Hindsight 20/20

It Is Funny What Motivates Us To Make Changes.

Sometimes relatively small things grab our attention and force us to look at the bigger picture. When I began to get pulled over for DUIs, it was the beginning of the end of my addiction, although I did not realize it at the time. In fact, I am living proof of the old saying, “Hindsight is 20/20”! I can attest that looking back is much easier than looking at the present or looking forward.

Natalie Gulbis said, “When you fail, you learn from the mistakes you made and it motivates you to work even harder.” Sometimes we do not see at the time how failure works into the pattern of our lives for the better. In fact, failure can be one of the most defining moments of our lives, but it may be very difficult to see at the time it happens.

In my own case, the pattern of being pulled over for DUIs and the escalating consequences of those arrests led to my own epiphany: I began to realize that if I did not get my life under control I was going nowhere but down. However, I did not come to this realization instantly! Instead, I began to realize this truth gradually, although I had more than one “ah-ha!” moment, as I have heard it called.

The fact remains that sometimes we see things more clearly after we have lived through experiences than when we are going through them. This is not a new thought; people have known for years that it is often much easier to perceive patterns when we look back over the past than when we are in the present. I believe this is because in the present we are busy sifting through all the input we receive, but when we look back we can filter the unimportant and are left with only the important facts about what has occurred. We also have the advantage of seeing what came both before and after an event and how it fit into the pattern of our lives.

Take a look back at your own life. Are there lessons you can apply to your present that would help you to become a better person today?

Rock Bottom

When I Talk About Addiction And
Dependency, I Am Not Just Theorizing.

I am speaking from a deep well of experience that nearly ended my life and certainly threatened to destroy my relationships with everyone I cared about. They refer to the moment when you realize you have nowhere to go but up as “rock bottom,” and I definitely hit it is in my own life.

I remember the moment well when I made the first promise of my life that I knew I had to keep. It was to my son whom I had abandoned for years while chasing my own desires. I told him, “I’m going to be your dad, a real dad, from now own.” This was the moment, I believe, that I pivoted from rock bottom and began my journey back up.

J.K. Rowling said, “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” While she is wildly successful today with her Harry Potter book series, Rowling was not always the success story we currently see. Her parents were estranged when she was young and her mother died of multiple sclerosis when she was a young woman. She married and divorced, becoming a single parent and struggling to support her child. She was diagnosed with clinical depression and even attempted suicide. However, at some point Rowling made the decision to use rock bottom as a springboard to much bigger and better things. I suspect that, like me, her child played an important part of the impetus for her to make those changes and ultimately triumph. Today, she is one of the world’s most successful novelists, living a dream that few ever realize.

Now, we may not all be as successful in terms of our career fields as J.K. Rowling, but that does not matter. When you decide to make the changes necessary to make real changes in your life, you will find that your success becomes its own beautiful story. Remember, rock bottom does not have to be the end; instead, it can be the beginning of a new life that brings you all the love, success and triumph you could ever want!

Addiction: How Much of Your Life Have You Wasted?

There Are Many Terrible Aspects Of Addiction, But Probably The Worst Is The Time You Waste When You Are Caught In That Web.

Enock Maregesi said, “Addiction isn’t about using drugs; it’s about what the drug does to your life.” In other words, not the substance but the behavior is what destroys you from the inside out. While there are very real physical consequences to drug addiction, including possible overdose and death, most of the havoc wreaked by drugs is behavioral and emotional.

I would venture to expand on Maregesi’s premise and point out that any addiction, whether it is to drugs, food, sex or anything else, has the same effect. You have to ask yourself how much time you have already wasted and when you will decide enough is enough. You can never get back the time you have already lost, so there is little sense in dwelling on that in despair. Instead, reviewing the lost days, weeks, months and years should inspire us to make changes so that whatever time we have left is used to the fullest extent possible.

You probably do not have to look far to find a story of someone whose life was cut unexpectedly short by an accident or some other terrible tragedy. We hear these stories every day, in fact, yet we rarely stop to think of the implications. That person got up this morning just as you did, showered, put on clothes, went to work, ate lunch and did all the things that you are doing right now. However, at some moment in time, “the rest of my life” became “the end of my life.” That person never had an opportunity to kiss a spouse or child one last time or tell a friend the thing that needed to be said for the past few years. That time is now gone and cannot be retrieved. Can you imagine if that person is mired in addiction at the time? What if today was the last day of your life and you were an addict?

We could drown in depression when we think of such things if we did not have one saving grace: we have time now to do the things we want to do. You have today, this moment, this life that you are living, whatever its length, to make changes. What are you waiting for?

Victim or Victor, Which Will You Choose To Play?

If You Want to Know One of the Biggest Problems Chipping Away at the Foundation of Life As We Know It, It Is “Victim Mentality.”

When you play the victim and blame others for what has happened to you because of your own choices and actions, you will never achieve the things you want to accomplish. Only when you finally accept responsibility for your own choices and come the realization that you are in charge of your own life will you stop being a victim and become a victor!

Steve Marboli said, “The victim mindset dilutes the human potential. By not accepting personal responsibility for our circumstances, we greatly reduce our power to change them.” There is a strong correlation between having a victim mindset and becoming a victim, in other words. While we can all be victimized through no fault of our own, we can also choose to be victims by our actions. The good news is that if we can choose to be victims, we can also choose to be victors.

Furthermore, having a victim mindset not only makes us more likely to become victims but makes it more likely to stay victims. In fact, one of the great divisions among humans is the line between those who stay in a state of victim-hood and those who choose to break that cycle and move out of victim status into victor status. When you choose to become a victim, and it is a choice, you align yourself with those who have chosen to stay in the status quo and avoid the very changes that would make them healthier and happier. On the other hand, when you choose to become a victor, you make the conscious decision to take control of your destiny and make the changes that will bring you the life you want.

Doesn’t it make more sense to be a victor than a victim? What choices are you making today that take you closer to victim-hood or closer to victory? Is it time to change those choices and, by doing so, change your life?

Life From B-D

Life Starts At B (Birth) and Ends At D (death) But
The C in the Middle Represents Choice.

The choices you make between B and D are what define your life.

When I was younger it seems I made every mistake possible. I made wrong turns that took me to dead ends, then turned around and wandered right into sinkholes and pits of quicksand! At one point, I felt that bad luck ruled my life, but that was not really true. What ruled my life were the choices I made for myself. I blamed everyone but myself for my life when in fact I was in charge. I made those choices and I suffered the consequences of my actions.

To this day, I am not exactly sure why it is so easy to blame others for what we have clearly brought on ourselves, but I know that I am not the only person who has lived this way at one time or another. I know that I am to blame for everything that happened to me, but I also know that learning that I could make better choices was what liberated me from that terrible life I was living. Why is it so hard for mankind to come to the realization that we are responsible for our own actions when learning this fact is so liberating?

I believe that the reason people have such a hard time making good choices and taking responsibility for their own actions is simple: it is more comfortable to push the responsibility to someone else than it is to examine our own lives. It is painful to look at the mistakes we have made and even more painful to make lasting changes. However, if you can, you will find that a new world opens up for you, one that is filled with much better consequences. Just as making bad choices results in bad results, making good choices will ultimately pay off in good results for you and a better life for yourself and those who care about you.

Choose today to take control of your life and your choices and watch what a difference it makes in your results!

You Can Always Start Over

One of the Most Awesome Things About Being A Human Is The Ability to Reset Our Lives At Any Time We Choose.

We can always start over, no matter what has gone before, and forge a new lifestyle by setting new goals. The bottom line is that it does not matter where you are in your life; you can always have a new beginning and live the life of your dreams. The first step is to put your dreams into concrete form as goals so you have something to work towards.

Sometimes we make too much of goal-setting, particularly if we put strict rules on the process. It is not necessary to set large goals to achieve something. In fact, smaller goals are easier to achieve and give you the foundation you need to reach for bigger and better things. When I was younger, I had a goal of being able to go a single day without using drugs or alcohol and a whole month of paying every bill on time. Those are small goals but they gradually added up to a better life for me and for my family.

It is important to remember: “Life is not always about trying to fix something that’s broken. Sometimes, it’s about starting over and creating something better.” Sometimes it is better to start fresh with a new goal and get rid of the old issues that cling to our accomplishments. That does not mean that we should throw away anything that does not work! Sometimes repair is necessary, especially when it comes to relationships. However, it is also true that sometimes it is simply better to start over.

If you decide to start over with a new goal, you gain one extremely important and immediate benefit: you are on a brand new path, one that is not cluttered with past failures. When you start on a new journey, you immediately gain the excitement of attempting something you have not done before. You are also able to set your sights on a new milestone, and that may be just the impetus you need to really achieve something fantastic!