Man, man. I was stuuuuuuck living the “almost life” for too long. Years.
The hardships and hardcore ironies of the almost life are thick. But here’s a mild one.
This was my home with my kids.
During some thick “almost” 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 Kobe’s but you always get the Flight’s… or the hand-me-downs… while still trying to hoop like Kobe.
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 had talent AND I worked my face off because I heard the call to more at an early age. I didn’t need to be motivated or pushed.
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.
That’s how we do childhood.
Undeveloped brains working to make sense of the world.
Nobody taught me how to think, even when I got older.
Naturally, Superman was my guy because he was proof I could fly.
Superman was 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.
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.
The lists of almosts is staggering.
I have a gift for music (and string instruments).
In 5th grade I chose the violin because my buddy Jordan Bolles played it.
Learned it in 30 minutes and a day later was already better than all the 5th and 6th graders in my elementary school.
In 7th grade I quit, because, ya know, basketball.
Same story with the guitar. Learned that well enough in a weekend that people thought I actually played the guitar.
But I never sang and played the guitar, that would be embarrassing. Why?
I had a great singing voice. At least enough to be teased by everyone that mattered. So I quit singing.
Was good at art too… won a city wide art contest, but I didn’t even go to the reveal because I was too embarrassed. At least I bought my first Huffy bike with the proceeds.
Since I was a loner, had a lot of time on my hands to learn stuff.
At my family cabin on the Henry’s Fork I was mesmerized by fly fisherman (the famed Jack Dennis was just two doors down).
Taught myself fly fishing using library books and VHS. My great grandma taught me how to crochet when I was 13.
I crocheted a makeshift “fly line” and attached it to the end of a broken 6’6″ spinning rod my uncle gave me in order to get the hang of casting.
Didn’t stop there… I learned to tie the flies.
Caught my first fish on a fly rod with a fly I tied.
It was just a little brown trout. But since I was by myself, I could have told a huge fish story and nobody would know any different.
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.
I could throw a ball from deep center field to home plate on the fly, easy.
In high school I could throw over 90 mph, but nobody knew it.
Why? I thought my tall and skinny would look silly in a baseball uniform.
Golf was my mistress.
Grew up watching Tiger Woods. My uncle gave me a set of PING knock off’s Tour Model II clubs when I was 14-ish.
I was a scratch golfer two years later.
Not a single golf lesson.
But golf was a “sissy sport” so I quit taking golf seriously and focused on basketball.
Basketball was my first real love.
When habitual almosts meets boyhood dreams, things get interesting.
I had a boyhood dream to play Division 1 basketball and Brigham Young University (and I did, ahem, almost).
All that other stuff didn’t capture my fancy like basketball did.
Worked my face off.
My family wasn’t into sports. But I was.
Like in the other things, I had the passion. The motivation. The work ethic. And I taught myself.
No coach ever really took me under their wing.
Since Google couldn’t save me becuase it didn’t exist, I figured I better learn from the best.
I had public libraries, VHS rentals, and network television.
We had no cable channels.
That means I only had access to a couple Chicago Bulls games per year when they played the local Seattle Supersonics.
Didn’t miss those games. Recorded them all on VHS. Wore out those recordings (and the VHS machine).
Learned by trying to make my body “be like Mike.”
So we made a makeshift hoop out of metal sheeting and attached it to the wall.
Mom didn’t like me shooting hoops in the parlor into a clothes basket and bouncing the balls off the walls. She said it would expose the sheet rock screws.
So we made a makeshift hoop out of metal sheeting and attached it to the wall in the unfinished basement.
Broke that thing quick.
Eventually, my engineer dad made me an engineer’s hoop and standard in the carport instead of just buying one from the store.
Gravel carport. Couldn’t dribble.
Had no basketball to start with.
Only a red, white, and blue soccer ball.
Shot it so much that the net literally ripped that poor soccer ball apart piece by piece.
I spent hours shooting that ball every day but Sunday.
After moving away from my only true childhood friend and my gravel court, I got awkward.
Then I got sick.
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 just 52 pounds.
No strength to shoot a 3-pointer… or a foul shot.
Couldn’t do the thing that I thought I lived for.
So I went ice fishing.
Couldn’t fight the three pound cutthroat trout, 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 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.
Pain was normal.
But what about my boyhood dream?
I wasn’t recruited.
Thought I knew I had it, I somehow also felt there wasn’t anything special about me.
My family moved twice during my high school years.
Messed up my high school recruiting years.
My senior year I didn’t even play much.
I was an after thought.
I moved out of my parents house in Arizona at 17 years old to go back to Utah and finish up high school with the guys I knew.
We’d been playing together since junior high.
We were supposed to be good. Not sure what happened that year.
But I didn’t fit in… even worse than before.
Until the state tournament.
We were down 15.
Everyone throwing up bricks.
My coach called down to the end of the bench and put me in.
After a few minutes, two steals, a couple rebounds, some easy buckets and a huge three pointer… we were only down three.
The crowd was cheering. I’ll never forget.
Then he took me out.
I’ll never forget THAT either.
Coach Bowman, after we lost, pulled me aside and told me “I’ll never forget what you did out there.”
That was that.
My “glory” days.
Life doesn’t stop though, neither did the pain of almosts.
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 on BYU campus as a 6’10” 195 pound rail that acted as if he 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.
Didn’t belong here.
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.
Was I on the team?
I even got my favorite number.
First time wearing my lucky number 21.
I almost had it in high school but it was always spoken for by someone more important.
I was stuck in the world of almosts.
I was a 6’10” kid who could move well and shoot the lights out.
The coaches thought I’d 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 like the Red Sea.
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 was one of THEM.
The pain started in place where I had never had pain before.
During the very first right-hand lay up drill.
My left foot.
Ah, no biggie. It’s just pain. Whatever.
Left hand lay up drill?
The pain started in my right foot.
Ah, no biggie. It’s just pain. Whatever.
This pain wouldn’t go away.
Kept convincing myself it wasn’t a big deal.
Yet another reason to keep things almost-ing themselves.
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.
I was too young to know any better… the stress was coming from within my own mind.
Was my family doc right?
Was I just not cut out for this?
I didn’t tell anyone about the pain.
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 do it anymore.
Three hours of prep for practice. Three hour practice. Then flat on my back for the rest of the night. Couldn’t move.
Told the coach around Christmas time.
He ripped into me for not telling him sooner.
Gave me a few weeks to get better.
I lied and told them it was better. It wasn’t.
High maintenance walk-on.
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 career defining game.
I couldn’t do another round of this.
Took everything I had to muster the strength to drag myself into coach’s office.
I’m not a quitter.
I’m not afraid of work, or pain.
But I was fully broken in every way that mattered.
No, it wasn’t my dream.
It was my almost dream.
Truth is… I never made it on the active roster. Never got healthy. Couldn’t play well with broken feet. 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, except this…
So… DID I ACHIEVE MY DREAM?
And the almosts get worse.
Once I was officially a civilian on campus again… officially flunked out of my almost dream… my body miraculously healed itself, overnight.
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 in RB 156… with my guys. Gym rats. Always there.
I ran in with them.
Stole the ball and threw down a windmill dunk on a breakaway 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.
Nothing made sense.
WHY- Why – why?
Was this God reaching down from the heavens saying “No son, this dream isn’t for you.”
It 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 that I would never have considered.
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.
Hated myself. Hated my life. Didn’t want to be here. Rock bottom hurts.
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 my breakthrough experience.
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.
I figured it out.
The full simplicity.
Came out with stuff I’d never ever heard preached anywhere.
Would it work again?
I did it again to myself. Over and over.
Life and business improved dramatically.
Worked. Predictably. Scientific.
Such a simple but infinitely powerful framework.
I had hacked myself.
Stormed my own castle.
After all, I am my own worst client. If something works for me…
Would others want to know this too? Had no idea. It was just my little thing.
I was scared spitless to share it.
I kept it to myself, until I was forced by a friend to speak at a Rotary Club meeting in Pleasant Grove, Utah.
(Participants of the challenge get to hear this original presentation, it’s raw and epically, embarrassing??)
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.
One of them was Ryan Jones.
He sought me out and passed along 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.
I can’t even.
They had created personal habits AND marriage habits AND his wife wanted me to speak to her volleyball team.
First paid speaking engagement.
To this day they probably have no idea that’s the first time I’d ever shared that stuff publicly.
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 thang wasn’t just a little thang.
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.
Simple. Fast. Not easy.
So I went to work bringing it to the people.
Years later, you now have the result of 1,000s of hours of testing, tweaking, improving and streamlining this single experience that will vault 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. Betrayal trauma. Fraudulent partners. Entrepreneurship. Dozen failed businesses. Bankruptcy. Debt. Second marriage. Co-parenting. Blending families.
Best life ever.
With my best person ever.
When life came at me, I had to use my Super-Seth and so do you.
I didn’t know that version of me was in there.
It was hidden by society’s lies and over complication.
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 very own 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.
But when you do life while living from your Super, you can do it. Life bends to you.
So it will be for you.
Go. Fight. Win.
P.S. In a fantasy world, we’d have cheat codes to life… but sometimes life comes at you to knock you off balance just to test what you’ve learned.
What’s your answer when things get spicy quick?
Reminds me of that one time a few years ago when I posted this on social media…
Can’t wait to tell you that story.
I know. It’s juicy.
For another time…
First, show you can step into your phone booth and come out the other side and THEN you’ll be surprised at what your super can do.