Yesterday morning I took my daughter Brie to breakfast at a local restaurant that we often frequent. I really enjoy these breakfasts with her. It gives us extra time to bond and it's truly priceless.
As we walked up to the restaurant, I could see a destitute man sitting alone on a bench talking to himself. My heart went out to him as I thought about where his family could be and why life was seemed so unforgiving to him.
I asked the man politely if I could offer him some money to help him out. I mentioned that I didn't want to be disrespectful but I wanted to offer him something. He said it would help get the dogs some food and he graciously accepted what I would offer.
I reached into my purse grabbed two folded $20 bills then handed the folded money to my daughter so she could benefit from the joy of helping someone out. He thanked me and we went into the restaurant.
While we were sitting at the table, Brie started asking me questions about him. She wondered why he was talking to himself and why he didn't have a home. I said I didn't really know anything about the guy but something must've went wrong at some point in his life.
I remember the first time I had introduced her to the word "homeless" and had to explain what it truly meant. I remember how sad it made her. Her sadness touched my heart because she didn't understand why someone wouldn't have a home in a world (that she knows) as being abundant. It didn't quite register.
Both Brie and anyone homeless are correct in the reality of their life.
Brie is correct in that life is abundant and has the ability to give everyone anything they want if they go for it.
Those who are homeless are correct in that life is lacking because somehow along the way they chose that lifestyle or chose to believe that poverty is a reality.
During breakfast, I pondered how someone like that could possible get out of that situation. What could you do if you're not given a break by anyone? How could you possibly shift out of that and into something better?
I thought of the possibilities.
Maybe collect cans for cash. Maybe get a post office box as an address. Maybe scrounge around Good Will to find some things you can sell on online. Maybe buy a cheap camera and use the computer with an Internet connection at a library to start a small eBay business or Poshmark.
At least that's what I would do.
Unfortunately, it's not just the mechanics of pulling out of their circumstance that's holding back those who are homeless. It's the heavy black cloud that looms over them day in and day out, blocking out any possibly hope they could ever have about their future.
As we left the restaurant, the man (who apparently didn't realize I gave him $20 before) was ridiculously grateful and said "thank you" over and over again.
I looked at the man. He looked like Burt Reynolds (if you remember who he was) back in his Smokey and the Bandit days. If he was cleaned up and dressed up, he could easily walk a red carpet anytime anywhere.
What the hell happened to this guy?
The worst part is...
This can happen to any of us.
Once upon a time this guy was probably considered "normal" by society's standards and he hit a rough patch. And now he walks around town, scrounging around for money and food, sleeping...who knows where at night.
Again, none of us are immune to this possibility.
When you travel through LA (as I frequently do) and see a matted-haired homeless person pushing a shopping cart and wearing every bit of clothing they own on their back in 90+ degree weather...talking to themselves; what do you think?
Do you ignore them as a crazy person?
Or do you think..."What the f#@* went wrong?"
Do you think they came out of their mother's womb as a total whack job that talked to themselves and aspired to live on the streets of LA, talking to themselves while pushing borrowed shopping carts down the street?
No, my friend. Something snapped at some point in their adulthood. They couldn't handle the pressures of everyday living and their brain shut down in parts. Talking to themselves is a means of coping. And many times they become their own only friend in this entire world. Sad, isn't it?
I am sometimes condemned by family members for giving money to strangers. Other people who think they "understand" why I do it think I do it as a form of tithing.
Both sets of people are wrong.
I do it because life has beat the sh** out of me many times and I understand the very real possibility that any one of us (including myself) can end up like those people.
I do it because I would want someone to help me, even a little bit, if I were in that situation.
I do it for "brownie points" because I hope the Universe will give me a "pass" and not shove me into a situation like that against my will.
And the main reason I do it because the only people who feel truly grateful for what I can give to them -- even if it's a few dollars -- are those who have been humbled by the severity of the worst that life can dish out.
The only time I ever feel a sincere blessing from anyone is when I can give to someone who is in need the most. And I need to feel their genuine blessing as much (if not more) than they need a few dollars.
Because when you're someone with money, everyone who contacts you (including and especially "friends" and family) wants money. And when they get it from you, they want more. And when they get more and you finally tell them to f#@* off after several years of the financial abuse, they immediately come to hate you and everything you are.
And it makes you feel sad because you are who you are after a time.
And that's where I'm at right now.
So...how does someone who is seemingly living a normal life spin out of control and end up homeless?
The truth is this...
The mind/brain goes first. And when I say "go" I don't mean that they snapped or went crazy or anything like that. I mean that there was a slight shift in the thought process. Somewhere along the way they lost focus and maybe one or more things occurred in a short time frame that flushed their confidence down the drain where before they believed they could take care of themselves. This could have been a divorce, loss of a job, bankruptcy, or something that shook their frame to the core...something they ultimately could not recover from.
It happens a lot. Someone loses a good job. Then they lose their house. They find themselves living in Mom's basement. There are no job prospects. They take to drinking. Mom kicks them out.
Or there's a divorce. Or someone close dies.
Or some other such scenario.
Bottom line: something throws them off kilter and they lose confidence in themselves. And they lose control...ending up on the streets in the end.
What am I getting to here?
Just as easily as you could be thrown off kilter, you can choose to shift into a different direction to get what you want in life.
It's so ridiculously simple that you'll probably discard it as being insignificant but here it is anyway.
1) Decide: you have to first decide that you're ready to go into a different direction in your life. To "decide" actually means "to cut off" other alternatives. It essentially means get off the fence and go in one direction with confidence while letting go of another possibility or reality. You also have to decide what that different direction will be (obviously).
2) Know-how/mechanics: once you decide which direction you want to go into, you need to get the proper know-how or mechanics (in order) that have to happen in order to achieve what you're doing. This includes education which needs to ultimately turn into a step-by-step action plan that you can follow in a specified order.
3) Action: do it. Period. Sitting on your ass thinking about it, talking about it, and dreaming about it will get you absolutely nowhere quick! My "smarties" or those of you who have high IQs, advanced degrees, or just think too much at 2am instead of sleeping end up thinking yourselves right out of success because you have trained your brains to weigh the "cons" against the "pros." And no action ever happens. So, do me a favor and "dumb yourself down" so you can take action and stop thinking about all the "what ifs" that will probably never happen.
I have to admit that for the past couple of years I started losing focus. I think this happened because I got bored with my life.
No matter what I tried to do to snap my focus back, it continued to wane.
This is when I discovered that it was also time for a life change. Maybe you're feeling the same way too.
Last year I was able to get my "groove" back with a new business I started from scratch.
I first started my new company to demonstrate how easy it was to set up a new "little" business from scratch to become my own "case study" for my students.
Then this little "project" turned into a highly profitable business venture.
I started to notice something weird happening...
Some of my students knew about my new business and started to hit me up about how they could do it to.
And this is never a good sign when my students want me to talk about a completely unrelated business at a real estate investing seminar. Or maybe it is a good sign because I decided to share this business plan solely on this Aggressive Income on Steroids and Speed method that I sort of stumbled in as a side project.
Little did I know that this side project would not only be incredibly profitable but it also saved me from careening off balance (where bad things could have happened to my financial and business future).
If you're ready for something new and you want something exciting to direct your focus on (which is the start of building confidence which gives you success) then I'd like you to check this out. CLICK HERE NOW!
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See you at the top!
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