So one day a man was stuck in a hole and could not get out. A priest walked by and the man yelled up, “Hey Father, could you help me get out?” The priest nodded, said a few prayers and left. Later a doctor walked by and the man yelled up, “Hey Doc, could you help me get out?” The doctor nodded, wrote a prescription and threw it to the man and left. Later a friend of the man walked by and the man yelled up, “Hey buddy, could you help me get out?” The friend nodded and jumped down into the hole. The man in the hole was upset and said, “Why did you do something so foolish? Now we are both stuck in the hole.” The friend smiled and said, “True, but I have been down here before and I know the way out!”It is never planned. You don’t wake up one morning and say,”Um, let me see how deep a ditch I can dig.” Sometimes you just take your eyes off what is most important or you get caught up in life or you just forget who you are at your core. But in the end, it doesn’t matter how you got in the ditch; at least not today. What matters is what you are willing to do now to get out. It is time for you to get out. This month’s focus will be on getting you out of the ditch and back on top.Step 1 - Become Aware You Are In A Ditch!I know it seems like overstating the obvious, but it is critical. In my 13 years of coaching, I cannot tell you how many times I meet people who don’t realize they are in a ditch. When I was in my active drug addiction, doing drugs was normal. A couple who constantly fights, it seems normal. We adapt to our surroundings. This is a very valuable skill but it can severely skew your objectivity. In addition, we don’t like pain or being in discomfort. So you naturally will try to move away from pain, distract yourself, or dismiss that you are in pain. In 12-Step Programs it is known as admitting you have a problem; in life it is recognizing you are in a ditch. You cannot get out of what you don’t know you are in.Step 2 - Take Back Control What is the first thing so many people do when they fall into the ditch? Blame and point fingers. If they are in therapy, they blame their parents. If it is a relationship, they blame their partner. If it is business, they blame the economy or whoever is in the White House. Nothing ever changes until you decide to change it. There is no empowerment in blaming others. It is this step where many people won’t go. It is much more comfortable exonerating yourself or creating the excuse of why you don’t need to participate in the solution. It is time to rise up to the challenge. This is not some fluffy positive thinking mantra. It is the the truth. The only way you can have the life you really want is to take full responsibility for what you feel, say, do, and think. Step 3 - Take Massive ActionNote the key word, MASSIVE. There is no time to dabble or play small. Too often what keeps people from getting out of the ditch is not that they take the wrong action, but just not enough of the right action. I am a firm believer of throwing everything you can against the wall. Something will always stick. As hockey great Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you do not take.” Take all the shots.Step 4 - Find and Express GratitudeIf you know me, I am not about just thinking positive, nor am I about mystical powers. I am about becoming more of who we are in our hearts. Fear and emotional, spiritual, and physical scarcity are all part of life. We need a tool to fight back. The emotion which can only be found in the realm of abundance is gratitude. Finding and expressing gratitude, in the toughest times, forces you to realign with your values and move back into your heart, away from fear. I understand that this is not always easy and I understand the power of gratitude. It is easy to feel like crap or be down on yourself. But think of what it takes to become more and open your heart up to allow the light to radiate outwards. Gratitude is the answer to fear. Even in the darkest times, find and express gratitude and I promise you that you will not be stuck in the ditch for long. The key to all four steps is you not giving up. We all stumble and backslide. The key is for you to stay committed to getting out of the ditch and leave the rest behind. How do I know all of this? Remember I’ve been down here before and I know the way out. I wish you a month of love and passion.