One of the things I hear often is that personal awareness seminars are only for people who have problems, addictions or for those who are “broken.” This is the same mindset I had before I attended my first seminar.

To be honest, the main reason I went to one is because of my friends and my wife.  They were thinking about going and I wanted to go to be with them.  They didn’t try to convince me to go, I just did not want to be left out.  I had never actually considered attending a personal awareness seminar, especially since I have heard so many jokes about them.  I don’t believe anyone, including myself, would have looked at my life and thought I was broken or had problems that needed fixing.

I have always been interested in seeing what the “next level” in business and in life looks like, and I often looked for things that would help me reach it. For many years I have been thought of by many (including myself) to already be at the top of my game. I thought that things were already great.

A few years ago I had two Chick-fil-A locations and I was challenged by a friend to win the “Symbol Of Success” award from Chick-fil-A. The “Symbol Of Success” is a “high achievers” program that is based on sales increases. When you have multiple locations, the challenge becomes even steeper because you have to hit a particular sales increase for both locations, not just for one. Someone from the CFA home office told me that I would not be able to pull this off. I took her up on the challenge and told her that if I made it, she would have to wear a Catwoman costume to our annual company seminar. She agreed, but only if I wore a Superman outfit as well. Little did she know that I already owned a Superman costume, so I was halfway there…

My wife and I had just moved into a house that we had been dreaming of for years. We bought the lot three years prior that with the intention of eventually building.  We finally got to where we could do that, and in June of that year we moved into our dream home.  My marriage was solid and I was very involved in my church. Everything seemed to be going quite well. I could honestly say I was at one of the highest points in my life!

I attended the first personal awareness seminar in 2008 and during that time I really had a great opportunity to look at myself in the mirror.  I realized how wrong I was about what personal development courses were.  We get so busy living our lives that we don’t take the time to stop and evaluate where we are. We don’t take time to adjust our course so we can reach our dreams. We just get too busy. We don’t realize that greatness requires continued growth. One of my mentors, Jim Stovall, says “We take more time planning our three-day vacation then we do planning on how to achieve our dreams.” 

This course helped me re-analyze my life, realize what I needed to do to focus on my potential and continue to grow.

I can honestly say that this course helped me clarify what my dreams were. Many things in my life are now greater than I ever thought possible. If I hadn’t gone through that course, none of the following growth would have occurred:

  1. I won the Symbol of Success program (even with the sales decreasing snowstorm in December, shutting down the entire city of Tulsa for days). The reward for winning was that I got my choice of any Ford vehicle!
  2. I attended the highly coveted Champion Club Award Dinner which honors those with high sales and profits.
  3. I wrote my first book, “Dysfunctional Inspiration,” so I could share my story. At the time of this writing, there have been over 3000 copies printed and it has impacted many lives.
  4. I would not have the confidence to start speaking in public forums and inspiring literally thousands of people a year.

So for those who feel that continuing education is pointless because you’re already good… Let me ask you: Why aren’t you great? 

What are you doing RIGHT NOW that is causing you to continue to grow toward your dreams? Let me encourage you that greatness requires continual growth.

Our Deepest Fear
By Marianne Williamson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us. 

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God. 

Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us. 

It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

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