Contributor: Steve Pavlina of www.stevepavlina.com.
In January of 1991, my life was going downhill fast. I’d just been arrested for felony grand theft after a few prior arrests for misdemeanors. I got expelled from college because I ditched most of my classes. I played video games for up to 18 hours at a time. I’d fallen into a pattern of self-destructive, out-of-control behavior.
I didn’t know how at the time, but I decided I had to make some serious changes. I really didn’t want to spend my adult years wearing orange pajamas.
I began listening to personal development audio programs, and I liked the positive messages they shared. Sometimes I listened to them for two to three hours per day. This had a major effect on my attitude, thoughts, and beliefs. I gradually began setting goals, working on my self-discipline, and overcoming bad habits.
Soon I started over at a new college. Thanks to all this positive conditioning, I was able to take triple the normal course load, and I graduated in only three semesters with a double major in computer science and mathematics. At graduation I was presented with special award given to the top computer science student. I was amazed at the powerful transformation I went through as a result of exposing myself to daily inspiration.
After college I started a computer games business and ran it for ten years. For the first five years, it was a real struggle. I sank into debt and went bankrupt. But I didn’t give up because I understood the value of persistence. I kept going and eventually turned the business around. For the next five years, it did very well. Our games won several awards, and we had a write-up and photo published in the New York Times.
As I began to appreciate the amazing payoffs from investing in personal growth, I devoured many more books in the field and eventually read more than 1,000 of them. I listened to audio programs and went to seminars to keep learning and growing. Soon I was formulating my own insights to build upon this knowledge–and to connect the dots between what I’d learned from others and what I’d experienced for myself.
I felt a strong desire to “pay it forward,” so in 1999 I started writing articles to share what I learned with others.
I know that personal transformation is possible because I’ve lived it. By making a serious commitment to personal growth, I went from sitting in a jail cell facing felony charges to becoming a globally recognized author, speaker, and personal growth expert. This did not happen overnight. It took 15-20 years to reach this point. But what if I hadn’t made this commitment? I might have eventually received a much less pleasant 15-20 year sentence.
My life purpose is: to care deeply, connect playfully, love intensely, and share generously; to joyfully explore, learn, grow, and prosper; and to creatively, brilliantly, and honorably serve the highest good of all.
After Rachel and Matthew had their first child, they had a couple of fights. Well, okay, more than a couple—they fought for over three years. They fought about schedules. They fought about bad habits. They even fought about the lawn mower. And besides actually having their child, it was the best thing that could've happened. Get Fights You’ll Have After Having a Baby: A Self-Help Story on Amazon now.