Updated: Jan 28
Today marks the 10 year anniversary of my last day as a cop. I sat in an unmarked police truck driven by my chief. He handed me the badge I wore during my service. He said I deserved this symbol of integrity. I am grateful for this gesture in more ways than I can express; because I gave everything to my career as a law enforcement officer.
A few days later, I would be diagnosed with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. A few weeks later, I found myself walking up a set of stairs. The stairs belonged to a friend. I was separated from my ex and I was living with my best friend and his family. I was climbing these stairs intending to collect my pistol so I could end my life. The gun I was seeking was the same gun I used during my academy days; and as an off duty weapon. This gun had protected my life; but was now the center of efforts to end my life.
As I climbed these stairs I unexpectedly received a phone call from my ex-wife's uncle. He said he felt he needed to call. "Your damn right", I said; "because I need someone to talk to". I didn't tell him he interrupted my intentions to blow my head of. At the time this information was not important. His phone call ended a feeling I had no other way to end the deepest pain I had ever felt.
10 years later, I am not the same man. In fact I am better than I ever have been. This is the reason I have created this platform; I want to share what I have learned; because too many are confused by a path which not only brings peace; but growth.
I need to be clear. The last 10 years of my life have been the hardest. I wanted so badly to quit; but something kept pushing me forward. Every time I reached my limit; every time I was confronted with something I simply could not overcome, I found someone willing to help. I am eternally grateful for these people. Because every time I wanted to quit, someone was placed in my way, to help accomplish something I could not do alone.
Here's the crux of the issue. We are in this life as individuals; but we do not have to live this life alone (Wade, 2007). There are 7.8 billion people on this planet. Is this not evidence partnerships are key to human success?
Have you ever wondered why so many people feel alone, lost, and broken? The answer is simple; but takes actual experience to understand completely. This is where this platform can help. I have accomplished things, in the last 10 years, many say is impossible. I have accomplished things others could not; because they did not understand the path.
One example comes from my law enforcement mentor. Kevin was physically strong and carried a burning passion which seems wholly missing in this world. When I was a rookie cop he took an opportunity to chastise a willingness to relax at the end of my shift. He walked up to me, looked me square in the eye, and said, "how dare you sit when people need to go to jail". Kevin was not talking about average, everyday, people. Kevin was talking about people who are willing to do anything to get what they want; people who use pain, control, and force to gain advantage in this world.
Kevin was right. I was sitting; just waiting for my shift to end. From that day forward I never just sat. I worked harder than others; and learned what it took to use the law to serve and protect. This was Kevin's lesson; we all have a limited amount of time; we need to learn how to best use this time; otherwise our time is wasted.
Only a few short years later; Kevin ended a graveyard shift. He drove his private car up a canyon. He intentionally pulled in front of a large semi-truck. There was barley anything left to bury. I did not understand, at the time, why Kevin gave up. I understand perfectly now; because I had the same feeling when I climbed a set of stairs intending to use my pistol.
Kevin did so much for so many; but he was not perfect. In the end, he did not have an uncle who felt he needed to call. But it goes further than this. Kevin lacked the understanding of how anyone can overcome desperate emotions that lead to extreme choices. This is my intention with this website. I am trying to light a beacon for those who struggle. I am trying help folks create the success they deserve. This effort is not as polished as it should be; but it's good enough to get started. And with time, and continued effort; if I don't quit; this will grow from good into better and better into best.
As humans we follow the same path. We start out good. We push forward trying to become better; trying to become our best. But this life is confusing and pain often blocks the very things that give us what we need.
Notice I didn't say want. There's a tremendous difference between need and want. Although the two are inseparably connected.
I know there are some who think they are happy; I thought the same thing only a few short years ago; but I found, with hard experience, what I thought was happiness was nothing like the real thing. When I was finally willing to look; when I started embracing a life of challenge and difficulty; when I learned the "right way", I created real peace, real joy, and real happiness.
This is my point; many think they know peace; many think they are happy. Perhaps they are; but I ask if they could be happier? Could you be happier? Or are you one of many who have adopted a cynical view of life simply believing happiness is a farce or an impossibility. Or, are you blind to the true nature of happiness, destined to walk through life devoid of understanding, missing what happiness really is?
I found success, real success, requires three elements associated to what, why, and how. I need to know what I want, why I want it, and how I can get it. I am sure Kevin wanted the world to be a better place. His reasoning was likely the same as mine; because he could not allow the darkness to win. Kevin's what and why gave him passion and power; just like my what and why gives me energy. Most can identify what they want and why they want it. What blocked Kevin's success was an understanding of how he can accomplish his desire.
Heres the grand key!!!
The "how" is what kills success; and people. Most struggle to understand how to do those things that are so very important. This failure is hard to overcome. And being honest, most people fail because the fail to keep trying. Kevin gave up. I was on my way but was stopped by someone who care enough to give me his time. The "how" is what's hard and is the reason I created this philosophy, this website, the pricing plans, and even the merchandise we sell. The "how" is where most people fail; because the how is the hardest part.
I know how to create success; I know how because I didn't give up when things got hard; when things got hard I got to work understanding what works and what does not; you can learn to create this outcome for yourself.
Lets end where we started; I didn't blow my head off; I wanted to; but I did not give up. Would you like to know how I accomplished this difficult task?
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Wade, Chad A. (2007). Cracking the Producers Code. Stockton, CA: More Heart Than Talent Publishing.