Every day, without fail, I consider myself lucky to coach so many remarkable people…and to learn so much in return from them. Regardless of whether they’re a business or personal coaching client, regardless of their age, gender, background, belief or bank balance, I never cease to be amazed by people’s capacity to flourish and overcome their challenges when they find their own particular faith, keep it and share it.
Just recently there has been a chain of events that have served to remind me of what a powerful uniting force faith can be: A few months ago, within a few weeks of each other, 3 much-loved dads were diagnosed with cancer – something that I can relate to, having had a serious, life-changing encounter with cancer myself. Firstly, the dad of a lovely business client of mine was diagnosed with it, this was soon followed by the dad of a mate of mine, and soon after that my own dad was diagnosed with it.
Having supported my client through her initial shock and helped her with some coping strategies for her and her family, I admit I was a bit lost on the day I heard the news of my dad’s cancer (go on Mr. Mindset Man, now motivate yourself). Although well versed in dealing with the condition and its impact, I didn’t know whether to heed the advice I had just given to my client, whether to cry, to pray, or what.
That evening I went to my social club for a drink and bumped into my mate, and I asked him how he felt when he discovered the news of his own dad’s cancer. Now, my pal is a big, burly body-builder type, and he told me he started off by acting ‘normal’ – he went to work as normal, then went shopping at Lidl’s as normal, went to the club in the evening as normal….then it hit him like a ton of bricks and he broke down crying. However, he believed that this ‘release’ had helped him acclimatise quickly to the situation and had helped him to be honest, open and loving with his family throughout his dad’s illness. In one short conversation, I felt assured that it was alright for me to just ‘let go’ emotionally.
I then had a conversation with another inspirational friend of mine who I coached and worked with for around a year. This young man is awe-inspiring. He spent most of his early life in care, became an alcoholic, a drug dealer, a criminal, a cocaine and heroin addict, living in freezing squats, garages or on the street, and was fully expected to die as a result of his lifestyle. He turned his life around after going cold turkey in prison and actually asked the judge who was considering his release from prison to let him return to prison until there was a place available for him at a drug probation rehab centre. His wish was granted.
My friend now runs a successful, growing company, has a house that he owns, he is about to get married, has a gorgeous baby and another one on the way. He has also been an ambassador for The Prince’s Trust (www.princes-trust.org.uk) You’ll soon be able to read all about his story in my new book, ‘Raise Your Game Now! 2.0’
This friend is a living embodiment of someone with unshakable faith, not in a religious sense, but a faith which is based around an abundance mentality and involves him passing his knowledge on to those who can benefit from it most, and giving positively to others in order to receive positively back (these are principles that he had learnt at his AA meetings). Speaking to him reaffirmed my faith in my own ability to be of positive benefit to my father and my family during the challenging times ahead.
As a result, I’ve just spent a great weekend with my dad, my mum and wider family. My dad came with me to meet my friends at my social club, who all indulged him and made him laugh with their customary banter. I even persuaded my mum and dad to come to church with me, something that wouldn’t normally float their boat – and sure enough, this was where another example of faith showed itself.
I had been expecting my local vicar to be on a sabbatical (or maybe that should be a sabbathatical?!) from the church, because he was due to go on a long trip to South America. The trip had been cancelled though, because his wife had also just been diagnosed with cancer and she needed to undertake immediate surgery and treatment. During the church service our vicar touchingly articulated how their faith had enabled him and his wife to keep their spirits up and comforted them during her treatment.
This of course not only resonated with my parents, but also led to some emotional scenes in the church as they felt the overwhelming need to ‘let go’ too. Surprisingly, this didn’t cause any embarrassment to them at all. In fact, sharing their situation with the vicar and his wife and vice versa, had given them a sense of relief, security and comfort. They felt that they had been given a sense of faith in their ability to overcome adversity.
This unplanned trip to church, something that would normally remain firmly outside my parents’ comfort zone, actually provided huge comfort, support and acted as a catalyst for some honest dialogue between our family members, and we all made the commitment to travel together positively with dad on his journey towards restored health.
So, in just a few weeks, a network of like-minded people has been attracted to each other, united by a common adverse situation, all of whom are benefitting from keeping their own brand of faith and, by generously sharing their wisdom with others, they are all receiving plenty of support in return.
What’s your faith? Whether you prefer to put your faith in your family, humankind, The Universe, in God, Buddha, the Jedi, what or whoever, if you keep your faith and keep believing in it, it will help you in your darkest moments, when you need it most.
I would love the opportunity to support you in finding your own brand of faith, to design and build the most fulfilled and happiest life you could wish for.
That’s why I have devised the Improve Your Life Now! programme which is full of tools such as 14 days of FREE video coaching, a FREE workbook and goals chart, all geared towards choosing the life you deserve. All details are on my website www.paulstalker.com
Love the day.
Paul ‘Stalkie’ Stalker
The Mindset Man.