Updated: May 1
How I overcame my limitations, transformed, and moved from rock bottom to create a life I love!
Reflection in 2014
Is this really the best I can do? Am I making a difference? Is the world better because of me? Am I living my highest potential? Am I fulfilling my purpose? Am I helping those who have been desperately waiting for me? Am I fulfilled? Do I love my life?
These are the tough questions I asked myself in the early part of 2014. There certainly were times in my life when I would have answered yes to these questions. But the more you know, the more you know there is to know. And there came that day when I realized that, not only was my answer a resounding no to all these questions, but I was contributing only a small fraction of my capabilities. The frustrating part was I could see that something was holding me back and preventing me from reaching my full potential. And that something was me.
During the first part of my life, I was on complete autopilot. I did what my family and society expected of me. I did well in school. I was an athlete. I was on my varsity high school wrestling team. I sailed competitively in local and national championship regattas, and I was on my college sailing team. I graduated from college and found a great, high paying job. I married my college sweetheart. I bought a house and a new car. I went on fabulous vacations. I was all grown up and doing well by society’s standards.
Everything was going well until my mom died. We spent a lot of time together when I was a child, but I had distanced myself from her over the years as I became an adult. She was much more important to me than I had realized. She gave me strength and she knew me better than I knew myself.
It took me a few months, but I realized that who I’d become wasn’t who I really was. I didn’t like my life, and I didn’t like me. I decided to change everything that wasn’t aligned with the real me. I divorced my wife and sold my house. I changed careers from an introverted computer programmer to an extroverted, straight-commission salesman. I became a Dale Carnegie Course Instructor and taught personal development and public speaking courses. I expressed myself by taking singing and acting lessons. I moved from Southern California to Hawaii.
After many years of success, I found rock bottom in 2009. I was laid off. I was going through my second divorce, and I was raising two young kids on my own. I was 85 pounds heavier than I was just ten years earlier, and I had to declare bankruptcy. I was out of money, and I came within a week of being homeless. I was physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially bankrupt. It was extremely difficult to crawl out of this deep pit just to get back to the surface.
After some small improvements, I began a determined quest to improve myself in 2014. I joined a company that encouraged its employees to take personal development classes. I started to read self-improvement books again, over 30 books each year, and I attended every personal development seminar I could find. I had a mentor assigned to me at work, and my manager spent a lot of time coaching me.
I had some limited success with these traditional teachings, but nothing I tried really made things better. There were these negative patterns that I had seen throughout my life that were just getting worse. I could tell there were obstacles in my way, but I didn’t know what they were or how I could get around them. These obstacles seemed to be getting bigger and so did my negative emotions. I was becoming more judgmental, frustrated, impatient, irritable, and really angry about a lot of things. I didn’t have much hope that things would improve.
On Friday March 8, 2019, I lost my vision while driving to work. I was traveling in the fast lane on the 405 Freeway, going about 80 miles an hour in heavy commuter traffic. I was lucky to exit the freeway and get my car into the nearest parking lot. I could only see very blurry shapes, and I couldn’t read my cell phone. I had to ask a stranger to call my daughter and tell her where I was. It turned out that the retina in my right eye had detached. I had lost vision in my left eye in 2013, so it was basically lights out now.
It was a very scary time. I was a single dad with two kids, and no family or friends around. My savings account was empty, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to pay rent or buy food. I didn’t know what I would do for work. I wondered if my family would be better off with me living or with the proceeds from my life insurance policy.
The first eye surgery restored my vision for about five months. It gradually got worse over that time until my doctor finally took my driver’s license away. Then I was legally blind again for the next six months. After two more eye surgeries, my vision was finally restored in my right eye. I was lucky. A whole year had gone by, a critical year of awakening.
Being blind actually helped me to see. My mind and body weren’t doing well, but my soul was stronger than ever. Without any distractions, I could finally listen to it. Over the next two years, I was able to remove the obstacles that were holding me back, repair relationships, improve my health, lose a significant amount of weight, and discover my purpose. My income almost doubled, and I was able to live with a profound sense of love, peace, joy, freedom, and fulfillment.
There was an undeniable force pulling me forward to help others. It was everywhere and I couldn’t ignore it. I wanted to stay at my secure job as a Director of IT and coach my team, but I realized that I was being called to do a lot more. I resigned from my position so I could focus 100% of my time on helping others.
Reflection in 2023
My purpose, or mission, is to empower people to overcome their limitations, quickly transform their lives, reach their full potential, and live a life they truly love. And I want to inspire each of them to go forth and help others. My vision is to help a million people transform their lives, who each impact a thousand more. That's a billion people living their best lives and adding an incredible amount of value and impact to the world. That's something meaningful that I can't wait to see!