Transcript: This One Belief is All You Need to Change Your Life
Hello. Hello. How are you doing today? Welcome to the podcast. This is Dina Cataldo, and today I'm sharing with you four words that will completely change your life. Now, this is not an exaggeration. These four words are the foundation for believing something, for any kind of growth in our life, whether it is personal or professional, and it seems so simple, yet it's not easy to implement. In fact, most of us aren't consistent with it. Even if we have this awareness, we still have to keep bringing ourselves back to it over and over again in order to make the progress we want to have in our lives. It takes awareness and practice to use these four words to change everything in our life, from our business to relationships to the way we feel anytime of the day or night, whether we're at the office or at home, how we feel about anything before I share them with you.
If you haven't already downloaded the busy lawyers quick start guide to get five hours back each week, I invite you to do that now. It is completely free and you can get [email protected] forward slash busy lawyer and you can use today's episode and this guide hand in hand to create the life that you want. You can jumpstart your whole life by simply taking action. Now when you get in motion, you can't help but stay in motion. It's simple, but it's not easy. That's why so many people fail when it comes to taking control of their life. They think about changing their lives instead of actually acting on their own behalf, they think and think and think rather than start getting themselves in motion and taking those small steps to begin making change. And you know this is true because you've probably experienced it yourself or you've heard someone complain about the same thing over and over again and yet nothing different has happened in their life.
They've done nothing to change their life. They blame things on, you know, other people on not having enough time on not having enough money. They're always blaming something external, but they're never looking at what they can do to make change. So we're going to talk more about this today, but I want you to take a moment and go to Dina cataldo.com forward slash busy lawyer to download this free guide. It's going to give you the tools to begin taking back your time. So did you get it? Are you ready? Okay, let's talk about these four little words that hold so much power. So more than these four little words, I'm actually gonna share with you how to follow up and see the inner workings of your brain. It's like getting to see the insides of a clock, all the wheels spinning and how everything works together to make up the thoughts in your head.
Now the four little words are 100% responsible. As in I'm 100% responsible for everything in my life, the health of my finances, my relationships, my feelings, how much time I have all of it. Now, before you say yes, of course I know this. Let me challenge you to take this a bit further because I'm betting you know that you are responsible for the results in your life intellectually, but I'm willing to bet that you haven't done the next step. And that next step is to ask yourself, what can I do about it? Let me give you a simple example of how this can play out in just one part of your day. This really simple example and how you can begin to see the clockwork of your brain by reminding yourself that you are 100% responsible for the results you get in your life. So this morning I was at yoga and we were packed in there like sardines.
My studio actually numbers each spot, so we have a little bit more space and we can reserve a spot ahead of time and there's no spot in front of the front door to the studio because people are walking in and out, right? Like during class, people get up, they have to go to the bathroom, that kind of thing. So we started the practice and I set up and I knew instantly when I sat up that the three cups of tea I had earlier that morning were ready to come out and I had to go to the bathroom. So this morning someone didn't check in ahead of time and the studio employees let the student decide whether or not they wanted to be in front of the door or not. And my first thought was why would the studio let them set their mat there? It's a bad experience for them and it's a hassle for everyone else.
I could already hear my brain saying this thought. The second thought I had was, well, maybe I can hold it and wait to go to the bathroom because this is a 75 minute class. I knew that that was not going to happen and this is where I asked myself what can I do about it? The third thought I had was that we're all 100% responsible for our results. The student who set their mat in front of the door had a choice about whether or not she wanted to be there or not. I'm not responsible for her decision. She's a grown woman. I'm only responsible for how I choose to handle this situation. So my decision was to wait until the right moment to get up and go out the door. Then I came back. It was easy. Other people were doing it too. I took responsibility of how I felt and I trusted the student who made the decision to place her map there that this was okay with her.
And this is an example of the power of taking 100% responsibility for our feelings and our results and allowing others to do the same. Now, this sounds super simple, but believe me, when I tell you, I've talked to other people and I'm just talking about the stress of a simple situation in the gym here where our feelings can get riled up, where we can have all of these thoughts in our head that build up anger or resentment or you know, something that distracts us from how we want to feel and what we want to do in that moment. And that is why it's so important to look at whether or not we're taking a hundred percent responsibility of what we're getting in our lives. Because when we let all of those little resentments takeover, when we let our brain just kind of run wild, we are going to create situations in our lives that aren't going to feel good.
So if you want to feel good in your life, if you want more of the good feelings and less of those angry, resentful ones, this is something that's gonna come in handy. And you might think it sounds silly when you put it in a yoga studio. So let me show you the power that it has in a courtroom. So I had a trial in which the defendant was charged with selling narcotics to an undercover officer, and the defense attorney had the audacity to put on the juvenile who was with the defendant that day. The juvenile had pled to a violation of probation in juvenile court for possession of drugs when my defendant was picked up up on the same case. So the defense was hoping that the jury would believe their argument that the officer was mistaken about the identification of the person who sold drugs to him.
The juvenile who was now 18 decided to go along with it and say on the stand that it was him who sold the drugs to the officer since he could no longer be prosecuted for it now that he had admitted to the violation of probation and juvenile court. Now I can't trace all of my thoughts step-by-step like I could in this yoga example because a AI wasn't really paying attention to it at the time, but B, I also just know that it's not fresh. So the likely scenario happening in my brain was something like this. I thought, I can't believe the defendant is using this kid to try to get out of this crime. The juvenile is going to commit perjury. I can't believe that this defense attorney is going to go along with it. And I wondered whether or not the jury was going to believe him.
Now, I could have stayed in this initial thought process, kind of spinning, being angry having that like righteous indignation. But instead I asked myself what it was I could do to resolve this situation. I designed a cross examination with the help of a coworker to show that he was lying. I designed my direct examinations of officers to ensure that there was a clear distinction between all of the parties involved. So the jury could see that this was not a case of ms identification. Then during closing argument, I brought out the Polaroids. Yes, they were Polaroids and I showed them to the jury and the defendant could S and the jury could see that the defendant and the juvenile look very different on the day that they were arrested and that there was a no case of mistaken identity. As the defense was arguing, I took a hundred percent responsibility for the result I wanted to create by taking actions to ensure I got it.
Now, could a jury have acquitted? Of course juries do funny things, but I did everything I could to ensure the right result and that's all we can ever do is do the best that we can. Another situation could be where you're in court and someone who's misrepresenting something on the record. You can either spin on how awful they are and gossip about it behind their back. Or you can take a hundred percent responsibility for how you feel and confront them about it on the record or you know, face to face in a way that very much shows them that you you're not angry. You're just saying, Hey, this isn't right. This is not the right thing to do. This is not the right thing to go to, to go about it. So I had a defendant come up to the podium and calendar court not too long ago, and he seriously said that he forgot to do a drug program.
The court didn't call him out on it and instead they just turned to me and asked whether or not I was agreeable to letting him go back to the program. And it was funny because obviously this guy didn't forget, he blew it off. He wasn't taking responsibility for his life and he was not only lying to the court, but he was lying to himself. And of course on the inside, I'm fuming, I could have just let that bug me all day, right? But instead I took a hundred percent responsibility for how I felt. And I told the defendant I didn't for a minute believe him, that he forgot to go to drug treatment. And that not only was he lying to the court, but he was lying to himself. I told him I wanted him to get treatment. So I'd agree to one last chance on the program that the, he had better take it seriously this time.
I also made sure that he knew that this was his final opportunity. So I give you a few examples here because not taking a hundred percent responsibility for how we feel shows up in so many places in our lives. Anytime we're annoyed, angry, wish that someone would do something different. Anytime we blame someone for how we feel, anytime we tell someone that they made us feel bad and you know, we grow up this way, right? Like people, you know, when we're kids come up and tell us like, Oh go apologize for how you made them feel. Well, we didn't make anyone feel any particular way. It is all up to us to take responsibility for how we feel. We end up settling for stewing an unhealthy emotions. We give our powers to, to our power to others rather than taking action for ourselves. And that means that we end up settling for good enough rather than what we really want.
And so often I hear people complaining about how some things playing out in court or how something's happening in their lives and I don't hear them taking any kind of action that is serving themselves and you know, I'm not, you know, I try not to coach everybody, right? Like I don't want to, you know, go up to people and be like, well take responsibility for your life. But Hey, you're listening to this podcast. So if you're listening to this podcast, it means you need to hear some something of this. You wouldn't be listening right now if you didn't need some of this right now. So, all right, so I want to talk to you about how it, you know, it seems, well how do I want to say this? Okay. I, I have this feeling, this is my theory that it seems so much easier to do exactly what we need to do in a situation when we have our lawyer hat on rather than our everyday human hat.
I don't know if that is your experience. For a long time I felt like a completely different person. Like it was way less work with the lawyer hat on, but it seemed like more work with my everyday human hat on. I'm going to share a story in a little bit that will tell you exactly what I mean. And I think it's because everyone expects us lawyers to speak on our own behalf. When we're growing up, we're taught not to speak on our own behalf, to ask, to not ask for what we want, but as lawyers it's our job to ask for what we want. So let me give you another everyday human example because if you're anything like me, this is where your work is. I used to have the worst roadway rage. I mean it was like the worst. It got to the point where I knew I had to change things because I didn't like being so angry.
I mean, it really did not feel good. I would get cut off and then fume at the guy in front of me and then I take it with me all the way to the office and let it seep into my day. I don't know if you can hear my dog signing. He is like making the loudest sighing noises and I just ha anyway, it's adorable, but it's in the middle of the podcast, so enjoy. So I took responsibility for how I felt and I decided I didn't want to feel that way anymore. I didn't like feeling angry when I got to work and if someone got in front of me, I started saying something like, well, they must be in a hurry, or I hope everything's okay. I'd slow down and I'd be on my way. And it just stopped affecting me. Now when I get in people's cars who let like things like this bother them, I laughed at myself because I was exactly the same way.
I just decided I didn't want that anymore. I didn't want to think that another person had that kind of power over me and my feelings. So just so that you know that I'm not always on the miss perfect end of things. Let me share one where I don't look so great. Okay. So it took me a really, really, really long time to take a hundred percent responsibility of what I was getting in my life in terms of my romantic relationships. I mean a really long time now. Have you ever been in a relationship way too long? And when I heard Tony Robbins asked this question now one of his events, I was relieved that I wasn't the only person who went through this cause I felt like I was the only one. Like there was something wrong with me. So here's what happened in a nutshell. I decided to get involved with a guy who clearly wasn't interested in a longterm relationship, no matter how much he said he was into me.
Then I felt hurt when this guy was just being himself over and over again in the relationship instead of understanding that he was just himself when he was lying to me or being distant, I blamed him for how I felt about it. I let it eat at me and I became resentful. I would take it out on him. I'd snap at him and I didn't really know how to handle it except to cut him out of my life as best as I could or even ignore some of the behaviors that I was seeing. So it was, I really did not know what to do with it. Now. It took me a long time to recognize that he was just being who he was. And it was up to me to decide whether I wanted to be in that kind of a relationship. I had to be in so much pain though that there was no other way, but to take responsibility for what I was feeling.
I didn't see my part in it or how I allowed it to unfold the way it did. And then when I finally did, I had to overcome the shame that came with that. Now it can be incredibly painful to realize you were causing your own pain for so long. So one thing that I want you to understand is that this awareness of responsibility for our lives is not meant to punish us. It's meant to help us get out of where we're settling in our lives. And begin creating positive change in it. I do want to talk about one more area where I predict there's going to be some push back on this principle and that is in the case of the most atrocious acts. Now I've watched victims speak to the perpetrators of their loved one's deaths in very different ways. As you may expect, there are some where the word anger just doesn't begin to express what they feel towards the defendant, and this is not a wrong reaction, but I'm always hopeful that those families find a way to turn their anger into something more constructive because it will eat at you over time.
The people that always impress me are the family members who take in this horrible situation and tell the defendant that they forgive him. The forgiveness is never something they're giving the defendant that forgiveness is something they've given themselves. They've taken a hundred percent responsibility for how they feel and they know they can either have hatred in their hearts which only hurts them or they can find a way to feel better by choosing forgiveness. A lot of people I talk to think that forgiveness is letting someone off the hook by taking a hundred percent responsibility for our feelings. Though we're not telling anyone that what they did was, okay, what we're doing is saying you're responsible for you and I'm responsible for me. The other person doesn't hurt when we're angry and they don't feel what we feel towards them. They have their own thoughts and feelings. We think we're using our anger as a weapon against the other person when really we're using it as a weapon against ourselves.
So when you go into your day to day, take a look at what bothers you, where are you not speaking on your own behalf and acting as if you have a hundred percent responsibility over how you feel. Where do you see yourself settling in your relationships, in your practice and how you use your time and where are you not taking 100 a hundred percent responsibility for what you're getting in your life in the next couple of weeks? I'm transitioning soul roadmap podcast into the be a better lawyer podcast. I've been slowly incorporating more lawyer centric topics, but I'm still speaking to lawyers who want to become the best versions of themselves. I didn't begin making the changes I needed until I started making more time for myself. It seemed impossible to make more time when you haven't done it consciously, but there were a few things that helped me carve out the time I needed to grow and take a hundred percent responsibility over what I was getting in my life.
And if you're ready to make more time in your life to become the best version of you, take a moment to go to Dina cataldo.com forward slash busy lawyer and download the free PDF to get five hours back each week. I mean it. This is where the big change was when I started recognizing how I needed to take a hundred percent responsibility of my time and where I was saying I didn't have enough time. I changed everything. So I encourage you to go to Dina cataldo.com forward slash busy lawyer and download the free guide. I hope you have a wonderful day and I will talk to you next week. Bye.