Thirty years ago I was driving in central California and got caught in a freak snowstorm. I could only see five feet in front of the car. It was utterly terrifying, as I was driving on roads I didn’t know. I could have died.
It saved my life.
The “Seven Day Emotional Diet” notion is about deliberately setting out to have the best week of your life. The happiest, most successful week in alignment with both your childhood dreams and ultimate values.
“Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal” said Earl Nightingale. Not “the accomplishment of” not “getting money” or whatever, but “progressive realization.” That means that you are taking a step every day.
Twenty-five years ago, my first marriage died. I was stuck in a one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver Washington having lost my house (and inheritance), with no job, career in tatters, alone, broke, and desperate.
All I had was a television set, a bed, my dog, and a gun. Bad combination. Everything seemed to be misty, shrouded in pain and doubt. I called one of my closest relatives, pleading for emotional help, and received an answer of “oh, you’re all right. You’re always all right.”
I hung up the phone, staring at the receiver, feeling more alone and isolated than ever in my life. For the very first time, I understood how people could want to kill themselves. I wasn’t going over the waterfall, but I could hear the rapids.
And I remember sitting quietly, going into meditation, asking my deepest wisdom what I should do. I saw no answers. But…that didn’t mean that there were no answers, it meant that I couldn’t see them from where I was.
So…I remembered what it was like to be caught in a snowstorm, as I once was. And remembered that I couldn’t’ see where I was going…beyond the next five feet. But that if I could travel those five feet safely, I could see ANOTHER five feet. And another, and another. And that eventually I got out of the storm, creeping forward at about five miles an hour. And as long as I could keep creeping forward, my fear of freezing in the snow was held at bay.
So I made a commitment. “Lord,” I said. “I’m going to keep moving forward. I’m going to do the things which, if I can keep doing them, will get me out of this. I can’t see beyond my next step, maybe two steps. I’m going to leap out on faith. Please catch me. But if you can’t, and there are rocks down there…let me hit before I see them.”
So I started working on my next book. I started running again. And I began to heal my heart, figuring to give everything I had to trying to heal my family. And if I couldn’t’ do that…make myself a better man, so that I could find new love.
One step at a time. Small steps. Sometimes tiny. BUT A STEP EVERY DAY.
It was terrifying. But I actually made a game out of it. Looking for signs that I was heading in the right direction. And that could be positive results…or life throwing more crap at me. Why? Because ANY time you are moving from one level to the next, all the demons of hell will oppose you, especially if they live in your own heart.
One step. And then another. And another. I began to enjoy the pain, because it was an obstacle I could fight through. Every day another step. Another page. Another lap. Another hour of meditation. Another book read, gaining wisdom. Another martial arts class…
Just one more. Just one more. Was it true that if I was in great shape, if I had money, and if I loved and honored myself I would be happy? Yes. Was it true that THAT guy would never be lonely? Yes. Was it true that every day lived like that was “the progressive realization of a worthy ideal..?”
Yes, it was. And…I emerged from my funk. I found love, broke through my physical barriers, and wrote a dynamite book. Putting the pain of my experience into the heart of my protagonist.
Came out the other side. One step at a time.
And that was in one of the worst depressions of my entire life. If I’d had the “Seven Day Emotional Diet” notion down, it would have been even easier. That’s why I want you to use it. If you don’t have your free copy, you can get it at: www.fiveminutelifehacks.com
One step at a time, one moment at a time, one week at a time.
Its your life. Own it!