Continued from Part 1.
Do you feel that there is any such thing as failure in life, or are there only lessons to be learned?
There is such a thing as failure. When something does not work as if you imagined it is going to work, we would call that failure. However, culture has misrepresented failure and has denigrated it. When I look back on some of the richest lessons, I have learned and the life-shaping events I have experienced, an objective viewer would call them failures. In addition, granted, they might be. Nevertheless, I learned so much from them and they were such an important part of my own personal development that I believe you should not try to save someone from failure.
Certainly, in my early years as a parent, I succumbed to the notion that my role as a parent was to prevent my child from experiencing the slings and arrows of life. In the process of protecting someone, you can literally make someone afraid of the world because of the meanings that you attach to failure. This is all wrapped up in quite an extensive exploration that Napoleon Hill gives about the subject of fear.
I am not sure that failure is anti-success. I think there is the notion that failure is on one side of the coin and success is on the other. I do not see it that way. Failure is part of the process, and it is something that, frankly, should be celebrated. It is the meaning that we have attached to failure that gets in our way.
Are there any particular lessons you learned through those failures that you could share with us?
The most fundamental failure I have had and the one that was the most devastating was shortly after I sold my old company and started Patient Media ten years ago. I made the tremendous mistake of thinking about me alone and making the company about me rather than about the customers, I wanted to serve. I had a rather egotistical experience for the first year or two, until the capital I was using from the sale of the old company began to decrease. Once it was exhausted, I was confronted with the prospect of not being able to pay my bills on time, which I had never experienced before. It was a powerful and profound wakeup call that inspired me to vow to make the business about our customers instead of about my name and me. The moment I turned the company over to the customers, I saw a huge uptake in the success of our company. Things turned around and moved forward. However, on that brink, when I was attempting to make the business about me rather than the customers, I almost smothered the company with my own ego.
I see this often and I am now able to recognize it in chiropractors who are going through a rough patch. Usually they make that rough patch about themselves rather than looking for ways to serve their customers better, or more completely, or coming up with new ways of serving. For me, it was a watershed event, and while very painful at that moment, I would not want that taken away from me.
That lesson, and many others like that, are very powerful and are part of the journey. You have to be able to put yourself behind and really show up as a humble servant. That is when we start brushing up against something we call success.
Napoleon Hill talks about the importance of a mastermind group. Could you share with us who would be in your ultimate mastermind group? This can be people that are living and dead.
I confess that I never really had a virtual mastermind group, although I am incredibly interested in the wisdom and the truth of Jesus and I consult the scriptures daily. Probably as a practical matter in terms of business and other aspects of life, I probably would align more with Socrates. I am blessed with an incredible curiosity, which plays nicely into the Socratic Method. In fact, I would suggest that my ability to help licensed professionals is largely because I am incredibly inquisitive and want to know why and how things work. That curiosity has served me well.
However, in terms of bringing a group of these minds of the past together and kind of questioning them as Napoleon Hill describes is something that I have not done. Instead, I have tended to consult books. I am a voracious reader. I have probably six to eight people that I consult regularly that are both in the chiropractic profession and outside of it. I also have a blog where I am able to write some of my newest ideas and get feedback on them, which refines those ideas. I guess I have a mastermind group, but not in the way, Napoleon Hill has postulated it.
Napoleon Hill lists thirteen steps to riches: desire, faith, autosuggestion, specialized knowledge, imagination, organized planning, decision, persistence, power of the mastermind, the mystery of sex transmutation, the subconscious mind, the brain, and the sixth sense. Is there one of those steps that you feel is the most important?
There are two steps that I really resonate with and one that is most important. The two that I resonate with in particular are faith and decision. When you know your purpose, you are able to make decisions very quickly. You are able to say “no” more easily to off-purpose tangents, opportunity seeking, and some of the other things that get people off their task. It is literally like being attracted to shiny objects.
Faith is probably the superior one. It has to do with the mindset and the headspace of what you do between an action and the manifestation of your intent. If you are in the healing arts, you have to have a certain level of faith, but I think this is crucial when you are attempting to manifest a change in your life. As a culture, we tend to be wrapped up in the doing of something: “Tell me what to do. Show me what to do.” In fact, it is really about being faithful. If you know who you are and you know what your purpose is, you do not need a list from someone else to tell you what to do, or even how to answer the phone, frankly. It is a matter of staying true to that and being faithful to the laws of the universe.
He goes on to say that before any of these steps can be put into practice, we must clear three enemies out of our minds: indecision, doubt, and fear. Could you share with us some tools that you have used to clear those enemies out of your way?
I confess I was the poster child for fear for a long time until I encountered an incredible healer named Scott Walker, who has discovered the neuro-emotional technique. As I studied this technique, I started learning about fear. I learned how fear worked from a physiological point of view. I have been receiving NET care since around 1995 or 1996, and that has been an immeasurable help for me in putting fear aside and allowing me to enjoy health on an entirely different level. I think many of the physical maladies that we face are literally unresolved emotional issues, and NET has been incredibly instrumental in making us aware of that.
The second tool that I have learned is EFT, which stands for emotional freedom technique. It is the work of Gary Craig and others, popularized by McCullough and others. Learning EFT has been helpful because sometimes you do not have a NET practitioner in your vicinity when you are facing some of these issues. EFT is something that is more self-administered, and it has shown to be quite helpful from time to time.
Probably the third and most powerful thing that I have been utilizing is intercessory prayer. Intercessory prayer is something I have learned through my chiropractic experience, since my current chiropractor has included that as part of the care regimen. That has just gone with many, many other breakthroughs.
Do you have any parting words of advice for us?
It is crucial that we know ourselves and that we know the truth. The truth will set us free, and as I have learned about myself and about my shortcomings and areas for improvement, I am aware of truths that have been uncomfortable, embarrassing, and maybe even shameful on occasion. All of that is crucial to knowing who you are. Self-development is one of our key responsibilities. I think that Napoleon Hill’s book, classic that it is, still has incredible relevance today. It offers principles that have stood the test of time. Hill’s principles are included in virtually all of the success literature that has come since his work. To that, all of us owe a debt of gratitude.
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