Episode 93

Russell Creed: From Survival to Being Alive - The Great Conquest

On today's episode of the Becoming the Big Me podcast your host Djemilah Birnie has another special guest for The Great Conquest project. Djemilah was so impressed by Russell's story and she is so excited to share it with you. Russell is the founder of Invictus Life where he helps men to find their way back to their inspired masculine soul, the soul that was sacrificed in the pursuit of being who they thought they were supposed to be.  Russell helps his students to see that they are Unconquerable and that they have the power to create whatever reality they desire.

Russell has an incredibly powerful story of conquest that will inspire so many people.

When Russel was in the prime of his career, he was diagnosed with a rare liver disease. He spent 6 years on the transplant list, while maintaining a Chief Actuary (act-chew-ary) role and providing for a family of 7. Overcoming the disease through a liver transplant was really only the first battle for Russel, for what he uncovered during his physical recovery was a soul & identity that had been buried in through his efforts to please others and do what he thought was "right". The real conquest for Russel was the conquest over the battle that emerged as he revived his soul.

This is Russell’s story.

If you would like to connect and learn more about Russell Creed you can visit his website at , www.theInvictusLife.com 

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To get out her new book visit bit.ly/greatconquest

To Connect More with Djemilah Visit www.djemilah.com

>>Learn more about the Becoming the Big Me: The Great Conquest book visit www.thegreatconquest.com 

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Becoming the Big Me: The Great Conquest is a collection of empowering, motivating, and educational stories that will tug at your heart strings while empowering you to step into your own Big Me potential. From addiction, illness, lack of confidence, loss of loved ones, PTSD, and more the contributors of this book have walked through darkness and emerged victorious.

The Becoming the Big Me: The Great Conquest book has been brought to you by a collection of leaders paving the path of the future in their given fields. Within its pages you will find insight from Djemilah Birnie, Sharon Lechter, Nick Wingo, Dr. Frances Malone, Jenny Emerson, Russel Creed, Jennifer Aube, Valerie Fischer, Cory & JoJo Rankin, Peter Neilson, Kiki Rae, Tanya Milano-Snell, Dannah Macalinga-Pedrigal, and Kira Birnie.

This book was envisioned and brought together by Djemilah Birnie, the founder of Becoming the Big Me.

After overcoming many obstacles that could easily break a person, Djemilah has become passionate about helping others face their glass ceilings and break into the expansiveness of their potential.

Djemilah believes that we are all on a journey... There is never a point in which you have "Made It". Becoming the Big Me is about choosing to step into your greater potential each and every day. It is about learning and sometimes messing up but always getting back up.

This book has been compiled to showcase the journeys of overcoming. However, through this journey it becomes so much more. As each author told their story Djemilah noticed a common thread- something that made all of these amazing humans stand out even when faced with adversity.

Through the process of this book Djemilah discovered what she calls "the secret to overcoming obstacles and Becoming the Big Me." The greatest secret is the steps are simple and we have all heard them before.... the greatest secret is in the actual doing.

This book features; Djemilah Birnie the best selling author of Luna's Balloon: A Little Book About the Little Things, Sharon Lechter the author of Think and Grow Rich for Women, co author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, and an ambassador to the Napoleon Hill Foundation, Nick Wingo the founder behind building Grit, Dr. Frances Malone the founder of Malone Pediatrics and the Intuitive Parents Collective, Valerie Fischer the woman behind the trademark of Brain Science Selling, Peter Neilson the "Hybrid Guy", Jenny Emerson licensed therapist, Russell Creed the founder of Invictus Life, Tanya Milano-Snell who is on a mission to break generational trauma, Jennifer Aube best selling author of the book Naked Wealth, Kiki Rae the founder of Quantum Creatrix, Cory and JoJo Rankin founders of RFamilyStrong, Dannah Macolinga-Pedrigal VA and mother, and Kira Birnie the daughter of Djemilah Birnie and kid behind A Kid's Perspective.

To learn more about the book you can visit, www.thegreatconquest.com

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Hi! I am your host Djemilah Birnie the founder of Becoming the Big Me. I have been building businesses online since the age of 17. I am passionate about discovering the "secrets" of our world and what is the true difference maker. Why is it that some succeed and others do not? What is it that allows people to get back up and keep going even in the midst of hardships? What truly is the power of purpose? These are the questions that rattle my mind.

I love to write and have published some books, some of them have even hit some charts 😲 You can check them out here: http://bit.ly/djemilahbooks

Ready to start playing BIG and step into your Big Me potential by harnessing the power of your mind? Then make sure you join the free Rewire challenge to get all the tools you need! https://www.djemilah.com/rewirechallenge

Do you want to fall asleep faster, rest deeper, and release the stress of the day? Then it's time for you to experience your best nights rest with the Dreamland Meditation Pack! Over 200 minutes of bedtime meditations to quiet your mind, connect your mind to your body, and bring you to your sleepy time bliss.https://www.djemilah.com/dreammeditation

Don't forget to check out the little lady's podcast "A Kid's Perspective" where she answers your questions on all of life's most pressing issues, in her eyes, a kid! ‎https://akidsperspective.us/

In addition to my online offerings I am extremely passionate about giving back to the local community while cultivating community growth. I am the organizer and host of the Wimberley Women's Circle https://wimberleywomen.com/ , where we gather monthly to learn and heal from different community leaders.

I am also the visionary behind Wimberley Moonlight Farms, a small family owned farm and nursery located in Wimberley, Texas. This is a journey that will take many years as we continue to develop, follow along at https://wimberleymoonlightfarms.com/

My partner and I have also put together a local directory for our town in the Texas Hill Country in which I have been having so much joy going to all of the local hot spots to photograph! Learn more at https://www.wimberley.info/

Let's Connect! #allthelinks ⬇

Website: www.djemilah.com

Blog : www.becomingthebigme.com

Podcast : www.bigmepodcast.com

Books : http://bit.ly/djemilahbooks

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/djemilah/

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/becomingthebigme/

New Book: Becoming the Big Me: The Great Conquest Book: | A Collection of Empowering Stories | By Djemilah Birnie, Sharon Lechter, and Contributing Authors https://www.thegreatconquest.com/

Transcript

Unknown Speaker 0:05

Hello divine souls, Jamila Bernie here with becoming the big me. I'm so excited for this special segment of the becoming the big me podcast. This section of the podcast is dedicated towards sharing the stories of conquest for some incredible individuals. They are also featured in my latest book, becoming the big, the great conquest. In this section of the podcast, we will dive deep into each of their stories and their journeys and their hardships from addiction, PTSD, loss of loved ones and children.

Unknown Speaker 0:52

This segment of the podcast is dedicated towards sharing their stories and in sharing their journeys not only of the hardships but sharing how they overcame.

Unknown Speaker 1:06

To learn more about the author's behind the stories that you are going to hear, go to the great conquest.com And if you would like to purchase a copy of the great conquest book, you can go to bit.li/greatconquestandwithoutfurtherado Let's dive into the amazing journeys

Unknown Speaker 1:34

Hello, hello, you guys. Welcome back to the becoming the big me podcast. I'm your host Djemilah Birnie, and I'm so excited you guys today I have an amazing guest to introduce you guys. Russell creed. Russell is the founder of Invictus life where he helps men to find their way back to their inspired masculine soul, the soul that was sacrificed in the pursuit of being who they thought that they were supposed to be. Russell helps his students to see that they are unconquerable, and that they have the power to create whatever reality it is that they desire. Russell has an incredibly powerful story of conquests that will inspire so many people and I'm so excited to be able to share it with you guys today. When Russell was in the prime of his career, he was diagnosed with a rare liver disease. He spent six years on the transplant list while maintaining a Chief Actuary role and providing for a family of seven. Overcoming the disease through a liver transplant was really only the first battle for wrestle for what he uncovered. During his physical recovery. It was a soul and identity that had been buried in his efforts to please others, and do what he thought was right. The real conquest for Russell was the conquest over the battle that emerged as he revived his soul. Hey, Russell, thank you so much for coming on. To share your story with us today. I know that you have such a very powerful story of overcoming. But before we dive into all of the details, can you give us a little bit of history the the Russell creed backstory?

Unknown Speaker 3:16

Yes. And first of all, thank you for having me here with you today and sharing my story with your guests. It's quite an honor. And I'm very thankful for that opportunity.

Unknown Speaker 3:27

Just to give a little bit of a backstory, I was

Unknown Speaker 3:33

I was one of those guys that was a a super achiever, the straight A student, the guy who went to college, and I studied mathematics, not the easiest subject to study.

Unknown Speaker 3:48

And so I was on a path towards excelling. And most everything that I did.

Unknown Speaker 3:56

When I got married and started out in the job force, I went for the best job I could come up with and that was to become an actuary. At the time, actuary was considered the number one job in the US. And it wasn't an easy path. It was a hard path. You had to study all these exams do everything.

Unknown Speaker 4:18

months, I was spending up to:

Unknown Speaker 4:54

with my health and trying to maintain all the things that I thought I was supposed to do that

Unknown Speaker 5:01

Literally lead, basically marched to the to my deathbed. And that's what I thought I was on it was just a death march, and trying to do all the things that I was supposed to, and finish strong. I was planning on finishing strong.

Unknown Speaker 5:20

Thankfully, I was saved through through some medical, you know, the the medical techniques that we have today. And it was quite a remarkable story and all of that.

Unknown Speaker 5:32

But it was really afterwards that I went through some, what they call the dark night of the soul, when I really started questioning who I was, what I was doing with life. Why was I even here? And is as I struggled with those questions,

Unknown Speaker 5:49

and learned a lot more about who I really was, what my real passions were, that are reemerged and started to create a life that I truly, truly love. Wasn't until then that I really fell in love with, with my wife and my family, and all else that was going on. Before I was religious, going through the motions, and doing all the things that I was supposed to be doing. So I'd love to delve into all of that. With you. Yeah. Do you feel that that the the being diagnosed was the the trigger for you to realize that you weren't fully living a life that you know, you could?

Unknown Speaker 6:32

Actually, it was not the diagnosis. That was the trigger for me. Interestingly enough, I was in a place where I thought, you know, I was doing all the right things. And it was more of why me at that point. Why me, I'm the I'm the guy who's who, following all the rules.

Unknown Speaker 6:54

I was healthy. I was healthy. You know, I had a great career, great family, active in a religious community, active in the scouting community. That's where my boys were at. I wanted to make sure they had the best experience they can have. And so everywhere I went, I was trying to elevate the experience and elevate what was taking place for others.

Unknown Speaker 7:20

And so here I am doing, you know, doing what I thought was all the right things, and I got diagnosed with this very rare disease. And at the time,

Unknown Speaker 7:33

a lot of it was why me? Why me? I've done it all right.

Unknown Speaker 7:38

What kind of punishment Am I getting for doing all the right things?

Unknown Speaker 7:43

thing is it's the liver disease, I never drank. I was pretty much a teetotaler, I wouldn't have, I would share a bottle of wine or champagne with my wife once a year at New Year's.

Unknown Speaker 7:58

And, and Artemi was a bit resentful. I know my brother

Unknown Speaker 8:06

who drink all the time, my father was an alcoholic. And so it was something I avoided. And, and it was in my life. And everyone else was fine. But the guy who avoided alcohol ended up with a liver disease.

Unknown Speaker 8:23

So yeah, it was all why me why me and feeling that victim mentality. The trigger for me really happened after my survival. And I started to re engage in

Unknown Speaker 8:37

life as it was before.

Unknown Speaker 8:40

And it was at that point after going through all the trauma,

Unknown Speaker 8:44

all the pain

Unknown Speaker 8:47

and asking myself, why. Why did I go through all that? Why am I still here. And everyone kept telling me, I was here for a purpose. I was here for a reason. And I was really struggling with trying to figure out that what that purpose was, and that was maddening that I, you know, everyone else saw this thing that I couldn't see.

Unknown Speaker 9:08

And all I can see is that I'm going back to an office, which felt mundane, like wasn't exciting. even remember when I was in college, and I learned about this, this kind of job the actuary, but that's someone I'm never going to do that. And yet, here I was 20 years later, you know that that was my life. driving to work in rush hour traffic an hour each way, was mind numbing for me,

Unknown Speaker 9:38

and being taken away from my family that whole time. And I felt like I was always just, I was just the paycheck. I was the guy that would go out, make the money, come home. And you know, there wasn't a whole lot that happened after that. So I was the paycheck. So that's where I was starting to question really one

Unknown Speaker:

His life about why am I here? Would it have been better off? If I hadn't made it? Then there wouldn't be all this struggle and all this trouble.

Unknown Speaker:

Man, Russell, that hit me really hard. I felt that one. Because I think that that is a battle that many people face in their lives. Maybe it doesn't, you know, manifest itself in the exact way as your story. But we can often find ourselves in very, very similar situations. So that has me curious, how how did you keep going? How did you get yourself to get up each day when, when you didn't really feel like there was much that you were living for?

Unknown Speaker:

That's a great question. And sometimes I look back and wonder that as well.

Unknown Speaker:

During the time,

Unknown Speaker:

the thing that kept me going was really a sense of duty,

Unknown Speaker:

responsibility to provide for my family, I was the sole breadwinner in our household.

Unknown Speaker:

And, you

Unknown Speaker:

know, it's not a small household. It was my wife and five kids.

Unknown Speaker:

They were still young kids.

Unknown Speaker:

And so my main motivation was still make sure that they had as much as I could provide for them.

Unknown Speaker:

At the time, and getting up every day was a challenge. It was very much a challenge, not just because of the lack of motivation, but because

Unknown Speaker:

let me share with you a little bit about what it's like, primary sclerosing cholangitis.

Unknown Speaker:

that okay with you? Yeah, yeah. So it would help if I tell you a little bit about it. Firstly, primary sclerosing. cholangitis is a disease really the Bible. And the Bible is the stuff that

Unknown Speaker:

helps break down all your food and all the things it's very corrosive material. And so inside your liver is this biliary system which looks like a bunch of

Unknown Speaker:

rivers that flow together and dump into your stomach and and and gallbladder so forth, help digest of all those things.

Unknown Speaker:

Except it's very corrosive. And so when your biliary tract starts to deteriorate, that bile starts to back up. It's like having big dams in the river. Right? When there's a dam in the river, it all starts to flood right now, I live near the Mississippi River, and we're having floods at this very moment. So that's what it's like. And this vial backs up in your liver and starts to destroy it, and it becomes hardened.

Unknown Speaker:

And its normal function is to filter and do all the things that your body needs to maintain its stability, there's a reason it's called the liver. It's the thing that keeps you living and it it starts to fail, because it's all clogged up.

Unknown Speaker:

You pretty much end up with cirrhosis. Very much like the liver and an alcoholic. So like an 80 year old alcoholic, which, again, there was the irony that here's the guy who never drank even though his that was for opponent of their family, and he ended up with cirrhosis of the liver.

Unknown Speaker:

And so your liver maintains a lot of things. It helps maintain your energy. It helps maintain your temperature, your body temperature.

Unknown Speaker:

It's again, it's helping to digest your food and so I had PTSD, and that's the short for primary sclerosing cholangitis PSC. Now,

Unknown Speaker:

it's a mouthful, right? So it's very well known in the PSC community that the main symptoms that you feel are fatigue.

Unknown Speaker:

He turned jaundice and start to turn yellow.

Unknown Speaker:

And you have itchiness, itchiness all over your skin. They don't really quite understand what causes that they think it has to do with the bile salts building up in your system. But if you've ever had poison ivy gotten in poison ivy

Unknown Speaker:

that's what it feels like.

Unknown Speaker:

All over your body all the time.

Unknown Speaker:

It's maddening and even even inside your years, I can I can still remember having itchiness inside my ears and I

Unknown Speaker:

couldn't get rid of it. Because you can't do anything in there. As it's mind numbing.

Unknown Speaker:

And so the itchiness was so crazy.

Unknown Speaker:

I remember coming home from work days where I'd pull my socks down afterwards and I would spend 1520

Unknown Speaker:

wanting minutes just scratching my legs, sometimes scratching them off because it's so bad.

Unknown Speaker:

So that was one part of this symptoms that was awful. The second part was this fatigue and the fatigue

Unknown Speaker:

is hard to describe it is so debilitating at times.

Unknown Speaker:

You feel like walking around like a zombie.

Unknown Speaker:

And I remember, like my biggest challenge was actually getting out of bed. On those days, it was it was hard to get out of bed because I was never, I never felt rested, I would sleep 1012 hours a night.

Unknown Speaker:

And I would wake up exhausted.

Unknown Speaker:

And I would still get up,

Unknown Speaker:

put on my clothes,

Unknown Speaker:

hop in the car,

Unknown Speaker:

ride to stay awake on the drive in.

Unknown Speaker:

There were times when I was I was dozing off, not the best thing to be doing in rush hour traffic.

Unknown Speaker:

Nothing ever happened. And then I would go to the office and work all day. And again, the motivation, the thing that got me up every day is knowing that all was dependent on me. That's what I told myself, it was all dependent on me. And then I had to do these things, I had no choice. And so I was being the good soldier

Unknown Speaker:

and marching on. And again, with this mentality that I just have to make it to the end, I really didn't think I was gonna make it beyond that. So keep providing as much as I can.

Unknown Speaker:

While I have time to do that.

Unknown Speaker:

Wow, that's so powerful and coming from a parent to another parent, I can understand the the pole to provide and, and how we will do anything, you know, to provide for our kids. Now I'm curious because so many people end up stuck in that trap. Right, Russell, we get stuck with our with our job in the providing trap that we never feel that we can fully live. Did you I did it? Was there a moment when you realize that you were stuck? I want to I want to start hearing about the awakening?

Unknown Speaker:

Yes.

Unknown Speaker:

That was, as I mentioned before, was after

Unknown Speaker:

African coverage

Unknown Speaker:

after so during the recovery, I was home again for about six, six to eight months. And were you work you were working still through this process through the recovery process? No, no, I actually I worked I worked up right. And so the only cure that they have for for PSP, at this time is a trans. Okay, they don't know how to cure the disease. But what they do is they take the organ out of the body and replace it.

Unknown Speaker:

And so that's I was was essentially waiting for the time if I was able to make it for that to happen. And so I spent six years on the transplant list.

Unknown Speaker:

As soon as they diagnosed me with this disease, I was put on the transplant list. That alone is a six month process and going through all this and trying to understand what my body composition was, what my bone structure was, what the body cavity was sort of blood work, all these things that they hadn't tested, and checked, and they and they regularly checked on me like every six months. I was doing CT scans and

Unknown Speaker:

so six rounds. So six years you are going through this extreme fatigue and and the symptoms for six years you are living through that. As you're waiting. Wow.

Unknown Speaker:

Yes. And it waned and latched. Sometimes

Unknown Speaker:

it would look at me and you wouldn't know I was sick at all.

Unknown Speaker:

And there were days when I had plenty of energy and was able to do things I remember even a year before my transplant. The family night took a trip to

Unknown Speaker:

Tennessee to the Smoky Mountains. And I hiked to the top of chimney tops with my kids.

Unknown Speaker:

It wasn't the first time I'd done that when I did that. About 15 years earlier. I had carried my one year old son first part and the top one Jimmy pops on my back.

Unknown Speaker:

This time we had a five year old

Unknown Speaker:

And

Unknown Speaker:

it was all I can do to encourage him to to keep walking at the make it to the top, because I was struggling to make it to the top myself.

Unknown Speaker:

So yeah, for six years I was on this cycle of variant Intel going through all these tests. And with the uncertainty of whether or not that was a solution, a lot of people in that position don't actually make it because there's an organ shortage in our country. And the game of the transplant is that whoever's in the worst condition at the time,

Unknown Speaker:

that matches the Oregon is the one that gets the Oregon.

Unknown Speaker:

So you have to wait until you're almost on your deathbed before you're even eligible.

Unknown Speaker:

Wow. Just sitting watching yourself slowly, deteriorate. Yes, that's That's it. And

Unknown Speaker:

or liver, one of the things that they they keep an eye on is a measurement of meld, which is the measure of end stage liver disease. And it's a number that's composed of certain aspects of your blood and blood work.

Unknown Speaker:

And they indicate the liver function and kidney function.

Unknown Speaker:

And as,

Unknown Speaker:

as your meld goes up, become a higher priority on the list in my area, and it varies across the country in my area in St. Louis, the average MELD score where someone received their transplant was somewhere around 22 to 25.

Unknown Speaker:

And for many years, I was hanging out around 15 to 18. So I wasn't near the top priority, and I was still fairly active. And to put it in context, someone who's in normal health, they have a MELD score of like, one, okay.

Unknown Speaker:

And so here I am, 15, which is, you know, basically

Unknown Speaker:

way worse than your average. Right. And

Unknown Speaker:

near the end,

Unknown Speaker:

my, my milk score started to escalate rapidly. And so I worked up until two weeks before my transplant.

Unknown Speaker:

And it was at that point that I just, I couldn't even get up enough energy to walk from my bed to my account.

Unknown Speaker:

That was, that was a struggle for me. And it's not, that wasn't very far.

Unknown Speaker:

And so I had to go into civility.

Unknown Speaker:

And within two weeks of going on disability, I was in the hospital with a MELD score of 43. Wow.

Unknown Speaker:

Remember, 22 to 25 is is about Athens in our area, and I was at 43.

Unknown Speaker:

So I was just waiting, I was in the hospital for

Unknown Speaker:

three or four days, while they monitored me and every day they would come in and say

Unknown Speaker:

part of the reason I was there as my kidneys had started to fail. So the kidneys take the brunt of your liver as the liver deteriorates and the kidneys start to pick up.

Unknown Speaker:

And when the kidneys start to fail, then the whole system starts to fall apart.

Unknown Speaker:

And so I was in the hospital.

Unknown Speaker:

And every day they would come in, they would measure my kidney function and they say, Mr. Great, I think we're gonna have to put you on dialysis, which is not good if you're waiting for a transplant.

Unknown Speaker:

And they said, but we're gonna give you one more day and see what happens.

Unknown Speaker:

Then come back the next day. And then give me the same story. Mr. Green, think we're gonna have to put you on dialysis.

Unknown Speaker:

But we're gonna give you one more day.

Unknown Speaker:

See what

Unknown Speaker:

what was going through your mind at that moment?

Unknown Speaker:

Honestly, I, I

Unknown Speaker:

I was I was prepared

Unknown Speaker:

for the end.

Unknown Speaker:

And there was an unusual sense of peace about it.

Unknown Speaker:

And I felt like I had done

Unknown Speaker:

the best I could do.

Unknown Speaker:

And I tried to love my family the best that I could.

Unknown Speaker:

And this was just

Unknown Speaker:

my lot. This was my fate

Unknown Speaker:

and I'd accepted that

Unknown Speaker:

but and and

Unknown Speaker:

I was I was trying to live. That's our natural inclination where our designs survive.

Unknown Speaker:

And we can go through quite a bit of trauma, which is rare.

Unknown Speaker:

So day four,

Unknown Speaker:

the kidney doctors come in and say, Okay, Mr. Creed, this is it. We're prepping you for dialysis.

Unknown Speaker:

Well, just so happened that one hour before the kidney doctors had come in, a liver had come in.

Unknown Speaker:

And my transplant surgeon said it was a match. And they were going to take me down.

Unknown Speaker:

So by the nick of, you know, barely, I missed, I just barely missed that.

Unknown Speaker:

Wow. Which would have put me way back in which the down the transplant list again.

Unknown Speaker:

So it was just at the nick of time, that was

Unknown Speaker:

deliberate showed up for me. Something was looking out for you. Yes. And there were many instances like that.

Unknown Speaker:

That happened just in the nick of time.

Unknown Speaker:

So you ended up having the surgery? Yes. So I had the surgery.

Unknown Speaker:

And remarkably well.

Unknown Speaker:

And I was in my room, and the next day, I was back on my feet and feeling better. And was on a quick road to recovery. I was surprising everyone with how quickly I was recovering.

Unknown Speaker:

Up and down, walking down the hallways and hitting all the marks of what they need

Unknown Speaker:

to recover.

Unknown Speaker:

During during that week, that I was recovering, I did have one small incident that was pretty scary. They were doing an ultrasound and because of all the fluid that was still in my abdomen, the way the ultrasound hit and created waves that it sent my heart into detail.

Unknown Speaker:

And the doctors acted very, very quickly and brought me back but there was the peak moment where it's like, oh, no,

Unknown Speaker:

everyone was in a panic.

Unknown Speaker:

But thankfully, the doctors were very quick acting, I remember seeing them argue over what the right course of action is, was.

Unknown Speaker:

And thankfully they made the right decision.

Unknown Speaker:

But again, I was still quick to recover, I became the case study for the students because this was a medical teaching facility where I had my transplant in the best area.

Unknown Speaker:

And I would people would come in every day, the doctors

Unknown Speaker:

love how I was recovering, and were very encouraging. And all that. And it looked like I was getting ready to go home early.

Unknown Speaker:

Faster than usual.

Unknown Speaker:

And I remember, something changed. Obviously something big happened after that. And I remember my wife was in sitting with me, it was on a Sunday. And one of the end residents came in to take out

Unknown Speaker:

the last little port rage port that they had in my body. So it was there to pick up some of the fluid that that was out during these common moments. So he came in, he took it out. And notice that I wasn't cool, didn't look like right.

Unknown Speaker:

And there was one thing that we're still had to do before I can go home and that was to have a normal bowel movement.

Unknown Speaker:

So that's what we were waiting on waiting for me

Unknown Speaker:

to have that bowel movement.

Unknown Speaker:

And while the resident was there,

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happen, I got up, went to the bathroom.

Unknown Speaker:

And but I was feeling kind of dizzy and weak.

Unknown Speaker:

And when the resident saw my stool, he noticed that it wasn't normal that it was filled with blood.

Unknown Speaker:

And he acted quickly because he recognized what was going on. I didn't I thought I felt good. I thought things were going fine. I was a little lightheaded. But no big deal. Yay. I just had my bowel movement. I'm going home tomorrow.

Unknown Speaker:

Little did I know that it was an extreme emergency.

Unknown Speaker:

And he quickly rushed me back to the ICU. I got in there and they were so concerned

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They started stuffing hooves in me while I was still conscious

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or had a tube stuffed down your nose. While you're still conscious, it's not fun

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to have that happen.

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And I was sitting there trying to fill out all this paperwork that they needed. They're looking for the anesthesiologist to put me under.

Unknown Speaker:

And they were in action.

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I knew something wasn't right. I was scared. My wife was scared.

Unknown Speaker:

And on top of it, it's on a Sunday. No, who's in the hospital on a Sunday

Unknown Speaker:

that many people, actually not the people that be there.

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And

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yeah, I remember the things being deducted on my nose and how painful it was. And the nurse and I joking about now she's my enemy, she was taking care of me and I was

Unknown Speaker:

loved the care that I was getting. And now she's here being cruel, and stuffing all these things in me. I'm signing papers, and seven. And then finally, they put me out.

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Now, I don't know all the things that happened. But my wife has told me it was pretty scary. In fact, what had happened is that I was bleeding out and turning a place where they put AI to stitch together the liver to my colon, actually replumb you in some sort of way on the inside when they do a transplant. And so my tissue was so weak, from the atrophy of those six years, that there was a place where it didn't quite hold. And so I was bleeding out internally. And they weren't sure were back, I was bleeding so fast,

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that they couldn't get blood in me fast enough. They have some restrictions on how much blood they can transport at a time. And they had a blood train going into the hospital, just keep them plugged in me.

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And it was barely keeping up.

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It just so happened that on site was a surgeon who specialized in going in laparoscopically to

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explore these sort of scenarios and find what was going on. Otherwise, they would have had to cut me open and do it all over again. And but he was there and was able to go in without creating new incisions and in me open again, and actually find the tear in stitches.

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But it was a long process and they let my wife stay in there the whole time.

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To talk to me, and to encourage me. I believe that they did that because they didn't think they were going to be able to save me.

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But they did. Thankfully they did.

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Only part I remember of all this was waking up to work two days later after a medically induced coma.

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And coming out of this fog.

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And recognizing that I wasn't clear cut was in the first place before and when I woke up.

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My body had been through so much trauma, I was carrying 60 pounds extra of water.

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I had gone to a thin rail skeleton of a human being to the middle man

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overnight.

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And I was so weak, my muscles were so weak. I couldn't move. I couldn't lift my body.

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I was in the special bed that kept me rolling around.

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So wouldn't get bedsores. myself. I always had to have someone helped me move.

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And I was so thirsty. I was dying of thirst. But I felt like I just couldn't get enough. But they weren't allowing me to have anything to drink because my goal at that point was to release the fluid and get rid of it. And that would have made it worse.

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Like that was torture.

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There's the Greek myth. I can't remember who it was the guy who was always thirsty and was never allowed to drink from the water.

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That's what I felt like.

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And so

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where I thought I was going home

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I ended up in the hospital for a couple more weeks.

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Work through that recovery enough where I could go home.

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Through it all, because of all the pressure, I lost my ability to see. I couldn't see, I couldn't focus on anything, everything was blurry.

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My mental capacity felt very stunted, I felt I could hardly talk.

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My speech was very robotic like,

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and I thought I was going to be some sort of mental

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mental damage from it all that I would never be able to get up and walk around and talk like mine, again.

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But I was and I was thankful to be alive at that point, like, I went through all this stuff, and I'm still here, holy crap. That's not what happened.

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And what you can do, and I mean, my body went through some major trauma, and I was still alive.

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And

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still kickin, and at the time, I was super excited and rejoice for the fact that I was still alive.

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And so it was, that's what took me six months to recover from six to eight months, I was it took me a long time to the weight come off,

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learning how to walk again,

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and get my eyesight back.

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And to recover all my ability

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to function.

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I was home for a long time, completely helpless.

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In the beginning.

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It's hard to imagine now even how extensive that was and how much our body can go through. Right? I remember trying to put slippers on my feet so I could go home, they don't want you to walk out barefoot.

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And my feet were so large

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and swollen. There wasn't anything we could find that would go on.

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You remember Fred Flintstone? The cartoon?

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Yeah, those big fat feet.

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Mine were twice that.

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So that was was a huge drama for me that I had gone through. And again, that just accentuated this idea that I was here for a purpose. And people would comment on that all the time, the Gosh, gone through so much, must have been saved for a reason.

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And during the recovery, it was it was fine. It didn't really bother me, I'm home, I'm hanging out with my son, my wife, we watched lots of Food Network, I spent a lot of time fermenting food, if you've ever tried fermenting food on it is fun. That's science, you know, you just stick stuff out there and it takes care of all the rest and natural world does everything else for you. But it's something you have to wait for. Right? It takes time. And at the time, that's all I had. I'm sitting around waiting, recovering, watching Food Network with my son and making and making sauerkraut and kimchi, my own yogurt and all those sorts of things, which was really good for healing your system

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and rebuilding the probiotics in your body. I was on lots of meds at the time. So I was doing everything I could actually do counter the negative impact of those things.

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But it was when I started going back to work

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or going back to the normal life

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where the job was not as fulfilling, fulfilling. And it felt like it was taking me away from my true purpose from my family, from the things that I loved. That's when I started a wake up

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question. What's life about?

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So what did you do?

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Well

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for a long time

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I didn't things I wasn't proud of. I became very bitter and angry and resentful.

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I started to see life as torture.

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And then wondered if I hadn't really survived. And if maybe I woke up and this was what hell is supposed to be like.

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I became very angry, and very bitter and I blamed my wife

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is because her I had to go back to work, no one else is going to slip up and provide for us. It's my responsibility. These are the things I'm telling myself, right? I'm resentful that she's not there helping us out and doing anything.

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And so that started to tear apart our relationship.

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And

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I was I was resentful of my job at the time.

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So I was in this bitterness and resentfulness. And just isolating myself, from everyone around me

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was especially my wife, especially her. That's where most of this resentment was driven. sintered words and app. Now stepping back part of what I understand is the things that I've learned, like, part of it was my reptilian brain, who was trying to figure out what was killing me, right. We're designed for survival. We're programmed for survival. And there's parts of us that are triggered by things in our environment that threaten us. And especially in these scenarios, are learned. These are where you go through very traumatic experiences. And our brain doesn't really know how to process it, it find something to blame

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for the threat, and starts to build defenses against it.

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And so, I believe my brain landed on two things that were the threat that was actually the things that almost killed me. At least that's what it decided. And that was my wife. And I think it landed there because

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the liver disease that I had as a digestive disease. And so since he provided all the meals, my brain said, Oh, well, it must be her fault that I had a digestive disease, she was feeding me the wrong things.

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There's no truth to that whatsoever.

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But that was the truth that I was living when you were looking for escape go. Yes, yes. And the other one was my job. So those are the things that my brain had landed on as my enemies. And I started to build these defenses to protect myself from them. One of them is that bitterness, that resentment, right then actually creates for us a desire to stay away from those things. So for a long time, you know, a couple years my wife and I are horrible relationship,

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fighting almost every night

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ignoring each other.

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It was not good. And it was it was

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and I know that that spilled over into the relationship with my kids. And the environment that we were creating our household it felt like a war zone

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instead of a home

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and so here I was in this world where I didn't want to go to work because work was killing me. And I didn't want to go home because home was killing me. Right.

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And I hated everything. I was resentful for everything and I

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at one point

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I mean, I remember sitting in our bedroom

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wondering if it's really worth it anymore.

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Slate had decided it wasn't worth the digging.

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And I pulled out the gun again

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and was seriously considering

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leaving

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one thing that that my brain kept coming to though was I didn't want to leave

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my then eight year old boy

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without a dad

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and, and

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he doesn't know this, but this he was my lifeline during those times.

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And I think all that time we spend afterwards just p&i While I was recovering, you know, created a tighter bond for us than

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we had ever had before.

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He had only known me as the sick father. And my illness was diagnosed shortly after he was was born.

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In fact, early on,

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when I was showing symptoms of fatigue, I thought it was because we had a baby in the house.

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And I mean, no new parent will know

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When you're raising a newborn, it's tiring, right?

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But the reality was that my wife was doing most of that. And I was sleeping and still being tired. And so I was ignoring the symptoms.

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Yeah, it was during that time of recovery, that I think we, we grew even closer together. And so he, he was my reason

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that I've got to find a way, going.

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And thankfully, I mean, I started to do some things differently. It was.

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Yeah, one of the things that was a turning point for me

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was, again, focusing on what's focusing on my health.

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I felt like I was starting to walk down the same path.

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Even though I had gone a long ways to recover, I saw myself falling into the same patterns as I was before.

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And was worried that I would end up in the same place.

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And there was no way I was going to go through all of that drama.

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So I was, I was scrolling through Facebook, which is when I found

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a guy's do when

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you go through Facebook scrolling around, or nowadays, there's Instagram and all these other things. But Facebook was the big ones for me back then.

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And I came across an ad for fit father program, which was targeting guys over 40, who wanted to get their health back so that they could stick around for their families. But that's me.

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Let me try this out.

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And so I got it, I signed up for the program is crazy cheap. To start with, I thought this is this is easy, no brainer.

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And started to get involved with that program. And Dr. Anthony Powell doozy is the guy who created it.

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He lost his father when he was a kid. And so he wanted to make sure that other fathers stick around for their kids. In creating this program.

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And being the achiever, I thought I'm going to do everything Dr. Anthony says to do.

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And in his program, he had a little supplemental piece that says, before you start do this, if you want to, if you want to succeed

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at the highest level, you want to do this stuff. And so I read that. And what he said was, you need to start with a vision.

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And you need to start these daily practices, one of them being gratitude, one and, and reading and journaling.

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And then I was like, okay,

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whatever, if this is what it takes,

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I'm going to do it. And so I crafted my first vision statement, and which was I'm lean, strong and energetic.

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And I had some more about my mission so that I can be there for my kids and provide an example.

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And I started this practice of writing gratitude every day. And in the beginning, I was very resistant to it.

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And that I knew I hated life. And I needed to change that. And so I would write every morning, I'm grateful to be alive.

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And then I'd figure out you other things that I was grateful for.

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I started this habit of getting up every morning, I'd read my vision statement and lean strong and energetic.

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And write, I'm grateful to be alive.

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And I'd sit there and come up with two other things that I'm grateful for.

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And then I'd go do my workout.

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And I kept that up.

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And somewhere along that journey. My I'm grateful to be alive became some more things. And I had this revelation that you know what? There's no expectation on me now. I mean, I basically died starting over.

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Why can't I decide who I want to be now and be someone different?

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So I started thinking about that, who am I?

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Well, it started with Who am I this this query about who am I and at some point I decided who do I want to be?

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And so I

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started journaling on that every morning.

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And probably for six months, every morning, I would sit down and write a series of what I call my downs.

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And they were outlining the person I wanted to be. And it started with them going strong and energetic, expanded into things about, I am a person who attracts others into my life that inspire me and help me become the best that I can be.

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Creator, I create my reality I get to decide what I what my life is like.

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provider for my family, and I, you know, these things that I enjoy my life.

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So these, I was reading lots of books, I'd also reengaged in one of the loves of my life that I gave up. When I got married. I thought it was my responsibility to give up these things that I wanted to go and provider, I returned to the dojo and started doing karate as

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part of that was because my son wanted to he had been watching Power Rangers and we walked past a karate dojo one day, and he said, Hey, Dad, I want to do karate. And when I was younger, that was one of the things that I love doing. But in fact, I got a black belt and go to karate, that same style that if you're familiar with the Karate Kid movies, Miyagi dough.

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Yeah, Aghadoe is basically modeled after Gojira. Because the founder of Goju, Ronnie was chojun. Miyagi is based on historical figure.

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So that was my style of karate when I was growing up. And I loved it. And in fact, I ended up going to Japan to study for nothing for a while before I met my wife.

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And so when I grew up, I'm hoping that quote, somebody can see that

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when I grew up, I gave up those things, to do what I needed to do.

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And so I joined the, my son who was taking Friday, he started actually, before my transplant.

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And I had about

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six to eight months after my transplant, I started going back to the karate dojo with him, this time as a white belt, starting all over.

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So I've been been practicing, they're helping to build my strength, I had started this other program, that father program helped build my strength, things that we were learning in the dojo are also positive learning, or development, again, the fivefold path, which is determination, effort, or seek common sense and peace and incorporating all these values reincorporating them really back into my life and building upon them.

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And so this was my practice every morning was to think about who do I want to be and journal that and I came up with this long list of, of I ams. And I would write them every morning,

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recite them every morning, and then do my gratitude, and do my exercises.

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And it was through that process that really began to transform my mind.

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And led me on a journey to meet other great mentors, who taught me more about it, and helped me understand more of what I was really doing.

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I was just doing these things, I didn't really understand the science behind them.

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And that really sort of accelerated the transformation that I was going through. I hired a coach who helped me develop a strong mindset.

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And I was at a place then where

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I was actually falling in love again, with the job. And the work that I was doing. I went down that path for a reason. In the beginning, I loved mathematics, and it was one of my strengths. But I lost my way in doing what I thought I had to do instead of what I wanted.

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Wow. So my, my job transformed where I was at, I actually became in charge of innovation in the company, and helping spur creative thinking.

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I became the chief innovation officer. I was doing karate

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and that was helping nourish my mind, my body and my soul and my relationships at home. So getting better. Again.

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I know that this is this is gonna be a hard question because there's so many lessons that you've learned throughout this journey. But if you could boil it down, and if you could give your former self going through this journey, a piece of advice from your perspective that you have now, today, what would that be?

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Yeah, this, this is the thing that I've learned. And I'll, I'll unpack it a little bit. And it's become the motto for my company. And that is that we are incompetent.

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And what I mean by that,

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is that underlying that as a core belief that life is always working for us. Even in those what we see is the hardest times, life is always working for us for our greatest good, or greatest growth, greatest evolution.

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And we always have a choice. We are co creators, we create our reality. And we get to decide what that looks like.

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So my advice to my former self is one, remember that you're uncomfortable.

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And to

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get clear on what you want, and decide that for yourself.

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You do have the power to create that.

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So So Russell, how has conquering your obstacle not only of your health, but the truly of your mind and of your soul? How has that influenced to where you are today? And can you tell us a little bit more about what's going on in your reality these days? What motivates you and what do you have going on? Absolutely love to tell you about that. So first of all,

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the thing that's changed most of that now I'm in love with life, I love being alive. I love what's going on in my life, I love my wife, I love my children. I love the work I do. It's a complete 180 From where I was, and I'm so excited. And grateful. I mean, that's I'm so grateful to be alive. That statement that I started with that I didn't mean in my heart, but I was writing out of

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just following the path following the instructions that were set out for me, that had become so true for me that I am grateful to be alive.

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What that is also transformed that out of the work that I do today. So one of the things that I do is that I I help other men who are in that place where they're stuck for they've been doing the things that they thought would lead them to success, that they're doing all the right things, but still feel unfulfilled. I hoped them back to go place where they're inspired, or the living meaningful lives. And that's what Invictus life is about. I do that through a number of ways. I have, what I've created is called the master your fate formula,

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which is really about empowering men to understand their powerful creators and that life is always working for them. They are unconquerable. We are all unconquerable. So the master your fate formula really fall out. Pas

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is made up of three components. And that's one is creating an uncomfortable mindset. When we can look at life, and recognize that life is always working for us. Find the blessings in life, that we have a mindset that we are unconquerable,

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that we can create whatever we want. And that's powerful. That's life changing. And I help men get there and recognize that they are really uncommon.

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And you do see you guys do some pretty cool work. From what I can tell right? You guys do some, some wilderness stuff, or what did I see on there?

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So let me know let me share the other two parts of the master your faith formula, and I will get to the wilderness stuff, okay? Because there's two more components and that's one is connecting to your power. When you understand why you're here, what you're about.

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You show up in a way more powerful. Men get reconnected with their purpose. And the other key component is what I call the indestructible brotherhood. We don't go through this journey alone.

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And that's one of the things that specially in America,

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where we're the individualization

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is so promoted.

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It's glorified to do things on your own,

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to be that lone wolf,

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right. And that gets us in a place where we're stuck.

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And so I, I promote the indestructible brotherhood, I am part of creating that brotherhood in our programs. As we do go out and wilderness adventures, we do things together. And we get to a place where we can create authentic connections. And so it's about those, that part of the program is really about helping men connect with other men and build those bonds that will last a lifetime and to help us grow together. On the power of community, you guys, if any of you guys have gone through a group experience like this, it's just it amplifies your you're learning when you're able to do it with others. And Russell, it has been so fantastic to talk to you today. And to hear your story. I know that others are going to be interested to find out more about you, where would be the best place for people to connect with you. So there's a number of places that you can connect with me, I am on Facebook and Instagram. And it's the easiest way to find me is by searching mining. Three. I also have a Facebook group designed for men who are looking to get more out, create that conference of spirit. And it's called unconquerable men so you can look for that group on Facebook.

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I have a website, which talks more about by my coaching practice programs that we have there. That's the Invictus life.com.

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And you guys, as always, you can find all of Russell's in the links in the description down below. So if you missed it, don't worry if you're too lazy to type it out yourself. Don't worry. I got you. It's in the description. Thank you so much, Russell, for joining us today. It truly was my pleasure. Thank you for having me here. It's been a joy

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thank you so much for tuning in to today's episode of The becoming the big money podcast.

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I know that you found value in hearing this story today. And I would love if you could show your support by going and grabbing a copy of our book. And you can do so by going

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to bit.li/greatconquestyoucanalsogotowww.thegreatconquest.comformoreinformationabouteachoftheindividualsinvolvedinthisprocessthanksagainfortuningin

About the Podcast

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The Becoming the Big Me Podcast
Mind. Body. Business.

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