Over the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about my philosophy of divorce and how it requires us to go through five stages. This is the fourth stage in this process of a successful divorce. Once you’ve gone through each and every one of these stages, you will really grow and evolve as a person. When someone is in focus, they know what they want, and prepared no matter what to reach the goal, and are 100% committed to the outcome.This is where we get laser-sharp on who we need in our team, what outcome we want, and how we’re going to go about achieving it.
Time is the most valuable commodity that we have in the world yet people take it for granted. Being ‘Focus’ helps us to answer how to get about the divorce as well as the second step which probably is the most important one – “How do I start the rest of my life thereafter?”.
Knowing what you want is probably the hardest thing you ever had to do, but it can be done. This is the part where you can turn your life around. Where your wildest dreams can come true. Where you realize you are stronger than you ever thought possible. Where moving on is full of excitement. You just have to think about it and then put the steps in place
- Be prepared
- Protect yourself
This requires a strong mind to know the actions you have taken are the right ones for you. All of that together is where we get laser focus, that’s how we get the outcome that we need.
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Hey and welcome back to the Divorce Angle Podcast. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about my philosophy of divorce and it requires five stages. Once you’ve gone through each and every one of these stages, I’ve just noticed how people really grow and evolve. The interesting thing is if you don’t go through each of these stages, unfortunately, you regress because there’s something that you haven’t addressed at a particular stage to allow you to move on.
We’ve talked about victim and how did I find myself here. We’ve talked about overwhelm. I can’t do this, it’s all so hard. Then we did last weeks, acceptance. Okay, I’m getting on with it. This week, we’re going to talk about focus and it’s Oh my God, the end is in sight. How do we get to focus? These are my five principles of divorce success and they take my clients from victim to victor and that’s what I want for you, my listener.
If we look at the definition of focus, it is the center of activity, attraction, or attention. It’s a point of concentration and emphasis and direction. When I know someone is in focus, they know what they want, are prepared no matter what to reach the goal, and are 100% committed to the outcome. I get my clients to get focused via a divorce roadmap and then we move them into five steps to a seamless divorce and that’s where this focus comes about. This is where we get laser-sharp on who we need in our team, what outcome we want, and how we’re going to go about achieving it.
Let’s have a chat about you know what you want. With some deep soul searching and acceptance, the outcome is insight. In the beginning, no matter whether this what you wanted or not, you now must move on because we’ve gone through the acceptance stage. For me, even though emotionally, victim overwhelm were extremely difficult to live through, this stage of knowing what I wanted was the hardest thing I ever had to do. When I talk to my clients and I say, “What do you actually want?” In most cases, they don’t know. We’ve never been asked that question. It’s not something that as children we get asked, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” but that’s a career. In a lot of cases, even when children get to year 11 and 12, and they’re nearly finished school and ready to go onto college, in a lot of cases, they still don’t know what they want to do so to ask someone, “What do you want?” can be a extremely hard question to answer.
To do soul searching on this– When it’s something that you’ve never really had to do, especially if you come from a similar background like I have where your mother and your wife, and everyone else has come before you to actually ask me what I wanted, I could tell you what everyone else wanted in my family, but I really did not know what I wanted other than some basic peace and happiness and to be loved again, to feel loved again. I could pinpoint those, but to actually pinpoint what I wanted out of my life was a very, very difficult question to answer.
You may ask, “Really?” This is the part where you can turn your life around. This is the part where your wildest dreams can come true. This is the part where you realize you are stronger than you ever thought possible. This is the part where moving on is full of excitement. You just have to think about it and then put the steps in place
There’s just a little bit of a caveat on this point. I’m not talking about you ripping your ex-spouse blind and using the money to buy a really big house. This is an internal process about being the real true you. The only way your outcome will be positive will be if you get what is fair and reasonable in the eyes of the court. I’m not talking about being vindictive, greedy, or nasty. I’m talking about being fair.
Your life and future from this moment on is yours for the taking. Here, you’ll learn the skills to be powerful and more powerful than you ever knew. To get there, you need a plan, a strategy to get the outcome you need. What is it that you want? What steps do you need to put in place to achieve that? An example might be team members and how to break it down into bite-size pieces so it’s manageable, but overall, what I mean at this particular stage is not how your life looks, but right now, we’re talking about the first stage of this and this is stage one. This is “How do I start the rest of my life? And I can’t until I get my divorce proceedings over and done with.” We’ve got two stages here. We’ve got the very, very first one which is our divorce and getting that all over and done with and finalized, and then there’s the second step of that, and “What do I want for the rest of my life?”
The next part is you are prepared no matter what to reach your goal. Time is the most valuable commodity that we have in the world yet people take it for granted. I see this every day. On a recent podcast, number 20, If time is running out, what is the reality of your choices? I spoke about a fabulous book that changed my life. The book was called Life in Half a Second. This book made me realize that I had to get going. I don’t get to have a rewind and to have a do-over. I get one chance and living in the now requires me to take action.
If I wait for someone else to control my future, I just want to get the outcome that I want. I’m sure you’ve heard the same before. When you lose sight of your dreams, you become part of someone else’s dream. This happened to a client of mine, not long ago. I’m not sure if I’ve spoken about his before on the podcast. She was a beautiful person, the couple had three children and their marriage had broken up. She decided that she would move out with the kids and leave the husband to stay in the family home. They had a verbal agreement that when the house got sold, which would be in the coming years that she would get 70% of the property because she had primary care of the children.
He was running a business as well and she just thought she would give him time to deal and cope with what was going on. What she didn’t realize was that during this period when she moved into her rental property with their children, her husband pretty much lost the plot. He stopped going to work or really wasn’t giving it 100%, they were losing contracts, there was just a real big effect as far as the turnover and what was going on at work. Unfortunately, then, he got into some substance abuse and started taking ice. Without her knowing, one day, in the mail, she got a letter to say that he was being forced to go bankrupt.
When I first met this client, she thought she was doing everything right. She really cared about her ex-husband but just didn’t want to live with him anymore and, obviously, had fallen out of love. The problem for her was all of a sudden, she let someone else control her future. She thought she was just, “Let’s just take it slowly. Let’s let him take it at his pace and he’ll eventually- we’ll get together and we’ll sort this out.” Little did she know that all of these would occur and she’s in a far worse position because of now what’s happened.
The house that they had was probably over a million dollars. Maybe $1.1 million. They didn’t have a large mortgage on it so there’s quite a bit of equity sitting in the property. Now, they’ve got bills to payout, business debts, and so on and so forth. She’s worried sick about what her future looks like. Where if at the time when she decided it was over, she would have been able to put steps in place to sell the house, to look after her children and her own future, and it would have been then up to him to look after himself, but they’re so tangled now that his issues are her issues and in two years down the track, or three years down the track, she’s in a world of hurt and I don’t want that for anyone. We need to action these sorts of situations as quickly as possible because we don’t know what the future will hold. We can’t be responsible for what our ex-partners do or don’t do. All we can be responsible for is what we do and the actions that we take. That might be a completely outside-the-box scenario but it does happen and I wouldn’t want to see that happen to anyone else.
The next part of this is you are 100% committed to an outcome. When you are committed to an outcome and it has an overarching commitment such as moving on with your life or getting your divorce finalized– I’m not talking about getting a million dollars out of an asset pool that is $1.1 million which is just not at all realistic. To have a commitment, you first need to have a plan or a strategy that is realistic and that’s what that last piece was about. It’s completely unrealistic to think you’re going to get a million dollars out of a net asset pool of 1.1 million. But so many people want to think that that’s a possibility and they are wasting their time.
When you are 100% committed, you are 100% committed to a fair and reasonable outcome, not something that is just pie in the sky “That this is what I want because this is what I need.” I hear that often. “This is what I need to survive.” It’s got nothing to do with what you need, it’s got to do with what you are able to achieve and what you are entitled to. Completely different things.
To have 100% commitment, you have to have 100% to an outcome that is achievable. Hopefully, that makes sense because there’s a difference there. If you’re wasting your time on committing to something that you are never going to get, you are doomed for failure. When you’re going through this process and you’re moving from victim to overwhelmed to acceptance, you don’t want to go all the way back again back to victim and that’s what happens if you have unrealistic goals or someone is telling you that you’re able to get something that you’re simply not ever going to get, you fall all the way back again and you don’t want that. You want to have clear, concise steps and you only want to move forward through this process.
Once you’ve got an agreed plan, you then have to put steps in place to execute the plan successfully, and stay on track and to prioritize the case. I often say to my clients this becomes a bit like a business transaction. We need to take the emotion out of what we are doing and just look at our end goal. That might seem a bit harsh but when you look at this in that manner, it means emotions don’t get involved. When emotions involved, unfortunately, emotions cost us money so we want to try and limit that.
How do I know when a client really hasn’t moved into focus and they’re still in overwhelm or acceptance? There’s three easy ways. I can pick it every time. It would be that they make excuses and that could be things like, “No, I’m happy just to stay at the moment because in a few years or whatever or after this holiday or after I do this course or after I make this much money, then I would take these steps to do it.” and they’re just excuses. They have, or are in no hurry at all to move on with their future.
They know that right now they’re comfortable, and to step outside of their comfort zone is going to be painful. Unfortunately, this is the truth. It is painful. But when we step outside of our comfort zone, that, my friends, is when the most growth happens. We grow so much when we step outside our comfort zone. It is simply amazing and it’s a gift. It’s a gift that your ex-husband or ex-wife has given you to be able to go, “Okay, I’m being pushed. I’m being pushed further than I thought possible.” but it’s where you are going to learn the most about yourself.
Then the last way that I know that someone is still not in focus is when they prefer their current environment because it’s safe. They can’t fully see that they have no control because at any stage, things could change. This is where the light bulb moment should arise for anyone that is insecure, because they think they’re secure in where they are, where they’re living and what they’re doing, but what they don’t understand is that any time, something can change because they have no control over that. So why not make the change on your terms and mitigate any unforeseen risk? Rather than wait for something else to occur and cause further heartache and continue living in overwhelm and acceptance.
What I mean by that is people that live in a house that someone else at any time could come and sell on them or they are responsible for the repayments and you can’t make the repayment yet you’re there just staying there because you’re living the dream or you’re keeping up with the Jones’s or whatever the case may be when, really, you can’t afford it. In other words, I suppose you’re living a lie or you’re living a false truth. It would be much better to put some steps in place quickly and action whatever rather than, all of a sudden, someone come knocking on your door or you get a letter, you’ve got to quickly do something to improve your life. When that happens, unfortunately, you just regress. You regress so quickly because, unfortunately, this is inevitable that at some stage, what we’re talking about here, will occur. Whether it’s today, whether it’s tomorrow, or whether it’s next week, at some stage this would occur so why not just do it yourself before someone else forces you to do it? That’s a very powerful– To take control of your life shows real power, and you’ll probably upset the other person a little bit because they didn’t expect it.
The steps to move into focus are, firstly, to have a plan. What is the overall outcome of what you want to achieve from your divorce? An example of that could be keeping the family home, making sure that there’s a certain amount of money in the back, having money to retire on, could be keeping the family business, or simply just making sure the children are protected. You need to pick, out of everything, what is your number one priority and driver. Everyone has one of those.
Once you’ve picked yours, you need to remember to stick to it, because throughout the divorce process, if you start shopping changing, that’s where it costs money and time. Why give your money and time to someone elsewhere if, at the very start, you had a plan that you knew you wanted to fulfill, and at the end of it, you got that outcome because you didn’t waiver, you stuck to it.
The next part is to be prepared. Let’s assume, for this exercise, that we’re talking about keeping a family home for an instance. If there’s mortgage on your property, can you afford the repayments? Once your spouse has been paid their allocated allotment from the equity in the house, can you afford to repay the mortgage? The loan needs to be refinanced. Do you have a job? This is a problem for many, especially women, they want to keep the family home but they can’t pay the bills. Because they’ve lived here, doesn’t mean that they can stay there.
This is where accepting your position and understanding that if you take control and move on, the time can be spent better. Fighting over something that is unreasonable or unrealistic, or simply not achievable, it’s not worth the energy in the fight. It might hurt you when you find out you can’t keep it, but this is your reality so let’s concentrate on an assured outcome. What that might mean is what you can control at the moment is possibly what your house looks like when it needs to get sold. What do you need to do to get the property into its best saleable condition? Then ask yourself what are those steps. But if you can afford to keep the house, put steps in place to confirm this. Speak to your mortgage broker or your bank and ask what your serviceabilities. Have a clear understanding of the amount that you can borrow in service. Make sure that you can afford all of the outgoings; gas, electricity, water. Whatever they may be, be certain that this is really what you want to do.
The final part of this is to protect yourself. This requires a strong mind to know the actions you have taken are the right ones for you. I’m talking about an emotional perspective, making sure that this really is what you want to do. For instance, when we’re talking about keeping the house, is this really the best option for you? In a lot of cases– I’m sorry, guys, I don’t mean to always talk about the women, but they seem to be the larger part of my clientele. But in the instance where the woman has stayed in the house and the male is living somewhere else, in a lot of cases, the male will continue to come back to the family home because it’s been their home. They still consider it their home, especially if the kids are there. They want to come in, they want to go to kids’ bedrooms, they know where the coffee cups are, they know everything, they know what it’s in linen press, they know where the blankets are kept. They know everything because it was their house so they think a right to come in and do whatever they want to do.
If you stay in the house, what is the possibility of your ex continually coming around and just coming in and doing what they want to do. Would you be better off selling your property and moving into something new that they would never ever think of just walking through the front door and going into your bedroom or your toilet or making himself a coffee unless they were asked or you wanted them to? This is something that really needs to be considered.
That’s why we’re talking about protecting yourself emotionally in the instance of keeping the family home. Then the rest of being protected comes down to fundamentals such as insurances, wills, and other legal documentation to make sure that your future is protected. All of that together is where we get focus. Laser focus, that’s how we get the outcome that we need. From focus, we move on to become a victor. A victor is the end. A victor is where we’ve moved all of these steps and we’ve gone from being a victim where we just didn’t think we could even cope or survive, and all of a sudden, we’re nearly at the end and the rainbow is shining every single day because we’ve addressed it all. We’ve made sure that we’ve put steps in place to make our life better.
Next week, we’re going to talk about victor ad what that means. Hopefully, you’ve got something out of this. If you’re in the focus stage, the key to focus is how having a plan, sticking to it and executing it and making sure that the things that you want are achievable. Do not set yourself up for failure because you are wishing for something that you just can’t get. Always have a little bit of contingency there. What I mean by that if when you build a house, you always have a contingency bank account because it will always blow out. In this case, if you think, for instance, your split of your assets might be 70/30, have a contingency in line. If you can’t get 70/30 but you know for certain you can get 65% or 60%– Consider worst-case scenario, so if it doesn’t happen, you are not going to be heartbroken because the last thing I ever want to see is someone that has worked it out so tight and when it doesn’t come to fruition, they just feel like they can’t go on. You need to mitigate that and that also comes into the focus and into the planning.
That’s it for this week. Hopefully, I have made it clear to you and not made it any more confusing. Thanks for listening and I look forward to explaining to you, next week, what it’s like to be a victor. Have a great week and I’ll talk to you again soon.
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