Realize The Worst To Discover The Best
Birthdays aren’t such a big deal to me today. I’ve had enough of them, thank God. So, I don’t go out of my way to celebrate.
What I have done for years is to do some reflection and take stock of gratitude. Regardless of what else is going on, good or bad, gratitude is essential, not just for a birthday but on a regular basis.
I won’t bore you with my list, except for one. Six years ago, on my birthday, I was in a hospital bed with tubes running out of my body, nurses and doctors in and out of my room and not so much as a cupcake with a candle.
My celebration was that I was still breathing!
I’d just undergone successful major surgery to remove a stage 3 cancerous colorectal tumor. Isn’t that lovely?
Yes, because six years later, I’m still inhaling and exhaling. Thank you, God, once again.
Some people from my hometown high school years have wished me a happy birthday on Facebook. I flashed back on those years today, which were mixed by any measure. An excellent example now of realizing the worst to discover the best.
You see, I flunked the 7th grade. There were extenuating circumstances such as being ill part of the year, some family challenges, which were overcome eventually.
The result was the deep damage it did to my little psyche. No one knew, not even my family. But from then on, all through high school, I thought everyone else thought I was the dumbest kid in school.
I hated to be noticed. Just getting up in study hall was a challenge because I was sure that the kids from all the grades were looking at me and thinking, “There goes the dumbest kid in school. He flunked the seventh grade.”
That was so embedded in me that, while I didn’t personally believe it, I didn’t want anyone else to know that history, lest they think I was stupid because of it.
Far into adulthood I never identified the actual year of my graduation, but the year I would have graduated. Just in case someone were to figure that according to my age, I should have graduated a year earlier.
I wrote a blog article about it some time ago. “The Worst Years Of My Life And The Lesson Learned.” http://clk.im/worstyears
I was amazed how when I told that story from the stage or in my writings, how many people suffered a similar silent pain that, in some cases, was released upon hearing my story.
I began writing a memoir years ago titled, “Lessons From Life Learned Late But Just In Time.” What is it with my long titles? I don’t know. LOL.
I doubt I’ll ever publish that now, but in addition to the chapters I wrote, this is the preface, which I still laugh at when I see it:
“Lessons From Life Learned Late But Just In Time is a book about lessons as taught to me by John Wayne, Larry King, numerous Playboy Bunnies, two kidnappers, one thousand junior high school students, movie producers, my family, gangsters, con artists and other strange and wonderful “teachers.” Through all these remarkable events, I’ve discovered ten lessons toward life mastery.”
A note about “life mastery.” The point is, we never master life only our reactions to it.
The ultimate realization was that after only a few years out of that self-imposed prison I’d limited myself to, I’d become a Playboy executive, TV host, and producer, and a few years later, a professional speaker, appearing in front of hundreds to thousands of people.
Then coaching people vastly more successful than I, from movie stars to top corporate executives to everyday entrepreneurs.
I’m sorry to blow my own horn. But the reason I do is the lesson I learned and pass along to those who can use it. Our limitations are almost always self-imposed.
Of course, we have limits. I’m pretty sure it’s against the law to do brain surgery without the appropriate training and licensing. But correct me if I’m wrong. But that’s not self-imposed either.
I’m sure you get it. Examine those limitations you’ve set for yourself. Are they real? All of them?
“Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they’re yours.”
I hesitate to call a discount a “gift, ” but this one could be worth the concept.
I still have two coaching slots left. Recently I offered a super discount of 50% off any coaching package listed on TomJustin.com. So, for these two slots only (and anyone who purchased one in the past month) I’m taking another $100 off