I was born a chubby little kid in a small town in Ohio. Nothing unique. There's a million similar stories. . Like most children, I started out with that sense of wonder that every boy or girl has. Everything is magic! You could create entire worlds from your imagination.... become a cowboy, a soldier, or a superhero...all on the same day, in the same backyard! Nothing was impossible. . But as you grow, you begin to conform, your subconscious mind begins creating the program that will control most us for the rest of our lives! We are subjected to cultural conditioning designed to help us be content with just being ordinary. To let us know that this is all there is, and to make the best of it. (Spoiler Alert: Total B.S.) . Ever since I can remember, I was very intuitive. I learned early on to trust my instincts and that feeling inside. I would know on the first day of school each year who I would be friends with and who to avoid. I had a lot of friends, but I never fit in. I definitely became the "class clown" character, but outside of school I kept to myself. . I was never interested in sports, or video games, or school, the newest fad or the latest crush or much of anything really.... but TWO things changed all that. . Like a lot of other chubby kids who wanted to be the center of attention, one Christmas morning I received a magic set. . Holy s#%t, that was incredible! I could do something other kids couldn't do (yet another thing to separate me from everyone else) . I used to LIVE at the library. Taking out every book our small library had on magic and sleight of hand. Reading, devouring, and rereading. That was my existence. A little boy magician whose passion was becoming a fire that was raging out of control. Sounds poetic. . One day as I was gazing at the shelf of all the books I had read 12 times over, I noticed one that hadn't been there before. I saw that because it had "Magic" in the title it had been mistakenly placed there. It was "The Magic Of Believing". . Everyone has one day in their lives when heaven and earth collide and your awakening starts. This was mine. . I read it over and over again. I bought my own copy and carried it everywhere. I underlined it. I dog eared all the pages. I believed it. And because I did, it worked. . I knew that my soul was invisible, limitless energy that was just looking for expression. I knew that my life would be onstage. And every thought and feeling I had, I put into that goal. I had a crystal clear vision of what my life would be. . My Dad and I had a completed relationship. We were a little too similar and we drove each other nuts. He wanted me to be lawyer (theorizing that I would be great at that because of my love of arguing) and made it clear that a career in show business was NOT going to happen. All the magic shows I had done since I was 10 was just my hobby, and THAT was ok. But not as a career. . I started college at Kent State in Ohio, miserable that this was my new life. It was like the movie groundhog day when everything was the same. Day after day. Sitting in a lecture hall one afternoon listening to the professor talk about World War 2, all of a sudden..a booming voice in my head said something that changed everything...it was a line from "The Magic Of Believing" that I had read time and time again: "It’s the fear of doing the wrong thing that attracts the wrong thing. Decide and act, and the chances are that your troubles will fade into thin air --whether you make a mistake or not." . Three things happened in short order. I dropped out of school. My Dad disowned me (for a while) I got hired as a magician in a traveling carnival (that made Dad REALLY proud lol) . On those long jumps from city to city, I was rereading "The Magic Of Believing" and realizing I had received exactly what I asked for...performing my act on stage.....of course it WAS a stage under a tent at the county fair with racing pigs and corndogs BUT it was happening. . I knew then that I had to be more specific, more focused on my goals. And that's what took me down the path of studying the human mind. I was fascinated how some people succeed and others didn't. Some people live their dreams and others live their nightmares. We all are born with the same, amazing super computer inside our head...but we never receive the operator's manual that tells us how to use it. I started doing affirmations (incantations as TR says), and visualizations but more importantly I started to put more feeling behind my goals, was more specific, and started to meditate. . In two months I went from that dirty old stage at the fair to the stage of a club in Miami...opening for the legendary Don Rickles. Two months. . After that I spent a decade touring the world as an opening act for other celebs, headlining comedy clubs and cruise ships, and getting paid to do what I loved. . Wooo-Hooo! I made it! This was all a snap. I was 21 years old and a millionaire. My life was perfect. I didn't need the book anymore. I didn't need to meditate. I was in control. . I'm sure your intuition is telling you where this story is going... . My problem has always been, even though I know to my core what I believe in, sometimes I still doubt myself. Maybe it was a coincidence, the voice says. You aren't that powerful. Get over yourself, you're just lucky. That voice in your head is like a bitchy roommate that NEVER shuts up...and knows all your dirty secrets..and just how to use them against you. . As my career got hotter, I found myself drinking to excess, trying all sorts of pills, smoking, and eating way too much. As I was getting wealthier....I was getting more miserable. I felt like I was disconnected from that energy source I felt for so long. I spent a dark few years. Even though I was "functioning", still doing my shows..still getting applause, I wasn't living. "See, I told myself..you didn't deserve this...and it will all be taken away from you!" . All my life I wanted this and now it was making me miserable. What the hell, Universe? . I was having a blast playing the victim. Boozing and partying and blaming everyone else for my mistakes and failures. I was REALLY good at the blame game and an expert in self pity. . Then 2 things happened staggeringly close together....sitting by my pool one afternoon with a hangover, watching a beer can full of cigarette butts float by I heard that same voice from that day in college reciting another of Claude Bristol's pieces of wisdom: . “What you exhibit outwardly, you are inwardly. You are the product of your own thought. What you believe yourself to be, you are.” . I heard it before. I understood it. I knew it. But in that moment of clarity...I believed it again, and everything changed. I stopped drinking and smoking. Cold turkey. No sweat. Poured a few bottles of pills down the toilet...and flushed. Started eating healthy and began to take back control of my life. . Fast forward to the day a few months later when I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. What followed were weeks of appointments, bone marrow tests (the most intense pain EVER), having pic lines for chemo implanted in my chest, and on and on. But there was a difference. I believed. And nothing, not even this...was going to change that. I made it through several rounds of chemo (and I never missed one of my shows!) and I never allowed what was happening to my body change the way I thought about my soul. If I hadn't changed, and this cancer hit me when I was at my lowest...I don't think I would have made it. . That was 13 years ago and I've never looked back. I started mixing positive messages and motivational aspects to my shows, and began teaching people about the immense powers of the mind. I started thinking about others instead of myself, started having gratitude for everything I already had, and started focussing on all the things that really matter (and guess what? EVERYTHING else I wanted has appeared) . I've spent 27 years touring this world and working with Presidents, Prime Ministers, Celebs, Sports Teams, and more. I've earned millions of dollars and saw the most gorgeous places on earth. It's the only job I've ever had, and it's everything I dreamed of as that little pudgy kid. Guess what? None of that crap matters. None. . What matters is only, in that moment of clarity, I reconnected to the incredible power inside me..I connected to the real me and all my crazy, outdated belief patterns and my rusty old concept of self just finally evaporated...and I unlocked the handcuffs and stepped out of the jail I imprisoned myself in. The lesson for me is to stop looking to the outside world for validation and look inside. We are all in cages, but the secret is in knowing that the key is in our pocket all along. .
Thanks for reading. If you get that feeling in the pit of YOUR stomach when you think of your dream, that is the soul telling you not to give up on it. When you attain that dream, and share it with others..everyone wins