Most families are only a few paychecks from being homeless. If you own a home…you may have a little more time, but without an income the stress builds up quickly. As financial problems get worse it is almost impossible to not worry and start to freak out a little. That kind of stress can destroy a family…and it almost did for the Stegners.
With Ron working a six-figure job, he and his wife Marie and their three kids seemed to have it all. But like so many others, Ron’s job was downsized after 23 years as the economy started struggling. Deciding to take a chance and creating his own business, Ron tried to pave a new path for his family. Marie didn’t want him to do so. Reluctantly she came around but unfortunately it didn’t make it. That catalyst triggered a blame game that was eating at his marriage. Still unable to find work, the pressure was building for Marie to find a job and take care of the kids. By the time Tony Robbins got involved, it appeared they may not make it.
“Show me a straight line that God made. The only straight lines you are going to find are made by man,” Tony has told us. And he is so right. We often make our plans are set our expectations based on no peaks or valleys. In fact, unfulfilled expectations can chain you down and stop you from moving into growth.
Burdened by stress, Tony decided he needed to give them a more intense stress that would hopefully help to lighten them. He sent them up in a jet to pull some Gs which can make people pass out or even throw up. They both did a great job and with Ron pulling 5.6 Gs, suddenly anything seemed possible! They were going to need that edge as they were thrown into Tony’s next task.
Tony pulled out the hardest task I have ever seen him give out. After some preparation, Ron and Marie spent a week on skid row in downtown LA. Their first night, they took too long to get inside the shelter and ended up sleeping outside on the concrete surrounded by other homeless people. Ron spent the night watching over his wife. It didn’t take long for Marie and Ron to bond and begin to realize how much they needed each other in order to survive.
After the task, the couple had a new appreciation for the blessings in their own lives. Nothing was too big or hard for them to handle together. Tony helped to get them on their way to finding jobs and eventually they did. They may not be making six-figures but they were happy and grateful. By the end of the episode, Tony helped to deconstruct their patterns of blame only to find that Ron and Marie were closer than ever. Beginning the show only steps from divorce, it was all different. They were a family again.