Where Did Whitney Houston Go Wrong?

Where Did Whitney Houston Go Wrong?

I was sitting at my computer when the phone rang. It was my friend, George, telling me that Whitney Houston had died. “What?” I said. “Where did you hear that?” I asked.He said it was just reported on the radio. “Wow, what a talented super star”, I said to myself and thought “what a waste of talent to be lost so early in life”. I have listened to many pundits over the last few days report stories about Whitney Houston’s troubled life. They have stated that when she married Bobby Brown her life and personality took a turn for the worse. During her marriage to him she began smoking, using drugs, and drinking excessively.

Bad apples (bad people) can and do corrupt the good people we know and admire. I have seen it happen numerous times with people I personally know and love. My sister, for one, had slipped into the party lifestyle of taking drugs, drinking and heavy smoking. She lost her life due to lung cancer two years ago.Smoking two packs of cigarettes a day eventually caught up with her and took her life. She told me many times that she knew what she was doing would kill her someday, but the overwhelming desire to smoke won out!

I also recall a high school classmate, Scott, who was an excellent athlete and played on varsity the baseball team. He was so talented, he was scouted by several pro baseball clubs. In fact, Scott was one of the best high school catching prospects available in the country that year. He was a great hitter, smart on the bases and could throw runners out in record numbers. I knew him as a shy freshman who was always was fun to be around and very likable. He was fairly innocent and naive throughout high school until he started to hang out with the wrong crowd his senior year. His whole demeanor changed once he started drinking and smoking pot. He went from being someone you would like to talk to, to someone to avoid. He began skipping classes, getting into fights and getting drunk on the weekends. The crowd he hung out with were the big-time drug users and drinkers and were always in trouble with the law. They saw an easy mark in this young man and helped destroy his potential career in professional baseball.

Whitney had been living a similar, innocent life.As a child she started signing gospel songs in her local church and then began a modeling career in her early teens. She experienced success early in her career and managed to reach the next level.She was going places and she knew it, her mother knew it, in fact, anyone that heard her sing knew it. She was beautiful and talented and was destined for stardom.

In 1992 all of that changed when she married Bobby Brown. That is when her life began to unravel. Brown had been in trouble with drugs, the law, and served time in jail. Although she and Brown eventually divorced, she continued to live the self-destructive life she had learned while married to him.In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, she admitted to using cocaine and smoking pot with her ex-husband. Even with all of her talent, awards and high-society lifestyle, her life was spiraling out of control.

Her reputation as a professional was called into question when she would show up late for her own concerts or would cancel a show shortly before it started. On several occasions she simply did not show up for radio or television interviews. She told Oprah Winfrey, “Doing drugs was an everyday thing. I wasn’t happy at that point in time. I was losing myself.” That’s when she knew she was in trouble; however, she did nothing to get control of her life. She had rejected the people who loved her and wanted to help her, including her family, her church and close friends. Instead, she allowed her’ handlers’ to help her.They simply told her what she wanted to hear and sadly, today she is dead.

We can’t lay all the blame on Bobby Brown for Whitney Houston’s lifestyle.Whitney made bad choices in her adult life. The lifestyle of the rich and famous isn’t always what it appears to be. The day before her death she performed one last time in front of a group of friends. Do you know what her last song was? It was the very fitting, “Jesus Loves Me”. In her last performance, she went back to her roots in gospel music and the church she loved.

In closing, if you or your children have friends that are not a good influence and you realize you need to make some changes, then take a stand, do the right thing and start today!Make sure your friends and your children’s friends have your best interest at heart. We all have been influenced by negative people in our lives and have learned we must be aware of whom we allow to come into our lives and that of our children.

I’ll close with I Corinthians 15:33 from the Bible.It is a scripture that reminds us that God knows all about the questionable people who come into our lives and warns us to be careful when we choose our friends.It reads, “Do not be misled. Bad company corrupts good character.”

Master Life Coaching, Divorce coaching and counseling is affordable, accessible, anonymous and available by appointment from the privacy of your own home. Avoid travel time and never leave the comfort of your home to meet with me. I have many out-of-state clients who prefer to meet over the phone or via Skype. The convenience of this type of coaching is the most effective means of Life Coaching for those who live out of the Denver-metro area or are out of the state of Colorado.

Are You Courageous?

Are You Courageous?

In the latest Christian film “Courageous” I watched my life story play out. If you’re unfamiliar with the film it’s about four men with the calling to serve and protect. As law enforcement officers they faced danger every day. Yet when tragedy struck close to home, these fathers were left wrestling with their hopes, fears, and ultimately their faith. From this struggle came a decision that changed all of their lives.

Being a tough Norski I had no problem fighting back the tears; however, I was overwhelmed with the story line and felt at times like I was playing  parts of the movie in my mind’s eye. The movie is all about family life, difficult relationships, pain and loss. It reminded me of the loss of my sister Deb and the pain still associated with it.

My sister passed away almost two years ago from a painful throat cancer that caused convulsions and zapped her of her strength and energy over several months. Each phone call I received from my brother-in-law and my brother became less and less hopeful. I knew what was coming. The end of a sibling’s life is not easy to deal with. As I watched the movie a haunting question played over in my mind, “Was I a good brother?” I knew I was a caring brother but did I listen to my sister? In all honesty, I have to answer the question with a regretful “no”. My sister and I were so opposite in our personalities and the way we were raised that over the years we distanced ourselves from each other. How did that happen you may ask?

My sister was always fighting our parents, my older brothers and friends that stopped by the house. She seemed to be on a mission and that mission was to disrupt the peace we had in the house. I never understood why she seemed to enjoy causing general mayhem and pain. Our family was always trying to figure her out!  

The main character in “Courageous”  had the desire to do the right thing by being the provider, stable and a good man. I have to give him credit – he made a difference in the lives of many people at home and at work. I hope people can say the same thing about me. I know I can’t go back and make amends with my sister Deb but I can make sure that I ask those I have wounded to forgive me. I also want to work on repairing any damage I may have caused.

Now as I think about my daughter I know she has hurts that no doubt were caused by me. I plan to ask for her forgiveness and will begin working toward healing the pain I have caused. How do I go about this? I first have to look back and figure out where I caused her the most pain when she was growing up. At times I wasn’t there for her when she needed me. I remember her asking me to do some things with her but I declined because I was either too busy or too tired. Poor excuses for sure! I have a feeling the offenses I remember will be ones she never thought of, and the pain that I caused her will be ones that I never gave a thought to. That is what is called discovery. You get that by sitting down and talking face-to-face. It’s not always easy but probably the best way to begin the healing process.

“Courageous” challenged to be a better man, a better listener and to hold dear all relationships, big and small. We get one shot while here on earth and we need to make the best of it. When we are asked for help, let’s help those in need. When we’re asked to spend time with a friend or loved one, let’s find the time!

I highly recommend you take time to see the movie “Courageous.” It’s a great family film that will change the way you think about your parents, children, brothers and sisters.


Meet Divorce Coach, Accountability Coach and Marriage Coach, Dr. Michael Brooks

Meet Divorce Coach, Accountability Coach & Marriage Coach, Dr. Michael Brooks
What is your definition of a Life Coach?
This is a great question and one I am asked many times. The best definition of a Life Coach is someone who has traveled down the road our clients are about to embark upon and tap into lessons learned from past mistakes, misfortune and failures. We draw out old ways of thinking, bad habits, hurts and hang-ups and discover new ways of achieving a fulfilled life. A Life Coach can help a client look at the consequences that may result in a life-changing decision and evaluate the best plan of action.

For me, Life Coaching flows out of my own story. Growing up in an abusive, alcoholic home, I bring an awareness and understanding of human pain and suffering. I also understand and share the fundamental steps that need to be taken to effectuate a happy, successful life. I see myself as a lifeline and a source of wisdom and knowledge as I help my clients find their way to a better understanding and appreciation for life. Timing and sensitivity is essential in addressing the issues my clients face. I partner with them as they work through their challenges.

What types of coaching do you provide?
There are three areas of coaching that I am passionate about. My first area of expertise is Divorce Coaching. As a divorced person who did not want to divorce, I have personally experienced the aftermath and devastation. Divorce coaching can be tough! I’ve heard the sad stories, witnessed the grief and have felt my client’s pain. When a client considers the effects of a pending divorce, they experience shock, disbelief, denial, anger, and the loss of their spouse. As a Divorce Coach I help my clients through all of these emotions. I strive to understand their personal life experiences and ask questions that lead them to the answers they’re looking for. This is when they start seeing progress. If necessary, I collaborate on their behalf with their divorce attorney. I also coach couples and individuals who are contemplating divorce and aide those currently going through the process as well those who have been divorced, but have yet to recover from it. The issues I have identified in divorce coaching are as follows:

Managing the early emotions of divorce.
Moving towards acceptance of divorce.
Processing the grief and loss.
Understanding the grief cycle.
Forgiveness and letting go.
Building a new life.
New beginnings and the 5 keys to starting over.
Barriers to new relationships.
Finding new relationships.
Living successfully in blended families.
The second area of expertise is Accountability Coaching. This service is offered exclusively to professionals, including athletes, doctors and lawyers. Accountability Coaching helps prevent the trouble that often follows professionals such as run-ins with the law, cheating spouses, bad attitudes, bad behavior and any other behavior that can land them in a negative spotlight. Accountability Coaching can be very difficult when dealing with professionals. Many have money and fame and very few people to hold them accountable for their actions and lifestyle. Over the years I have coached professionals from all walks of life and have found their attitudes are very similar. They have wants, desires and needs that sometimes get them in trouble. My job is to steer them away from the behavior the frenzied news media loves to report and coach them to live lives worthy of honor and respect. Many professionals need someone that will confront them and help them stay the course. As an Accountability Coach, these are a few of problems professionals face:

Establishing a strong and positive support system.
Goal setting, planning and positive decision-making regarding family and career.
Dealing with life under the spotlight where “Image is Everything”.
Keeping relationships healthy with a spouse/partner, children and family.
Preventing affairs in the work place that destroy family, reputation and career.
Finally, the third area of expertise is Marriage Coaching. Couples contact me for Marriage Coaching when they are interested building a better marriage or improving a marriage that may be failing. As a Marriage Coach I help couples strengthen their marriages by giving them the tools they need to improve communication, create the marriage they have always wanted, and help them find the secrets to a deeper love. I see couples with unresolved anger and witness the negative results of what I call “marital disease.” Many couples have no idea how their anger produces distance between them which ultimately sabotages their marriage. My goal in Marriage Coaching is to teach couples how to use the power of forgiveness to heal and resolve problems. Over the years I have seen how forgiveness improves and strengthens relationships. With a 50% divorce rate in first-time marriages, we need Marriage Coaches trained to help couples build strong, lasting relationships.

Why did you become a life coach?
While treating patients in my sports rehabilitation practice, I would take time to talk and get acquainted with them. Many wanted to share their personal struggles and find ways to solve their problems. Most patients would talk about broken relationships and failed marriages and needed advice but had nowhere to turn for answers. I learned to listen over the course of 25+ years and realized I was drawn to being a caring Life Coach. Listening and then painting a realistic picture for them was fulfilling to me. Simply speaking, I care about people and I want to help them.

When should a person consider working with a Life Coach?
When they’re not sure what they need to do or when they get that “deer- in-the-headlights” look. This is the beginning stage where most people need a life coach to help them through the minefields of life. More often than not, many will make some mistakes before they realize they need a Life Coach. I’ll be there to help them pick up the pieces of their shattered marriages, dreams, and broken expectations of life. Most of my clients say that when they hit bottom is when they decided to get help and called me.

Who is your ideal client?
My ideal client is anyone who walks through my office door or calls or Skype’s me. No matter who they are or what they have done, I am here for them. An ideal client is someone who is open, honest, straightforward, and will allow honest communication to foster a strong Coach and client relationship.

About Dr. Michael Brooks:
Applicable Solutions Life Coaching Services is led by founder Michael Brooks Ph.D., AACC Board Certified BCBC Counselor, LCI Certification and AACC Board Certified BCMCLC Master Life Coach. Mike utilizes his coaching skills of 25 years in the areas of Personal and Marriage Relationships, Divorce Coaching and Professional Accountability.

Mike’s background is steeped in all kinds of endeavors: living in Europe as a child, raised in an alcoholic home, and being an Army brat. He was a college athlete, a college football coach, a corporate business owner, a health practitioner(retired 18 years ago), a counselor, a regular guest on radio and television shows, a writer, author and seminar speaker. Mike has been involved with and impacted many lives across the country. Mike’s clients will tell you he is a great encourager, very compassionate, a good listener and is goal oriented and he gets lasting results.

I think one of the hardest things that I have ever had to go through as an adult was when I was a health practitioner (retired 18 years ago), then became a patient from a serious accident. Until I was a patient, I’d never imagined the pain and struggles that my patients went through. I had to learn how to walk again after my accident. I went through months of operations and rehab. It was hard getting up and starting over each day. I think that’s where I best expressed mercy to others…I was able to encourage others while I was going through rehab myself. I knew that I was making a difference in people’s lives. I wanted to make them laugh and focus on getting better. I love using humor as I work with clients. It’s a medicine all by itself!

What have I learned from working with all kinds of people? Personally, I can help you dig deep into struggles that you face everyday and help you see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve been in your shoes, and I know that if you have someone who can walk with you each and every step, the road is much easier to travel.

In my rehab clinic, I treated athletes and walk-in patients. I spent lots of time with my clients while treating them. We often talked about everyday problems they were facing: bad relationships, health issues, and business decisions. I felt for these people, and we would engage in problem-solving while they were being treated for specific injuries. That’s where my coaching began: 25 years ago with my patients. Listening to their needs, problem-solving, educating and making a game plan that would work for them! Going to a university will get you the skills that you need to build a foundation for your career, but sitting down face-to-face or on the phone and getting to know that person you want to help, can’t be learned in a classroom. You get that by building relationships!

Do you have a hard time in taking control of difficult issues in your life, do your events control you, you don’t control them? Have you been afraid to put together a plan for your divorce? Do you need someone to hold you accountable for the negative things you do to yourself or others? Do you need help in making your marriage better? If you answered yes to any of these questions, I can help you plan on how to deal with the problems that effect your divorce, accountability issues, and improve your marriage. I will help you put a working plan together that will help you deal with life’s issues and get things resolved.

Many of you have expressed an interest in talking with me about how to save your marriage, or how to end it. Having gone through the pain myself, I’d be glad to help. Click here to receive a free 30-minute appointment, I’m making my calendar available for you to schedule a free no obligation 30 minute appointment to see if divorce coaching or divorce counseling can help you. so I can help walk you through the process, step-by-step, whatever option you choose.

It won’t just go away by itself. Let me help you resolve one of the most painful times in your life, so you can start moving forward again. Make that your first step right now.

You can go to Mike’s blog and comment on today’s article at http://www.applicablecoaching.com/blog/

In addition, online/phone Master Life Coaching is affordable, accessible, anonymous, and available by appointment, from the privacy of your own home. Avoid the travel and time it takes to get my office. Since you never have to leave the comfort of your own home to meet with me, your anonymity and privacy is completely secured and protected. I have many out of state clients who prefer this means of coaching, this is the most effective means for Life Coaching for those of you who live out of the Denver-metro area or are out of the state of Colorado. I also have skype, its another way to set up a meeting so we can talk, contact me if your interested in setting up a skype appointment.

If you want to get more information about the Life Coaching Program, call me at 303.456.0555 or e-mail Dr. Mike at mike@applicablecoaching.com  to set up a free consultation. All calls are confidential and your privacy is protected.