Background and a major transformational moment
Anita Marler – Her transformation into success was faced with desperation. From a small farming community in Alberta, Canada, at the age of 25 I moved out to Vancouver on the West Coast.
Shock Her Life Turns Upside Down.
In 2006, Anita Marler had a Brain Aneurysms, and as many of you know the statistics for brain aneurysms are people statistically either die or their life is altered. They end up of some type of disability and very few walk away from it unscathed. She was one of those few that walked away from it unscathed. It was a big reality check.
I started to examine my life and realize that I really wasn't happy, and all these things that I've wanted to do were somewhere in the distance. I really wasn't happy with that. So, I decided that I would make some changes. I changed everything in my life. In the beginning it wasn’t so easy because I really didn’t know what I wanted and you know you are all talking about those ideas, but when you sit down and you start to actually figure out if you could have and do and be anything you wanted what would that look like. So, it’s a bit of a process and a big learning process for that matter. In the first few years, I didn’t have any idea where I would end up but I knew that it was going to be better that where I was. So, I started on the journey and my background was in Psyche Nursing. I studied lots of books on self-help and how to be the best you can be and motivational and all that sort of things. But a lot of it I really hadn’t taken and put it into practice. What I’ve done is, you read the information and you get all this wonderful head knowledge, but you don’t actually take the actions steps required for you to actually live that kind of life. So when I got sick, I said you know what, no more, I’m going to actually do what I need to do to be the person I want to be and have the life that I want to have. I’ll tell you it’s been the most amazing journey full of blessings and coincidences and miracles and people that I could have ever imagine. A lot of twist and turns, it’s been very exciting.
Lights go off to a new adventure
A couple of years ago, people started to come and ask me what I was doing because they knew me when I was kind of down and… so to speak. My husband and I had split up, I didn’t have a lot of money, I’d started a new career, bought a house, had no furniture in it, you name it, it was a pretty rough go. But, they saw me living this life and you know driving a beautiful car, I’m in an amazing relationship. I’m doing okay financially and they’re all starting to come in to me and ask me what are you doing. So at that point in time, I started to help other people to find their path and their dream and goals and work with them and help them and help them to make that a reality.
Thomas: That’s a beautiful story. I’d like to back track it to a couple of things. One of which was, you said you were searching out to find a little bit of yourself and the things, as you called them weaknesses or problems and things that you had to overcome in order to build this dream. How did you identify what things you needed to do or learn?
The Dreams and Visions Started
Well, the first thing I realized is, all the things that I wanted. I mean I took a little notebook and I started to play a game. I would just sit down and would say if time and money were have no consequence, where would I be living? What would I be doing? What would I…. All the details in my life, I would kind brainstorm a little bit. What I found was the 2 big obstacles that always got in the way, was the time factor because you know, how am I going to do all this in a day and how I’m going to climb this big mountain, as well as financially. I mean obviously I wanted a great life but I didn’t have the financial resources to do it. So, I took those things out of the formula and started to just give myself permission to dream about what that would look like.
Then through the journey I realized, that when I would dare to dream, so to speak, the resources and the people and the tools would come to me through you know amazing coincidences and miracles and that sort of things. Then the path would be there but I had to take that first step into claiming or, you know putting out there so to speak, what it is that I actually wanted because… if you don’t even know what you want, there’s no way that you’re ever going to get it, nowhere you know that you get there, it’s kind of like, if you’re getting to your car and you start driving with no particular destination, while you’re just going to keep driving in your car. But if you set a destination on wherever that is, that likelihood of you getting there whether you take the long road or the short road is going to be you know dramatically increased exponentially because you have a destination.
So, that was of the first step was for me to get really clear about what it is that I wanted.
Thomas: Right and then, you also identify what it is that you needed to learn or skills that you needed to develop in order to get to that point.
Anita : Well, that’s it exactly and I was realizing that I used to put goals out as I was always a goal setter. I used to put goals out and what I used to think was that the goals were the end result. Then I got the car… or I got the house or I got whatever that was, then it would be kind of done.
It’s all about the journey
What I’ve realized through this journey, is it is a never ending journey and it’s an exciting journey. If you have those tools on that information now, then it will already be there, by my growth process, I had to grow and evolve as a person and become that person that wanted or could dream all of types of things. So, it was an evolution, I used to think goals were about getting something or somewhere. But I realized it’s a lot about who you become in getting those things, that is what makes that real transformation amazing.
Thomas: Absolutely, and actually I love that because, one of the things that I love to point out to people is… you can have all these goals and wishes that you want. To think of in terms of New Year’s Eve Resolutions, people have these every single year. Yet, 95% of New Year’s Resolutions never make it into the third week. That’s because what they are, they are just this pictures painted on the wall without any more depth through them than that.
Anita : Absolutely, and when I first started to do this, I chose the medium of doing vision boards, and what I did was start to apply all the things that I learned. All these tools so to speak, that I had been acquiring through reading and studying and that sort of things of successful people, I just read absolutely everything I could get my hands on from people that were successful on how to become a successful thinker. How should I be like successful people? As that evolved, I started to use those tools on my vision boards to make them come to life. Instead of it just being like you said, just this idea that you put out there, it’s wishful thinking. If you walk past it like wallpaper expecting that your life is going to chang, your life will never change unless you change.
Thomas: Right, actually that’s one of my pet peeves that people have these chants. I am such and such, I am a millionaire and something like this and I think repeating it 17 times a day is all of a sudden instantly they will get there. There are a whole bunch of things like that need something else for substance if even possible. The same is true with the vision board. The vision board isn’t just a bunch of pictures on the wall you walk by every day and say yeah that’s what I want, that’s what I want. It’s going to happen. There’s a whole process and the depth that you’ve developed for it, I like that, I like that a lot. Now there’s another aspect that you mentioned a moment ago, something if we even go back a little further. You said you had been a nurse, and you decided not to go back into it, which is an interesting thing. One is, you went into this profession that is a very respectful and very good caring profession, but you changed your mind deciding this is not what you want to go back, could you give us a little bit a feeling for that.
Taking existing Skills Combining New Ones and a New Career is Born
Anita : Well, the irony which I felt was very ironic so to speak about the whole thing was my background was in Psyche Nursing. And for me to have a brain aneurysm, I thought the irony in that was quite funny because of the thing that could happen to me, it was of course something that affected the brain which is something I studied in school. So, that was kind of ironic but I realized that what I was doing was basically spending a lot of time fishing for people instead of teaching people how to fish.
So, How I should take my Skills to Teach Others to Use Theirs
When some people could help themselves but instead of helping themselves, but they wanted you to come and fix it for them or fix it for their life. When I had my aneurysm I was at work that day, and I’d left my office, not expecting that I would have brain aneurysm three hours later. When I went back, all these people were waiting for me. Oh thank goodness you’re back because now we can move forward with our lives and now we can do this and we need you to do this and you could do that and all of these types of things. I realized and said, you guys could do all this stuff without me. You don’t have to do this because I’m here. I realized that what I was doing was dragging people along versus people being connected in their own right and inspiring them to move forward. So, it became more of me pulling them along versus me walking hand and hand with people and helping them on to a better life. I also realized that the lives I touched, although they were significant and an amazing experience. I can help so many more people out there, by just starting to teach some of things that I’ve learned from my own experience.
Thomas: Yes, absolutely. And it’s also very interesting because what you are saying relates not only to what you were doing and how important it is to teach others. It is something that seems to be missing in parenting today for many people that is, what should we be doing with kids? How many times do you hear somebody say something like, oh I’ll make sure of my kids have the things that I didn’t have years ago. When I hear somebody say that I immediately say, oh that’s great, so you’re teaching them how to succeed and survive in life. That’s wonderful. Yeah, they’re reaction is just like yours Anita, they start to laugh or they get this expression on their face, like that’s not what I meant. But think about it, and this is one of those things that what people are doing. As a parallel to it think in terms of animals. If you think of a bird, a bird is constantly training the little chicks to survive in the world before they get released out of the nest. But as human beings, most parents don’t bother to do that. Who’s smarter, the birds or the humans?
Anita: Absolutely. I think we have a lot to learn from the animal kingdom and watching them. An amazing book I’m reading right now is all about the animal instincts and how they instinctively know about certain things and somewhere in the business of our lives we’ve lost touch with our instincts. The things that we know, that we really know. We look to the computer or Google or a friend or the TV or somebody to give us advice versus going inside ourselves because the answer is already there. We just may or may not like the answer and we may or may not want to take the action. people have gone outward instead of going inward for those answer and for looking for a bigger life.
Thomas: That’s interesting, that’s an interesting point. So many of people are looking for approval by their peers, rather than what they know they should do. I can’t imagine that people don’t realize what they should do with their children, but yet instead they want to put a smile on their face or are they really satisfying the child or the child’s need. Are they satisfying themselves? I gave my kids this which I didn’t have as a kid.
Anita: Absolutely, I learned kind of a hard way when I first had separated from my husband and like I said was a little strapped financially and everything else and I bought a house and I remember all these people were telling me: what are you doing; are you sure you can afford this. Yet, I found it very ironic because you know of course I did do it and a year later all these people are coming and giving me the high fives that ‘we knew you could do it, we knew you do it.’ But I thought it was so funny because all of them would question whether or not I could do this, but not one of them stepped up and said, hey what can we do to help you. It was the entire peanut gallery with offering all kinds of good and bad advice but nobody was in going to have to help figure out how to make that mortgage payment or figure out how to make it work or any of those types of things. It was a real, I mean I love all these people and they’re still in my life. I found it very ironic because I realized opinions are like belly buttons everybody’s got one, but whether or not that opinion is going to help advance me in my life is a whole different thing.
Only listen to People that have the Success You Want (Listen to Episode 07)
I have a policy now that I only take advice from people that are successful in the area that were discussing. So, for example I’m not going to take financial advice from someone that you know, can’t manage to make ends meet every month. I’m not going to take health and wellness advice from somebody that is extremely over weight and drinks too much. I'm going to those people, mentors that are going to actually have the answer that would possibly help me and catapult me forward is the only advice that I take.
Ask Yourself Questions to Yourself About the Person Giving You Advice
Thomas: Right and that is so true. I ran across this all the time, I ran across a couple recently where somebody was trying to give out advice. But what do they have, what is their background, what are they doing, have they’ve done it successfully over and over again, because if they haven’t, how do you take advice from them. There are people that are trying to teach people programming as an example and yet they know little bit more than the basic stuff. The problem is if they don’t know the advance stuff, they can be steering somebody down the wrong path. That’s the case with a lot of things today particularly technology.
Anita: Absolutely, I totally agree and I found out for myself. That’s how this whole business started, people were seeing this success in my life and were asking, how are you doing this? What are you doing? What do you know that we don’t know? And it started innocently and I said well let me show you. And it just kind of mushroomed from there. It’s been amazing because it was the evidence in my life. People realized that, there was some information that they didn’t know because they weren’t having the results that I was having.
Thomas: It’s interesting. Well, we talked very much how you overcame this major tragedy and actually in the sense that major tragedy, being an aneurysm, may have been almost a blessing in disguise. It sounds sick to say that, but you know what I mean.
Anita: You know I agree with you, it was the best thing that ever happen to me, and I’ll tell you, people often are alarmed when I say those types of things, but it was the catalyst to make me move forward and to wake up so to speak and realize that we’ve only got one kick at the cats. So we better make account.
Thomas: I thought a cat had nine kicks in it.
Anita: Yeah, maybe wrong phrase, okay we’ve only got one shot.
Thomas: Okay, well one other big things is that, in order to do this, you really were treading into new territory and new ground and one of the favorite topics of mine is the comfort zone (see Episode 15 for depth) and getting outside it and jumping outside it as you have done. Could you go in to how you did that?
Transformation – Facing Fears as a Better Alternative
Anita: In the beginning it was funny, because a lot of people have commented and told me how brave I was for doing all the things that I’ve done in venturing out. In the beginning, I didn’t feel like I had a choice, I felt like I had my back up against the wall. I felt like anything was better than where I was, and when you’re in that kind of situation desperation breeds innovation. But I grew and evolved. It was funny I had a speaking engagement not long ago and someone commented to me about how brave I was to do it. But for me to look in the mirror and know that I was too afraid to do it and that I lost an opportunity would be far more damaging to me than for me to just face my fear and do it anyway. I realized too that as you grow and evolve, I kept thinking that eventually I will get comfortable or you know you are going to get to that place where you’re feeling really good and you’re comfortable in your life. I realize in order to keep growing I have to keep getting uncomfortable, because that’s the only way that I’m going to grow and be the best that I can be. So, yes there’s been times when I would shake my head and think what am I doing, but I always just believe in the bigger picture that I could be doing and have anything I wanted in my life. I just needed the courage in order to act and like I said there are many times that I didn’t know that I could it. But as long as I just kept putting one foot in front of the other, it always managed to work itself out.
Thomas: Yeah, and that’s it exactly as most people are afraid because they are getting uncomfortable. They are afraid of the embarrassment and afraid of anything else which prevents them from advancing. But you had one of the key things that I like to point out; you had the fear of not changing.
That is what would happen to me if I don’t make these adjustments and change things in my life so that I can overcome what I have in the past or have currently. That’s an interesting aspect.
Now one other thing that’s quite often true, we use things, different things to motivate ourselves over time.
Anita: Not one thing in particular I read and study every day. That’s something I do. I continually try to be plugged in. I meditate and I read every day. That’s how I start my day. So, that I can get my feet on the ground and kind of wake up on the right side of the bed so to speak. I get my mojo going, and everybody has got a different mojo, mine is music. It gets you a really great feeling and typically will catapult me through any difficult times as I put on my favorite music or I’ll do something and it gives me the energy back and that courage.
Thomas: Yeah, I also use music a lot, actually when I’m just around the house, not doing anything in particular and don’t really want to be listening so much to the music, I just play symphony music in the background. When I’m out driving etc, going someplace or some other time that I want a pick-me-up, I choose something a little bit more upbeat, 80’s rock or something like that. Although my morning routine does revolve a little bit around coffee.
Anita: Yes, that’s always gets you grounded first thing in the morning.
Thomas: Well, yes and for me actually, I use it partially as part of relaxing, not just grabbing a pot of coffee and then running around with it. Literally sitting down thinking and getting a little bit of piece and quiet in my life before I take on the world.
Anita: Well, that’s exactly… like I said, getting centered, I do it every morning, I get up at least two hours before I talk to anybody and just spend time with me. I said reading, studying and meditating all of that. So that I can get the feeling I’m at the top of my game, because that can make me… give me the courage versus me being reactive, I’m proactive. I do everyday.
Thomas: Right and that’s absolutely important and probably that two hours ahead of time gives you a long time in the process of thinking etc. So you really have automatically a well-planned day.
Anita: I’m not a morning person. I can’t do just naturally getting up early. It’s a discipline. A lot of this stuff that I do, I didn’t just wake up successfully. It has been a training process for sure and now because I’ve, I don’t like to use the term, forced it. I would have myself do this every day. Now when I wake up, I just immediately get into the shower and start my day because I feel like I’m all organized. So, it’s a process but it’s kind of like when you start going to the gym. The first month or so, it’s really difficult but after a while you find that you need it. That’s what keeps you going.
Thomas: Right. Actually, when you go into the gym and exercise, it takes 6 weeks approximately for it to really stop seemingly to be just a drain on you and you are getting a little tired. Then it has you automatically going. Then the times that you feel the worse are the most important times to go to the gym and after 10 to 15 minutes you start feeling better. Even if you are just walking through exercises and doing what you need to do, you will feel better.
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