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TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction Chapter 1: The Stories We Create Chapter 2: The Story I Own Chapter 3: Owning Your Role As the Creator of Your Story Chapter 4: Your Storyline Chapter 5: The First Draft Is Essential Chapter 6: The First Draft Is The Hardest One To Write Chapter 7: The Main Characters Chapter 8: The Main Events Chapter 9: The Places Where You Strayed Off Course Chapter 10: The Manifestation Of Unexpected Pain Chapter 11: Everyone Experiences Pain Differently Chapter 12: The Secret Power Of Revisions Chapter 13: The Transition From StoryTeller To StoryCreator Chapter 14: Your Role In The Creation Process (Assume It ’til You Become It) Chapter 15: The Life-Altering Power Of Changing Your Personal Narrative Chapter 16: Going Backward To Go Forward Chapter 17: The 10,000 Foot Perspective Chapter 18: Why You Did What You Did Chapter 19: Forgiving Yourself Chapter 20: Why They Did What They Did Chapter 21: Forgiving Them Chapter 22: Recognizing Your Resiliency Chapter 23: Unrealized Courage Chapter 24: Releasing Your Pain Chapter 25: From Self Doubt To Self Love Chapter 26: Finding Patience Chapter 27: Healing Chapter 28: How To Know Where Your Second Draft Begins Chapter 29: How Past Defeats Prepare You For Future Victories
Chapter 30: How Past Pain Prepares You For Future Happiness Chapter 31: The Shift Chapter 32: Create Your Own User’s Manual
INTRODUCTION I woke up one morning a few years ago with my forearm covered with, what appeared to be, spider bites. I thought, “What the hell could this be?” But rather than wait a few days to see if it would go away, I called the doctor for an appointment. Doctor Johnson was a 21st century country doctor minus the lab coat; a slender man in his mid 40’s wearing brown boat shoes, faded jeans and an untucked plaid shirt with a stethoscope draped around his neck. As I walked into the three bedroom home he called an office, his nurse escorted me into an exam room with Doctor Johnson following closely behind. “Martin, what seems to be the problem?” Johnson said. I held up my forearm. “I think I’ve got a bad case of spider bites.” Johnson stared at my arm, his brow furrowed. “Nope,” he said. “You’ve got a case of the shingles!” I was dumbfounded. “Shingles. How could that happen?” I asked. Johnson smiled. “Have you been under any stress lately?” “Well, I have been writing and reliving all of the painful things I’ve lived through the past twenty years. Do you think that could be the cause?” “Yep!” Johnson smiled. “That’ll do it!” I tell you this story, not because reading this book will give you shingles, but because I want you to know that I have practiced what I preach. I’ve experienced a lot of painful events and come out on the other side healed, whole and healthy, and I know you will be able to do the same. As you read The Freedom SuperGuide you will develop and/or strengthen the mental and emotional tools you need to trade the life you’re expected to live for the life you want to live. I know because that’s the life I live today, and I am no different than you.
CHAPTER 1: THE STORIES WE CREATE From our earliest memories to our current reality, our lives are a story we create, live and share with the world about who we believe we are and what we believe we’re capable of achieving. But for most of us, we’re living fictional stories based largely on our fears, criticisms and disappointments combined with the fears, criticisms, disappointments and expectations of our families, friends and society. Left unchecked, our false narratives become kryptonite for our dreams. But the great news is that we can live a new story. One of my mentors, Tony Robbins, says, “It’s in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” You can decide, right now, that you’re not only going to live a new story, you’re going to live an epic new story based on doing work you’re passionate about, that causes you to grow and makes a difference in the world. In other words, an authentic story where you spend the most creative and productive hours of your day living your purpose. From a practical standpoint, even when you decide to continue living your current story, you’re still making a decision. So if you’re gonna have to make a decision anyway, you might as well decide to create a new story and make it epic, right? Here’s a dictionary.com definition of epic: heroic; majestic; impressively great Here’s a Martin Pigg belief about EPIC: Every Person Is Capable Every person on this planet is capable of creating a heroic, majestic and impressively great story with their life if they believe they can do it. That can be a challenge when the people we’re closest to would likely encourage us to play it safe. But with a solid belief in ourselves we develop
the intestinal fortitude to follow our heart and the courage to let go of the people and opinions that don’t honor that belief. I can already hear many of you saying to yourself, “That sounds great, Martin! But how do I develop that level of belief in myself and what I’m capable of achieving?” Well, you’re in luck. Because my mission with this guide is to help you create a solid belief in yourself that will empower you to create and live an epic second draft of your life. The first, and most important, step on the path to an epic second draft story begins when we take control of our role as the narrator, and there’s a huge difference between First Draft (old story) narrators and Second Draft (epic story) narrators. Here’s the difference: •First Draft narrators are passive-voice. They allow others to dictate their circumstances and beliefs. •Second Draft narrators are active-voice. They take control of their story and apply the valuable lessons they learned from their first draft to live epic Second Draft lives. This guide will give you the mental and emotional tools to become a Second Draft narrator and actively create the story you really want to live. It’s based on the life-changing lessons I learned during the thirty months I spent writing and revising the excruciatingly painful story of my life. And it’s designed for anyone who is ready to reframe the most negatively impactful events in their life and use that newfound awareness to heal past pain and find the courage to live the life they were born to live. As you read I want you to think about your life as a story with a second draft that has not yet been written. And in order to know if you’re ready to begin the second draft, I want you to answer the following question:
Do you spend the most creative and productive hours of your day doing work you’re passionate about, that causes you to grow and makes a difference in the world? If you answered yes, please stop reading now and contact me for a full refund of the purchase price for this book because you don’t need it. But if you answered no, keep going. Because my goal is to get you closer to answering yes than you have ever been before. In my world no is not a bad thing. It just means you’re still living the first draft of your life and that you haven’t yet reached the level of mental and emotional strength to get to yes. It also means that you’re not yet using your innate gifts to create and live an epic second draft based on what you really want to do with your life. But keep the faith because you are gonna get there. The Universe and I are on your side. The second draft of your life begins the moment you commit to writing and reliving the first draft, which started with your earliest memories and extends through your current reality. It’s a journey into the places you have avoided but need to shine a light on in order to heal and live your most fulfilling life. At the end of each chapter there will be exercises that deal with a particular aspect of your story. Some of the them will be brief and some will require more time. Please do not skip over any of them because they were created with a structure to help you live your best possible second draft. As you work your way through the guide, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. I’m here to support you on your journey. And now it’s time to begin creating the life you really want to live!
CHAPTER 2: THE STORY I OWN My life in the ’90’s was an odyssey that saw me work as a prison guard in Texas, start and lose a business in Russia, fail at a business in the Republic of Georgia, lose out on an oil deal with a member of the Shah Of Iran’s family, get swindled out of my life savings by African fraudsters, flee an African hotel to catch the last flight out of the country, narrowly avoid being kidnapped and forced to marry a woman in the Republic of Georgia and then actually marry the bride-from-hell. My point in sharing all of this with you is to illustrate the fact that I’ve got decades of experience creating identities and narratives to match the disasters that dotted the landscape of my life. During that time I regularly shared the stories of how I’d gotten screwed out of what was rightfully mine with anyone who would listen, and I bathed in the sympathy people threw my way, which only served to solidify my victim identity. The result of my constant poor-me soliloquy was to embed the emotional scars so deeply in my brain that suffering felt normal, and almost comforting. But then I read Rhonda Byrne’s book The Secret and my world began to open up. I spent the next two years reading every personal development book I could get my hands on and began to believe that my purpose was to help people live their most meaningful lives. I was excited about the possibility of creating a new life for myself. But in a moment of clarity I realized that I couldn’t create the life that I wanted to live until I made peace with the life I had lived up until that moment. So as someone who was passionate about writing, I decided to write and relive my old story. But what I didn’t anticipate when I decided to write it was just how much pain I would have to go through to get to the other side where the real juice of life resides. After three years of angry outbursts, sleepless nights, the occasional, “What the hell were you thinking, Martin?”, one case of shingles, seven revisions to my old story, and 92,000 words, my old story was complete and I had healed my life to the point where I could began to write and live my new, more abundant, more authentic and more passionate life.
I tell you all of this, not because it’s gonna take three years and 92,000 words for you to create the life you really want to live. I tell you all of this because, as Tony Robbins says, “Success leaves clues.” I’ve been where you are and I can help you get to the other side of your pain, find your purpose and live the life you are meant to live. In the three years I spent sifting through my sadness there were times when I questioned why I was willing to endure so much pain, when it would have been so much easier to quit sifting and start settling. But as I write these words to you I have no questions anymore. I’m blessed to live the life I live now because I was willing to do the hard work of healing. And my goal with this book is to help you get to the other side where you will unlock and unleash your passion and purpose and become all that you are meant to be.
DAY 1: OWNING YOUR ROLE AS THE CREATOR OF YOUR STORY We live the first draft of our lives by default, ceding creative control of our stories to people who want us to live their version of our life. Have enough conversations with people and you’ll hear them use emphatic phrases like, “The fact is…,” “The truth is…,” “The reality is…,” when they talk about how we’re supposed to live our lives. But their facts, truths, and realities are usually nothing more than opinions based on their own fears, criticisms, disappointments and expectations. It can be jarring to realize that you’ve allowed other people’s opinions to control your story. But it’s important to understand that you gave them control, consciously or unconsciously, when you accepted their facts, truths and realities as gospel and created a life around them. However, it’s even more important to understand that you have the power to regain control of your story and steer it in whatever direction you want to take it. The telltale sign that we’ve lost control of our story is blame. When life goes south our first reaction is to look outside ourselves to blame others rather than look inside for answers. That’s because shirking our responsibility for what’s wrong with our lives is less painful and requires significantly less courage than introspection. But while blaming others is easy, it robs of us of the opportunity to learn from the experience. And when left unresolved, blame becomes a debilitating habitual response. In my late 20’s I started a business to sell pipeline equipment to Russian oil companies. My partner in the venture had invented the equipment but mothballed it due to a lack of interest from American companies. At the time he agreed to provide me with technical expertise and some marketing materials but no financial support. When I asked about a partnership agreement he said it was unnecessary because the likelihood of my success was zero. Undaunted, I spent two years pawing and selling everything I owned and borrowing money from friends to keep the business alive. I ended a romantic relationship and moved from my home in Texas to Northern
Virginia to further the cause. I commuted every day to DC to meet with the politicians, businessmen and bankers I believed could help me move my project forward. At that point, selling our equipment in Russia was no longer just a a business idea, it was my purpose. Two years after starting the business we were on the verge of making our first sale in Russia. It was almost impossible to believe that I, as an ex prison guard with a physical education degree and no business or oilfield experience, had managed to get a deal done with a Russian oil company. I was elated! But then a couple days later I got a phone call from my partner informing me that he and another guy were cutting me out of the deal. And because we didn’t have a partnership agreement, there was nothing I could do about it. I was devastated! For several years I regurgitated the sad story of how my business partner had screwed me and ruined my life to anyone who would listen. And with each opportunity to share the tragic undoing of my purpose, a false narrative took greater control of my identity. Gone was the swashbuckling, independent business man who had ventured across the ocean to achieve his destiny. I was now the naive victim who had sacrificed everything to achieve his dream and then lost it all to a con man. As I wrote and relived the first draft of my life I realized that I was the one who was responsible for what happened because I was aware of my ex partner’s sketchy personal reputation when I went into business with him. I was also the one who chose to sacrifice everything without a partnership agreement. I took ownership as the creator of my old story and stopped blaming my ex partner for ruining my life. And in doing so I unleashed the power I needed to create a new and better story. I have no idea what happened to cause your first draft pain. Maybe it wasn’t your fault. Maybe there was nothing you could’ve done at the time to change things. But even if you’re not responsible for the pain, you are responsible for what your story means to you. You get to decide if your pain is a loss or a lesson. And when your pain is a catalyst for learning, you’re able to develop the courage, resourcefulness and resiliency necessary to achieve anything you want in life.
YOUR STORY •What’s the story you own right now? In other words, what story are you telling the world about who you are and what matters most in your life? •How does your story mesh with your current level of success? •In no less than a paragraph, write the story of why you are where you are in the area of your life that matters the most to you right now (work, health, finances, relationships, etc) •Understanding that we are all ultimately responsible for the stories we create, live and share with the world, write down the names of at least three people who have influenced the decisions you’ve made that have brought you to where you are today. •Of the people you named above, put a check mark next to the ones who are currently living the kind of life you really want to live. REFLECTION Jim Rohn said, “We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” ACTION On a piece of paper draw two circles, an inner circle and an outer circle. List the five people you spend the most time with below the circles. Now, write the names of the battery chargers in your life (positive energy people, your biggest champions, the ones who would support you regardless of what you want to do) around the inner circle. Next, write the names of the battery drainers in your life (negative energy people, the ones who would rather you stay the way you are) around the outer circle.
The outer circle was created for anyone you are unwilling to completely disconnect from, for whatever reason. This can include family members and close friends. The idea is that the battery drainers will remain on the periphery of your life and only connect with you when it’s absolutely necessary. The inner circle is reserved for five people who have the greatest potential for impacting your life in a positive way. Because you now have spaces available in your inner circle, you have the opportunity to fill those spaces with battery chargers, who can either be people you know directly or influencers you may never meet but who have a message of inspiration that resonates with you at your core.
DAY 2: YOUR STORYLINE From our earliest memories to our current reality, the first draft of our storylines are all similar in general. There are heroes and villains, plot twists, victories and defeats. But to create a more empowering and inspired second draft of our storyline, one that has real staying power, we have to take control of our story. And to do that, we must fundamentally change our approach to authorship. There are two kinds of authors responsible for the creation of their storylines, and there’s a profound difference between the two. Here’s the difference: •First Draft Authors are reactive. •Second Draft Authors are proactive. First Draft Authors believe life is always happening to them. They are constantly reacting to external forces rather than proactively creating internal resources. Consequently, they have little or no understanding of their ability to positively affect the course of their lives. Fear is the go-to emotion. They absorb and espouse the worldview of others, and they blame events and other people when things don’t go their way. First Draft authors get comfortable with thinking of themselves as victims which, when left unaddressed, eventually becomes their identity. Second Draft Authors believe life is always happening for them. They know they have the power to create the life they want through the proper alignment of their thoughts and feelings. Love and service are the driving forces in their lives. They monitor the energy of what they do, what they think and feel and who they’re connected to. Second Draft Authors simply won’t allow negative energy to remain in their space for any length of time. And rather than blame events and other people, they take responsibility when things don’t go their way.