Okay, well I was about 15 or 16 and used that ‘never been kissed,’ line to get Lindsay (I’ll keep her last name private for her protection) to kiss me one night in front of my parents house. She was dating one of the popular guys and I guess decided to do me a favor and give me my first ‘real’ kiss. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize it at the time and while she moved in for a real kiss I thought it was a “friend” kiss, you know, sort of like you’d kiss your sister. Yea, it got a bit awkward, but one thing that I found is that she was not willing to kiss me twice. It was a one time proposition.
While Lindsay was no frog by anyone’s standard, there is a lesson here – maybe that is the message that Brian Tracy and Christina Tracy Steins Kiss That Frog: 12 Great Ways to Turn Negatives into Positives in Your Life and Work – when you get a chance, kiss that frog, it may just be a prince in disguise.
Tracy thinks that you are here on this earth to do something wonderful with your life, to experience happiness and joy, wonderful relationships, excellent health, complete prosperity and total fulfillment (Tracy & Stein 1). So, how’s that going for you? Yea, me too.
I should explain that in Tracy’s world the “frog” has several meanings. One of which are the negative experiences in our lives that we need to deal with and use to transform ourselves into becoming the amazing person were are intended to be (Tracy & Stein 2). Other types of frogs mean making a habit to find something positive in every person and experience, and in overcoming the biggest obstacles that stand between you and an extraordinary life, which are usually your mental attitude towards others (Tracy & Stein 3).
Tracy and Stein go on to describe 7 truths about ourselves that we should embrace if we are to achieve fulfillment.
- You are a good and excellent person; valuable and worthwhile (Tracy & Stein 6). Not talking about this in a Stewart Smally sort of way, nor in an arrogant way, but in reality, most of us fit this bill. Unfortunately, many of us get to down on ourselves and our inability to accept that we are good people lies at the root of much of our discontent (Tracy & Stein 6).
- You are important in many ways (Tracy & Stein 6). We give meaning to everything that we see and hear. Nothing has any significance except that which we attribute to it (Tracy & Stein 6). That means both good and bad. If someone says something bad about you, you can choose whether to give significance to that comment. The same goes for when someone says something good. Happy, successful people feel important and valuable and by acting and feeling this way it becomes true for them (Tracy & Stein 6-7).
- You have the unlimited potential to create your life and the world as you desire (Tracy & Stein 7). What you have accomplished so far in life does not compare to what you are able to accomplish (Tracy & Stein 7). I guess the bad news for some of us is that we are not done. We are not at the finish line yet; there is still more to be done but that also means there is more to be experienced.
- You create your world in every respect (Tracy & Stein 7). Most of our negative or self-limiting beliefs are not based in fact or reality at all. There is a line I tell my classes, particularly when the student is feeling insignificant or feeling that others are talking about him or her. “People think about you far less than you believe.” This can be kind of a humbling experience in some respects as we tend to see ourselves as the center of the world, when in truth, most people are just thinking about how they will get through the day. I don’t tell them this to bring them down, but to help them understand that they are likely putting themselves down by thinking that others are thinking bad about them, when in truth, most people don’t give you a second thought.
- You are free to choose what you think about and the direction of your life (Tracy & Stein 8). Remember our discussions on the subconscious mind: if we do not plant positive thoughts, negative thoughts will grow in their place. Recently, the mall I used to hang out in as a teenager (back when I was trying to kiss Lindsay) was torn down to make room for new development. However, the construction has been slow-going and all of the dirt that was left behind sprouted weeds. Our subconscious mind is the same way: left untended weeds will sprout and eventually overtake our field.
- You are put on this earth with a great destiny (Tracy & Stein 8). You’re actually meant to do something with your life. Each of us possesses a unique combination of skills and abilities and experiences, and ideas that make us unique from everyone else (Tracy & Stein 8). Since I am talking about high school, I will admit that I always wanted to be Lindsay’s boyfriend. Not just for the obvious reasons that he had access to Lindsay, but he was popular, talented, friendly, handsome and liked by just about everybody in the school, including me, because he was just a good guy. I guess some of us longer to be happy with who we are rather than wanting to be someone else, but when that point occurs it is an incredibly liberating and freeing experience.
- There are no limits to what we can do, be or have except the limits we place ourselves (Tracy & Stein 8). There is a great line in the classic movie “Dazed and Confused,” by the character Cynthia (actress Marissa Ribisi), “I’d like to quit thinking of the present, like right now, as some minor, insignificant preamble to somethin’ else.” Tracy uses almost the reverse of that line, citing Shakespeare in The Tempest: “What’s past is prologue.” Everything that has happened to you in the past has been preparation for the wonderful life lies ahead of you in the future (Tracy & Stein 9). Imagine if you move forward into each day with the perspective that whatever happened that day was preparing you for something even better?
So rather than lamenting your past and mourning the life you never had, use the past as preparation to move forward to an even greater future. Even though I missed what I’m sure was the awesome kiss from Lindsay that night, I would not make the same mistake when I had another opportunity when I met a beautiful blonde on a ski lift several months later. See, I use the past to learn so that I could capitalize on the future.
Several years ago I had the amazing opportunity to visit Italy and see in the Gallery of the Academy, the wonderful sculpture David, by Michelangelo. Tracy and Stein also use this example in the book. The way Michelangelo approached the statue when he found this large block of marble, that had been originally tossed aside, was to remove everything from it that was not the David until only perfection remained (Tracy & Stein 9-10). Maybe it is time to start sculpting your life and removing from your past and your present what does not serve you, as you create your own masterpiece.
Tracy, Brian, and Christina Tracy. Stein. Kiss That Frog: 12 Great Ways to Turn Negatives into Positives in Your Life and Work. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2012. Print.