Thank you for the wonderful birthday wishes!
January is not only the month of my physical birth. This year, January also marks the metaphorical birth of a new life adventure for me. If we are connected on LinkedIn, you may have seen that I recently retired from the company that I co-founded over 18 years ago.
What does my retirement and this new adventure look like? It’s simple: Sharing.
Sharing how small, incremental changes in my mindset and habits, applied over time, resulted in quantum leaps in my joy and contentedness.
Over the past five years, my life took a turn for the best. I took risks and developed habits that transformed all areas of my life – physically, mentally and spiritually.
I shed 70 pounds of fat and gained almost 20 pounds of muscle. My cholesterol levels plummeted and my energy levels soared. I got a passport and began traveling the world. I married an incredibly smart, strong and sexy woman, Lauren Roberts. I reconnected with my Mom, with whom I had not spoken for 10 years. My Dad said “I love you” for the first time in my life, and now it’s our parting routine every time we talk on the phone, which is often. My life is virtually unrecognizable from how it was five years ago.
The most important transformation – and the reason for sharing all of this – is that I discovered how to be happy living in the moment, in the NOW of my life.
I used to resent the now. I complained about it incessantly. I spent my time looking for ways to escape it. Frequently, I did all three simultaneously.
My understanding of lasting joy and happiness, of contentment, was that those things were reserved for some uncertain date in the future. I would be content with my life once I achieved the next milestone, once I accumulated a certain amount of money, or once I finally arrived at the next place to which I was heading.
I would get there someday ... maybe ... and that's where the happiness would be.
I lived all areas of my life in the mode that JP Morgan described when he was asked, “How much money is enough?" He answered: “A little more."
To compensate for my persistent dissatisfaction with the current moment, I made compromises about what I really wanted for my life and my relationships. I negotiated down my expectations, desires, and dreams so that I could tell myself and others that I was "fine.” In reality, I was waiting to get to the time in my life when I would be happy and my actual life would begin.
I said I was "fine.”
But I wasn't.
I was unhappy.
And I was ashamed that I was unhappy and dissatisfied with life, because technically, I had achieved all the traditional markers of success in American society. I was doubly resigned that although I "should" have been happy to have what looks like success, I was not.
I told myself that I should be grateful and that "this is as good as it is going to get" … at least until someday/maybe. Once I had gotten control of my schedule, when I had made a bit more money, after I achieved the next big thing, THEN I could start living the life I wanted and THEN I would experience freedom, joy and contentment.
Someday never came.
I hit rock bottom in 2012. I weighed 225 pounds. I was divorced. I suffered back pain and and frequent headaches. I was uncomfortable in my body. My posture was poor from hunching over a computer screen all day. I poured most of my time and energy into my job. I felt perpetually exhausted and stressed. I felt weak physically, mentally and emotionally.
Now? Not a single one of those circumstances remains in my life.
So, what happened? How did the circumstances of my life change so dramatically?
In short, I change my mindset. I changed my diet, both physically and mentally, by changing the content of what I put into my mind and body. And with that, I changed my life.
I began to exercise at home for 30 minutes a day. I took on daily personal development. I stopped gossiping, blaming, complaining and being victimized. I got rid of my environment of negativity and surrounded myself with positive, like-minded people. In short, I took responsibility for where my life was headed and for my level of happiness and contentedness.
But let me clear up a common misconception. My mindset did not improve because my circumstances changed for the better. The opposite is true – my circumstances improved because I changed my mindset.
Did you know that you (and only you) get to say who you are? Who you are right now, in this moment, is not the result of your upbringing, your past, or even your current environment or circumstances.
I get to say who I am, and I say I am happy, in this moment, NOW. This isn’t "positive thinking" – this is how life works.
My great joy is to provide others the tools and knowledge that give them power and control over the direction and trajectory of their life. I am here to teach everyone how to live a happy, joyful and healthy life, NOW.
My mission is to give back everything that I have gotten, thousands of times over.
So, here’s what you can count on me for in the future:
Providing value to your life.
Sharing things that have benefited me and brought me joy.
Standing for you to accomplish anything and everything that is important to you.
Being open and authentic about what I am dealing with on this new journey.
Empowering myself and others.
I am not inherently any different from anyone else. I know that you, too, can have happiness and joy, NOW. And then, from that place of contentedness, you can take the responsibility and actions necessary to achieve goals you have not yet even dared to dream.
I am here to show you that anything is possible. I am here to prove that the limitations appearing real to you are almost always self-created and self-imposed.
I am here to help you find joy, peace and happiness in this moment. Lauren and I are out to create a community of like-minded people taking our lives to new heights in The NOW Nation (https://www.facebook.com/theNOWnation/). If this resonates with you, follow our journey. Let’s start NOW, because if not NOW, when?
The answer would be, sadly, never.