Successful, Rich, & Dead

Jan 02, 2024

One morning, a few years ago, my cell phone rang at 4 AM, kind of a prelude to the grim news that was about to come. One of my childhood buddies, in the prime of his life, at age 51, had suddenly dropped dead from a heart attack. His wife, Marie, was the bearer of this tragic news. A sickening wave of sorrow washed over me at this moment, not just for the excruciating pain Marie and her three children were bracing for, but also because it echoed a personal tragedy as my dad also met the same cruel fate, a fatal heart attack, at the age of 51.

The catastrophe struck a nerve, a stark reminder of how fragile life is. My buddy was the very image of success by society's standards. His resume boasted of multiple successful companies, a portfolio of investments, and a life of luxury complete with country club membership, fancy cars, a couple of homes, and private schools for kids. Yet, beneath the surface of outward prosperity, he was waging an unwinnable war against his own body.

Despite his extraordinary accomplishments, he was losing a personal battle of health. He was a ticking time bomb. He was morbidly obese, a condition deeply rooted in his upbringing by two equally obese parents. Those early years and the most influential people in his life had crafted his perspective on health. Their lifestyle choices, during his formative years left an indelible mark, a legacy of unhealthy living that would ultimately cost him his life.

We have to accept this one undeniable reality. There are only a few pivotal areas in our lives that shape everything. Our health, our friends, our family, our company, and our finances. It is a colossal challenge to strike a balance among these pivotal areas.

It's all too easy to lose sight of the delicate equilibrium to become so engrossed in achieving success in one area that we neglect the others.

When my father passed, it was as though an alarm bell sounded in the depths of my being. The gravity of losing my dad in such a manner shook me to the core. Yet, it also fueled a fierce determination within me to never let this happen to me. From that painful moment at the age of 23, I pledged an unwavering commitment to prioritize my health above all else, a decision that, quite frankly, continues to shape my actions today. 

It is so exciting to be victorious in our entrepreneurial quest, right? Amassing vast wealth, building a thriving business empire, whatever it may be. But if we fail in the arena of health, we lose big time. Unfortunately, fighting for good health in our society is like battling a well-equipped army with a toothpick. Our opponents are formidable, the pharmaceutical and the fast food industries, the processed food behemoths, and the relentless pace of our modern life. It seems as though they are all conspiring against us, pushing us towards the edge of that cliff.

Don't fall into the trap of quick fixes and miracle cures when it comes to health. Just like there is no easy way to build an amazing company, there is no magic pill for health and well-being. While the formula for winning the war on obesity and unhealthy living is conceptually very easy to understand, eat right and exercise, it is massively difficult in practice. It's a basic principle but it demands sustained effort and unwavering commitment and patience. If you don't have a strong enough reason to get and stay healthy, the enemy will crush your dreams.

So let me ask, are you driving through the highway of life in a piece of s*it clunker? Or are you blazing your future in a finely-tuned Ferrari? Are you surrounding yourself with people who inspire and motivate you? Who will lend a helping hand when you need it, just like when you're building a business. Seek out those who play the sport of health and fitness at a higher level, those who approach this challenge with a different perspective. Find winners who won't tolerate excuses or half-hearted attempts. They will stoke the fires of your determination, challenging you to push yourself beyond your perceived limits and ultimately help you cultivate an unstoppable health mindset, the cornerstone of this healthy lifestyle journey.

Let's face facts! Life is a roller coaster of wins and losses. You might lose a business, but you can build another. You might face financial hardship, but you will recover. Relationships may falter, but the lessons learned can forge stronger bonds in the future.

However, there's one thing you cannot afford to gamble with, one thing you can't reclaim once it's lost, your health. Health is the one thing we oftentimes take for granted until it's taken away. Don't let that be your story. The time to act to prioritize your health is now. Each sunrise or sunset we see is a gift, not a guarantee.

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