Jamming with Jason E37: Choices and Why I Do What I Do

Are you making conscious decisions each day to get where you ultimately want to be? Conscious or un-conscious, you are making decisions everyday of your life that have gotten you to exactly where you are.

If you don’t like where you are, it’s time to make some new decisions.

In this episode I share some decisions I’ve made in my life and how they relate to “Why I Do What I Do,” steps you can take, and decisions you can make, that you will look back on with a profound sense of gratitude.

  1. Breathe
  2. Consider what you want
  3. Go with your heart, not your head
  4. Have the courage to take action

You see I have made made many decisions in my life to help me get where I am now, living my purpose, impacting millions of people, and creating a better world. It’s been on purpose and with passion.

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Transcript

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Jason Mefford: All Welcome, my friends, hey, I want to start off asking you a question. Are you making conscious decisions each day to get where you ultimately want to be

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Jason Mefford: You know, that’s a question that you should be asking yourself, probably on a daily basis, but at least on a weekly basis.

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Jason Mefford: And it goes right in with what I want to talk with you about today. And that is about choices and also kind of to tie in a personal note on this is why I do what I do.

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Jason Mefford: And why I have made some of the choices that I have in my life. Now, whether you realize it or not. So either consciously or unconsciously.

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Jason Mefford: You are making decisions every day of your life that have gotten you exactly where you are right now.

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Jason Mefford: So if you don’t like where you are. That’s because of the choices that you have made in the past. If you want to be somewhere different.

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Jason Mefford: That means you’re probably going to need to take some new and make some new decisions. So I want to share with you some of the different decisions that I’ve made in my life.

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Jason Mefford: To be able to help you really kind of give you steps that you can take to be able to make decisions because as I said every day you are making decisions. And if you have a goal.

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Jason Mefford: Or you know where you want to get in your life. It all starts with decisions that you make today.

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Jason Mefford: So as I said, if you’re not happy where you’re at, it’s time to make some different decisions. Now, for those of you that are where you want to be right now.

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Jason Mefford: One of the things that you’re going to see that we’re going to talk about is the gratitude that you probably feel right now.

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Jason Mefford: And what you don’t realize, again, is that gratitude that you’re feeling really is gratitude for the decisions that you chose to make in the past, to be able to help get you

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Jason Mefford: To where you are today. Now I want to start off and you know share as I said a few different things with you, kind of as as as we go through this. So,

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Jason Mefford: You know, I was I was standing and I could see the stairs in front of me.

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Jason Mefford: And

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Jason Mefford: I could see the stairs I could smell concrete and steel, but I just couldn’t move

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Jason Mefford: And it was probably the strangest one of the strangest experiences that I have had in my life and is still very, very visible to me every time that I think about this, you know, I was I was standing there, I could feel the concrete wall on my back.

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Jason Mefford: And I was having these voices in my head. You know that we’re telling me that I was no good, and that everything was over, and that it was done and I didn’t know what to do. And literally, I could not move.

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Jason Mefford: I could hear steps coming in the stairwell, and I knew that I had to move, but I just felt like I couldn’t move and I didn’t know what to do.

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Jason Mefford: And at that point, you know, I had a decision to make. What was I going to do now what had happened just before that incident was I was in a in an executive meeting.

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Jason Mefford: At one of the companies where I was a chief audit executive and we had a new CEO come in and one by one, you know, executives would leave New executives would come in.

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Jason Mefford: And the culture in the organization started to change. And I remember this one particular meeting where I was throwing a bunch of political landmines in front of me.

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Jason Mefford: And I really didn’t know what to do. And I left that meeting, knowing that something was going to be different in my life.

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Jason Mefford: And I remember again as I was walking back towards my office and I had to take the stairwell to get down, you know, a couple flights to back to my office and I got into that Ella into the into the stairwell and just froze.

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Jason Mefford: And again, at that point, I had to decide what I was going to do. I could hear steps coming and I was I was feeling embarrassed that I couldn’t move and I didn’t want somebody else to see me in this state, and all I could think to do was breathe and I started breathing.

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Jason Mefford: And very shortly after a few seconds. All of a sudden, I kind of regained my composure and I was able to walk back to my office and start to figure out

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Jason Mefford: What I was going to do. Because at this point. You know, I had a choice to make. And there were some things that I was going to need to do that. I was honestly scared about

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Jason Mefford: But knew that I had to do it. And again, as we’re talking about choices right that that as we go through and there were some choices that I made. After that experience because I realized, you know, very quickly that I was not the only chief audit executive that was feeling that way.

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Jason Mefford: There were others that were out there that were going through some of these same you know politically charged things. I mean, the best thing I

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Jason Mefford: I can use to describe it as it’s like other executives in the organization are placing landmines and hoping that you step on them.

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Jason Mefford: And so, you know, finding a way to be able to help people to avoid those political landmines.

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Jason Mefford: You know some of those decisions that I made that day. And over the next year led me to want to coach other chief out of executives.

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Jason Mefford: You know, because again, as I said, I realized I could see, I could feel how the job was actually affecting me personally.

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Jason Mefford: And I knew that others out there were going through some of those same things. I was not alone. And I was learning what I needed to be able to avoid those political landmines and wanted to be able to share that with other people now.

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Jason Mefford: So when I had an opportunity to make a decision on do I continue in corporate America or do I end up leaving and start doing trainings speaking coaching.

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Jason Mefford: That decision was fairly easy for me to make at that point because I had gone through a time period to be able to help me in doing that.

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Jason Mefford: And so again, I’m going to go through here in just a few minutes and actually talk about kind of the steps that we can take when we get to a decision point in our life and we need to make a choice.

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Jason Mefford: Now another another experience here. You know, I’ve spent many, many years, literally millions of miles over at least over a million miles.

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Jason Mefford: And actually flying all over the world to be able to train

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Jason Mefford: Auditors risk management and compliance professionals and I love that work. I love going out and teaching people and in helping them learn how to improve in their career.

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Jason Mefford: How to Learn new knowledge, skills, knowledge and skills so that they can gain those competencies

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Jason Mefford: And so they can really become proficient in their profession and be able to carry that on throughout their whole life.

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Jason Mefford: But again, you know, I remember there was a time when, as I said I was traveling all over the world. And I was usually gone doing three to five day trainings now because I was traveling, you know, literally all the way around the world. I had several

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Jason Mefford: You know, completely around the world trips you know where I would I would leave my home in Los Angeles, and I would travel one way and I would end up coming around the globe. The other way back to Los Angeles.

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Jason Mefford: And I remember, you know, again, these were kind of excruciating flights. If you’ve ever been on you know 10 to 16 hour flights.

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Jason Mefford: And and it really took started to take a lot out of me, but you know I love doing the work, and I was out there teaching people each week.

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Jason Mefford: And then all of a sudden I kind of woke up and realized that it had been 13 weeks since I saw my wife.

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Jason Mefford: Because I was around the world going from place to place to place to place. It had actually been 13 weeks since I was home and saw my wife now 13 weeks doesn’t seem like a lot, until you realize that’s over three months now again when I realized that

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Jason Mefford: I just really started to have all of these feelings, you know, come back into me in the reason for that is, you know, some of you may know others do not. But I was actually divorced

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Jason Mefford: Previously I was working a lot. There were a bunch of different things that were going on but I ended up divorced

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Jason Mefford: And knew that if I was going to continue on this path of being gone so much of the time there was a very good chance that I would get divorced again. Now when I when I actually realized that it just hit me. You know, I felt like there was this

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Jason Mefford: Like it just got a big old punch to the gut on, you know, I cannot be a failure. I cannot fail again and have another divorce.

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Jason Mefford: But I was a little bit torn right because I love doing the work. I love going around and being able to be with everybody. But I love my wife as well. And again, had a choice to make. Was I going to continue down that path. Continue to consciously make that choice.

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Jason Mefford: Excuse me.

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Jason Mefford: That I could see would probably end in divorce, a second time, or do I consciously make a different choice.

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Jason Mefford: And at that point I chose to make a different choice, you know, because as I started thinking about it and realizing the reasons why I love teaching

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Jason Mefford: And speaking and helping people. I realized I did not have to be in person to do that.

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Jason Mefford: Right. In fact, you know, I was going all over the world, being able to help thousands of people every year, but realize that from an online space.

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Jason Mefford: I’m actually able to help millions of people, you know, instead of just having people in front of me for a few days each week.

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Jason Mefford: Now, literally, I have people that are listening to me every single day. Right. My message is able to get out there much more than it could, if I was in person.

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Jason Mefford: And so again, as I went through and kind of thought about what my bigger purpose was and the impact that I wanted to have on this world.

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Jason Mefford: I was able to make a different choice and consciously choose to move from being in person and traveling all over the world all the time to actually being able to be online and literally affect millions of people’s lives.

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Jason Mefford: And I’m so grateful for that. Now you know again at the time it was a little scary because I, I didn’t, you know, quite know what I was going to do.

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Jason Mefford: How this was all going to work out. But that’s the thing that usually happens a lot of times when we have to make these choices.

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Jason Mefford: We don’t know exactly how it’s going to play out. And so there’s an element of courage, we have to have the courage again to believe in our purpose and do the things that we believe are most important. Now, you know, again, I see.

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Jason Mefford: Him have for many, many years. A lot of the different challenges that we’re having in our profession of internal audit.

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Jason Mefford: You know when I when I started in the profession 25 plus years ago, some of the same things that we were discussing at that point, are some of the same things that we’re discussing now.

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Jason Mefford: And that really concerns me and you know as a result of that, you know, I mean, some of the challenges that we see of

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Jason Mefford: Executives not really understanding what internal audit does about, you know, cutting back budgets about downgrading or outsourcing internal audit.

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Jason Mefford: And you know, when those things happen. It makes us feel frustrated. It makes us feel unappreciated and it really kind of sucks. And I’ve gone through this a few times in my career as well.

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Jason Mefford: Where people just don’t really understand and and it actually internally affects us. But here’s the thing. We have an opportunity to make things different.

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Jason Mefford: We have an opportunity to be able to help align what we are doing better with management with the key objectives of the organization so that those others in the organization. Actually see us as a trusted advisor.

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Jason Mefford: And I know people again I’ve been talking about this for a long time, but it doesn’t seem to be working. Because we’re focusing on the wrong things.

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Jason Mefford: Now, you know, again, how is it going to feel for us to be able to be seen as a trusted advisor.

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Jason Mefford: Well, you know, instead of feeling frustrated. It just feels good. I mean, it really, really feels good to be appreciated.

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Jason Mefford: To be needed, and to actually feel like we’re providing the value to our organizations that we know we can provide you know one of the reasons why we went into this particular profession.

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Jason Mefford: Now, you know, again, there, there are these challenges, but there are these opportunities. This is one of the reasons why I do what I do.

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Jason Mefford: Is to be able to focus on these opportunities and help people to be able to learn what we need to to develop both technical and soft skills. So we can take advantage of those opportunities.

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Jason Mefford: And have that feeling of being appreciated and being grateful for the value that we are able to provide to our organizations.

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Jason Mefford: You know it even goes back to some things like certifications. You know, I’ve helped hundreds of people pass the certified internal auditor exam.

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Jason Mefford: But you know it it really breaks my heart to talk to people who have taken and failed parts of the exam multiple times.

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Jason Mefford: You know, because then again you know when when they do this when they fail the exam. Then they start feeling like they’re worthless, like they’re stupid like they’re not good enough, which is a

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Jason Mefford: crock. Okay. That is just a crock and and it just breaks my heart to hear people say things like that.

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Jason Mefford: And so again, right, if we go back to decisions. I’ve seen this going on for over two decades, and now I’m choosing to do things differently.

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Jason Mefford: You see, I don’t think that certifications need to be the way they are because most of the time certifications end up trying to limit.

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Jason Mefford: Who can get the certification by playing little tricks and games and you’ve heard me talk a little bit about this in last week’s episode.

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Jason Mefford: But it’s just wrong to go about it this way. People shouldn’t have to spend years and 10s of thousands of dollars to be able to prove that they know something

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Jason Mefford: Especially when the game is rigged when the game is rigged to try to reduce the number of people who can actually get certified. That’s just wrong.

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Jason Mefford: That is just wrong. So again, I have a decision that I need to make. Do I just let things go like they’ve been going and think, oh, maybe it’ll get better, even though it hasn’t in the last 25 years

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Jason Mefford: Or do I consciously make a decision to be able to help change the future and I’ve chosen to make a decision to improve the future.

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Jason Mefford: You shouldn’t have to go through all of that to be able to get certified and here’s, here’s the reality right

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Jason Mefford: I have spent my career, I’ve developed several different professional certifications and exams for various groups all over the world, some of which are the top certifications in those particular

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Jason Mefford: Parts of the business world, and I know that we can do the same thing here in internal audit. And again, that’s why I have chosen

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Jason Mefford: To be able to come up with and develop certifications that people can actually prove their competency in in one to two weeks and actually be able to obtain a professional designation.

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Jason Mefford: Instead of having to spend years and 10s of thousands of dollars to be able to do it. And guess what the game isn’t rigged this time.

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Jason Mefford: So if you understand the information and can pass the exam, you get the certification. You don’t have all the arbitrary stuff that goes along with it to try to limit and only allow certain people to have the certification.

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Jason Mefford: Because here’s what I believe. I believe the more people that are certified, the more people that take the time and make the choice to invest in their learning.

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Jason Mefford: And to be able to prove their knowledge by taking an exam I think everybody should be able to be certified who can do that.

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Jason Mefford: And the more people that do that, the more people that invest in themselves and make that decision and commitment, the better off our profession will be an internal audit and the better off our organizations will be as well. Now,

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Jason Mefford: Let me jump in a little bit to decisions right if you know, again, Jason, you’re saying that there’s all these decisions we have to make

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Jason Mefford: How do we actually make those decisions. So here are a couple of steps for you to be able to go through when you need to make a decision.

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Jason Mefford: So if you remember back to when I was standing in the stairwell. And I was having a mild panic attack. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t hardly do anything.

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Jason Mefford: The first thing I did was breathe. Okay. That is the first step to making a decision. Because here’s what happens when you get in one of those situations where it’s stressful.

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Jason Mefford: The activity in your brain, the elect the, the magnetic electricity going through your brain is actually going through at a very high frequency. It’s called beta beta wave frequency in your in your brain.

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Jason Mefford: When you are in beta wave frequency, it is very difficult to do anything. You feel very anxious, you feel confused, you’re not really sure what’s going on.

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Jason Mefford: And and consciously you kind of shut down when you get up into the high beta waves. So the first thing you have to do is slow your brain down and the way to do that is to breathe and you can do that anywhere. All you have to do is stop and

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Jason Mefford: And if you do that for about 30 seconds to a minute you start to slow down and you can start to actually see and think clearer. So the first step to making a decision is brief.

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Jason Mefford: The second point is consider what it is that you want. So go back and think about purpose. Think about your mission, whatever you want to call it, but think about ultimately what it is that you want to accomplish.

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Jason Mefford: Now again, you know, you’ve got to be honest with yourself. Because sometimes we’re afraid to be honest about what we really want. And in this step, you really have to be honest with yourself.

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Jason Mefford: About what it is that you want, because if you’re not clear on what you want. It’s going to be very difficult for you to be able to make the right decision.

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Jason Mefford: The third point is as again after you figured out what it is that you really want. Now it’s time to start to listen to your head and your heart.

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Jason Mefford: But here’s what I’m going to tell you because the third step is go with your heart, not with your head okay go with your heart, not with your head.

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Jason Mefford: And I know this step may be very, very difficult for those of us in this profession because we are taught to be analytical

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Jason Mefford: We are taught to think about things and and to go through and analyze this way and that way and everything else to try to come up with the perfect or exact thing that we should do.

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Jason Mefford: But the reality is your heart already knows what you need to do your head usually tries to talk your heart out of it.

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Jason Mefford: And when I’ve made decisions based on head instead of heart. They’ve almost always ban the wrong decision. So go with your heart. Now that leads into the fourth step that I want to go with you today, which is have the courage to take action.

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Jason Mefford: OK. So the four steps again are breathe.

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Jason Mefford: Consider what you want, go with your heart, not your head.

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Jason Mefford: And have the courage to take action now let me go through and just kind of share with you how this actually looks in real life.

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Jason Mefford: So again, if you remember, I was had a decision point where I had to decide, do I continue to travel the world as much as I am.

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Jason Mefford: And risk becoming divorced or do I make a different decision. So at that point, again, I was feeling very anxious. I didn’t know what to do. First step, I had to do was actually breathe, slow down. So I could actually think clearly. Next, I had to consider what is it that I really want

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Jason Mefford: Okay and I and again this is again where we said you have I said you have to be honest with yourself.

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Jason Mefford: You know it’s it’s glamorous to be flying all over the world and to have all of these pictures from different places in the world, but is that what I wanted.

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Jason Mefford: Or did I want to help people did I want to help bring out the potential and people

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Jason Mefford: That I want to actually teach speak help them unlock that potential and teach them the skills that they needed to to be able to have a fabulous life which of those that I really want

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Jason Mefford: And the answer was, I want to help people. I want to speak. I want to teach. I want to coach people to be able to help them have the best life that they can have

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Jason Mefford: So again, as I thought about that. And as that as my end goal, then I had to start thinking about what does that mean

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Jason Mefford: Well, that means meant transforming my business from a mainly in person training company to something that was virtual

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Jason Mefford: Now that’s what my heart wanted to do. But what do you think my head started doing

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Jason Mefford: Oh, if you do that, then you’re going to be giving up all these different clients and then you’re not going to be doing this, you’re not going to be doing that.

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Jason Mefford: And where’s that going to come from, how are you going to be able to do that. Right. And my monkey mind started to take over and wanted to talk my heart out of what I knew the right decision was

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Jason Mefford: And so again, I had to have the courage to take the action and to go after what I knew my heart wanted to do, which was transform my business.

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Jason Mefford: Into an online business and businesses, right plural here so that I could actually impact millions of people each year instead of only thousands

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Jason Mefford: Now that’s the right decision for me. It takes a lot of courage, because you know what if, if any of you have ever had a business. It takes a while to completely redo your business.

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Jason Mefford: And it’s not always the easiest along the way. But I’ll tell you right now, I am so grateful for those decisions that I made one or two years ago, to be able to go down this path because of the impact and the people’s lives that I have been able to help. I am so grateful for that now.

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Jason Mefford: You’ve got decisions to make. You’ve got decisions today, tomorrow, next week, next month to be able to make

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Jason Mefford: How are you going to do it. You go through the four steps. Are you ready. First off, you need to breathe. Second, consider what it is that you want.

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Jason Mefford: Third, go with your heart, not your head and for have the courage to take action. Because here’s what I’ll tell you when you make a decision, let’s you know and maybe three days from that decision.

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Jason Mefford: All of a sudden, after you’ve made the decision. You start to see the world a little bit differently. You start to hear things a little bit differently. And you start doing things differently.

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Jason Mefford: And then maybe three weeks from that point, you start to realize the impact of this. You’re starting to, you know, feel better about yourself. You’re starting to be excited

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Jason Mefford: About where you’re actually going to be going and the pathway starts to become so much clearer and then maybe just three months later.

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Jason Mefford: You know you starting to see things come to pass. You’re starting to see the benefits that calm that came from that decision that you made at that time.

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Jason Mefford: And you just feel grateful you know you feel grateful for the maybe the things that you have the things you were able to do. But, you know, here’s the kicker.

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Jason Mefford: You actually start to realize that what you’re really grateful for, is that you were grateful that you invested in yourself.

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Jason Mefford: And that you had the courage to make that choice because, again, as I said at the beginning, consciously or unconsciously, you are making decisions every day of your life.

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Jason Mefford: That get you exactly where you are. If you don’t like where you are. It’s time to make some different choices.

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Jason Mefford: If you, if you’re like where you are, then you’re feeling pretty damn grateful that you made those choices to get you where you are today.

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Jason Mefford: I’m grateful for the choices that I’ve made, I am grateful for what I am able to do, and I hope that today’s episode shares with you a little bit more about why I do what I do.

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Jason Mefford: Sometimes I know I come off as being a crazy guy locked away in this in this recording studio in Los Angeles, but I do it because

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Jason Mefford: I have purpose and passion in what it is that I’m doing because I know that we can all make this a better world. And that is my hope, especially for our profession of internal auditing. That’s why I am here. So go out

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Jason Mefford: Consciously make those decisions to be able to help you get to where you need to be and want to be and then make sure to have gratitude, when you get there with that my friends go out. Have a great rest of your week, and I will catch you on the next episode of jamming with Jason

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