I was remembering the lesson by a famous TED speaker Sean Stephenson who said, “Lesson number one: never believe a prediction that does not empower you.” I was thinking about the yellow line that divides the highway between us and oncoming traffic. I was thinking about how easy it is to lose focus for a second—and just like that, BAM! a head on collision.
I am thinking now about the pathways I have chosen. I am thinking about the dead ends in which I found myself in more times than once. I am remembering a morning when the sun was just about to take the sky. It was summertime in my young life. I was in the middle of too many changes and still handling the tail-end of a three year probation sentence. And there I was, about to handle an additional charge that was now pending after a fight in a law firm parking lot.
I can remember the way light trickled through a frosted window. I can remember the familiar smell of the holding cells and the local drunks who were brought in throughout the night. I can remember the growl in my stomach because I had not eaten. I can remember the echo of the corridor and the jail cell in which I had sworn I would never revisit; but yet, there I was. Just like old times.
There was a belief system which I had subscribed to. There was an idea of who I am and who I was supposed to be—but moreover, there was a belief that this was me and because this was me—this meant that this was all I could ever be. This meant the people in my life who predicted my destruction would be correct. This meant the people who described me as a lowlife would be right about me; and equally, this meant that I would prove to them that I was the beast that they claimed me to be. Therefore, I became the predictions that empowered me the least.
In a sense, I was never a real person. Or, at least I was not a real person at that time. I was a stupid kid. I was the sum of all my external descriptions which meant that I was a hoodlum or criminal or convict or thief. I was the idea that I was learning disabled and so therefore, at best, I would never be able to be a successful member of society. Meanwhile, none of this was me. None of this was true—however, there was a belief system that told me this was true, which means this has to be true.
It must be true that I was stupid. It must be true that I would end up dead on the side of the road. It must be true that I would eventually become imprisoned or institutionalized for the rest of my life because this is who I was and this is what I was predicted to be.
I have to break here and reiterate the quote:
“Never believe a prediction that does not empower you.”
I go to another lesson I learned about the mind and the body—as a matter of fact, posted something about this on my social media page the other day. This comes from a lesson I learned after listening to Dr. Joe Dispenza
When I was young, I believed in the theories and the labels and the predictions that I was told. I believed in the social models and the clinical terms that were used to describe me from a very young age. To be clear, for the life of me, I am not sure why anyone in any profession—whether the white coat and clipboard was fit or not; either way, I cannot see a reason why someone would ever tell a 12 year-old boy, “You are emotionally disturbed.”
By the way, I still don’t know what this means. I’m still not sure if the doctor who told me understands what this means either but needless to say, this was a prediction that I believed. I was that boy. I was that kid in the class. I was that teenager, lost in his circle of influence. I later became that young man and then I became that young adult who believed in limitations because after all—society deems who is successful. Society says who is pretty, who is smart and who is desirable. There is a certain belief and educational snobbery that stays loyal to a person in an office with diplomas on their wall.
I walked around in the personal haze of submission and mediocrity. I had no true ambition because I never believed that I could be anything more than a high school dropout with a GED diploma. I certainly never thought that I would be presenting in front of law enforcement. I never believed that I would become something or someone who people looked to speak with. I never believed that I would build mental health programs to allow for relatable and understandable ways to deal with basic emotional challenges that we encounter throughout our day. If I believed in any of my predictions, to be clear, then I would be none of this. I would be none of what I am now and quite simply—I would more accurately be on the other side of the statistical chart that claims the lives of so many others.
If I was my prediction, then I would be dead. I would be in prison or lost on a drug binge. If I were any of my predictions, I would be something more undesirable than death itself—and as I say this, I understand there is a picture or an opinion about the old version of myself. I understand that there will be assumptions and interpretations. But please, hold your judgments because they are only a waste of time. I say this only because I used to believe in the predictions that did not empower me. I say this because I have learned that people interpret information and process this differently. I have learned that we often compare, rather than relate. I have seen that people will look to discredit ideas of information that lead them to a connection of feeling or emotion.
I am who I am.
Yet, I am not corporate proper. Then again, what is corporate proper? Is this real—or, is this a forced image of a certain way people are supposed to be when they put on a suit and a tie? How much further are we going to allow stigmas to detail our personal existence?
It is interesting to me that when I started writing; there were people who would laugh at me. I was told that I was horrible. I was told that no one wants to read about my subject matter. I was told “Don’t get your hopes up,” and, as another matter of fact; I was told by a therapist that my history shows that I lack the ability to stick to my passions because when I am discouraged, I tend to quit or give in. So, put simply, my therapist called me a quitter.
(By the way, I recently put out my sixth book within one year’s time.)
I remember someone at my day job used to laugh at me and say, “You still looking to be the next Shakespeare?” I used to laugh this off until one day, I decided to shoot back and tell him, “Nope, I’m just looking to be the first Ben Kimmel.”
I have to break here and reiterate the second most powerful lesson I have learned in my life from Dr. Joe Dispenza. Our mind and the patterns and circuitry of our thinking can and will have an impact over our biology. We can have a direct impact on the chemistry of our bodies.
This can and will either promote us or push us back. The internal voice can be our worst enemy. The mind is a record of our past—or, the internal voice can be our biggest supporter and the mind can be a map to our future. Otherwise, we freeze our potential in a state of beliefism that limits us from ever being free. (Beliefism . . . it’s a word now. So, there!)
A few months back, someone told me that my lack of college education is the reason why I have had limited success with my private business. Meanwhile, I sent out my revised statement of work to one of the largest insurance and consulting firms in the world this morning.
I don’t know how this program will do. I don’t know if this will be a success or if it will fade away. Then again, I am not in the results business. No, my business is based on effort; and had I believed in all the suggestions or the reasons or the things people said, I would never be in any business nor would I be anything close to who I am.
And who am I?
Well, I am like you. I have flaws and fears and defects of character. I have scars. I have a history. I have challenges that I face and obstacles that I’ve had to change into opportunities. I have a fat lip this morning. I have scrapes and bruises from an emotional accident. I have life happening to me, right now, and so do you. I have problems that led me to possibilities. I have old wounds that have not healed and yet, rather than nurse them or lick them—I expose them to show who I am, alive and in full color, because if I expose them, none of my flaws or fears or defects of character will ever claim me again.
I learned that I make mistakes. However, I also learned that mistakes do not make me.
(Unless I allow them to.)
I can overcome myself and my past—even if no one else allows me to to improve with their support, no one has the right to stop me from improving myself.
I say I am like you, which I am. However, I am not you. I do not live in your world. I do not see what you see. I do not know what your instincts are. I am not sure what weight feels like on your back. I only know what weight feels like on my back.
All I can do is be me, consistently and persistently on a daily basis. Otherwise, I am lost. And I’ve been lost like this before. I was lost until I found myself . . . then I become me.
This was the best thing that ever happened in my life.