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Empowering Greatness: From 3-Time High School Dropout To Self-Improvement Speaker

How can you start empowering greatness in your life?

To answer that, I’d like to share a story with you. The year was 2008; I was 16 years old, just entering high school. At the time, I was looking for somewhere to fit in. I had always been the loner kid growing up as I moved around a lot. I never had any real long-lasting friendships. For this reason, I wanted that sense of community more anything.

And in high school, I finally found it… In all the wrong places…

I befriended a group of kids who actually accepted me. There was only one small problem: They weren’t the best influence. And the more time I spent with them, the more I began to adopt their habits, behaviors, and attitudes.

And that’s when I began…

Going Downhill

I started smoking weed every day, badmouthing my teachers, skipping school, drinking, partying, etc. And it didn’t take long before these actions caught up with me. After a while, I decided to drop out of high school.

Strike one…

Empowering greatness (of any sort) seemed like an impossible task.

However, with a little intervention from my Mom, I was persuaded to try again. I love my Mom, and like any mother, she just wanted to see her son do well. And I wanted to make her happy, so I obliged.

The problem? I was the same person when I returned to high school.

Nothing had changed: I had the same attitude, the same bad habits, the same group of friends, and the same mindset and mentality that led to me dropping out in the first place. Therefore, it didn’t take long before for the same result occurred. I dropped out again…

Strike two…

Failure To Failure

After dropping out of school for the second time, I decided: Let’s give this “job thing” a try.

Might as well, everyone else is doing it. So for the next two years, I went from job to job, never able to hold anything down for longer than a few months. The result? I took a major blow to my confidence and competence. It was pathetic…

I was failing to the meet the most basic requirements of a functional adult.

I got chewed up and spit out in the real world. Consequently, I began thinking an education was a good idea after all. Embarrassed from this massive failure, I made the decision to go back to school again.

After all, third time’s a charm, right?

One Last Try

I’m 19 years old at this point, which means I was too old to attend my original high school. As a result, I attended an outreach program that enables students to obtain the equivalent of a high school diploma.

And for the first few months, things were actually going pretty well; I was…

  • Attending classes consistently
  • Focusing on my school work
  • Handing in assignments
  • Meeting all deadlines
  • Coming into class with a positive attitude
  • Forming good relationships with the teachers, etc.

However, old habits die hard.

And it wasn’t long before I reverted back to my old ways. I began skipping class again, disregarding my school work, and falling into past routines. And for some reason—call it limiting beliefs, poor self-image, lack of confidence, whatever—I just couldn’t see myself graduating.

So in my “infinite wisdom,” I decided to drop out of school for the third and final time.

Strike three… I was out.

The Day It All Changed For Me

I’ll never forget the day it all hit me.

I was in my living room with my family; we were all watching a movie together. I was high as a kite (as usual). And as they were all laughing along with the film, enjoying the movie, I was fuming.

There I was… A pot-smoking 3-time high school dropout.

I had no goals, no ambition, no job, no money, no discipline, no structure, no friends, nothing. I was the biggest waste of space. And with no means of contributing to my household, I was essentially a burden on my family.

They never said that, and quite frankly, they didn’t have to… because I could feel it

I couldn’t believe I allowed myself to stray so far off the path. I was disgusted with myself; I hated my circumstances, I hated my life, and worst of all, I hated the person I had become.

This realization created so much pain that I knew something had to change… And that something was me

It took a while.

But slowly, I began to turn things around. I found a decent job and started making and saving money. Finally, I was able to pay my own bills: Rent, groceries, phone, etc. Moreover, I began contributing to my household as well.

This built my confidence because I had somewhat of a foundation to stand on. And with this new-found confidence, I felt ready to step into the next phase of my life.

Freestyle Rapper

As a kid, I loved Hip Hop music.

In fact, when I skipped school to get high with friends, I would return home shortly after to listen to rap music and write my own songs. This was a passion I had since I was young. However, I didn’t have the guts to really go for it in those early days.

It was different this time around.

I felt capable; like it was in the cards for me. So I went to work; I built my own home recording studio in my basement with my brothers. I recorded hundreds of songs and disciplined myself to practice every day.

And after a couple of years of hard work and focused effort, I began seeing results. I started performing at…

  1. Bars
  2. Cafes
  3. Lounges
  4. Summer camps for kids
  5. Charity events
  6. Weddings
  7. Birthday parties

And believe it or not, I even got myself a job. That’s right, a job as an in-house freestyle rapper at a downtown nightclub. I would visit this club every weekend to perform for and entertain their audiences.

And interestingly enough, the skills and experience I gained from spending countless hours on stage as a rapper translated very well into me becoming a…

Public Speaker

Soon, I started sharing my story of self-improvement with others. It felt like a natural part of my development; the stage became my workshop where I shared the tips and tactics that started empowering greatness in my life.

This next phase of my personal development journey gripped me. And so I followed it—persistently.

I delivered presentations at:

  • Schools
  • Charities
  • Business conferences
  • Organzations
  • Special events
  • Other functions, etc.

As a way to bolster my authority as a speaker, I decided to start my first blog. I wrote in it every day and soon realized… I loved to write. However, I guess the more accurate way to look at it was I rediscovered my love of writing.

I wrote endlessly as a kid.

From the ages of 10 to 13, I wrote dozens of stories consisting of thousands of pages detailing conjured up adventures of my favorite cartoon characters. I even still have a few of those stories to this day—over 20 years later.

The result? I took the leap to become a…

Content Writer And Author

I wrote every day, publishing hundreds of articles (for my personal blog as well as guest posting on other sites). And it wasn’t long before I became a first-time author by self publishing my first book.

This led to me doing freelance writing work for numerous companies down in the States and, eventually, resulted in a full-time in-house content writing position for one of Canada’s top digital marketing agencies.

But I didn’t stop there.

It felt like empowering greatness within me was becoming a part of my personality at this point. And so I moved into becoming an…

Athlete And Martial Artist

At this point, I was an unstoppable locomotive picking up steam—on track and on purpose. I wanted to continue pushing myself; this time, physically. So I set and accomplished new goals, which included:

I had gone from a lazy, pot-smoking, 3-time high school dropout to a freestyle rapper, public speaker, content writer, athlete and martial artist.

Now, why am I sharing this with you? What’s the point of this story?

The moral is: regardless of where you are or how high or low your current lot in life is, you have the potential to do incredible things. If you take away anything from my story, I want it to be the certain knowledge that empowering greatness is a matter of choice, and not circumstance.

But how do you do it? Easy; follow…

My Simple 3-Step Formula For Empowering Greatness

I have learned a few lessons in my story. These are lessons that will help you pick yourself up, begin building momentum, and start making real progress in your life. Take them seriously. They are the way for you to create a better, brighter, and more balanced future.

1. Have An Aim

There was a reason I ended up as a pot-smoking 3-time high school dropout. And you might assume it was because of the weed, the friends, the bad habits, etc. But those assumptions would be wrong.

Believe it or not, the bad habits I had were not the problem.

They were merely symptoms of the real problem; something far more sinister was lurking beneath the surface. And that “something” was a lack of a definite aim.

I had no goal, mission, or purpose in my life.

And because of this, I was attempting to fill that void with cheap pleasures and instant gratification. The result? I became a drifter. I was lost in the day-to-day minutiae of life. And eventually, it all came crashing down.

Here’s the deal…

When you lack an aim or a purpose, you’re like a ship without a rudder. And what happens to rudderless ships? They end up on the rocks… just like I did as that pot-smoking 3-time dropout. Don’t let that be you.

Have an aim, a goal, a mission that excites you, and work toward it every day. And that brings us to the 2nd lesson I learned, which is…

2. Do Something Every Day

Your aim, once you establish it, is meaningless if you aren’t taking consistent action toward it. My life didn’t improve when I set up new goals for myself. It improved when I started moving toward those goals with my daily actions.

There is power in consistency.

And the best part? You don’t even have to do anything drastic. The smallest of disciplines, consistently repeated, can have a tremendous impact on your life down the line.

3. Be The Hero

We all had our favorite superheroes as kids growing up: The brave cape crusader who would swoop down to save those in need at the last minute. Well… guess what? Real life is not a comic book strip.

No one is coming to save you—not your family, not your friends, not the government, no one.

You are responsible for EVERYTHING in your life; you must BE THE HERO in your movie. What does this mean in practical terms? It means taking ownership for everything in your life—good and bad.

The second you place blame on anyone for anything, that’s the exact second you forfeit your power to change or improve your situation. I learned that lesson the hard way. But you don’t have to.

Be the hero; take full ownership of your life.

What’s Next? Start Empowering Greatness In Your Life Today

You’re capable of so much more than you realize. If you can discipline yourself to get your act together and to start moving forward in a positive direction, the sky is the limit. And I want to help get you there. Sign up for the Motivated And Disciplined Newsletter below to receive weekly self-improvement tips to begin moving toward your grandest goals and dreams.

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