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Ted Talk 157: How to Rise Stronger After Hitting Rock Bottom. P. S. I Love You

Ted’s mother died when he was 14. His little brother was kidnapped and murdered when he was 19. When Ted was 36, his sister committed suicide. At 43, he witnessed his father’s death after health complications.  

He hit rock bottom after each loss. He was sad, he was angry, and he suffered from severe anxiety.  

But he bounced back.  

And now, at 45, he is living the life of his dreams.  

You might be wondering, how?  

In today’s Ted Talk, Ted reveals the lessons that helped him repurpose his life and took him from rock bottom to living the life of his dreams. He shares how radical acceptance helped him see life entirely differently and how to use exercising as a medicine. Ted also explains why you must become your own hero, the importance of mastering your stress, and seeking excitement.  

Plus, he describes how to create purpose from pain, reminds us there is always a choice, that your best days come after your worse days, and so much more. 

Listen Now! 

 

You’ll learn:

  • What is radical acceptance, and how can it help you see things differently 
  • Things you should know while waiting for your saviour 
  • How to use physical exercise as a medicine 
  • Why you should learn to master your stress 
  • What is the right moment to ask for help, and how can seeking excitement save your life 
  • If you can’t change the facts, should you keep worrying about them?
  • What is the lower you can go, and how to get out of it? 
  • How to create balance in your life through hard work 
  • Is it possible to create purpose from pain? 
  • And much more… 

 

Related Episodes:  

Ted Talk 135: How I Recovered My Life, Business, And Happiness After Tragedy Hit My Life 

Ted Talk 80: Help! My Childhood Trauma Is Holding Me Back… 

Ted Talk 113: Help! How Can I Build Resilience & Cope With All The Stress And Anxiety In My Life 

 

 

Podcast Transcription: How to Rise Stronger After Hitting Rock Bottom. P. S. I Love You

Ted Ryce: One of the most common questions I’ve been asked is: ‘Ted, how did you go from going through all the tragedy you went through to being where you are now in your life? It seems that you’re doing well, it seems that you’re happy, how did you do it?’ 

And in case you’re new to this Podcast, my story does have quite a bit of loss, tragedy—however you would characterize it. I look at it differently these days, but just in case you haven’t heard this story before, my mother died in a car accident when I was 14.  

My nine-year-old brother was murdered when I was 19, my younger sister killed herself when I was 36, and the last remaining family member that I had, my father died of health complications on October 3, 2020. 

And when I’ve shared this story in the past, people always ask me, what are the things that you did? What are the steps? Like, I mean it’s a great question to ask, but it’s also like I didn’t have like a step by step, I didn’t go, ‘Okay, how do you cover…?’  

I didn’t get a book from the library or Amazon and had this thing figured out, right? A lot of this was intuitive, a lot of it was like, I feel bad now, what can I do to make myself feel better? 

I went down a lot of roads, I tried drugs and alcohol and all types of craziness, and it would make me feel better for a little bit, but it wouldn’t last, right? It wouldn’t lead to sustainable happiness. And today, what I’m going to attempt to do, I shared this on Twitter, but I want to expand on it.  

I want to share 10 lessons that help me rebuild from rock bottom. And when I say help me build from rock bottom, the idea isn’t to entertain you with this story. The idea is to give you perspectives, and perhaps tools, so that when you go through adversity, you can handle it better than I did, hopefully, right? 

So, this is my first crack at really sitting down and asking myself, what were the lessons? What were the things that I did? Because like I said, I hit rock bottom after each loss, I was sad, I was angry. I don’t really talk about this that much, but I suffered from severe anxiety, social anxiety, sometimes just anxiety no matter what.  

But most of it was social anxiety; being around people felt weird, and was triggering, because I felt like I couldn’t have a conversation with someone, it was like I had all this, what you might call, emotional baggage. 

This story of what has happened in my life, and people are like, ‘Hey, man, what’s going on? How are you doing?’ Like, well, how the fuck do you think I’m doing? You know what I mean? Like, how do I have small talk again? How do I have conversations that aren’t so heavy?  

But I did bounce back, and I want to say this too:. when I share this story, people are always like, people always tell me, ‘Oh, you’re cut from a different cloth, you’re a different type of person, you’re stronger than the rest of us.’ 

And I want to call bullshit, I’m not, and you may still be skeptical of this, kind of like saying, ‘Oh Ted, you must have a faster metabolism than me,’ right? Just to equate it with what we talk about here on the podcast a lot with fat loss, it’s like, I’m not that different than you. Well, actually I am, but not in the ways that you think.  

And I want to make the argument today, that these 10 lessons are the things that separate me. And not just knowing these 10 lessons, but practicing them, practicing these lessons, these lessons were what enabled me to survive and eventually thrive. 

So let’s get into it. Number one is practice radical acceptance: So, let me tell you something, when my mother died when I was 14, I was in shock, I was in disbelief, I didn’t want to believe it was true. It messed with my mind— especially I was 14 at the time.  

The last thing any 14 wants to hear is that their mom is dead. Now, I’m not going to go into the details, but I had a complicated relationship with my mom. I lived with my dad and my stepmom, my mother was very mentally ill, so, there was a lot of mixed emotions. 

But the thing is, I didn’t see it coming. And when my brother got murdered, holy shit! People don’t know, but I grew up hearing about Adam Walsh, the kid who was kidnapped in Florida, not in Miami, but I think it was Fort Lauderdale, about an hour North of Miami, and I grew up with stories of Adam Walsh.  

And you probably know John Walsh, his father started America’s Most Wanted after that. But I never thought that was going to happen to me, never thought that was going to happen to my family, never thought that was going to happen to my little brother. 

And one of the things, the first thing that needs to happen is accepting the reality of this situation, because I had hoped I’d just wake up, and it would all be a bad dream. You wake up, and you’re like, ‘Oh, everything’s okay,’ right? Especially if you had a good night of sleep, and then the reality dawns on you, oh, my brother is dead, he was kidnapped, these horrible things happen to him, and then you get sad again. 

 And for a while I resisted it, until I decided, you know what? I need to face this head on, I need to face this and say, you know what? This is the reality, this is what happened. I don’t want it to be this way, I would do anything to change it, but I can’t. I need to accept this, and I need to move on. 

And what I learned from that, the lesson here is: you can’t get better until you accept reality. If you’re still hoping that you’re going to wake up one day and it’s going to change. And maybe you didn’t go through something like what I went through, maybe your parents died, maybe, and we’ll all see our parents die if we live long enough, it’s something worth thinking about. That’s the best case scenario, is we live long enough to see our parents die. That’s ideal. 

Think about that. But what I mean by ideal is not we’re happy that they die, but we need to give our parents the gift of, or at least this is my belief, we need to give our parents the gift of seeing us thrive, because all—I’m not a parent, but I’m the child of one, obviously. And what I’d say is this, all a parent wants to know is that their child is going to be okay.  

And certainly, that was the case with my dad, and I was like, he just wants to know that I’m going to be okay. And on his deathbed, I promised him, ‘Dad, I will be okay, I will do what it takes. I will get therapy, I will take care of myself, I’ll do whatever it takes,’ and he was able to go in peace.  

So, a little bit of a tangent there, but the part of that that I think is relevant to our discussion right now is, when our parents need to see us accept the reality of them leaving, of them dying. And then accept the reality that we’re going to have to work to move on, that we’re going to be sad and grieve. So, practice radical acceptance. 

Number two, no one is coming to save you. I spent so much time hoping that someone or something would happen, and would change for me. Especially in my 20s when I was very alone, my father and my step, my mother was already dead when my brother was kidnapped, so I only had my father, my stepmother, and my sister.  

My sister was off in her own world, actually she and I had a close relationship, but physically, she was in Gainesville going to school, and I was by myself in Miami, and my parents were lost in their suffering, and also trying to make a difference. They just couldn’t be there for me. 

And not only could they not be there, I mean nobody—people would reach out, but the reality is a lot of people don’t know what to do for a person in that situation, in my situation, or if you’re in a situation right now, people don’t know what to do for you.  

And if you’re hoping that someone will figure it out, that someone will like, ‘Oh, this is what they need,’ it’s not going to happen. People are lost in their own lives, or not lost, but occupied with their own lives. 

And it’s like, ‘Hey, do you need anything?’ ‘No.’ ‘Okay, well, I’m here if you need me,’ right? I mean, that’s the most a lot of people can do, because everybody’s trying to figure out their own life, their own path forward. And after, I don’t know how long of hoping someone would show up or something would change, and nothing ever, nobody ever showed up, nothing ever changed. 

I realized that if I wanted to change my situation, it was on me. And so the lesson here is that you must become your own hero. You can’t be the person…To think about it, I love thinking about things in terms of movies. You can’t be the person in your own movie, who’s waiting for the hero to show up.  

You are the hero of your own movie, your life. You must become your own hero, if you’re not already. You must go through that hero’s journey, and that’s what I mean when I talk about hero. 

If you don’t know what the hero’s journey is, make sure you Google it. It’s a path, it’s a step-by-step path that so many miss follow in history. And what I think it is, there’s one part of the path called ‘The Call to Adventure.’ 

And the call to adventure is when something happens in your world that gets turned upside down. It’s an opportunity for you to become a different person, it’s an opportunity for you to change. 

And the more you resist, this is why the radical acceptance thing comes first, the more you resist that call, the more you will suffer. And I think so many people resist the call, what is called ‘The Call to Adventure.’  

Just to give an example, remember Luke Skywalker—if you’re a Star Wars fan at least. Luke Skywalker, in tattooing with his uncle, I don’t remember the name of the uncle, but he’s a farmer with his uncle, and then one day everything changes. He comes back, his uncle and his aunt are dead, his world is turned upside down. 

And Obi One Kenobi told him like, ‘Hey, this is what you need to do,’ but he resisted it, because he felt obligated to stay with his uncle and aunt, he was resisting the call to adventure. But then that event happened that turned his life upside down, and he could no longer resist it. He realized that nobody was coming to save him.  

By the way, Joseph Campbell, the person who. Let’s say delineated the hero’s journey, George Lucas who wrote Star Wars, was I believe, a student of Joseph Campbell, or went to Joseph Campbell’s classes and was heavily influenced by Joseph Campbell, and that’s why I use that example. 

You must become your own hero. This path that you’re on, this path that I’m on, it’s not a new path, you’re not alone, this isn’t the first time it’s happened. There’s a call to adventure for you every time something goes wrong. And to resist that call is to suffer, is to remain in suffering. 

So, let’s go to number three. Exercise is medicine. This was a game changer, because every tragedy…I started to realize something, tragedies, deaths, divorces, bankruptcies, having a business fail, its stress.  

And what I mean by that is it raises stress hormones, stress hormones, when they’re up for long periods of time, they weaken your body, they weaken your mind, they mess up your sleep, which also weakens your body, which also weakens your mind, and sends you down a downward spiral. 

And one of the most powerful lessons that I learned, especially after my brother was murdered, was that every time I exercised, every time I did something with my body that challenged it, got me sweating, huffing, puffing, made my muscles burn, I felt better afterward.  

And this is extremely important, exercise didn’t change my reality, it didn’t change the fact that my brother was murdered, didn’t change the fact that my mother was gone, and later my sister, but I felt better anyway. 

And I got really curious about that, it’s like there’s something going on here, because I feel bad because of these facts, right? My brother was murdered, my mother is dead, my sister committed suicide, I’m feeling bad because of these facts.  

And you think: I feel bad because of those facts, and you can’t change those facts, so, I can’t change the way I feel. And then I would do something, I would do exercise, and I would feel better, and it really confused me at first. 

Then I started realizing something, I didn’t feel bad, or I felt bad because of what happened, because of those facts, because of those events, because of my missing family members, but there was more to it. I had more control over how I felt. 

And at first, it works like this. You feel bad, something happens, divorce, so a death in the family, bankruptcy, business failing, and you feel bad. And then you exercise and you feel good during exercise, or maybe a little bit after exercise, and then you start to feel bad again, because you start to go back to the thoughts, you start to go back to the realization of what happened, whatever it is that happened in your life. 

But then you do exercise again, and if you stay with it, you start feeling better and better and better. And one thing that I noticed is, and people ask me like, how do you feel so good? It’s like, well, I do things that make me feel good, I don’t have to work hard to feel good when my habits, when my daily habits, getting exercise, getting sunlight, getting at least seven hours of sleep.  

It’s easier to feel good when you’re doing those things. In fact, you end up naturally feeling good when you do those things. So, whenever you are feeling down, start with exercise, it doesn’t have to be much, it can be a walk, it can be a 30-minute walk, or if you’ve taken time out of the gym, go do that. If you want to go play tennis or whatever it is, golf, whatever, go do that, pick a ball, go do that.  

But start with exercise when you’re feeling down, it will shift your state immediately. And no, it’s not going to fix the problem, it’s not going to change the reality. But it will change your mood, and if you keep doing it, your mood will continue to change more and more and more. 

Let’s move to the next lesson. Master your stress. I want to return to this idea that the death of a family member, a bankruptcy, a business failing, a divorce, those raise your stress hormones. And the thing is: there’s no problem with raising stress hormones, as long as they come back down.  

But when it’s chronic stress, you start to weaken, like I said before, your mind and body, and it affects your sleep, which also weakens your mind and body. And you start to feel on edge. 

And one thing that I learned is that exercise is good, but I can’t just exercise every time I’m feeling stressed, I can’t just exercise every time I’m feeling bad, sometimes that’s not the answer. Certainly, working out regularly every week is, or doing some type of exercise every week, or maybe even every day is, I would even argue every day, some type of light exercise, but you need more than exercise. 

I’ll give you an example, I’ve been feeling a little bit stressed yesterday, I was like, you know what? I’m going to do a massage. I’m going to do a 90-minute time massage. I hadn’t been sleeping that well, I had some stress pop up, some of it personal, some of it professional.  

And so what I did was, I got a 90-minute massage, and I go for 90-minutes. I purposely don’t do an hour, I’m like, you know what? You’re going to do a 90 minute here. Or I’ll do a float and a massage, you know what I mean? 

I make sure that whenever my stress feels high, if I’m feeling off, and the exercise thing, it’s still making me feel off, I will go do something that lowers my stress. Now, I have created a level of success in my life that allows me to afford massage, float, etc.  

By the way, even when I didn’t do that well financially, I still did these things. People will have no problem going out to dinner and ordering a bunch of drinks, but they have problems paying for a massage. 

That is the way to stay stuck, and if you’re truly broke, I really tell you like, I target founders, entrepreneurs, high performers, because that’s who I’ve been working with ever since 1999, and that’s who I feel I am. So, I understand people that way, but if you are happening to listen to this podcast, and you’re in a really bad financial situation, find something that lowers your stress and do.  

And if you’re a high performer, and you feel like, oh, well, I’ll pay for my kids, I’ll invest money in my business, but I never will spend money on a massage, because, I don’t know, maybe you grew up poor, maybe you grew up watching your parent—maybe you didn’t grow up poor, but you grew up watching your parents never doing that, and they had rules about never doing. 

And so, you have some habits that you picked up from them, now is the time to break that, now is the time to… One of the things I do in my coaching program is I get clients to do things that are not comfortable doing, and I have clients who are uncomfortable paying money for a massage. And then they get into it, and then they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, why wasn’t I doing this before?’ 

Because it keeps you happy throughout the week, like I feel amazing today. Actually, the time, it was a time massage, and she was a little bit aggressive, but I’m a little achy too in some areas. But I just feel better, and I don’t have to work at feeling better.  

So, the lesson here is, you must force your stress levels to go down when they’re high. You don’t just come home, watch some Netflix and go to bed, and that’s enough, it’s not. That’s normal, that’s what you do every. Maybe the Netflix, maybe not, that’s what I do. 

But I’m talking about you’ve got to force your stress levels to go down, and you do that by being proactive. Acupuncture, float session, massage, take a day off, take a vacation. You must do these things, you must force your stress levels down when they’re high, they will not come down on their own. 

Number five, you can’t do this alone, I said nobody’s coming to save you, and that’s true, but you can’t do it alone. Human beings, we’re social animals, even people are like, ‘Oh, I don’t care what anyone else thinks.’ It’s like, why are you telling me that, why aren’t you by yourself out in the woods?  

Because you care about whether the people think, because we’re wired that way, we’re social animals, we need each other. And the people who don’t, you don’t know who they are, because they’re in the woods somewhere, and living by themselves, and have no contact at all with society. But we need each other.  

So again, while nobody’s coming to save you, you can’t do this alone. And I remember when I was feeling at my worst, I didn’t want to go out and connect with people. I didn’t want to talk with people, and certainly there is an argument to be made about spending time alone. 

But at some point, the loneliness will make everything worse, we know from research that loneliness actually increases inflammation, and depression by the way, some people think—some people? Some scientists believe that depression might have an inflammation component to it, inflammation in the brain.  

So, that isn’t the answer long term. The answer long term is you must reintegrate into society, you must make friends again, you must connect with your friends again, your family again. People on the journey, you must find your tribe to succeed on the journey of life. 

That’s the lesson, you can’t do it alone. And if the people you’re hanging out with right now are toxic, okay, get rid of them. And if they’re your toxic in your family, then set up stronger boundaries, so that you don’t take on their negativity.  

I had to do that with my parents, I didn’t talk to, I hardly talked to my parents for 10 years. My dad and my stepmom, I felt they were toxic, and they treated me poorly. 

To give you an example, my stepmother told me, and my sister, that she wished I was dead, and my sister was dead, instead of her son Jimmy. That’s some toxic shit to say to kids who, you know?  

And she was an extremely troubled woman, right? And she was already troubled long before she even had, before my brother was born. So, set up boundaries with those people. I didn’t talk to them, I didn’t hang out with my parents except for once a year, and it was the right thing to do, I hardly talked to them at all. 

And that went on for 10 years, I started having a relationship with my dad again, after my stepmom died. And notice, I don’t say when my stepmother died, it was a tragedy story for another day folks 

But the point here is that set up boundaries with the people in your life. Okay, if they’re your family or super close friends and they’re a bit negative, you have to set up strong boundaries.  

Of course, this should be a separate lesson, get rid of the negative people in your life, but I didn’t write it that way, I’m still working on it, folks. And while you’re getting rid of the negative people, or at least setting up strong boundaries to limit your contact with them, you must find the people in your life that lift you.  

For example, for me, my friend John from Cork Ireland whom I met in Chan Mi, he’s like my brother from an Irish mother. He’s someone I know I can call for anything. Can’t wait to have him on the show because he’s an amazing human being. 

He is also an entrepreneur with stress levels, and he’s into Qigong and Kung Fu. It’s just an incredible human being, super smart. One of those people I know I can always count on, and I have my business partner, Gisele. I know I can always count on her, and I’m meeting more people.  

I’ve met someone here in Lisbon, Angus. He’s a men’s coach who works with entrepreneurs. I can’t wait to have him on the show, either. He’s an amazing human being. You can find amazing human beings, and you must, and because you can’t do this alone, you must find your tribe to succeed on this journey.  

Number six, seek excitement. When my dad died on October 3, 2020, a few days later after his funeral, I was in Universal Studios, Florida riding roller coasters. And I laugh because I can only imagine what people think. It’s like, wait a minute. 

It’s almost like either you don’t care that your father died, or maybe you’re happy that your father died, I don’t understand. Why are you going to Universal Studios? Why don’t you sit at home, get shit-faced drunk, puke on yourself, shit your pants, and be miserable like everybody else or whatever? I don’t know what people do; I’m just exaggerating here.  

But like, why don’t you be miserable? And here’s my answer to that, when you lose people, like I have, especially since I’ve had a lot of these lessons, you start to realize, ‘Shit! My time here on earth is limited. If I want to do something, I don’t have time. I don’t have as much time as I think.’ 

Let me tell you, I’m 45 years old. If you’re listening, you might be in your 40s or 50s or even 60s, you know what I’m talking about. Time is limited. I don’t want to spend... I’m going to grieve, and I have been grieving for my dad all of 2021. I took almost a year off from my business. I kept doing the podcast, but I took time off to grieve. But there’s no reason to feel worse than you need to. 

So, three days later or however many days it was? It may even be two days, I was in Universal Studios riding roller coasters and Gisele, who is my business partner, and she’s my ex-wife, in case you don’t know this story. Gisele came to help me with my dad and my dad ended up dying. And then I had to fly back to be with him on his last week.  

And Gisele was around and I said, ‘Gisele...’ Gisele and I went through a ton of stress then, and she was there for me. And I said, ‘Gisele, we’re going to Universal Studios.’ And she’s like, she didn’t want to do it because she’s like, ‘Are you sure? Is it going to help?’ She was really sad. She and my dad had a really strong connection. Story for another time.  

But she had a really strong connection with my dad. They liked each other a lot. It was like he had a new daughter, and one without, you know, it was giving him a fresh start. And I love seeing that they got along so well together. But back to the story, she was not sure what we should do. She wasn’t sure about my idea.  

And I said, ‘Hell yes, we are going. There is no... I’m taking you, we’re going. There is no question about this. We’re going to go. This is what we’re going to do.’ And the reason is this, you can’t feel sad on a roller coaster. You can’t feel sad on a roller coaster.  

There’s another little side lesson here. You can’t feel sad on a roller coaster. You can’t feel sad jumping out of a plane, which is something I did in 2021. You can’t feel sad. You can feel scared, you can feel excited, but you can’t feel sad. The experience is so overwhelming to your senses that if you were thinking about the past, you get pulled into the present moment. If you’re thinking about the sad future without in my case, my family, I couldn’t think about it. I got pulled into the moment.  

So, doing things that bring you into the moment makes those thoughts stop. And more importantly, when you make a practice out of this, it forces you into the moment. And then, of course, you get off the roller coaster, your mind starts wandering again, and then you do it again, which gets you into the moment.  

And I want to point something else out to you because people think I’m different. People think I’m special and I’m not. Number one, I’m not special or different from you. In terms of your biology, you might be smarter than me. You might have better genes than I do. You may be better than me on so many levels.  

But one way that I’m very different from people is I jump out of airplanes when I’m sad. I go to Universal Studios when I’m feeling depressed and people won’t do it or can’t do it, or don’t think it’s going to help or talk them out of it. I do what works and that’s what makes me different. That’s why I’m able to get past a lot of this stuff where other people get stuck because I don’t talk myself out of it. I go, I trust my feelings.  

This isn’t something that I learned in a book, folks. This is something I learned in life. You can’t feel sad when you’re scuba diving with bull sharks. Another thing that I’ve done in 2021…Yeah, 2021 I went to Universal Studios. I went a lot. I went in 2020, then I came back in 2021 or the end of the year in 2020, I’m getting lost with my times here.  

So, no, I went... Sorry about that. I went in 2020 at the end of the year and then I went again at the end of 2021. I kept going back. I keep doing these things. One of the reasons why I travel so much, or at least used to travel so much, is because it gets me into the moment as well.  

A new environment, it breaks... It’s a way to break patterns, not just patterns of behavior but also patterns of thought. It gets you into the moment. So, when you do these things when you’re travelling when you’re jumping out of airplanes, and it doesn’t have to be these things, these are the things that I did, but you do the things that bring you into the moment, you will learn that every time you do those things, it gets you to stop thinking about the past or worrying about the future.  

And the more you do it, the more you’re practicing being present. And you don’t have to do any of the things because you may... Because if you’re not clever or if you are clever and looking for a way out of this, a way out of doing the things that work, you might say to yourself, ‘Well, I’ll never jump out of a plane. I would never scuba dive. In fact, I’m not even certified. I don’t like roller coasters.’  

Well, you have to find what works for you. And if you don’t do it, you’re going to stay stuck. So, whatever that thing is that pulls you into the moment. Go and do. Maybe it’s dancing, maybe it’s painting, maybe it’s playing a musical instrument, maybe it’s public speaking.  

That’s another thing I’ve done, although I haven’t done it in a while. What brings you into the moment? Go do that. Seek excitement, and do things that bring you into the moment because that makes a bad thought stop.  

Number seven, you always have a choice. There were times I wished I was dead in my life, but one thing that I noticed was, I was unwilling to kill myself, I’m too scared for that. And also, it’s like, well, death is going to happen to me anyway. So, time marches on no matter what I do. If I want to stay stuck, time goes on. Years, I get older, years pass by.  

If I want to go do something amazing and make a difference and go have fun experiences, time still marches on. Time is indifferent to what we do, but it will keep going. So, get back up or stay down, give up or push forward, it is your choice.  

Now we’re getting into some controversial area, like, can you... If you know what to do like you’re hearing all these things and you feel like, ‘Well, Ted, here’s the thing. I logically understand what you’re saying, but I can’t bring myself to do any of it.’ I believe you still have a choice there. I believe you still have a way there to figure it out.  

It’s, are you committed to doing it? Are you committed to figuring out, ‘Okay, I can’t go work out, I can’t go make myself walk, but can I do one push-up? Okay, I can’t jump out of a plane, I can’t go scuba diving, I’m not certified, I can’t go on a roller coaster.’ But what can you do? You can choose. You always have some choice about what to do with your time.  

And whenever you can, whenever you do feel like you have the leverage over yourself, do you act on it? And if the answer is no, and we all have some moments where we have choices, even if most of the time we feel like, ‘No, I’m not choosing to feel this way. I’m not choosing to have no motivation.’  

Okay, but can you get someone to come over and give you a massage at your house? What can you do? What can you do? Stop talking about what you can’t do. What can you do? I had to have this conversation with myself and what I realized was this, anytime where I have that feeling that I have some control over what I can do, I go and take it.  

Now here’s the thing: if you don’t do this, the results are what they are. But I’m telling you, once you build this into a habit and you keep trying, which should be another lesson, never give up, which there isn’t one. Actually, I’ll add in two bonus lessons here, but you always have some choice about what to do.  

And number eight is, things can always get worse. One thing I’ve learned from this and going through all the tragedies and personal challenges is that there’s no such thing as rock bottom. I say ‘rock bottom.’ People say ‘rock bottom.’ But there’s always another level to sink to.  

And I want to also tell you this, if you’re not moving forward, then you’re going backwards. There is no staying still, and you’re going to have resistance to doing the things that I’m telling you about here. But the reality is you’ve got to push through the resistance and move forward if you don’t want things to get worse.  

And what’s interesting about this, now, I’m sure some people just fade away completely and just go down and just start on the downward spiral and never stop until they die. I’m sure that happens but I think more often people will get in a downward spiral, they’ll make excuses and they’ll... I’ve been there, there’s no judgment here. But then it’ll get to a point where it gets too bad, maybe it’s a financial situation that gets worse.  

Maybe it’s like, I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s a heart attack, maybe it’s a diabetes diagnosis, I don’t know what it is. But then you are motivated to take action. And I want to tell you, you can always find a way to get the motivation. And one of the ways I motivated myself was to tell myself ‘Things can get worse.’  

You feel like you’ve hit rock bottom, that there is another level. And I want to give a short story here when my sister committed suicide, I took a week off, then I got right back to work because the one thing that I didn’t want is to be grieving, broken, sad, depressed, angry, anxious and broke at the same time.  

So, I pushed myself to get back to work, I wouldn’t do that. These days, that’s not what I did after my dad died, I took time off of work and I got therapy and did a bunch of other therapies and jumped out of planes but the knowledge that things can always get worse if I don’t do, or things will get worse if I don’t take action, is something that helps motivate me to move forward. 

Nine is fine flow. Here’s what I’ve learned. It takes grit to regain your emotional equilibrium after, after a big setback, a divorce, a death in the family, a bankruptcy, or a business failure. But it takes hard work, right? It takes grit, but the hard work will fade away to flow. You will get into the zone.  

I don’t work that hard anymore to take care of myself or to get into the zone with my business for creating content like what I’m doing now, right? Recording this podcast for you. And what I would say is this, ‘Your best days come after your worst days. You’ve got to push through, but they will get easier.  

So, your best days come after the worst days.’ I’ve had some of the best days of my life after my mother died after my brother died after my sister died. When I left Miami in 2018 and moved to Thailand to grow my business. I had some of my best days there, some of the most healing moments there.  

And more recently, I’ve had some of the best moments. Like I know now that my dad would be super proud of me, and my family would be super proud of me. My sister, and my brother, would be super proud of me.  

And it took me a while to get to that point and have them feel proud of me. Wow, I know they’d be so proud. So, ‘Your best days come after your worst days,’ but it takes time and effort at the beginning to get back into the zone. 

Number ten, create purpose from your pain. After my brother’s murder, I became a personal trainer. Why? Because I saw the power of exercise to help me, and then I started doing it for other people, it was a way to create purpose, I’m helping people. Why do you think I’m so crazy about helping people? I don’t need it, I could do other things for money, folks. I don’t have to do coaching. I don’t want to have to do this podcast.  

This is my purpose and although my coaching program, it’s about fat loss, health, executive coaching, stress management and those things, I know that part of my purpose is sharing this story and I hesitate to say make a business out of it. That’s not what I’m doing but because I’m not going to help you get past your... I don’t want to be like… I’m not going to make a business out of helping you get over bad shit that happens in your life.  

Although, you could even argue that’s what I do with my coaching business, that’s not what I want to... That’s not... People need therapy is what I’m trying to say. I’m not going to become a therapist, but I know that my story in some way serves to create purpose from my family’s story, it’s to create a legacy.  

And yeah, maybe in 100 years, people don’t remember me or my brother or my family. And in 500 years, who knows what’s going to happen but at least I can make a difference now for people. And I started my podcast—and many of you may know this or may not know this, but after my sister’s suicide, I decided to live my best life to honor my family.  

And part of it is, is selfish in the way that it’s like I’m doing it for them, but I’m also doing it because it makes me feel better. And we know this, having a purpose makes you feel better.  

And also, I feel 100% congruent and with what I’m doing and I know again my family would be so proud of me, my dad in particular. I know he would be so proud and it makes me feel like I’m living with purpose.  

One person said to me on Twitter when I shared this as a thread, it’s like, ‘I don’t understand how you can be living your best life.’ And I said, ‘Well, it’s like this, the big lesson here is that it’s not about whether my family... It’s my happiness or fulfilment that isn’t dependent on whether my family’s alive or dead.  

We’re all going to have a loss and we’re all going to be faced with a choice to either find meaning, create purpose from our pain or get stuck there. And so I chose... After choosing the other path and being stuck for a long time, years even, I decided that wasn’t the way to go.  

And if I could add two more lessons, one is time heals whatever you feel right now, if you keep doing things to improve, you will feel better. And that’s something that someone shared with me on Twitter. The one they’re like, ‘Hey, thank you so much for sharing your story. One thing I’d add is time heals.’ So, I want to shout out to that person on Twitter who shared that with me. ‘Time heals.’ And then I had one more for you, but I forgot.  

So, that’s the one that I’ll leave you with. Time heals, especially if you do the things that I shared with you today. So, wow, what an episode, what a story. I hope you found these lessons to be personally impactful for you. The reason I share my story, the reason I share these lessons is to show you that there is a path away from wherever you are right now.  

Whatever is going on in your life right now, whatever the situation is, there’s a path forward. And I would even ask you, ‘What resonated with you? What was the thing that you heard?’ And you said, ‘You know what? I need to do that. I need to pay attention to that. I want to challenge you, go take action on it.  

Maybe you’re not even dealing with a big tragedy right now or any of the things that we talked about, a death in the family, a divorce, a business failure, bankruptcy, but maybe you got inspired anyway, what is that thing?’ That’s what I want to challenge you to do, folks. If there’s one big…maybe this is the 12th lesson that I forgot.  

It’s all about what we do, it’s all about taking action. Thinking doesn’t solve anything, thinking won’t change the past, or thinking won’t fix the past and thinking won’t change the future, but our actions will hope that helps, love you lots, and I’ll speak to you soon! 

Ted Ryce is a high-performance coach, world-class fitness trainer, and a longevity evangelist. A leading fitness professional for over 20 years in the Miami Beach area, who has worked with celebrities like Sir Richard Branson, Rick Martin, Robert Downey, Jr., and dozens of CEOs of multimillion-dollar companies. In addition to his fitness career, Ryce is the host of the top-rated podcast called Legendary Life, which helps men and women reclaim their health, and create the body and life they deserve.

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