The Back Story - Craig Pennell
I always think it's important to know a little about the background of someone you've decided to learn from, and so I want to share a little about why I do what I do, and most importantly, what that means for you.
I am someone who suddenly had a wake-up call in my early forties. Up until that time I was quite happy with much of my life. I had even accomplished some of my life-goals, and I was living in a beautiful part of the world.
Some things were hard: trying to make a living in a foreign country hit hard by the financial crisis had its challenges. Sometimes I wondered if we'd made the right decision to uproot our kids from a comfortable life in England and move to Spain. But overall, I was content to let things tick along.
But one day I dared to look forward. I began to think about what life would be like in 5 years time if I stayed on this course. If I didn't change, what could I expect?
It was then that it hit me - every day that slipped by brought me no closer at all to my dreams. Nothing I was doing in my career or business was having any impact on my future. Not in a positive sense. All that was happening was that my daily grind was keeping me in the same old place.
I didn't want to stay there. But that meant I had to make some changes. And change is hard. Especially when you don't know exactly what needs to change.
The hardest thing for me was admitting to myself, aged 42, that I didn't have my life together. That I didn't have everything figured out, I didn't have all the answers, I wasn't even asking the right questions.
My story is bound to be different from yours, but in my experience, once we begin to wake up to the reality we find ourselves in, then there is no turning back. The only way is forward, because we begin to seek a new way of living out our lives.
It seems to me that something began to call me out of my mediocre life, and encourage me to take a different course. It could be that each one of us has a truer version of ourselves inside, covered over with layers of doubt, and tied up with years of disappointment. Whatever was going on in me, I can only look back in wonder at the transformation I went through in the years that followed.
Of course I haven't arrived yet. And maybe I never will. But I'm learning to enjoy the journey.
There was a time when I doubted if change were possible. There was a time when I wasn't able to imagine living any other way. There was a time when I felt that the course of my life was pre-planned, and all I could do was follow along to the best of my ability.
But it doesn't take a lot to change the course of a ship. A little turn of the wheel and pretty soon we're sailing in a different direction. It's gradual, it's little by little. But it happens.
Throughout this program I draw on personal experience and the wisdom of others to present practical strategies. Strategies that can and will turn into powerful habits that, little by little, bring about lasting, positive change.
Want a magic formula? This isn't it!
Want a push-button solution? No, I don't believe in those.
Want lasting change? Yes, I think we can work together...
What's Your Story?
It's vital that we know our own story. We need to know where we've come from, what has shaped us, what has molded us into who whe are right now. Not all of our story is going to be good reading. There are probably plenty of boring bits, some highs, some lows, and a lot of meandering in between.
I decided that I needed to write my story from now on, instead of just looking back and seeing what happened to me, like I was an observer. No more being a passenger on a train - now it's time to be pro-active.
I’m constantly challenged to stretch my thinking as I explore new ways of looking at personal growth and life-transformation.
After all, I’m on the journey like everyone else. I wrestle with the same things you do, and I don’t pretend to have all the answers. But one thing I’ve found that transformed my approach was to consider that asking the right question may be more important than getting the right answer.
We find ourselves in the gap between the story and the vision. Between our past and our future.
There’s no escaping the fact that we’ve been formed and molded by our past. The decisions we’ve made, the advice we’ve listened to (or not), our education, family background, even the place where we were born, all have added to the complex puzzle that is you.
We can look back and see the highlights as well as the difficult moments. The triumphs and the defeats. The gains and the losses.
Rarely do we remember the everyday, ordinary happenings. But they are still there, like the baseline that hide under the rhythm of a song. Our big mistakes are ingrained in our memory. Our numerous little accomplishments gather dust on a shelf somewhere.
Years of dutiful service to an unseen master dulled the senses. Striving to keep up with the Jones’s made us shallow and introspective. Comparing ourselves to the wonder-parents at the school gate made us feel a constant failure.
It’s there, although we don’t think about it. Accepting it for what it is becomes a crucial forward step in the direction of freedom.
We can’t change yesterday, but we can change how we let it shape us from this day forward.