Five Things You Must Add to Your Owner's Manual

“So I think I understand what you’re saying about this Owner’s Manual stuff. And if you can just tell me about three good reasons I should spend my time and energy doing it, maybe I will!“

I could see by the way he had thrown his nose up in the air in narcissistic style, by the scowl on his face and by the sarcastic tone … that it was a challenge he believed I could not deliver on.

I had been seeing him for several months, and I knew it was likely the only shot I’d get.

In my heart and mind, I was screaming “GAME O!“. Outwardly, I paused and leaned forward as I said, “Well … let me see what I can do…“

I began to list some things, and strategically paused between each one, as if I was having to think of others. He smirked with each pause as if he thought I was working hard at thinking of things. But each pause was shorter.  By the end, I could have had a smirk… But I chose emotional maturity.

It’s a story we laugh about together now, but that’s because he has a powerful Owner’s Manual now!

Here’s what I listed for why he should do it (and some may be reasons why you should do it too):

  • Because it affects every thought you have
  • Because it affects everything feeling you have
  • Because it affects every decision you make
  • Because it affects everything you say
  • Because it affects the body language you use
  • Because it sets your financial limits
  • Because it determines whether or not you are successful

That got his attention, so I moved on with things that were a bit more personal:

  • Because it might enhance the distant relationships you have with your adult children, and your two still at home
  • Because you might finally find the fulfillment that you long for
  • Because it might fill the hole in your soul that you try to fill with alcohol
  • Because it might save your failing marriage
  • Because it just might propel you to becoming everything you know you were created to be 

At that point, he interrupted me with: “Alright! Alright! I get it! I’ll do it! Just tell me what to do!”

Little did he know he was in for the ride of his life.

If you read my blog and posts last week, (click on this link if you missed it), you can just imagine how much fun I had with him doing the five steps to modify his Owner’s Manual for extraordinary fulfillment!

After much work, tons of fun, and amazing results, he came back and said, “Am I missing anything?“

I told him that there are five entries that I believe everyone should have in their Owner’s Manual. This time with great excitement, he said, “Well let’s make sure I’ve got them in mine!”

I want you to make sure all five of these, or something along these lines, is a part of your Owner’s Manual.


When I speak to audiences about my book “ A Long and Healthy Life: The Facts About High-Level Wellness”, I usually start the fun by telling them:  “You, too, can be 5’ 7”, weigh about 129 pounds, and have long blonde hair.”

It might require hunching down from 6 feet or walking around on stilts. Wearing some ankle weights, or going on a starvation diet. Buying a wig, or finding some bleach… But nothing is impossible!

It’s just a fun opener to tell them that a huge part of high-level wellness is what you believe. And of course what you believe comes from what was entered in your Owner’s Manual when you were young.

Remember that Owner’s Manual is installed on your hard drive by the time you were eight or nine years old. Most of us have no clue what it says. But if you have been following my writing, you know what yours says.

And if it doesn’t have a powerful entry about nothing being impossible to you, you simply must add it. It stomps out a lot of other disempowering entries.

It took me a while to get this one firmly installed. But I can tell you this, since I have had it installed, I have found that truly, nothing is impossible for me.  Of course, from my worldview of Christianity, I believe I have a great partner in that! 

Most people have anywhere from a dozen to 500 entries in their Owner’s Manual that lists their shortfalls and limitations, and therefore what’s not possible for them. 

Install something powerful and empowering that nullifies all of that foolishness!

All things are possible if you are dedicated enough, and committed enough to doing what it takes!

And I know you are!


You can, and you will, as long as you make it a MUST! 

First of all, most people have at least twice as many entries about what they “can’t do” than they do about what they “can do”. So you must believe that you can.

Secondly, saying I will is important. But most of us have entries that use I will to put things off infinitely.

After I got the “I can” handle in my Owner’s Manual, I got the “I will” in there. That conquered some of those old entries like:

  • You never finish anything
  • You don’t have enough drive to get around the block
  • You’re too afraid to do the things you need to do

But then I figured out that “will” means tomorrow. Or the next day. Or week. Or month. Or year.

This was driven home to me in my first semester of graduate school. It was a wonderful environment, and I met and formed lifetime friendships with many wonderful people.

And one of my favorites was Bruce. But I learned he had been there for about seven years working on his Masters degree. I did not have the time or the money to spend years working on degrees. I needed to earn my degrees, and start my career.

My entries of “I can”, and “I will” were handled. But I knew that I had to make it a MUST, or I too, might end up there 5 to 10 years like some of my colleagues had been.

At that time I combined the empowering “I can“ entry with my empowering “I will“ entry and added the “I MUST” entry to it.

I completed my Masters degree in one year, and I completed my doctoral program along with internships, residencies, writing comps, completing and defending a dissertation … all in just under three years. How did I pull that off, while working a part-time job as an interpreter for the deaf and another part-time job as a waitress at a steakhouse? 

Because of my entry of “I can, I will, and I MUST!”

You will be so grateful to see the results of having this entry.

You can, you will, and you must!


In my signature speech about training and certifying life coaches, I share a story. It’s because of the story that I use the word “extraordinary” with my clients, in what I write, and in my presentations.

I’ll try to abbreviate this to a few paragraphs:

When I was just starting school, I heard my teacher tell another teacher that I was “ordinary” and “not educational material.” 

I didn’t know what the word “ordinary“ meant, so I ran home to ask my mother: “What does ordinary mean?“ With no context, she responded: “Oh, something that’s not all that special and might not become much.“

She would have been horrified had she known the context. That was in my Owner’s Manual in permanent black marker!

Fast forward to high school and I was already the manager of a credit department at a local department store. I approved or denied credit applications … For ordinary people, who were purchasing things they could not afford to escape their ordinary life.

I was SICK of ordinary. My life was ordinary. My job was ordinary. My future looked ordinary or something less.

One night as I was watching the second hand on the clock make one more round so that I could punch out, and I wanted to scream out: “NO! NO! I DON’T WANT AN ORDINARY LIFE!”

It began a very long and arduous journey of searching for more than “ordinary.“ Let me just say this I found it! It was called “extraordinary!” Immediately, I turned it into an empowering entry and installed it in my Owner’s Manual, and my life truly became extraordinary!

I never told the story to anyone prior to one special moment. 

One of the extraordinary things that I got to do was to travel all over the world doing my workshop called “Power of Purpose.” My mother faithfully followed from home. Always aware of my time zone. Sending me sweet emails each morning to tell me she was praying for me. And at night telling me she knew I had blessed the people in my workshop.

One of my dreams was that my mother would someday get to come to see what I did.

Just a few years before she made her grand entrance into heaven, I did the workshop locally, and she attended. 

At the end, I always give people an opportunity to take the mic and share a moment. Speaking of what they experienced during the two day workshop.

My mother was not a public speaker, so I was absolutely shocked when I saw her raise the hand for the mic runner to bring her the mic.

She sealed the new entry in my Owner’s Manual when she said, “You probably don’t know this, but Neecie was a very shy and scared little girl. But I always knew there was something in her. I am the very proud mother of this extraordinary young woman!“ YES! She used the word!

It had come full circle.

I know without a doubt, even with all of my mistakes, falls, failures, and imperfections, that I deserve an extraordinary life!

YOU deserve it too my friend! Please proclaim it loud and proud as a new entry in your Owner’s Manual!


Newsflash: YOU are more than enough!

No matter what has been said to you or about you! No matter what your Owner’s Manual says on this topic. No matter what anyone else thinks … YOU are more than enough! 

I hope you will always be committed to growing and becoming better. But where are you are right now is more than enough.

Recently I was speaking with someone who is not a client. It’s someone that I know because she attends my workshops regularly.

We had run into one another at Kroger, and we were “catching up.“

It was a short interaction because she had kids to pick up, and I had an appointment at my office that I needed to get back for. 

But in the brief interaction, I heard her say in different ways, multiple times, how she was “not enough”. As we were getting ready to part ways, I reached out and touched her shoulder and I looked right into her eyes and said, “Did you know that you’re more than enough?“

The tears that leaked out immediately confirmed my suspicion that she did not know.

That evening, I sent her pages from one of my work books via email, and told her I hoped she would take the time to read through them and do the exercise. I reminded her that she is so over-the-top more than enough, and I could not send her on her way without letting her know that.

I received a text from her just yesterday that said: “Even though I am a little bit wobbly stepping into this arena, I thought I should let you know that I am more than enough!” Indeed she is!

But I have something very important to share with you!

YOU too, my friend, are more than enough!

Make sure that you have that reflected in your Owner’s Manual!


Now before you say as my client did, that this sounds and feels a little bit arrogant … Let’s get some perspective.

First of all, anyone who is truly arrogant would not be reading this. Because they would have difficulty admitting that their life was not over the top perfect, despite evidence otherwise.

Most arrogant people are not truly arrogant. They just have a little boy or a little girl on the inside who is scared. Very scared.  To protect the little boy or the little girl, they are a lot like the wizard of Oz, using a big screen and scary images and a ferocious voice to keep everyone from that frightened a little girl or a little boy inside.

So let’s not judge them, but let’s also not cheat ourselves for fear of seeming arrogant. (Is that in your Owner’s Manual? If it is let’s change it!)

We are not changing your entry to being unstoppable, unshakable, and undefeatable for you to post it on your social media. This is your private and very personal Owner’s Manual.

So why is this entry important?

Because life happens.

Stuff happens.

Challenges happen.

We run into roadblocks.

We experience disappointments.

We have setbacks.

If you do not have an entry such as this, you are at great risk of turning back, giving up, quitting.

But with an entry like this, you will have your moment of anger, pain, disappointment, or how ever the injustice or challenge or failure might feel. 

But after your “moment” (which may take a day or two), you will dust yourself off, rise again, learn from what happened, (whether it was fair or not) And you will look defeat in the face and say, “Get yourself away from me! I am not one of you! I am an OVERCOMER!”

Remember, I’m not suggesting that disappointments will never occur. That you will never be betrayed. That you will never feel like you’ve been pushed off a cliff.

All I’m saying is that with this entry in your Owner’s Manual, you will rise again! That’s why we all need one of these!

You deserve to be unstoppable, unshakable, and undefeatable!

We got an entry similar to these installed in my clients Owner’s Manual.

At the end of the session where we completed this piece, he sheepishly and quietly said, “I added one more entry into my Owner’s Manual. Is that OK?“ “

I said as long as it’s empowering and propels you forward to becoming the man you were created to be, it’s not only OK… It is awesome!“

I asked if he cared to share it. He said I’d love to share it, and would you help me install this one?

“I am the loving and caring husband my wife has longed for and deserves; I am the very present dad my kids have always wanted, and I am the man God created me to be! No more excuses! No turning back! I am on the journey and I will become better each day!”

Make sure you get these powerful entries in your Owner’s Manual.

You were created for more!

And you deserve an extraordinary life!

Don’t settle for less!