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Published February 7, 2020

What I think I’ve learned from traveling across the country and the world talking to and meeting with people is…EVERYONE has problems. Whether it’s Ford City, PA, Richmond, VA, Burlingame, CA, Maui, HI, Cartagena, Colombia, Lima, Peru, Dallas, TX, Scottsdale, AZ, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, Miami FL, Denver CO and so on and so forth. Everyone, no matter their socio-economic status, has problems.

Problems like:

  • Company said job is relocating and now they need to move family across the country
  • Daughter tried to commit suicide
  • Dad recently passed away
  • Mother prepared to give birth to one child only to find out twins were coming
  • Wife died in her sleep
  • Company downsized and laid off the primary breadwinner in house
  • Mom is a functioning alcoholic
  • Husband cheated and left a stockpile of unknown and unwanted debt
  • Child has ADD, ADHD, Autism or is “Special Needs”
  • IRS wants back taxes
  • Hurricanes ripped through the state and took out their house
  • Wife/Husband is non supportive
  • Mother in law who had bi polar disorder moves into the house
  • Co-signed for a loan they should not have and is left to pay the bill
  • Their friends are not supportive
  • Family member passed away and the life insurance didn’t cover the funeral costs
  • The family pet is sick
  • They grew up on welfare & government assistance

It doesn’t matter if it’s San Juan, PR or Detroit MI, I have not met ONE person who hasn’t had something happen to them. What I’ve learned is…it’s not WHAT happens. It’s what they DO about what happens that sets them apart. It’s about how they CHOOSE to respond to these “happenings.”

I sat with two women five years ago that had the exact same problems. Today one of them is highly successful (spiritual, mentally, emotionally, physically, financially, relationally) while the other is still complaining and blaming and murmuring and is broke (spiritually, mentally, emotionally, financially, relationally). Same problem, two completely different ways of responding to those problems.

I sat with two men years ago. Both were plagued because their wives wouldn’t support them leaving their jobs to build a business. Today one has a huge business and a great relationship with his wife, while the other is still working at a job he hates blaming his problems on his wife. Same problem but what they DID about their problem was completely different. That is what determined the quality of their lives and future.

I sat with two guys. Both had a large part of their investments in the market which tanked in 2008-2009. Both were devastated. One guy cashed out whatever was left in his accounts. The other guy left what was in his accounts and in fact started to double down on his investing. Today one guy is still blaming while the other has doubled or tripled his returns. Same problems but what they DID in RESPONSE to those problems were completely different.


I’ve sat with two sets of parents who tragically lost someone close to them. One set of parents wrote a book together and travels the world teaching others how to heal and has decided their life’s mission and purpose is to educate, teach and coach. They wake up every day focused on serving others. The other set of parents stopped speaking to one another, are in deep depressions, lost all intimacy, stopped working, lost their jobs, moved back in with family members and eventually divorced.

In my book, The 12 Shifts, I talk about “Taking control of your R.” Everyone has problems (those are called events) but it’s your RESPONSE (R) to those events that ultimately matter. Taking control of your R is a choice. That alone ultimately gives you your OUTCOMES. My encouragement is wherever you are in life or in the world…take control of your “R”.