I love writing about personal development and positivity, so can you imagine how cool it was for me to find out about “The Power of Your Identity” by Rock Thomas, and to know I went to high school with him? Yes, really!
What are the chances that two people from the same graduating class would be inspired to write personal development books? Pretty farfetched?
Even though Rock and I went to the same high school, we really didn’t know each other very well back then and our lives took completely divergent paths.
I recently found out about his incredible lifetime success, of his having come out of an abusive childhood to become a millionaire businessman who studied with mega big name personal development trainers such as Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Dr. Wayne Dyer, how he wrote “The Power of Your Identity” and “Your Epic Life Blueprint – Quit the Rat Race and Create a Happier Life” and developed his very successful coaching program to help people become whole life millionaires! Check out Rock’s YouTube channel!
Did I think we’d write about the same stuff in our books?
Rock and I approached our writing from vastly different starting points: he was already financially successful and had applied the incredible lessons he had learned from great mentors, so he’s able to share the lessons on becoming successful in life and changing old mindsets to accomplish this.
Unlike Rock, I hadn’t sat at the feet of giants absorbing their words of wisdom. I had come out of an abusive childhood, a first marriage to an alcoholic and cocaine drug addict’s roller coaster ride to recovery, a couple of fundamental churches who had stripped me of my desire to live, severe health issues and a second marriage to a financially abusive narcissist. Talk about the school of hard knocks!
For many years in my life I didn’t know I was an Intuitive. My mother apparently recognized that I just “knew” stuff when I was a kid, because even when I was as young as 8 years old she would sit me down at the kitchen table to ask me life questions, what she should do etc. One of her boyfriends gave me the book “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” by Richard Bach, telling me he thought I’d get a lot out of it. I certainly saw what appeared to be a blueprint for life in that simple book and from the age of 15 I started reading some very inspirational books which pointed me in the direction I wished to go in my life.
“How to Heal Your Life on a Deep Heart Level” was first started when the publisher of my illustrated children’s book suggested I write down some of my philosophical thoughts and put them into a book. At the time I considered myself an illustrator and artist, not a writer, so at first I was writing down my ideas in the teeniest, tiniest notebooks I could find. When I had filled up a few I figured I’d need to start typing up what I had into a Word document. I didn’t realize all the life lessons I had learned on my life’s journey until I started writing and saw for myself what my publisher had heard in me when I spoke!
When Rock and I were both in Hudson High, I was asked by the art teacher to illustrate the cover of the graduation program. I chose to do a pen and ink drawing of Jonathan Livingston Seagull taken from a photo in the original book. She asked me why I had chosen to do a seagull, so when I explained that the seagull represented us taking flight from high school, and like the character in the book we would be moving into higher and higher life lessons, she understood what I was expressing pictorially.
As an adult in my mid-forties I had four psychics approach me over a span of a couple of years, each one offering to give me information they felt compelled to tell me. When I asked what the information was, they each told me almost the identical thing: that I had agreed to all my troubles before coming into this life! By the time the fourth psychic approached me and gave me this information, I was convinced that it truly was a message the universe wanted me to know.
But even though I knew the universe was giving me an important message… what was I to do with this information and what were the deeper life meanings?
The fourth psychic was a woman I worked with once a week, so I had more opportunities to talk with her and ask more questions. She didn’t give me straight answers, but instead she said things in such a way that I’d think long and hard on what she said and allowed the answers to come to me.
When I’d see her the next time, she wanted to know what I had figured out and then give me another tidbit. These conversations were very important to me, as I had just come back from meeting with my publisher in Finland and was still puzzling over his suggestion to write a book! She encouraged me to just write, then told me that apparently my books would be very important to many people.
Those weekly conversations were instrumental in helping me see that I knew far more than I realized I knew and helped me see that the lifelong series of difficulties weren’t to punish me (as had been taught in two fundamental churches I had attended), or because I was cursed or terribly unlucky, but to help prepare me for a career as a writer and coach, to be able to help people because I spoke from experience of having lived through life in the trenches and then worked hard on the emotional and spiritual healing.
That time of deep thinking showed me that above all I realized having knowledge is of no use unless we put it into practice and allow it to permeate every fiber of our being!
That’s what all those difficulties were for, they were opportunities to become stronger the same way going to a gym helps to make our bodies stronger!
“Obstacles are there as worthy opponents”
– Rock Thomas from The Power of Your Identity
As I was reading Rock’s book this quote spoke to me the strongest, probably because I’ve had to learn the hard way what the meaning of difficulties are in my own life! That’s not to say that everything he teaches is less important, for after all, don’t we connect more with things we’ve lived than with things we haven’t?
What does Rock’s book teach us about becoming successful?
Rock starts from the point of our identities: Who are we? Can we change?
He brings us through the different steps, from self-doubt and insecurity to finding our inner strength by discovering our life’s mission, then onward to creating a plan of action!
I’ve found many similarities between my book and his…
While mine focuses more on the healing aspects from life’s difficulties, Rock takes a different approach; we both talk about many important life lessons but from different viewpoints.
From my own reading experience I see there are similarities between many personal development books, which only underscores the importance of many of the lessons! When authors come to understand these lessons, yet have come from completely different schools of learning and thought, it isn’t a question whether one author’s teachings are more valid and the others less valid, but rather when there’s a commonality between the lessons, we see that universal truths are being taught!
Even though the Law of Gravity may have been written about by one scientist, it still applies to all of us around the world, right?
Big overview of Rock’s book and what you can expect:
Chapter 1 – Developing your awareness for who you are and how you can change.
Chapter 2 – Deciding who you really want to be and how to be your best through your Mission, Vision and Purpose (MVP)
Chapter 3 – How to develop your Identity – in writing.
Chapter 4 – Closing the Gap: How to spend time with your optimal self.
Rock speaks about changing our thoughts in order to change our lives. He teaches how our thoughts were programmed into us when we were young and how to go about changing that programming.
I remember hearing these concepts 30 to 40 years ago from different teachers and they made some sense to me then, but back then it was still seen as very Woo-Hoo and as charlatanism, or snake-oil selling. Many people disbelieved these teachings and chose to make fun of those teachings as being wishful thinking. Even worse, some believed the teachings and thought that they only had to think good thoughts and everything would work out, neatly forgetting the whole aspect of personal input with effort and work! For me personally, it wasn’t until many years later that I started to experiment and put it in practice, after I went through some very difficult experiences.
Our thoughts do create our world, and Quantum Physics has been proving this. I’ve written about it in Choosing Our Thoughts, Manifesting our Thoughts, Raising our Level of Consciousness, and Fulfilling the Human Condition.
Learning to Master Negative Thoughts
The thoughts we choose in order to view our lives and the challenges which come up will either deplete us of our motivation or they will give us the strength to persevere and to continue working towards our goals, to find alternate solutions when setbacks occur and to feel better about ourselves while we go through the journey.
Rock tells us we’re the Captain of our ship and our thoughts are the crew we direct! Isn’t that a great visual to keep in mind?!
In order to change negative thought habits Rock teaches us to use something called “Re-framing”, which is finding the positive in the situation and choosing to focus on that. Another well-known motivational speaker, Mike Dooley of TUT.com teaches us to “Flip the script”.
Whatever we choose to call it, it’s possible to change our inner thought patterns. It takes conscious effort, and trust me when I say I understand the work! As someone who was severely criticized when I was a kid and later internalized the negative words, I worked very hard on myself to change my thought process. I wrote about it in Are you consciously opting out of the “Loser Myth”?
By re-framing our thoughts we help ourselves to set into motion the ability to succeed!
After all, when we see things very negatively, do we want to jump right in and tackle something, or does it get put aside and postponed? When we see something as a huge problem to be avoided and subsequently don’t do it, we risk a domino effect of consequences occurring, which can be even more challenging to deal with in the long run!
Remember Grandma saying “A stitch in time saves nine”? There’s so much truth to that!
Let’s look at what Rock says the Purpose of Obstacles are for!
“Think about your favorite sports team. Or, if you’re an athlete yourself, what is it like to play somebody who you know is much weaker than you and you know you can easily bet? Do you get excited about that game? Do you bring the best of yourself to that game? Does your favorite team have to play their best and put their key players in the situation and demand the best of them? No, They’re not up against a worthy opponent.
I would like to suggest an empowering belief:
Obstacles are there as worthy opponents.
When you are equipped with a powerful MVP (Mission, Vision and Purpose), a powerful identity (self-image) and peak performance strategies (strategies, principles) you will inevitably succeed.
How different would your life be if you relished obstacles? You want to be able to know that heading into the game of life you have a chance of winning. Not that you’re guaranteed to win, because that certainty would be boring. You want the opportunity to sculpt yourself and to stimulate growth.
Example: Guy Leach is a six-time World Iron Man. When I interviewed him and I asked “What made you successful?” He said “The thought of my worthy opponents made me practice hard in preparation for the competition ahead.” They drove him to be his best and pushed him beyond what he would do if he were not up against them.”
Our society has trained us to see problems as difficulties to be avoided, or even worse, as punishment for sinful or unworthy behavior! It’s no wonder that we judge ourselves and those around us harshly when problems come into our lives!
Rock further says, “We can hope and wish for no problems, complain and moan about our problems or accept life’s challenges and work through them. The fact of the matter is life will not devote itself to making you happy.
Once you are engaged in the philosophy of meeting challenges head-on you will find the tools to empower you.
The universe will conspire to provide you with the necessary resources. Life is only difficult when we try to avoid our problems.
It was not meant to be effortless – how could you grow if it was easy?”
We’re simply not trained to see life as our schoolroom for building up our characters and lives, instead of something that punishes us or tears us down!
For much of my life I had been surrounded by people who thought that way, from my mother, to friends, to the churches I had been in, etc. It’s no wonder I developed such low self esteem and had a hard time believing in myself! When I started the process of changing my thought patterns and to go from seeing things negatively, that the universe was out to get me or out to punish me, and choose instead to reflect that the universe (and God) always had my back, I found that I felt happier, less depressed and perpetually tired and sick!
When I looked back on my life, I could indeed see that the universe always found ways to reward and help me, even through the difficult times; I was then able to separate people’s mistaken beliefs about the world and me, from how the universe treated me!
Do those negative thoughts still try to come back?
You bet. That’s where the work comes in to focus on what’s positive in each situation.
Louise Hay, another very inspirational person teaches us the power of positive affirmations. She says “Negative feelings are just thoughts, and thoughts can be changed! Feelings are just thoughts in motion in the body! Thoughts can be changed!
Acknowledge any fear thoughts and thank them for trying to protect you! Lovingly and happily affirm you have everything you need and that all is going well!”
Flipping the scrip to focus on things in a positive way entails focusing on the solutions to the problems instead of the problems!
“What you focus on grows. Talking about your problems won’t make them disappear, it makes them bigger.
Remember, be thankful and focus on the solution.” – Rock Thomas
As you can see, I’ve been bringing in quotes and thoughts from different life teachers to enhance and underscore these lessons! Who we listen to and associate with has a tremendous impact on us! This is how we prepare ourselves for success! By learning from people who have overcome life’s hurdles and who have learned to see solutions, we equip ourselves to handle what comes along.
When we surround ourselves with negative people, isn’t it easy to commiserate and slip into negative thought and talk patterns? By continuously allowing the negative to affect us in many subtle or not so subtle ways, we become depressed and feel defeated, unable to handle what life will sometimes hand us.
If we choose to surround ourselves with positive people, positive role models and read or listen to positive teachers, we build up within ourselves a toolkit for handling life’s issues, are then able to see solutions which were invisible to us when we were in the negative mindset!
“Do what you fear and it will disappear. Avoid it and it will haunt you forever!
What you lack are simply the strategies or tools to get yourself to act in spite of your fears.” – Rock Thomas
For more strategies from Rock Thomas, be sure to check out his books, website and Youtube videos!
“The Power of Your Identity”
“Your Epic Life Blueprint – Quit the Rat Race and Create a Happier Life”
Rock’s YouTube channel!
Remember what Maya Angelou said?
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better!”
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