As I walked through the doors to the bar, my head hung low from another painfully long day at the office, I glanced up to see an old friend sitting there with a big smile.
The truth was that I really didn’t want to be out having a beer. All I really wanted was to be at home sitting on my couch watching Seven Pounds for the fourth time in as many days.
I was in a shitty place emotionally and physically having been recently separated and away from my daughters for the first time ever. I was sad, lonely, and just plain fucking depressed.
And as I began to spin my tale of woe to my friend, she stopped me dead in my tracks and promptly told me to shut the fuck up. She told me that my “problems” were figments of my imagination and that if I wanted to hear a truly sad story, she would gladly tell me about her friend who was recently diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer. He was my age and had 2 young daughters as well.
She spent the better part of 2 hours detailing all the things I had going for me and how she couldn’t understand why I was so fucking negative. I had so much to live for and yet was wallowing in misery and despair.
But most importantly, she reminded me that I had 2 beautiful daughters who needed to see their father happy. She reminded me of why I needed to find a way to be happy and why I had to do it like..now.
Yes, it was a big wake up call and one I desperately needed.
I walked into that bar feeling alone, lost, and near hopeless and a few short hours later I had a mission. A mission to turn myself around and change my life.
And I did just that. She contacted me every day for a few weeks and held me accountable to the changes I said I would make. And she never let me off the hook or took my bullshit excuses.
And slowly I started adopting new habits and making better decisions. And slowly my life began to turn around..
And in six short months, my life had done about as big a turn around as one can have. I had quit my soul sucking job of 11 years, was in better shape that I had been in 15 years, and was doing work that I loved.
And it was then that I met my friend Seth for what turned out to be his big wake up call.
I’ve known Seth for 6 or 7 years and although he is a great guy, he is fucking miserable. A cynic if there ever was one who uses self deprecating humor prolifically in an overt attempt to deflect his insecurities.
When I met him he was working in a large grocery chain and had been for 15 years. He was in middle management, but was stuck playing the corporate bullshit game. There were few doubts in his mind as to what he would be doing for the rest of his working life.
Six months after my wake up call at the bar, I met Seth at that very same spot. And as we were sitting at the bar discussing how shitty he felt about where he was in his life, I thought to myself “is this how I sounded all those months ago”? I hope the fuck not!
But that was me.
I knew exactly where he was coming from and I knew that I had the ability to help him change it. Just like my friend had given me a much needed slap in the face, I wanted to do the same for Seth.
His life had spiraled out of control and the stress (and a lot of extra weight) had sucked him down a deep hole and I wanted to hit him square in the face and scream as loud as I could “WAKE THE FUCK UP DUDE!!”
I reminded him that we had this same conversation five years earlier and that if he didn’t make some big changes now, we would be having it again in another five years. And I wasn’t going to let that happen.
I shared my story with him and told him that he was wasting the best years of his life. And as an intelligent, witty, and caring man, he possessed all the tools necessary to do something that made him happy. He wasn’t trapped in his job as he believed and I told him there were a ton of things he could pursue.
His immediate reaction was not a surprise:
- I’m scared to death of failing
- I don’t know what I am passionate about
- I have a family to feed
- I don’t know how to do anything else
And I kept thinking the whole time we spoke. How can I help this guy? Here’s a guy who is surrounded by negative influences and has no self confidence. He needed someone who saw his potential and was willing to tell him about it.
And I was that person.
But I knew as soon he left the bar he would resume his lifestyle without missing a beat. Sure, at the bar he was fired up and motivated; ready to kick ass and make big changes. I actually inspired him so much that he actually said “where do I sign up”?
And I knew at that moment that I could help this man and many others just like him.
But how I thought? How exactly could I help people like Seth?
By not only coaching them on getting their shit together but by holding them accountable, challenging them as they haven’t been before, and honestly caring. I could use my life experiences and the fact that I had made radical changes in my own life to help others do the same thing.
Thus the idea for my Wake The Fuck Up Accountability Program was born and is something I am proud to offer as of today.
Why I am doing this is because I cannot stand seeing people in self imposed prisons like my friend was. A man who knows there is a better way to live but is paralyzed by fear. And much like me, this man would never have never taken action without a little prodding (or a huge kick in the nuts).
And I want to provide that kick 🙂
Today, Seth is a changed man. He took a promotion at work, changed his entire outlook on his career, started going to the gym, began reading self improvement books, and is so much happier. I recently had dinner with him and his family and I was amazed at the difference I saw in him. There was life in his eyes for the first time and it was incredible to see.
I can’t take credit for what he’s accomplished and he has done a great deal of work on himself, but he recently told me that our conversation was the catalyst for all the changes he’s made. And it was because I called him out on his bullshit, kept on him week after week, opened his eyes to new possibilities, and honestly cared about him, that I was able to help him.
It Only Takes One To Ignite The Fire
Many of you are stuck. You’re in an endless rut of work/life and it sucks. Sure you want to be happier, do something you enjoy for a living, and be more fulfilled. But you don’t have the confidence to do it yourself. You don’t know where to start. You don’t believe you can do it.
But it only takes one person to believe in you.
There are countless stories of people who rose to new heights because they had the belief of a single person; a champion if you will. Just like principal Joe Clark believed in his student Thomas Sams when nobody else did in Lean On Me, sometimes we need that extra push.
Having someone to believe in you and hold you accountable is invaluable yet most of us don’t have that person. Our family and friends love us and want the best for us, but they are busy with their own lives.
They don’t have time to call you every day and tell you to go to the gym. They don’t have time to remind you each morning why you’re building your business. They don’t have time to sit your ass down and confront you on your bullshit excuses as to why you aren’t fulfilling your commitments.
How many times have you told yourself you were going to start working out again and didn’t? How about changing that diet and working on losing that 20 pounds of fat hovering around your gut and ass?
Now how about that time your friend threw down a challenge to see who could lose the most weight in 3 months? Did you treat that a little different? Of course you did because your ass was on the line. You were accountable.
Who are you accountable to right now, really? Your significant other? I don’t think so. They love you unconditionally and will support you regardless of what you’re doing.
You need someone who will get in your face and tell you the blunt truth. If you’re fucking up, then you need to know and you need to know how to fix it.
So Much Pain
What upsets me the most right now is seeing/hearing/reading people’s heartfelt frustrations and desperate cries for help and I came across a comment on Scott Dinsmore’s site the other day, which really hit me hard.
I currently zombie-walk my way through a corporate America “9 to 5″ job where my only motivation is the paycheck that barely pays my bills every month. I truly believe that if I had access to one or more people who refused to let me give up and who had a wealth of knowledge to share with me, I could finally step away from the cubicle farm and go out on my own. My current situation wouldn’t cause me as much panic and feelings of hopelessness if I had even one person who believed in my pursuit of a non-traditional income path.
When I read this all I could think about are millions of people in this world thinking and feeling the exact same way. And I know I won’t change the world with my program, but I can be the one person who helps YOU change.
To find out more about The Wake The Fuck Up Accountability Program, click here.