2. Transform your life – A real story
In 1980, A. was graduated from law school and thought he'd be a lawyer for the rest of their life. After all, that's what he'd wanted to do since his early teenage years.
At first, everything went according to plan. After lots of studying that summer, he passed the Bar Examination and was admitted to practice law in New York. His personal life was also on the upswing. In early 1981, he married B., a law school classmate.
He was on his way to much success and happiness. Or so he thought. But, after practicing law for a few years, he realized wasn't happy at all. Sure, there were some things he liked about being a lawyer.
He enjoyed helping people resolve their disputes, especially when he could save them the agony of lengthy court proceedings.
Yet, there were so many things about being an attorney that he disliked - and that just seemed to drain the life out of him.
Mounds and mounds of tedious paperwork and motions to be filed. Constant delays and postponements. It was not uncommon for a trial to be postponed 10 times.
2.1 He Dreaded Going To Work
He continued to grind out the work but grew more and more dissatisfied as an attorney. He was frustrated and very depressed. To put it bluntly, he didn't like his life, and saw no way that things were going to improve.
Have you ever had a job where you dreaded going to work most days - where you felt the "weight of the world" on your shoulders each day?
Well, that's how he felt. He was literally hunched over... and in pain, both physically and emotionally. He looked much older than my years. He began to get headaches all the time, and his stomach was constantly churning.
Fearing that he had some serious health problem, he saw some doctors and they ordered a battery of tests. Every test came back with the same result - they couldn't find anything physically wrong with him.
One of the doctors suggested that he take Maalox to calm his upset stomach. Spiritually, he was dead. Nothing in his life had much meaning. This day-to-day drudgery was also affecting his appearance. Although he was in his late 20s, he looked like was 40!
In the early part of 1985, shortly after he had turned 30 years old, he was burned out. And, one particular evening, while sitting alone in his den, he knew that something had to change. Not knowing what to do, he simply said out loud, "There's got to be more to my life than this... there's got to be more than this misery and unhappiness."
2.2 Help Comes From an Unlikely Source
Later that night, he was watching TV in the den. It was around 1:00 am, and his wife, had already gone to bed. But he was feeling so down and he couldn't sleep.
He "channel surfed" looking for something to occupy his time. He tuned into, of all things, an infomercial.
Normally, he would have changed that channel in a fraction of a second, but for some reason, he listened. The product being peddled was called The Mental Bank and was endorsed by actress Florence Henderson of Brady Bunch fame. The Mental Bank was a home-study course that explained how everything we achieve in life is based upon our subconscious beliefs.
He felt so desperate at that point that decided to go for it. He pulled out his credit card and ordered the program. That night in his den was the turning point of his life. By the way, when he sheepishly told to the wife what he had done a day or two later, she was shocked. "You did what?" she asked in amazement. It's not that she objected to the purchase - it was just so out of his character to buy something like that on impulse... and worse yet, from a TV infomercial!
Several days later, The Mental Bank program arrived at his doorstep. And he was fascinated and excited to begin learning how our thoughts determine the quality of our lives. Prior to that time, he had never heard these ideas. Unfortunately, they don't teach you this stuff in school! The Mental Bank program spurred him to seek out other motivational resources. He began to read books by Napoleon Hill, Og Mandino, Norman Vincent Peale and Robert Schuller. He started reading the Bible on a regular basis. And he eagerly listened to inspiring audio cassette programs by Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale and many others. He felt like a person who had wandered for days in the desert with a parched throat... and then suddenly found a stream of water!
You are not what you think you are. But what you think YOU ARE!
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
Now, he can't tell you that everything in his life changed overnight, because it didn't happen that way. But, from the moment he began to change from a negative attitude to a positive attitude, he started to get significant results.
He felt better. He had more energy. And he started to achieve goals that he would never have accomplished before... all because of a change in his attitude! He is also happy to report that when people now ask how old he have ... and he say 44, they invariably reply, "You look so much younger!" It's all in the attitude.
2.3 From Lawyer to Motivational Speaker
He continued his self-study program in spare time, while he worked full time as a lawyer. The positive thinking was helping his attitude at work, but he felt a passion for his "hobby" that he never felt for his work, and he dreamed about the day he could walk away from his job.
In 1989, after four years of intensive research about attitude and motivational concepts, he agreed to present some adult education seminars in the evenings at a local high school. He was to be paid USD30 for each two hour class. Not the kind of money that lets you quit your day job!
As he stood in front of the class to start my first seminar, he was petrified. His heart was pounding and he was sweating. But somehow he managed to muster the courage to just do it.
The students loved the class, and he got a real adrenaline rush from presenting the material that had revolutionized his own life... and that had the power to do the same for others!
He was on his way. Eventually, the speaking fees grew a little larger, and in 1990, he decided to phase out his law career over the next few years. This wasn't a simple decision. He had gone to four years of college and three years of law school to obtain his law degree. On top of that, he had spent 10 years of his life as a practicing lawyer. When you have that much invested in a career, it's not so easy to walk away. Then, of course, there was the money issue. As a lawyer, he as on track to earn USD100, 000 in a few years, and he'd be earning that much - and more - for the rest of his professional career.
Never underestimate your power to change yourself.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
2.4 Taking A Stand
Although he was earning a little more income from my new “hobby,” he realized that he had start-up expenses in launching his new enterprise. Fortunately, his wife and he had saved some money over the years. To supplement his income, he began to sell a line of merchandise with his unique logo. But there was no way to avoid it — he had to take a huge financial step backward to start his new business... at least in the beginning.
And yet, it was time to move on. He felt as if he was being pulled out of the legal profession and into his new career. Whenever he spoke to an audience or wrote a motivational essay, he was so invigorated and full of life. He knew that’s where he belonged.
So, he made a gradual transition — working four days a week as a lawyer, then three days a week... and then two days a week... until, in 1992, he began working full time as a motivational speaker and writer. Trust in him, his mother wasn’t thrilled when he told her that he was giving up the practice of law to speak about attitude.
After all, it doesn’t carry the prestige of saying “His son is a lawyer!”
But these are issues you have to deal with when you take a stand in life. You have to face the fact that some people will disapprove of your decision. He also learned that you often have to let go of some things in your life and take a few steps backward before you can move forward in a new direction. Part of the price he had to pay was giving up the money, prestige and security of his legal career.
By the way, as it turned out, his mother became very supportive of his new career, especially when she saw that he was making progress — and that he really enjoyed his work.
Why he tell to us all this about his career transition? It’s not to impress you with what he had done. Believe me; he had made plenty of blunders and mistakes along the way.
He share his story because he want you to know how drastically his life changed — and how much better it got — when he made a change in his attitude. Proof positive that, indeed, attitude is all!
2.5 Think... Speak... Act
This course is conveniently divided into three Parts, and each Part contains a series of lessons. So, if you ever need reinforcement in a particular area, it will be easy for you to turn to that lesson and re-read it. We go to speak in one part of our course the - Success Begins in the Mind, we’ll be focusing on the power of attitude and belief to shape your destiny. You’ll learn how your success initially depends on the way that you THINK. In another part of the course - Watch Your Words, we’ll concentrate on the way that you SPEAK... how your attitude is reflected in your words... and how positive language can help to propel you toward your goals. In last part of our course - Heaven Helps Those Who Act, we’ll cover the final leg of our journey. Even if you think positively... and speak positively... you won’t achieve your dreams until you ACT. You can’t sit back and just expect success to pay you a visit. Later you’ll learn the action steps that will turn your dreams into reality. When you THINK, SPEAK and ACT in ways that support your success, you’re firing on all cylinders... and on the way to achieving phenomenal results in your life.
Think, act and talk with enthusiasm and you ll attract positive results.
A positive attitude is a person s passport to a better tomorrow.