“You can’t become who you dream of becoming if your daily activities aren’t related to the dream person you want to become.” - Wilson Ferreira
My journey of change ran head first into a brick wall in 2012. I have never been one to follow the conventional route, so it certainly wasn’t the first obstacle I’ve met. This was different, it didn’t just stop me in my tracks, it floored me.
I lost my health. Always a pillar in my life, my health and fitness were a constant that I relied on. In July, a headache started that never went away. It became debilitating before a bleed was discovered on my brain.
Fast forward to April 2013. I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. My energy is returning, I no longer have to nap every couple hours.
I am going to be all right.
The condensed version always sounds better, doesn’t it? In the context of personal pain or hardship, shortening the story somehow makes it more manageable.
It isn’t so and we shouldn’t do it.
Being willing to change requires us to be open to all experiences and to be committed to finding the value in every situation.
The reality of “I am going to be all right” comes following a battery of tests, CT scans, MRI, angiogram, three surgeries, infection on my brain, an intravenous catheter for six weeks, antibiotic induced neutropenia, having to rebuild my immune system, the lingering affect of meds and a six inch scar across my skull.
I am grateful for life.
Throughout this ordeal, I could see on the faces of family members and friends that their outlook for my future was considerably grimmer than my own. However, the potential long-term impact of a brain injury did slap me into reality one morning.
In the midst of recovering from one surgery and waiting to find there was still something wrong with me, I was at home. I was typing in my office when my hands became heavy and I felt dizzy. I managed to get to my bed and lie down for half an hour.
Everything seemed to pass.
I went back to the email I was trying to finish and send earlier. I started reading from the beginning to recap before I started. Three paragraphs in, the use of punctation and capitals was flawless but the words were all jumbled, out of order and some of them didn’t make sense. The last few words looked like a toddler had been hitting the keyboard.
I had a seizure or mini stroke or TIA – whatever you call it, a sudden loss of control was enough to freak me out.
(Please take 10 minutes to interact with this website which shows the warning signs of stroke. Click the hotspots and read – it could save your life or the life of someone you love)
That is part of the longer story. The very real and true affect circumstances have on our lives. When it is all around you and it is all that you know at that moment, it can be almost impossible to separate yourself from the situation, but we must.
You see, it is not our circumstances that control us but how we choose to interpret those circumstances. This is taken loosely from one of my favorite people, Rex Crain and his book Life Lift. Separate the circumstance from your ability to choose and you take back power over your life.
The rest of the longer story is sorting out those circumstances. For myself, over the past 7 months and an ongoing recovery, I have lost a lot. I am a small business owner, but it’s really a one man band operation, me trading my hours for dollars. My inability to go to work destroyed my ability to earn an income. Financial destruction.
My illness has caused stress on my entire family. My wife and children yes, but parents, extended family and friends too, have made sacrifices. My boat didn’t just get rocked, it got flipped over and there isn’t a corner of my life that was unaffected.
Where do I go from here? How do I recover? Maybe you are asking yourself the same questions.
I use a tool: Be Do Have
Be willing to Do whatever it takes to Have what you want.
This comes back to that wonderful gift we were created with, the ability to choose. You and I get to make a choice, do we let the circumstances kick the crap out of us or do we choose to do differently?
- Be Willing – the word will means to intend, deciding what to do, purpose, volition, determination. It is synonymous with another powerful word; Resolve, a promise to yourself to finish what you have started.
- Do – the doing is the action part, perform, work at, work out, solve, bring about or FINISH. The DOER is an energized person of action.
- Have – the things, circumstances and beliefs that we allow in our your lives. Have means to possess, obtain, hold, affected with, give birth to. What you allow or cause to be done.
When we aren’t interested in the components of this rule, the things and circumstances that we HAVE (what shows up in our lives) aren’t the ones we would choose for ourselves. By not using our ability to choose, we lose it. The only things, circumstances and results that then manifest in our lives are those imposed by people and forces other than ourselves. We allow ourselves to accept the leftovers.
Some people go through life in misery, unaware that change is possible, hoping and wishing that things will get better. The reality is that things change when we ourselves decide to get better.
There is a fire waiting to be lit within all of us. It just needs a spark, a source of ignition. That is why we should welcome all experiences, you never know which one will light the flame. It could come to you from a decision, out of disgust, from a deep desire or an undeniable resolve. When we choose to get better, more becomes available to us.
So ask yourself two things. Are my excuses bigger than my dreams? Can I find the resolve to make today, a Life Changing Day?
Be Do Have
I did and so can you!
Photo by JohnONolan