Thanks for Nothing. (And everything).
Every night at dinner, Monique and I sit down with our two boys for our family ritual.
We take it in turns to answer the questions:
- What was the best bit of your day?
- What was the most challenging bit of your day?
- What are you grateful for?
Tony Robbins once said, “What you know doesn’t mean shit… It’s what you do consistently that makes the difference.”
We want to model to our boys the importance of reflection. We want to model that challenge is ok – and even worth seeking out. And we want to model the power of gratitude.
And we want to do so on a daily basis.
However, as a Brit living in the States I have been deeply impacted by the Thanksgiving holiday over the past ten years.
Whilst it’s a once a year ritual, I really look forward to sitting around a table with family and friends and sharing all the things we are grateful for in the year that has just passed.
Why does this message begin with the words, Thanks for Nothing?
Because in a day and age when it’s easy to make up stories about how special people are, I want to share a story that really impacted me.
Did you read my article recently about the challenges I have faced over the past couple of years?
A friend of mine who follows me on Facebook did.
And he left me a voicemail.
He said he was really moved by me sharing my story about the pain of losing my dad and some of the other challenges I’ve faced.
He continued – with painful honesty – that there was a time when he wondered whether I was one of those coaches who wanted to make out that life is always peachy and rosy, selling the message that “You can have it too…”
I was really moved because he took the time to tell me that he felt that it must have taken guts and strength to write what I wrote. And he felt that my message will have given a lot of people hope and courage.
I wrote him a note back:
“I was really touched by your message.
Facebook is such a strange medium.
I love to post photos of the fun I have with my wife and boys. And I sometimes post about things that are going well in business, etc.
And it gives a skewed perception.
Because I’m very human.
Sometimes my relationship is really challenging. Sometimes my little boys wear me out. Sometimes (often, if I’m really honest) going to work at 9am Monday morning is such a relief.
Sometimes, it’s far easier in the world of performance than navigating the complexities of man-woman dynamics almost ten years into a marriage.
And sometimes business, too, is damn hard. For those 8 months after my dad passed away, I was emotionally wrung out. I had no energy to create new income. And there came a painful moment when my little boys’ savings accounts had more money in them, than Monique’s and mine.
Monique is actually better than me at posting very vulnerably about what’s going on for her personally and emotionally, especially the challenges.
But it’s hard, because when either of us do, we often get a bunch of people trying to ‘fix’ us, coach us or make us feel better. They’re usually well intentioned but it does make it harder to share so vulnerably this way online.”
I’ve got nothing on you
I’ve had some successes in some areas of life.
I have regular failures too.
I handle some of the challenges that come my way, with grace.
I collapse in a mess under the weight of my challenges at other times.
Which reminds me of the words one of my mentors once said to me.
“I’ve got nothing on you.”
I have a tendency to put my coaches and mentors up on a pedestal.
And he saw that and wanted to shift my way of seeing my world.
“I’ve got nothing on you.”
And I got it.
He had his own successes. And his own challenges. And his own desires and dreams and fears and challenges.
And I had mine.
But he had nothing on me.
In fact, he’d done so much deep inner work that he’d cleared so much of his psychological baggage and limiting beliefs – and he literally had nothing on me.
I’m deeply grateful
In this moment, I am so grateful for:
My incredible community of coaches and leaders. Yes, that means YOU.
Maybe you read what I write. Or you watch the videos I record. Or you’re part of our online community – from facebook to Evercoach. Or you attend our Intensives. Or you’ve been in a Coaching Salon. Or you’re a member of 4PC. Or you’re a private client or an Apprentice.
And I am grateful.
Because it’s YOU who makes the writing, the videos, the programs, the events and the coaching worth it.
It’s YOU who I write to when I don’t feel like getting out of bed.
It’s YOU who I speak to when life is challenging me but my need to create overtakes my feelings of overwhelm.
And it’s YOU who I think of when I let myself loose in visioning what’s next.
I’m grateful, too for my friend Steve Chandler. We met 9 years ago when he said Hell No to me and challenged me to create the money to work with him. (I didn’t like him much in that moment!) We wrote a book together 5 years later. And in the 3 years since publication it has now sold 30,000 copies and spawned a movement.
I’m grateful to my two little boys, Kaleo and Ellington. Before Kaleo was born, I went to my Men’s Group to explain that I was terrified to be having a boy. What the hell did I know about raising a boy? Don’t worry. They assured me, He’ll be the best teacher you’ve ever had. They weren’t wrong. And now I have two amazing teachers!
I’m grateful to my wife Monique, who supports me, challenges me, holds up a mirror to me (quite regularly!) and has to put up with the kind of behavior I’d be mortified if anyone saw outside of my home. Yep, when my guard is down, when I’m in the security of my home, when I am worn out or exhausted, I’m not much fun to be around. And Monique handles me with as much grace as she can muster!
I’m grateful to my incredible community of 4PC coaches over the past 2 years. They are simply an amazing community with so much love to give: Adam Quiney, Alexis Santin, Alison Crow, Amy Harris, Annabel Hands, Bay LeBlanc Quiney, Carolyn Messere, Christina Berkley, Christine Conforti, David Taylor, Elsie Chang, Helen Appleby, Isabelle Tierney, Izmael Arkin, Jackie Knechtel, James G. Butler, Jeanine Becker, Jenelle Cobb, Jennie Harland-Khan, John Wineland, Karen Davis, Kelli Richards, Kelly Childress, Kirsty Hanly, Laura Greenberg, Lea Ann Mallett, Mark J. Silverman, Monica Day, Rachel Moore, Rafael Bejarano, Stacie Smith, Stacy Nelson, Teo Alfero, Toku McCree, Tony Bonnici, Tripp Lanier, Varian Brandon, Walker Clark, Zat Baraka Elias. We’ve had awesome support over this time – from Kendra Cunov, Triambika Ma Vive, Richard Morgan, Craig Filek, Korenna Barto, Shay Pausa, Michael Porcelli, Launa Kliever.
Finally, I’m ever so grateful to my incredible team. Andie, Danielle, Giovanna, Laura, Sarah, Sohani, Wendy.
I work hard to create a values-based business and I was deeply moved by what Danielle wrote after our last Intensive.
I am so grateful to be surrounded by such great people.
I’ve got nothing on you.