My Story – Derek Graystone
The Power Of A Single Question
“What do you love to do?”
Never doubt the power of a single question to completely change your life. That question certainly changed mine. The journey hasn’t been straight or without its obstacles and stumbles but I have never looked back.
That was Yvette asking me that question. At the time, she was a co-worker and friend. It would be months before she and I would become much more. For now, it was just a conversation prompted by the coming Millennium. However, she was responsible for my transformation to happiness and it would begin with that single question…a question that would lead to over 15 years of thought, study, and personal revelation.
My answer to the question?
I wrote my first story when I was 8 years old. After I figured out I couldn’t be an astronaut (only American Fighter Pilots got to be astronauts back then) or a Private Eye, I decided I really wanted to be a writer and live somewhere warm like the Florida Keys — yes, Hemingway had a big influence on me.
A Second Question
“When was the last time you wrote?”
OK, maybe it wasn’t a single question because this question made me look at what I had been doing with my life for the past, well, 40 years. Definitely a turning point in my life. You see, when I thought back, I realized I hadn’t written since I had moved in with my then-current wife. Over 9 years of not picking up a pen to work on my passion.
Where is the Passion?
At the time Yvette asked those simple questions, I was married to a very wonderful woman and we had a fine relationship. From the outside, it seemed the “perfect” relationship. We didn’t argue, life was fine. However, the more I began to analyze our relationship – something I had never really thought about doing before – I realized that we were on a very different path than I had ever imagined for myself. I was just existing, living a mediocre life which had given up on all my dreams. The passion was gone.
And it was all my fault.
I had allowed it to happen because I had just given up. It was much easier to slip into the easy life and let all the excuses give me permission to be OK. Not unhappy, just OK. What was happiness anyway? And who was I to think I was ever really going to realize my dreams? My dreams were just that, dreams.
And dreams aren’t supposed to come true. Isn’t that the definition of dreams?
But after seriously considering the direction of my life, I decided I would have to find out. That night, I told my wife I was leaving.
The next day, I started packing and had another revelation.
A Very Revealing Revelation
Under the basement stairs, I found a stack of boxes, hidden behind another stack of boxes. They had been there for 6 years. Eleven simple cardboard boxes, unlabeled and carefully sealed. For the life of me, I didn’t know what those boxes contained. I opened them up and found all my writing books, my research, my drafts, everything.
I took that as a clear sign that I was on the right track.
Yvette and I eventually got together and I began to learn that true happiness was something that was possible.
However, it was something that I had to create – it doesn’t happen by accident. Happiness happens by design.
My Distinct Lack Of Success
At this point, I’m sure you are expecsting me to say that that I started seriously writing and became a published author.
And, after three years with Yvette, can you guess how many books had I finished?
Three years, and I hadn’t written a word.
I had blamed my life with my ex-wife, blamed our differing paths. And yet, here I was with someone who totally supported my desire to write. Someone who made every accommodation to ensure I could write.
What was wrong?
Everything had changed – so, why hadn’t I written?
All my writing books were on a shelf right in front of me.
Yvette made sure I had my own special space just for me to write.
I had acknowledged that writing was what I really wanted to do.
My surroundings had changed.
I had a new family that supported me. I had a new career that specifically gave me time to write. Everything about my life had changed to facilitate me creating my happiness.
Everything, that was, except the most important thing – ME!
Facing the Excuses
The excuses were new but the still amounted to the same thing – excuses for my own failings:
- Too busy with my relationship with Yvette – I was in love and wanted to spend time with her
- Too busy with the family – I loved the girls and wanted to spend time with them
- Too busy getting the new businesses going – I had to make money to survive
- Too busy with the renovations to the house – with the new business we couldn’t afford to hire the jobs out so I had to learn new skills
- Too busy getting the new deck done – I love the outside and this would be a perfect place to write but it had to be built first
A parade of excuses – forget writing my novel, I was using all my creativity to come up with excuses instead.
The reality was – nothing would change until I changed.
And thus began 12 years of ongoing study to discover how I could change. How I could become the best person I could be?
I had to get rid of the excuses.
Once I did that, I suddenly realized how open the world was for me.
And I discovered happiness.
And happiness became a drug that I needed.
And my writing?
I’ve completed 3 novels, including 2 international bestsellers on Amazon.
I was still able to continue building 2 successful businesses.
And this past year, my wife and I founded Riverbend Academy, a private school for children from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12.
A New View of My World
But as my happiness increased, it opened my eyes and I saw misery around me. I’m not talking about the tragedy of the homeless or Third World but rather the misery that my friends, co-workers and neighbours find themselves in.
People seem to have everything:
And yet, they are miserable.
And worse, they accept that misery as inevitable and uncontrollable.
That was when I realized that I had to use what I have learned to help others achieve the level of happiness, the level of success that everyone deserves. It was time for me to give back.
What Gets Me Going Every Day
Yvette and I have always been in businesses that, at their core, helped people in one way or another. In our massage therapy and Reiki business, we have seen our clients seeking deeper knowledge about themselves and the direction of their lives. Our openness and lack of judgement brings out the confidence in our clients giving them the opportunity for honesty and self-discovery. Seeing the need for a deeper connection and more expertise, I began studying toward my Life Coaching certification. It is as a Life Coach that I feel I can make the greatest impact in my client’s lives. This is the passion that gets me up every morning, excited to start the day. This is the same passion for life and living that I pass on to my clients as we find their path to happiness and success together — finding their reason to jump out of bed rather than hitting the snooze alarm. And that same desire to help others is what propels my life-long learning, constantly seeking more knowledge and better solutions. Along this journey, I have added other modalities to my arsenal of success tools that compliment my Life Coaching practice, including Hypnotherapy, Guided Meditation, Law of Attraction, The Virtues Project, and The Student Serenity Project.
My goal is to bring my lifetime of experience and study to others and help them achieve the level of happiness that they deserve … even if they don’t realize it yet!