In my life, I have had the privilege of meeting Wayne Parrot. He is the founder of The Anti-depression association of Australia and has become a very dear friend to me.
What has struck me most about this man is his enthusiasm for life and his ‘can do’ attitude. Recently Wayne was diagnosed with secondary lung cancer. He had a 7cm tumour right next to his aorta and had been given a sentence of just 90 days live. He was told to go home and spend time with his family as there was very little doctors could do for him.
In his usual ‘Wayne Parrot fashion’ which I have learnt to love so much and be hugely inspired by, he would not take this diagnosis as gospel and he began his search for finding other solutions to his ‘problem’.
I guess you could say that his aim was to live and he embarked on the ‘how to’ part of his journey that led him to learning so much about cancer, that he has now started to share this information with other people and Australian doctors, so they can learn and change their diagnosis’ too.
What’s more, this journey has now led to this tumour being completely annihilated and his life sentence being reinstated as ‘unknown’, just like the rest of us.
What did he do? He researched. He learnt. He applied the information he found to his life. He became committed to his aim to live and did whatever he had to do to reach this goal of staying alive and not giving into the beliefs of other people, whose only crime was to believe in the knowledge that they had as being the only truth out there.
We do this all the time. We accept what others have told us as true without actually looking at whether these beliefs are right for us. Wayne began doing what I’m telling you to do with your aims, he started researching, learning and seeking out people to help him actively seek out the knowledge he needed to move him through this issue…and the outcome was? He got his life back.
This could be you. You may not have cancer, but you are at a place in your life where something has taken over you and threatens to take away your quality of life – your happiness, your passion or your enthusiasm for life.
Now you can either take it laying down, or you could start finding ways to move through it, just like Wayne did.
There is more to this story that I’d like to share with you. Not long ago I spoke to Wayne about what he has been doing to treat his cancer and overcome it and he shared with me all of the many different things that he was doing as part of his treatment. He said that what he’d learnt was that 90% of what Australian doctors know about cancer has turned out to be untrue.
He also mentioned that people would often come up and say to him things like: ‘I am eating asparagus in my diet and that is helping my cancer.’ His reply was: “Great! That’s one of about 80 different things that you should be doing.”
80 different things! The answer to Wayne’s cancer wasn’t just to have chemo and/or radiation. He was treating his cancer with nutrition, traditional medical treatment, juices, coffee enemas, stem cell growth, new treatments that were still in their testing phase, treatments that the Australian head oncologist said was a scam and wouldn’t work (which proved to be instrumental in his recovery). He wasn’t just using the advice of one doctor, he worked with many doctors all over the world and became the facilitator of his own treatment, meeting with them to discuss and decide the best course of treatment for him.
He become fully educated about all of the options that were available for him to meet his aim for staying alive and he became fully engaged with the actions that he needed to apply to get him where he wanted to go. Now none of this was easy for him. There were many times where he was sick, nauseous, away from loved ones, scared and generally going through the ups and downs of wondering whether any of this was going to pay off.
But with knowledge, persistence, commitment and applying the information that he sought out, he has achieved his aim of being cancer free. Although his cancer journey has not ended (his aim now is to stop any further cancers from re-appearing), he has achieved such an inspirational milestone that I think leave most of us in awe.
I am hoping by now you are starting to see some common threads between this story and what I’m teaching you about researching and finding solutions to your goal. When you start searching for solutions, instead of remaining stuck in the problem, you start to make progress towards your aims. When you begin actively seeking the information you need to propel you to the next level of your life, you begin to progress towards your aims.
The second point I would like to highlight is how many different things Wayne was doing to get to his aim. 80 different things! There were many factors involved that he was required to do in order to live (reach his aim). Sometime there isn’t always just one solution to your problem. Sometimes it requires many different strategies that you need to educate yourself on and implement into your life. This is where having a plan comes in (step Five of the TRACK Process).
But before you establish a plan, you must first establish your options, which is what this step of the process is about – establishing your choices, your options and potential solutions and deciding which one/s are the best for you and your situation.
For example, if you were having marital issues, then you cannot expect that there will only be one solution. There are many different aspects to this problem that need to be dealt with individually and there are many things that both you and your partner need to actively learn in order to take you to a new and happier level of your relationship.
Here are just a few potential solutions:
- Learn effective communication
- Learn how to listen effectively
- Establish and fully understand each other’s points of view
- Learn to be compassionate for how the other person is feeling
- Establish boundaries
- Align on fair agreements
- Re-establish the passion in your relationship
- Get to know each other again
- Go to a couples camp or couples counselling
- Spend more quality time together
This list is just few things off the top of my head that may need to happen to reach your aim of having a happy, harmonious relationship with your partner. How do you begin acting on these things if you don’t have the knowledge? We only ever know what we know and most of the time it was limited information that caused the issues to occur in the first place. Now what is required, is more information that will see you through to the other side of this issue.
Let’s have a look at another simple issue that many of us deal with as mothers – A child not sleeping.
In order to deal with this issue and get to the other side of it, we need information on how to:
- Educate yourself on lots of different sleep techniques and decide which one is best for your circumstances.
- Establish whether there are any other contributing factors making your child unsettled and address the options for dealing with them.
- Create an appropriate environment to implement that sleep technique
- Be in a rational head space in order to deal with the ups and downs of implementing this sleep technique
- Advise other caregivers of the sleep technique, environment and conditions required to implement this routine (like childcare workers, dad, grandma etc)
- Have the necessary equipment ready to start implementing this technique (heater, timer, blankets, bottle etc, depending on the technique you are using)
You can see that when you start seeking out what is required to get what you want, there are lots of things that you need to consider in order to establish the ‘right action to take’. Let’s look at one more example – your depression.
Something that stuck out to me when reading Wayne’s blog about his cancer journey (you can read about it here), was a comment that a doctor made. His name is Dr Greg Wren and he says:
“The problem in medicine is that everybody has different genes, health, type and advancement of cancers, reaction or resistance to treatments, and it means there will never be a fully effective standard treatment for everyone. This means that to be safe, you are best to throw everything at it both natural and traditional, but knowing how, when, and in what order to do it is an unknown.”
So many medical professionals are so busy that they just do not have the time to give patients the unique, individual care that they require. It is quicker and generally more effective to prescribe medication and send their clients on their way knowing that the medication will at least provide some relief for them. Now I’m not saying that health care professionals don’t care about their patients. I’m simply saying that, as Dr Wren has said, everyone is different and it would take a lot of time to individually establish an appropriate treatment plan for each individual patient that incorporated all aspects and possibilities available to assist their patients. Medication is the most standard treatment of depression that helps the majority of patients.
However, as Dr Wren also suggests, everybody has different genes, health and types of (in this case) depressions, and in my opinion, different triggers, beliefs and circumstances that occur to send you into depression. The answer to overcoming depression will be individualised for you to.
What you want to do though, is to actively seek out the information you need on ALL the different treatments available for treating depression. Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain. I believe that it first occurred through incorrect belief systems set up in childhoood that effect how we view the world that is creating this imbalance, and this can be corrected, however you still have the issue of the physical chemical imbalance that needs help in correcting too. While changing your thoughts is a major part of change, there are many other avenues of help that you can seek out in order to treat this imbalance that work alongside changing your mindset. Other things you may find useful to investigate are:
- Nutrition – What minerals, foods and supplements assist with the recovery of Depression?
- Meditation – Calming the mind and stopping it from being consumed by stress
- Exercise – Creating the physical chemical of endorphins has been proven to lift our mood.
- Physical therapy (hypnotherapy, kineseology, emotional release workshops etc)
- Structural re-balance (osteopaths, chiropractors etc)
- Planning activities that you enjoy to feel the emotion of happiness again.
All of the things mentioned above work alongside changing your mindset. The mind/body connection is huge. Remember how you feel when you see a spider? Your thoughts create a physcial sensation in your body. Likewise when you correct the imperfections within the body, with nutrition, exercise etc, it becomes easier to apply the new way of thinking that you are learning in this program. It all connects and all aspects should be given equal importance.
Similarly, there is also a place for medication during the process of changing your mindset too. Sometimes your thought processes have led to such a strong chemical imbalance that you physically lack the ability to learn or retain new informatin on how to think differently. Sometimes medication is an integral part of allowing your consciousness to get to a level where you can be given this new education on self-worth and a healthy view of life and to allow the time for the other things that you implement (supplements, exercise, diet etc) to take effect.
This is why I say to never stop any medications that you are on without your doctor’s approval. Instead, tell him/her the work you’ve been doing on your mindset and how much better you are feeling and work with them on establishing your best treatment, just like Wayne did.
Conversely, educate yourself on all treatments, medications and what you believe is best for you and work with your doctor on an appropriate treatment, instead of handing the power of your recovery over to someone else. You have a vested interest in your recovery. You have an aim to get better. They don’t. They only have the information that they know and perhaps that’s not everything there is to know about treating your individual, unique depression. If Wayne had just gone with the information that one or several Australian doctors knew from their experience of cancer, he would no longer be in this world.
You need to take responsibility for your life, for your depression and for your situation. Actively seek out the information YOU need to assist you in your recovery, then use experts and professionals to help you to initial an individual and appropriate plan of action that works with your knowledge of the situation and their expert knowledge of depression.
Education is key. Knowledge is power. Seek and ye shall find. Put your attention on solutions to your problems and you will find solutions to your problems.
I’m hoping by now that I have really emphasised the point I’m making about how important it is to research the solutions to your problems by exploring, questioning and seeking answers even when others don’t think there are any.
As I mentioned, there is often always someone else out there who has overcome your issue, whether it is a minor issue or a major issue. Learn off them. Learn what they have done to be successful in this area of their life and then apply that knowledge to your life.
There may not just be one solution, there may be many solutions and in the last step of this TRACK process – Know your plan & Action it, you will learn how to pull all of these solutions together to create a do-able plan that will help you to work towards you aims.
For now though, your job is to go and collect this information and sort through all of the potential solutions to your problems. In tomorrow’s lesson I am going to teach you how to do this.