When I CURED myself of a lifelong suicidal Depression, I thought that would be it.
The sun would shine on me all the time. The birds would serenade me with love songs. I’d be a sagely Bodhisattva, sprinkling my joy and wonderfulness on everyone and I’d have it made.
Life doesn’t work that way. Or, at least it didn’t yet.
In 2008, the Depression was long gone, but my life was a fucking disaster:
I couldn’t hold a job washing dogs at PetCo and I found myself homeless for a New York minute. The economy was in the tank and slacking was no longer an option.
One night, I slept on the floor of the Bowery Mission, surrounded by people who had given up on life being anything more than living hell. A volunteer gave me a sweater. If he hadn’t, I would have frozen to death.
On another night, I fell asleep on a bus bench, snow falling on and around me, in that sweater. I didn’t solve all my problems in a flash of insight on that bench, but I knew that I had to get my shit together, find a calling, and build myself into someone I could be proud of.
At rock bottom, there was nowhere to go but up.
Even though I got a shit job and a worse apartment, I continued my loser ways until I stumbled onto a book that really got me thinking: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.
It was step one in changing my life. I knew I had to change. I had to sit in the chair and write. I had to learn to listen to the Muses and make my creativity as pure and authentic as possible. I had to change my thinking. I had to WORK.
I wrote a novel that wasn’t good enough and six or seven screenplays that weren’t good enough. I did some sketch comedy (where I was the weakest link) with Pete and Pedro, friends I connected with in writing classes.
I met my wife and best friend in the world — a woman who has more work ethic than I had imagined was possible. She was the winner that I was always too weak and too lazy to be.
HER STRENGTH INSPIRED ME.
I felt *something* pulling me toward a destiny grander and wilder than I could have imagined.
In response to this feeling, I devoted myself to excellence:
I read hundreds of books on personal development, psychology, creativity, entrepreneurship, Shamanism, improving my writing, philosophy (particularly Stoicism and Zen), acting, fortune-telling, psychedelics, human behavior, painting, and much more. I read Paulo Coelho (a writer whose approach is very different from Steven Pressfield‘s, but who reaps similar fruit from his efforts) and Tim Ferriss and James Altucher and Neal Goldsmith and…
More important than reading, I experimented with every idea I found interesting and every fundamental skill or concept I thought had potential or hidden gold I could coax out with MASTERY.
I watched videos. I analyzed who I was, what I was doing, what I wanted, and how to get there. I tested and challenged myself as much as I could.
Every skill I needed was in my personal queue. And I had no choice but to develop the discipline to learn.
Personal Development became my RELIGION.
I trained my subconscious to directly inform my conscious mind. I developed new long-form meditation techniques to forge a lifeline to the Muses that is so crystal clear and so pure that I turned creativity into a fountain that I can access whenever I want, flipping it on and off like a light switch.
I developed habits that were self-correcting and I took methods I found several experts recommending and improved upon them (radically, in some cases). I found middle ground between conflicting ideas that had tremendous merit on each side (As A Man Thinketh vs Improv Wisdom, for example).
My anxieties (and I had more than my fair share) evaporated. I went from feeling alienated and alone to loving and loved. Shy and awkward Robert blossomed into “willing to talk to almost anyone, anywhere, at any time” Robert. Public speaking became something I love and enjoy. My insecurity was replaced by curiosity. My arrogance was replaced with CONFIDENCE. My self-loathing vanished, with self-love in its place — love that spills out into the world around me.
I became a person I never imagined I could be.
In a window of time (2016-18), I experimented with several company and book ideas. Everything had potential and everything failed.
I WAS GROWING TOO FAST.
As soon as I started working on something, I quickly outgrew it. The waves of radical change were so rapid that I could barely recognize the person I was the week before. If I hadn’t done so much work on myself, I could have spilled my marbles all over a NYC sidewalk.
When I looked around, I noticed friends and family struggling in their lives and I took the time to guide those willing to learn into my new religion. Those who stuck with it are seeing results today. Miraculous results. Results they never imagined were possible.
When my “rapid growth phase” started to slow over the course of Autumn 2018, the structure of what I was working on became apparent: It’s not a system comprised of steps that lead to a mythical promised land of *somewhere*.
Impactful, lasting Personal Development is a collection of different, overlapping SYSTEMS.
12 Systems you can implement and experiment with and adapt to to your life and your rhythm.
12 Systems that grow with you.
12 Systems I will introduce you to, here, for free.
My Mission is to Inspire you to reach your tremendous potential, to boldly put it to work, and to share your unique abilities with the world.
I’m still not that fully-formed Bodhisattva. But I wake up every day LOVING MY LIFE and you can, too.