“When you change your mind, you change your life.”
That was my first real “aha” moment when I started to really become “awake.”
Here’s my story in a nutshell…
I was in my mid 40’s and built a pretty successful business from scratch. But along the way, I realized I was not living an authentic life. I created this fictional character for my business to succeed. Big fancy suits. Nice car. A reputation and brand identity in my field. Blah blah blah.
I certainly wasn’t the person you would have picked to be successful in business. I didn’t finish college. I had little confidence personally and I really was driven to succeed mostly by fear and my own insecurities.
But I worked really hard. I got back up every time I was knocked down and I never gave up. And so after 25 years or so, it worked. I was “successful.”
Not happy — “successful.”
I never really loved what I did professionally. But I guess I was pretty good at it and so I stuck with it. After all, that’s what we are “told” to do.
But this persona I created which had the uniform and facade that said “I am successful” wasn’t really me. I was stressed ALL the time. The more successful I became, the more my mind and all of its paranoid thoughts dominated my life. “What if this happens?” “What if that happens?” “I can’t believe so and so did this to ME.” And on and on. All day and all night.
And this was me at the helm of a successful, thriving company.
The life of a paranoid, driven and narcissistic businessman. Never allowed to show vulnerability. That was me.
As a result of my obsession with my business, I didn’t lead much of an authentic personal life either since everything I did was tied to my work. I was delusional in thinking that I could never take my eyes off the road or I would crash and burn.
While the business was at its peak growth, I just had this growing awakening — I was tired of living “someone else’s idea” of what life should be. Life is short. And the only real goal is happiness and giving back, and that I wasn’t living an authentic life. I wanted to have more meaning in my life, more personal fulfillment and not be so damn stressed all the time. I wanted to explore my own human potential. I wanted to be a better father, husband and friend. I wanted to learn to be happy, to love more and to help more. And to wake up every day and look forward to what was in front of me.
And so I left the business I built. Everyone said I was crazy. I didn’t really care though. I pretty much walked away.
Professionally, I started all over again in my mid-40’s.
But this time I started another company where I could do what I truly loved professionally and work in a way that reflected my core values and priorities. With people I truly cared about and enjoyed working with.
I was always fascinated with technology and I loved learning new things and challenging myself. And so I built something that reflected all of those passions.
Many wonderful things have come into my life. An extraordinary wife. Two healthy and kind kids. Amazing friends. Wonderful siblings.
But my mind was still really thinking along the same lines it used to think. My surroundings changed, but my mind was still not healthy. My thoughts dominated my life. And I soon realized, your thoughts control your entire life AND your health, too.
I realized that while I changed my physical surroundings, my mental landscape remained largely the same. So I went searching for knowledge. I wanted to understand how I could change my thought patterns, my own internal narrative — in the hopes that I could understand how my brain was wired by my past, society and peer pressure and how all of that has contributed to my own internal wiring. And how I could then unlearn everything.
I also became a Buddhist thanks to my amazing wife. She truly inspires me, teaches me and keeps me company on my journey every day. I am blessed to have found my soul mate.
Buddhism truly changed my life. It taught me that you alone are responsible for your happiness and nothing outside you can bring you the happiness you seek if you don’t already have it inside.
I started to read more. Contemplate more. Study more. Go deeper.
I found amazing things. My head was spinning I was consuming so much insight and ideas and techniques.
As a result, I am now more present in all of my days and nights than ever before. My mind is truly more clear than it has ever been. I still have to work at it daily of course and often fall back into my old habits, but I am on the road I want to be on. And truly excited about my journey. It’s a lifelong pursuit to learn about the things that bring me the most fulfillment, contentment and authenticity.
Along this road of personal discovery, I started to realize that what I really cared most about in life was seeing those around me happy. And if I could contribute to that in any small way, I could really find deep meaning and purpose in that.
That’s why I created this blog. For my friends. My family. For anyone who enjoys discovering things about themselves and their own small community. And I created the blog really for me, too. Helping and giving in anyway is purposeful for me.
My only goal is to share the things that I read, watch and listen to that inspire me in the hope that it inspires you.
I have always been a searcher. I search for meaning. For truth. For the small things that make life beautiful. And so I am someone who likes to travel down new roads and finds wonder in what I always find around the bend.
So I hope this blog perhaps might keep you company on your own search and that maybe it leads to new discoveries on your personal journey.
If you feel like it, share it with anyone you love. And don’t hesitate to share any of your own insights, ideas and suggestions.
“I care so I share.”
I wrote that. It’s really who I am and who I aspire to be. Every day. In everything I do.