Eleven 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.
Nine years ago, I chose to leave the radio industry, got a divorce, 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) the character of Bud Bundy from the television show 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 BP oil disaster of 2010!
In 2003 I gave all of my motivational materials 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 under its own power.
In hindsight, as we stripped away the layers of junk, it turns out I really was there underneath all that other stuff. I did actually have my own voice, values, etc. I just let them get buried and stifled.
Overall, my life has improved greatly since then.
Are there still little speed-bumps 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.
I have since gone back to share in that on-line forum, with a much different mindset, to help others.
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.
You don’t necessarily have to pick them up and deliver them to their desired location.
Sometimes people just need to feel the comfort of knowing that there is someone else traveling the same path.
I wish YOU comfort this week. I’m out here with you, making my own way.
Need a jump?