I’ve got a question for you:

What’s going to happen when you fail?

When you set yourself a goal and don’t achieve it? How are you going to deal with that disappointment? How are you going to feel?

When you set a goal and whatever dream you’ve got, I guarantee you, you’re going to have obstacles show up. That is a fact. So when they come in, how are you going to deal with them?

I challenge you to begin to believe that every setback is a setup for your success!

I know a lot of people who have been successful; they just can’t wait to tell you about it, right? They’ll show you their bank statements and just can’t wait to show you their spreadsheets and give you the real proof. They’ll say, “Look at this, I made millions of dollars.”

However most people won’t share their ‘failures’. (We rarely look at that side of things.)

Well I am here to tell you I’ve had my financial challenges. I am going to share with you my bankruptcy; I filed a $2.2 million bankruptcy.

(Not that it’s something to be proud of…)

But, I came to realize (over time) that it was something that gave me freedom. All the challenges I’ve been through actually made me stronger.

So let me give you the three things that can help you deal with disappointment, discouragement and setbacks. (Cause they’re coming…)

Remember we all have them some time or another. The important thing is HOW you deal with them.

Here they are:

1. GET IT OUT

When you dealing with the emotions, what you’re going through, it’s imperative to get it out. Be authentic; tell the truth.

When you are sad… cry.

If you are happy… laugh.

If you’re mad… scream!

Get angry and be real about it.

Too often people are giving it a stiff upper lip, like ‘it doesn’t bother me’.

Bullcrap! It does bother us. So be authentic about where you are.

2. YOU ARE GUIDED

This was a huge shift for me.

I had to really focus on this – BIG time when I was going through my TWO YEARS of challenges dealing with my bankruptcy.

The belief that I was guided, that everything that happens – has a reason, literally saved my life.

It doesn’t always feel that way in the moment, (that’s a little hard to appreciate) but the truth is, there is a purpose to what happens.

Just because you don’t know it yet, doesn’t mean it’s not there. You just gotta keep looking for it – until you find it. Sometimes you find it when (or where) you least expect it… The first step is being open to it… and believe in yourself.

Which leads us into number three:

3. WHAT’S THE GIFT?

A great question that you can ask yourself is, “What’s the gift in this?”

When you ask that question, it can take a problem, or potential challenging-situation, and transform it into a powerful meaningful event.

Instead it being a story of ‘why you didn’t succeed’ or ‘what held you back’… you can transform it into a story of the struggle that becomes the progress that you needed.
These were required steps for your success.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve found that in every situation in my life… I don’t care how hard the challenges were… they actually set me up to: become a better man, to become a better leader, a better father, to have a better business.

I don’t know if you have kids, but when my daughter is going in the wrong direction but you want to sometimes stop them from running into danger. You want to just get them onto a different trajectory and set them off on their road to success?

Actually all these setbacks and all these challenges we have… are the REQUIRED PRESSURE we need to move ahead and succeed.

Always remember it takes tremendous pressure to create a diamond. There is a always away you can take every one of your setbacks … they are going to come up… and turn them into your own diamonds. Here I challenge you to take every obstacle you’re going to face – and turn it into a new story…

The story about your success!

Now today I’m coming to you from my neighborhood. It snowed here in Northern New Jersey. Now, I am a boy from Arizona. I also lived in Florida for a long time.

I’ve had hot and dry; and hot and wet in those two different places… but now I live here! Look, this is my house! Now I’m here in the beautiful Garden State of NJ…

And, I’ve got everything today I’ve ever wanted. I’ve got a passionate relationship with my wife and soul mate. I’ve got a great relationship with my daughter. I even have a SNOWMAN – Look at that! It’s awesome!

With all that said, I wouldn’t give up any ONE of the challenges I’ve had in my life… Not one of them, because EVERY ONE has helped create who I am; connected me with the people I needed to be with; it’s actually set me up to help people.

A couple of years after I filed my bankruptcy, I had a client who was suicidal.

She was so scared.

At the time, she was about $40,000 in debt.

Now, thank God I was there to help her.

Had I not gone through the challenges I had gone through… my own $2.2 million bankruptcy… I may not have been able to connect with her, to align with her… to show her that it’s NOT the end of the world.

To show her (as an example) that you can get through the challenges – and come out on the other end – better than you ever were before.

No, I won’t ever ask for fewer challenges.

I’ll just ask to become more. To become the kind of man who can THRIVE in the face of diversity, to laugh in its face. Ha!

By the way, I want to share with you one other thing about my bankruptcy.

I shared this with my wife the other day… and she didn’t even understand it at first.

Initially she didn’t understand the freedom my bankruptcy gave me. My $2.2 million bankruptcy was a far greater win/gain for me than I’d realized. If I hadn’t filed the bankruptcy, and I went out … earned again… started a new company… if I still owed that debt… that the next money I made – wouldn’t be mine!

The day I filed my bankruptcy, therefore, was the day I made I made $2.2 million dollars.

And that’s not counting the interest and taxes!

The INTEREST and TAXES on the new money would keep stacking up – as well. So I realized that it would take me years, I don’t know how many multiple years [2,3,5,10] to go ahead and pay that debt off; if I could even catch up.

I started to realize the incredible freedom and forgiveness our law in America allows us. It enables us to move ahead when we get into an untenable situation like that, to file a bankruptcy.

This was one of the greatest gifts of my life. It is not a loophole to be used haphazardly but it is there to help us get back on our feet when we need it. To unsaddle us from an overwhelming burden and move on with our lives and to become productive members of our society once again.

The secret for me was:

GET IT OUT – To tell the truth – get it out… face it. To believe I was GUIDED, and to ask, WHAT’S THE GIFT? – To find the gift in my circumstances.

Now, I don’t want anybody go through a bankruptcy. It’s awful. I felt awful. (I wouldn’t recommend it.)

But… I am grateful for the gifts that it has given me, and I am grateful to be able to share this with you.

So go out and have your own greatness quest, take your life to the next level.

Remember, as long as you are alive, you have the power to rise. So eyes up! Chest up! Step up! Go out and go get something! I’ll see you next week.

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