573. Life Is Not Just Unicorns and Frisbees
Pat’s 10-year success in building a faith-based community for single people led him to take his family and his commitment to help others to the West Coast. Nothing he tried there worked. For a time, he felt angry at God. He faced some hard choices.
Pat McDaniel is the founder of WiseInsights.net, a site dedicated to helping motivated but weary achievers keep making progress toward their goals and dreams. He uses a unique blend of research-backed insights and time-tested wisdom to provide his readers with smart, sure paths toward greater success. His most popular book is “The Research Backed 5-Step Process to Making Better Decisions.” In it, he reveals how to overcome the hidden influences and processes that corrupt our decision-making.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
After becoming a CPA and hiring on at Ernst & Young for what he calls “all the wrong reasons,” Pat knew he had to get out or end up going insane. “While I was working there, I was also getting involved in theology and Bible study, developing a strong sense that God was calling me to ministry. Ultimately, that sense of calling proved to be true because I found myself feeling as fulfilled as I ever had felt, doing the things in pastoral ministry that I loved—teaching and communications and working with people and helping them. I am a builder by nature, so it was great to be able to build organizations, structures and systems, and work with volunteers.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“After a major disappointment, I started to understand that I was not powerless. Friends helped me understand that I had choices, and my main choice was in how I perceive my circumstances and made decisions. I had taken a victim approach, thinking life is so hard and so unfair, and I was stuck in that way of thinking for a while. Then I realized there are just a lot more options and opportunities out there to make the decision to approach a day or a situation with the right mindset and the right attitude. Realizing that has made a huge difference in my life!”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“I am entrepreneurial and have been for a long time. One of the things I learned through successes and failures is that sometimes you can be successful for a lot of good reasons, and sometimes you can be unsuccessful, even though there is every reason to believe you should be able to be successful. There are intangibles, things that are beyond your control. It can be a humbling experience when you do not know why you cannot make some particular undertaking work. It is crucial to be willing to learn all you can from these experiences, and not be trapped by self-pity.”
Steps to Success from Pat McDaniel
1. Notice your energy level. It is a clear sign of whether you are living your purpose or settling.
2. Do not indulge in self-pity but focus instead on what you can learn from apparent failures.
3. Do not settle. Know that there is always more to the fullness of life.
4. Take advantage of personality tests, vocational coaches, your faith and any other resources to help you understand who you are.
5. Recognize that “life is not unicorns and frisbees all the time. There are also some thorns and thistles,” and a dimension of grind to life.
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