My Journey of Reconnection with Joy
Contributed by Randy Brown
As a kid, I knew exactly what brought me joy! It was playing baseball. The game was magical to me. I loved everything about it: the uniforms, the equipment, even the dimension of the field. I loved the strategy of each pitch. I love to watch the Major league players who had become my heroes for their amazing ability to play this magical game.
When I wasn’t playing baseball I was day-dreaming about baseball, reading books and articles about baseball. I would walk with my friends to 7-Eleven to buy baseball cards and baseball trading cups. I would buy baseball magazines so I could cut out the pictures and put them up on my bedroom wall.
No one ever had to motivate me to play baseball! My desire to play flowed as effortlessly as breathing. When I was playing baseball it was as if time didn’t exist, I never checked the time to see when I needed to quit. It required no effort, no hard work and there was no pressure, no stress, just pure joy!
I grew up in a very normal, happy family. And to this day we are all very close and love each other deeply. My parents were loving and generous people who also happened to be extremely talented and high achieving people. My Dad was gifted in athletics and business, while my mother was a gifted singer.
Somewhere along the way I lost the ability to be “fully alive.” As anxiety and fear of failure crept into my life I began avoiding many of the joys of life, in order to avoid pain.
Along the way I came to the conclusion that there were only two standards of performance: perfection or failure, there was no middle ground. This caused me to drive myself very hard and to put a lot of internal pressure on myself. In doing so, I became my own harsh judge.
So by the time I reached high school the inner pressure of perfectionism had me completely disconnected from my earlier, pure love of baseball. The passion that had once resonated so strongly, had been whittled away, one perfectionistic piece at a time. I had become terrified of not living up to my own perfectionistic ideals, no longer playing for the joy of the game, but instead trying to avoid failing, because failure, of any kind, was not an option. What could I do but try even harder, which brought on more stress and anxiety.
In college, I did what I felt I “should” do by pursuing a major in Business, which I had no passion for. In fact, it caused me great anxiety and when I didn’t excel in my school work I experienced frustration and discouragement.
When I graduated, I followed my Dad’s footsteps and went into sales. By now I was completely disconnected from what brought me joy, and was completely without a dream or passion in my life. I was just doing what I thought “I should” do.
Of course, I took on my sales career with the same perfectionistic mindset. I definitely had an “outside-in” focus, needing the recognition, bonus checks and awards that are typical of people having to be motivated to do something they aren’t inspired by.
Under the stress of trying to be high-performer, in something I didn’t love, I began having panic attacks and severe depression. Somehow I continued in sales for another 25 years, all the time driving myself, and continuing to battle anxiety. Eventually OCD and addictive tendencies began to take over and I hit the wall. I knew there had to be something more. I had reached the point of emotional and spiritual bankruptcy.
The direction of my life began to change when I had an amazing spiritual experience. One Sunday afternoon as I was praying in my bedroom, being now truly desperate, something seemed to subtly shift and a gentle message pierced my despair: I received the impression that we needed to move to Utah where my father-in-law worked as a personal success coach for the Professional Education Institute, a company that helps clients all over the world align with their dreams and passions.
Things didn’t completely change overnight, there were still challenges ahead, but my transformation process was underway. Little by little, I was exposed to the success principles taught by some of the world’s top personal development gurus.
After working there for a while, it became evident that there were some absolutely vital things missing from all of their teachings
While working at PEI, I had the opportunity of meeting best-selling author and inspirational speaker Jack Canfield when he came to speak with the personal coaches. In his presentation, he took us through a meditation exercise designed to help us connect with our “Highest Good.” This simple exercise had a life-changing effect on me. For years I had an inner desire to become an author myself. I had started and stopped several times in my efforts to write a book. As Jack spoke to us that day, something amazing took place inside of me that caused powerful emotions to resonate.
This experience caused me to ask myself, “What if everything I’ve believed about success is wrong?”
- What if True Success is a measure of how happy I am?
- What if True Success is less about effort and more about allowing?
- What if True Success flows as a result a Divine Purpose that been designed for each of our lives?
I know now that these feelings that resonated so powerfully inside of me were calling me to my “Divine Purpose,” calling me to live the joy that was designed for my life.
Bio – Randy Brown
Randy Brown is a personal development speaker, author and coach. He is now a self-employed business owner.
Randy is the author of “Experiencing Christ, Your Personal Journey to the Savior,” and his current project is “TRUE Success: Your Divine Purpose.” He has done personal coaching for Robert Kiyosaki and Jack Canfield.
For over 20 years, Randy did numerous public speaking engagements for the Southwestern/Great American Company.
Randy’s blog contains articles and posts designed to help individuals find “TRUE Success” by connecting to their “Divine Purpose.” His inspirational messages will provide readers with universal principles and techniques that will enable individuals to change limiting beliefs and attract an abundant life of Divine Purpose!
Randy Brown’s Blog: www.principlesofdivinepurpose.com