Eight years ago, I was married with a successful career in radio, plenty of friends, supportive family, etc. But, I was not happy. I was drenching myself in the books and recordings of many motivational speakers, but instead of using these positive messages to float on the stormy seas of my life, I was drowning. Instead of serving as lifesavers, they fast became anchors weighing me down.
And it’s a long swim in stormy seas when you can’t find the lighthouse.
I chose to leave the radio industry, ended my marriage, discovered I was $65,000 in debt, moved in with a family member, and basically my life was stalled on the side of the road with the hood up, waiting for a jumpstart.
Despite the potential from all those powerful, motivational messages, I was basically a junkie. Every day, in a quest for my next ‘fix’, I was trying to shove in everything I could, always in search of the next guru or message that would ‘change my life’.
My life was falling apart and I was miserable. Finally I realized that I was shoving in all this information through my eyes and ears, but none of it was reaching my heart. I often explain my ‘then’ situation by quoting (of all people) Bud Bundy from Married With Children:
‘When you pour a gallon of knowledge into a shot-glass of a brain…you’re gonna spill some.”
I was spilling a slick of misery the size of the Exxon Valdez.
In 2003 I gave it all away, signed off from a major on-line motivational forum and stopped going to seminars. Spent several years ‘throwing out all the other voices’ to find out who Steve really was (with the help of a caring Life Coach who helped me to dismantle things, per my desire). The best thing about the Life Coach is this: he did not change a single thing about me. He held the jumper cables with me, had me hold one end as he held the other, and let positive energy flow through them. I could disconnect them at any time, but did not, until I felt my car was ready to run on its own.
My life has done nothing but improve since then. Are there still little speedbumps and the occasional roadblock? Of course. Can I easily find a way over or around them, using my gifts and resources, listening to my own voice? Yes.
Sadly I still see some people who were there years ago, still suffering and looking for that next fix, not able to find or express their TRUE SELVES and hear their own voice.
They get excited over this ‘next big thing’ that is going to make their life better, but ultimately it does not because they have forgotten the most important ingredient: themselves…the yeast that makes the dream rise.
It is what YOU add to something that makes it right for you…not what a speaker tells you, not what a book says, not what this blog says (even if you agree with it).
It is who you ARE, and the person you are BECOMING that makes all the difference.
And, whenever you can, please considering sharing your jumper cables with someone who is stuck on the side of the road of life.