If you really take a moment to observe the positive influence of even the negative people in your life, challenges appear a little less challenging. It isn't to minimize the challenges. They're real. Life can be difficult. But observe how far you've come due to the efforts of others outside of you.
Not frequently enough, but often I reflect on how awesome my life has been and is thanks to all the people in my life. No thanks to me. Thanks to them. I am deeply grateful for the many selfless supporters of me, my business, my vision, and my family. I have done nothing noteworthy in a vacuum. That my children have a home and food to eat is due to the outpouring of love and care from many, many incredible superhumans. From family to friends to clients to peers, I’m astonished at how many truly selfless people have touched the journey through which I still endeavor.
I just thank everybody.
In dark moments, I’ve had friends just show up, traveling across the world, without hesitation or question, to simply be present. I have buddies who had the perspective to anticipate need, and offered financial support while I took time off from work and travelled for my father’s funeral. I’ve had family just open their homes without question. I’ve had clients bend schedules and increase support during my times of challenge.
While sadly others pat themselves on the back for empty condolences (ie - them: “let me know if there’s anything I can do;” me: “yes, actually, is it possible to...;” them: *crickets*), I had genuine, awesome people step up in tangible ways which they didn’t need to, weren’t expected to, and certainly never asked to.
I thank everybody.
And I realize how dark it must seem for people who have so little support. If you are one of those people, sitting in a dark mental space, I have two thoughts for you:
1.) there are more people willing and ready to be your ally than you realize
2.) there are more people willing and ready to be my enemy than you realize
To the first one, the substance of character in others is greater than you can imagine. You’ve seen it: people are ready to go to war all day long over a cause they know nothing about and to which they have no connection. Look at online debates. Most of those topics are in no way understood nor is their impact felt by the loudest voices. Hours and hours are spent over debates and issues which at best some people feel some ethereal understanding; yet look at their indignation. Ask those people for support. Ask them to make a real contribution to a real human they actually know in a real way. Give them an opportunity to be a contributing member to society instead of a caricature of humanity. Let keyboard warriors become people of substance.
To the second, as much support as I have, 100 to 1, people wish for my failure. Crabs in a bucket don’t rejoice at the sight of one climbing out. Out of jealously and low confidence, there are people I know who not only didn’t give a rip when I had Lyme or the many times we almost lost our son in the ER, I get a sense they were pleased, sitting well in their schadenfreude. Several times, to my surprise, people of whom I’d always spoken highly, just went radio silent or actively worked against me in my moments of great success or great defeat. Some people whose weddings I attended didn't so much as say hello when my daughter was born, when I went in for surgery, when my son went in for surgery, when I lost loved ones. Some of the same people, whose current careers are still riding the momentum from business successes I helped shape, didn't even show up for the Elev8 Wellness Grand Opening. They never once stopped by. They never called. These are people who each directly or indirectly made hundreds of thousands of dollars from opportunities I provided. Dead silence. Nothing. I've come to learn that a lot of people smiling to my face were ready with the knife while my back was turned.
And I thank them too. The fakes, the phonies, the many, many broken people with chips on their shoulders, inimical as they are, and as incapable of support as they choose to be - thank you. I don’t mean it tongue-in-cheek. I mean it. You have shown me by comparison how incredible the other people in my life are. I still don't think low of you, even though you've chosen to be measurably uncharitable. Every time you have decided to work against me, it's resulted in a net improvement in my life. Former co-workers and peers whose jealousy is palpable, your anti-helpful attitude drove me to a dream life where every week I spend multiple entire weekdays with my kids and family. Former clients who needlessly withdrew, your empty hour allowed me to grow into a more valuable coach with ever-more serious clientele at a higher pay rate. I don't just mean the dollars. I mean the worthiness. The hour you once occupied in my calendar with your negativity was a net loss for me, both a lower rate than I was worth, and a lower effort than I deserved. It sapped valuable energy which is now devoted toward the flourish of invested people with a committed attitude. I thank you for leaving, while I honestly wish the best for you one day when you're ready to make the change and be a force for good in the world.
That’s the beauty of naysayers and detractors. They make evident just how wonderful your real supporters are. And they aren’t to be hated or reviled. They’re to be pitied, loved, and thanked as well. And I hope people can apply this understanding to all their enemies.