The Number One Success Principle by Author and Advocate Thomas Iland
“Number 1 (and this is success principle Number 1).”
Tom Iland: I hadn’t established a business or a name for myself quite yet. I had an idea. But it really came to me when I went to this retreat. It was a health and wellness retreat that made me realize…I initially went there to learn how to burn fat and be healthy but at this health and wellness retreat I discovered what I really wanted to do with my life, because we used Author Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be as a guide and we established ground rules and I actually have them on a piece of paper in my bedroom here [points back to his room behind him].
Number 1 (and this is the Success Principle Number 1) Take 100% responsibility for your life. Up to this point I had been kind of just sitting back, waiting for things to happen, not asking myself more often “What could I be doing differently? What could I do to change my circumstances?” As a result I embraced the principles and realized that I am going to be more proactive and more active in what happens to me. And being in accounting and not making a difference on a much bigger scale was something that I had to change because (as we might discuss later in this interview) people with autism, they need to hear from someone who has been through the struggles that they went through and has come out on top. And I want to make a difference and I’m not going to make a difference if I sit at a desk all day.
It went from Friday after to Sunday morning. I would say it was around Friday night that things really started to fall into place for me. It was a very interesting exercise that we did. It was writing a letter to ourselves or to a loved one expressing regret. So I wrote a letter to my parents. I know it had been a huge struggle. It had been a hardship, in that at times for me being on the autism spectrum and raising me, granted they did fight for me no matter what and that did help in my success. But I felt guilty in the idea that I could be holding them back or they wanted to do something but they settled for me. So as I’m writing this letter and there are about 7 or 8 other people (namely women) on the retreat with me, were all writing letters of regret and we are just shedding tears non-stop. The tissues are coming out.
But once we had this letter (it’s still Friday night), we went down to the fire pit (it was at a boy scout camp where the retreat took place) and turned on the music ‘Let it Go’ from FROZEN and we burned the letters, one by one. That was when I realized I am not going to blame, complain, make excuses anymore (that’s another item on my piece of paper “No blaming, complaining, excuses”) and that the past is the past. The future is my choice. So by letting the regrets go. So by letting things that are out of my control go. By leaving the past where it belongs (in the past), I could move forward. So by releasing the negative energy and everything that I’ve been holding on to; the anger, grudges, resentment, and starting fresh, that is what set me on the path to what I do today.
Question: Have you been to a health and wellness retreat?