…it all changed overnight! What changed you might be asking? My life! I was barely 13years old.
May 10th, 1982 to be exact is the day I became a homeless 7th grade dropout. My new address is one I will never and could never forget. It was our family car! And not just any car, this was a fine canary yellow, with faux wood paneling, used 1969 Ford Country Squire Station Wagon. Think Partrige Family bus but the dirt poor version. By the way, if you don’t know who the “Patridge Family” is, then you’re too young to be reading this enthralling and inspirational story! Just kidding!
I seriously remember and honor this day each and every year. Why? Because the life-threatening roller coaster of a life I endured and ultimately survived for the next four years helped make me the man I’m proud to be today. Dig?
With my professional speaking career I’ve had the pleasure and honor of being interviewed a lot. And, usually without fail, after sharing my story with them, the host will eagerly ask me, “Do you ever wish all of that terrible stuff never happened?” Or, something similar like, “Don’t you wish you had a normal childhood?” Without fail, and this is the fun part, after my answer hits their brains all you hear is silence followed by “Are you kidding me right now?” See, told ya it’s funny!
In case you’re not familiar with my tale of WTF here’s just a tasty taste of the “challenges” and “opportunities” I experiencesd whilst on the Christopher Rausch’s wild ride:
- Living on the streets
- 18 cats and two dogs with us (Not fucking kidding man!)
- Dropped out of 7th grade
- Dug in dumpsters for cans and newspapers
- Failed suicide x 2
- Almost car jacked
- Almost shot in the head
So going back to the interviews, when the host hears my answer, “No, honestly I don’t wish my life was different!” I know I definitely have everyone’s attention. Please don’t get me wrong – I deserve the hero’s journey cavalier attitude now because those four shitstained years from the age of 13 to 17 were fucking hell to the nth degree. Not shitting you! I couldn’t even kill myself correctly. Truth is I didn’t realllly want to die or I would have definitely been successful, I just wanted to be noticed. That’s a story for another time kids.
So why again wouldn’t I have wanted the “normal” life as portrayed all those loving and warm families on TV? Before I share this with you, let me just clarify something really quick first: What I’m about to say is NOT bullshit!
Truthfully, the shitlist above I went through could only impact me in one of two ways. I could have become the VICTIM of MY story and lived in eternal misery for the rest of my life. Or, chose to bust my ass, read hundreds of books, put myself through school to earn a Masters degree, and create a life I felt I deserved. Guess which one I picked???
To achieve the level of success I have today was the direct result of making some excruciatingly painful decisions and lots of sacrifices. I had to let people go. I had to let go of old beliefs. I had to trust myself and others. You obviously know I teach about becoming and remaining UNSTOPPABLE because I’m living fucking proof it works! Simple! Effective! True as shit bitches!
So, if you’ve ever catch yourself thinking, “Man if only this and that didn’t happen to me I’d be_________” then I have just one piece of advice for you. Ready?
Stop doing that shit!
Seriously! Sadly many just keep telling themselves the same bullshit excuses over and over and over as to why they haven’t become successful and happy. And in the stellar words that only the good ole Dr. Phil can sternly say in a deep voice, “How’s that working for ya Princess?” The “Princess” part is mine. You like it? Adds some flair! Anyway, where was I?
What I’m saying is you CAN rewrite your own story. No, it wouldn’t become a make-believe story either. Instead of thinking of those experiences as what pushed you down, think of them and see them as sharpening stones that made you tough as fucking nails! Feel me? When I was trying to escape the misery of my life, laying on that cold vinyl backseat, trying to fall asleep, I told myself over and over, “One day I’m gonna own my own house and no one will ever take it away from me and I’ll never be homeless again! And I’m gonna tell all the kids my age they should never ever give up!” The mantra goes on but you get the idea. I’m extremely proud to say I fulfilled those promises and a ton more!
So go take what “hurt” you (perception) and go out and help someone NOW who’s going thru that same situation. Give positive meaning to your memories and help others from your pain and now resulting success. Remember my phrase that pays people: Everything happens for a reason and…. say this next part with me:
WHAT DOESN’T KILL ME ONLY MAKES ME STRONGER!
So, as I now sit in my 2nd home, with my health, family, and lots of toys, yeah…35 years ago I went thru some shit. But ya know what, I’m sharing my passion and message with the world to make it a much much more KICKASS place to live and raise our kids!
If this story hits with you I’d love to know about it. For me, writing is a two-way form of communication. It’s a slower form because I really consider my words (not really) and you get to digest them and think about your response to it. Cool right?
Much love and all my very KICKASS best!