When You Can Sit On The Ball You Are Going Beyond The Wilderness

“Great outcomes don’t lead to being outstanding, Being outstanding leads to great outcomes”

One of the most impactful experiences I have had when I was on Tony Robbins’ security team was when he took some of us to his private island in Fiji.

I had been to Australia and New Zealand with Tony and the security team but I hadn’t ever been to a place like Fiji. It was an amazing experience, just figuring out the travel logistics, traveling over 24 hours, and getting there at 8 am Fiji time.

After we got to our bura, a wood and straw hut, and got cleaned up, I wanted to move around. I’d been in an airplane for about 20 hours and was stiff. I went to the gym and met Franz, a fitness trainer. I first met him on the plane from Los Angeles.

As I started to stretch, he rolled this big ball to me and asked me to sit on it. No problem, I started to sit on it, and I fell off. The more I tried, the more I fell. I became determined to sit on that ball but the more I fell, the more frustrated I got.

After Franz stopped laughing, he looked at me and told me I was out of balance. He could tell by that one request that my life was totally out of balance. He told me that every day during that week, we would work on getting my body in balance so by the end of our time in Fiji, I could sit on the ball.

Later that evening, during dinner, I shared with Tony what happened. After he stopped laughing, he told me that was a metaphor for my life. My life was out of balance, and one of the reasons he invited me to Fiji was to help me get realignment and in balance. He told me that is why he goes to Fiji, to get his life back in balance.

When our lives are out of balance, we are beyond the wilderness. As any person who refuses to stop for directions on a road trip will tell you, there’s lost … and then there’s lost. Beyond the wilderness is lost.

What I learned from that conversation in Fiji is you need to go beyond the wilderness, a place you can go to see the big picture and remember your mission.

When I came back home, I bought my first balance ball. Not only to sit on it and stretch but to remind me that there is a place I can go when my life is out of balance because, with all the uncertainty in life, we all get out of balance at times.

After the Miracle on the Hudson, I had no balance. I was trying to serve many masters, my family was going through their own plane crashes, and my manager asked me to go to Michigan. About three weeks after the Miracle on the Hudson, I received a phone call from Tony’s personal assistant, Liz. Liz and I became close friends, and she asked me if I was going to be at the next event, in Secaucus, NJ. I told her I would be there.

One of the things I would do as head of security was to walk with Tony as he prepared for the event. About an hour before he was to go onstage, he and I did our traditional walk around the venue. I normally did not speak with him as he was getting in his zone. Tony asked me how things were going, and I told him I was stretched but OK. He acknowledged that but he is a master of seeing things as they are.

He asked me again and I told him I was totally out of balance and I didn’t know how he did what he did. Tony looked at me and reminded me of our time in Fiji and encouraged me when the event was over, to go find my place where I could get rebalanced and aligned.

I have always remembered that conversation. Sometimes, you need someone who sees beyond the wilderness to remind you of who you are and give the appropriate coaching or mentoring.

I recently spoke with someone who had come to me for some mentoring. He is young, smart, and overwhelmed. As we spoke, I started to understand that he was overwhelmed because he was trying to achieve many objectives he had too quickly. He lacked patience and was out of balance.
I knew this because this was me about fifteen years ago.

After listening to where he was, I shared something that I learned and have witnessed many times,

I asked him if he watches football. He told me he does. I asked him if he ever saw a game where one team could only run the ball and had no passing attack? He said he had. I asked him if the team that has only one approach usually wins. He said he didn’t know. Then I asked him if he watched the NFC championship game, Eagles vs. Forty-Niners.

I pointed out that when the Forty-Niners’ QB went out injured, they only had one way to attack the Eagle’s defense: running attack. They were out of balance and lost. One of the strategies in football is to have a balanced attack so you have more choices, and the Forty-Niners did not have a balanced approach.

I recommended to him that he look at the critical areas of his life, draw a circle a life circle, and draw lines to the middle of the circle, then rate each area to where he felt he was from 1-10, and he would quickly see what areas of his life were out of balance. A balanced circle should be round, but most people’s circles, including mine, are anything but a circle.

Now that I am retired from my corporate position, one of my key focuses is to regain balance in all the essential areas of my life. To go beyond my wilderness, to remind myself of the big picture, my mission. That is one of the reasons I retired from my corporate position.

My life circle is still in progress and still needs to be round. One thing I learned many years ago from Tony that has helped me achieve my most important outcomes and regain balance is this.

Where focus goes, energy flows; what you focus on, you feel. The power of focus affects all aspects of your life. You can focus on goals at work, in your relationships, or personal goals like fitness and emotional health – and you can manifest those goals into being.”

A pathway to create opportunity out of uncertainty is to work on regaining balance in your life. The more in balance you are, the less stress you have, and you can focus your energies on adding value to others. You may never have a “perfect circle,” but if you focus on making progress with your balance, one day, you just may be able to go beyond the wilderness, sit on the ball and begin to

Create your own flight plan for your future.