About 4 years ago, I was standing at the edge of my balcony on the 13th floor.
I was looking at the street and imagining how easy it would be..
My company had just failed.
I lost all of my money.
In just 10 months.
Fast Forward 4 years.
Today, I’m living in Bali with my amazing Fiancee, Alina and my white puppy, Pickles.
I run two successful online companies and there’s an abundance of opportunities around me.
I am surrounded by forward-thinking mentors, friends, and partners who excite me to improve every area of my life:
Health, Spirituality, Wealth, Charity.
If you’re neck deep in the worst chapter of your life and you feel like you’re drowning, I am writing this for you.
I hope my story can show you what’s on the other side of the biggest “mistake” of our lives.
There are 3 stages that you grow through when a mistake becomes a blessing.
Stage 1: You Stop Measuring Your Life Based On Where Other People Are
My bank account balance read $783.
A weird thing happens when something traumatic hits you.
You lose cognitive ability.
I wasn’t able to see straight. I felt tremendous weight on my shoulder and my chest. Everytime I took a breath, I choked on the air and my eyes watered up.
Things went on all around me as usual, but I felt like a ghost.
Over the next 90 days, I fell into a deep depression.
I gained weight.
I had anxiety going to sleep every night because I didn’t want to be alone with my thoughts.
I kept thinking about how much of a loser I was for being an overweight 34 year old living with my mom.
How was I going to make back all the money I lost (over $150k)?
How was I going to get back on track with all of my other friends my age?
I was comparing where I was with the vision I had of where I needed to be in life.
This vision was subconsciously ingrained into me because of where everyone else was in their life. Or at least where they also thought they should be.
My friends were getting married.
But I was single
My peers were buying houses and having kids.
But I was living with my mom.
I needed the house, the car, the job title to show everyone that I wasn’t a LOSER.
But then I started to imagine myself in their shoes. Many of them were unhappy in their marriages, their jobs, their homes.
They were stuck in this hamster wheel of trying to one-up each other.
It seemed exhausting.
Did I really want this life?
Sitting in my mother’s basement, I started to draw out my ideal life from scratch.
I asked myself what I DIDN’T WANT:
- I didn’t want to live in a neighborhood where all the houses looked the same.
- I didn’t want to be surrounded by the people I went to school with since I was 10.
- I didn’t want to have a boss
- I didn’t want to buy things to fit in with a social image
- I didn’t want to feel ashamed whenever I failed
I asked myself what I DID WANT:
- I wanted to live anywhere I wanted in the world.
- I wanted to experience different cultures
- I wanted to work online
- I wanted freedom to choose when I would work
- I only wanted to do things that were fun or interesting to me
- I wanted to change the definition of failure to learning
When I got clear on what I wanted (not based on other people), I naturally graduated to Stage 2 of this transformation.
This stage was the hardest for me.
STAGE 2: TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHERE YOU ARE
Yes. I was overweight.
Because I gave up on working out and eating healthy.
I was depressed.
Because I kept calling myself a fat piece of SH*T loser.
I was broke.
Because I started a company I wasn’t passionate about and gave it 20 percent of my effort.
I’m where I am because of my own decisions.
If I am going to create my ideal life, I’d have to start making decisions aligned with what I wanted.
And this was where I messed up in Stage 1. I aligned what I wanted with what everyone else wanted.
Now that I was clear on what I ACTUALLY wanted, I could start taking an inventory of what I had to work with.
I didn’t have any skills. hmmm…. I can fix that.
I didn’t know to get the kind of life I wanted. I’ll need to find people that do.
I hated the way I put myself down. I’ll need to reprogram my default thoughts.
This list can be overwhelming to anyone to tackle.
My advice is to start with the MOST IMPACTFUL. And take the smallest step forward.
For most people who are reading this, you’ll most likely need to start where I started.
I started with my thoughts.
STAGE 3: CHANGE YOUR MINDSET TO A GROWTH MINDSET
I wanted to stop cutting my legs out from under myself.
Every time I talked to myself, I put myself down.
At night, I’d think of all the things I did that I regretted.
How could you lose that much money so quickly?? you’re such a loser
I thought of all the things I didn’t have.
All your friends already have their second home. and you’re living at home with your mom. You’ll never catch up.
I didn’t want to think like that anymore, so I stopped listening to myself.
I drowned out my voice with other people’s.
I turned to people like Tony Robbins.
I downloaded everything of his that I could for free.
And I fell asleep with my headphones on, listening to him tell me I’m not a loser.
I’d wake up and think start thinking negatively, so I plugged in my headphones and I’d drown out my own voices and listen to him in the morning.
I’d listen to him in the shower.
I decided to try to make money the fastest way I could by driving for Uber.
I’d listen to him all day as I drove people around and made money.
Slowly, without realizing it, I began to reprogram my thoughts.
In a few short months, I started changing my inner dialogue and consuming as MUCH of this self development / growth mindset stuff that I could.
Instead of focusing on everything I didn’t have, I started focusing on my super ability of being able to learn anything I wanted.
I decided to learn HOW to learn quickly first.
I picked up a few books on how to learn quickly
(The First 20 hours by Josh Kaufman and The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin)
This was my first skill I acquired. If you don’t have any skills, start here.
Make learning your superpower. Become addicted to acquiring new skills.
This first step was the turning point in my life. When I acquired this skill, I flew out of the worst chapter in my life like a bat out of hell.
You can turn your biggest mistake in your life into a blessing by going through the same stages of transformation as I did:
- Stop comparing yourself to others
- Take Responsibility
- Acquire a Growth Mindset