What If It’s Real?

Some of the most common comments I hear (in person or via social media), especially when I post about any of my business adventures or life experiences, go like this: “You’re so lucky,” “Your life looks great,” or “Things look like they’re going great for you.” More specifically, the most typical comment that I hear goes like this: “Jeff, it looks like everything in your life is great.”

Interesting – it seems that people believe that how I am is the outcome of my life and business. It seems like it’s easier to chalk up my great attitude and experiences to the outcomes that are happening in my life (or to the absence of challenges). I even had someone say to me, “Jeff, it looks like your life is more like a dream than reality. Good for you.” Funny – why is it that when someone is having a great experience of life we want to “blame” or attribute it to how everything else is going in his or her life? So instead I offer, what if it’s real? What if someone’s perspective and experience of life is based more on a choice than on circumstances and outcomes? I’m here to tell you in clear and unequivocal terms that my life is what I make it (hand in hand with God, in my belief), not what happens to me. If you’re willing to consider the possibility that my life and this proposition is real, then read on.

Let’s look at a couple of examples. One mine and one from a lawyer client of mine. June, while exhausting, was an amazing month for me. From June 5 – July 3, I was in Cleveland for a total of 5 days. That’s a lot of travel, which included 8 speaking engagements and several days of vacation. I’ve been in North Carolina, Colorado, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and NYC. It was a great business month, AND I had several significant business and financial challenges in June. I had one situation that resulted in me doing what’s still very difficult for me – asking for help. I had a significant personal challenge. I had a family challenge. I was exhausted several times and had to struggle to honor my commitments. And like many of you, I struggled with deep sadness over the tragic loss of lives in Orlando.

It was a challenging month AND it was amazing, filled with great experiences and lots of joy (because that’s what I CHOSE)! My month and my experiences were based upon the choices that I made (along with faith and blessings), not the outcomes of my efforts and circumstances. What I know is true is that you can be grateful and see life as a blessing even when things don’t your way. It’s easy to feel good and blessed when things are going your way (which is how many of you live), but the magic comes when you can find the good, joy and blessing when life is messy. Imagine that – what if it’s real?!

Now let’s switch to my lawyer client, who originally engaged me to help him with his law firm. Like many lawyers, he had the typical challenges – not enough business, not enough fees coming in, not enough time, not enough help, AND too much stress. Sound familiar? Despite his list of business issues, we immediately determined that there was a long list of personal experiences, issues and stories for him to confront and deal with (many of which had been shared with him by his wife – a great source of truth).

 

As a result, we’ve spent the past four months working 95% or more on these personal issues, stories and challenges with barely a conversation about his business. And most of that work together has been focused on helping him to understand why his experiences are the way they are and why he acts, interacts or communicates the way he does. The outcomes and shifts for him have been nothing short of transformational, mostly because he’s been open and willing to be vulnerable in the coaching process and because he’s committed to change.

 

While these shifts in his life and personal relationships (as a husband, father, friend, son and sibling) have been amazing and positive, when I recently met with him here’s what he said about his business: “I have so much new business that I don’t know what to do with it.” Hmmmm – that must be luck or a coincidence – or, what if it’s real? What if when you get yourself and your life aligned, your business accelerates and grows?

 

Here’s my theory – you don’t want to believe it’s real! You don’t want to believe that you ultimately control your choices and your experiences! You don’t want to believe that you can choose to live an amazing life despite your challenges and circumstances! It’s easier to believe in luck and say that you don’t have it. It’s easier to say that someone else has what you want because their situation is better or different than yours. It’s easier to say that you’ll wait until things get better to be happy or successful, rather than taking action to create happiness, experience joy and success! It’s easier to say that “things must be great with Jeff” than to believe that I’m choosing my life rather than letting circumstances determine my life. It’s just easier not to choose, but WHAT IF it’s real?!

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