Often clients recommend books that they have enjoyed or learned from. It is interesting when I find myself reading several in a row with a similar theme. This has been the case over the past few weeks.
The last four that I read are all so interesting as they tell the tales of individuals who did extremely well in their professional lives and terribly in their personal lives:
David Nino Rodrigez wrote “When the Lights Go Out – From Survivor to Champion”. He is a former heavyweight boxer with a record of 36-0 who was headed for the title of heavyweight championship of the world when everything fell apart. When he decided to commit suicide, he wrote this book on his cellphone so there would be a record of his life. What a life! It has been filled with destructive behaviours, addictions and two escapes from death. The book is extremely honest to the point that, at times, I just shook my head while reading and wondered how he could repeatedly do such self-harm. But David fought through his personal issues and is now a champion not for children who have been bullied but also an inspiration for all of us.
Brandtt Myhres was an Albertan boy who often spent time at the rink to escape beatings that his stepfather put on his mother, sister and self. His book, “Pain Killer” describes life as an enforcer on seven hockey teams including San Jose, Calgary and Los Angeles. His addictions and emotional trauma, however led him down a dark path that eventually ended in him being given a lifetime ban from the National Hockey League. Brandtt wasted all of the millions of dollars that he had earned, went through rehab programs several times and finally figured out how to stay clean and sober. He then studied in a substance abuse behavioural health program at Mount Royal in Calgary and was hired by the Los Angeles Kings in September 2015 as the team’s player assistance director (sober coach). Now he reaches out to others who are struggling with their own demons.
“What are the Odds? – From Crack Addict to CEO” is the story of Mike Lindell. Mike created and owns the “My Pillow” company that most of us learned about through informercials. On the outside, Lindell might appear to be a very successful individual who is friends with a number of politicians and celebrities but the journey he has been on has been fraught with problems. Mike openly admits in his book about his substance addictions, gambling issues, terrible choices, relationship problems and financial recklessness. Moving into sobriety was a very long trip and learning how to run a company properly was just as difficult. At the beginning of this autobiography Mike wrote: “I dedicate this book to anyone looking for hope.”
Clint Malarchuk wrote “The Crazy Game – How I Survived in the Crease and beyond” with Dan Robson. Besides having the stress of being a hockey goalie, where everyone is watching and hoping that you will stop the puck, Clint experienced high anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. He also had a skate go across his neck that was so severe it almost ended his career and threatened to end his life. Clint played in the NHL for the Quebec Nordiques, Washington Capitals and Buffalo Sabres. Like Brandtt, Clint is also Alberta born and like all three authors above, he used substances inappropriately.
I like reading biographies. They all talk about the struggles that the individuals faced, how they overcame them and how they ended up helping others. So inspiring!
Enjoy reading about these four men and how they conquered the problems in their personal lives.