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Tom Anderson – December 2005 Grad

Tom AndersonIt usually takes something, an event or a feeling to get me to do something different. To take a risk, to change a habit, or to do something just for me, well, here is my story.

For many years, especially last year, I felt that I was living and working very dependent on other people to make sure I was happy. I blamed others when I was sad. I beat myself up when I didn’t do what I said I was going to do. It started to lead to a series of calamities in my life, my relationships and my financial well being. I needed a change and just did not know which way to go.

As the trade show season winded down my last show was at the Cessna 180/185 club convention in McCall, Idaho in the mid summer last year. I ran into a good customer and friend that I had sold landing gear to the previous year. He had purchased a set of our fabulous Titanium landing gear. He started to reminisce about when he was in Wenatchee getting them installed and how he noticed the stress I was under. He said it looked like I was still there, in stress. He again, as he had done in his visit in 2004, casually mentioned a group of people that ran a seminar in Eugene, Oregon that had lifted his spirits and had led him to getting that fabulous titanium landing gear. Curiosity finally overwhelmed me and I asked “How could a seminar get you a set of Titanium landing gear for your 185?” well he just said it wasn’t the seminar, it was the tools he was taught to get more of what he wanted out of his life.

After that experience, I continued in my spiral of doubt, fear, sorrowfulness and emptiness. I could not understand after all the exciting things I had done, skydiving, flying, getting married, raising beautiful kids, and having a profitable business, why was I so unhappy with my relationships and myself?

My wife and I had been in an emotional tug of war at home and at work. We were separated at home and still trying to work together in our family owned business. I had been attending religious counseling but it was all about force and fear. My wife and I had gone to three counselors in the past 2 years and she agreed to go to another counseling session of my choice. I could not get myself to choose the old way, it was just not working.

In the pit of winter and with my relationship with my wife, kids and the business at an all time low I called the company my friend recommended in Eugene, Oregon called Wings.

The Personal Effectiveness Seminar (P.E.S.) was beginning the next week in Seattle. My wife and I arrived separately from 150 miles apart. It was a personal growth experience from the first day. The group was proportional of men and women and I was surprised to see how many people were just like me. At the beginning, it was not easy to accept the truth about myself, uncomfortable at times but when it was over I was empowered with confidence and freedom. I was able to communicate with my wife much better, although it was still best to stay separated. I developed some real good friendships with a few of the participants and we have stayed in contact.

My wife and I both had such a great experience with P.E.S. that we chose to go on to CrossOver, which was just three weeks away. This seminar came at a good time because I felt I was starting to loose ground and thinking I was not doing very well. I had lost confidence and self esteem. CrossOver helped to set things on track again and strengthened my relationships. The knowledge of cornerstones for a balanced life made me aware for the first time that there was real hope for happiness and getting what I want out of life. I brought these tools back home and to work with me and my employees noticed a change in me and in my wife. As in P.E.S. I found friends that I still see and I am real close with.

I was hooked on Wings after my great experience with CrossOver. And I signed up for the third core seminar called Life Works, a four month long, one weekend a month seminar. It was said to put the finishing touch in the “how to create what you want “. I took it alone, away from my wife and after just 2 months I knew I did not want to be part of my marriage any more. It was good for me to make that decision. I know that it is sad, but it is proof that you really do get to know you’re self after taking these great seminars.

When I started LifeWorks I was back into a real hard mess with the business and my relationship. I had slipped up. I was rude, I was sad, the business was doing badly and I was lost again just after three weeks of finishing CrossOver. I did not want to go to LifeWorks but I had paid for it and made the commitment. I said, in an upset emotional breakdown on the first day of LifeWorks, “I did not trust anyone and I was sure there would be a big burning hole where my business is when I get home in 4 days”, I had been fighting with my ex-wife, as I called her now, and I was pretty upset.

Lifeworks started and little by little things got better. I learned the Acceptance Statements and used them to assist me in accepting the things I thought about life. Things I could not change and about myself. I learned how to complete incompletes in my life. I took hold of my leadership skills and put them to work. I started getting what I wanted.

Right in the middle of LifeWorks I took the Wings Assist Team Training. It was here I met some of the greatest people in all of the Wings organization and volunteered for a P.E.S. assist team in Boulder, Colorado in May of 2006. This was a repeat of my P.E.S. and it was just wonderful to go through it with a much clearer mind and help other people through service.

56C_ROLL_OUT_7At the end of LifeWorks we created a stretch goal. I had a big one to get a Skywagon Cessna 180 aircraft by Oct 16th, 2006. I knew that it would be hard with the divorce and the financial condition of the business. Despite some real big problems that were present, I ended up with a really nice Cessna Skywagon I got at an estate sale for pennies on the dollar. I flew it home, August 19, 2006 two months ahead of my goal!

Today I am happy. I have greatly improved relationships, I am proud of my accomplishments, and I am more accepting of the things that I can’t change. I still have some spells of fear and doubt, but all and all I am a lot calmer and peaceful. My kids, my aged father, and my employees have noticed a changed man. The business is growing stronger everyday. My company has set sales records nearly doubling any previous months in its 30-year history! We are picking up contracts I would have never believed last January.

Wings Seminars was the best thing at the best time for me. It was like it happened for a reason and I look back and say, “I would not have changed a thing” that is a bold statement coming from me. It took all the pain, the dips into the un-comfortable zone to end up here.

God bless you all
Tom Anderson