I know some people put their awards and accolades here or tell you how they built their company. That’s a story for another day.
I’d like you to know something about me as a person.
So first, I’ll get my core journey out of the way quickly, so I don’t bore you.
I was born out of wedlock from a one time, good time.
I grew up with my Grandfather, Grandmother, Mother and Uncle.
My Grandfather died suddenly when I was 12.
My Mother became totally disabled from Parkinson’s Disease by the time I was 18.
My Grandmother was the kindest, most loving person I’ve ever known.
But all except one of the people who raised me were gone by my mid 30’s.
And he could have won the award for “Most Unlikely To Survive.”
He was my Uncle Bill.
He just kept moving forward.
Why most unlikely?
Well, he was a calamity guy, who was on a first name basis with the local Emergency Room staff.
In addition to car accidents, falling off a roof onto an iron railing, accidentally lighting himself on fire (now that was an interesting 2:00 AM call…) and other “curious” incidents, he also became an alcoholic.
And then decided to kick it.
He also became addicted to pain meds.
Then decided to kick it.
The only vice he told me he wasn’t giving up, was smoking.
It ultimately gave him cancer in several places and damaged his circulation to the point where he needed both legs amputated from Gangrene.
And through all that, he was the most resilient person I’ve ever known and he still thrived as the funny, intelligent, caring guy he always was.
So what actually killed him?
In Uncle Bill style, a wheelchair accident….
Did I have a good life growing up or a bad one?
The way I saw it, there were some hard times happening to the people I loved.
And I worked to help them through it.
I knew it wasn’t about me. And it definitely wasn’t my fault.
Not that it didn’t suck sometimes.
Sometimes it truly sucked.
But in fact, I was healthy, intelligent, I had the love of a smart, beautiful woman I dated from the age of 12 (yeah, I know it’s weird) until we were 25 and then wanted different things in life. We broke up in a loving way and moved on to separate lives. Really great new lives with new people.
Growing up, I also connected myself to a few really great friends, and they’re still the best friends one could ever hope for to this day.
One I met when I was in preschool, and four others I met at about 13. And another two I met when we were between 25-30.
Long haul friends. The ones who know you and call you out when you get lost in the chaos.
And there isn’t a day I’m not thankful and appreciative of who they are and the value they keep adding to my life by just being who they are.
Oh Yeah, I met my father for the first time when I was 28, and found out I also had two sisters and two brothers.
As it turned out, I’d already met one of my sisters several months before when she and her boyfriend at the time came into the store I managed. After my father told her she had another brother and told her where I worked (and because she lived about 20 minutes from my house), she asked her boyfriend if he still had their salesperson’s business card.
Yup, It was me.
So, at our wedding, when I was lucky enough to marry another smart, beautiful woman, it was the first time my father and mother had seen each other since shortly after I was born.
And almost all of my new sisters and brothers, and my father’s wife, were there to be a part of the celebration. How cool is that!
I had twenty years having a great relationship with my father and his wife, before they both passed away within a year of each other.
And I still keep in touch with my sisters and brothers, some regularly, and love that we’ve been able to know each other as family and friends.
My wife, Gabriele is one of 9 and I became one of 5, so I’ve come a long way since growing up as an only child.
And Gabriele’s Mom is like a “third” Mom to me.
Her sisters and brothers are some of the most colorful, wonderful people I know.
And there’s the Mile High version of where my early journey took me.
But let’s keep moving.
Some say I didn’t start out in ideal circumstances. True.
But I always knew I was responsible for my life being good. I just knew that, even underneath the messed up stuff that went on.
It also drove me to get clear about who I was, what I really cared about and to understand as best I could, what tools I’d been given to work with.
I know, it sounds pretty “woo woo,” but I saw my life as a kind of training ground for being more.
Of course my Big question growing up was:
Ok, Universe. If that’s your gut message to me, How Do I Actually Do That?
I thought, there must be some way to put together something like my own “Owner’s Manual” to help me.
Then I could use that “guide” to keep me heading in the right direction, towards where I’d have the greatest chance for a happy, successful life.
So, I began learning and experiencing anything that looked like it could work, centered around “personal development.”
I started a meditation habit, researched “expanded human potential” methods used in business and education.
Learned techniques developed from psychology and personal development training systems, experimented with light therapies, sound therapies, brain wave entrainment and more.
I trained with “woo woo” gurus and learned from scientists, earned two Master’s Degrees and read though what now must be several thousand books.
I wanted to figure out how to put the pieces together so I could guide myself towards becoming the best of who I was created to be.
I assembled a path I could follow to get me clear about my own value to me, and to help me know where I I’d feel most connected and add the greatest value to the world around me.
And it was worked.
And continues to work for me.
Some people asked how I stay so positive. I told them I created a way to get clear about my own value and the experience of life I wanted, so I could make better choices.
They asked if they could do the same for themselves.
So I created a process that eventually became the foundation of The Power Of Intentional Living.
Circumstances are just facts. But from the moment we notice those facts, we get to decide how to experience them.
And that makes all the difference between living a life we love and living a heavy life, that keeps on crushing us.
I had my Uncle Bill to show me that I always get to choose how life goes, especially when the circumstances are tough.
If you choose to, you can also create a path that let’s you connect what you do, with what Lights You Up inside!
Your North Star, and helps keep moving towards it.
And as you do, you become more and more appreciative of the genuine value of who you are, not only to yourself, but to others.
Stop waiting at the curb for your life to come along.
Build Your Own Owner’s Manual. Align what you do with Your North Star,
and Start Living A Life That Lights You Up everyday.
You really can do this.
But you have to choose, to live it.
Start your journey now.
Paul A. Good MM, MEd