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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Lessons from the Road: Turning a negative into a positive


This week, I had the incredible opportunity to do my show in Northeast Nebraska—well, make that four shows in two days.

The first day was awesome. Both shows had nice sized audiences, lots of great feedback, healing happened, I got to hock a couple of my books, and I made some new friends.

The second day I was going to be a two different schools. After arriving at the college I was supposed to perform for in the morning, I found out they had forgotten to promote the show to the student body. I had driven more than an hour from my home base through the corn fields of Nebraska for no reason at all. I was disappointed not only because I wanted to do my show, but the community had several recent suicides and I was hoping I could help with the healing process.

While I was breaking down my equipment and getting ready to leave, three members of the community showed up. They were counselors for teenagers at a local youth center. It was too late in the morning to do my one-man show for them, but they stayed to hear my usual post-show discussion about hope and crisis intervention and suicide prevention. Because of this, these three counselors were able to take away with them a little bit of helpful information and tools to help the kids that they counsel. 

Yes, it felt bad to have been forgotten about by that school… but it paved the way for an intimate and meaningful conversation and dissemination of useful information to those three counselors.

Often, success doesn’t look like the flowery picture we’ve built up in our minds. Follow me on this analogy for second... let’s say I’ve found a cocoon on my front porch one morning. I imagine that the cocoon will, in ten days, turn into an elegant and picturesque butterfly. However, the day that it hatches I find that this butterfly is actually dark brown with an uneven blotch of red on each wing. 

So it’s not the butterfly I expected... but it’s still a miracle of nature that all the right conditions were met for this caterpillar to turn into a moth—right on my front porch.

My response to the creation of that moth is all about mindset... 
My response to having three people in a room instead of three hundred is all about mindset...
Turning a negative situation and turning it into something positive is all about mindset...

Learn how to tame your mind and how to unleash your mind at appropriate times... and you’ll find much success in everything you do. 

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