“Rags to Life-Riches”
I am honored to have Rich, the creator of The Real Mind to be the first one to answer the CALL TO ACTION. I am featuring stories that generous, caring people are willing to share with F.I.T. – these stores have changed lives in the past or are going to change someones life in the future. Read on – I guarantee you will be inspired. Have a story you’d like to share? Email Mike@findinspirationtoday.com.
A Rags to Life-Riches Story
“True happiness arises, in the first place, from the enjoyment of one’s self…” – Joseph Addison
Welcome to My Journey
Ever since I began making changes in my life, making exciting things happen, and moving towards the life-styles I thoroughly desire, my friends and the people around me have noted how committed I seem and how driven I come across. That’s good, and in many ways it’s because the jolt I received from myself in deciding to get my act together was so potent that it vividly redrew my outlook on life.
Something else I’m noted for is genuine honesty and openness about where I came from and who I was at that time. You have to understand that it’s a little difficult for me to talk about that, because my past is something I don’t really associate myself with much any more. I’m a very different person to who I was… although I’m incredibly thankful to myself that I finally did make the decision to wake-up and start to grab life by the handles.
Over-time it actually becomes increasingly challenging for me to really deeply reflect on the place from which I began my, for want of better terminology, personal development journey. The reason being – I develop at such a rapid pace these days, every month I’m working on something new, bettering myself in some new way. I’m addicted to improvement, and I absolutely love to death the rewards which it has reaped for me.
In many ways I just see personal development as making the decision to now and forever take your life seriously. You’re not anymore just riding the coat-tails of luck, fate, destiny, or whatever other superstition someone may cling to. I used to walk around just thinking that one day things would all change for me, that some other divine power or fate or something would just make everything better for me.
In words it may sound so simple to take responsibility for your life; you just make that little decision don’t you? Just take up that responsibility. Just accept that whatever happens in your life is entirely down to you. So easy right? You step forth to make things happen for yourself and step-by-step move towards the things which you want.
Except it’s not like that at all. The first point of realization, for me, was an explosive surge of energy and emotion. I did not awaken to my life easily. I did not have a relaxed realization one day that I needed to make big changes. It was a rough epiphany, especially at first. It actually felt much like grabbing myself by the collar and violently shaking, and shaking, and shaking…
Where it all began for me
My life at the time was fairly dismal, and up until that point I had pretty much just, as I mentioned, rode the coattails of destiny. I had little ambition – but for some reason at the back of my mind I had this lazy day-dream that one-day something would just happen and my life would be wonderful and filled with affluence.
I was frequently depressed, and almost always cynical. I used to look for things to complain about, all the time. Then I’d whine to anyone who’d listen about how bad things were for me, about how unfair life had been.
So as you can expect, I didn’t have many friends, two or three at best. That’s if you can call them friends – these people, of course, were much like me. Cynical, believing that life is meant to be terrible, and not really doing anything about it other than just letting their lives tick away.
I had recently graduated from Uni, and, out of frustration, quit my part-time job selling CDs in a music shop. I somehow knew I was better than that, even though I had extreme social anxiety, poor personal hygiene, a terrible attitude, and very little foresight.
I had been unemployed for months, chain smoking, and with no sign in sight of getting a job any time soon. I was sat at my desk, tapping another cigarette against the side of my over-flowing ash-tray. I stank, and I knew it. I think I’d not too long ago had a few bouts of contemplating suicide, a low point. Of course, that hadn’t been a rare occurrence all throughout my life to be honest. I’d never be serious and I was just desperate to find a solution to what I knew was a fairly grim existence. And then it happened…
I snapped. I couldn’t stand it anymore.
It’s difficult to say exactly. I had just read my first ever, for want of a better word, self-development e-book. I remember first looking at it and thinking “what a load of nonsense this looks like” but then diving in anyway. It actually wasn’t even that good a book and I’ve never re-read it, although the author did seem to have an inspirational story himself and I think in seeing what he used to be and what he was now opened my eyes a little.
On top of that I had been single for some time – and I was extremely lonely. I knew that I would do almost anything to change that situation, I just really didn’t realize that change is possible, and what changes you need to go about making in order to bring great people into your life.
But more than anything else I just remember that ONE MOMENT. I was sat at my desk, cigarette still smoking in the stacked up pile of ash in my home-made foil ashtray. I had a mirror stacked up against my wall to the side and I had just thought to myself a thought about all the collective dreams I had had in my life – all the things I somehow thought fate would throw into my lap. At that moment I turned to the mirror and saw completely the sobering reality of the situation I was in.
Before then I has just thought that life was supposed to be that way. I thought that it was the world around which changes first, and that if people changed, they changed second. I thought that some people were lucky and had good, fun, indulgent lives, and other people just had to wait for their luck.
And then I realized all that was nonsense. For the first time ever I knew deep to my core that *I* needed to change MYSELF.
Change Began with the Mirror and a Moment
I didn’t stop looking at my reflection for over an hour, perhaps longer. I had locked eyes with myself and I couldn’t move. I remember that my face looked very red, I think the blood was rushing around my body. This was by no means a simple realization. It was a highly charged and intense experience.
The thoughts cycling through my mind were all the same topic: “I have to change, and I have to start right NOW!”
I slept terribly that night. But in the morning, I began taking action…
Just a little disclaimer: I don’t want anyone reading this to go out and throw themselves into a staring competition with themselves in the mirror expecting to experience this kind of revelation. It doesn’t happen like that (although if it does, I’d love to hear about it!) – this is my story, this is what happened to me.
When you begin taking responsibility for your reality you learn a lot about existence, a lot more than you knew before. One thing you learn is that everyone’s story is different – it’s useful to hear what other people did, but then you adapt from it your own path and your own way.
In the next few months after that event I found an office job, cleaned myself, took up karate, lost weight, gave-up smoking, and began learning how to make my life into whatever I wanted it to be.
Over the next few years my social circle and romantic life exploded with great people as I learned how to be charismatic, confident, charming, and genuine. My income shot up as I changed jobs twice, each time leaving with a high quality reference and, more often than not, a lot more responsibility than when I first started.
This is What I Can Tell You
Let me make this very clear – NONE OF THIS WAS EASY. None of it is easy. If right now you are like I was, then I do have some great advice for you. But do not be like 90% of the people who read Law of Attraction and watch The Secret and believe they can pull magic things into their life without putting in tons and tons and tons of effort.
The trick to effort is motivation, and the trick to motivation is to look deep down in yourself, find what you really really really want more than anything, and then to realize that you can get it, work out how, and start TAKING ACTION.
If you are reading this post and this blog, then you already have an interest in improving yourself and challenging the reality around you. If that is the case, I can only urge you to continue doing so. The best advice I can give you is to before anything else learn how to be a socially affluent person to be around, and then make friends with people who you want to be like. That is definitely one of the best places to begin.
That’s not just a case of popping out and being a “pleasant” person and shaking people’s hands. It’s more than that. Learn about social dynamics, learn about the kinds of things people enjoy in social situations, push your comfort-zone by learning how to tell stories and jokes, observe people and see how they act, read personal development books, join new groups where you have a fresh slate on which to paint your personality, do everything you can to inch closer to that person you’d like to be….
NOW is the time to begin.
And one more final piece of advice. Never be too hard on yourself or expect things to happen too fast. You will need persistence, and dedication, and patience. If you expect things to happen tomorrow and get frustrated when they don’t you’re setting yourself up for a crash – don’t do that. Have patience, keep pushing, and let your development just happen at whatever speed it happens.
What am I up to now?
I’m in the process of setting up several home businesses. I’m currently in the process of upping and moving to Spain. I’ve got a flourishing social calendar and days which are packed to the brim with meditation, romance, business meetings, work which I love, and, of course, parties. I absolutely love my life, and I crave further success as much as I crave the air I’m breathing.
Image by pagedooley.
Thanks for reading!!