Friday, 3 November 2006

Turn Your Life Around - All it Takes is a Decision

Imagine being so filled with hopelessness, you find yourself running through a cemetery with tears streaming down your face. Your lungs burn from the exertion and your heart, labouring to keep pace, feels so heavy it threatens to drag you down into one of the many graves that surround you.

What could make someone plunge to such depths and, more importantly, how does a person go from feeling that wretched to absolutely rocking with self confidence? Well, the answer is quite simple really. You make a decision.

This story is not about me – I know you may have been wondering. It is about a remarkable young man called Mark Anastasi. Allow me to go back in time so you can understand how Mark came to be in this state. Also, let me assure you that, despite the sombre opening of my story, this is a tale of truth, joy and love.

In 1997, Mark full of hope and ambition, left Greece for the UK to study Business Management. He was just 17 and 7 years later he was fired from his job. For 5 months he earned nothing.

He was getting further and further into debt. He was kicked out of his apartment and had nowhere to live. He sold everything he owned until he was left with just a suitcase of clothes, a laptop he had been unable to sell and a pair of rollerblades. His control over his life was slipping out of his grasp and he was reaching breaking point.

So it came to be that Mark found himself running through Brompton Road cemetery, his tears indistinguishable from the rain drops that flowed down his face and pounded his body soaking him to the bone.

When he could run no more, he poured his soul out to those cold, grey tombstones. I’d like to think that night the cemetery was filled with souls full of compassion for this young man some of whom may have left this world without accomplishing that which they came here to achieve. Staring at the many tombstones, Mark wondered what his epitaph would be if his life were to end abruptly. There wasn’t much to say.

It was then he made a decision. He vowed he would “never, never, ever let money control his life again.” And, in that moment he felt completely at peace.

But how? Nothing had changed.

Outwardly yes but “you cannot travel within and stand still without”. Although there needed to be a ‘gestation period’ before his outer, visible world caught up with his new feelings of prosperity in his inner, invisible world.

The gestation period was short.

In 28 days Mark was financially free and, a mere 26 months later, Mark owns an online company worth £4 million and a seminar company worth at least £1 million.

This did not come about by accident. Mark had spent the early months of 2004 feeding his mind with material on wealth creation. He had a feeding frenzy, studying every book and audio program on wealth creation he could get his hands on and attending seminars on the same.

So, on that dark night in the cemetery he reached a moment of total realisation. All this material was no longer just theory. It helped him to comprehend his truth that, like all of us, he created his world, as detestable as it was, and he had the power to wipe the canvas clean and create a world that he truly desired.

Today, when Mark speaks, he speaks to hundreds of individuals at a time – and all with a pulse! I have personally witnessed teenagers and octogenarians alike hang onto his every word. Self-confidence oozes from every cell of his being. It is at these times he says he feels most joyful. He defines the mission of his companies as:

“Sharing with as many people as possible the personal development insights, tools, strategies, and education that have made such a MASSIVE impact in my life, and in the life of my loved ones.”

When Mark was broke he was powerless to help his family who were also going through great financial difficulties. He was powerless to help his girlfriend who was ill. He was powerless to help those he loved. To be incapable of expressing your love for those you care about can seem like the worst form of punishment. Now he need not ever be in that position again.

Anthony Robbins, in Notes from a Friend, says:

“The only way to change your life is to make a real decision. A real decision means that you cut off any other possibility than the one you’ve decided to make a reality.”

When Mark decided to turn his life around, when he decided that it was no longer acceptable to struggle with money – having cold sweats about being able to make monthly payments, agonising about getting a pay cheque, worrying about where to lay his head down at night and how to feed himself during the day – that decision was irrefutable.

Everyday we are given choices – the opportunity to make decisions. Yet so many people are ambivalent in this area and this leads to discontent. Please don’t think that Mark hasn’t made ‘wrong’ decisions since that night – of course he has – but his overriding decision was to become financially free and so every decision he has made since then, whether it turned out the way he wanted or not, brought him one step closer to his goal.

Neale Donald Walsch, author of Home with God sums up decision-making beautifully:

"Every decision you make - every decision - is not a decision about what to do. It's a decision about Who You Are. When you see this, when you understand it, everything changes. You begin to see life in a new way. All events, occurrences, and situations turn into opportunities to do what you came here to do."

Decide how you would live your life and then set about with complete certainty to create it. All it takes is a decision to turn your life around.

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