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Today I want to talk specifically about relationships. But this can be applied to the whole five to thrive. You see, in the last 24 hours, I’ve had the privilege of coaching two powerful men. These are both business owners, who are powerful in their own right. But both of them shared with me something that they were embarrassed about. They were struggling in the area of their relationships.

Now, this is common, but if you don’t have the conversations like I do on a daily basis, you wouldn’t know this. ‘Cause when you go on to Facebook or on to Instagram when you go out in public, everything looks good. All the other couples seem happy, right? Yeah sure, every once in a while you run into a couple fighting, but your friends on Facebook and people you went to high school with or college, or people just down the street, they have a perfect marriage or a perfect relationship. So don’t worry. Both these men confided in me that they actually hadn’t had it easy, and they said, “Doug, you might be shocked at this, but my marriage hasn’t always been easy.” And the other person wasn’t married, he said, “Doug, my relationship hasn’t always been easy.” I just laughed. I’m not laughing at you, all I’m saying is there is no such thing as an easy relationship. At least not one that I’m aware of.

You see, everybody that I’ve coached, all throughout the years, has had ups and downs in their relationships. Sure they don’t post them online. That would be crazy, right? You’d post all the downs and things like that. But it’s a process you work through. In a relationship, you have two people. Communication obviously is the key. But we’re not taught those tools all the time. We compare ourselves to other people and looking at that and we see that we’re without. Now you can do this with your body too, right? You can have, be in great shape and you can go online to Instagram and find a fitness model and be like, “Geez, I’m so out of shape.” And that is the land of comparison. And when you’re in that land of comparison, nothing works. You actually aren’t happy, because you’re always comparing what you have and who you are to other people. You don’t compare yourself to people that have less than you. That’s just not human nature, right? Even if you are a billionaire, you compare yourself to somebody who has $10 billion and you’re thinking, “Geez, I just don’t have enough. I’m not successful enough.”

Even if you have seemingly a perfect relationship, you go online and you’re like, “Geez, Doug and his wife are always traveling. Doug and his wife live this great life. He’s able to spend time with his kids and do all these things.” Well, that’s true, but there’s also a lot of work behind the scenes. My wife and I consistently work on our relationship. I’m consistently working on bettering my business. I hire coaches. I’m constantly reading to better myself so that I can keep improving. Now, if you were to compare yourself to me from the outside, sure everything looks great. And everything actually is. But the truth of the matter is, if I was just putting stuff on Facebook, I’d try to be as real as possible, but I always put all the dirt. And most people never do. Right? And that’s where it comes up.

So these two gentlemen had successful lives, from the outside. They also thought they were the only men who had trouble and tribulation in their relationships. Now if you’re listening to this and you’re married, you’re probably laughing. Or maybe you’re thinking, “Wow, I thought I was the only one.” Well, guess what? You’re not. In the land of comparison, there can only be unhappiness. ‘Cause you’re comparing who you are what you have to other people. And that is just unachievable. And the truth is, you haven’t seen behind the curtain. You don’t know what’s going on in their lives. As a high-level coach, I’m able to dig deep and I’m able to see all the skeletons in the closet and the cobwebs behind the scenes, of highly successful people. And most of these people that I work with are very well known. You would know them by name if I mentioned them. So you’ve seen them on social media. You maybe have seen them on TV and in the media. But what you don’t know is what’s behind the curtain. And what is being seen?

So I’m gonna ask you today, in your five to thrive, where are you living in the land of comparison? Are you comparing yourself to how smart you are, how many degrees you may have in your mind, how many languages you speak? I’ve been caught up in that many, many times. Are you comparing yourself and your body, how fit you are, how athletic you are? I’ve been caught up in that many, many, many times, especially coming from a background in the fitness industry. How about in the area of your soul? Are you caught up in the fact that you just don’t have a lot of passion or you’re not practicing your religious beliefs correctly or as well as somebody else? Or how about in the area of relationships? If you’re married or dating or do you compare your relationship to other peoples? I certainly did early on. And all I can tell you is that’s a dead end. It doesn’t lead anywhere positive.

What about in the area of business? Are you comparing yourself as a business owner to other business owners that are out there? Well, I can also tell you, as someone who coaches business owners, things aren’t always the way they seem. That brand new car probably is leased, and most likely they don’t have the money to pay for it and they’re stressing from day to day. Now, this isn’t everybody, but just one example that I can leave you with.

So what I want you to do is write your five to thrive and write down what areas of your life you’re comparing yourself to. And then cross it out, ’cause you realize that you can’t compare yourself to anyone else. This is your journey. You’re the author of your own story. Now if you have questions and you want to know if things are normal, reach out to a trusted advisor and talk to them. If you talk to a coach, someone like myself, who actually talks to people on a daily basis, on a regular basis, you’ll know what the norms are or what is acceptable in certain areas. And what’s acceptable for you is the most important part.

So just remember as you go out through your day and you’re on Facebook or social media or just driving around in your neighborhood, things aren’t always as they appear. And don’t think that you can walk for a minute in someone else’s shoes and compare what that feeling is like and what that journey and that path is like. I certainly don’t know your journey, nor you know mine or anybody else’s. That’s all I have for you today. Go out and have an amazing day and inspire somebody else by living the author of your own story lifestyle.

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