by John Guinta
Not long ago at all, I learned some of the most valuable lessons in life through some of the hardest times I could have ever imagined. I wish I had the tools I have acquired along the way years ago, but the cliché thing to say is that all of our decisions and experiences bring us to exactly where we are today.
Today I have a home, a daughter, a fantastic job that I love going to every day, my body is in impeccable shape, my mind has clarity, I’ve made wise investments and executed plans to become an entrepreneur full time in the future. I can say these days I’m living my dream. It ain’t easy but it never was.
It’s a hell of a lot easier than it was a few years ago. I had none of those things: no job, no home, no money, no family, no clarity or direction.
After returning home from the Marine Corps, I, like so many brothers, felt abandoned, angry, confused…nothing good. As a result, I went down a very self-destructive path. I lost my relationship, couldn’t be around for my newborn daughter, and lost job after job after job. This is a path I was lost down for YEARS.
I blamed everyone around me for my circumstance. Only now to look back and realize I created my own circumstance through anger. I was living in a pick-up truck with whatever I needed for comfort and sustainability. I had a $10 gym membership which was $10 a month for a place to work out, keep myself healthy, and showered. I had a small locker there to store some of my more valuable items in case something happened to me in my truck.
Months went by like that. I learned very quickly that regardless of what you have going on, life won’t ever stop to let you catch up. I hustled my ass off. I had one job just long enough for my credit limit to boost a few grand, which saved me.
Then I got laid off and maxed out my credit card by the time another job rolled around which paid a few bucks more an hour. But now I had the credit card bill to work with..So things went like that for a long time..just bad luck..but also sparse moments of good luck just long enough to keep me going. A hard knock way of learning how to work my butt off. When you have no one and nothing, taking time to learn about yourself is always time well spent.
Every day I was in the gym no matter what, and I got strong. Eventually, there comes a time in the day where productivity is limited. There wasn’t much I could do at 5 am to change my circumstance so I would go workout, shower, shave, and get ready for my day. To this day I still model that routine.
One day I woke up at rock bottom. It was winter, I was cold, broke, hungry, living out of my truck, (which had run out of gas in the night because I left it on to run the heater) I had no money and no one to turn to. It’s amazing what a situation like that will do to you – It will make you realize you’ve got to change.
I dropped my pride and reached out to a few brothers from the marines. None of which knew my present circumstance, no one did. Just like that my world started changing. I was contacted by members of the Raider Project who wanted nothing but to help me. The next day a gentleman walked up to me in the gym to discuss my tattoos, he was a navy vet and offered me a lottery ticket job on the spot.
Just a few months later I was invited to Raider Project RAWAH Wilderness retreat with other members of The Raider Project…and if you could imagine taking 10 deep breaths and stretching them out over a week..the amount of clarity I felt during and after that experience was incredible. Having an opportunity to meditate and refocus, a place to go where I could physically walk away from the past and look forward to the future with an open heart and excitement! It was unreal!
Coming home from that was a rebirth. I knew everything I had gone through had made me into the man I am today. And I knew exactly what I wanted to do and had to do with my life. And that’s what I’m doing today! I still meditate every day. I breathe deep for a few minutes and say my mantra and go into each day anew. As soon as I woke up made the CHOICE to change my circumstance, THINGS STARTED CHANGING!
Instantly I had a career, stability, a home, and a roof over my head. If I didn’t have my routine in the gym if I just stayed angry if I blamed the world for my circumstance. I probably wouldn’t be here today. I still have the same job, I’ve since bought a home of my own, I’m taking care of my child, I’ve begun the pursuit of becoming a bodybuilder, and have competed on stage.
The moment I had clarity is when I truly became powerful, once I found the power I was able to create, once I was able to create I was able to produce a very rewarding and fulfilling life.
LIFE BY DEFINITION IS TRANSFORMATIVE. THAT TRANSFORMATION CAN BE PAINFUL, BUT THE MORE YOU LEARN THROUGH YOUR EVOLUTION, THE MORE POWERFUL YOU WILL BECOME.
This first appeared in The Havok Journal on November 6, 2018 and was republished by the permission of The Raider Project!