Now here is why I bring that up, what is true for all of us is “nothing will change in our lives unless we change.” We know God determines the seasons, Jim Rohn jokes "that when you get your own planet you can do things differently", but until then it’s out of your control. Just as the planet experiences seasons, times of death, renewal and times of growth or challenge, in your life there are also seasons. By seasons I am referring to challenges and opportunities. You cannot have a successful crop or business (or life) with out experiencing all the seasons. Success is not a matter of avoiding obstacles but learning to appreciate and prepare for them.
After opportunity comes challenge. If you have business growth you have to then prepare for and handle, the needs of your new clients. You have to deliver the value you promised. You will have clients that will be unsatisfied, employees will make errors and other businesses you rely on may make mistakes, lose your order, raise prices etc...
People often pray to hit the lottery. If you are so fortunate to hit the lottery for millions of dollars you have to then grow to become a better money manage so you don’t squander that windfall. You will have the challenge of where and with whom to invest, what to save or spend, family and friends that all of sudden need money (long lost uncles and cousins you never knew you had will need loans). Peoples perceptions may change of you, your ego my need to be checked and so on. We have all heard the stories of people who have hit the lottery and shortly after their life is falling apart and they are more unhappy then ever. Money simply meets us where we're at; money does not change us it merely magnifies who we already are.
So regardless of the event we need to learn to embrace the challenge and grow from it. In our lives winters will come, we are not bears; we are not built to hibernate. If you learn to accept and prepare for the difficulties in life you’ll experience a lot less of them and the challenges you do face you will be better conditioned to deal with.
Personally I take that one step further; I believe "our obstacles are our greatest gifts!" Jim Rohn says no Garden grows successfully that isn’t invaded by bugs and weeds. You can’t avoid difficulties and obstacles but you don’t need to; “you don’t need your challenges to be smaller, you need to be bigger!” In my life when I have struggled or come upon hardship I felt an intuitive sense within that nudged me to invest in my personal development. T Harv Eker, Tony Robbins, Jack Campfield have all done the same. These amazing leaders went out and sought mentors, hired coaches, read books and went to trainings that helped them become stronger, wiser, faster, more compassionate and more GRATEFUL. When I modeled this action I noticed my mountains became anthills. I grew bigger than the obstacles that once held me back.
Now with that said, even though the above makes sense to most people I speak with, few truly recognize the power of investing in personal development and even fewer actually do it.
This surprises me because if you don't know how to speak French than communicating in a language you don't know is a mountain, it's a big obstacle, so you would naturally (in this example) buy Rosetta stone or go to a class and learn French. Now what was once a challenge becomes easy because you are prepared; in fact your challenge has become a gift because you now know a new language. Everything in life is this way.
THE MORE YOU READ, THE MORE THINGS YOU WILL KNOW. THE MORE THAT YOU LEARN, THE MORE PLACES YOU’LL GO. ~ DR. SEUSS
We have to make a conscious effort to change. Most people don't change consciously, they just HOPE things will get better. Your life will not improve merely by hope alone. Simply wishing it were so, your life will not improve...you need a plan. What's your plan?
The method I used in the past to learn and grow (or barely get by) was to deny how bad things were, fail or get hurt over and over until I learned from that mistake and finally created the necessary change to avoid the pain I kept experiencing. I discovered long ago this is not the most efficient way to grow. So what's the alternative? The alternative would be to invest in your personal development with purpose.
In order for this method of growth to be effective we must first accept responsibility for everything in our life. Everything! Because even if we didn't cause a particular situation and even if we can't control another persons actions we still have control over the most important thing, Ourselves. And when we behave as though another person or event is the reason for our failure or unhappiness we give up our control and lose our personal power, our inner strength. It is never the event that is the problem, it's how we handle it! Here is where I refer you to the Serenity Prayer.
"God Grant Me The serenity to Accept the Things I Cannot Change, the Courage to Change the Things I can and the Wisdom to Know the Difference."
Number two, be grateful for everything good in your life. Even if this seems impossible at the time. You can always find one thing, more often many things, to be grateful for if you try, no matter how small! This will bring you back to the present moment
rather than focused on the future and what "could be" or the past and whatWhen you do this you will notice a shift in your attitude!
"should have been", focus on the NOW and what is.
Third consciously seek ways to gain the skills and knowledge you lack. In my experience this does two really important things; we gain the tools we need to deal with life's Winters and we experience a shift in perception. It has been said when you change the way you look at things the things you look at change. Mountains look like anthills. What you learn can lead to a change in a limiting and dis-empowering belief you now hold and the elimination of that belief can be the catalyst for powerful growth and personal success.
Simply put, "Nothing changes until we do." So how do we change? How do we create real lasting change?
It’s amazing, last year I invested in the market like many of you did, In fact it’s kind of what I do for a living, helping my clients invest, grow and protect their assets. But last year some of my investments were down quite a bit and I started asking myself what investment have I made or can I make that will never experience a down market? I thought about real-estate, Muni bonds, hedge funds etc... Finally It dawned on me, the one investment that always went up no matter what the market did was an investment made in myself.
Every time I have ever invested time, money and energy into my personal development the ROI(Return On Investment) has been phenomenal!
Some people thought I was crazy years ago and many still don't get it, spending thousands on workshops and seminars. Most people claim they don't have the time or the money but they can find $2,000 or $3,000 and 5 days for a vacation. In fact I spent one years vacation money on a personal development workshop and because of the things I learned there I have had double the opportunities and business growth I would have which, created three times as much money as I had before, that I can now spend how and wherever I want! People won't hesitate to spend 4 years and $50,000. on a university education but they will scoff at the idea of spending $4,000. 3 days on a powerful and potentially life changing workshop. Knowing what I know now I would have spent a lot more on workshops and education like that and less on my degree. I'm still paying student loans for a degree I don't I use.
In my life I have made and continue to make tremendous investments in myself such as reading and STUDYING self-help books, educational audio Cd's that I listen to in the car, workshops and seminars, I've worked with mentors and life coaches and more.
Why? Why do I stress the importance of personal development and the benefits of investing in yourself? Because it works! For me it is the best solution to any problem. It is the perfect road to a more empowered and fulfilling life. I've invested in my Spiritual, physical, intellectual and emotional growth and the results have been astounding.
Let me share with you something not every one knows about me. I don't share this for sympathy but it may help explain my passion for the concept of investing in yourself as well as my desire to help others. I grew up in a poor inner city neighborhood. When I was young my family and I were on welfare for a brief time. As a child I remember a few holidays the church delivered bags of food. My Dad had trouble maintaing a job and left when I was 11 years old. Neither of my parents or grandparents went to college. As a teenager and even in my twenties, communication and quality relationships were a struggle. I smoked cigarettes, partied too much, ate poorly and didn’t work out. For years I had so much chaos in my life and at one point, not all that long ago, I was on the verge of Bankruptcy being harassed by collection calls, not knowing how I would survive!
Today I have learned to be more grateful, loving, open and present and have an abundance of deep meaningful relationships with people. I eat well, feel well and work out daily and recently completed my first half marathon. Now in my life I have meditation and the chaos has evaporated. I went from being in major debt not able to pay my bills to eliminating over $30,000. of debt in 18 months, better managing my money, paying bills with ease and having a lot more money and opportunity then ever before! I gained all the skills, connections and education to turn my life around by purposeful investment in myself!
The two major things I did to turn my life around was to invest in myself & seek solutions which took my mind off my problems rather bury my head or avoid dealing with my issues. The next thing I did was take the focus off of me, my needs, what I needed & wanted and I looked for ways to help others.(shifting from thoughts and feelings of lack and desperation, to thoughts of service and feelings of abundance)
If I can make this shift in my life anyone can. So here are tips for investing in You. I always like to give practical advice that you can actually incorporate in your life.
1. It is greater to spend 30 mins studying than 2 hours reading! Don’t just read personal development books and magazines or just listen to CD’s STUDY them. We retain much more with focused study. Highlight, take notes, read certain phrases and sentences out loud, categorize your notes and share with someone what you learned. This will help you absorb the material on a conscious and subconscious level to create real and lasting change.
2. Go to educational and motivational personal developement workshops spend the money it's worth it! I took vacation money, went to a workshop and because I spent the $3,000 I now have three times as much money as I would have had with more coming in everyday in ways I would never have expected. Now I can take any vacation I want.
3. Get a coach or mentor – Model successful people. I have had Mentors and coaches all my life. This is the best way to grow in any area of your life! Find someone, interview them, ask around for a referral. Make sure you're comfortable with that person and that they have a large amount success in the area you desire to grow in. This is the best way to realize your true potential.
Invest in You!
Peace & Prosperity,
Dallas M Cyr