Man. I was stuck living the “almost life” for too long. Years.
“Come on honey! Please just hang on little bit longer. We’re almost there. I promise!”
Stuck somewhere between my potential and my nightmare (which was anything less than my potential).
Not keeping promises.
I’m convinced there’s nothing worse than living in a prison of potential.
You know you’ve got it, can’t ignore it… but you look around and you ain’t it.
It’s like, you want the Jordan’s but you always get the Reebok’s… or the hand-me-downs.
That was me.
My whole life I knew I had it.
I was born with something burning inside of me, and it was loud.
I heard the call to more at an early age.
My parents are angels. Absolutely incredible humans. Love them with my whole soul.
It’s not their fault that my childhood played out in my own mind.
Nobody knew me but me.
Naturally, Superman was my guy because he was proof I could fly.
The literal embodiment of my innards.
Ordinary dude, Clark Kent (our human nature). Turns Superman (our superhuman nature). And flies. And beats the bad guys. With rhymes.
I was fascinated by that idea.
That’s how we feel when we’re young and free.
Superman? I can BE that. Fly? No prob.
Intoxicated by possibility (ahem, potential).
But at some point we stop wearing the Superman underwear because it ain’t cool anymore. It’s not normal or PC.
But you can’t run from the call to MORE.
It’s always there.
And I was always almost there.
Almost a professional athlete.
Almost a successful business owner.
Almost 10% body fat.
Almost a lover.
Almost free from addiction.
Almost a good husband.
Almost a good father.
Almost a good follower of Jesus.
When almost meets boyhood dreams, things get interesting.
I had a great singing voice. At least enough to be teased by everyone that mattered.
Was good at art too… won a city wide art contest. Bought my first Huffy bike with the proceeds.
Learned the violin in 30 minutes as a 5th grader. I was as good as the 7th graders on day one.
Taught myself fly fishing with books from the library and crocheted fly lines attached to a 6’6″ spinning rod for practice. Caught my first fish on a fly I tied.
But nothing compared to my love for sports. Not even close.
Ken Griffey Jr’s first grand slam, I was there.
Dave Niehaus’ voice played in my dreams at night.
Baseball was my first crush.
Golf was my mistress.
Grew up watching Tiger Woods. My uncle gave me a set of clubs when I was 14. I was as scratch golfer two years later. Not a single golf lesson.
But basketball was my first real love.
I had a boyhood dream to play Division 1 basketball and Brigham Young University (and I did, ahem, almost).
Worked my face off.
My family wasn’t into sports. But I was.
Had to learn myself everything.
We had no cable. I only had access to a couple Chicago Bulls games per year when they played the Supersonics.
Recorded on VHS. Wore out the recordings.
Learned by trying to make my body “be like Mike.”
Mom didn’t like me shooting hoops in the parlor into a clothes basket. Dad made me a engineer’s hoop and standard in the carport. Gravel carport. Had no basketball. Only a red, white, and blue soccer ball. Shot it so much that the patches fell off. Hours every day but Sunday.
After moving away from my only true childhood friend and my gravel court, a ruptured appendix nearly killed me twice when I was 12.
Two months in the hospital.
My body went septic.
I became friends with pain.
And I’ve put up with a lot of it. Pushing through the pain to the threshold of “almost” but never free of it.
When I got out—three abscess drain tubes hanging from my side—I weighed 52 pounds.
Couldn’t shoot a 3-pointer… or a foul shot.
Went ice fishing.
Couldn’t fight the three pound fish, or hold it up after my uncle reeled it in.
A year later as a 7th grader, I scored 72 points in a game and broke three point records.
Made 22 out of 25 in an NBA style three point contest.
I was almost cool.
Had a blue ribbon to prove it.
On the outside, confident. Handsome. Popular. Talented.
On the inside, awkward loner. Didn’t fit in. Wasn’t wanted.
Tall skinny kid.
One rock tit that never went away.
Birthmark on my forehead.
Wouldn’t kiss a girl until I was graduated.
Family doc said he’d never seen a kid with double scoliosis make it at D1 level.
More to prove now.
My dad, a brilliant engineer, almost made it as an inventor. He invented a humidifier for airplanes and patented it. But couldn’t sell it to the two companies that would buy it.
almost had the life he wanted. almost broke through. almost proved the doubters wrong.
Fought hard to keep things almost-ing themselves.
Because we couldn’t quit.
Pain of potential. Pain of slow progress. Pain of almost.
But what about my boyhood dream?
I wasn’t recruited.
My family moved twice during my high school years.
Messed up my high school years.
My senior year I didn’t even play much. I was an after thought. Nobody cared.
Moved to Chile for two years to introduce people to Jesus.
Came back and went to BYU, determined to finally be seen.
Summer of 2003, walked into the Marriott Center as if I belonged.
Played ONE pick up game with the guys (a few players and some recruits).
Not sure what happened.
In sports that’s a good thing. Means I went unconscious.
Then, dream came true.
Got a call that night on my first cell phone ever. My baby blue Sony Ericcson brick phone from AT&T.
It was Andy Toolson, assistant coach.
He asked me to come down to a team meeting the next morning.
I did. Wasn’t sure if I was on the team or if this was a joke.
Got to the Marriott Center meeting hall… I was 5 minutes early but 10 minutes late.
I’ll never forget this moment… I looked around and could name every player in there and where they went to high school, how many points they averaged… scholarship players.
Found an empty seat toward the back corner.
I slithered along the wall, so as to not disturb anyone, hoping nobody would notice… and feeling very muck like an alien amongst earthen Gods.
I was on the team. Or so I thought.
I even got my favorite number. 21.
First time wearing it. I almost had my number in high school but it was always spoken for by someone more important.
I was stuck in the world of almosts. Not realizing truth.
A 6’10” kid who could move well and shoot the lights out dropped out of the sky. They had no idea I existed. They were ecstatic.
BYU issue on. Number 21. First team workout in RB 156.
Some of my friends were playing pick up on our court.
Soon as we walked in they parted the way.
I’d been playing with these guys all summer, I knew all of them.
None of them knew I had been asked to walk on to the team.
I’ll never forget the look on their faces.
I related far more to them than I did the team I was on.
The pain started in the very first right hand lay up drill… in a place I’d never had it before.
My left foot.
Ah, it’s just pain. Whatever.
Left hand lay up drill… pain in my right foot.
Ah, it’s just pain. Whatever.
Never went away.
My mind created a reason to keep things almosts.
Stress fractures showed up in both feet, in the first week.
Bulging disk in my back, the second week.
All created by stress or pressure.
Was my family doc right?
I didn’t tell anyone. I was almost there. Almost official.
Pain was my friend.
But how do you play the game WELL on broken feet?
But how do you play the game WELL without standing up straight?
I kept the pain quiet.
Until I couldn’t.
Three hours of prep for practice. Three hour practice. Then flat on my back for the rest of the night. Couldn’t move.
Was this my dream?
The guys beat Syracuse that year in the NCAA tournament in every category but points. They lost to Gerry McNamara’s 42 point game.
I couldn’t do another round of this.
Took everything I had to muster the strength to quit my dream after that first year.
I’m not a quitter. I’m not afraid of work, or pain.
But I was fully broken.
No, it wasn’t my dream.
It was my almost dream.
I never made it on the active roster. Never had a jersey with my name on it. Never ran out of the tunnel with the fight song playing. Never got healthy. Means there’s NO evidence that I played D1 at BYU.
So DID I ACHIEVE MY DREAM?
Then, something flat out indescribable happened.
Once I was out of my almost dream… my body miraculously healed itself.
The morning after I told coach Steve Cleveland I was done, I didn’t know what to do with myself.
Common thing for an athlete when athletics are no longer an option.
So I laced up and went to play some pick up ball… with my guys. Gym rats. Always there.
I ran in with them.
Stole the ball on a breakaway and threw down a windmill dunk with some pent up fury… as if that were normal.
Running back up the court it hit me.
WHERE IS THE PAIN?
I crumbled to the floor. Crying.
There was no pain.
I hadn’t been able to do a windmill that entire year.
This had to be an act of God.
At the time, I had NO IDEA the power that my mind had over my body.
But this sent me down a path that changed my life.
And I’m grateful for it.
The almosts didn’t stop there.
Almost had a successful real estate deal.
Almost top salesman.
Almost married the girl of my dreams.
Almost out of debt.
But I couldn’t silence the call to MORE. It burned.
Leap Year Day.
February 29, 2008.
It couldn’t have been more dark. I was at rock bottom.
I was a bright light to others. The perfect kid. Had all the answers. Everything came easy. Confident. Clear. Courageous. Leader.
But inside it was darkness.
Depressed. Silently. Self medicating with porn. I couldn’t afford $160 rent. Over $50k in debt. No job. Failed businesses. Body broken not just from hoops, but also from a failed BYU volleyball career as well.
Dated the star of the volleyball team. But she left to Germany to play pro ball without telling me. She left her roommate to tell me the next day on her doorstep. Never heard from her again.
Almost married a lesbian. We were engaged. She was confused. So was I. She didn’t know it at the time. Luckily, we’re still friends to this day but at the time, that killed me.
But I couldn’t silence the voice that told me there was MORE.
Back in 2000 I had set a bunch of goals that planned out my life of MORE (e.g. greatness). 37 of them.
First item? Daily journaling.
That was the success habit I fixated on. I wanted it for 100 reasons.
But eight years later, I had all the proof in the world I was only ever meant for almost.
How many lifetimes would I need to be the man I wanted to be?
That night, particularly, I was consumed by my almost world.
What do you write in your journal when you hate yourself? What do you write when nothing is right?
Went to bed at 11pm… four hours later my competitive Seth was wide awake.
Why couldn’t I just reach over, pick up my Gallery Leather Journal and my perfectly weighted Parker pen, and write something. Anything.
But I was frozen in place.
“Come on Seth, you can do it” VS “Nah, who cares, you suck.”
At the time I had a streak of 5 days, one of the longest over that 8 year span of fits and bursts and starts and stops.
About 3:14am, while staring at the ceiling, it happened.
The experience that later became the Breakthrough Challenge fell from the ceiling. Literally.
You see… nothing in my life was right.
But I felt like if I could just conquer this ONE thing.
It would somehow help in ways I didn’t understand.
All of my anger, displeasure, angst, and untapped potential was focused at this one thing.
It was THE poster child as to why I sucked at life.
Nothing I did seemed to help.
I’d voraciously consumed as much traditional self-help stuff as I could.
I’d spent a small fortune on figuring out how to fix myself.
Personal development rock concerts.. seminars, countless books, audio programs, coaching… this was before podcasts were a thing… I would have been even more in trouble.
Nothing got me any farther than “almost“. And I never even almost made it to 21 days.
But everything left me feeling like there was something wrong with me.
I needed fixing.
Gurus blamed me for their systems not working.
There I lay.
The glittery, popcorny ceiling seemed to move.
Something fell, toward my wide-eyed eye. Landed. No blink reflex.
I reached up to scratch it out, and BAM.
Silence in my head. Then perspective.
Something pulled me out of that moment and allowed me to see it as if I were an observer.
It finally all made sense.
A clear voice.
“Seth, do you even believe that you’re the type of person that writes in a journal?”
Me: Uh, no. I’m the worst ever. And I have proof. I can’t write in my journal to save my life.
More silence. Eery.
Then it all came to me in an instant.
I understood WHY I was stuck in a Groundhog’s Day of almosts.
Instructions came. Do this, then that and here’s how it should look.
And I did.
That was my phone booth.
Overnight, instantly… I was writing in my journal on the daily as if I was born that way.
No more stress. No questioning. No warring in my mind.
967 days in a row. I have proof.
But it didn’t stop there. I got married in November of that year. I went on the 10X my income. Built a six figure business in a weekend. Made $333k for three days worth of work. Became a professional athlete (in an obscure sport called World Long Drive).
Breakthrough would be putting it lightly.
This couldn’t be real.
Nobody told me these kind of upgrades were possible.
It was so bizarre that I filed that experience away in the “cosmic x files” folder.
Never thought it would happen again… one time deal from God.
Until it did.
And it worked EVEN BETTER for others.
Truth is, I never intended to share that experience for obvious reasons.
But there I was a messenger without a clear message… sitting in a Brendon Burchard event years later.
Started to wonder WHAT happened that night so many years ago.
Could I do it again?
After all, I still had my list of other things to install in my life.
Spent 42-ish months reverse engineering it.
What happened? Why? How? What’s essential? What’s not.
Then… at 3:14am on an August morning, the framework hit me.
This is WHY the experience worked and HOW to duplicate it.
So I did it again for myself. Over and over.
Such a simple but infinitely powerful framework.
INTRASCENSION. P1. P2. P3. S1. S2. S3. (Taught only to graduates of the challenge).
Would others want to know this too? Had no idea. It was just my little thing.
I was scared spitless to share it.
To open it up to judgement.
I kept it to myself, until I was forced by a friend to speak at a Rotary Club meeting in Pleasant Grove, Utah.
For the first time, I shared my framework to 11 humans, in a 20 minute speech.
Every man in the room was old enough to be my grandpa but two.
Ryan Jones gave me a genuine thank you.
I didn’t think much of it other than “cool, I guess it’s not so stupid after all.”
Two weeks later, I got an email.
My little thing had made a different in someone’s life.
They had created personal habits AND marriage habits AND his wife wanted me to speak to her volleyball team.
Doubled his insurance agency over the next while. Her team won three state championships in a row.
I started to get the idea this little thing wasn’t just a little thing.
Problem is, I was WAY ahead of my time.
Nobody wanted this kind of thing anyways.
“Instant Breakthrough” OR “Instant Change”
But today, its different.
We KNOW there’s MORE inside of us and we want it to come out in a way that’s unmistakable.
Simple. Fast. Not easy.
Years later, you now have the result of years of testing, tweaking, improving and streamlining the single experience that vaults you past the realm of almosts.
The best analogy I can think of to describe it is… Superman.
Clark Kent represents your human nature. Superman represents your SUPER-human nature.
If you have ever felt stuck as a “Clark Kent” in any area of your life or business… while knowing you’re a Superman, you MUST give yourself the honor of this experience.
I built it for you.
I removed all financial concerns.
Optimized it to play nice with your Clark Kent.
My experience was a gift to me from God.
I did the work to make this a gift for you.
Please honor it. Please give it your all. Please share it.
It will change your life, just as it did mine and thousands of others.
Does it fix everything? Of course not.
Not everything went perfectly from there on out for me either.
But my Superman helped me figure things out in a fraction of the time and with as little damage as possible… that not matter what I’ve gone through, I’ve ended up stronger and better.
See.. I don’t expect things to be easy all the time.
I want GROWTH.
Growth is required to live a life of MORE.
And growth comes from pushing against heavy things and using your Superman to figure things out.
But there’s always kryptonite.
There’s always a Lex Luthor (or ten).
This breakthrough experience unlocked a version of myself that could HANDLE it all.
Neutralize the kryptonite.
Nullify the Lex Luthors.
Turn plan b into the best thing ever.
Life teaches us lessons. When we learn them quickly and thoroughly, no matter how hard, we grow.
Superman is no different. Neither are we.
Weaknesses. Addictions. Unwanted divorce. Narcissism. Betrayal trauma. Fraudulent partners. Bankruptcy. Debt. Second marriage. Blending families.
Best life ever.
With my best person ever.
Had to use my Super-Seth and so do you.
I didn’t know that version of me was there.
That’s not my fault.
I bought into tradition.
The world and its gurus teach us that we’re falling short. That we’re broken. That we’re not good enough. That we lack. That we’re almost.
Just so they can sell us something.
But my Super-SETH was always there. Calling to me. Accessible. At all times.
I just didn’t know how to get to it.
Clark Kent was born Superman.
He doesn’t need to become Superman, he IS Superman.
All he needs to do is remember who he is and allow himself to REMOVE all the things that aren’t truly him… he did that in the dadgum phone booth.
That’s why your experience is literally a phone booth for you.
It will help you deal with anything life throws at you.
No change required.
Just a semi-blind step, lead by crazy ol’ Seth, into and out of your phone booth.
I’ve used these same principles to roll through heavy stuff that normally breaks people… and turn it all for my highest growth.
The story doesn’t end here… it’s just a beginning.
So it will be for you.
Go. Fight. Win.