The phrase echoed loudly as I laughed, giggled, strutted my sexy self and had one of the funnest moments of my life doing a photo shoot in a parking garage. Originally I had scheduled this shoot to take place in the shallow pool posing in front of a stunning water fall. In the end the best photos came from the concrete parking garage. Our lives are full of moments to become attached to our physical location rather than the state our mind is located.
I’m sure I’ve said the words location, location, location over a thousand times during my tenure in the mortgage/real estate career. On this day the true meaning became clear. You may have even said them yourself, or hear someone else say them. Have you ever wondered why a real estate agent would say it three times in a row? Does it mean three different locations? Excellent, mediocre and lousy? Actually it is for emphasis. The emphasis being how important location is. Actually the true meaning is Excuse, Excuse, Excuse.
The question is this? How often do you feel like your location drives your attitude? The location of your job, your home, your morning freeway commute, your sister’s wedding?
You have set the same goal for the past five years and still have not achieved it. You say you are in pain because you have not achieved it. You lament it at every turn. Your current situation is no closer to achieving the goal than it was five years ago when you made the decision. Everyone around you is unhappy from your defeat.
What was your goal: Own your own company? Shed 10 pounds, 50 pounds, 100 pounds? Start a fitness regime? Find the perfect soul mate? Find a better job? Eat healthier? Conquer the world?
You’ve sought out self-help websites, classes, read the books, listened to the seminars and could even be considered a workshop junkie. You know what to do; but I couldn’t possibly understand your location keeps you stuck. The sentence usually starts like this: If I didn’t or If I wasn’t . . .
Stuck in this lousy job then I’d. . .
Live in this tiny house then I’d.. . .
Drive this broken down car then I’d . ..
Stuck in this overweight, sick body then I’d . . .
Live in this lousy neighborhood then I’d . ..
Take a moment and fill in your own excuse sentence
If I wasn’t/didn’t __________________ in this _____________ then I’d __________________.
This day I could see that a simple excuse like a parking garage could have kept me from having the time of my life.
I could have said “If I wasn’t limited by this parking garage then I would have a beautiful shoot at a waterfall.”
The next time you find yourself starting your conversation with those words, here are some strategies you can choose instead. If you marinate your mind with their inspiration you just might find the beauty in the location of your state of mind. These stories are clearly a demonstration that the location is simply that, a location, your state of mind controls your ultimate location.
The Story of Kyle Maynard
Kyle Maynard could have said “If I wasn’t living in this body, then I could climb Mt .Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa , I could wrestle one of the best teams in the Southeast, set records in weight lifting, fight martial arts and become a motivational speaker.” But he didn’t, he did them regardless.
Kyle was born March 24, 1986 with a condition known as congenital amputation. His arms end at his elbows and his legs at his knees. He types up to fifty words a minute on a normal keyboard, eats and write without adaptation, drives a vehicle that has little modification, lives on his own been on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Live, ESPN’s Sportscenter, HBO’s Real Sports, ABC’s 20/20 and Good Morning America. His No Excuses book is a New York Times best seller.
The Story of Colonel George Hall
Col Hall could have said “If I wasn’t stuck in this POW camp, then I could play in a Pro-Am Gold Tournament”. But he didn’t, he did it anyway.
Captain Hall was shot down and forced to eject during one of his 200 combat missions over North Vietnam. Captured by the North Vietnamese he was thrown into solitary confinement. If you’ve ever thought your living conditions were not up to snuff, just imagine the solitary confidence of a POW camp? The Hanoi Hilton was notParis’ dad’s finest. During his seven years residence in these deplorable conditions, Col. Hall used the power of his mind and imagination to survive his extended time in “the hole”.
An avid golfer before he was captured, Col. Hall would imagine himself playing 18 holes of gold on his favorite course. The image was so detailed, the feel of the club’s steel shaft in his hand, the smell of the grass, the sound of the ball off the club and the outline of the clouds in the sky. He incorporated every detail into this image. He re-lived every emotion. He imagined this scene every day of his captivity.
After seven years of torture and brutality, Col. Hall was released and returned a hero. He was weak, emaciated and needed two canes just to walk. Invited by a friend to be a spectator at a Pro-Am Golf Tournament, Col. Hall arrived with his clubs and insisted on playing. He walked the entire course with his two cans and shot a 3 over par that day. His explanation for this success, “I’ve played that course over 3,000 times in my head and a 3 over par was my one of my worse scores.”
The Story of Oseola McCarty
Oseola could have said “If I wasn’t’ stuck here in Mississippi doing other people’s laundry, I could have gone to college and made something out of myself”. But she didn’t, she received a degree from Harvard.
Oseola never owned a car; she walked everywhere she went, pushing a shopping cart near a mile to get groceries. She rode with friends to attend services at the Friendship Baptist Church. She did not subscribe to any newspaper, she had to quit school after sixth grade to take care of her ill aunt, dreamed of being a nurse but ended up joining her family washing laundry forHattiesburg’s elite. She washed clothes for over 70 years for other people. Living in her family home, she saved her washing money every week. After 70 years Oseola had saved over a quarter a million dollars
All she wanted to do with her money was make sure that it was possible for others to finish school. AT the end of her life, she donated $150,000 to the University of Southern Mississippi which was the largest donation every given by an African-American to the University.
She is the author of the book “Simple Wisdom for Rich Living.” Even though she gave one of the most powerful speeches at the University of Southern Mississippi, most of her 91 years were spent doing rather than talking about her selflessness.
The next time think your “location, location, location” becomes your “excuse, excuse, excuse”, lean into the power of these “No excuse heroes” and reframe your sentence:
If I was experiencing ____________________ to achieve my dream then I would ________________.
Notice the shift in your mental location. Become the “I would . . . .”