It was a long ride back home that took 5 days to be exact.
And once there a decision was to be made.
Because leading up to this point were a series of events that threw my life into what some people would call chaos.
First, it was the end of a seven year and two month marriage to my former wife.
Second, it was starting a new business in an area I thought was my dream.
Having just driven 3000 miles from California back to New Jersey after a “failed” business partnership that ultimately cost me over $50,000.
With all of this taking place over an 8 month time frame I knew that I was facing a critical point in my life…some would say a crossroads.
One thing was certain…
There wasn’t any time to waste. It was as though I could always hear that invisible clock ticking while the sands of time seemed to be running out.
I knew it was time for me to “step up” but what would it really take? Because it’s one thing to say that you must do something to change your life around…
But it’s another to actually follow through on it.
And it came down to a 7 letter word…courage.
It also left me with a very important question to answer…
How do you find the courage to change your life?
1. Courageous hearts
In the United States a Purple Heart is awarded to those who have been wounded in the line of duty while in the military. In many ways it shows the courage of an individual who served to protect his country.
Outside of the military there are plenty of other courageous hearts. And they appear in the different areas of your life.
Along with this, they’re also involved in what it takes for you to change your life around.
When you find yourself in a situation that you know your life is hanging in the balance, where does the courage come from to make the decisions that turn it around for you?
It starts by knowing that in every situation there are two sides. And the same thing is true as it relates to the decisions you make.
If you feel like someone was dishonest because you felt they “ripped you off”, look to see how that benefitted you.
The reason for doing this is because when you can see that there’s an equal amount of positives and negatives all of a sudden the fear and uncertainty of taking that all important next step in your life disappears.
As a result you’ll have the courage to take action. And even if things don’t go your way at first, you’ll have the additional courage to be more persistent…and you won’t give up.
This was one of the main driving forces that allowed me to “step up.” And with it my life transformed.
2. The looking glass person
After looking back over the events of those eight months I knew that major changes in my life were in order. And the first of those changes began by taking a long hard look at myself. But not in the way most people would think…
Because after all it would have been easy to blame others. It would have been easy to say it was my former wife’s fault…or the fault of my former business partner in California.
Instead I looked in the mirror. As a result I became a looking glass person for life.
What that means is that every person in my life was reflecting back to me who I was at the time. And to this day and onward that remains the same.
In other words, everything I see in someone else is something I have in my own unique way.
Why is this important for you?
Because it gives you the opportunity to really see the true magnificence and brilliance of who you are.
Yes, you may have made what you call “mistakes.”
You may have come across people that you feel contributed to the negative situations in your life.
And yes you may see those people as not contributing anything to your life.
But did you really make “mistakes?” Were those situations really negative? And did those people contribute something meaningful to your life?
What it all comes down to is this…
Your ability to realize that whatever traits you see in others—positive and negative— is something you have as well. It may not be in the same exact way as you see in them but you still have it.
If you see someone else as being dishonest to you because you felt they “ripped” you off, look to see where you “ripped” someone off. You may not have ripped them off for money, but perhaps you ripped them off by “stealing a conversation” they were having with someone else…in other words you interrupted them.
And just know this works the other way too.
If you see someone you admire as being gifted and a genius…look to see in the different areas of life where you are gifted and a genius.
This is all part of being the looking glass person.
And it’s also part of something else that gets you to find the courage to change your life around…
3. Balanced gratitude
The most challenging part I faced in having the courage to change my life around occurred at night. This was especially the case while trying to fall asleep. I would lay awake looking at the ceiling and the flood of thoughts would go through my mind.
The same thing would happen when I would close my eyes.
At first these thoughts were mostly negative. However, there were also the “what if” thoughts.
“What if I handled the situation differently with my former wife?”
“What if I never went into the business partnership that ended up costing me over $50,000?”
“What if, what if, and what if”…
And it was during one day while lying in bed that I realized what balanced gratitude is.
See, I had always been taught that gratitude involved just looking at the good or “positive” things only in life. I soon realized that this was pseudo or “half” gratitude…
Because there was another half to it.
And that other half was that all of those so called “negative” people and situations actually served a purpose in my life.
The reason I knew this to be true is because it would not have existed if it didn’t serve a purpose.
And the same is true for you.
When you look at the so called “negative” parts of your life and realize that they’re just as important as the “positive” parts you’ll have balanced gratitude.
And the result?
You’ll find the courage to change your life around.
At first it may seem like you’re walking on a tightrope. But over time your balance improves. And then you’ll start to see that your entire life has been filled with one blessing after another.
Along with this you’ll also realize the biggest blessing of all…
That you’re a very special person with so much to offer the world.
And it starts by having the courage to look both inside and outside of yourself.
Because that is where the true brilliance and magnificence of who you are is and has always been.