This is a story about one man’s success. His hero’s journey. Enjoying life without limitations and with the understanding and acceptance that he controls his own destiny.
I was looking forward to meeting Chris up at his summer home on Clear Lake in the Kawarthas. It was a perfect summer day in July. The drive up was breathtaking. The long stretches of two lane road with the gentle curves make it feel like your car is swaying back and forth with the gentle breeze. The landscape is thick with forest on both sides of the road, occasionally broken up by meadows with tall grass bent over slightly by that same calm breeze. Chris had told me to enjoy the ride, I can see why. Everything seems to be working together harmoniously. It’s perfect. I arrive at the street where the cottage is located. A gravel laneway is lined with forest on either side. I take the ride in slowly, enjoying the scents and smells of the forest, constantly looking ahead and up, the canopy letting the sunlight come through just enough to have that perfect balance of shade and light. After several minutes of this beautiful scenery I come up to an opening, a driveway on the right, several cars parked in front of a cottage, an incredible piece of architecture, built of stone and heavy timber. I park my car off to the side, get out, and slowly walk to the front door, taking it all in, the strong tall trees, the leaves rustling in that gentle breeze, the birds singing harmoniously, flying from branch to branch. A slate stone path guides me to a beautiful front porch with an awning on either side of a peaked archway, with a light hanging from it swaying slightly, a large single wooden door under it, with wrought iron handle and knocker, and frosted panes of glass around the perimeter of the door. I approach the door; arm out to strike the knocker. I hear the sound of footsteps on the other side of the door. As the door is unlocked and opened slowly Chris is there to greet me on the other side with a smile on his face and an inviting hand shake. “Come in, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”
As I step into the cottage I am in awe. Directly ahead of me is a wall of windows allowing you to see nature in all its harmony. The view is perfect. There are large trees with branches outstretched, seemingly perfectly placed by mother nature across the stunning landscape so as to just see enough of the peaceful lake shimmering in the sun. Chris brings me out to the deck, there is a table with a platter of fruit, a jug of water, three glasses and three chairs there for us to sit and enjoy the fresh air and the view as we begin our conversation, getting to understand how this quiet and kind person beside me got here.
Chris’ wife Cathy comes out to join us, confirming before we start that we were still good with our initial agreement, after the interview I join them and their families for dinner on the deck. I nodded and said “I always accept an invitation for great food and fine conversation.” With that settled we begin.
I asked the first question, “How did you do it?”
Chris takes a moment before answering the question and with a smile he says, “It all started with one question…” he looks at his wife, chuckles a little and continues with, “It only took me three tries before I really understood how to answer that question!”
I was intrigued, and a little baffled, one question and to achieve everything he has done up to this point all he had to do is answer one question. Most people go through life trying to answer many questions and still find out they aren’t quite where they want to be.
There’s a bit of a pause and then I finally ask him what that question was. “What do you want more of in life?” he replies with a smile. Looking with disbelief I ask him to continue.
Chris begins to explain that before he could become successful he had to discover what he really wanted in life, “my purpose” he said. The first time he was asked the question he gave it some thought and left it at that. The second time he was asked the question was through a course he had decided to take to help him build a successful MLM business.
“The course is called Go90Grow. It is designed to help people in network marketing build a successful business based on skills.”
And so began his journey the second time to find his purpose in life. He said all though the course was what he was looking for and determined to see it through; he fell short of his expectations a second time. “I let my fears get the best of me, I made excuses in my mind to justify why I couldn’t continue and never completed the course. That hurt. I didn’t quite understand the damaging effect it would have on me until the third and final time I decided to tackle this question that I had been dodging for so long.”
Chris goes on to say that although he did not complete the course some good habits were formed and kept the spark of hope lit to carry him through until he made the decision to revisit this question. He mentions that there was a book they were assigned to read, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. “My fortieth birthday was approaching and most guys had told me that this is when I would hit my ‘mid-life’ crisis. There’s a section in the book about the fruitful years of 40. After reading that section I began to look forward to entering my 40’s. I actually started to get very excited. I started to look at what I have already, and how grateful I am for it all. Strange thing is from that point on things started to come together.”
A week before his birthday he got an e-mail message about a course that would begin on the 27th of September of 2015, the day after his 40th birthday. Chris’ wife Cathy adds that they both believe that things happen for a reason. “Chris had done some research on this course, it was a pay it forward scholarship designed to help people find as Chris mentioned before, “your purpose in life.” Cathy looked at him and smiled as she patted him on the lap, “he said he came to me for advice but I knew at that point that he had already made the decision in his mind to apply for it.”
“So what is this course and how did it help you find your purpose in life?”
“It’s called the Master Key Mastermind Alliance, MKMMA for short. It’s a course designed to help you find your purpose in life and how to achieve it by altering your behaviors to create new habits.”
So on the 27th of September I started. There were requirements that needed to be met every week, many were on our honour some were tangible. It was somewhat overwhelming at first. It was like being in school again. So I did the assignments going through the motions week by week. There were many challenges I had to overcome. One of the biggest ones was the creation of my definite major purpose, DMP for short. The DMP is like a new blueprint for the brain like a set of instructions you’re giving your conscious mind to give to your subconscious mind so that new construction can be built for you, your life and how you want it to unfold. The challenge was it had to be focussed and specific. Mine was not initially. One of the great things about this course is that there is a guide you are assigned to. They are experts at what they do. This person is like an inspector, they review your ‘set of drawings’ to make sure everything is to ‘code’, if not they send it back with some guidance as to how to revise it all the while doing their very best not influence you. Well it took me eight weeks to finally get it right. Some careful research, and being very specific about what I wanted and when got me the stamp of approval. You see the answers were there in front of me in the original drafts, I just had to remove some of the excess ‘stuff’ and I got it. I found what it was I need to focus on, to move ahead, to succeed.
I answered the question “what do I want more of in life?” I discovered through this course and Go90Grow that there are PPN’s, seven to be exact…”
I stop Chris in mid-sentence. “PPN? What’s that?” Chris smiles and apologises.
It’s a need, a personal pivotal need in your life that when achieved, enjoying life becomes effortless. They are Legacy, Spiritual Growth, Autonomy, Liberty, Helping Others, Recognition for Creative Expression and True Health.”
Chris explains that out of the seven needs he was to pick two. He explains he didn’t quite understand what the course coordinators meant about working on satisfying his two most important needs which resonated with him most would help him in achieving the rest until later on in the course.
He said the needs that he felt were most important to satisfy at that time were Spiritual Growth, and True Health.
“Why these two?” I asked. Chris smiles and says he remembers an old saying, “you cannot lead where you will not go.”
Chris goes on to say that if he was unwilling to work on his own needs so that he could do his absolute best, “how could I expect anyone else to listen to me, believe in me, if I didn’t believe in myself?” My outside world was a reflection of my world within. It was blurry, confusing and disorganized. I needed to focus and gain control of my wandering mind.”
“Sounds like you were pretty relieved to make that discovery.” Chris nods his head and smiles as he pours himself a glass of water and takes a sip. He turns to Cathy as she grabs his hand and gave out a little sigh, smiled and kissed him on the cheek. “I kept telling him, but he wouldn’t believe me…” Cathy said with a smile as she gave him a gentle push on the shoulder.
“Believe what?” I asked.
“She was the one that kept reminding me to love life. You see, I already have everything, a wonderful life a beautiful wife, two incredible kids, a cat, my dream job which is minutes away from where I live, I have extended family that loves me and ,any people that have done so much for me. I have much to be grateful for, and I’ve accomplished so much, but without accepting it and embracing it all I couldn’t move forward. After all these years the answers to me moving forward was all around me, all along, I just needed to look at things differently.”
Chris laughs and says there’s a movie which kind of sums up his journey through this course. “The message is pretty clear to me in the movie, I still watch it to this day, and I’m still overwhelmed with emotion every time.”
He goes on to tell me that the movie is Kung-fu Panda. A story about a panda named Po, a reluctant hero, always dreaming to be great, gets the opportunity to achieve his dream of becoming a kung-fu legend, but near the end of his journey when he receives the secret dragon scroll which shows only his reflection, loses all faith in himself. It is only when he speaks with his ‘dad’; Chris pauses for a moment and laughs. “You really have to watch the movie,” he says. His dad reveals a secret to him and it is only then that he realizes his true potential.
I did watch the movie and found the part that Chris was talking about. I thought it would be important to mention it. And I now know why Chris laughed when he mentioned Po’s dad. You’ll just have to watch the movie.
“The secret ingredient of my secret ingredient soup. The secret ingredient is… nothing… nothing, there is no secret ingredient… to make something special you just have to believe it’s special… There is no secret ingredient.”
Chris says that after all the exercises, the readings, the practice, the long nights, the setbacks, the discoveries, the epiphanies, the support and guidance from everyone involved in the MKMMA course, the answer to his success was staring him right in the face. “It is me. I did need support and guidance, but I understand now that I am the answer to fulfilling my purpose in life, there is no secret. I just had to believe in myself, to see my future, the future that I wanted as my reality.”
“So how did it feel to make this discovery?”
“I felt calmness come over me yet I was also excited that I now understand that abundance is a natural law of the universe. I thought about that, there is an abundance of everything. Anything I ever wanted or didn’t want is there for me to have. I now have knowledge of my power. I knew what I wanted more of in life and how to focus my thoughts constructively to get it. Things that I had been trying to fix or improve in myself for years suddenly changed overnight. I remember the first morning I made the discovery I had shot out of bed like a rocket! I had read my DMP many times and finally like a seed planted in fertile soil, my new roots, my world within firmly established itself, and like a sapling breaking through its outer shell and soil my world without is now a reflection of my abundant world within.”
During the last portion of the MKMMA course Chris mentions that things came together at a much faster pace. Satisfying his PPN’s opened up everything. “I can honestly say that I feel whole, complete, at peace with myself. Visualising what I want and knowing and understanding how achieve it is very effortless and exciting to do. The real icing on the cake was when I put more importance on thinking instead of measuring. I didn’t see the work I had to do for the course as assignments anymore, I saw them as part of my life, behaviours done repeatedly and persistently over the 26 weeks which were the birth of new habits, good habits.”
At that moment there’s a knock at the door, Cathy excuses herself. Chris explains that their families were out on hike since late morning and everyone had just come back to help prepare for the big dinner. I greet some of the family members as they come through to the back to help set up the larger table on the deck. I get settled back down again, take a sip of water and ask, “After you made this discovery what did you decide to do?”
Chris goes on to explain that he went back to complete the Go90Grow course, did some research, joined an mlm business with steady growth, he is now a top income earner in the company. He also wanted a place where the kids, both Cathy and Chris’ families and friends could enjoy nature in all its beauty, hence this cottage on Clear Lake. He has a richer life being able to express himself with confidence has only built the bond he has with Cathy and their two children ever so much stronger. Chris also mentions with happiness in his voice that Cathy also decided to take the course.
“She saw the impact it had on me and how it rippled out to everyone else around me. She has a beautiful and creative mind with incredible ideas and so much love.”
Being an active supporter of the course Chris makes opportunities consistently to spread the word as often as he can. “Everyone needs to know about this course and what it has to offer, after that it’s up to them to decide to take the journey.”
There’s also a not for profit organization that he volunteers at and donates one months earnings every year to from his mlm business. “The organization is called We Believe in Abby. A former co-worker and friend of mine and his wife have three kids, their second child Abby, was born with a heart defect. Before the age of two she had already had three heart surgeries. They had started a ‘pay it forward’ movement encouraging random acts of kindness in hopes that the positive energy will surround their daughter. When she made the trip home from her long stay at Sick Kids her parents friends and family had continued the ‘pay it forward’ movement, touching the lives of people all around them, parents with children in similar situations. At that time I would always say a prayer, that’s all I knew to do at the time. I realize now that I could have helped out so much more.”
Chris is also an active member in his community, and also volunteers his time at his son’s school. “It gives me great pleasure to work with people of the community and mastermind to make the community an incredible place now and for generations to come.”
Chris also says he has plans for early retirement from the Fire Service. He has a date set in mind, September 26th, 2025, his 50th birthday. I’ve enjoyed my time in the Fire Service, I’ve learned so much form the people I’ve worked with and grateful for the opportunity I’ve had. At 50 I have decided to move on to start the next chapter in my life.”
With the table set and the barbeque warming up, Chris’ father in-law snaps the barbeque tongs a couple of times to get his attention. Chris turns to look and with a smile says, “You clanged?” Howard tries desperately to keep a straight face but a grin starts to form on his face, unable to contain himself as he says, “I think you’ve bored Anthony enough with your talking, I think it’s time you give your jaw a rest and the poor man’s ears a break!” Chris laughs as he gets up from the chair and replies with a smile, “I know, I know, I’m coming.” Before I get up to get acquainted with Chris and Cathy’s families I ask Howard if I could ask his son-in-law one last question. He shakes his head as he chuckles and says, “Don’t say I didn’t try and help you.”
As I thank Howard for his courageous efforts I turn to Chris and ask him for a closing thought. He takes a moment to think about it. His facial expression changes from a man deep in thought and concentration to a child who’s just been given the keys to a candy store, a smile so genuine and his eyes show an expression of excitement and true happiness as he roughly quotes a passage from Haanel’s Master Key: “I used to be governed by my feelings and emotions. Now I think my problems through to the end. I know that every effect is a result of a certain definite cause. I now see the issues clear to the end and meet the requirements fully and fairly, and the result is that the world gives me all that it has to give in friendship, honour and approval.”