Yogi Berra said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Well, while it’s entertaining, that advice won’t do much for you.

So how do you know which way to turn when you come to a fork in the road of life?

Since that question could encompass such a wide range of challenges (or, better put, opportunities), it might seem too complex to find one simplified answer.

But I think there’s a way. In the hope that it will be useful for you, let me share with you what worked for me.

In 2003, with the landmark of my 40th birthday (yes, yes, I know it’s hard to believe) quickly approaching, it became painfully obvious to me in a moment of reflection that I was not living the life that was indicative or demonstrative of my true abilities and human potential.

I had come to a fork in the road of life.

Ever been there before? Ouch!

Then - in July 2003 - I had what some would call a “defining moment.”

I call it “a matter of life or death.” Not death in the literal sense, which probably would have actually been a lot less painful for me. The kind of death I’m referring to is the death of self-belief, self-trust, spirit and the will to win.

Here’s the truth: I was a recent newlywed. I had just sold one of my companies. I had gained an extra 30 pounds of carry-on luggage (also known as fat). On top of that, I found myself sharing success strategies with my audience, but I wasn’t implementing and applying them to my own personal and professional life.

I knew I had to make some major changes … FAST! I was sick and tired of being sick and tired … a lackluster father and husband … an unmotivated motivational speaker. The last line may sound funny to you, but it was a sad truth for me.

I took a hard look at my life and saw the situation I just described. And that’s when I experienced an “A-Ha!” moment — a personal breakthrough.

The two key words are Look and Personal Breakthrough.

My vision had become the wrong vision. I saw only what I had become, not what I had the potential to be. I was living my nightmare, not my dream.

But I knew it didn’t have to be that way. I realized my fate, the rest of my life, was in my hands.

That was my first clue. Somewhere, I got off course. I got “caught up” in a vision that was not meant to be my fate.

  • I remembered using visualization techniques to create my future and manifest my destiny. I had stopped that behavior.
  • I remembered running on the boardwalk in Spring Lake, envisioning myself speaking in front of large audiences for high fees. I had stopped that behavior.
  • I remembered sitting in the chair in my home office every morning before going to the gym and envisioning myself having a powerful workout, looking strong, muscular and lean. I had stopped that behavior.
  • I remembered seeing myself on vacation in the Caribbean with my wife and kids having fun on the beach. I had stopped that behavior.

All of the things I taught and actually coached other people about in the areas of personal development and success had slipped away from me.

But then I got fired up!

When I looked at my life, I didn’t see myself 30 pounds overweight. I didn’t see myself struggling to be motivated. I didn’t see the self-imposed obstacles I created causing major challenges in every area in my life.

What I saw was A Winner. I saw an energetic, healthy, father and husband. I saw a man full of boundless energy, pursuing and achieving his dreams while helping others realize theirs.

As soon as I realized that my vision was what motivated me to take massive action which in turn created my future, my fate, I couldn’t sleep.

So, as the Fourth of July fireworks exploded in the warm, summer night air, my heart began to race because I knew I had the answer. I had a sort of Personal Independence Day Weekend.

On Monday, July 7, 2003 I started on an 84-day journey to transform my body and my mind, and win an International Fitness Challenge.

I knew that if I changed my body, my energy would be restored and even increase. From that position of energized strength I could change my mindset further. And I committed myself to doing all the things necessary to make this Vision my Fate.

I immediately began to apply techniques from a very important book I reread regularly, Psycho-Cybernetics by Dr. Maxwell Maltz.

I envisioned myself being lean and muscular. I envisioned myself training six days a week and becoming stronger everyday. I envisioned myself eating clean and healthy foods. I envisioned myself wearing designer suits and having a six-pack of ripped abs.

The outcome: I finished the Challenge 84 days later on September 28, 2003. By then I had lost 25 pounds. My body fat dropped from 18.5% to 8%. My waist size went from 38-inches to 33-inches. Then on January 28, 2004 at 6:00 PM, my wife said there was someone on the phone from Golden, Colorado. It was Porter Freeman, the director of The EAS/Body-for-Life Challenge. He told me that I was awarded 2nd runner-up in the 2003 Challenge.

I won cash, prizes and immediate international exposure for my hard work. You can see the transformation pictures HERE.

But more important: I won my life back. I won my self-confidence back. And I won my integrity back AND my self-esteem. I saw myself as a truly congruent person — someone who walks their talk and is 100% committed every moment to living to their fullest human potential, A Winner!

“Good for you, Eric,” you may be saying at this point. “But how can I get to that ‘A-Ha!’ moment and that level of commitment in my life?”

Here’s a first step: Another way of explaining what happened for me - and what can happen for you - is to realize what you focus on informs your belief. And we become very good at finding “evidence” and creating behaviors that support what we believe. Set your sights on a beneficial, realistic vision of what you want your life to be, and you’re well on your way to achieving it.

It’s true: Your Vision is Your Fate. And, as always, my promise to you is to help you realize your full human potential.

I believe in you! Do you believe in you?

Eric Taylor
Chief Inspiration Officer
Empowerment Group International

Author's Bio: 

Eric Taylor is the Chief Inspiration Officer of SelfGrowth.com and founder of New Jersey based Empowerment Group International. He delivers more than 100 energized and interactive keynotes, workshops and seminars each year to corporations, associations and tradeshows. He is the author of the Energy Passport, Co-creator of the Best Year Ever! Success System and Co-author of The Complete Sales Training Encyclopedia. To get complete details about Eric’s background, his products and services, visit Eric Taylor’s Blog and review Eric Taylor’s Profile.