In December of 2011, I was sitting in my friend’s basement.
All of my possessions were in a backpack, aside from the car stereo I had agreed to sell to pay for another month’s rent in the basement.
I was at the end of my rope. I had just finished college (notice I did not say graduate, more on that later).
I had 26,000 worth of credit card debt (not associated with anything in particular besides wild living and one very cool trip to Thailand).
With nowhere to go but up, I began writing. On the advice of a friend, I wrote a letter of gratitude to myself for what I had accomplished in the last year. I also wrote a list of goals, no matter how wild and crazy they seemed.
So many of my favorite authors, mentors and motivational speakers begin with this moment where things are extremely dark and the obstacles seem insurmountable. In a way, I got the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the greats, starting from the realest of the real starting points.
All the wisdom I had read, watched and listened to had told me that innate talent doesn’t matter, that all it took to succeed was essentially being “too dumb to quit.”
Now that I could definitely do.
That is the moment that I call the beginning because that’s the moment that I stopped digging myself a hole and suspended disbelief (in myself).
I decided to do the work not for a goal of money, status or power…but for a goal of becoming a different person. The kind of person that I wanted to be in the world was much different than the person I had been in the past.
The attributes I wanted to cultivate were generosity, compassion, discipline, courage and perhaps most critically: resilience.
To be the kind of person that was made better, not bitter by all of life’s obstacles and suffering. The kind of person that earned mindsets and skill sets from experiences and ultimately became stronger.
I wanted to be the kind of person that was CONSISTENTLY passionate and persistent in pursuit of my purpose – in a word…