This photo is from today, just as I prepared to have my last skating workout of the season. I’ve always had a very strong innate sense of determination, vision and the will to succeed – I’m lucky for that, even though being a highly sensitive and sentimental boy was hard at times.
That Intense Feeling of Wanting More From Life – Listen To It!
Holy crap it took me a long time to trust myself – I had major issues feeling like absolute shit about myself due to my Mom early on in life, then my teachers at school (I briefly talk about it in my up-coming book, Beyond ADHD). Accidentally setting my bed on fire and making the local newspaper, failing grade four (after my parents separated, which gutted me), having a classmate grab my report card and read it out loud during recess – those things add up during a dark time in life (for example). Childhood was a son of a bitch at times to put it mildly. I had major trauma I was dealing with. I was also acting out in unfortunate ways – screaming for help through my actions.
Anyway, from those days of major self-doubt, getting into trouble and building a large dose of rage toward my Mother (and women in general), the sheer stubborn will to be successful remained fierce, though I had no idea how to channel it, balance it and stay stable so I’d actually be able to succeed at something in life. I have learned to listen to my intuition more than ever after forty years on this planet. In hindsight, it saved me.
Trying To Do What We “Should” Instead of What Screams Inside of Us
This is where the rubber meets the road – this is where we either summon the courage to take our own path in life, whatever the interest happens to be at the time, or don’t (and suffer in any number of ways as a result). I have taken so many paths, tried so many things (and quit them) that it exhausted me and those around me on many occasions.
You know what? I don’t regret any of it.
It has all taught me about myself, challenging me to learn the formula for long-term success in life. Let me tell you – it’s one hell of a delicate dance at times, being so determined and needing to learn to manage that hunger with balance each day. Balance means something different to each of us, but slow and steady is a saying that’s got huge truth to it.
It’s easy to get caught up in trying to be like your peers, owning 2 cars, having 2.5 children, getting the mind-numbing job at the local corporate office or whatever – this is where listening to your heart (or not) can make or break you and I. We’ve been taught how to think (and much of what to think) by parents, teachers, the media and our peers for so damn long that listening to our own internal “compass” can scare the hell out of us. This is why many mid-life crises happen – identity crisis is something I know only too well.
What Motivates Me To Go All-Out Toward My Goals? Knowing I’m Going To Die
I’ll be damned if I’m going to die “with my music still in me,” as Dr. Wayne Dyer said not to do in one of his books. Over the last five years or so, a strong sense of urgency has really pushed me forward, though it pushed me to a panic attack, suicide attempt, the need to commit myself to the local psych ward (where my Brother Ryan stayed before killing himself in 2008) and other scary moments at different times since 2011. I was on NINE psych meds from 2010 to 2015 before finally going off with supervision, discovering my misdiagnosis of ADHD (which is horribly over and misdiagnosed in North America, especially) and deciding to speak out about all of it through social media (a life-changing decision!). I also had a mini-stroke about 18 months ago, which scared the hell out of my wife and myself.
Going through the worst, the darkest and the most heart-wrenching moments forged me into a freight train for raising awareness, inspiring and teaching others through my own experience. I always felt “born to achieve” somehow inside, as weird as that might sound. I was always a dreamer as a kid, and I’m glad I had that gift, a blessing that also seemed like a curse at times, but it ultimately has me where I am today as the largest voice on Twitter in my subject matter, with half a million followers and counting (real followers, people I actually engage and speak with!).
This isn’t ego to me – this is PURPOSE. My brother didn’t die in vain, my suicide attempt and decades of inner battles weren’t for nothing – I’m just getting started in letting others know that they (you) are NOT alone in the desire to lead your own way in life, seeking deeper meaning, fulfillment, joy and success.
As always, thank you for taking the time to let me share my passion and purpose with you. Keep going with courage – there’s no perfect way to do this – it sure as hell isn’t a race, and age only means that dreams might change a bit. There are always new things to do and be passionate about! I promise you that.