Home > blogging, motivation, personal development > Take a Hard Right and Forget the 180

Take a Hard Right and Forget the 180

by Jim Raffel on June 22, 2010

People often talk about turning their life around. Making a 180 degree turn. Really? Seems to me that means you went right back where you came from. Me, I took a hard right (90 degree turn) about a year ago and am darn glad I did.

Hard RightI was on the wrong path and going either way was not going to get me where I needed to go. Sometimes I go back and look at my blog to gain perspective of where I’ve been. If you do the same you’ll see a huge hole in my blog from February 28, 2009 to June 8, 2009. Where in the world was Jim Raffel? Lost, let’s just go with lost for now. Continuing down that path was not going to work. Turning back…not so much.

Hard lessons. Until just now I didn’t realize I did not write one single blog post in those three months. It’s probably a very good thing. I remember writing three very personal notes during that time. One to my son on his birthday. One to my daughter for high school graduation and one to my wife. I wrote to the people who needed to hear from me the most.

I saved myself and social media helped – big time. When you are at your lowest the only one who can save you is you. (In my case with a lot of help from a higher power). It was through social media I discovered my friend Anne and her blog which I think of as one of the key milestone in my new journey. She had just begun sharing her story and one post in particular hit home and got me thinking in a different way about myself.

Another Key Milestone was meeting Joe Sorge. Joe is an amazing guy who is way more giving than I think he realizes. A few months after meeting Joe he invited me to sit down and talk one afternoon. For perspective remember I am finding a whole new footing in life at this point (January 2010). I was relearning that I am a successful person. Joe treated me as a successful business peer. More importantly he suggested I read a few books and listen to a few podcasts. I’ve always been big on reading success and personal development books. Joe’s recommendations had a different focus than any of my previous reading. Go peek at my January and February writing to see the changes first hand.

Recently I attended the unGeeked conference. Never has attending a conference changed me more. I began to connect face to face with people I had known on Twitter for a while and some new people Cd had brought to town for the event. My friend Sue Spaight tells me I’ve been on a writing roll every since. Swing back to early May and start reading to see if you agree. I still remember Day three sitting at the same table with Sue who I’d finally met face to face and Angel Oakley who I’d just met for the first time at the conference. It was my favorite day of the conference.

Co-working at Translator Digital Cafe lab hours. I try and swing by “the lab” once or twice each week so I can spend some time with other humans. The hardest part of working solo from my home is the lack of face to face human time talking about real life business issues. Co-working only works with the right people and the Translator lab rats are the best. Mark, Cindi and Andy stretch my brain each time I stop by the lab. Co-working has been a huge milestone for me.

My new inner circle. I’ve written before about you being the average of the five people closest to you. Your personality, your interests, your everything. Only two of my five are the same people. My wife and my business partner. The other three are all new and I’m not even sure who they are yet. I think at least one or two of them have been mentioned above but I really don’t know yet that’s still shaking out. I know which three are not there anymore.

More than one of you has pushed me to tell more of my story. Hopefully this post gives you a little more perspective on where I write from. What do you think, more posts like this?

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dip

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  • http://bananza.tumblr.com/ Bananza

    I like that 90 degree turn, Jim. I just wanted to let you know that I know it takes courage to share your story, but I think since you are a continual improvement, we need to hear it and you need to share it. You inspire me to examine my own life and watch my priorities and my attitude. I am honored that you mentioned me in this post, too! Thanks so much. I'm glad I know you — all thanks to social media. :)

  • Mike Litscher

    Change is hard. I had to do it myself – doctor's orders.

    I lived a very “unsustainable” life, smoking, eating whatever I felt like eating, staying up all night and sleeping most of the day, no exercise, and 60+ pounds heavier than I am now.

    God gave me a second chance, and not knowing if he'd give me a third chance, I chose to make the most of it.

    I know the “Before” Jim, and I like the “After” Jim much more. And Anne, I didn't know you before, but I am glad to know you now.

  • Heather Claus

    Good for you, Jim! As someone working her own change, I feel you.

    I look forward to watching your success bloom! *smiles*

  • http://JimRaffel.com/ Jim Raffel

    Regarding courage: I also remember a post by Krista @Krittabug about a year having gone by since her not so good breakup. She commented how it didn't hurt anymore. I guess that's how I'm starting to feel about last year and what led up to last year. It's far enough in the past that talking about it is truly no big deal for me anymore and if it will help other, fantastic!

    Regarding social media: For those who don't get it, that's OK maybe it's just not for them. No big deal. I just know that for you, me and a bunch of our friends it's been huge and in fact has changed who our friends are. It's widened my circle of friends and acquaintances beyond anything I ever felt possible. My circle of friends is also more diverse. We tend to associate with those we think we identify with. I guess one of the things about Twitter and social media for me is we see how much more similar than different we all are.

  • http://JimRaffel.com/ Jim Raffel

    Amen brother, amen! I also like being friends with and doing business with the “new” Mike much more than the old.

  • http://JimRaffel.com/ Jim Raffel

    Heather, The success has always been here. A very smart woman (my wife) summed it up best a few years ago (I'm a man so it took that long to sink in) “Stop sabotaging your own success” That probably sums up the last year more than any other single quote.

  • http://Www.spaighttalk.com Sue Spaight

    Jim, I do think you should write more posts like this; this one is working the mystique trigger hard; makes me want to know more. The fact that you haven't always been so focused makes you even more interesting and human. But then I am just telling you what you always tell me. Way to keep it real.

    Everyone has had to make hard right turns. Heck, some of us need to make them every day. I can 100% relate to your experience here.

    I, too, am so pleased to be in your circle, whatever the size. Seems Ungeeked has had a pretty significant impact on our community.

    Sue

  • http://twitter.com/deziner Cynthia Thomas

    Thank you Jim for having the courage to share yourself with us. We all go through struggles, it's part of being alive. It takes a special type of person to stop and notice the impact of those struggles and what they do to, and for us. I'm glad you are paying attention, because ultimately those around you, including me will benefit, and be challenged by the wisdom such an exercise provides.

    In response to your question of more posts like this… Selfishly I say yes. I am the lucky one to be able to learn from what you share. But ultimately how does sharing help you? And I would answer; that choice needs to be yours. Personal transparency isn't for everyone, and there is no right or wrong. Either way, I am thankful to have gotten the chance to get to know you. The only suggestion I would have is this:

    More bacon. :)

  • http://JimRaffel.com/ Jim Raffel

    Thanks for the mystique idea….see my next post :)

  • http://JimRaffel.com/ Jim Raffel

    You and Sue are way too good to me between your ideas I cooked up this next blog post which I think could be the beginning of some cool stuff for me. (or it's a dud that's always possible in this blogging game).

  • http://twitter.com/MarkFairbanks Mark Fairbanks

    Yes, Jim. More posts like this. Everyone has a journey. Everyone has a story. It's by sharing these stories that we understand, learn and advance.

    Having you as a “regular” at the lab means a lot to us. We always look forward to @raffel walking through the door and the engaging conversations we will have. You've been key in helping us build the lab into the off-line gathering place for ideas that we dreamed of.

    Now let's have some more damned coffee. :)

  • http://twitter.com/angeloakley angeloakley

    Jim, I enjoy biographies, life journals of successful people. The ones I love best are those that have a raw honesty showing the real journey highs and lows – cause we all have 'em. It's easy to put on the front that all is great and dandy, but we learn most from one another when we show our vulnerability. We all struggle with something. My favorite verse is “As iron sharpens iron.”

    So, personally, I liked this post. Should you do more like it, up to you, but you've got my attention either way.

    Looking forward to crossing paths and sharing part of our journey with one another.
    #chocolate ;)
    @angeloakley

  • http://JimRaffel.com/ Jim Raffel

    You made me smile #JustSaying

  • http://JimRaffel.com/ Jim Raffel

    I love my life and wouldn't trade my problems for anyone's. That being said yes, it's a struggle and that's what makes us appreciate it. :) So glad to know you Angel. mmmmm #chocolate

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