Honest confession: I’m a person of extremes, sometimes more than I’d like to be. I typically only have two levels: absolutely everything I have, or nothing at all.

Even when I was younger I was extreme.

In elementary school, our teacher brought us into the computer lab and showed us how to build basic websites. While most kids thought this was “cool”, they shrugged it off afterward and forgot about it. Not me, though. I went out the next day to invest in a book on web design (well actually I pleaded my parents to buy it for me hehe), then spent hundreds of hours as a 12-year old learning how to program websites through HTML, CSS and Javascript… eventually turning it into a business.

After web design got old I started a tech blog in High School. So while most kids my age were partying and playing video games, I spent thousands of hours writing articles for my blog. I wrote close to 2,000 articles in the span of a couple years, resulting in a gross of $500,000 in 2012.

My extremism has been both a blessing and a curse.

This is the story when I first discovered I possessed an innate steadfast determination that took me towards the brink of D-E-A-T-H.

When I was about 11 years old, going into Grade 7, I made a commitment to myself that I was going to take Track and Field seriously. By majority vote, I was apparently the “fastest” kid in my school when it came to running both short and long distances. So after doing well in a few races during Grade 6, I wanted to step things up for my final year in Elementary School.

I started “training”.

Of course, at the time I had z-e-r-o clue about what to do in order to improve my fitness levels. I came to my own conclusion that if I wanted to get faster and stronger I would have to run… a lot and of course start eating cleaner.

Sure enough, I did just this.

During lunch break I’d convince my friends to play tag, so I could practice sprinting. After school I’d do a few laps before my parents picked me up. When I got home, I’d run again. 10-minutes turned into 30-minutes, 30-minutes became an hour. Eating clean turned into not eating candy, then slowly cutting out other items which as I kid I made myself believe were bad for you.

I’m sure you can guess what happened next.

  • Instead of growing stronger, I became weaker.
  • Instead of becoming faster, I became slower.

Here’s where things took a turn for the worse: I believed it was because I wasn’t training hard enough and eating clean enough.

So what did I do next?

I started exercising with even more I-N-T-E-N-S-I-T-Y and I began cutting out even more food I deemed unhealthy, which actually wasn’t. I’d tell my parents things like “I wasn’t hungry,” “I didn’t like it” or sometimes I’d even sneakily dispose of the food.

I did this up until a point where I became so skinny and fatigued my parents took me to a doctor.

After a quick examination, the Doctor looked worriedly at my parents and told them I had to be admitted to a hospital N-O-W.

I would then spend the next 30-days in a hospitalized state. Apparently, I was “weeks” away from dying due to lack of nutrition and overexertion. The diagnosis? Orthorexia and compulsive exercise disorder. To paint a picture, I lost so much muscle mass that after I was discharged from the hospital walking was physically challenging.

My arms? Toothpicks. Literally.

You can see in the pic below, which was a couple years after this happened, just how skinny I was (not to mention how long my hair was).

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It’s safe to say I didn’t become a track star that year. In fact, that year was probably one of the hardest years of my life. It consisted of mandatory counseling for a few months to make sure I didn’t slip back into my previous state and doctors telling me I had potentially caused irreversible damage to my body that would make gaining muscle a challenge the rest of my life.

What I did learn from the experience, however, was the POWER OF THE MIND when channeled towards a specific goal. Albeit my mind nearly killed me, it pushed my body to do exactly what I told it to do. Even though I was quite literally running on fumes.

It is this experience that I accredit a lot of the success I’ve seen in both business and life.

It made me aware of how powerful your mind is and how it can be controlled to accomplish whatever you set your sights on. It taught me the dangers of extremes, the importance of diligently approaching everything you do in life and quite frankly made me appreciate my life more having been only weeks away from D-E-A-T-H.

It’s my hope this has drilled into you the power of your mind when used both incorrectly and correctly. Although most people’s minds don’t take them to brink of death, most are leading them to a slow death by tricking them into pursuing instant gratification and accepting mediocracy and complacency as normal.

Sad fact: the majority of people rather live inside of their heads by words like maybe, someday, hopefully when it comes to their deepest desires instead of actually putting in the work to manifest them into reality. Hint: maybe, someday and hopefully never comes around.

I urge you to make a commitment to yourself to kill Mr. Maybe and replace it with two words.

I will. 

  • I will treat every day like the beginning of a new life.
  • I will “sweat” daily.
  • I will turn off the television.
  • I will no longer read filth, rage and click-bait websites.
  • I will treat my body like a Ferrari instead of a Honda Civic.
  • I will be more conscious of my finances and pursue wealth over riches.
  • I will visualize what success looks like to ME.
  • I will keep moving, fighting, struggling and giving the world my all.
  • I will fall asleep a better man than I woke up.

You’re either growing into more or shrinking into less.

What’s it going to be?