I was asked to speak to you about something inspirational. So I quickly thought about sharing a story or two from my life about turning lemons into lemonade. I thought about wherever you are, if you maintain a positive attitude, you can network for success, even in jail waiting for your arraignment hearing. True story.
I thought about how the family I grew up in was so dysfunctional that
when I watched Leave it to Beaver on TV, Americaís only functional
family, Iíd take notes. True story.
I thought about all those mountains of obstacles I had climbed and conquered. All true stories.
But then I was told said it had to be inspirational and humorous. With the emphasis on humor.
Turning lemons into lemonade had turned into a rather sour proposition. I felt I was being squeezed.
Iím going to share with you a few stories about something simple:
Having clear objectives. Having clear objectives in life are powerful,
so powerful that a lot of what you want to get done gets done for you.
Magically. Mysteriously. Mystically ... Maybe. You gotta do a little of
It just takes faith. To let go. Into order to reap the rewards.
I'll talk about finding Soda, a Job, and a place to rent..
My first story deals with the spiritual principles of abundance and detachment.
Back in Honolulu, I used to go down to a large city beach park near Waikiki to watch the sunsets. My routine included stopping by the nearby 7-Eleven to get a Super Big Gulp of Mountain Dew. So, I set out at 4:30pm and started driving. The rush-hour traffic was
heavy and, listening to the radio, I got distracted. I ended up missing the turn to the 7-Eleven. If I headed back, it would have taken another 15 minutes, and by that time, I would have missed the sunset. I thought - well, maybe I can buy a soda from the park concession stand, or at least the park had drinking fountains. I didn't give it another thought and headed toward the park.
As I drove into the park, I kept my eyes out for a prime spot - and there it was! I pulled in, turned off the engine, and got out. Across the street, where the park pathway and beach were, a group of young surfers were hanging around and talking. I walked toward them.
I forgot to mention that earlier in the day while driving around, I was waiting at a stop light. Next to me pulled up a bright green decorated Checker Cab-style car with 2 big buckets in the backseat filled with ice - and soda. It was a promotion for a new soda. I looked at my window and shouted to the driver, "Hey, cool car!" He waved back, the light changed to green, and we went our separate ways.
Meanwhile, back at the park, I was crossing the road and stopped to start talking with the kids. Sitting on a bench among them was an older guy, in his 40s, who started up an enjoyable conversation with me. Turns out that he was homeless, but happy anyway.
As I looked toward my car, what did I spot - but the bright green soda promotion car pull up! The driver jumped out, greeted all of us enthusiastically, and started handing out ice-cold sodas! I got two.
My new homeless acquaintance went over and asked if he could get more. The driver found a plastic bag, packed it with ice and 10 sodas, and handed it back with a smile.
For the next couple of minutes, all of us talked about how great this was as we drank our sodas.
Then the homeless guy turned to me and asked if I could give him a ride. I asked where and he said to the end of Waikiki, only a couple of miles away. I said sure and I, the homeless guy, and his 10 sodas set off to the car.
We got to where he wanted to go and he thanked me. In appreciation of the ride, he gave me the 10 sodas.
So, here I was, half an hour ago without any sodas, and now I had 12!
The next story I want to share with you has to do with a job.
It's important to have clarity of objectives, that is, to know what you want.†
I remember one time taking this part-time job doing telemarketing for a nonprofit. You know, calling up people in the middle of their dinners and asking them for contributions. In a way, it was my way of contributing to
them since I wasn't ready to give them money. Instead, I made them money.
But telemarketing can be monotonous and challenging. At the time, I knew that I wanted to be able to sell to businesses, having never done so before.
It so happens that the Executive Director was toying with the idea of creating a position where that person would sell to the corporate market. He told the Marketing Director, who asked the Telemarketing Manager to see if any of the telemarketers would be interested. She asked one person, who said no, then another, who said no. Then she asked me.
I felt God had dropped the gift in my lap.
Any guesses what I said?
So, I had a meeting with the Executive Director, who told me he'd pay me a month's salary during which time I would come up with a proposal to present to him. In a month, I'd return with my proposal.
A month later, I presented my proposal to the Executive Director, and directors of finance, marketing, and development. Everyone liked it and I had the
I made them a lot of money, made some myself, and more importantly, developing a solid base of business contacts which
I leveraged further.
As you can see, knowing what you want is very important in it showing up on your doorstep.
My last story has to do with looking for a place to rent. This also deals with clear objectives, but adds the spiritual aspect that, if you're detached, sometimes what you're looking for shows up better than expected.
I had just recently moved out of a shared living situation which I didn't really enjoy. The roommates were -- okay -- but there wasn't much in common with us. I wanted to find a situation which I'd enjoy better.
I remember going down to the park and sitting to think about what kind of place I wanted to be in. Well, nature, lots of nature. But close to downtown. And the property, the house has to be very nice. And the people living there have to be of good character. And it has to be low-rent.
Well, I went back to the hotel room I had rented. I had promised myself that I'd find a place in 2 days. Looking
through the classifieds, I didn't see anything I liked in particular. Yet, oddly enough, I was drawn to this one ad in an area of town with a bad reputation. It was in my price range.
I called. A man answered. I explained the reason for my call. And he began asking me questions about myself. I openly answered them and then mentioned to him that it sounded like he wanted to be sure of the people he rents to. He said yes, and so I offered a personal reference, a man who has known me and my family. The man on the phone knew him, too. With that, he introduced himself by name. I recognized him immediately. A former city
council member of the highest reputation and character. He asked if I wanted to come over and see the place. I said, "Sure."
I got into my car and drove. Following his instructions, I ended up on this narrow road in the back of a lush valley only 5 minutes from downtown. At the end of the road his property began. I drove up the steep driveway to the front of the house, a light turned on, and he came out to greet me. We entered the house together and I smiled. It was nice, roomy, and comfortable. Surrounded by nature, he had 11 acres of pristine Hawaiian rain forest.
We talked some more, he asked if I was interested in renting the room. I definitely said, "Yes!"
As a result of that, I developed a good friendship with a man who has the best of intentions and the power to realize those intentions.
And all of it the nature, the low rent price, the nice house, the proximity to downtown, the quality of the people there -- all of it was due to being clear in what I wanted. And it showed even better than I could have imagined.
All of these took faith. To know I would get the end result. Magically. Mysteriously. Mystically. Maybe.
And clear objectives.
Iíve been told that you gotta work hard to get what you want. Yet Iíve
been told to work smarter, not harder. In trying to balance these two, Iíve
decided on a third way: To work more powerfully. By harnessing the power
of clarity and faith. It works for me and I can almost guarantee it will
work for you. Or your money back.
And remember the thing I mentioned about networking for success while sitting in jail?
The crucial person I met was the bail bondsman.