Halfway through 2015, I thought I had it all.

I was madly in love, I was graduated, and I was a few months away from doubling my entire year’s salary as I neared the closing of my first buy-side and sell-side deal that I had ever worked on; a feat absolutely unheard of for a 23 year old investment banker. My head was big, and I didn’t think there was anything that could make me happier. I felt on top of the world.

A few months later, everything changed. I found out that the woman whom I adored and who professed she wanted to spend her life with me had been using me and cheating on me since the very beginning of our relationship. Between planning out when we would move in together, become engaged, and being taken out of state to meet her entire family, she had every intention to string me along for as long as she could get away with it.

To say that I was devastated when I found out about her betrayal would be an immense understatement.

Aside from the heartache, it was my first, big life failure in a very long time. Leading up to this, my life had been a string of accomplishments and achievements for several years. Losing something that I spent the majority of my time every day dedicated to and enraptured by was unfathomable. I drove myself crazy and I drove myself into depression. I was trapped in my head, circling back and forth with what-ifs, believing that the last year of my life had been squandered. I forgot completely how to deal with failure.

After a couple of weeks of depression, I realized I was becoming someone I didn’t want to become. I was an achiever, not a defeatist, and I needed to do something with myself.

I remembered about a book I read earlier in the year called The Miracle Morning. The author, Hal Elrod, was interviewed on The Tom Woods show. It was really the first time I had ever been exposed to a book that focused on making a conscious effort to personally develop oneself. The author describes his book as the prescription to making yourself a “level 10 person” and “achieving everything you’ve ever wanted to achieve.” For me, that was taking control of myself emotionally and mentally and being happy again.

The book outlines a one-hour, six-step morning routine, the Miracle Morning, in which you prepare your mind and body to perform at its highest potential and accomplishing all the goals you set out before yourself. Desperate for anything that would make me feel better, I decided, several months removed from having read it before, to give it another read and finally give it a try.

I won’t spoil what the Miracle Morning routine is. For that, you will have to read the book yourself. But the product from having read it and followed it, for me, was the empowerment of myself again. I realized as I accomplished all of my goals I set out for myself every day, the sense of accomplishment filled me with happiness. That feeling of happiness would then turn into added productivity and drive, which I would then use to accomplish all of my goals.

It was a self-perpetuating cycle of productivity, positivity, and happiness. I went from depression to the highest level of productivity and happiness I have ever experienced in just a matter of weeks. But more importantly, I got a hold of myself again.

Soon after, however, my buy-side deal fell through. An 8 month-long project, it was my first investment banking defeat. The very next week, the sell-side deal fell through. The biggest deal my firm has had in 2.5 years, it was a project I had been working on since December of 2014. Most frustrating of all, both failures were out of my control.

2015 wasn’t finished throwing curve balls at me yet, but this time I was equipped with the mental faculties to build myself from these losses. Failure was an almost welcomed outcome as I channeled any and all negative emotions into catalysts for becoming even more driven, more accomplished, and more successful. Failure became the gasoline that only served to exacerbate the flame that was, and is, my drive to have what I want.

Many have noticed a difference in me too. Friends and family found it strange but comforting that I walked around so positive and optimistic having been not far-removed from what was such a nasty break up. In my end of year review with my boss, he told me that he had noticed that I had become more productive in the last couple of months than he has ever seen me. He then followed his comments by recommending that I take an accelerated path to becoming a director at our firm.

But more importantly, however, I realized for myself that “you can accomplish anything you want” wasn’t just a meaningless cliché. It is very real. Because as I enter into 2016, I am in total control of myself and my happiness, and I am at my highest level of professional accomplishment and mental/emotional fortitude ever. And there isn’t a damn thing that can bring me down.

If you, too, are looking to achieve your goals and unlock your full potential, but maybe you don’t know how to start, or what to do, I recommend you read and apply the Miracle Morning like I did. My only regret was not having started it when I first read it.
Click here for the Tom Woods Show podcast interview with Hal Elrod.
Click here for the Amazon link.