The most recent stories from The Change Blog community.
I always thought happy people were fakers. Growing up with clinical depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), I never knew what it was like to be happy for more than a few moments at a time. I was so used to struggling that I couldn’t imagine a life in which every day was easy. I couldn’t grasp the idea that other people’s happiness could be real. Or maybe I just didn’t want to.
Because I didn’t want to burden other people with my depression, I didn’t talk to anyone about it. I tried to act normal. I tried to be like everyone else. I drank heavily and took diet pills to make myself more attractive so that people would concentrate on my outsides (heaven forbid they find out how much was actually wrong with me). I felt trapped by my disorders, by everything I thought was wrong with me. It got to the point of holding so much in, I didn’t think I could handle it anymore.
In 2005, I tried to kill myself.
The other morning I hit a major setback on something big that I’ve been working on. When I learned about it my immediate impulse was to panic. That was followed by anxiety, and it wasn’t long before I found myself in somewhat of a frenzy.
Fortunately the day ended and eventually I fell asleep. When I woke up the next day I realized just how useless all of that had been. I knew that in order to pick myself up and move forward I had to maintain my composure in the face of adversity.
Deep down, you know everything you need to know in order to make a big splash in your life. There is no secret left to uncover and no big great revolution coming to show us a new way to be productive, grateful, happy, or successful. We know what we need to do. We know what works and what fails. We know the right things to say to ourselves and to our loved ones.
We know more than enough. Knowledge then is not a problem, but the lack of motivation to do what we need to do slows us down. The motivation to have that conversation, to write that email, to put what you learned into practice in your business, or to change the way you do something for the better is transitory at best.
In 2007, I left my finance job as a VP and opted for an entrepreneurial career as a Business/Life Coach, Speaker, and author. This meant saying goodbye to a good salary, bi-monthly pay checks, a life in New York City and living 15 minutes away from my mom and brother. I moved to California in 2009, wrote a book, Living in YOUR Top 1%, and this past week spoke to over 400 people at three different companies ranging from real estate to a Fortune 500 company in healthcare to an investment company. I never regret my decision because I wake up the majority of mornings being excited about my work and the opportunity to make a difference.
As an entrepreneur and the CEO of my own business (like every entrepreneur), I am in charge and directly responsible for developing new coaching programs, marketing, business development, giving talks to various companies and every other area. Some days are great and other moments are frustrating but I know this is my path. Here’s what I’ve learned along the way both from my experiences and coaching other entrepreneurs and companies to help them excel.
Were you one of those kids who was always told off for looking out of the window at school? I wasn’t. I was usually looking at the teacher.
You see, I’ve never been a natural dreamer. Dreaming wasn’t part of my upbringing. Security and down-to-earth practicality were. Dreaming was one of those indulgent, ‘waste of time’ activities.
Thing are different now though. Now I know that dreaming is one of the most powerful activities I can engage with.
No one likes criticism, and why should we? By its very nature, criticism means that something is missing, that you have flaws, that someone has found you lacking. Even constructive criticism, given with every intent to help you rather than harm you, can plant seeds of doubt in your head. What if I can’t get better? What if I’m just not good enough?
Unfortunately, if you never receive criticism, you put yourself in the dangerous position of never improving. That’s fine if you’re the definitive expert at what you do, but for most of us, we’re working hard to get better at something every day. It would be great if we could criticize ourselves, but it generally takes an objective person to give us solid tips to improve.