For almost 3 years, I’ve been living with a real sense of direction. But, it took me many mistakes and many years to find out what works best… For me. My intention is to share how I went from BROKE mentally, physically and financially to positive, energized and financially secure.
In my first blog post I described in detail my struggle with drug abuse, depression and a persistent anxiety. Today I want you to think about applying a simplified version of what bridged the gap between where I was and where I am now. My 3 pillars of positive life direction are community, exercise and being like Frankenstein.
I was lucky enough that I have two of the most amazing parents anyone could ever ask for. Around 17 they started their own business. A couple months in, they were inviting me out to every event. For 6 months my community was shifting. Years of spending time with a group of drug abusing, underachieving guys was changing. Instead it was clear my new parents partners (and my new friends) were sharp, positive examples. After 6 months it is virtually impossible to stay depressed. When everyone in your circle is positive, confident and trying to get better, you can’t help but feel better. Personal development Guru Jim Rohn said,
“You become the average of the five people you send the most time with”
I became positive, confident and uplifted through my association with positive, confident and uplifting people. How practical is that?
Do this. Intentionally write down who are the 5-10 people you spend the most time with. Ask yourself if this relationship is rising me up or sinking me down? Make the decision today to only allow positive influences into your life and you will instantly DESERVE a better life direction.
To get out of my mind, I had to get into my body. Working out consistently was one of the best habits I’ve developed in my life. At 17, and only a few weeks in, I realized that I started feeling stronger. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. It helped me build back my confidence. It gave me energy that I hadn’t felt since long before my depression. It made me happy. This works.
Many people believe that your thoughts create your emotions, which is true. But, equally true is that motion creates emotion.
Believe me, if you have any intentions of changing the direction of your life, get out of your head and into your body. Use your motion to cultivate the emotions of strength, confidence, and power.
Do This. Preferably with a buddy, plan and go to the gym 3-4 days a week minimum. When you’re first getting started feel free to be there 5-7 days a week. But, as you progress and feel better (you will feel better) choose a schedule that is more sustainable like 4 days.
Be Like Frankenstein
Looking back on my life I’ve always experienced self limiting beliefs. Comparing myself to others made me think I wasn’t good enough. It was a nasty habit. Instead of aspiring to be better, I became bitter.
But, at 18 my community had changed, and slowly, so had my direction. Becoming like Frankenstein was a subconscious decision. It means picking and choosing and taking from people you admire. It means that I had to stop viewing others as better than me and start turning the envy I felt into inspiration. I was stealing the qualities that I appreciated about others and blending them into my own life. I started with how my community dressed. Then, I moved on to how they spoke. Finally I was emulating their behaviours. It was simple really. At this point the difference in my confidence, my communication skills, and my positivity was dramatic. I was a new man.
It didn’t happen over night. Changing your direction takes time, energy, and intention. But, it’s fucking worth it.
Do This. Intentionally steal one quality that you admire about a positive influence in your life. It could be how they dress. They talk. How they treat others. Their patience. Behaviours. Anything! Commit for one week to emulating that quality and intentionally practicing it everyday.
3 Pillars of Positive Life Direction
Surround yourself with an amazing community, get out of your mind and into you body and finally become like frankenstein, because if you do, I promise, you won’t change the destination overnight, but you will quickly change your direction.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and share with me your plans of positive life change! Till next time, stay on the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change the destination of your life overnight, but you can change your direction”.
For the majority of my life I have experienced a deep feeling of inferiority. Most of what I believed about myself wasn’t rational either. I would get mostly A’s, I had girlfriends, and I was an extremely competitive athlete. But, for whatever reason, I couldn’t shake it my lack of confidence.
At 13, I competed at the National level of Trampoline. One event that year I competed in an under 17 category made up of 15, 16 and 17 year olds. I finished 9th in Canada!
I’m sure you would agree this is a significant accomplishment…
Well I didn’t. 9th place to me meant that I was no good. I quit trampoline forever that year because I was embarrassed and never believed in myself.
Fast forward to high school, my own self-talk led to a downward spiral. My lack of belief in my abilities became my crutch not to try. I gave up sports, academics, and interacting with a good group of friends. I actually started spending a lot of time alone and abusing drugs.
Sleeping in, smoking weed and skipping class became my pattern.
16 years old was the darkest time of my life. With few real friends, I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone. I was overwhelmed by a deep feeling of depression and anxiety.
I want to stop for a moment…
I know some of you may be thinking “That’s it? A competitive athlete lost in competition and had some negative self talk? ….. Boo-fuckin’-hoo, man. Give me a break”….
To that I’d say, in moments of negativity, it’s SO easy to blow things out of proportion, to get lost in the story you tell yourself, and to identify with negative self-talk.
On the other hand, if you can relate to my story because you’ve either experienced similar thoughts and feelings or are currently going through a cycle of depression know that it will get better. You and I can change our thoughts and the direction of our lives.
You could be reading this thinking to yourself, he doesn’t know the half of what I’ve been through. And you’d be right. But here’s a sober reminder – Oprah Winfrey gave birth at 14 and lost her child. Nelson Mandela served in jail for 27 years only to become the first black president of South Africa. Beethoven was DEAF, yet created some of the most beautiful symphonies in history.
We all have the power to overcome seemingly impossible circumstances. And as interesting as it would be to say there was one defining moment that changed my life, that would be trite and dishonest. The truth is – you don’t change years of negative circumstances in a moment. Jim Rohn described my path to change best,
“You cannot change the destination of your life overnight, but you can change your direction”
Candidly, I believe my change in direction can be an example for a lot of youth. I am not saying that anything can replace the expertise of a professional. Depression is something to take seriously and I can say from personal experience that was my first step to overcoming my circumstances. I am however saying that depression, anxiety and a whole host of other mental health challenges can be minimized and CONQUERED.
My change in direction has led me to a version of myself that I couldn’t be more proud of. I see myself today as a confident and driven leader. In the last 3 years alone I’ve operated a business to over $100,000 in top line ARR (annual re-occurring revenues). Competed in business and speaking competitions that I could never have imagined at 16 I would have won, but did. And on January 1st 2017, I was officially part of the 3% of applicants across Canada accepted into this years cohort of Venture for Canada.
In the next post I’m going to share the 3 pillars of growth that made all the difference for me.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for taking the time to get to know me and where I’ve come from. If you’re battling depression, know that the best thing you can do is to talk about it. Leave a comment or shoot me an email or text (info on homepage) and I’m more than happy to help in anyway I can.
Till then, stay on the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change the destination of your life overnight, but you can change your direction”.