Several years back Nancy and I were given an award by the martial arts
industry, called the hurdler of the year. It was given in recognition
for overcoming the most crap. At the time we received it I talked
about the importance of perseverance and ‘never give up attitude’.
It’s time to set the record straight.
We were facing lawsuits, bad publicity on the news, loss of key staff
members, having several people steal from our business, a miscarriage
etc…. The point of this article as you will see is not about
overcoming hardship so the details of what we endured are not
What was important was I went home from lunch after a frustrating
morning trying to solve all of these problems. I made a soup and ate
from my office where I pulled out my journal. I was determined to
figure out solutions to the laundry list of pain that threatened our
economic well being. I must of been there for several hours and truth
be told, I knew none of my plans would work. Deep down I didn’t feel
like I had the resources of time, money, energy or help that I needed
to solve this. I was totally defeated.
In despair I felt a prayer and wrote it in my little book. “Tell me
what I need to do, Do you want me to eat dog shit? I’ll do it!
Whatever it takes just tell me what I need to do!!!!?
No answer came. Instead I noticed that It was 12 minutes till 4
o’clock. I had a class at 4 and it takes me 23 minutes to get to
work. I was going to be late. Fuck!
We had two dogs at the time. Kennedy and Klein. I had to get them
into the kennel before leaving for work. Kennedy went right in.
Klein decided, “no I don’t think so” and stayed outside of the kennel
entrance. I reached down for his collar and he jumped just outside of
my grasp. Then I chased him around the yard, cursing and shouting
like a lunatic. This went on until I was physically and emotionally
spent. I gave up, sat down on the grass and wept.
A moment later Klein walked over to me and licked my ear. I turned to
face him and he cleaned some salt water form my cheek. “Kennel,” I
said confidently. Obediently he glided in. As I closed the latch to
the door I heard a voice, one that was not from my normal internal
dialog. This voice was pure, free from self doubt or impatience. This
voice was deliberate and kind, generous and wise. It whispered,
When I heard the voice I felt a strange combination of relief and
responsibility. The relief came from hearing a solution I knew would
work. The responsibility came from knowing that all that I had been
going through, I created. You might suspect that this feeling of
responsibility created some guilt or even remorse, but that would be
completely inaccurate. The responsibility was apart of the relief I
felt. “I created all of this, I thought. I am the creator of my own
life. There is no one to blame, I’m in control!”
That ride to work was amazing, the sounds coming from the radio were
glorious, the movement of the vehicle was precise. I was enjoying the
feel of the steering wheel, the comfort of the seat, the view and the
joy of movement and power. I was buzzing, high on life. I was
looking forward to my four o’clock class and was hoping no one would
leave due to my tardiness.
As I arrived the students were lined up outside of the door. I
noticed one mom who was obviously upset that I kept her waiting. I
turned off the key to my car and glanced at the dash board clock, 4:02
pm. How I got there so quick, I’ll never figure out.
As I greeted my students I felt optimism and excitement. “Sorry, to
keep you all waiting, but let me just say…. It will be worth it.
Let’s have the best training session ever.” I smiled at the mom I
noticed driving in and gave a wink. She smiled back.
After that class I brought that attitude of celebrate life to my daily
work. Solutions to all of the stuff we were facing began to present
themselves, easily. Things started to work in our favor and the bad
news eased. It was fun and immensely rewarding.
You may be asking, “What does this have to do with paying off debt?”