Last week was an incredible learning experience for my speaking career. It taught me so much about this path that has chosen me. In one week, I was fortunate to spread my message and story at 3 different colleges. Every speech I give, builds my confidence in what I do. It also allows me to listen to comments and thoughts from what staff and students think about my message. I learn from the criticism and take their thoughts to heart. This is my career and I take it very seriously.
I decided to drive from Denver to Dallas to speak at Collin Community College on a Monday, then drive to McCook, NE and North Platte, NE to speak on Wednesday and Thursday instead of trying to schedule fights. Plus it saved a ton of money. This week of driving was a life lesson. Nearly 35 total hours in the car with nothing but time to think. This can have an incredible impact on your personal psyche and your inner most thoughts. The mind is very powerful.
Music is a true passion of mine (95% Rap and Hip-Hop with the occasional Lenny Kravitz), after speaking and basketball of course. I love driving. I can turn my radio up as loud as I want and act like I can spit rhymes with the best of them. Most driving trips are only 5-8 hours long, so music is playing the entire time. This trip I made a decision to explore other avenues, due to the length and time my behind would be involved in my driver’s seat.
A few months ago I read the 4-hour Work Week by Tim Ferris. This book was an eye-opening adventure that allowed me to visualize living my life from a different perspective. Believe me, I work far more than 4 hours a week but the idea of doing what you love in order to experience living life in other avenues was appealing. I started to read more about Tim Ferris and quickly started to realize he was a man that has been living the life I have been planning for years. Obviously, he is far more successful and accomplished than I, but the way he approaches life is how I want to approach life. I learned of his blogs and his podcast and decided to take a listen.
I’ve heard many great things about podcasts but didn’t appreciate them for their value. I’ve only listened to one podcast before this trip. It just happened to be a podcast I was interviewed for. Selfish right? It was a humbling experience being interviewed by Justine M. Gronwald and her platform Legal Advice in Paradise. The interview was an incredible experience and the only podcast I listened to prior to this trip. I decided to try multiple podcasts from Mr. Ferris and it was a complete success. Listening to 4 or 5 of Mr. Ferris’s podcast interviews opened up my thoughts on life. Each interview provided a wealth of knowledge on how successful people live each day. These individuals told their stories and how they succeed in business but more importantly what they did to maintain a positive life. Each interview was incredible and I learned so much from what they all had to say. Take a listen to some of his podcast and appreciate the thoughts from some very impressive and successful people.
Listening to podcasts will now be a goal of mine. Music is great but learning the values from successful individuals is worth much more to me along this journey I’m traveling, to become the best man and person I can be. Check out Mr. Ferris and other podcasts and enjoy the knowledge that is so easily obtainable now with the internet and technology.
- See more at: http://www.ethan-fisher.com/blog/2016/03/02/behind-the-wheel-from-denver-to-dallas-nebraska-and-back/#sthash.UCTJcYbp.dpuf
Hello world, family and friends,
This is my first entry for my new blog. Take a journey with me and follow what goals, activities and self-improvement objectives I try to accomplish. Being consistent with this blog will be a difficult task but that’s why I’ve decided to follow through with it. I must hold myself accountable and be consistent in what I say I will do. I cannot say I’m going to do something and not follow through with it. I will not be a bad example for the student or individuals I’m hoping to influence to become the best person they can.
This blog will include stories of individuals I’ve met during my speaking trip, books I’ve read, interesting blogs or articles, movies, music, or adventures I attempt during my days and weeks. This will include many other various ideas that come to mind during this process. I don’t want to live a life without trying new things and seeing what the world may offer.
This platform is to build a community of growth and strength that others can use a resource for things to do. My main goal is to give students ideas to enjoy life without the need of alcohol and drugs take over their lives. Putting these thoughts down will hopefully help show people what I do in order to stay clean and sober and still have fun. So please enjoy, share with others and keep me posted on ideas you all have that I can do to help others. Without further delay, as one of my best friends and teammates Nate Lark would yell “Lets GOOOOO!”
Everyone has a story to tell, it’s the Book of Life!
I had no desire or intention to be a motivational and preventative speaker, but my life has become a story that athletes, coaches, staff and many students need and want to hear. I don't think my life is special at all! I've worked tirelessly to become a better person after the horrific event that took an innocent man’s life. I cannot ever do enough positive actions, help enough youth to make up for that night and all the pain I've caused. All I can do is work extremely hard in bettering myself to help others become better themselves. I aim to be a better person every day, so I can attempt to prevent any individual from preventable actions like drinking and driving.
The point I'm making, everyone in this world has a story. I've learned by my own tragic mistakes, I've learned from others in person during my years in Alcohol Anonymous classes I was required attend. After spending nearly 3 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections and listening to all the stories in there, made me realize how tough people have it! When I was younger, I failed to learn from my own mistakes, I failed to learn from others by applying their experiences and insight back then. I’ve changed.
I was very lucky and spent those three years in minimum security facilities with Bootcamp and Swift (the wildland forest fighting program). Every inmate or friend I met, had their own stories. I heard about rough upbringings, no family or father, gangs, drug selling, robbery and other criminal lifestyles. All horrible stories and stupid choices but stories in their lives that I learned from. I took the good and the bad, molding it into ways to better myself, in order to better other.
By the end of my incarceration, I learned that most lacked support in helping them grow up in positive situations. Many lacked positive people in their lives to help influence them into a positive life. All of them made bad decisions and eventually became incarcerated. Their stories made me want to help as much as I could in my own way. Helping prevent the youth from making these poor choices and is how I’ve begun to fight this issue. Hopefully stopping middle school and high school students before they become too engulfed with the lifelong struggle as a criminal.
After being released from prison to the halfway house, I continued listening, observing and improving. I was now surrounded by society, friends, co-workers, professors and business operators. I continued to listen, I continued to learn from their stories. My ability to have them open up after they heard of my story, made me realize I can help others by sharing my message. This idea soon evolved into volunteering to speak at a 8th grade junior high boys’ basketball team I was coaching. The head coach wanted me to open up to these “at-risk” boy’s coming from broken homes. He thought my story would allow them to relate and open up to me. He was right, they began talking to me, telling me their lives and smiling more on the court during practice. They opened up and became a group of young men that told me their issues on and off the court. This moment is when I knew I had to continue to grow in order to help.
I was currently living in the Larimer County Halfway House attending Front Range Community College for what seemed like my 100th time. When I asked my professor if I could try a presentation that know body would expect. I presented my story and began seeing tears swelling in the eyes of many of the students. I had made an emotion tie that students could relate to. My professors pulled me aside and said I had something to give back to others. Where this was heading, I had no idea. The wheels were now in motion and now I had a new path to life without realizing it until a few years later.
Fast forward to my second year at Johnson & Wales University in Denver. I was playing basketball as an inmate of Colorado and quietly volunteering my story in a class with groups of students who had been caught drinking on JWU dry campus. After a few months of quietly volunteering, the now retired President of the University invited me to listen to a professional motivational speaker by the name of Mark Sterner.
Prior to this invite, I had no knowledge about a career in motivational speaking. I couldn’t grasp the concept of some random a speaker having an emotional or psychological effect on me. I was completely wrong. Mr. Sterner took me for a devastating and emotional ride during his performance. Instantly impacted by his story and the pain he had suffered by killing three of his best friends, paralyzing another friend all by drunk driving. From that moment I wanted to emulate his impact. My focus shifted and I began researching motivational speakers. Mark Sterner changed my life! Thank you Mr. Mark Sterner for all you have done over the years and what you continue to do. You inspired me to follow in some very large shoes.
Since 2003, my life hasn’t been easy but it’s the life I created by bad choices followed by positive changes. My journey of helping the youth will never cease. I will continue to do so until I’m no longer here.
It has been 1 Year today Since I was released by "the system". This year has been wonderful. I can NEVER make up for what I did but I try everyday. It has been amazing. I went from not being able to travel without permission outside of Denver Metro area. In the last year I've been to Hawaii, Mexico, OR, IA, FL, NE, IL and GA twice. I'm Blessed and thank God everyday. I'm alive and try to cherish the life I have now. Thank you to all for the support, my awesome Family, friends, mentors and supporters of my mission in life now. It's been a great year and plan for the next to be even better.
Burlington High School, Burlington Junior High, Bethune and Stratton High School Trip
March 10th and 11th were incredible days for Life CONsequences. This was an unbelievable trip and an amazing experience. This was our first official speech in front of middle school students. We have spoken in front of groups with students down to 5th grade but those were large, entire school or camps combined. This was only the 250 middle school student with no other high school students in the audience.
Technology is a love and hate relationship, 5 mins into speaking to this young audience, our laptop shut down. That was a first. After principle Swiatkowski assured me she would get the student back focused, I nervously had to figure out what happened. I was embarrassed with 250 middle school kids probably thinking “this is a joke”. A few minutes later we were up and running. By the end of the presentation we had so many students asking questions that we had to end the Q&A session with nearly 30 hands still raised. I knew I had reached this age group and felt relieved after the wild start to the week of presentations.
After speaking at the middle school then traveling and speaking to Bethune High and Stratton a few hours later, I found myself receiving an unbelievable amount of emails, twitter followers, Facebook followers and conversations with so many outgoing students expressing their thoughts. This is why I speak!!!
Students reached out to say thank you, ask questions and allow me to know their struggles as students. I did my best to help all of them as best I can and will continue to leave the option for dialogue for students to reach out. They know I care for them and I’m not just speaking then leaving them never to be seen or heard from again. I’ve found a new aspect of our mission to help individuals and not just the masses. It’s hard, emotionally draining to speak and then hear of these kids thoughts. It is well worth it, if I can help them at all.
De Beque and Plateau Valley High Schools
February 4-5th was not only a speaking experience with De Beque High and Plateau Valley High school. It was also an eye opening experience for me. I truly believe God is keeping me safe and I’m blessed to have him in my life.
Leaving the night before the speeches on Feb 5th, I drove across the mountains, through the Eisenhower tunnel and passed Frisco in a nasty snow storm. A few miles outside of Frisco, my car hit an ice patch in the middle of I70. Spinning out of control and doing nearly a full 360 degree turn in the middle of the highway, my car slid into a pole in the median, taking out the fence and leaving me in the median, safe and no harm done. I’m so lucky and thanked God for keeping out of harm’s way. This did not prevent me from getting towed out and continue my drive through the snow to speak to the two high schools the following day.
I mentioned to both high schools the event from the previous day and told them, that is how much I care about them and my life mission to help prevent students from my mistakes. Plateau Valley gave me a standing ovation, my first ever and told them how much that meant. Both schools were great and I received great feedback from the students from the western slope of Colorado.
Greeley Central High School's Athletic Department
Speaking to the entire Greeley Central Athletics programs was a treat. There were nearly 500 student-athletes in attendance. Growing up and playing at Poudre High School was were my love for sports grew. Greeley Central was a team we respected and played twice every year. It was a treat and pleasure to go and speak to a school that I competed against so long ago. They were a great group of kids and the staff was amazing to work with.