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We all have a past and we all know that the things that happened in our past that have shaped us into who we are today. We can also look back and see decisions that we’ve made, and see the impact of those decisions on our lives. But what about the decisions you made, and forgot that you made, that are still impacting your life?

This is the question I was engaged in all of last weekend and what I discovered was amazing!

I was reviewing a course I took back in 2003 called the Landmark Forum. When I did it 12 years ago, one of the many things I got to the bottom of was why I (for the most part) wanted nothing to do with my mother. But if you’d ask me about that relationship, I’d tell you that it’s just fine. Now, as my mom says, “I got my son back!” And that was just one of many things I got out of that weekend that freed me up and has, to this day, made an enormous difference in my life.

Last weekend was just as powerful and I want to share just one of the many things I got. As most of you know I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. There are many, many symptoms in addition to the chronic pain, chronic fatigue, dizziness, numbness, blah, blah, blah. I’ve had to stop teaching and training, even taking care of kids is extremely difficult at times. The past two and half years haven’t been pretty.

During the course on Saturday there was a conversation about resistance. Most, if not all of you have heard the expression, “what you resist persists.” It’s something we know conceptually and it has also become a cliche. But during that conversation I was able to get present to all the things in my life that I am resisting, including my pain. When I got the degree to which I was resisting my pain, something shifted for me. The pain was still there, (and there was a lot of it, having to sit through a three day course!) but I suddenly felt free from it. I no longer had to fight it, resist it, fix it, overcome it, survive it, even suffer with it. This is going to sound crazy, but I was able to love my pain.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much freedom that gave me. I no longer am this guy dealing with and struggling with fibromyalgia. It occurs for me like I am GREAT, and my body is having these sensations. It even feels weird to call it pain. Pain seems like a dramatic explanation of what’s happening. All that’s happening is body sensations and those body sensation have a physical impact on me. Sometimes I look like I’m walking like I’m 90, sometimes I can’t get out of bed, can’t go outside and play with my kids… but I’m not suffering and struggling with that anymore. It’s just what’s happening and I’ll find other ways to play with my kids.

I’m sharing this with you because I know that personal development is something that must constantly be at work on.

I was reminded of a quote from the late Jim Rohn today. If you don’t know who he is, Rohn is considered one of the pioneers of “personal development.” He mentored motivational speaker Tony Robbins in the late 1970s and is widely acknowledged for his influence on the careers of authors Mark Victor Hansenand Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup book series), author/lecturer Brian Tracy, and T. Harv Eker. Motivational speaker Chris Widener‘s book Twelve Pillars was also co-authored with Rohn.

So you can see this guy has been around the block a few times and is a massive part of the foundation of many people’s great success. The quote I was reminded of was:

“Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.”

As instructors and business owners, it is very easy to get caught up in the trap of constantly thinking about, worrying about and dealing with your school. All the while you ignore yourself because you think you don’t have time for yourself, or you are putting others first. There’s nothing wrong with all of that, but at some point your gas tank will be on empty and if you don’t take care of yourself there will no more of you left to give. AND you have to know that you’re not just any ordinary human being. As an instructor, what you have committed yourself to, what you have available to give to others can change people’s lives. It is critically important that you are constantly developing yourself personally and professionally to be the best version of yourself for your family, your students, and for yourself.

I urge you to continue to develop yourself, to take time for yourself, and to take care of and nurture yourself. Whether it’s reading a book, taking a vacation, or doing something like the Landmark Forum.

If you want more information on the Landmark Forum, here’s the link: http://www.landmarkworldwide.com

There you can check out an online introduction to the course that gets into what it is, how it works, see some of it in action, hear what others have to say and will give you an opportunity to register. They offer their programs all over the world so there might be one near you. If you have any questions about it, feel free to ask!