I’ve had the good fortune of experiencing life from many different angles:
- I struggled with obesity as a child. I started experimenting with various strategies for weight loss when I was 10 years old. I weighed 180 lbs at the time. Despite massive amounts of effort and literal blood, sweat, and tears, for the next 7 years I only grew heavier. At my heaviest, I was 17 years old and I weighed 305 lbs. That year I managed to make some fundamental changes in my diet and I lost 80 lbs in 8 months. Since then I’ve only grown wiser with how I manage my health.
2000 – 2014
- I have never liked school but I worked extremely hard at it and eventually graduated college with honors with a degree in Electrical Engineering in 2005 from the University of Houston.
- I worked as an Engineer for two fortune 500 Companies and quickly realized that it wasn’t for me. After experiencing massive amounts of depression, I eventually walked away. In August of 2007, I joined the US Army with the hopes of becoming a Special Forces Soldier (AKA – Green Beret). After successfully navigating the Qualification Course, I served as a Special Forces Medic in Afghanistan…
Afghanistan Feb 2011 – Feb 2012
- When I joined the Army I was $60,000 dollars in debt. While in training I lived a very simple lifestyle and was able to pay off all my debt in 3 years. During the remaining 2.5 years of my enlistment I managed to save another $60,000. That’s a $120,000 Dollar swing. I’m very proud of that!
While these processes were challenging in and of themselves, there were also the difficulties of life in the midst of trying to stay on course: death in my family, failing relationships, failed businesses etc. The unforeseen adversity that visits all of us. Today, more than ever, I have realized that persistence through these difficulties have developed me at the core. Specifically, the choice to forge ahead in the midst of difficulty/resistance/chaos… the choice to keep going in the face of doubt… the choice to completely empty myself, in a failing effort, repeatedly, persistently… Those choices have lead to more grit, more heart, more courage, more empathy, etc. The traits we all desire…
With the knowledge and understanding I’ve gained from these experiences, I make it my goal to challenge people to be intentional in developing themselves. Personal Responsibility is incredibly important, yet incredibly difficult to cultivate in a society filled with instant gratification. Success is not about gifts, genetics, socioeconomic factors, etc. It’s about effort… It’s about ownership… It’s about taking whatever life gives you and going as hard as you possibly can with it. It’s about setting goals and exhausting yourself in a failed attempt… Then, finding the courage to set new goals and go all out, again. This process develops character and this is what I teach.
Dream Big! Think Critically! Work Hard!