September 5th, 2011
“My friends keep telling me that it’s not possible,” Jenny said to her brother Stephen. We need to remember that when someone says, “It’s not possible,” they may be only talking about themselves. You need to decouple yourself from your friends’ conventional thinking. We’ll use the H.O.W. process:
H – honor your heart’s desire
O – open your eyes to the unconventional
W – wander through possibilities
1. Honor your heart’s desire
When a friend says something is not possible for you to accomplish, what are they doing? Now, that is a good question. Maybe they’re trying to protect you from a big disappointment. Let’s face it. Disappointments arrive in life no matter what we’re doing. But the bigger pain comes from thinking: “I could’ve tried that. I’ll never know what good things may have happened if I only had the courage to try something new.”
Start a new way of thinking. Don’t just focus on how much money you can make. Start thinking of “units of life.” Some things that we do create more positive energy. A poet may write poetry her whole life and make zero money from poetry — but how much is her own smile worth? If you’re her son, it’s worth a lot. One because you love her and two because she spends less time being angry.
What brings more positive energy to your life? What is an expression of your heart’s desire?
2. Open your eyes to the unconventional
Let’s look at some conventional things that a friend may say:
* That won’t make any money
How do they know? Numerous people thought that Disneyland would fail. Before that, several people called Walt Disney’s first animated feature film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs “Disney’s folly.” Well, they were wrong! Think about it. From “Disney’s Folly” to Walt Disney World and now a multi-billion dollar entertainment empire. Thank goodness, Walt Disney had the guts to listen to his own heart and press beyond conventional thinking. (Yes, I have been to Disney Resorts, including the Disney Cruise, several times with my family.)
* You’ll be wasting your time
Again, how does the friend know? I was the lead singer of a rock band in the 80’s. But now I still go into the recording studio to produce movie soundtrack music and music for my audio programs like Be Heard and Be Trusted and Darkest Secrets of Persuasion and Seduction Masters: How to Protect Yourself and Turn the Power to Good ( listen to previews on iTunes.com ). I was not wasting my time in the recording studio. I was learning so much about music. When I direct a film, I know how to communicate with a film music composer. You never know what past experience you can apply to your next project — or next phase of life.
* Would you just concentrate on one thing?
People who did more than one thing were called Renaissance people. They explored many fields. In college, I had a double-major: psychology and television production. And to this day, I’m working in both fields with non-fiction books and feature films. And I truly enjoy the variety! It fires me up! I’m energized. The same goes for my writing. I’m writing fiction and non-fiction each day. I bounce back and forth. What fun! [Here is the important distinction: be sure to finish projects. Because I finish projects, I'm one of the least frustrated artists I know. For example, my new audio novel LIVING is now available online here at TomSuperCoach.com .
* I've never seen (a movie, a book, a song, etc.) like that before
Fine. If you have not seen it, it could be fresh. No one truly knows what the market will accept or cherish at a given moment. Science fiction author Greg Bear told me that it took 10 years before the audience found one of his books. So be it. Stay in the game. Put yourself into your work. Honor your voice. Many authors focusing on the field of acting note that a turning point occurred when Marlon Brando brought a new realism with his form of acting. People complained: "He's mumbling." But others said, "He's so real!" Numerous actors were influenced by Marlon Brando: James Dean, Montgomery Cliff, Martin Sheen and more.
You may be starting something new and great.
3. Wander through possibilities
During one of my classes with my graduate students each semester, I draw (on the whiteboard) the trajectory of a number of people's careers. Although many of us would like a simple rising slope, a number of us have a big squiggle for the upward movement of our careers. There are times when we seem to be wandering off course. But in talking with my clients, I've noticed that often an "off course time" provides needed experience and wisdom.
Everything you have done counts and can be used for the next level of your life.
Author Debra Fine tells about how she began as a shy, heavy set child who was ostracized. Then she became an engineer, in part, to have a career that avoided much socializing. Then, in search of additional funds, she came to teach a class that later resulted in the book The Fine Art of Small Talk. She had no idea that a shy person (herself) would become an expert on socializing and networking.
Here's the important lesson. Welcome a bit of wandering through possibilities.
As author Joseph Campbell said, "We must be willing to relinquish the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us."
Remember to move beyond your friends' conventional thinking.
They truly do not know your best path -- that arises from your personal intuition.
H - honor your heart's desire
O - open your eyes to the unconventional
W - wander through possibilities
I've enjoyed so many unconventional opportunities.
Someone might describe my life as:
* from model to motivational speaker
* from karate instructor to communication coach
* from day camp teacher to rock band singer/keyboardist
* from graduate school instructor to motion picture director/actor/producer
* from shy kid to author of 7 books on Amazon.com [it takes courage to put your thoughts and feelings out there in the world. Trust me on this one.]
I have heard friends and family attempt to dissuade me from all of the above.
That’s fine. It’s not their life. I’m having a lot of fun with my own life.
How about you? What positive experiments in living do you want to try?
New opportunities are waiting to bloom for you – when you’re somewhat unconventional.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Tom Marcoux is the photographer of the image with this article.)
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