The worse case scenario method.
I’ve often thought about, with considerable guilt, all those moments where I’ve failed and lost everything, and for weeks, even whole months, stayed down. I’ve made many mistakes and a few times even hit rock bottom.
However, once I started to see all of those failures as opportunities to learn, it completely changed my mindset, and I gradually started to develop the projects I’m involved in to this day.
I don’t think life is about the moments we have to endure while down, drained of the energy to continue, but rather, about those moments where we find the strength to keep on going. Once we align our projects with our values and find the significance in what we wish to achieve, we will also find the confidence necessary to move forward, with greater attention to detail.
I’ve observed that, the harder you fall, the more energy you can muster when getting back up again. That’s the moment in which you really feel again in motion and can believe in both yourself and your dream anew, but this time things aren’t only clearer, but you’ll also be able to quiet the voices of doubt and fear that have hounded you previously. This is how you can, step by step, start working towards what you can and want to offer, keeping in mind what you will leave behind. I don’t think we can heal the wounds completely, but wounds bring change. Mistakes will remain mistakes and can follow us our entire lives if we refuse to learn anything from them.
As I’ve told you, I’ve been down in the dumps many times, buried in debt, lacking cash, with all my accounts blocked, and being litigated against due to my inability to pay suppliers. I vividly remember the nights when I sat alone in my car, in a parking lot (my favorite place), and saw how everything around me was falling apart, and how everyone will turn against me. There were moments when I could barely control myself. I couldn’t find my reason to exist, I couldn’t stop blaming myself, and constantly wondering how things could turn out this way.
Do you want to know how bad it was? I was 1.7 million euros in debt, with employees that had no more workplace, and with all company assets lost. I’ve asked myself where I went so wrong to get where I was. I never wanted to lose it all, to let people down, or to let myself down.
Now everyone hated me, nobody had any faith left in me, I became a liar in their eyes. Days later, I remember how I started to sell my belongings to pay off my debts and to make ends meet. Houses, property, my company’s cars, my own cars – both the BMW and the Pajero, watches, laptops, phones, even the bed and the furniture; I’ve sold all of them in desperation, for sums much smaller than their actual worth. I’ve continued doing this until I’ve effectively sold everything I had.
Something started to change when it finally sunk in that I had nothing left to lose. That’s when I drew that imaginary line in my mind and promised myself to never go through that again. It felt like it was my last day on Earth and that I’ve lived a failure of a life, becoming a failure in turn. I couldn’t get myself moving, the fear of failure having taken over and it kept me there a good few months. However, that moment when I drew that imaginary line and the questions I had asked stayed with me, and, day by day, I could hear it – louder than ever: “Do you want to die as a failure? Do you want to die with the music inside you? Is that all you’ve got?”
These were the questions that drove me to change myself and pushed me to build my own conscious-evolution system, one focused on changing old habits and one’s identity.
Looking back, I’ve come to consider that part of my life as being both the most difficult, yet also the most influential. It was the moment where I found myself again, the moment when I lifted myself up and said ‘no’ to all of those questions.
I spent the next 3 years trying to find what really drove me, what I wanted to do, why I think I’m here, what I’m good at, and what I can offer to the world. The following 3 years were necessary to quell the background voices of my mind that told me I wasn’t good enough, that I wouldn’t be able to go from someone that consumed information and materials to someone that could put into practice, try, test, validate, and implement a never-ending process that refines more and more ideas and concepts in order to be able to offer up my gift to others.
It took 6 long years to rebuild my reputation, and, crucially, to rebuild my own self-assurance and self-esteem, change many of my unhealthy habits, and even to redefine my own identity.
This wasn’t a fun period of my life – I had to own up to my failures and move forward. There were dozens of lawsuits and hundreds of phone calls where I explained to people how I had failed and that I was not running away from my responsibilities – simply that I hadn’t yet managed to overcome the challenges I found myself facing. In all these years I continued running from myself, but every time I would do so, the Universe, Karma, God, would bring me back on course in record time. If before it took months, or even entire years to figure something out, now it would happen in a few days or even hours; this meant that I was getting closer to that ‘point of no return’, and once I started, I was going to always continue that mission.
With all the challenges that tried to drag me down, there was always something… a voice that whispered and breathed into me the energy needed to keep on believing in myself; to keep going forward.
Today I see the past me as having been insane to try to bury his head in the sand, trying to run from reality; someone that has monumentally failed and repeated those same mistakes, not once, but several times, until he finally realized that it couldn’t go on like this. Temptations to return to my old mistakes would still appear, especially when it seemed that I lost track of my values and the significance of what I was doing. It wasn’t at all easy, and, a few times I even let myself be seduced by the ‘let’s make another project now, in parallel’ syndrome, in order to have a bit of extra cash. This is how I ended up again, somehow, back where I started, but I quickly became aware of the fact that I was getting further away from who I really was.
The decision to make the changes I felt like doing was so strong, however, that there was no going back. I had laid the foundation for my own system of conscious evolution, one of changing habits and identity, and the results were starting to show. Many of the people that knew me started to ask me what was going on. I became a vegan, spiritual growth preoccupied me, I was getting involved in volunteer work, and started to appreciate life and be thankful for everything I had lived through. It was very hard, and not many people are able to walk away with a healthy mind after they find themselves left with nothing, but it was revelatory. I became a new person, or perhaps I discovered who I really was.
How can all the things I’ve just shared help you though? I believe that you can release yourself from fears once you realize that you always have resources at your disposal, no matter what your life may look like. Even when you’ve hit rock bottom and don’t have the strength to go on, look around you. You’ll see people that care about you and will help you get up, no matter your financial or emotional state. Those people will always stand by you.
And here’s another thing: simply by imagining the worst possible scenario, the one where you lose everything and have to start over from scratch, you can discover untapped resources you never even realized were there. I urge you to do this exercise. It’s a fantastic method for finding solutions, being creative, and even innovate. Imagine that you’ve lost everything and are at rock bottom. How do you get up? What abilities could help you?
What would you do if you lost everything and how would you get back up again?
If tomorrow I’d have to start all over again, I would do it. I realize that I’d be capable of putting it all back together again thanks to the rituals and habits that I’ve rooted into myself during the time that I’ve built iVolution – a system of conscious evolution, of changing habits, and redefining identity. Now I have the opportunity to find that state of mind from which accomplishing things isn’t hard to do. I think everything goes back to our capacity to focus on what’s important in the here and now, and to act daily, with discipline, on those short, medium, and long term objectives that bring us closer to our dreams.