””We all need fuel. Without the assistance, advice and inspiration of others, the gears of our mind grind to a halt, and we’re stuck with nowhere to go.”– Arnold Schwarzenegger
I’m really enjoying Tim Ferriss’ new book, Tools of Titans. This is a guy who regularly hobnobs with the likes of Jamie Foxx, Chris “Shark Tank” Sacca and Seth Godin.
He admits in the book that his life made a complete 180 after a former girlfriend gave him a “Jar of Awesome” in which he writes down cool things that happen. It reminds me of my A.A. 2.0 program.
Every time he sees the jar (even though his 20-year-old self would probably vomit), a little voice in his head says, “Things aren’t so bad, Eeyore. Perk the fuck up.”
Like most of us, he says, he’s “good at achievement and historically not good at appreciation.”
Which is one of the reasons I keep writing this blog. To remind myself that there are a gazillion things to celebrate. Ergo, three fun stories from recent emails:
1. “I mentioned in my first email that I also am getting a free press trip on Viking Cruise lines when I go to Budapest.
“I found in a notebook that in January (after I knew I would be going to Budapest, but before I contacted Viking) that I wrote, “I get to go on a Viking river Cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam for FREE.” That is exactly what I will be doing, it turns out, and I only had a choice of two trips as a journalist.
“I also wrote in that notebook that I would get paid to write articles about my trip. I am a freelancer for a local paper who has asked to write about travel, but they said they get their travel stories from AP so I never thought to consider they would pay me to write a story for them. When I went to tell the editor that I would be away for the summer because I won a trip to fly wherever I wanted to go, and that I would be in Hungary most of the summer, he said he would pay me to write for their Excursions column –not just for ONE story, but for SIX stories throughout the summer.”
2. “Your book is truly an inspiration and I wish everyone I know would read it and actually believe me without rolling their eyes!
“About 6 years ago I was depressed, lonely and overweight. I didn’t know what to do with my life. I was drinking all the time and I knew that at some point I had to do something to change my life. One day I told my husband I am quitting my job. I don’t care what happens, we will survive.
“I bought a junky camera with a credit card that I knew I would not pay. But I was desperate. I bought it and I started taking photos, I went on YouTube and learned how to do makeup and hair. I created a photo area in my 100 degree heat garage and started inviting people to come take pictures in that heat! And they came! Man did they come! It was free of course, but I was relentless! I worked and worked and I did catalogs for free! Fashion shows! Anyone who would let me I would take photos of.
“One day a friend of mine who was a video editor for a fashion company said hey they need a photo retoucher with beginner experience. They hired me on the spot, I didn’t even know how to turn on an iMac but again I was relentless. I was 30 years old and starting all over, I didn’t care. Long story short I went from making 11 bucks an hour to almost 130 k a year in just 2 and a half years. I’ve worked on magazine covers, Victoria Secret models, celebrities and I even had one of my images appear on NBC.
“I manifested all of this. I never doubted in my mind that these things would happen, not even when everyone thought I was insane. One year, when I first started, I held a magazine called Bullet and I said “Man, I am so going to work on the cover of this one day. One year later, I was retouching Jonah Hill flipping off the camera on the cover. After that I started a job making 45 k a year and I told my husband 1 year from now I will be making $70. One year later to the day I got a raise and I was now making $70 k.
“These things we want are not silly dreams. They are what we decide we want them to be. I just finished reading Thank and Grow Rich and I loved it. One of my common practices is when I am sitting at the computer working on freelance and I feel tired I take a breath and take a deep look and say thank you for the opportunity to work on this amazing project and then put love and passion into it. And what ends up happening is the project becomes easy and it goes by rather quickly. If I told myself it was hard I would lose my mind and the hours would drag on.”
3. “Since first reading E-Squared, I have a journal filled with little miracles I’ve experienced. The best one so far happened the day after I finished reading Thank and Grow Rich.
“I went for my daily walk which is the same route everyday, but this time I was thinking about all the things I was thankful for. I was saying things like “Thank you for this beautiful weather that I’m able to get out and walk in. Thank you for this healthy body and legs to walk on. Thank you for the fresh mountain air.”
“Honestly, I felt a bit silly doing it at first but I didn’t stop. Then, right as I was saying thank you for something else, I noticed a little cloth pouch on the side of the road in the mud. I felt compelled to pick it up so I did and I couldn’t believe what was inside….10 little charms inscribed with ‘Thank You!’
“It seems too random for me to believe it was just a coincidence I stumbled upon them at that very instant. They’re clearly not worth any monetary value but I keep one on a necklace I wear everyday now and have given out the rest to people I love. When I feel stressed or nervous I hold onto it and it reminds me not to worry because the world is a magical place and great things happen all the time unexpectedly.”
Indeed, my friends. Welcome to the magical world.
Pam Grout is the author of 18 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality and the recently released, Thank and Grow Rich: a 30-day Experiment in Shameless Gratitude and Unabashed Joy.