“There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.” – Christopher Morley, actor
“…can I bounce an idea off of you?”
Melvin was an energetic, talkative, successful businessman about 60 years of age. He was a little on the short side, and balding in the front and centre. But, refusing the current trend to shave the rest off to remind himself, and others, of his OK-ness with his genetic inheritance, he usually wore a baseball cap.
Melvin had business interests in real estate, finance and the food industry. He and his wife, Grace, had two children who were already successfully launched into their own lives. While living a long way from both their birthplace and their parents, the daughter, Callie, was a high school teacher and their son, Gilbert, had started his own fast food franchise business.
Melvin and Grace had no grandchildren yet, but they were waiting, optimistically and anxiously, for news. Their analysis of the situation was as follow…since both of their children were in long standing relationships that looked viable…at least, to their parents, then it was just a matter of time and patience.
Melvin had been doing work with me on clearing up some emotional charges from his past. One day, as he entered my office for his consult, he said,
“Ken, can I bounce an idea off of you?”
“Certainly!” I replied.
“How do you know when you’re done?”
“Done with what, Melvin?” I asked.
“Done with …done with work…done with being successful…done with competing with others…that sort of thing!”
“…with all due respect to my son…it seems so superficial…
“While our society, tries to define success…ultimately it falls to each individual to define their own. Melvin, what is going on that got you thinking about this?”
“Well, my son, Gilbert was home for a visit and bragging about how well his business was doing, exceeding his sale projections…that sort of thing. I remember my own enthusiasm when I was young. I remember driving myself to meet my sales quotes so I could get the latest acknowledgement from the parent company…usually a trip to some exotic location. But, watching Gilbert do it…with all due respect to my son…it seems so superficial…so really…shortsighted.”
“Melvin, what would you rather Gilbert be doing?”
“Well, for one thing…starting his family…giving Grace and I… a grandchild!”
“Melvin, to do that he would need to have your value system…which he can’t because he doesn’t have your life experiences to build one like you have.”
“Do you mean he has none of my values, or Grace’s…after having grown up in our family?”
“It is likely he will have some similarities, but also differences. And, any similarities will be in unique forms reflecting his life experiences. It is part of the reason why, when a family business is passed to the next generation, it can be so contentious at times.
“Ken, I get that…he has to build his own future his own way…but how will he know he has been successful? How do I even know I have been successful?”
“…I kept hearing myself say to myself…who cares?”
“Melvin, it sounds like there is an urgency to this for you…is that true?”
“In a way, yes! The other day I was offered a really interesting business opportunity …a chance to get in on the ground floor of a new, lucrative trend coming up. But, as I listened to my friend describe it, and he is much older than me, I kept hearing myself say to myself…who cares? I was not interested in getting in on a new, successful business…it really surprised me!”
“It sounds like you are evolving you criteria for success as time passes, and you gain new experiences in life.”
“Yea…but how does that work, Ken?”
“Let’s take an example, Melvin. Do you remember how infatuated you were with your first new car…how beautiful it was, so cool, such a great deal, and so on?”
“I do! It was a 1970 red Mustang, standard with lovely leather seats. It was so cool!” he said smiling.
“Do you also remember when the infatuation dissolved and you eventually moved on to another car?”
“Yes I remember that too, Ken! It was a 72 air cooled Corvair convertible with the engine in the rear.”
“…the parallels are striking…”
“In the time between those two cars, you had a bunch of life experiences which dissolved your infatuation with the Mustang …making it into a sort of nightmare, and you created your new fantasy with the Corvair. Do you recall those times and remember that process happening to you?”
“I sure do. I had to put a new motor in the Mustang, the windows never seemed to work, and girls were more interested in my car, than me.” he replied, laughing out loud.
“Melvin, the same process is going on in the rest of your life, and especially in your work. Just like the Corvair was your new definition of a cool car after the Mustang, it looks like having a grandchild is your new infatuation after having your success in business. Can you see a similar learning process in action in both situations?” I asked.
“I never thought of it that way before…but as you describe it, the parallels are striking.”
“This suggests, if it occurs, you are infatuating being a granddad and, not noticing the down side, Melvin.”
“How can there be a downside to having grandkids? I have the love, knowledge and resources I want them to have…to pass on to them…how can that be a bad thing?”
“Melvin, it sounds like you are only seeing the red Mustang and ignoring the motor job and the windows that didn’t work. That’s called a blind spot…we all have them…they help us learn important stuff. Do you want to learn that important stuff?”
…my success is my ability to appreciate everyone, and everything…”
“I sure do because, both Grace and I, are getting very impatient with the current situation. Where do we begin?” he asked.
Melvin started by making a list of the ten best parts of being a grandfather. Then, we uncovered the downsides to each of those aspects in each of the seven areas of his life. Then, he made a list of the ten worst parts of being a granddad…this was tougher work because of his infatuation…but he did it. Next, we uncovered the upsides to each of these aspects. When he had completed the entire process, called the Demartini Method™, he was in awe of the evolution of his thinking and feelings about being a grandfather.
One day, near the completion of our work, he said, “I realize now my kids will have their own kids, if and when, they’re ready. And, I have been sharing my knowledge and resources with, not just Gilbert and Callie, but lots of my staff and colleagues over the years. And, perhaps most importantly, I have the opportunity, at this point in my life, to realize my success is my ability to appreciate everyone, and everything around me, including myself. Thanks Ken, I will be OK now!”
“The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you.” – Anthony Robbins, author
Until Next time…
So, check out your relationship and make a list of the different ways each of you expend your sexual energy besides the most obvious ones. And notice and appreciate how part of the success of your relationship is because each of you have found special ways which reflect your purpose and your values. Then you can thank your partner for being the perfect one for you.
If you are struggling in your relationship, please go to our NEW VIDEO on how you can deal with
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Namaste, (I salute the grandly organized design of the universe, manifested in you!)