The Courage To Change
Bob proctor writes: In October 2011 it will be fifty years since I first picked up Napoleon Hill's classic Think and Grow Rich, and I've never put it down. It was the first of a few thousand books that now sit in my library, a library I've grown to love. In fact, I'm sitting in the middle of it as I write this story.
I've been absolutely fascinated with the study of success, finding out what you and I are capable of doing, why people do what they do and why many people never do what they really want to do. It's a little over forty-two years since I began working in this field full-time, devoting all my energy toward helping individuals realize that all things are possible, that you and I do have infinite potential, that we truly are God's highest form of creation. Now, forty-two years later, our company LifeSuccess Productions operates in over 80 countries.
So, needless to say, I've not only read, I have written and seen many many success stories. Almost all of them are about the poor boy or girl who makes good, who rises to a position of power, possibility and promise.
The story I'm about to tell you isn't about a person that goes from a laboring position to the Board Room. No, it's the story of a young woman who went from a Board Room to a Board Room. However, when she made her move it was a totally different Board Room that had attracted her.
This is the story of tremendous courage. It's a story of walking away from something that had taken two decades to build not to mention a high six-figure income that was being left behind. It's the story of a person going against conventional wisdom and the dictates of friends, relatives and colleagues.
On August 18, 2006, the young lady walked into a three-day seminar that I was conducting in the city of Vancouver in Washington State. Little did she realize that everything in her life was about to change and change dramatically.
Sandra Gallagher had a thriving law practice that she had built over a twenty-year period. This wasn't any ordinary law practice, it was a complex corporate finance, bank merger & acquisitions practice. She was highly respected in her field. The fact that she had built such a successful practice in a very complex and specialized field was no surprise to her parents, other members of her family or to many of the people in her industry. Twenty years earlier she graduated the top banking law student in all of the United States. Needless to say she had her choice of the top law firms she could go to work with.
However, this story is not about how she built a successful practice in the legal profession. I share this with you to let you know that she was in the top percentile of her profession and her income reflected her success -- And she was about to walk away from it all. By most people's standards, she had it all - she was beautiful, intelligent, wealthy and had earned the respect of her peers. And she was about to leave it all behind. Why? Why would she do that?
You see, the truth is most people wouldn't and that is what makes her truly an extraordinary human being who, in her own words, is marching to the tune of a different drummer, is living the life that she believes God meant her to live. She would be the first to tell you that she believes we have been blessed with tremendous potential and that we are here to do God's work. Since God is the creator, God's work is creation, and you and I have been blessed with creative faculties, so it's our responsibility to create greater good all the days of our life.
Conventional wisdom would say this woman was crazy. She was losing her mind. She had what most people wanted; but she did not have what she wanted. That's the story I want to share with you.
At a particular point early in the seminar I asked the audience a question - "What do you want? What do you Really Want?"
And then I went on to explain that very few people are going after what they truly want in life. Most people settle for what they think they can get.
I kept encouraging the audience to let their mind drift, activate their imagination and see themselves living the life they really wanted to live, I also made it clear that they didn't have to know how they were going to be able to do it. It wasn't necessary to know where the required money or other resources would come from.
Now keep in mind, this is an exercise that very few people get involved in. If you doubt this, stop the average person on the street and ask them "What do you really want?" They'll probably look at you like a deer in headlights - they won't know what you mean.
Or take a look at how most people are living - do they look like they're getting what they want? Of course not.
The real deep truth in what I was saying clicked in Sandra Gallagher's mind and although she did not dislike her law practice, when she gave it serious thought it wasn't what she really wanted. She got thinking about it, and she realized she was probably following in her father's footsteps who was a very successful banking attorney himself.
Because of Sandy's superior intellect doing well in her field was not difficult, in fact it was almost natural, it always had been. She was always at the top of her class. But she realized in an ideal situation if she had a choice of how she lived, how she spent her days, she would not be doing what she was doing. She wasn't quite sure what she would be doing but she knew that the law practice would not be a part of it.
And then suddenly she realized that she did have a choice. In fact, J. Martin Kohe wrote a book entitled Your Greatest Power and your greatest power is your ability to choose. And although most people would never leave a successful practice, whether they were excited about it or not, she was not most people. She said after that seminar it became a priority to her that she enjoy how she spent her days.
What I'm sharing with you are personal thoughts that Sandy has shared with me and she gave me permission to share them with you.
She said before the seminar was over, although she had not decided to leave her law practice, she had decided that she would like to be on the inner circle of my company LifeSuccess Productions. She said she didn't know what that meant, and she shared the dream with no one. Sandy made a decision she would seriously study the work I did. She later told me she had made up her mind, whatever I was selling or teaching, she was going to buy.
She found out that we had a consulting program where we train consultants to Speak, to Teach, to Coach, to Consult with individuals and organizations. She became a certified consultant of our materials which enabled her to teach our material anywhere in the world.
After she became involved in the Consulting Program, she became aware of our coaching program. She immediately enrolled in the program and over the next 13 months on a weekly basis she was involved in a program of personal growth that was transforming her entire thought process.
While all this was taking place she approached one of the executives in our company and said "You know, I've gone to some of the best Universities in the world, I've studied in America and the UK, I've worked in three of the largest law firms in America, and nowhere did anyone teach me the information that LifeSuccess is teaching me. It is the most important information that I have ever studied."
She went on to say that she would like to start LifeSuccess Corporate, a division of our company and take this information into the Board Room of her clients. She said "They need what you've got and I've decided I want to create a program with Bob Proctor. The starting point is thinking. At present the starting point is the balance sheet or the sales sheet or the P&L. See that's the manifestation of past thinking and if it's going to change the thinking has to change. I've got a program created in my mind called Thinking Into Results."
After investing a healthy six-figure sum of her own money, she gave birth to LifeSuccess Corporate in partnership with LifeSuccess Productions. The end result was the production of one of the best programs I've ever had the privilege of being involved in. When the program was complete I picked it up and looked at it and I looked at her and at that moment she earned my complete respect. She had taken absolute responsibility for her success. She didn't expect anyone else to do the job for her. Sandra Gallagher wrote, produced and directed me through this entire program. Thinking Into Results is without question one of the most effective programs for producing new, improved results that any corporation has seen.
This woman did such an extraordinary job that in January of 2009 I offered her the position of President & CEO of the LifeSuccess Group of Companies. She accepted the position with one condition - that I would support the moves and changes that she would make 100 percent. I gave her my commitment and told her to go to work.
Sandy has taken the success principles from her legal career and combined them with the best material we've got and is making tremendous headway in taking our company LifeSuccess Productions to a brand new level. Our Consulting and Coaching division is experiencing tremendous growth. We are attracting new people all the time thanks to her expert direction.
Five months after she accepted the position, on May the 14th 2009, she drafted a letter that was sent to over 2000 clients and colleagues advising them that she was closing her practice and leaving the profession. The day she sent that letter she phoned me and she said I've got the letter all ready to send but I'm experiencing tremendous reluctance. What she was actually experiencing was something we refer to as the "terror barrier" something every one of us experiences when we go to make a change that could be considered a quantum leap ahead, to do something we consider more growth oriented. This is a real phenomenon, here is a person that is making a move to do something they truly want to do and yet all their emotions are moving in high gear trying to stop them. That's why we refer to this as the terror barrier - they are virtually being paralyzed with fear. With most people the fear wins and they stop them self from doing the thing t hey really want to do. Sandy refused to let the fear win.
I said Sandy, "JUMP, hit the send button, you'll develop wings on the way down." And as she sent that letter I could hear a squeal of fear coming out of her voice. But she never looked back. She stepped out and did the thing she really wanted to do. So you see she did leave the Board Room for the Board Room but in her world it was a huge change.
And although this didn't happen overnight, it all took place when she began to seriously ask herself what she really wanted. And the beautiful truth is, the day she made that decision to question what she was doing with her life was the day creative energy really began to flow through her. And she created the program that is changing the lives of people in companies all over the world.
When you do what you love, everyone you come in contact with benefits from it.
I love when I watch Sandy speaking to people in seminars and asking them "What do you really want?"