Why Wait to be Great?

It's Either Now or Too Late

Terry Hawkins (Author)

Publication date: 05/07/2013

Why Wait to be Great?

Provides a simple, memorable process for breaking free of whatever is holding you back.

* Provides a simple, memorable process for breaking free of whatever is holding you back

* Features moving and funny stories from the author's life and from people whose lives have been changed by her process

* Revised edition of a self-published book that sold 40,000 copies

We all have things we want to change about ourselves: lose a few pounds, quit smoking, get fit, repair our relationships, improve our finances, and so on. But all too often the end goal seems too far away from where we are, so we get on the "try and fail" roundabout. Why? Because change is hard, even painful. We instinctively avoid pain. And our old ways of behaving are so ingrained, so wired in, that we drift back to them without even realizing it.

What we need-and what Terry Hawkins provides in this inspiring how-to book-is a simple, straightforward way to understand what it is that keeps us stuck and a simple process for breaking old patterns and substituting new ones so we can move forward.

Hawkins takes profound philosophical and neuropsychological concepts and renders them in a universally appealing and accessible way. She introduces us to two characters who symbolize two ways of being. We can be Pitman, trapped in the Pit of Misery, chained to our past, a helpless victim of circumstance. Or we can be the superhero Stickman-powerful, courageous, loved, and successful. Why Wait to Be Great? explains in plain, simple, and often humorous language precisely what feelings, thoughts, and behaviors send us to the pit. And it offers an action plan for getting out-concrete steps we can take that will actually make us perceive and react to the world in a more positive way.

Hawkins certainly isn't promising anyone a trouble-free life-as she shares here, she herself had to rise above abuse, poverty, and serious health issues to become the successful entrepreneur and mother she is today. In fact, she wants to help people "do pain well"-to use difficulties and setbacks as a source of growth, not a reason to give up. This wonderfully human and honest book will help you create the life you want once and for all.

Read more and meet author below

Read An Excerpt


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Overview

Provides a simple, memorable process for breaking free of whatever is holding you back.

* Provides a simple, memorable process for breaking free of whatever is holding you back

* Features moving and funny stories from the author's life and from people whose lives have been changed by her process

* Revised edition of a self-published book that sold 40,000 copies

We all have things we want to change about ourselves: lose a few pounds, quit smoking, get fit, repair our relationships, improve our finances, and so on. But all too often the end goal seems too far away from where we are, so we get on the "try and fail" roundabout. Why? Because change is hard, even painful. We instinctively avoid pain. And our old ways of behaving are so ingrained, so wired in, that we drift back to them without even realizing it.

What we need-and what Terry Hawkins provides in this inspiring how-to book-is a simple, straightforward way to understand what it is that keeps us stuck and a simple process for breaking old patterns and substituting new ones so we can move forward.

Hawkins takes profound philosophical and neuropsychological concepts and renders them in a universally appealing and accessible way. She introduces us to two characters who symbolize two ways of being. We can be Pitman, trapped in the Pit of Misery, chained to our past, a helpless victim of circumstance. Or we can be the superhero Stickman-powerful, courageous, loved, and successful. Why Wait to Be Great? explains in plain, simple, and often humorous language precisely what feelings, thoughts, and behaviors send us to the pit. And it offers an action plan for getting out-concrete steps we can take that will actually make us perceive and react to the world in a more positive way.

Hawkins certainly isn't promising anyone a trouble-free life-as she shares here, she herself had to rise above abuse, poverty, and serious health issues to become the successful entrepreneur and mother she is today. In fact, she wants to help people "do pain well"-to use difficulties and setbacks as a source of growth, not a reason to give up. This wonderfully human and honest book will help you create the life you want once and for all.

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Terry Hawkins

Terry Hawkins grew up in a large family in suburban Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. After a challenging childhood and teenage years, Terry became driven to achieve in her career. Her early promotion to the position of training coordinator for a major fashion retailer unleashed a love for helping people achieve their potential. After much success as an employee, Terry took the plunge at the age of twentyseven and opened her enterprise training company, People In Progress. In 1989, with $167, a card table, and an old computer held together with a rubber band, Terry established her training company People In Progress Global (now with offices in Australia and the U.S.). Terry quickly gained a reputation as a talented and results-achieving business educator, assisting companies in their sales, service, and leadership transformations. 

Her passion for understanding people and their behaviors, and her ability to simplify the most complex theories made her a favorite both as a trainer and as a highly soughtafter keynote speaker, speaking on performance, overcoming obstacles, and strategies for sustained change. 

Terry’s career as an author began in 2006 when she published her first book, NOW & TOO LATE! in response to constant requests from her audiences. She followed this with her children’s series, which offers sage advice for children in the challenging areas of obesity, divorce, difference and racism, and disabilities and cancer. Why Wait to Be Great? It’s Either Now or Too Late! is the newest addition to the collection. 

When not on the road, Terry lives in Los Angeles with her two teenage sons, Harison and Jackson. While Terry expands her Australian training operation, People In Progress Global, into the United States, she also continues her successful speaking career. She is a Certified Master Practitioner of NLP, Time Line Therapy, and hypnotherapy and holds the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) level with the National Speakers Association, an accreditation held by only about 10 percent of speakers worldwide. Having won numerous business, speaking, and service awards, Terry continues her quest to make a powerful, positive impact on the human condition. 

For more information on People In Progress, visit: www.PeopleInProgressGlobal.com

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Table of Contents

Preface

1 There Are Only Two Times in Life: Now and Too Late!

2 Get Out of That Pit!

3 Pit Language and Professional Pit People

4 It's Not Always about You!

5 Genuine Emotion Is Not the Pit

6 Gaining the Courage to Feel

7 There Are No Failures in Life-Just Feedback

8 Happiness Is a Choice

9 Perception

10 Mind Mechanics

11 Fake It Till You Make It!

12 Flipman's Strategy

13 The Best Way to Teach Is to Be!

14 Transition Time

15 Our Book of Life

16 Writing in Another's Book of Life

17 The Buck Stops Here

Acknowledgments

Index

Other Products by Terry Hawkins

About the Author

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Excerpt

Why Wait to Be Great?

Chapter 1

There Are Only Two Times in Life: Now and Too Late!

We all have a story. The basic premise of living provides us with a smorgasbord of possible opportunities to add to our story. We gather stories within our story, and the longer we live, the more “scenes” we add; thus by the end of our life we have built a story that is long, rich, and completely unique to us. No one else ever has or ever will have our story — this is one of the most amazing miracles of life.

As much as our stories may differ, they also unite us in one common element that no human being can ever avoid — our ability to feel. Our stories trigger a variety of feelings that can either propel us forward or keep us stifled and paralyzed in the past.

We often hear people say that it is the events and experiences of our lives that shape us into who we are, but is that really the case? Why is it that two people can experience the same event and yet each be affected in a completely different way? Is it the story of our life that determines our happiness, or is it the position from which we view our story — the story we tell ourselves about our story? Is it this interpretation that affects the decisions we make, how we feel about our life, and how we feel about those in it?

Many years ago I was sitting in my office, reading through the participant list for the next management training program I was conducting for one of our clients. While scrolling, I noticed a handwritten note beside one of the names. It read: Lynn — husband died four weeks ago. Lynn had participated in our sales and service program just over a year earlier.

When the course began, we started introducing ourselves to one another. Eventually, it was Lynn’s turn to speak. When I asked her how she was feeling, she replied, “Not that good!” Not recalling that note, I thoughtlessly said, “Oh, why not? It can’t be that bad!” Her face reddened and her eyes filled with tears, and in that moment I remembered the note. She was the one whose husband who had died four weeks earlier. I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t imagine what it was like to experience that kind of loss. I felt so stupid and awkward for being flippant. Yet despite my obvious discomfort at my faux pas, she responded with warmth and love. She said that she had come to the program because she wanted to laugh again, as her recent life had been so sad, and she was happy to be here.

That night, when I went to bed in my hotel room, I decided to let my imagination run wild, without boundaries. I tried to imagine what it would be like to lose someone that close to me — someone I loved with all my heart. I imagined myself never having that person in my life again. I fully associated with the thought. It hurt. The pain spread through every limb, every vein, and every heartbeat. It was almost too much for me to bear. Yet in the training room I had seen a woman with the courage to confront her deepest anguish and face the world, allowing herself to laugh and cry as she needed to.

Lynn spent the next couple of days immersing herself in the program. During one particular section she actually laughed so much she cried. As she wiped away the tears, she told us how wonderful it was to be crying from happiness, not sadness. It’s hard to find the words to describe the special feeling of watching someone experience joy again after so much sadness. When Lynn talked about her husband, her entire face lit up. He was her soul mate, her lover, her everything! Before meeting him, she had spent many years in an unhappy marriage. This wonderful man had finally given her the joy that had eluded her with her first husband.

Lynn told us that they had been building their dream home, and to speed things along financially, he had moved from his position at the Customs Department (where he had worked for twenty years) to take up a position as a courier. Six weeks later, he had walked into a building and unknowingly inhaled the deadly bacteria for Legionnaires’ disease. Ten days later, he was dead. Her mate, her lover, her confidant, her friend, was gone.

I looked at the sadness in her eyes and felt an urgent need to take her emptiness away. I desperately wanted her to be happy, and I realized that I was responding to my own fears of losing those that I loved. Grief is a necessary part of healing. By wanting Lynn to not feel her grief, I was trying to protect myself from the pain of death. We try so hard to run away from the really painful emotions of life, yet they must be experienced; otherwise, we can’t move on.

Over the next twelve months, I saw Lynn a few times at my presentations and workshops. We also sent each other occasional e-mails, including one about a monkey that made her laugh so much she got a stitch in her side! In one of those e-mails, she asked me to make a voice recording for her. She said she needed something from me that spoke to her — and her alone — to get her through the dark days.

She said, “Terry, you say things that inspire me and make me feel alive. Get me out of this rut I’m in. Make me a recording that I can play in the car when I’m feeling down.”

I promised her I would send it.

The next time I saw Lynn was a few months later at a one-day workshop I was conducting. She asked about the recording, and I apologized for not sending it. I confessed that I was so nervous about what she might think that I hadn’t gotten around to doing it; I didn’t want to embarrass myself. She reassured me, encouraged me, and even begged me to do it. We had a few laughs and a big hug, and I promised her I would do it by Christmas.

Well, time rolled by, and I thought about that recording nearly every day. I kept thinking about how special Lynn was and how pathetic I was for procrastinating. But in truth, I was nervous about what others might think of what I would say. I kept asking myself what I was waiting for. Did I need my message to be perfect? Should it be profound? And who was I to judge that anyway?

I was paralyzed with indecision just thinking about it! Then came the new year, and the phone rang.

“Do you know Lynn from Perth?”

“Why, yes!” I said with a touch of guilt, remembering the unfinished recording.

“She died last night in her sleep.”

Image

There are only two times in life: NOW and TOO LATE!

I state that phrase nearly every day of my life. For the most part, I live it, because there really are only two times in life — this moment, and then it’s gone! If this is the case, then why do so many of us wait to be great? Why do we get so stymied by life that we become frozen? Why does it become so difficult to seize each moment with passion and courage? Is it because we are afraid?

We all get afraid at times, but it’s sad when that fear paralyzes us and prevents us from moving forward. This is not a message about physical death. It’s a message about the death we have while we’re still alive.

That night, I cried for Lynn, and I cried for me. I cried that I hadn’t done what she thought I was capable of doing. I cried for the fact that I could have made her life a little easier — but I hadn’t. Why?

Because I was afraid!

Life is full of learning experiences for all of us; no one escapes. It’s packed with situations that give us wisdom and understanding — but what if those experiences are so painful that we get stuck in the pain and thus stop moving forward?

Not more than twenty-four hours had passed when I received another phone call. It was a second blow. A young man I had worked with a few weeks before — a beautiful, talented, intelligent twenty-one-year-old — had been sentenced to prison for a drug offense. Again there was sadness in my heart. I remembered the beautiful, innocent face of this young man with such a promising future. It was hard to think of him being locked away with hardened criminals in a prison cell, all because of a few unwise choices.

A third blow came a few days later. A friend called to tell me that his eighteen-year-old sister had tried to kill herself. She had jumped off a bridge four floors high — and survived! How desperate must she have been to not see a way out and to make an attempt on her own life?

I wanted to scream and yell for all three of them!

In the course of training and presenting to thousands of audiences, I’ve heard endless stories about people who have been to hell and back. I’ve also discovered some lessons and drawn some conclusions from these tragedies and triumphs. The biggest conclusion I’ve come to is this: I have yet to meet anyone who has had a charmed life. Every one of us has experienced something in our life from which we still carry scars. Some of the scars are self-inflicted, and some are a result of what others have done to us. They vary in intensity, and some are more painful than others. But behind every face lies an amazing story! All of us have been touched by life in some way, and I am reminded of this every day. Whenever I look at a stranger’s face, I wonder what story this person could tell me and what painful past lies inside.

Our most painful memories are usually only exacerbated when we try to numb the feeling by running away. I spent many years of my life filled with shame and anger about my past, trying to pretend that it never happened. I too have experienced dark times in which I simply wanted to be able to erase some of those unpleasant, painful memories, and I also spent many of my younger years stuck in that empty hole called “What if?”

A woman so heartbroken, wondering why fate had dealt her such a harsh card; a young man with his whole future in front of him, now facing the stark reality of time in prison; a teenager so desperate to silence her pain, now confronting her own survival. These three — Lynn, the young drug user, and my friend’s sister — all had something in common, just as you and I probably do.

What controls their destinies? How will these experiences affect their lives? And is the actual experience the defining moment in their lives?

No!

It is never the actual experience that defines us. It is how we perceive these experiences that defines how we will live the rest of our lives. That is the defining moment!

All we have is now. In each moment we are given the choice of how to interpret and react to each situation. Unfortunately, many of us are completely unaware that we hold the key to our own happiness — we hold the pen that can write the new story of how our life can be.

So let’s look at some of the things that get in the way of this happiness and why we wait to be great.

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Endorsements

"Terry Hawkins is a positive force of nature. Let her enthusiasm and optimistic approach to life's challenges rub off on you as you turn the pages. You'll be a better person for having read this book."


-Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager and Great Leaders Grow

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