As a part of my series about people who made the journey from an addict to an entrepreneur, I had the pleasure to interview Mike Diamond.
With 86 billion neurons, our brain is the most complex organ in our body. It is so complicated that all its complexities have yet to be fully deciphered and understood by scientists. And yet, it can help you overcome your deepest wounds, if only you would allow it to heal you – and that is exactly what Mike Diamond did. He allowed his brain to turn him into a completely new man.
He knew and understood that no wound was too deep to never be healed; that it was never too late; that regardless of his troubled past and troubling addictions, he could start afresh.
Mike Diamond’s story is one for the fables. His determination to move through life’s complexities and commit to mindful decisions have transformed him from a little boy with a troubled past to an athlete who has broken the Guinness Book of World Records… And a incomparable drive to break many more.
Mike Diamond – Who Is He Today?
From the outside, Mike Diamond could be described as an athlete, a coach, an author, a successful business owner, and a dad. But look beneath the surface, you’ll find that he is a man with a mission and a glorious – yet troublesome – past. Mike has broken records by completing 30 half marathons in 30 days. He is also the author of the inspiring self-help book and former owner of a successful business in the food industry.
He is an Australian-born coach and a motivational speaker encouraging people to lead a sober life; a credential earned by defeating his own addiction 13 years ago. As you can see, he has many feathers in his cap, and to make all this possible in 24 hours a day seems like a feat on its own.
The Troubled Childhood
It wasn’t all a bed of roses for Mike. Starting with a father who used him as a punching bag to let out his frustration, Mike went through a troublesome childhood – both mentally and physically. Along with a non-supportive mother, Mike had nobody to look up to or ask for help. Although he was a great athlete from early on, he was also dyslexic. His learning issues were never addressed or put into consideration. His accomplishments in sports were never praised.
Every child needs emotional support and nurturing, and in a family environment lacking in these features, a young child will act out to get attention. That’s exactly what happened with Mike. No one knew he was showing signs of physical abuse and emotional damage.
No small wonder, then, that he turned to alcohol and drugs at a young age. By 12, he was juggling rugby, working out, and eating well – while also beginning to experiment in drugs. He knew what his body needed to remain healthy, yet the addictions grew steadily.
When Mike moved to the United States, things only went from bad to worse, as he dove head-first into a life of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll. Starting out working at the front door of a famous nightclub in Miami, then to starting his own club, he lived a life of excess filled with money and drugs.
To think someone would come back from a life of constant partying to become an accomplished athlete is almost unbelievable. But that’s exactly what Mike Diamond managed to achieve, and it all started with a defining moment in another man’s life.
The Epiphany that Changed His Life
During his time partying, Mike met Scott Weiland – music legend and singer of Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver. They became instant friends, and not long after, the two opened a bar together called Snitch. It was a time when in Mike’s words he “consumed enough cocaine and drank to kill a small village.”
It was then that Mike began to realize that he wasn’t happy, and that he needed to fix his life. Mike was doing great at the financial and social end, yet he still felt spiritually bankrupt and he knew it needed to change. However, he couldn’t find the determination or the courage to do the same. Mike Diamond needed a nudge, a motivation to cross the border.
That happened miraculously when his friend, Scott Weiland, got a call from his wife telling him she was leaving him and taking their kids. It should have been a defining moment in Weiland’s life but became a turning point for Mike.
Mike Diamond decided here and then that this life of drugs, alcohol, and partying needed to stop – before it came to a point of no return. He didn’t want to die unhappy and having no purpose to live.
He looked for help from people who had been sober a long time and allowed them to guide him to whatever it took to get his life back on track. Mike surrendered to the needs and demands of getting and staying sober. He started waking up early, reading, and attending 12-step meetings as much as he could.
But what helped him most was his mindset – the understanding that the change comes from within. That he needed to remain mentally strong to become physically stronger.
The Role of Mindfulness in Shaping his Present
Mike went on a journey to self-learning and to learn about himself. He gives the credit to having mentors and coaches who helped him through the difficult time. He started reading books with a voracious appetite for learning (he upped his tally to 52 books last year!)
But Mike says, what truly made him strong and achieve has been mindfulness – the decision to remain in the present and add value to each moment. He does this by accepting moments for what they are, tackling problems at face value, and not letting factors outside his control affect who he was – or who he is becoming.
Mike’s journey is one of self-discovery; of reaching the pinnacle of success and realizing no achievement is worth losing yourself.
Today, Mike runs marathons for causes close to his heart and those that add meaning to his life. Mike is an inspiration that the change truly lies within. You can be whoever you want to be, and it is never too late to take the next step. To not let baggage from your past, your sins, your vices, or even your present shackle you into living a life that is not spiritually fulfilling.
Mike advocates accepting yourself, your emotions, and your past rather than running away from them. To process each thought and action for its face value. “Is this worth fretting over? Does it compromise your future goals? Can you live with it?”
Mike knew he couldn’t change his past, or his parents for that matter. Even today, Mike knows his father doesn’t acknowledge the damage done, but he has decided to accept his father for who he is and not let the unchangeable change him. He calls it “Post Traumatic Growth” rather than post-traumatic stress – using stressful and traumatic situations to fuel growth and development.
“If I go through that stuff and come out the other end, what’s hard to me? Nothing can break me.” Mike says, about the strained relationship with his father.
The Secrets to Mike’s Success
Mike Diamond rightfully calls addiction a spiritual disease. Going from pulling weeklong benders to running 30 half-marathons in 30 days takes dedication and will. He claims addicts have a different mindset; they want to do things voraciously, to always try to make the most of the moment, to demand more than what is just handed to you by life.
And this is where mindfulness helped him and can help many others to channel those thoughts and energies in the right direction. Mike managed to take a 180-degree turn because of the help he got from the support he found.
He emulated what other successful people off of addiction were doing and did not question their methods. He is also a member of the Addicts Anonymous and suggests one should find similar support in order to find the motivation and determination to move in the right direction.
The help doesn’t necessarily need to come from a support group, he suggests. It could be in the form of direct or indirect mentors. One simply needs to find an influence and then just take a walk where they have tread.
Mike Diamond – The Warrior He Has Become
Mike Diamond’s life is filled with accomplishments. Becoming an avid reader helped him gain perspective of the world and of himself. He uses all the self-learning to build himself into a stronger and more powerful man each passing day. He serves as an inspiration and a guide. He embodies the power of mind to completely alter one’s journey through life.
Today, regardless of his past, he is not bitter about what happened to him. Instead, Mike used his past trials and experiences as fuel to write his first book, “7 Steps To An Unbreakable Mindset.” The book is all about the journey to understand what’s holding you back in life and how to break past barriers in order to succeed. It includes stories from his own personal struggles with addiction, battles with dyslexia, and chronic illness. He shares stories of world-renowned figures who found success through willpower, and he gives you the secret to replicate their success on your own – whether or not you think you have talent.
Find Mike Diamond’s first book on Amazon: 7 Steps To An Unbreakable Mindset or you can connect with Mike on social media here:
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