Your Personal Journey To Health, Wealth And Leadership
Last time we were talking about your ability to access your pathway to the success that is programmed inside of you. The way to have influence in your life is an inward to outward journey from vitality, embodying the universal and environmental resources that are all around you to give you the foundation to be productive in manifesting what it is that your passion, vision and dream leads you to exemplify. That ability to produce creates a ripple in your environment that makes people notice what you are doing and generates a movement towards you as a person of purpose. Action generates a current and people and events tend to respond to that current and as you move purposefully you influence more people to respond in the direction of your achievement.
I spoke of examples of people through history that have been aligned with these Vital Edge principles. I feel comfortable saying that every person that has achieved any purpose or attempted personal movement towards an internal goal that motivated them used these three principles of vitality, productivity and influence.
The first person that came to mind was Teddy Roosevelt. Theodore Roosevelt was our 26th President who, if you looked at him as a child, was so sickly that his parents feared that he would not survive to adulthood. He was intelligent, studious and ambitious, raised in a family environment of accomplishment. His father told him. “You have the mind. But you have not the body, and without the help of the body the mind cannot go as far as it should. You must make the body.” Here is a case where mind and spirit were ready but the body wasn’t. It took concerted effort of training and conditioning his body to give President Roosevelt the vitality to produce results that lead to his influential position in the history of America. Would he have been President; could he have been President if he had not brought vitality to his body? Would he have been the first American to win the Nobel Peace Prize? Would conservation of the nation’s resources in the form of national parks have had such a prominent position? Would he have led the Rough Rider charge up San Juan Hill? (for which he later received the Medal of Honor) It is highly doubtful that any of those achievements and influence would have happened without the return to vitality he generated before the opportunity of those events would be possible.
Another example is Alexander the Great. He was the son of a king, Phillip, and was taught by Aristotle as a boy. He unified Greece and successfully invaded the Persian empire. He created the largest empire in ancient times. His ability to lead armies and men was superior. His military tactics are still studied today in military academies. His early life was an example of VPI; however, when he lost his vitality due to injuries, infection and/or poisoning his productivity and influence dwindled and was lost. Who knows how much more world-shaping impact he would have had if he stayed vital and effective; instead of dying at such an early age?
You can apply this process to anyone, in any time and come to understand the fundamental impact that the sequential process of Vitality, Productivity and Influence has in shaping a life or changing the world.
I have another example – but not from history; unless you consider personal history being relevant to anyone but me.
I’ll never forget that day in the summer of 1970. I was as healthy, active and as vital as any 20 year-old had a right to be.
Gary, my good friend from high school, took a curve too fast. I remember the passenger door crushing inwards as we hit a wall and then the impact folded the car around a tree right at my door. I caught the full impact of the crash on my right side which broke most of my right ribs and a couple of the ribs fractured inward collapsing my lung.
You ever have that feeling that your own world stopped but the world out there kept going as if nothing happened? Nothing stopped out there; but my life made an inexorable turn in another direction. A detour? And bump in the road? Or a fork where my life path changed – who knows? Who can say? Actually, who cares? If there is one thing of which I am certain is that in life, things happen. It is up to us to give the event meaning – good or bad. But here is where I learned the lesson of lost vitality.
I spent two weeks in a hospital with tubes in my chest draining the blood out of the space so my lung could inflate. They had me on morphine for the pain. Most of the pain was caused by the treatment which made me cough to force more blood out of my chest cavity, but because of the fractured ribs, coughing was excruciating.
After the summer spent recuperating, I went back to college for supposedly my senior year but I never made it to graduation. I had three more car accidents that year, two walk-away ‘whiplash’ type jolts and the fourth one broke two small bones in my lower back. The entire accumulated trauma left me in chronic debilitating pain for years. (And no, I wasn’t driving; I was a passenger in all of them.) I quit school after I didn’t graduate with my class; lost my student deferment and got my ‘Greetings’ from Uncle Sam’s draft board. Because of my injuries from those car accidents, I failed my draft physical.
As you can imagine, my ‘vitality’ was gone and with it my productivity lowered and thus no personal influence. I went from an active kid, decent student/athlete with an Air Force officer future to pumping gas in a gas station for 9 months. Family and friends thought I was on the fast track to nowhere. They couldn’t see the pain; they didn’t understand the direction change. With no spurting blood nor exposed bone, chronic ongoing pain is not recognized by anyone but the person experiencing it. When most people experience pain, it is temporary and self-limiting. Even sharp excruciating pain usually, for most people, subsides as the body finds a way to heal it or deal with it. People with unrelenting pain are tolerated, then relegated to the ‘psychological problem’ category and dismissed. Just as people are attracted to a vital person whose activities shape their sphere of influence; people are likewise repelled by the non-vital, inactive person who is not influencing anything around them, whatever the reason.
So I had the experience of having vitality quickly taken away from me. In the days that rolled into months and then years after my injuries, when I got out of bed in the morning, I’d bend over the sink to wash my face. The pain would buckle my knees and I’d have to grab the sink to keep from falling. I remember thinking, “So this is middle age”, I was 21 years old.
I lived in that state for three years until my Dad took me to a Chiropractor for my first adjustment. I didn’t want to go but I was in too much pain to resist. To say my experience was life changing is an understatement. For the first time in three years my pain was gone! I remember getting out of bed the next day after my first adjustment, going to the bathroom and bracing for the pain as I bent down to put water on my face. No pain! It was the most incredible feeling in the world, to move without pain! Several days later, my old friend, pain, started coming back and this time I drove myself to the Chiropractor. After the adjustment, no pain!
Within three months of my first adjustment, I was in Chiropractic college studying to do for others what that one Chiropractor did for me. It took almost 4 years to strengthen and repair my body from those earlier injuries, but I regained my Vital Edge.
So from first-hand experience, I know the value of being vital and the tragedy of losing vitality and the return to joy when I found my way back to being whole. Over the next 40 years I have studied the essential pathway to Vitality and how it provides the pathway to productivity and the way to influence.
I want to pass this information onto you. We all have greatness inside of us. To access it isn’t as hard as one might think. We must live from an inward to outward direction and utilize all the abundance that is our environmental vital reserves. We must extend our vitality into that activity what fires our passion and vision. We must stand up to stand out. Action generates a current and people and events tend to respond to that current. As we move purposefully we influence more people to respond in the direction of our achievement. Our influence is our leadership; which comes from our actions; which begins with our vital capacity to be a high functioning individual.