My Transformational LessonsJun 15, 2022
In March of 2016 I was terminated from my second executive level position in 20 months, effectively ending my journey in corporate America. I was 300 lbs, suicidal, and everything about my family life was toxic and abusive. I tried to find another job, but was unsuccessful. I didn't have the courage to kill myself and abandon my family, so I felt forced to look for a different path.
In the process of identifying a new entrepreneurial career path which would support my family, I discovered a whole lot more. Everything I believed to be true about life was false. I had bought into the beliefs and the programming of people who loved me, but who were unhappy, broke, and playing really small in the world.
We are most impressionable between birth and age 7, so when you were in the presence of people you trusted who expressed their beliefs about life such as "making money is hard," "life is hard," or "God will punish you," you believed it and it became buried in your subconscious mind. From that point forward, you have unconsciously lived life through this inherited belief system, and your mind will create evidence to support all of those beliefs.
Today I have shed many of the old beliefs and programs I once held, and my painful life has been transformed into a life of wealth, success, happiness, and a lifestyle I never knew possible. Let me rephrase that last part - I was taught by people who believed life was hard that the life I am currently living was impossible, therefore I believed it to be impossible as well. Now that I have proven otherwise, I want to share some other powerful insights that have served me well.
In this article I'll detail 10 powerful life lessons that changed my life. If you want to dive deeper, connect with me and I'll be happy to help you create the life you desire.
Believe in Something That Unconditionally Loves and Supports You
I grew up in a very traditional German Catholic family. I went to Catholic school. I went to church every Sunday. We didn't eat meat on Fridays during lent. I stood, sat, and kneeled at all the right times. And I was raised to fear God. God was watching. You were born a sinner, and your very first breath was a sinful breath. You needed to be cleansed for the sins of humanity. If you slipped up during your life, there was always the possibility that you were going to be sent to the furnaces of hell to be tortured for eternity.
But God loved you.
The first thing I did to transform my life was lose my religion. I'm not saying that all religion is bad, but any religion that teaches you that God is vengeful and needs to be feared is damaging it's constituency. This is all toxic man-ipulation handed down by generations.
There is something so very good working through us, with us, and for us. You can call it life, universe, God, whatever you want, but it is 100% our biggest fan. Of course there are challenges, obstacles, and pain, but we are here to transcend those and evolve as beings. God is evolving life through us, with us. We're here to experience what life has to offer and become the highest version of ourselves. Facing challenges, obstacles, and pain are our greatest sources of growth. God gives us the stepping stones to our highest selves.
Ever since I let go of the idea of eternal punishment, and realized that God is all love all the time, the amount of joy in my heart has skyrocketed. You'll only experience in yourself what you experience in your God.
You Are on Purpose
I thought I was a coincidence or a mistake. I felt broken, shameful, empty. I was just taking up space and breathing other people's air. As my dad told me over and over "I ought to be ashamed of myself."
I can look back now and see how every challenge, obstacle, and source of pain in my life directly influenced me to recognize my purpose - to help others create more wealth, success, and happiness in their lives. I got hit hard with lessons early and often in my life, and every single one of them has played a meaningful role in my journey.
The craziest part of my adventures is that when I was young people constantly casted shadows on my natural talents and gifts like speaking, writing, and inspiring, while they also focused attention on "fixing" my perceived flaws like my inability to memorize long passages, inability to master math, and lack of ambition to read things I wasn't interested in. My natural talents were invisible to me, but my flaws were obvious. Once I became aware of my natural geniuses and embraced my inabilities, my performance in life took off.
When I noticed that all of the lessons I've learned and all of the natural talents I possess make for a world-class leader and teacher - precisely who I've always dreamed to be in this world - it all made sense. I'm on purpose.
And I see in every single person I've ever worked with that they are on purpose too.
Love Yourself Unconditionally and Completely
I was taught to reject myself. The people I loved didn't use those words verbatim, but that's exactly what they meant when I was told not to brag, keep wins to yourself, don't show off, play it safe, get a job and give up your dreams, you don't deserve it, you'll never be rich, focus on your flaws, be practical...
I was also taught to sacrifice myself at the expense of others, and that being a martyr is the way to show love and be worthy of heaven. It was typical teaching in Catholic school that to focus on yourself was shameful.
All of the above just created pain. I lived for others at my own expense. I rejected myself. I refused to appreciate or acknowledge my talents and wins. I was only ever as good as my greatest weakness. Pain. All pain.
I sacrificed myself for my family, my teams, and the companies I worked for. The entire time there was anger and resentment because I knew something was wrong, that something was missing. I was living a watered down, depleted, unfulfilled life. When I began to fall in love with myself and recognize that I matter too, I began serving others without sacrificing myself and something wonderful happened - I had more love to give. My heart became full and rich. The love I felt for myself poured into others. Their happiness increased because I wasn't sacrificing myself - not decreased.
Loving yourself is the most beneficial and generous thing you can do in this world. You matter too, and you're just as significant as everyone else. Love yourself like your life depends on it, because it does.
Today on my run I was listening to an audio and I heard the most wonderful phrase - ordinary miracles. What a beautiful phrase.
Miracles are everywhere. Ants are miracles. Trees are miracles. Sunrises are miracles. Each breath is a miracle. We are surrounded by so many miracles they have become ordinary because we don't even take time to appreciate them.
YOU are a miracle. There was a 1 in 400 trillion chance that you'd be born and here you are, reading this blog. Your heart beats, blood pumps, and lungs fill all by themselves without your attention or effort. You are a walking, breathing, talking miracle.
When you realize that life itself and everything you see, feel, touch, taste, smell, or dream are all miracles, you begin to experience life more magically. When you surrender to the miracle of life, you'll begin to notice more things "going your way." Just like gratitude increases whatever you're grateful for, embracing miracles makes more miracles appear. You'll get exactly what you need, exactly when you need it. We call them coincidences, but they are miracles.
Miracles are everywhere. Expect them, and they'll become more routine than you can imagine.
Beliefs and Thoughts Determine Your Experience in the World
I was taught to fear the future, and expect the worst and hope for the best. I was also taught not to dream too big, and to be realistic and practical.
If you dream small, you'll live small. If you expect the worst, you are praying for what you don't want.
On the other hand, the bigger you dream, the more miracles will appear to support you in realizing your dream. The more you expect things to work out for you, they will. When you focus on what you want, you'll get it.
We experience life through our beliefs and thoughts. There are no "correct" or "incorrect" beliefs and thoughts, but there are those which support the life you want to experience or not. Life unfolds according to your beliefs, so choose wisely. Because someone else believes in a hard life, a vengeful God, or that work is all there is, you don't have to. Most people are trying to convince you to believe what they believe because that validates them. By passing on their beliefs they are also passing on their fears and circumstances. Buyer beware!
Take ownership of your beliefs. All of your thoughts spring forth from your beliefs, so when you change your beliefs you will naturally change your thoughts. You are the captain of your ship. Don't give anyone authority to take control of your wheel.
Commit to Make a Difference
I watched my father go to work everyday for one reason only - to make enough money to take care of the family. He loved the people he worked with, but his labor was not fulfilling. He labored to make money. When I was a kid and asked him not to go to work and instead stay home and play with me, he made sure I knew he would prefer the latter. He just needed to make money.
I followed in his path. I went to work for one reason, and one reason only. Money.
When I made my transition I committed to myself that in the process of making money I would make a difference in the world. I began finding ways to positively impact the lives of others at increasing levels. I began to reach more people. People began to find me. I was making a difference.
Two weeks ago one of my clients said this about me: "My life is better with Mike Kitko in it." I didn't ask for that praise. It was completely unsolicited. But I make a difference. I wake up each day to make even more of a difference. My life matters, and I know it. The world is better because I am alive. I make a difference.
And because of that, money keeps flowing into my life.
Only Do Work You Love
Back in my father's day you looked for a job, and then you did it. You didn't necessarily look for a specific job, you looked for a job then you learned it. You fit yourself into a job. Again, I spent decades going down the same path. I looked for more income, and then tried to figure out how to learn what I needed to learn to be successful.
Everyone possesses natural and genuine talents. These talents come so naturally and easy, that you are most likely blind to them. You might feel that they are average since they come so easily, but that's what makes them special. You probably enjoy doing them and that's exactly why you should. That's your differentiator.
I thought work was sacrifice, effort, and stress. I thought if I wasn't giving blood, sweat, and tears I was being lazy and not working hard enough. I thought I needed to hate my job for it to be work.
This is the biggest way to make a difference in the world. Only do work you love. This will bring passion to your life, and passion always creates extraordinary results.
Let's get serious for a minute. You only have 80-90 years (on average) to live. Why waste any time doing anything you don't love? I argue that your life is about experiencing all the joy and happiness you can, and doing work you love is a way to level-up on that target.
Only do work you love. Why stress and struggle when you don't have to?
Look for Your Helpers
I was often taught about watching your back, being slow to trust, becoming independent, and learning to go it alone. It's like those people who loved me thought all of the rest of the billions of people on the planet were as fearful, skeptical, and in as much pain as they were.
One thing that completely took me by surprise on my journey is that people want to help you. When you look for your helpers, you'll always find them. They are there, and you only need to be willing to accept help.
Early in my transformation I connected with a guy who has since become my closest friend. For no reason whatsoever he invited me to a mastermind of business owner who were on a developmental journey to expand their wealth, success, and happiness together. I didn't belong in that room except for one reason - they were all helpers, and they wanted to help.
And boy did they help. Everything quickly transformed because of their generosity, support, and encouragement.
I was at a personal development conference with about 50 other business owners. The speaker said "How many people in here love to ask for help?" 2 people raised their hands. Then he asked "How many people in here love to help people?" Just about everyone raised their hands. The problem is that almost everyone wants to help, but no one is willing to ask for it.
Look for your helpers. They are there waiting to help you.
Be Willing to Receive Without Effort
"You need to earn it." "You don't deserve it." "If you want it you've got to work hard for it." These are highly embraced as fact, but they also cut off the flow of abundance that life delivers without you needing to effort to receive.
Think about air. You don't earn the oxygen all around you. You deserve it because you were born. No one questions that you keep breathing without doing anything to justify taking it. You just breathe it in.
Life works the same - unless you believe you need to earn, deserve, and effort for everything. Remember, as I've stated above, you get what you expect. I know it's hard to believe, but this universe is abundant, and it's not stress and struggle that make things come to you as you need them. What you need comes to you because you matter.
If you want to keep fighting for your beliefs, please do.
If you are willing to detangle effort and receiving what you need, it's always there for you.
Like the Bible says. Your prayers are already answered.
You Don't Have a Life, You ARE Life
I was gifted painful beliefs about death, which created an even more painful concept with what happens when we perish. I was taught that what happens to you at the end of your life is questionable.
Let me say that my entire life I've had this internal knowing that there is no death. I would never fully allow myself to believe that what happens at the end of my life is certain, and that the outcome is never in question - until I began my spiritual journey.
The deepest truth I've surrendered to, one that brings me immense love, joy, and peace is we have a body that ceases, we have a mind which stops working, but we are life.
We don't have a life, we ARE life.
You are not your meatsuit. You are the spirit within, the awareness, the knower, the consciousness within, you are life. We are life. You and I are the same life. Ants, trees, birds, cats, grass, all life. The same life. Life doesn't die. Life transforms itself and takes another form.
There is no death.
The awareness that's reading this? That's God. God is reading this through what you perceive as your awareness. God and life are the same. You are God, you are life, you are all there is. You cannot die.
Doesn't that feel good?
Putting It All Together
Here's the last thing I'll share with you... love, joy, and peace are your greatest indicators for truth. Truth brings feelings of harmony and freedom. To know the difference between a belief and a truth, trust your feelings. Your internal GPS will tell you.
Your mind might be saying all of the above is false, and that I'm delusional. But for a second, pretend they are all true. Doesn't that bring love, joy, peace, and internal harmony in freedom?
That's because they are all true. Trust your GPS. That's your divinity within.
Photo by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash
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