So here I was…. I had left a blue collar job where I had worked for over 20 years. I reinvented my life and in a few short years I had delivered speaking engagements to NASA, Sprint, McDonalds and had been the keynote speaker for various professional associations. I developed products purchased by The Detroit Free Press and DTE Energy. Yet, I still felt “unsuccessful.” I hadn’t published a book yet.
The book became the “next island.” The next place to arrive. I compared myself with anyone else who had published.
Everyone Has Challenges
In addition, I was certain this “mind drama” was unique to me. I was sure the most “successful people” never discounted themselves or wondered about their happiness or success. (See how a good story always makes you feel special, different, misunderstood?)
Thank goodness for those highly successful role models willing to share their challenges so we know we are not alone. Just a few weeks ago Oprah talked about the distress she felt because of her weight gain.
Oprah is a role model for society; an example of what is possible. She’s the first African-American billionaire. In 2006 she gave everyone in her studio audience a car and recently donated over 40 million to start the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in South Africa for low income girls.
She’s wealthy, generous, popular, brilliant and connected. Oprah’s show airs in over 117 countries in the world. She was reading by age 2 and at age 6 she advanced to third grade. No one can argue about Oprah’s success, yet Oprah sometimes judges herself.
In one of her shows she said, “” All my money and success means nothing if I can’t even control my body.” (I’m paraphrasing.)
Seek a Higher Truth
Maybe that “feels” true in the midst of a personal failure. Let’s now look for a higher truth to eliminate the judgment and the story.
Money and resources do matter. Isn’t it better to have access to money and success to help you handle the problems? And isn’t it a blessing to be able to share your message to empower millions who falsely believe they are alone?
This is not to criticize Oprah. She is my favorite role model…a light in this world. The point here is even spiritual and conscious people doing great things in the world sometimes are susceptible to “the story” and fail to look for a higher truth.
My challenge to you is to examine the places where you beat yourself up and discount your own brilliance, beauty and successes just because you have had a setback. Be careful about justifying your story by saying, “It’s the truth.”
Stories can be quite powerful. In every story, there is a kernel of truth. The challenge is to seek the higher truth so the story loses power and you reclaim yours.
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