#TheStrivenYou FB Live Show – Episode #1: Finding Meaning, Passion, And Purpose: The Development of Striven Life
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Before their was a Striven Life there was a Mr. Rizzo. I had decided to become a teacher after I was denied acceptance to Cornell & Tufts for Ph.D Programs in Pharmacology. I was able to get to the interview stages and into the top 20 applicants, so I took it as a compliment =p.
After this rejection, I did some reflecting on what I actually liked to do, and remembered how much I loved doing 1-on-1 tutoring and group tutoring in Biology & Organic Chemistry during college.
So, I decided to try my hand at teaching and applied to teach at Revere High School, the city and school system that I was born and raised in.
When going into teaching, I wanted to be that teacher that made real impacts in students lives. For me, the one teacher was Mr. Bonanno. Before we even really knew each other or I had taken a class with him, he grabbed in the hall way and explained that I would be taking his AP Psychology class, with or without the prerequisites and becoming getting the paid leadership position in the Power of Know Club, a club dedicated to raising awareness around alcohol, drug, and relationship abuse.
He was the first teacher who told me I was capable of anything, that I had any potential, and that believed in me. It changed my life. He changed my life. That is who I wanted to be to my students.
All The While…
While teaching, I was also running a business known as Nimbus Nutrition. I worked for this company since 2012 and was the head of research and development for the nutritional supplements we created.
I loved making new products and I loved the responses I would get from customers about how the products were helping them. Seriously, I have literally shed a single tear, watery eyes and all, from some of the responses about how my sleep product Abyss Unparalleled had helped people overcome their terrible issues of sleep deprivation and inability to sleep.
But I hated running this company. It was essentially handed down to me and put all on my lap. There was not a single ounce of excitement or passion in running the business, only making the products and helping customers.
My Joy In Teaching Was Depleting Rapidly
At the same time my passion and joy with teaching was painfully depleting due to a ton of reasons that I won’t get into as I will start ranting about how messed up our education system, something that I was seriously considering making my life slowly turned into a place that I hated to be everyday.
The only thing that kept me motivated was knowing that I had a ton of students who needed help, who came to me for literally everything, students who needed advocating for, students who were only inches away from making a break through, and the relationships I had built with some the most amazing people I have ever met who were also my colleagues.
The Night Everything Began To Change
Then one day my wife could literally see the pain on my face, the demeanor if I had been defeated every day, and just clearly completely happy as I started to force myself to sit down to continue working on Nimbus Nutrition.
She told me to chill out for 30 minutes, don’t work, just do something you like to do. She told me that she was going to go out and when she got back I had to do what she said and to just trust her.
She came back with those large white papers that stick to the wall and markers. She put two over each door of our wardrobe and gave us a task.
We had to go to and identify what about the top 3 sites that we frequented us most did we like, what kept us coming back, what was unique about that brand, and anything else. We broke down the characteristics, design, feeling, community, and relationship that each of these brands exhibited, the ones that represented what I would want my dream company to deliver on.
Then we wrote down what Nimbus Nutrition was from the name, to the logo, to the site, the product names, the industry and all of the characteristics it matched from our top 3 sites…. It became clear that it was time to make the change I had been talking about for over a year.
The Idea I Had Been Sitting On For 6 Months
You see I had this idea for a brand, I had for well over 6 Months and it was my ideal/dream company, but only existed as an idea. What happened one night was I was fully aware of the way my job, my company, and situation overall was actually hurting me mentally, emotionally, and physically.
So then I reflected on my past, from high school, to college, and as a teacher. I started thinking of everything that gave me passion, joy, fulfillment, and that I was actually good at. I started to notice a continuous theme to everything I was writing.
The things I was passionate about, brought me joy & fulfillment, and that I was good at involved me being in a position where I could help others, whether it was helping a friend in need, being in leadership position in college, being a tutor to my peers, being in mentor positions, or my genuine belief that people are so damn capable of so much more if they just knew how and if they just believed in themselves.
I am just damn passionate about people.
So, with all of this in mind, the word Striven just popped into my head. I wrote it down and looked at it on paper. Then immediately next wrote my brand’s full slogan, being driven to consistently strive for success, in all aspects of life, every day, to build a better you.
I read it out loud to myself, and gahd damn did it feel so right. Everything I truly believed and valued was epitomized by this name and slogan, and it all just came to me in a moment of clarity
Revitalized and Renewed, I Was Finally Excited About The Future
From that moment forward, it was that idea that kept me moving forward, as a goal to eventually to create. And on that night when my wife sat me down, after we broke down those sites and my company, we spent hours developing ideas, colors, design, the kind of content, and how I wanted to do whatever I could to bring as much value to others as possible.
This is what Striven Life is all about, it is my passion, my purpose, and working with individuals like I have already is what gives my life a great deal more meaning.
Remember, all of this is a journey to finding our place, our purpose, our meaning. I had several failures, missteps, and mistakes along the way but embracing those failures, knowing what they meant, those are what allowed me to continue moving forward and get to this point.
So what’s the point?
The point is that I am not going anywhere because this is what has given my life meaning, fulfillment, and purpose throughout my entire life and now I have the ability to have that as my own business.
What Does This Mean For YOU?
Additionally, what it means is you also have this ability. You have the ability to audit your life, identify what brings you joy, happiness, purpose, meaning, and fulfillment, see what is bringing you those and what is not, reflect on your life and identify the things that have done those for you, and then take direct, meaningful actions in your life to build a better you, a better life, a striven life.
All of the lives I do, videos I make, blogs I write, posts I make, thing I say, and action I take will be aimed to help you on that journey, to take back your life, to live it to the fullest, to be fully engaged in life, to focus on the things that really matter, to love more and hate less, to live more and fear less.
As I continue on this journey of self-improvement and reaching my goals, that I have been on for well over a year now, I have dedicated myself to learning more, experience more, and being more and will continually make this the message and truth I share with you all.