The Turnaround, by Doug Grady

If you would have told me 19 months ago that by now I would be an author, have a youtube hit and be in the best shape of my life I don't know that I would have believed you.

Less than two years ago I was heavily in debt, full of self-doubt, and struggling through a mid-life crisis on several levels. Today my first book, The Ripple Effect is complete, High Achievers 3.0 has been launched, and I am preparing for the most exciting performance of my life.

"Live with passion!" -Tony Robbins

Life these days is filled with activities I am passionate about. I am part of a team I am excited to work with. I get to exercise, write, create, volunteer, perform, teach and coach. I am living a life consistent with the person I have always wanted to be. Don't get me wrong- I haven't "arrived." Now is simply very different (and much better) than the not too distant past.

I paused today to ask the same question I asked myself almost two years ago when I felt helpless, hopeless, and out of control.

"Well, how did I get here?"

I have distinguished four core components in my turnaround:

1. Surrender. I prayed. I had prayed before, often. I prayed for guidance, wisdom and clarity; for the ability to make good decisions. These may seem like intelligent prayers, but when I prayed them they were nothing more than various ways of saying, Help ME get better at getting what I want. Something was different about this prayer. It came from a different place, one of no agenda; open to whatever response I received. I asked to be the man God made me to be. Almost immediately I became present to this truth: I had been given much and was by contrast, giving very little. My prayer was answered initially in the form of:
2. Physical exercise. I believe intense, consistent physical exercise to be the single most important discipline I engaged in to begin my turnaround. After nearly five months of a sedentary lifestyle, I exercised at least 30 minutes per day every day for 78 days straight. Since that time I have maintained a minimum of 45 minutes per day, five days a week. Discipline in this area spread to discipline in every significant area of my life. This led me to:
3. People. I reconnected with some. I let go of others. I went out of my way to be around people I respected, trusted, and wanted to grow with. Along the way I was introduced to Day Adeogba in a Saturday morning boot camp. Day became my friend, mentor, and personal trainer. I went to three to five networking meetings per week. I invested time with people I met- not to make a sale, simply to connect. I became actively involved in a Christian men's group called Ironmen. A strategic alliance with BNI was strengthened when I met David Alexander, now CNO of High Achievers. I began to consciously choose my:
4. Lifestyle. Slowly but surely unwanted behaviors and bad habits were replaced with people, activities, thoughts, and experiences consistent with the person I knew I could be. In addition to taking care of business, I took time to learn and grow. I started writing music, blogging, and performing for anyone who would listen. Church, family, and service became more of a priority than ever before in my life. I took care of my body with better nutrition and health habits. I trained for and completed three Tough Mudders in 2011.

It didn't happen over night. In fact many of my endeavors, particularly business and financial, took longer than I thought that they would. Some still are. But it almost didn't matter. I was beginning to live the life I always wanted but had never quite realized. Not just glimpses here and there, but fully embracing a lifestyle of achievement.

"Thinking is the hardest work there is which is, the probable reason why so few people engage in it." -Henry Ford

Sometimes you just gotta sit back, take a deep breath, and reflect. No matter where you are on your journey, right now is the perfect time to do this. If you choose not to do it now, schedule yourself at least an hour to give yourself this gift within the next two days. Take your time. Be where you are. Reflect for a few minutes on the answers to each question.

How did I get here?
How is my life different now from a year ago?
Am I closer to being the person I know I can be?
What am I most grateful for?
Am I living the life I truly want to live?

If not, maybe it starts with a prayer, a push-up, and a person.

Author's Bio: 

Doug Grady is President of High Achievers Network. Doug has been studying and teaching the pathways to personal potential for over 20 years. Exciting, entertaining and enlightening are words invariably used to describe his unique seminars and workshops. Doug is also a musician and the author of the book, The Ripple Effect.