Several months ago, in fact actually a year ago, I set out to keep a gratitude journal with the idea that after 90 consecutive days of writing down what I was grateful for in my wife, I would hand it to her. Now, the idea behind this journal is each and every morning I would wake up, grab my journal as well as this other journal, and I would write into the separate journal what I was grateful for. Not just the fact that I told my wife … I tell my wife every single day, but I would write it down. After 90 days, she’d have 90 pages, almost like a book that I could hand to her as a present, as a surprise.
Now I’ve started this process three separate times. Meaning I have never finished it. I’ve started it, gotten to certain points and for one reason or another or whatever excuse, I just haven’t finished the actual 90-day journal. Each time I start from scratch because I just don’t think it’s fair.
Just to be fully transparent before everybody thinks I’m a total jerk, I have the greatest wife ever. I tell her I’m grateful for the things that she does not only for me but for our family and just the reasons I love her on a daily basis. That I do consistently. But for this gratitude journal, I just haven’t finished. Some might think this is a reflection on the way that I care for my wife. They might say, “Doug, if you really loved her, if you really cared and really were grateful, you would make the time to do this. If you really cared, you would set aside the time and put anything else.” That’s completely not true. It’s not.
It’s not a reflection on my love or a reflection on my gratitude for the reason that I have not finished. It’s a purely a reflection on me. Me as a man and me as a person and an individual, and me as somebody who is questing to be the author of my own story. What this reflection is, is a reflection of my lack of consistency. Now, this is a pattern I’ve had throughout my life. In fact, I remember my father telling me this, gosh, when I was about 10 years old and this story coming out. I was taking martial arts, I was taking Tetsudo at the time. He didn’t want to sign me up for classes because he said I never finish anything I start. So that story has stuck with me, and I’m not saying that he planted that in me by any means. Because obviously, he saw me not finishing other aspects of things that I was doing. Sure, I finished a lot of things, especially sports and different educational quests. But there was a consistent pattern here, and that can easily from someone from outside, from the outside looking in, can say, “You didn’t stick to your workouts, you didn’t get a black belt in Brazilian Ju Jitsu when you started. Or Tetsudo.” Or whatever it is. That’s a reflection of your lack of desire. Or whatever it may be.
The truth is, it’s a reflection of me inside. I’m going to invite you all to try this on for a moment. Isn’t everything we do truly a reflection of us? It doesn’t say that we don’t love somebody because we don’t call them. It doesn’t say that we don’t care about our employees because we don’t tell them. It doesn’t say that within other areas of relationships that we’re not invested, or it doesn’t say that we don’t have a filled soul because we don’t practice a certain religion, or practice meditation or whatever that may be.
Truly what it is reflecting is a reflection on us, and what’s going on inside of us or maybe our shortcomings in some ways or things that we’re working on might be a better way of saying that.
What I’m going to invite you to do is look at your Five to Thrive. Where are you seeing a reflection of yourself coming in? What you’re putting out is really a reflection inside of yourself in some way, shape, or form. Take what I’m talking about, this gratitude journal. My wife listens to these, so I’m sorry babe, I love you. But the reflection of it is just I haven’t finished it. I can see that being in somebody else’s eyes, I can see somebody looking at me and just going, man if they don’t know my wife and I and our relationship and how great it is, they might say, “Geez, obviously he doesn’t care,” or doesn’t care enough, or whatever it is.
But it’s not a reflection on the way I feel about her, or a reflection on my gratitude for her because it’s immense. It’s a reflection of my pattern of inconsistency. Inconsistency and follow through, all the way through. When I started doing this with my Five to Thrive, I saw several areas in my business, in relationships, soul, in every category where I would push it to 90%, 80, maybe even 98% completion, and I would leave it aside. I wouldn’t finish it.
Then, so the next question … And I invite you to do this too, this is a journey I’m on and I’m inviting you to go on this journey with me, is ask yourself why? Why are you not pushing through? Why are you not finishing that last percentile? That’s the real lesson here; is figuring out that why. The why is different, well it was for me, in a lot of the situations. But what I narrowed it down to was the consistency. Not going too much into my story and the story that I created, but you want to find your own. We do a deeper dive into the Author of Your Own Story university, where we go really into this. Because once you figure out your why, why you’re doing the patterns you’re doing, the reflections, you can change that story. But until you figure out the why, you really have to come up with discipline, and kind of beat down and find other ways and tricks and mechanisms to get over that hump.
All of us have these, by the way. There’s not one person I’ve ever met, coached … I don’t care if it is a multi-millionaire business owner, or it’s somebody that I have a conversation with that I’ve just met. You can see it in them, I just do it so often. I would be almost stupid not to see the patterns, it’s just you can read it really quickly. So we all have them, and that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with it, and no need to be judgemental about it. The key is having a deep dive with that.
So if you have a coach, make sure you and your coach are doing this. This should be step one for any great coach, should be doing this for you. If you don’t have a coach and you’re looking for one, reach out to me and I’m happy to try to refer you out to whoever I think is the best fit for you. I know a lot of coaches and mentors in this world, and along my journey as well. Of course, if you want a group environment, come and join us in the Author of Your Own Story University, where we can guide you through these exercises in a very safe, non-intimidating group environment. Of course, you can do the work on your own. In fact, a lot of the homework you’re doing on your own. This is why it’s personal development, right? Nobody can change you, it’s always personal, you have to change yourself.
So, Author of Your Own Story University is a great avenue. Either way, have a coach, if you don’t have one and you want a mentor or coach, reach out to me. I’ll see if I can find you a good fit. In fact, I know I can find you a good fit. If you’re looking for more of a group environment with structured learning, where you can learn with other people and segmented, where we mail you out an MP3 player each month, all the documents you need, journaling exercises, and have webinars where we talk on a deep level about these types of subjects, go to the Author of Your Own Story University. Reach out to anybody on our team, we’re happy to help you. This is a gift from our heart to give back. That’s why we put a lot into the university itself.
That’s it for me today. As always, go to authorofyourownstory.com where you can get more tips, tricks, and techniques. Go out and inspire someone simply by being you and being the author of your own story. Break away from the herd, pull yourself from the matrix. Get out there and inspire others simply by going after your dreams. I’ll see you tomorrow.
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