At 25, life got real for me. I got served the sort of challenge that knocks you flat on your ass. It was yet another failed startup with my childhood buddy: my brother. I’d had enough, and I wanted to take back control. No longer could I live a life that wasn’t in line with my purpose.
I left all the money, significance, nightclubs, nice cars, and beautiful women behind. I was in search of greener pastures. Unfortunately for me, greener pastures meant temporary unemployment and a sinking feeling that I wasn’t enough – when are we ever enough, right?
Things quickly started to get real. I’m not the sort of person that can just stand there and do nothing. I got in my BMW that I could no longer afford, drove to the local park, and started making phone calls. It’s the only thing I can do in times of crisis that helps me figure stuff out. The more calls I made, the more I felt that I wasn’t enough. If it was a friend, they had no answers for me other than “Only you can work this out.”
“Geez thanks for nothing,” I would say to myself quietly. Then I would make calls that I was hoping would lead to a new industry or a career I hadn’t thought of. I’d continually get hit with “how much experience you got mate?” When I told them I had none, the call ended quickly.
Out of desperation, I did what any entrepreneur who has failed does, and I started another business with a friend. He’d met this guy who was supposedly married into the Chinese Government, and we thought our little importing business was set. “We’re gonna be rich,” we’d say to ourselves.
Within three months the entire thing collapsed, and our friend turned out to be a total liar and had about as much business skill as a child who’d been at kindergarten for one year. He was a joke, and we felt like an even bigger joke.
The Inner World
By this point, I felt like I had nowhere to go. I was able to see what homeless people saw, and I began to understand how easy it was for your life to spiral out of control. I saw firsthand how things could just suck and you could feel so powerless to fight back against it.
No one would hire me, and I’d lost all my entrepreneurial swagger. It sucked big time, and my options were quickly running out. Somehow, I can’t quite remember, I discovered personal development. It was sold to me through some YouTube video as a miracle cure.
I had nothing else, so I decided to run with it. Quickly this giant man called Tony Robbins spoke to me like a voice from up above and said quite clearly “Tim, fix your inner world, and your outer world will prosper.”
Easier said than done Tony! Still, I committed to giving it a go even though it still seemed a bit “woo woo.” I’d walk around the block late at night rebuilding my life with his audiotapes.
“I became the observer of myself, and I watched my thoughts like clouds passing through the sky”
Suddenly, I could see things that were previously invisible. Things such as: my health sucked; girls mostly dated me because of the car I drove, and left me before three months had passed; I had zero goals; I was obsessed with money; I never gave anything to anyone; I was a smart ass; and the list goes on. I was essentially flawed in a major way across all areas of my life.
The light bulb moment – small steps
The moment that changed it all was when I started taking action. What I did differently this time, though, was to take small steps. I didn’t try and do stuff that was massively out of my reach. I did:
– Ten minutes of exercise a day
– Read a chapter of an inspiring book
– Bought some indoor plants to improve my mood and air quality
– Stopped watching the news
– Went to some networking events
– Made it a habit to give more
– Travelled the world despite my fear of flying
I dealt with fear
The last point is probably the most important. For many years I adopted my mom’s unhealthy fear of flying. I thought it was dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. As a result, I’d never really gone anywhere, and this depressed the hell out of me.
I felt like a prisoner in my own city. As the personal development journey continued, I became convinced to suck it up. I jumped on a sixty-minute flight and flew to an Unleash The Power Within seminar. At first I thought it was a cult, then I quickly drank the Kool Aid. I was high on energy, inspired, and it felt awesome!
Had I have never dealt with the fear and took this first step, I suspect I would be still living in fear. It was this one flight where I conquered my fear that paved the way for everything else that followed. The podcasts, viral blog posts, overseas trips, and the opportunities to hang with mega influencers would never have been possible if I didn’t make the decision that enough was enough.
Believe in yourself
As I started conquering other fears, I began to re-develop my confidence. I felt like that eighteen-year-old entrepreneur again that could try anything to make a buck. The difference was that this time it had to have meaning and purpose.
I was wiser. I felt like I was becoming my own version of Yoda. It was bloody exciting, and the journey continues. So the fear was the trigger, and that led me to start believing in myself.
While realigning your beliefs and values is crucial to the transformation process, the first person I began to believe in again was myself.
I thought, “If I was successful as an entrepreneur once, who says I can’t do it again? Who’s going to stop me?” From this point on I had a sparkle in my big blue eyes. I applied to work at my dream organisation.
The plan was to rebuild my sales skills, network my face off, save some money, and then find out what’s next. Over the next few years, I improved myself in every single way.
The birth of a new calling
I found a website called Addicted2Success, and I began writing about what I’d learned. Several blog posts went viral, and I had found my calling. My calling was to inspire the world through entrepreneurship and personal development. The way I do this and the platforms I use to do so change every year.
“Through rock bottom, we discover our faults and get the opportunity to improve them, one small step at a time”
Through this process, we find out who we truly are. Our perspective changes and our life becomes about giving. Through giving, we get more fulfillment and discover what our true gift is. Once we know our gift, it’s our job to exploit it with every breath we have left in our body until the day we die.
It’s not only our job, but our life purpose to live with passion and seize the moment. Don’t wait until you become unemployed like I did. Don’t wait until you narrowly miss cancer like I did, and realize that our time on this planet is limited.
Go out there, get amongst it, get excited, find your tribe, and become who you already know you can be!
If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net
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