Dec 21, 2021 13 min read

4 Inspiring Stories From Pain to Purpose, Victim to Victor: Lisa Nichols, Jadav Payeng and William Kamkwamba

4 Inspiring Stories From Pain to Purpose, Victim to Victor: Lisa Nichols, Jadav Payeng and William Kamkwamba
Lisa Nichols from victim to victor
MANTRA FOR ABUNDANCE. I have nothing to hide. I have nothing to protect. I have nothing to prove. I have nothing to protect ~ Lisa Nichols

One Message

Thoughts are mostly an illusion, feelings are not reality. Ultimately who we are is a reflection of our character and our patterns of behavior. Our 3 brains, primal, emotional, and rational brains will guide our lens of perception and filter all the information/events that happen to us all. Creating our own personalized meaning that will guide our actions, reactions, and even inaction.

Story - Victim to Victor with Lisa Nichols

"You can be a victim or a victor the choice is yours. Everything we want to be and everything we don't want to be is present in each moment. You can invite only one" Lisa Nichols

The first time I met Lisa Nichols was at a Mindvalley Awesomeness Event (afest) in Thailand when I was 26 and had just burnout as a health professional with my dream job at the time. I had seen afest ad pop up numerous times over the months and in a moment of clarity, I let my gut and heart decide. I booked a ticket in an instant.

One of the most memorable speakers was Lisa Nichols (bottom left).

She shared her story, how she had gone from victim to victor in her own life. It went a little like this.....

Almost 20 years ago, Lisa Nichols was a single mother on government assistance with less than $12 in her bank account. She turned her life around and is known by peers today as “The Breakthrough Specialist,” famous for motivating others to overcome difficulties and pursue their dreams.

Nichols grew up on rough turf between two warring gangs in south Los Angeles, never got above a C in school, and, at 27, found herself raising a child whose father was in prison. On Thursday she told TODAY viewers that the moment she couldn’t afford Pampers for her baby son was the turning point in her life.

“I felt rock bottom, and I realized, ‘I have to do something,’” Nichols said. “I have to be my own rescue. No one’s going to rescue me.”

She found a job running the Family Resource Center for the LA Unified School District. With each paycheck, she would save money to fund a dream that she hadn’t yet identified.

Then she started a program called “Motivating the Teen Spirit,” where she worked to empower teens by helping them make choices based on integrity.

She attended conferences and lectures on entrepreneurship and brand creation, and soon she was being paid to give such talks herself.

Nichols eventually founded Motivating the Masses, a massive training resource for personal and professional development that went public. Her teachings were featured in the best-selling book, “The Secret,” and she has written six best-sellers of her own.

After she shared her story, the room was deep in their own hearts and self-realizations.   After her presentation, Lisa did something different. Most presenters hide from the audience and scurry back to the room to find some peace after giving all of their energy on stage. However, when her section was done and the next speaker was coming on. She invited everyone who wanted to come, back to her room to keep the conversation going with anyone who felt the need to tune in a little deeper. She showed me the human-ness of what we can be when we are truly in service. As you might have guessed, her small room was packed from wall to wall as she shared tea and kept the conversation flowing for hours. Beyond what she was ever paid or contracted to do for the event.

Today she has more accolades than an 'about me" page can handle, but she is a beautiful shining light on how a single mother from a marginalized background, living paycheck to paycheck, can break free and motivate the masses!

For those that know my story, I wish that my mum had found herself in a room with Lisa Nichols. I feel that this synchronous connection could have been the spark to ignite a whole new way of living and being.

It made me realize, that many of us are one courageous connection away from realizing that we too can move from victim to victor, pain to purpose. We just need to find someone like us, who has done it. This means it's possible for us too!

As you read on, hopefully, there is one story or framework that may be the spark you are looking for too! let's see.

INTRODUCTION

Are we running our lives with our conscious and rational mind, or are we running our lives from subconscious programs created by our primal mind (fight/flight) and emotional brain (feelings)?

What if you knew that thoughts are for the most part an illusion. Think about it, how much of what we assumed, perceived, or have thought of has actually eventuated in reality? Not much, right?

Fear is a great example, of false experiences appearing real in our mind, but having no rational evidence in reality. For example, half the world fears swimming and sharks, yet more people die from fridges falling on them whilst getting food than shark attacks. Yet this one thought keeps people out of the oceans in fear of an illusion that has a 0.0000001% chance of ever happening. Where sharks are curious and usually more scared of us than we are of them. What a paradox and illusion!

How we create reality

We are also amazing story-creating and meaning-making machines. We can rationally create a story or narrative to support any feeling or event that we perceive in life. In an inspiring sense, anything we think of in our mind we can generally consciously engineer into reality. On the dark side, we can also perpetuate "perceived traumas with self-fulfilling prophecies of victimhood!

Unconsciously

  • What are perceived traumas in your life?
  • Where do you feel shame and guilt?
  • Where do you get angry and feel violent?
  • What secrets are you hiding?

Subconsciously - 7 ways to uncover who you truly are

  • Where are you wearing masks?
  • Where are you trying to be like someone else? chameleon effect.
  • How do you speak to yourself?
  • How do you feel about yourself?
  • Where are you judging others? Projections of deeper insecurities in ourselves.
  • What shadows and feelings re you running from or sweeping under the carpet?

Consciously?

  • What stories are driving your life narrative
  • Are you directing and scripting your own life play?
  • Are you an actor in someone else's play?
  • What happens when you step back and simply witness your own character? What do you see, think and feel? Are you happy with who that is?
  • Does the negative bias in your mind win?
  • Does the positive bias in your mind win?
  • What is your default? pessimistic, optimistic?
  • How do you treat others, when you feel good, in pain, and even overwhelmed or fearful? If you want to know where you are operating from, this will tell you everything you need to know.

Furthermore, feelings are not reality either. Consider how 2 people experiencing the same event, like the death of a loved one can have extreme differences in their reactions. One person may have a deep sense of love, gratitude, and appreciation, resulting in a colorful party to celebrate their life with loved ones all around. On the other hand, the other person may be in complete despair, mourning their death with a sobering and sad funeral. Everyone dressed in black, in a deep, dark vibe that prevents anyone else from shifting the vibe created. It can also be a yes and both situations. Feelings are signals, not negative or positive. We can cry and laugh at the same moment, which means it ok to mourn and celebrate life in the same moment too.

'Where are you operating from?"

Recent peer-reviewed science has revealed that our character and who we truly are, is represented by our patterns of behavior. Who we are in the end result is the repetitive action of our deepest programs, thoughts, and feelings. Not our words, beliefs, or intentions alone. Our actions.

Only 5% of our behaviors are consciously driven by the rational mind. The other 95% of behaviors (who we really are) are driven by the subconscious and unconscious programs. Controlled by our emotional brain (feelings) and primal brain that seeks self-preservation through fight or flight mechanisms.

The paradox is that many people can live their life, thinking and feeling like they are under threat all the time. An example is the mass hysteria created in 2020 about the unknown impact of our virome on our health and wellbeing. Even if the statistics show 99.99% survival, accounting for 1-2% of reliability and validity error of any scientific statistics. People will still choose to live in fear of fresh air, nature, hugging each other, and the unknown. Even if the world is more abundant than it has ever been. Where oxygen, sunshine, connection, and nature are the actual elixirs to longevity. Also proven by science and billions of years of anecdotal evidence from life and nature itself.

FRAMEWORK - 3 BRAINS AND MINDS

FRAMEWORK 2 -  ABOVE OR BELOW THE LINE?

"If you want to find the secrets to the universe, THINK & FEEL in terms of energy vibration and frequency" Nikola Tesla

Energy and patterns of behavior never lie. We do. Trust energy, trust patterns of behavior. For yourself and when navigating the world around you. I believe that many people consciously have good intentions, but deep down, the 95% is what really drives what they do. Notice if there is an alignment between what people say, think, feel, believe, and their patterns of behavior. This is trust. The rest is an illusion that is easy to see, once you understand this. Again, for ourselves (hardest pill to swallow) and others. Pain is a great teacher and motivator. Inner peace, bliss, and happiness that isn't fleeting is my greatest indicator that I'm on the right path and becoming more of who I truly am. I hope these frameworks can help you do the same.

4 stages of growth and becoming

  1. Self Awareness (learning, trialing, being the witness and director)
  2. Self Mastery (alignment of thoughts, feelings, patterns of behavior)
  3. Self Expression (giving your gift to the world)
  4. Transcendence of self (moving from ME to WE, compassion, empathy, love)

The Forest Man

In the selfcare book I shared the story of Jadav Payeng, The Forrest man.

In 1979 a teenage boy in northeast India single-handedly began a conservation legacy that the whole world would come to admire. One day after a storm, the young Jadav Payeng came across dozens of dead snakes on a barren sandbar along with his island home of Majuli on the Brahmaputra River.

The snakes had been washed ashore in the squall and subsequently died from exposure on the harsh eroded expanse of shoreline. His home was constantly under threat of disappearing due to soil erosion along its riverbanks from the effects of deforestation and severe flooding.

Payeng’s compassion for the snakes and his distress at the cause of their suffering motivated him to plant 20 bamboo shoots along the deserted shore. Every day he planted more trees, bringing in seeds from the outer forest until the plantings on the sandbar reached maturity to germinate themselves.

For forty years, Jadav Payeng has been planting trees along his island in the Brahmaputra River. He has become known as The Forest Man of India because his dedication has created an incredible forest reserve covering 1,360 acres!

The forest even attracts Bengal tigers, rhinos, deer, and a seasonal herd of elephants that come to birth their calves. Today he is extending his forest project into other degraded areas of the island region.

Payeng has become a shining example all over the world, how one person’s committed actions can mitigate the actions of many. Today he says the forest feels like his family—what an amazing connection with nature.

Elon Musk, founder of XPRIZE created a 100 million dollar challenge for humanity to create the best carbon capture device.

"Carbon Removal is aimed at tackling the biggest threat facing humanity - fighting climate change and rebalancing Earth’s carbon cycle. Funded by Elon Musk and the Musk Foundation, this $100M competition is the largest incentive prize in history, an extraordinary milestone.‎"

Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest. Trees clean the air we breathe and serve as an important carbon sink for our emissions. Even as you read this, your support through this project helps to plant tree saplings throughout the world which will eventually become fully- grown at a success rate of up to 85%, and in some cases also provide income for the local community.

A fully grown tree can absorb up to 21kg of carbon dioxide per year.

Perhaps, Elon Musk should award the 100 million dollar XPRIZE to Jadav Payeng and empower him to teach 100 million others like him to do the same in the context of their own community.

The Boy who Harnassed the Wind

The new Netflix drama, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,  is based on the true story of Malawian 13-year-old William Kamkwamba (played by newcomer Maxwell Simba), who saved his town from famine by building windmills that would provide water and electricity. The subject of the biopic is an adult now; so what is William Kamkwamba doing in 2019?

The now 31-year-old inventor has given two TED Talks on his accomplishments, in 2007 and 2009. In his first short interview, he delved into how he decided to make a windmill in the first place, saying that he was forced to stop attending school because his parents couldn't afford it, but that he decided to educate himself by visiting the local library. It was there that he found a textbook that showed how to make a windmill and the various uses it had, including providing water.

We all have our own story from Pain to Purpose

One day, at 26 years of age, I woke up as a health professional who had lost his health.

All the accolades of continued learning, bachelor, and master’s degrees couldn’t save me from how I felt at this moment. My knowledge had failed me, and I had failed to listen to my body’s innate wisdom. I had failed to acknowledge its natural intelligence hidden in the depth of my genetic blueprint. I had failed to see the impact of my lifestyle choices. My ego had led me to be in a state of disharmony. Quite simply, I had pushed myself too far. I was stressed, tired, depleted, dysfunctional, and depressed.

As I lay there, that fateful day in bed. I became inspired to create a different future and reality for myself and others. I wanted desperately to one day sit in the depths of happiness, with a sense of inner peace, connected to myself, my partner, my friends, my family, my community, and the world. A healthy and unrestricted human being.

The good news is: I made it. I am happy, healthy, and connected beyond my wildest dreams. Yet it could never have happened if I had stayed dwelling in a system that didn’t have the deeper resources or understanding to spark my self-healing capabilities.

Today this has led me to give my passion and purpose to the world in the form of Selfcare Global and this personal space of expression. Giving it all away in the hope that it may help you or the people you care about on your own personal journeys from pain to purpose or victim to victor.

Summary - Each Heroes Journey is Unique, Own It

“The journey of the hero is about the courage to seek the depths; the image of creative rebirth; the eternal cycle of change within us; the uncanny discovery that the seeker is the mystery which the seeker seeks to know. The hero journey is a symbol that binds, in the original sense of the word, two distant ideas, the spiritual quest of the ancients with the modern search for identity, always the one, shape-shifting yet marvelously
a constant story that we find.” — Joseph Campbell, The Hero’s Journey

I feel like in a world of comparison and deep-seated cultural beliefs that decide who we are. We forget that we are the director, author, and actor in our life play. If all you do after reading this is pick up a pen, or open up your computer and start to script a positive future vision for your own life. Then this energy and these stories have had a positive impact.

CALL TO ACTION

Use the tools section, and script your own positive future vision for your life.

If you need to uncover who you really are along the way, then use this resource to help guide your self-awareness. So that you too can move from suffering to inner peace and bliss. Giving yourself fully to the world.

REFERENCES

With all our REFERENCES We have done our best to reference everyone’s expert opinions, peer-reviewed science, and original thoughts, HIGHLIGHTED IN THE TEXT.  So that you can go direct to the source as you read.

Here are is our referencing process

How can I help? I work with every day people, health professionals, coaches & enterprises that are committed to sustainable lifestyles; good health, happiness, connection & enabling environments

Join the conversation

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
You've successfully subscribed to Lifestyle Medicine with Rory Callaghan.
Your link has expired.
Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.
Success! Your billing info has been updated.
Your billing was not updated.