Addiction reaches every aspect of a person’s life – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It affects family, friends, neighbors, co-workers. No one is left untouched by this disease. Vertava Health’ focus in the month of July, turns to a three-part series with an esteemed author and colleague, Dr. Jason Brooks, who will share insight on the positives and perils of independence. Recognized as one of the most prominent emerging voices in personal and organizational transformation, Dr. Jason Brooks is also likely to be one of the most authentic, transparent and “real”. Viewed by many as the “youth pastor of personal growth and success”, his life mission of “bringing hope, healing, and inspiration to everyone he meets and leading on the journey for change, growth, and success” provides the foundation and focus where his purpose and passion are fully unleashed. As a bestselling author, inspirational speaker, and Chief People Officer of Vertava Health, Dr. Jason brings a heart for helping others to achieve their greatest potential and success…one step at a time. Steps for Getting off on the Right Foot and Staying on the Right Path “We’ve covered a lot of ground over the last few weeks Jacob.” “We sure have and for the first time I really believe I’m ready to move forward and really take advantage of this new season of independence in my life.” Jacob and I were nearing the end of our time together. We had worked and processed through many of the past experiences that worked well for him…and others that caused great pain. He was in a great place today. But, like any journey, staying on course requires intentionality and focus. I wanted to make sure he had everything he needed to stay on course and on target. “So, Jacob, when you consider this next season of life, what are they three things you would say you’ve learned from your past that you can apply to your future to position yourself for success in your independence?” “That’s a great question,” Jacob began. “I think the first thing I learned that I can apply is the importance of taking responsibility for my decisions and actions. I’m the one making the decisions. No one is making them for me. Mom’s not here. Dad’s not here. Teacher’s aren’t here. It’s only me and God. Now, I know there will be folks I can call…kinda like ‘phone a friend’ I guess…to get their advice and opinions. So, it’s not like I’m all alone. But, I am definitely the one ultimately responsible for my life and I can’t pass responsibility or blame to someone else.” “Awesome Jacob. Taking responsibility is definitely a powerful position to be in. In my experience, folks who revert to the blame game when things don’t go as planned rarely are able to truly create a successful future for themselves because they’re trying to cover up the past. What else?” Jacob continued. “I guess the next piece, going along with taking responsibility is to consider the consequences. I know I don’t have a lot of life experience, but I’ve definitely seen that there are always consequences to the decisions I’ve made. When I was drinking in college, missing classes, and not doing the work…my grades went down. But, when I got my butt out of bed and when to class and committed myself to making the most of my education…my grades went up. Go figure.” I laughed. “Sounds simple, huh. But, in reality, most folks don’t really consider the consequences of their decisions and actions. Every choice we makes has consequences. Some of the consequences are good. Others are not so good. But in the end, there are ALWAYS consequences. And, taking responsibility for those consequences is key to creating a great life and making the most of your independence. Anything else you’ve learned that you’re going to apply going forward?” “Yea, I think the last piece is to surround myself with people who will help me to stay on track and accountable. Although I know ultimately the decisions I make are mine, I definitely need people around me who can help me stay on track and on target. I love the verse from Proverbs 27:17 that says ‘As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.’ I have definitely found that to be true in my life and know I can’t do this life alone.” “I love it, Jacob. I actually recommend folks to find three types of people in their lives as mentors. “A Barnabas…a Paul…and a Timothy”. A “Barnabas” is someone who is in a similar stage of life as you that can hold you accountable but also encourage you as you move forward. They are your cheerleader, your encourager, your motivator. A “Paul” is someone who is where you want to be. This is someone who you can learn from their experiences and they can pour into your life. These are great folks to provide accountability because they can not only help you move forward but also, based on their wisdom and life experience, help you to redirect if needed. A “Timothy” is someone who is where you have been that you can encourage and help guide. For you, this may be someone who’s just entering college, and having a little difficulty staying focused and making the transition. You’ve learned so much about yourself and what that’s like and you can share those learning’s with your “Timothy” so they can grow. But also, it helps you stay committed to how you’ve grown in your life as you move forward. I’m a firm believer you never learn as much as when you teach…which is why the “Timothy’s” in our life are so valuable. We’re making a difference for them…but they also give us so much more than they even know.” “So, here’s your homework,” I continued. “Who would you identify as a “Barnabas..Paul…and Timothy” in your life? Pray how God would lead in those conversations and reach out to those folks to share your desire for growth and accountability, how it would benefit them and how it would benefit you, and see if they would be interested in being part of your mentoring or accountability circle. Make sense?” “Perfect sense. I think that will be amazing in helping me to stay accountable. Plus, because I’m able to also help others, I will have an incredible sense of accomplishment that I’m making a difference too. I love the idea of paying it forward and helping someone to not make the same painful mistakes I made.” “In the end, Jacob, that’s what it’s all about. Independence gives you the freedom to create the life you’ve imagined for yourself. But, it’s not always easy. As you accept responsibility, anticipate the consequences, and build a support system of accountability for yourself, you’ll be moving forward with such focus and determination…you’ll be unstoppable. I’m proud of you and can’t wait to see what the future holds for your life. The best is yet to come.” Dr. Jason is an expert in leading life change. As a gifted speaker and life success coach, he is available to speak at your next conference event and would love to connect with you on social media on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Dr. Jason can be contacted through the public relations team at Vertava Health.
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