Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to wake up each morning, living a fulfilled life, full of passion and purpose?
I used to imagine what it would be like to break free from the local trailer park and not have to worry about how I would eat or if my lights or phone would be shut off. I always knew that I wanted more from my life. Most importantly, I wanted to live a life that mattered.
The Key To Breakthrough
It’s taken many life lessons and seasons of testing to get very clear on who I am, what I’m supposed to do, and how I’ll get there. After three decades of trying numerous things that never worked, I was left feeling frustrated and skeptical. During this process, I learned a divine truth, and that is: we develop and shape our purpose over time.
Over the past 20 years, I’ve learned what it truly takes to master any area of your life. These lessons took me from homelessness to owning and operating several multi-million dollar businesses and finally helped me get control over every area of my life. If you’ve felt stuck, confused, or overwhelmed, don’t fret; all you need to do is learn the right strategies for life, and you can overcome any obstacle in your path. Thankfully, you don’t need to spend 20 years to learn what I did. In this blog post, I’m going to lay out a simple set of steps to transform any area of your life and finally start making serious progress.
First, Get Clear
I discovered not long ago that “true purpose is found in serving the person you once were.” You must decide to become more than you are today if you want to make a positive impact in the world around you. If you’re not moving forward in becoming a better version of yourself each day, then you are by definition: stuck. Unfortunately, life tends to be more like quicksand than mud; the longer you stay stuck, the more you sink in place. In other words, the longer you wait to start, the more difficult it is to finish.
No matter where you are in your life, as long as you are taking daily positive actions, you will make forward progress.
Breakthrough in life is NOT for a select few only. It’s for anyone who is genuinely searching and willing to put in the time and effort to achieve breakthrough and transformation.
– Stephen Scoggins
To transform your life, there are three very important questions you must get complete clarity on first, just as I did before I started living the life I now enjoy so much.
These questions are:
Who Am I?
Why Am I Here?
What Do I Do About It?
How Our Thoughts Impact Our Ability To Transform Our Lives
Lasting transformation comes down to understanding the questions we’re asking. Many of us spend far more time asking questions that begin with “Why?” rather than questions that begin with “How?”. “Why” questions begin with, “Why can’t I?”, “Why can’t they?”, “Why am I always?”, etc.
“How” questions always lead us toward actions and choices, and “why” questions focus on problems rather than solutions.”
– Stephen Scoggins
To see the transformation in your life, it must first happen in your thoughts. For an action to take place, an idea has to occur. So, what is the secret sauce to transforming your thoughts? The first step is realizing that there are no secrets to mastering every area of your life.
The Only 3 Things You Need To Achieve Life-Mastery:
That’s right, there are no secrets to mastering every area of your life. In fact, there are only 3 things you need to do in order to do so:
Deciding That You Need a Breakthrough
Choosing To Live By Better Principles
Consistently Taking Care of “The Fundamentals”
Step 1: Deciding that You Need a Breakthrough
If you’re reading this blog post, you’ve probably already recognized and decided that you’d like to make a breakthrough in your life. This is perfect! You’ve already taken the first step towards Life-Mastery: “Deciding That You Need a Breakthrough.” You’ve decided you’d like to make a change… now what?
Step 2: Choosing to Live by Better Principles
I challenge you to look at any person you admire for their leadership or success and consider their life choices. If you do, you will find that they live their lives by a committed set of Principles, and their Principles guide their behavior. For example, if you currently live a life of poverty or brokenness, then your current set of beliefs are keeping you there.
Higher-developed principles produce higher-developed thoughts, and these thoughts lead to better actions. If you’re repeatedly judging the life you have now as being your future, then you’ll always have that life. The reality is, your mind can learn any information. If you need to handle your income more efficiently or make more income, then you need to learn the Principles that the wealthy use to manage and shape their income. It’s that simple.
Imagine you’re a locomotive train. How’s your train going to get from A to B? Your train can’t go anywhere without train tracks, right? These train tracks are like your Principles. One of the reasons a principle-based life is so productive and fulfilling is because when you live by principles, the decisions you need to make on a day-to-day basis are already clearly defined for you. For example, I know adultery kills a marriage, so I protect myself by not putting myself in times and places where temptations could be. My principle is, “A marriage that’s protected blossoms.” If I want to have a great marriage, then all my actions should be guided by that principle.
Step 3: Taking Care of the “Fundamentals”
Next, principles put into action are called ”Fundamentals”. Fundamentals are simple actions that are repeatedly taken to produce your desired results. You can have guiding principles but never use actionable fundamentals and you will stay stuck. In other words, you MUST take action.
Changes begin when you decide to change the principles you live by and take actions based on predictable Fundamentals that always produce your desired results. In short, to have lasting transformation and experience real breakthrough, we need to break down the principles and fundamentals necessary to succeed in each of the major areas of life. In my post, The 8 Pillars of Life-Mastery, I cover every major area of life from finances to relationships, and I share how you can start getting some quick wins, starting today.
Over the next several weeks on this blog, I am going to help you take your beliefs to another level – at no cost to you! If you do the things I mention in this series, you’ll be well on your way to success. I’d highly recommend that you sign up for our email updates so you’ll be notified when we put out a new post.
The G.R.O.W. Process (Change Your Life In 4 Easy Steps)
At a foundational level, I believe that anyone who has a burning desire to transform their life deserves it. We should all get to a place where we can be truly satisfied with our lives.
Just remember, getting there will cost you the same price that it cost me: Time, Energy, Faith, and Perseverance. These are the greatest assets you will ever own. When you match these things with a simple framework for success, just about anybody can achieve a breakthrough.
The simplest way I can help you learn how to maximize your life is through the G.R.O.W. process. G.R.O.W. is a simple, 4-step process for transforming any area of your life. G.R.O.W. originated from one of my first mentors, Steve Myrick. He was a man who saw himself in me and poured his wisdom and experience into me to help me grow.
G.R.O.W. is an acronym, with each letter representing an individual step in the 4-step process for life transformation. Now, let’s break down the G.R.O.W. process. The four steps are:
G. = Gain Perspective& Understanding
R. = Recognize & Remove Roadblocks
O. = Organize a Plan
W. = Work Your Plan
Next, we’ll breakdown each of these steps in detail.
The G.R.O.W. Process (Step-by-Step)
1. Gain Perspective& Understanding
Perspective is the process of viewing every area of your life from multiple angles to get a complete picture. I’ve discovered that the more viewpoints I use to decipher the critical areas of my life, the clearer my vision of the way forward and next-action steps becomes. In other words, the more you understand your current situation, problems, and struggles, the more likely you are to find solutions to any problems you’re having in your life.
Here are a few areas to consider when looking at your life:
Where am I today (In each of the 8 Pillars)?
How did I get here?
Who was involved in how I got here?
Upon what am I basing my conscious and subconscious choices?
Who can I trust to give me a reliable outside perspective?
Who can teach me what I need to know to move forward?
Use the questions of discernment (These are helpful for getting clear on a focused direction forward):
What appears to be missing?
What feels confusing?
What do I feel is wrong? (And why do I feel that way?)
Do I have enough perspective to view things correctly? (Our minds often play tricks on us using beliefs, biases, and lies. These are often the anchors that hold us down from making progress)
After you’ve answered my questions above, the next most important questions are:
Where do I want to go? (In each of the 8 Pillars)
Who can help me get there that is trustworthy?
What steps may be needed?
How can I measure my progress?
What will it feel like when I arrive? (Creating a personal vision, using all 6 senses… and yes, I mean 6: sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch, and instinct)
2. Recognize & Remove Roadblocks
We base our lives on the repeated principles, fundamentals, and biases we’ve shaped over time, and we call this a “Pattern”. A pattern is nothing more than a repeated way of thinking, acting, and reinforcing that led you to this point in your life. We have a tendency to develop harmful patterns of thinking in our lives, and harmful actions that don’t take us to where we want to go; These harmful patterns are caused by different kinds of “Roadblocks”.
Often, these patterns are rooted in past behaviors we received by one or both parental figures. For people like myself who did not have direct parenting from a parent, more than likely, there is a parental-figure we admired or listened to growing up. It’s also why most of us are attracted to or end up marrying a spouse who is like one of our parents or an anti-parent (the polar opposite of one of your parental figures.) If you had a traumatic experience in the past, it’s likely that your mind has put barriers up to protect you in the future… But oftentimes, these barriers don’t truly serve you and only hold you back.
No matter how you look at it, we all have struggles and blindspots in many places in our lives. If you think you don’t have any, then look at the evidence of your life to date: Are you exactly where you want to be in every area of life? If not, you have roadblocks that are holding you back!
Outside of a personality disorder, many of the roadblocks reveal themselves in the areas listed below:
Traumas – These can be Emotional, Physical, and Spiritual.
Triggers – Emotional struggles that appear to come without warning and seem to be uncontrollable. Here are a few triggers below.
Denial – The worst lie you can tell yourself is that you do not need growth, change, or forward progress. Those who struggle with rejection project their insecurities on others and blame everyone else. In other words, they are in denial. They believe that they don’t need to grow or change because they believe their situation was not caused. For people like this, their lack of accountability will hold them back. However, it is possible to have a traumatic past but still be accountable for our responses to the pain. You will always be responsible for where you are in your life, and I find that when I am regularly growing, it gives those around me the inspiration and permission to do the same. Someone must take the first step. In almost every movie, the hero always takes a step of faith toward the unknown.
Unresolved Conflict – If you have a constant problem-area that you always think about, then it is not resolved. When we have an unresolved thought or idea surrounding a hurtful event, it will continue to resurface when you least expect it or want it. To resolve a conflict, you have to redeem it. One of my favorite moments of Transform U Live is when hundreds of people finally have their “ah-ha” moment. It’s the moment when you get the tools and skills to move past these hurtful events permanently.
Attitude – Nothing is more powerful when it comes to creating or destroying momentum than your attitude. You can have all the teaching in the world but have an unhealthy mindset and you’ll never move forward. Have you ever noticed that those who expect bad things always tend to find them? I can ask that question because it took me years of struggling to fix it within myself. The crazy part is, I may have struggled for years, but it only took a matter of hours to correct the problem. You can correct this in a matter of hours too!
Falling Prey to the 7 Enemies of Identity – I will dig into these in detail in a later post, but in short, there are seven areas in which self-doubt, self-esteem, and self-value reveal themselves.
Toxic Relationships – I mentioned earlier that staying connected with these types of people steal from your very essence. Toxic Relationships will make you feel that you could never have another person. They also convince you that there is no one else who would love or value you. (I will break this down in detail in another post.)
3. Organize a Plan and Life Script
One of the biggest reasons we become stuck in our lives is because we let our emotions dictate our choices. We need to take the time to develop a specific plan for gaining ground in every area of life. Most of us never focus on a plan of action because we have not received the fundamentals and steps carried out successfully by others. How can a mother or father teach a child what they have not learned themselves? A plan must have a few very intentional key components to be useful.
Creating a New Life Script:
Defined Clear Objectives – Have a goal, vision, and finished outcome clearly defined before you start.
Roadblock Removal – Every plan must identify a clear way to move past traumas, triggers, self-doubt, and esteem issues.
Maximizing Talents & Gifts – We’re all endowed with unique talents, gifts, and strengths to offer the world. We must get clear on what they are and lay out a plan to use them regularly. When we fail to do so, we remove any opportunity to receive fulfillment through what we value most. It may not be necessary to exercise your gifts in your career. However, you must apply your gifts through a hobby, service to others, or other creative outlets.
Identification & Implementation of Guides & Co-Stars – Every hero on their journey needs a guide to help them see and overcome blind spots. The guide must have the authority to question, measure, and empower you to move forward. The guide must be someone trustworthy and preferably someone who is already where you want to go. Your co-stars are just as crucial to the process. They are likely on a similar journey, with the same goals, and prone to come across similar hurdles along the way. The primary purpose of the co-star is two-fold: You can bounce ideas off of them, and they can offer encouragement along the way.
Replenishment Plan – When you set out to take these steps, you will run into your old behavior patterns. You will need to quickly reset your mind and possibly change the course of those actions. You will also have days where you may feel like you need rest. If you go full speed on this thing, you need to have at least one day a week where you stop and rest. Your replenishment plan will cover three areas.
Where do you go? – It must be a calming place.
What do you do? – Must be something that fills your inner tank.
Who do I choose to be my partner, support, or mentor during this process?
Measurement of Progress – If you don’t measure your results, you’ll miss the little wins, big wins, and awareness of when you need to make adjustments. You must inspect and correct what you expect. If you fall one day, get up the next day, but above all KEEP MOVING FORWARD.
If the organizing of a plan is a little intimidating, please don’t let this phase scare you. Once you learn how to do this right, it will be easy, and more powerful than you can imagine. If you’re still a little scared of it, join us at the next Transform U Live Event and we will guide you step-by-step through the process.
4. Work Your Plan
One of the reasons I spent so much time struggling is because I never got started. Once you have your plan, you must begin to take daily steps forward. Show yourself some grace when making a mistake – then learn, correct, and start again. Remember your plan is personal to you. That means it’s up to you to take what you’ve learned and applied it. I’ve yet to see one person learn and apply what I am teaching and fail to get the results. The key is, you must apply it and continue to be resilient during temporary setbacks. Get up each morning and say, “It’s Time to Work My Plan,” and then do it. You’ll soon come to learn that you’re stronger than you thought you were and more valuable to this world than you can begin to imagine. You can do this, and we’re here to help you!
If you begin to take the time to apply this 4-step process, I promise, you will start to see progress! All you need to do is decide that you’re done tolerating a life that’s less than what you deserve, and commit to the process! Before you know it, you’ll be waking up daily to the life of your dreams.
The Real Deal
There is no doubt that the G.R.O.W Process played a huge role in helping me to overcome homelessness and understanding the gift that it brings is something special to me. It along with my faith changed everything and I know that if you will put it into practice it will do the same for you.
If you are not ready to fully commit to the process just yet, that’s ok.
Here are a couple of other resources to help you get moving:
To Master Your Life, You Must First Break It Down Into Chunks
In my post, How To Transform Any Area of Your Life, I broke down the 3 simple things it takes to develop Life Mastery. If you didn’t get a chance to read that post, you can read it here. One of the things I talked about was “Principles”, and why it’s so important to live your life by a set of guiding principles which are designed to take you from where you are now to where you want to go. I also touched on how having these principles alone is not enough; we must also take action on them! I refer to these actions as “Fundamentals”, or simple actions that are repeatedly taken to produce a desired result.
Transforming Your Life Starts With a Decision
Changes begin when you decide to change the Principles you live by, and take actions based on predictable Fundamentals that consistently produce your desired results. In short, to have lasting transformation and experience real breakthroughs, we need to break down our Principles and Fundamentals in each area of life we’d like to make a change in.
What Are The 8 Pillars of Life-Mastery?
Oftentimes, life can be messy, stressful, and overwhelming. It feels like there are dozens (sometimes hundreds) of things we’d like to work on and not enough time. This is why it’s very important to break our lives down into core areas of focus. I refer to these areas as the 8 Pillars of Life-Mastery. In many cases, the problems you experience in your life aren’t the real issue at all; it’s usually a lack of proficiency in one or more of these eight crucial areas of life that are holding you back.
Here’s how we define the 8 core areas of life known as the 8 Pillars:
Breaking Down Each Pillar, One-By-One
When working on transforming your life, it’s better to focus on no more than two pillars at a time, to prevent frustrations. When we try to fix every area of our life at the same time, we quickly become overwhelmed and tend to end up doing nothing. The goal is to get quick wins in key focus areas. By doing so, you’ll experience a positive, new direction more quickly. The 8 Pillars simply represent different areas of your life. Here are the 8 Pillars of Life-Mastery, broken down:
1. Financial Pillar
Are you in debt or otherwise struggling financially? Or are you financially secure, with your money working for you rather than against you?
2. Physical Pillar
How is your health? Do you eat and sleep well? These are vital bodily functions that are essential to remove toxins from your body… If you don’t take care of this pillar, you may find that you don’t have the energy necessary to take care of the others!
3. Emotional Pillar
This is one of my favorite pillars because it’s where I needed the most transformation. When we don’t have a handle on this one, it tends to wreck every area of our life through insecurities, issues with self-worth, fears regarding successes and failures, etc. Ask yourself these questions: Do you struggle with healthy boundaries? Do you react impulsively versus choose how to act? Do you dwell on things outside of your control? Do you occasionally self-sabotage? These things point to problems in our Emotional Pillar. The good news is this pillar is the easiest one to gain immediate traction.
4. Spiritual Pillar
As a person of faith, I draw from this pillar often. Many people are turned off by this pillar, but give me a chance here to explain how it’s important, regardless of your religious beliefs… Even a person that has no religious background is still going to need hope, replenishment, refreshment, resilience, perseverance, regular reflection, etc. In our darkest times, the best weapon we have in these areas is connecting with power outside of yourself. For this reason, regardless of your religious beliefs, I believe that spirituality should be a regular part of your routine. If you don’t have this, you will continuously strive and find yourself routinely empty.
Core relationships are at the center of your future. There’s a saying that says that if you look at your closest relationships, you’ll see your future. Have you ever heard that “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with?” It’s true! These connections play a massive part in your ability to live a life that fulfills you.
There are several types of relationships you can have in your life:
Guides and Mentors
6. Professional Life
Nothing will show you what you value most in your life more than your professional and hobby-based pursuits. It influences your overall sense of value and significance to how you feel the world and marketplace perceives you. Ask yourself the following questions:
How do your career pursuits align with your vision of your future goals?
Are you doing what you love or what you must?
Are you able to elevate your authentic self, or are you hiding from it?
Are you able to use your strengths, talents, and the ability to apply it in your job and career?
7. Personal Growth
Nothing will ever give you a more vibrant sense of purpose than making renewed progress regularly. Do you have a plan in place to grow your mind, body, and spirit? Or, are you forced to perform only when life strikes you to get your attention? It’s been my experience that those who are consistently growing rarely go through incredibly difficult seasons of life.
8. Life Impact (Contribution)
This one tends to catch many of us off guard – realizing that we’ve lived a life of constant acquisition rather than a life of value. In other words, we don’t want to get to the end of our lives and realize that all we’ve done is take, selfishly, and we haven’t given or contributed enough to the world.
The 8 Pillars of Life Mastery, Visualized:
The reason I like to call this “The 8 Pillars of Life-Mastery” is because each of them builds upon the others. As you can see in the diagram below, some pillars fit on top of others. If one of the lower four is shaky, it drastically increases instability in the upper pillars. For example, if your financial pillar is unstable, then nine times out of ten, your professional life and contribution to others is unstable as well. For this reason, you may want to focus on the lower four pillars first, so you have a strong foundation to build from.
The Formula for Success: Progress + Purpose + Meaning = Momentum
In order to truly feel like you are making progress, you’ll need to do your best to pay daily attention to the Principles and Fundamentals I will share with you. What you’re truly looking for in your life comes down to three things:
Life Mastery is Easier Than You Can Imagine
When you‘re focused on Life-Mastery and making daily progress, your purpose will become clearer every day. And, as your confidence grows, your life will have a daily, renewed sense of meaning. Eventually, when you’re able to use the 8 Pillars of Life-Mastery and become confident in your daily action-steps, it also produces a byproduct of wisdom that you can use to serve the person you used to be. This is the true way to make a lasting impact out of your suffering, successes, and experiences.
Now that you know about the 8 Pillars of Life-Mastery, you should be able to get some clarity on which areas need the most growth. In my next blog post, I’ll share a simple, 4-step process to make this growth happen in your life. You can find that article here.
Also, I invite you to take advantage of another free resource called 5 Principles For A Personal Breakthrough. This is a free ebook that contains a variety of tools that you can use to gain clarity on where you are today. If you’re wondering what steps you should take next, I highly recommend downloading this resource and going through the steps in the ebook if you haven’t already checked it out.