is telling the mind what to do as it is reacting to things outside.
We don’t need to think about pumping blood or breathing in air. It just happens. Our programming controls our thoughts and behaviors in a somewhat similar way. We’ve created that programming, largely by default. Memories, beliefs, thoughts we’ve thought over and over. It would be a mistake to think you are calling your shots. You aren’t. Your internal programming is.
Next comes an internal programming story that is up close and personal, for me.
Because We’re Poor
I see pictures from when I was 2 or 3 years old like I am looking at them on a TV screen. My home was not quite "Leave it to Beaver." I can see that little cracker box house, the kitchen dinette table, and linoleum floors. My brother, sister, I, and our dad crowded around, waiting for the nightly feast of potato soup. It seems like we had that thin broth with potatoes and carrots two or three nights a week. I remember asking my mom, “Why do we have to eat potato soup all the time?” “Because we’re poor!” she'd respond.
Those words flipped plenty of switches in my brain right then and there. I didn’t know it of course, but it was like a light turning on in a room. With a 25-year-old computer geek bent over his computer and writing code with great vigor. Way more than the words. Consider the energy my mother’s response was riding on. Not a lot of love or hope at that moment. Just despair, anger, resignation, blame, and plenty of judgment.
My dad was a great guy and a hard worker, with an eighth-grade education and a blue-collar job. He grew up during the Great Depression and never knew there was a depression. They were poor before, during, and after.
My mom looked up and found herself young, with three small children, and trapped. Not what she had signed up for. She used to say things like, “Life is rough." I heard that a lot. I remember another time when we were at that table. She was out on the wooden back porch, about 8 feet away. I suppose it was rotten because she stepped through it and skinned her shin. That time, she was crying. Hurt, angry, hopeless, and deep despair. She said, “I wish I never had to go back to that house again.” I was in that house. The truth came out, but it didn’t need to be said. Whether it was spoken or not, that damaged energy was pulling on us every day.
In part two of “Unlock Your Potential,” you’ll learn how I got to where I did. More importantly, you’ll learn how we can work together to unlock your potential and get you to where you want to be. You’re doing well now, but together, we can unlock that elusive 25% that will make you great.
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