Executive Contributor | Daniel Mangena | Inspirational
This is a difficult subject for me and probably not one to start the new year off with a cheer, but my desire to commit suicide at the lowest point in my life really did save me. It not only brought me back from the brink of my failures, but (as it turned out) it gave me the tools to make sure that I never failed again.
OK that’s not exactly true. I fail on a daily basis. We all do and it’s something we should embrace because it’s a vital part of success.
What I mean is that my desire to end my life lead me to the inescapable truth. The secret that empowered me to take control and step into exactly the life I wanted to have.
And it really worked!
I look back on those days with gratitude because I now live a life of true abundance, without stress or the fear that I’m going to lose it all tomorrow. But it came at a price.
I want to share my story with you so that hopefully you can bypass rock bottom, learn from what took me there and just step right into an abundant life.I truly believe that abundance is everybody’s birthright. We just get lost in the stories that we tell ourselves.
Before I get into why suicide saved me and unlocked my abundance though: some context.
I was born in London, UK. The son of immigrant parents from Zimbabwe, my upbringing was a loving, but strictly christian conservative one. My parents saw education as the gateway to everything. To their credit, they stuck by this principle themselves, but it wasn’t for me.
In hindsight, this was the first lesson of many from my youth: the cookie cutter approach simply doesn’t work! More on what I mean by that later.
We didn’t have much growing up. We weren’t exactly poor, especially by global standards, but nor were we living abundantly. My siblings, parents and I were all crammed into a tiny house in East London. Fed on a daily diet of platitudes such as “waste not, want not” and “money is the root of all evil”.
Knowing from a very young age that this not only wasn’t true, but that I would make it my mission to prove it so; I think I was probably a handful at times.
I was a head strong 18-year old and when I lost my place at Oxford University, owing to the “grade scandal” of 2002, I decided that I was done with education.
Though it resulted in a big falling out with my father, I was utterly convinced that I was going to be a millionaire regardless, and I didn’t need a piece of paper from anywhere to do it.
And you know what? I was right!
But the time I was 19, I made my first million. So laser focussed was I, that it only took me a year or so to make it happen.
Happily ever after. The end. Right?
By the time I was 22 I had lost it all. Through poor spending decisions and partnering with the wrong people, in short order; it was gone.
I was undeterred, however. Buoyed by the fact that I had done it once, I knew that I could do it again. I’d prove to everyone that this was just a bump in the road.
Can you guess what happened?
Sure enough, I did it again. And also sure enough, I lost it all again. By the time I reached my mid-twenties I had built and lost two multi-million dollar fortunes. Worse still, I had allowed questionable practices to go on behind my back with former partners, that I was now on the hook for.
I had lost my fortune, I was being investigated by the police for fraud and to cap it all I received a late diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome. This really was the final nail in the coffin. I felt as though I had brought shame to my family and in all my bluster about proving them wrong, I had simply served to prove my parents right!
Being this low and feeling like there really was nothing left for me but more failure; the decision to kill myself came easily. It wasn’t as though I was sad about it. It made total sense and I was completely dispassionate about coming to that conclusion.
Having Asperger’s though (which might also account for the dispassion in my decision making) I of course had to methodically plan out how I was to do it. I absolutely could not fail at this one last thing. The idea of being some failed suicide attempt, strapped to a bed in a psychic ward under 24 hour watch was completely unacceptable to me.
So I began researching ways to conclusively end my life.
I read all manner of books, guides and modalities about how to formulate and execute a plan. I immersed myself in teachings about bringing intentionality into physical being.
You know what I didn’t realize?
I was training my mind to understand the simple truth. That the one thing, common to all of my experiences…was me.
If I wanted to change that experience, the most expedient way to do it wasn’t to try and change everything or everyone around me. It was to change me!
The other thing I realized was that, simply through imbibing the material that I had: I was already changed.
I wasn’t pursuing this knowledge in order to kill myself anymore. I had lost that as an end goal, whether by design or not. It dawned on me just how powerful I was, and in that moment…I knew what I had been doing wrong.
I had to take responsibility for everything, stop blaming others and reclaim my power to change. Simply being aware of all of the ways in which you give away your power through things like blame, procrastination, lack of focus etc… will open so much up for you.
This is why I say that the ‘cookie-cutter’ approach doesn’t work for most people, because it doesn’t take into account the need for change at an individual level. You need to change yourself, in order to start experiencing different outcomes in your life, and you can only do that through a program tailored to you.
That’s why I wanted my approach to coaching and creating programs for people to be different. The point was to give people the tools to unlock their potential, not to tell them how I did it and just expect them to carbon copy that success.
I want people to be fully empowered and to create whatever life for themselves that they want.
So I implore you to start exploring who you are. Interrogate what it is that is motivating you to do what you do and seek what you seek. Then take full responsibility for where you are and where you want to go.
Some people need more help with that than others, but just start by being aware.
It is the only foundation to build your dreams on.