Focus – Action – Finish
This newsletter is taken from one I wrote in January 2009. There have been three separate trips to the USA and each trip bought deep spiritual and physical growth for me.
When I meet people in person they always tell me they love how much my stories have inspired them so I’ll share the ups and downs of the trips throughout the series. It seems unfair that you miss out on some of these adventures simply because you weren’t there in real time. I also share them so you can see some of what I’ve been through and I trust it helps you to see that business success doesn’t come from sitting on your duff. It happens when you step up and make it happen.
This story was written as I was sitting at Los Angeles airport chewing my way through the snacks in the Red Carpet Lounge. There was an eight hour layover as I patiently awaited my flight back to Melbourne later that night. YAY – 15 hours in a plane!
The adventure started with a 10 day Vipassana silent meditation retreat on an island off Seattle on the 19th of December 2007. It was a kids summer camp in the winter and it rained A LOT! Yes, I can confirm that I can stay silent for 10 whole days – a miracle for those of you who know me well.
That would be enough challenge for a normal person but oh no I went onto a second challenge during the first few days of 2008. I completed an extreme experience outside Durango in the Colorado Rockies. Each day we had no idea where we were going or what we were doing. Each day we only knew our pick up point, what to wear & what food we needed.
It was a radical experience designed to make us understand exactly who we really were. The majesty of those mountains sorts you out in a few short days. One day thirteen of us hiked from 7,000 feet UP to 8,000 feet in a serious snow storm and that was one of the easier days emotionally!
Each day the experiences were different and designed to challenge us on four levels:
I won hands down on spiritual but the other three quite honestly challenged me because there were some serious players on the tour.
The thing you need to know about me is that I’m not an “outdoorsie” type. My baseline is “is there a flushing toilet?” No flushing toilet and I’m not there. Well I got to the top of that bloody mountain and guess what – yep, not only no flushing toilet but it was this stinking horrible tin can in the ground, I can’t even describe what was on the floor and I had about 15 layers of ski gear on. I was not happy, but somewhere in that level of discomfort, something inside you shifts at a cellular level and breaks you through to another layer of business success.
On this trip I was definitely the under dog when it came to business success.
Most of the participants were millionaires in their own right. I’ve been told a hundred times over to hang out with people more successful than me and to push myself past my known boundaries and let me tell you it works, but it did make me VERY uncomfortable at times!
At one point crossing to get to a sacred site they made us walk over an icy track the size of a footpath with an 8,000 foot drop either side, and nothing to grab if you slipped. It is one of the most dangerous situations I’ve ever been in and I’ve never been that close to having my actions, or lack of them, result in death. This exercise was designed to teach us that in business there is little room for error, or lack of focus.
I can honestly tell you there was NOTHING else on my mind as I intently focused and put one tentative foot in front of the other.
It made me realise that one of the things most people building a small heart centred business lack (and I include myself here) is FOCUS.
Think about it, how many times have you focused on your business like your life truly depended on it?
We are great at the things we like to do, such as learning and studying our craft, and we are gazillionaires at sitting around talking about our respective modalities but when it comes to things like money or promoting our services we are paupers. We become all flaky and full of excuses why we can’t have the success and we avoid the correct actions necessary to achieve the success we deserve and desire.
I’ve heard every justification under the sun from therapists excusing their lack of action. I’ve made those same excuses myself in the past but you know what – we don’t help people while we are making excuses. Excuses keep us out of our practice and in denial of the gifts and talents we spent all those long years learning. In fact we thumb our noses at the higher sources that granted us those gifts so we could help others on the planet who are in pain or suffering or are stressed out to the max.
I met four amazing Native American Indians on this trip, one them is described as the last of the “old ones”. I swear when I looked into this man’s eyes his energy would have knocked me back into the chair had he not been holding onto my hand. To be in the presence of a healer of his magnitude brings tears to my eyes just thinking about him. It was truly an honour to be in the presence of such greatness but his strength was held with the grace of an angel.
The thing that amazed me the most was that as soon as we met these amazing medicine men, they just started to talk and they talked and they talked about their craft, about their people about their wonderful medicine techniques, about their family, their children, about the people they have helped. They tell riveting stories of their ancestors and of the rituals they go through every year to thank Mother Earth and Father Sky who nourish and protect them.
The wisdom of these people oozes out of every cell in their body and they are fiercely proud of what they know. They cherish the amount of time they have taken to learn this knowledge, in all instances that wisdom has been acquired over many lifetimes. They are constantly learning and improving but what struck me most is that they are not shy or reserved in any way about telling a captive audience how much they know or how good they are at what they do. They certainly aren’t full of themselves, or they certainly aren’t skiting or hard selling anything. In fact their humility is overwhelming.
They are merely telling stories and sharing their knowledge and they do it with pride & perfect commitment to the people they heal.
So why then do we shy away from sharing what we do with people. Why are we programmed to not shine our light when the people who invented this stuff are not shy or backwards in telling people who want to know about what they do? Why do we continue to hide from our greatness?
To be able to share your message with others like these wonderful medicine men is really important. To share your greatness is a gift and the ability to share can be learned.
They aren’t pushy and salesy
They simply weave their greatness into stories so compelling you can’t but help want to listen. This is a massive clue for you as you go out to promote yourself and your business. Stories will keep people involved way more than sales. After all you’re still here reading this story!
Greatness means different things to different people. It doesn’t matter if you want to help 10 or 10,000 people every year. What matters is that you achieve your targets and actually help as many people as you are meant to. The only way you can do that is if you can adequately describe what you can do for people.
As I sit here understanding that my business is now truly international particularly as I’m writing to you from LAX – it makes me understand how far I have come and what I had to go through to get the courage to speak out. As I realise I have been able to do it, that makes me even more committed this year to help you do much better in your practices.
As those who have encountered me know I am pretty darn serious about what I do but on this trip I realised I had been playing a small game. Colorado transformed me from a person who was really only trudging around a hill to someone who could literally soar up a massive new mountain.
A few months earlier, I nearly missed out on being part of this trip because I went into FEAR. The trip cost an arm and a leg and a couple of torsos too but I knew I needed help and after years of procrastination & listening to sensible advice from myself and others not to go, I finally got the guts to just get on the plane. I am so pleased I found the courage and strength to eventually join the tour because words cannot adequately describe the beauty and the sacred energy of the mountains and people that constantly surrounded me.
You can get these experiences at home too – all you need to do is to get really committed.
The magic and adventure will occur when you commit.
There is no excuse for not being all the best you can be this year, all you have to do is step up and get focused on helping as many people as you can. Because that is the bottom line here, the more you overcome your fears, the more people you will help…….. and isn’t that why you trained to be a natural therapist?
I nearly didn’t go on that walk up the mountain that day because I believed my lack of “outdoorsiness” would see me cross the line last AGAIN! At school the teacher used to shout in front of the class as I ALWAYS ran across the finish line – “AND HERE COME BEATLE-BOMB”.
Something within me chose to take a risk and go. I finished fourth! Not because I was fast, but because I just kept going. When everyone else stopped for a break I just kept going. My body hurt so much that I knew if I stopped I wouldn’t get back up again and would have to be carried off the mountain. So I just kept going.
My new mantra after that climb up the mountainside is ***FOCUS, ACTION, FINISH***
The one thing I learnt trudging up that mountain in minus three degrees, as snow piles formed on my head and shoulders, was that success comes with focus.
I believe we all have a finisher within. We can chose to sit on the sidelines and watch everyone else run over the finish line without us. We can keep our dreams small, we can continue telling ourselves we are not good enough, don’t have enough experience, and who would want to listen to us anyway. We can keep saying those things, or you can chose to believe positive things about your abilities.
No matter what unkind things people have said to you in past, you don’t have to be that person now. The past doesn’t equal the future. Maybe I’ll never run a minute mile, but I know if I just put one foot in front of the other, I can beat anything that’s put in front of me.
I Was The Only One Who Heard The Mountain Sing
That day as I trudged up the mountain on my own, the mountain started to sing to. It was the most amazing sound I’ve ever heard.
When we got to the top I excitedly asked the others if they’d heard it. They looked at me weird and kept on talking. I just smiled because deep within I knew they hadn’t heard because they were too busy crapping on about nothing all the way up the mountain.
The mountain man who led us on the journey up the mountain took me aside later in the day and told me that I’d heard the voices of his ancestors. He said they don’t speak to many.
I felt very happy I’d spilt from the crowd and given myself the opportunity to experience something very special AND for the first time ever to be the unlikely finisher.
Are you an unlikely finisher?
I’d like to bet you are. All you need to do is to believe in yourself and just keep going.
If you focus on what you want to achieve, take the correct action, get the correct resources and then don’t stop until you finish, you will succeed.
The only way to keep getting better is to push yourself past your limits and to learn from others who have walked the path before you. Just like that famous slogan says “Just Do It” and then FOCUS – ACTION – FINISH!