I know it’s hard to stay positive when we are surrounded with so much negativity: rising unemployment, falling revenues and hardship dominate the daily headlines worldwide. But it is exactly now that we need to focus on the positive and turn bad news into good news.
The global economic downturn, which has touched all of us in some way, presents us with a great opportunity to rethink what’s important in life and what success really mean to us. Only when we know what we truly want can we take action and achieve the success we grave.
I believe that the only way to be successful – no matter what your definition of success may be – is to start by identifying your true values and beliefs. You see we can turn around in circles for years, trying as much as we want to reach success, but if our beliefs are contrary to what we consciously want, we are highly unlikely to get there.
In the 90s, I was on top of the world. We had just sold our business and I invested most of my money in the booming stock market. I was sure I would never have to work again for the rest of my days. That was a wonderful freeing feeling! Finally I was able to focus only on what my passion was and that was to to give speeches and do trainings, mostly free of charge, on living your dreams as I was living mine.
Unfortunately soon after, my father died very suddenly and my Mom became very confused. I sold our home because she did not want to stay there, relocated her and got myself a nice apartment close by. While trying to take care of her, getting used to the new situation and working on setting up my training company, I forgot to keep an eye on our investments. The stock market crashed and we lost an incredible amount of money; money we had all worked so hard for. I was devastated but didn’t know what to do so I waited for the market to recover, which lost us even more.
I tried to recover some of our losses by investing in a business venture with my cousin. He not only massivly overcharged me, he eventually also drove the company into bancruptcy. Not only did I lose my money, I also had to pay the banks for his losses. Meanwhile my mother spent money as if there was no tomorrow. She bought herself a new Mercedes and a mobile home, which she used maybe a half dozen times. Then she sold it to that same cousin who never paid her. Instead he sold it on and used the money for his own means. I could not believe that a family member and someone I considered a “friend” would do anything like that and closed my eyes and ears for many years. I kept falling into the same trap again and again. I bought some extremely overpriced real estate and sold it with massiv losses when money became tight. A “boyfriend” twiddled me out of a valuable piece of land, another gave me false money etc. etc.
Because of my bad investment decisions I lost most of my once large “nest egg” and suddenly found myself in a situation where I could not do anymore what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. It came to a head when the banking crisis started and banks closed on loans plus the company I did a lot of trainings for closed down. From one day to the next no more cash flow but still plenty of expenses…
It had taken just over a decade and towards the end things speed up. More and more foul opportunities came my way, each in a different format, until I finally realized that this was a repeated pattern that I had run all my life. For a little while more I stayed stuck in a dark place feeling guilty and stupid, beating myself up because I had not seen it earlier.
But instead of giving up, I took a deep breath and checked in with my values. Integrity and persistance were some of them, so instead of hitting back in the same way these crooks had consciously cheated and fooled me, I stayed true to myself and continued to walk my road to help thousands of people find and live their dreams. Very slowly I rebuilt my confidence, finished and published my book and found people that gave me opportunities to live my purpose. People that gave me an audience so I could show more and more people the way to live true to their values and beliefs; to actually live their purpose.
For a long time it had been a lonley road but I realized through all this turmoil that although I had lost my money, I was still blessed with many other things that were actually more important than the money. I still had my love for what I was doing and the results people were getting through my work. There is nothing more satisfying than being able to hep others truly live their life the way they were meant to.
I am truly blessed and my beliefs and values are the foundations that help me stand tall, in good times and bad, and they help me to inspire you to realize you too can live the kind of life you thought was only in your dreams.
Trust and continue to walk down your path!