How I Transformed a Broke 16 Year Old Into a Successful Young Professional

Let me describe my 16-year-old self in 3 words; broke, overweight, and unmotivated. I lived in the moment and didn’t really think much of what my future might look like. My mom would always say, “Cole, your prefrontal lobe isn’t developed yet.” That was her nice way of saying, “Hey dumbass, that’s a bad decision!” Every aspect of my life was out of control in my standards. I’d get a paycheck and then spend it all on random things and food (that’s how I got overweight). I was a bum. I looked forward to the end of the school day and I thought I knew better than everyone else. I was honestly lost.

That summer I went to Philmont Scout Ranch for 2 weeks. There, my crew and I hiked around 200 miles in the New Mexico backcountry over the course of 10 days. While I was there, I made a promise to myself that I would become a better overall individual. That commitment was the spark that led to me becoming the person I am today.

I started reading, learning, exercising, and overall was just attacking life with vigor. The harder I worked, the happier I got. For the first time in a long time, I was beginning to actually feel happy. I was proud of who I was becoming. I was beginning to develop self-confidence and people were beginning to take notice. During this process, I sort of disassociated with many of my friends. I’d rather stay in and learn something new than go out with friends. It was a hunger to be better that really drove me to become the new me. This quality sticks with me to this day.

With a little over 3 years of experience in personal development, I can say that I am virtually unrecognizable compared to my 16-year-old self. Today, I have great relationships, I’m happy, my financial health is amazing, and I’m in great shape (I almost have my six-pack…wish me luck!). My life is in balance and my problems are good problems. My situation has become ideal and I have my entire future ahead of me. Just know that I’m only getting started!

This transition most definitely didn’t happen over night. The amount of time and discipline it has taken is almost unfathomable. The number of times I’ve wanted to quit but didn’t are uncountable. By going through that, I’ve strengthened my discipline and have become a better person for experiencing it. Put in the work and you will become the person you’ve always wanted to be.