Craig Perra: How Finding His Purpose Helped Him Overcome Addiction, Getting Fired (Twice) and Nearly Losing his Family #14

Warwick Fairfax

March 18, 2020

Craig Perra admits he’s the last person you’d expect to be a life coach. He was a corporate lawyer on the C-Suite track when his sexual and drug addictions left him at rock bottom in his career and his marriage, bringing him so low he attempted suicide. Then a mentor who had walked a similar path helped him overcome his demons through structured behavioral change that allowed him to understand the underlying causes of his destructive ways, create new, healthy habits … and save his relationship with his wife. Perra talks with Crucible Leadership founder and BEYOND THE CRUCIBLE host Warwick Fairfax about how life’s most painful moments can actually be gifts if they are harnessed to help us craft an intentional vision for moving forward with a purpose rooted in serving others. He’s helped clients in 27 countries reclaim hope and joy in their lives with his Mindful Habit system, which offers behavioral change insights anyone can apply to recover from crucibles of all stripes.

For more information on Craig Perra and the Mindful Habit System, visit www.mindfulhabit.com

Highlights

 

  • How a trivial lie to his boss cost him his job (3:27)
  • The emotional desolation of a professional crucible (5:35)
  • Feeling trapped — even by success — can be a crucible all its own if you’re not living your vision (14:26)
  • Sometimes you have to admit you’re unhappy to move beyond the crucible (17:58)
  • The value of a mentor in bouncing back (20:48)
  • The necessity of finding purpose in overcoming a crucible (23:07)
  • Why true significance comes in service to others (32:44)
  • The essence of the Mindful Habit system (38:10)
  • Why you should have hope at your lowest point (38:58)
  • Key takeaways from the discussion (40:30)

Transcript

Gary S:
Welcome everyone to Beyond the Crucible, the podcast where we discuss crucible experiences, crucible moments, those things that are painful setbacks, can be tragedies, can be traumas, can be failures. And we talk about them for the reasons of not dwelling on them, not wallowing in them. But what we hope to have out of our conversations is to provide hope to the listener, provide insights to the listener on how you can come back from your own crucible moments, move beyond your crucibles, and then also action steps, what are some things you can do out of this conversation that you can then take with you to live your own life of significance. And with me, as always, is the founder of Crucible Leadership and the host of this broadcast, Warwick Fairfax. Warwick, we got a good conversation today.

Warwick F:
Absolutely. Good to be here and great to have Craig with us.

Gary S:
And I’m not sure if I introduced myself. I’m Gary Schneeberger, the cohost of the show, as well as the communications director for Crucible Leadership. That’s only so you know, listener, when Warwick or somebody says Gary, who he’s talking to. That’s me.

Gary S:
But more importantly is Craig who Warwick did indicate there. And I’m going to introduce Craig. And one of the things, listener, that we do that’s very exciting and interesting for us is we ask every guest we have on to provide us a biography. Craig did that. And throughout the conversation, please don’t think when I finish the last sentence of what Craig provided as his bio, that that’s the end of Craig story. And you’ll hear through the conversation with Warwick that it’s not. But I think what you’ll glean from this is kind of the character of Craig and where his heart lies in terms of his life of significance.

Gary S:
So, this is Craig Perra’s biography as he gave us. Adopted as an infant into a loving Catholic family. Mom and Dad tried their best. Mother was physically and verbally abusive. Dad worked his butt off from poverty to master’s degrees to being a famous regional sports coach. This instilled in me a drive for success. Never feeling good enough was a powerful motivation. I met my current wife and soulmate, Michelle, in college at UConn. What followed, lawyer, executive, fired two times. Liar, cheat, drug user, suicide attempt. That’s the snapshot of Craig’s life that will begin this discussion between the three of us. Warwick, take it away.

Warwick F:
Well, Craig, thanks so much for being here. Really appreciate it. You have a powerful story and love what you’re doing with mindfulness, which we’ll get to in a bit. But share a bit about your story and as that led in to your crucible experiences. Yeah, tell us a bit about Craig Perra.

Craig P:
Sure. Craig is born in failure. When I got asked to be on this podcast, Warwick and Gary, I was so excited because I’ve literally built a career, a life around colossal failures. And they were big. The last one was on the heels of a failure. I was back in Massachusetts where I used to live with my family about 12 years ago. I was assistant general counsel for $3 billion company. And anyone who’s done the corporate thing knows those are nice jobs. Lawyers really, really like them. They have their own pressures, but not the pressures of private practice. Had an amazing boss, and it was a great company. But I got fired. I got fired not because they caught me doing anything wrong.

Craig P:
I got fired because I wasn’t performing, plus I lied to my boss about something trivial. “Craig is that a coffee mug?” “No boss, that’s not the coffee mug.” “Are you sure that’s not a coffee mug? I’m looking at it. It looks like one, Craig.” He gave me 30 opportunities to answer a small trivial question and I’m literally, it wasn’t about the mug obviously, it was about did I do something. “No, I didn’t do that.” “Are you sure, I’m positive you did. Three people told me you did.” No, but I had gotten stuck in the lie. I just didn’t have the courage to say, yeah, I goofed. I made a mistake. I shouldn’t have done that. That little small, trivial insignificant thing that would have been a normal learning opportunity for normal people.

Craig P:
I got fired from that job, become the comeback kid, I get a better job. I now am in charge of Esurance’s compliance department. I’m taking on a role and responsibility that I hadn’t before, national responsibility, leading a bigger team for the first time. And that was like literally jumping off a cliff. It was at that low point, I mean, I was so low, I tried to kill myself. 10 months after getting fired from the first job, I got fired from my second job. I was out of my mind. I was using drugs. There was a scene in one of the Christmas movies where Chevy Chase is intoxicated and he’s shoving the salmon in his Santa coat and he’s stumbling around drunk. I wasn’t that bad, but there was one time where I was clearly under the influence at work.

Craig P:
I had a long successful career, I didn’t get to that job where I would have, you know, if I continued to be successful, I would have been running the compliance department, chief compliance officer for a billion dollar a year company. And I hated my life, I hated the job. I did not get along with my boss. I didn’t see people around me that I wanted as mentors. I saw a lot of unhappy people and that realization that here I am in California, I’m stuck, there’s no way out. I stuck my face in a pile of bath salts, that’s that synthetic chemical you might have read about 15 years ago where people were losing their minds, now illegal, thank goodness. Worse than PCP and meth put together. I thought that would be a good idea. And so I got addicted to that chemical.

Craig P:
I did not kill myself, obviously, it was an unsuccessful attempt. More of a cry for help. But what that did is that forced me into getting help. And that’s when things turned around in a pretty significant way. So, I’ll stop there to see if you have any questions and then I could keep going regarding the comeback. But I wanted you to see this, I get fired and I’m screwed, what am I going to do. I’m a lawyer, I don’t have a license to practice in California. I’m out in California, I’m stuck. I tried to find another job, there wasn’t another employer that needed my skill set for 80 miles. I would have had to move again. I felt so trapped, I felt so trapped. I was so unhappy in so many aspects of my life.

Craig P:
I remember sitting in the car and pouring all the drugs out and just said, you know what, if this does it, fine. Clearly a cowardly move and one I’m glad didn’t work. But that was the low point.

Warwick F:
One of the things you’ve said, which really amazes me is on your website, you are so open about all the challenges that you’ve been through. It sort of blew my mind reading it, to be honest. It’s like, wow, you lay it all out there. One of the things you talk about as well as in just videos you’ve done is your relationship with your wife, I think somewhere around that time was in a pretty bad place. So talk a bit about because it’s getting fired and drug addiction, all is one thing, which is just horrendous. But then on top of all that, your relationship with your wife and just for a variety reasons, that was in a bit of a challenging space. Talk about that on top of everything else. It just felt like you were just hit with a tsunami of just different challenges.

Craig P:
And so, part of my coping strategy has always been as a man, doing what “guys do.” Having affairs, lying, cheating. I had rationalized clearly under the sign under the light of day deviant behavior, but I had rationalized that for so, so, so long. At the core was my heart. It wasn’t anything my wife did. It wasn’t anything that she could have done differently. You can’t give what you don’t have. And I hated myself and I wasn’t able to open myself up to connect with her as a husband should. I blamed her, and this is so common in my work. There’s so much resentment and projection onto the wife. The wife becomes mother, my wife had become my mother. She wasn’t trying to be my mother, she was trying to keep the ship rolling and dumping out the water. We have two beautiful, incredible children.

Craig P:
And she’s my best friend. We met in college, I’ll never forget. We met by the subway truck, the sandwich truck, the little portable truck where you get your Subway sandwiches. I joked and I saw her reflection off the BMT sandwich and she had this black leather jacket on. We were listening to the same music. And I literally said to myself, I’m going to marry this woman someday. And I was in no position at that time to get married, but I knew there was something special about her and we became best friends before we started dating. She is my soulmate, she is my best friend. I crapped all over that relationship. And it was so bad, her intention. Now, she did look down at me. She looked down at me, and she extended her hand, said, “Husband, you’re the father of my children, I want to help you. I don’t think we’re going to make it. I don’t think we’re going to make it but I want to help you.”

Craig P:
And it was that that act of kindness, that just showing of love moves me in a deep way. And it has been my inspiration since then is helping other men heal from the lies and betrayals and the secrets they’ve kept from their wives. We just celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary. We’ve never been happier. We do calls together for the wives that are in my program. And she said something two weeks ago that I’ll never forget. She said that she wouldn’t go back and change a thing. She would not change a thing. And the reason why she said she wouldn’t change a thing because while she didn’t like the pain, didn’t like the suffering, didn’t like the feelings of insecurity and not being good enough for her husband, it made her who she was.

Craig P:
And it’s because of those experiences that she was forced to grow in ways that she couldn’t imagine. And clearly, I was forced to grow in ways that I didn’t realize. But it also forced us to grow together because when I kind of woke up from that low point, like wait a minute, there’s got to be other options. There’s not one job. I had such blinders on. But yeah, we just celebrated 21 years and we’ve never been happier. I put that poor woman through hell.

Gary S:
I’m going to jump in here because you use the phrase low point a few times, Craig, both in relation to your experience professionally, personally, and in your marriage and how your wife felt. And one of the things that really intrigued me about some of the information that you sent to us, and it’s very interesting in light of what crucible leadership talks about and what Warwick has gone through himself and what he offers people through Crucible Leadership. But you said this, which really struck me, “Your lowest point is an incredible gift.” Warwick talks about it as I said at the top of the show, your crucible experiences can be not the end of your story, but the beginning of a new chapter in your story if you learn the lessons from them.

Gary S:
So, it’s extremely interesting, you hear Warwick tell his story, listeners have heard him tell his story. Very different practically, very different in detail from your story, Craig. Yet, the emotions and the perspective that comes out of that, from that low moment, can come healing, hope, the best moments of your life. It’s extraordinary how, and listeners, I want you to hear this too, your stories probably differ from Warwick’s and Craig’s both, but those emotions that you feel by digging in, by recognizing that your lowest point is an incredible gift, by recognizing that your crucible experience, if you learn from it and apply those lessons can lead you toward a life of significance is a truism.

Gary S:
How do you guys react to that knowing that your stories are so different, and yet the emotions behind them in the way that you crawled back from them, you clawed your way back from them are very similar?

Warwick F:
That is such a profound point that our lowest moments can be a gift. It’s not a, push pause for one second because I want to make sure that listeners understand what was the motivations that led you to that low point because by understanding the motivations, it then helps the listeners understand how you bounce back from that. What were the things, because you got this stuff on top of the surface, which was getting fired from a great job, drug addiction, cheating on your wife. Was a variety of different challenges. But typically, there’s something beneath that that causes the behavior. If we don’t understand the behavior, we can’t help stop that, turn the ship. So what was the underlying thoughts or motivations that led you to just that incredible low point that you went through?

Craig P:
Great question, Warwick. It was, I felt trapped. I felt trapped. I saw my life unfold. Now I’m peeking into the C suite, I’m now in the room. I’m now in the room, the C level executives. I’m not there yet, but if things go as planned, I am the Chief Compliance Officer for this billion dollar company. So much excitement, so much opportunity. I didn’t want that. I never wanted that. I remember back in college I want, mom, dad, I want to be a teacher. I want to be a teacher, I want to teach people. My dad was a teacher, became a very successful teacher administrator, big soccer complex named after my father. And no, you’re better than that, be a lawyer, be a lawyer. And I had the natural skill set to be a lawyer, and I loved it.

Craig P:
But I never felt like I was in charge of my destiny. I remember when we were putting together the specs of our new house together that my wife and I built in Massachusetts, I’ll never forget how resentful I was about the granite countertops. It’s like, this is what I’m working for? This is what I’m doing in my life? I was so unhappy. I was doing what I thought I was supposed to do. I was following that trajectory and I was so, so unhappy. I wasn’t fulfilled. I felt trapped, Warwick, that’s what it was.

Warwick F:
And it’s interesting, getting back to Gary’s question, that I can relate to. So it almost feels like you were living somebody else’s dream. Every parent likes to think that their kids will do better than they did. But better often for some people means more status, more money, more prestige. Better doesn’t have to be defined that way, but it sounds like for you, it’s like, hey, I was a teacher, you need to do better than that from his perspective. I think teacher is a wonderful profession but I get your dad’s perspective. Almost felt like you were being forced into a role you didn’t want to and you were medicating the pain in a variety of different ways, including marital cheating and drugs and what have you. Is that like a fair comment? It was almost like you were being forced into a role you didn’t want to be and you were medicating the frustration.

Craig P:
Yes, that’s exactly right. There were these different parts of me. There was the part of me that went to work, that enjoyed analyzing compliance related issues because it’s a fascinating field, it’s where the law and the business intersect, and I was very good at it. I had an executive business background, I had a legal background. It was perfect. It was perfect. That’s exactly what someone with my skill set should do. But I was miserable. I did not feel fulfilled. I didn’t like the job. Not the company, the company was a great company. And thousands of people have very successful careers there. But I felt I wasn’t me. And instead of finding me, I instead escaped from being me. And at various points in my life, I escaped from being me with drugs and prostitutes.

Craig P:
And those two things collided in a big ugly way 10 years ago, because now, not only was I trapped in a career, now I’m trapped in this job. I can’t go anyplace else because I looked online, there’s no other company that needed someone with my expertise, they were 80 miles away. I knew that I’d have to lose a big chunk of income and I lacked the courage to say, I am unhappy. I lacked the courage to say I am unhappy. That is the truth for so many of my clients, and I see it all the time. They lack the courage and the intestinal fortitude to say, hey, I’m on the wrong track, I need to get back to my center to do something that’s going to lift me up.

Craig P:
And for me, it took a rock bottom for that to happen. So that’s back to where Gary was talking about this being a gift. The thought of me being a life coach with my background is preposterous, it’s ridiculous. People laugh. People laughed when they heard it back then. Here we are eight years later with clients in 27 countries, a successful program, world famous client base. It took that low point to help me forge the path that was going to fulfill me and enrich me and inspire me.

Warwick F:
And I want to hear in a brief second about that inspiration. But as you share your story, it’s very different than mine, but yet there are similarities that a lot of our listeners would know growing up in a 150 year old, large family media business in Australia. The expectations are very clear, you will go into that, you will prepare yourself, and you will make the company even greater than it was before. You will do better than previous generations and you have no other options because why wouldn’t you want to be in a family media business that does great service to the community, don’t you care about your country, about your community. How could you not want to do that? So hence, Oxford, Wall Street, Harvard Business School, I wasn’t really that interested in business, to be honest. Still I’m not. I’m more of a reflective advisor.

Warwick F:
But I never thought to rebel because I loved my parents and how could I let my parents down. Not quite the nation, but how can I let people down. So, yeah, I was miserable and totally out of my depth. And it was, yeah, grim. So everybody deals with that in different ways. But that sounds eerily similar. So I guess, I mean, obviously, I have my own ways I try to claw myself back, but how did you claw your way back? You mentioned that failure can be a gift. How did you change your perspective to see it as a gift, to get your career back on track, your marriage back on track? How did you, because a lot of people listening to you are saying, that’s irrecoverable. You can’t recover from all those things. It’s kind of game over. How did you bounce back?

Craig P:
I found a mentor who had been through my struggles. I had done a lot of counseling, I had done a lot of therapy in my life. And that was valuable, that was valuable. But none of those people had walked in my shoes. And in fact, when push comes to shove, they probably had no idea beyond what they read about in their books what I was going through. I found somebody who, his name was George Collins. He is a therapist in Walnut Creek, California. He specializes in working with men struggling with compulsive sexual behavior. And that’s what mine was, and the drugs of course. He did it, he was happy. So then maybe I can be too.

Craig P:
And so, having a mentor, having a therapist, a counselor is critical. And as someone who provides those services, I acknowledge to clients how self-serving that statement is. And it is what it is, you know, and it is what it is. So that was very important to me.

Warwick F:
Okay. So being a mentor …

Craig P:
Having a mentor.

Warwick F:
That was a key. You mentioned there’s a sense of therapy almost in helping other people. I’ve certainly found that as I talk about failure and getting the odd letter from folks as I did the other day from a woman classmate at Harvard Business School. Sharing about some of her business challenges and feeling like, hey, there’s somebody else that’s been there, she felt like she wasn’t alone. It’s a different area. So, a mentor is helpful. So what was some of the other things that helped you get your life back on track? Your marriage, for instance? That’s a miracle in of itself. There are many marriages that wouldn’t survive.

Craig P:
And in fact, my wife was done. She was pretty clear on her intentions. She had been down this road before with me. Clearly, I wasn’t somebody who could be faithful. She said that she was going to stick around to help me get back on my feet because I was the sole provider. I was the guy who made the money to feed the family. And so, she was going to support me till I got back on my feet. And then she’d separate, then she’d end the marriage.

Craig P:
A lot of things happened at that low point, a lot of things happened to me at that low point. So I found a mentor. I also started to find purpose, purpose, like, wait, there’s something very liberating about being at that low point. In other words, there’s only up. Down was death. And I decided that I wasn’t going to do that, I’m a father, what are you thinking, man, snap out of it. There’s got to be another way besides that. I said to myself that as long as I am in the house, as long as I am in her presence, I’m going to do everything humanly possible to show her that I can be a kind, caring, compassionate, loving husband and save the relationship. And that’s what I did. And it wasn’t easy.

Craig P:
Clearly, I have intimacy issues, I have issues around connecting. I was sexually abused as a child, so sexual anorexia, which means it just doesn’t flow naturally when there’s love involved. Stranger, boom bada bing, easy peasy. But when there’s love and connection, that was a challenge for me. And we saw, we met each one of those challenges together and had an incredible time in the process. And there were no resources out there for the partners of someone like me.

Craig P:
And the only resources that were out there was either she’s codependent or she’s a co-addict. It was all framed around 12 steps, which is a treatment modality 85 years old invented for alcohol that’s now applied to other things. That didn’t resonate with me. It didn’t resonate with her. So she started blogging and just sharing her experience, sharing her story. Well, that took off. Then came the Anderson Cooper Show. Then came the Katie Couric show and then came Lifetime. Now I’m kind of cramming a whole bunch of things together. But together, we just had so much joy helping people. And that’s how it all started, that’s how it all started.

Warwick F:
One of the things I think you’ve said, and correct me if I’m wrong, is you’re at a low point, marriage, business, all sorts of things going on. But you made a decision of the will, I’m not going to abandon my kids. Suicide is not an option. I am going to resurrect this marriage. I’m going to do whatever it takes to deal with these very difficult issues. Maybe 12 step programs are great programs, maybe didn’t quite fit your situation. There’s no one size fits all. But you and your wife were determined. And she was obviously incredibly courageous too that you just felt like we were going to make a decision of the will to get through this, to get your career, life, marriage on track. Does that feel right that you made a decision?

Craig P:
Yes.

Warwick F:
And many people would say, that’s a silly decision because there’s no hope, but even where you didn’t feel like much hope, you made a decision of the will. Was that a key turning point for you?

Craig P:
Key turning point, key turning point. And as ridiculous as it sounded, in the moment, you’ve got to imagine the dinner tape. So my wife and I just had been anonymously helping people. Responding to comments on a blog, just little, very basic stuff. But it was growing, and there was momentum. And I saw a void that I could fill. I used to, one of the things I got trained in was how to build curriculum. I saw that the treatment modality that most people were using didn’t address habits, didn’t incorporate mindfulness, didn’t really have a sense of purpose. Didn’t specifically create healthy in that area. And I said, you know what, I can build a course, I can build a better program that’s going to move the right guy further faster. That is what drove me.

Craig P:
But there was a time, I’ll never forget this time, we’re sitting there at dinner with her parents, my wife’s parents. They know everything, they know rock bottom, they know that I had done it again, I’d gotten fired again. And I remember looking over at my father-in-law to tell him that his daughter and I decided to be life coaches. And you could see the look on his face, like what are you thinking? He had 50 questions. Now we had answers for all those 50 questions. He’s a business-minded man so we knew, we were like, we’re going to meet with an investor. We were prepared for those questions. But it was in making the decision together and then realizing that we had something special, there was a hole that we could fill, and that hole was massive. And that really inspired us to keep pushing and keep chugging along to bring us where we are today, which is, we’re just getting warmed up today.

Warwick F:
I want to talk about mindfulness but I just want to recap for the listeners a couple key takeaways that I’m hearing so far. One is you made a decision of the will that these challenges, business and marital, were not going to define you. And the second was just this sense of purpose. I’m sensing you saying the healing power of purpose, which I have a feeling might be part of mindfulness. Talk about the healing power of purpose and how that plays into the whole mindfulness program, which sounds amazing. So talk about purpose and mindfulness.

Craig P:
The whole thing is mindfulness. Some of it is mindfulness in disguise. When I talk about habits, other parts of my program, I’m explicit when I’m talking about traditional mindfulness. But one of the things that I’ve learned about human beings is that we are needs-seeking organisms. Everything we do, from what we say to what we do is a conditioned response to get needs met. If, if, if, if, you can align that need with what you’re great at and what you love to do, well, life is going to be a heck of a lot easier for you because as we all know, life is hard enough as it is to be doing something that you hate, where you don’t feel fulfilled, where you’re never feeling good enough.

Craig P:
And there’s something very mindful, which means, like, wait, what is it that I want to do that’s going to contribute value to the world, and how am I going to use that to inspire other people? Really, I think, as you said, it’s a mindful principle because it’s being mindful about what drives you, what feeds you, what inspires you. So that journey from rock bottom forced me to answer all those questions because I was not going to make that mistake again.

Craig P:
And so, that’s where the mindfulness comes in. It’s mindful around who I am, what do I love to do, how am I going to serve, and what feeds me, the Native American story of feeding the right wolf is a great inspiration to me. And it’s an old story, but these old tales have an awful lot of science wrapped up in them and understanding, how you’re going to feed that right wolf inside you and me helping clients get there, and of course, me finding my own sense of purpose. It’s like mindfulness at its core in a sense of how are you going to feed that part of you that needs significance, that needs loving connection, that needs community? So yeah, I hope I answered your question.

Warwick F:
Yeah, yeah. No, you did. I’d love to hear, personally as I’m sure the listeners would, what meeting those needs meant for you. But in addition to purpose, we all have needs, but trying to meet those needs in a constructive way that fits in with your innate gifting, passions and talents to accomplish, and we use this term a lot, a life of significance, a life of helping others, it feels like that was the key to mindfulness for you is meeting those needs in a positive way that’s in line with what you love to do in a constructive way. That feels like that was key. So what does it look like for you? You’re wired a very specific way, as we all are. How did you meet those needs in a constructive way in a way that helped you live a life of significance?

Craig P:
So it was Martin Luther King Jr.’s Speech called The Drum Major Instinct had a massive impact on me. Of all the things that I listened to, there was something about him recognizing that we all have this drum major in us. And the drum major is the guy at the front of the parade with the shiny outfit waving the baton. To some degree, maybe we don’t want to be him, but we want that attention and we want that significance. And there was something about that that I had gone the eastern way, which is to not desire and I didn’t want anything and I took jobs that wasn’t very fulfilling because I thought I was being mindful, but I wasn’t. I was still unhappy, I was still seeking. And it was literally that alignment of me realizing that if I have this need to be significant, to get positive attention, then I’m going to do it in the service of others.

Craig P:
And it was like in that moment, where like, I have the skill set, I have the aptitude, I have the writing skills, I’ve got the personality. I just saw that all these things were in perfect alignment and that’s how I learned that I had to feed the right wolf, and that’s when things changed for me in a dramatic way. I recognized that I had these needs, it didn’t make me a weak person because I want to be important and want to be significant. But if I am going to be an important significant, do it in the service of others and be the biggest star in the world. But if you’re helping other people, rock on.

Warwick F:
So when you said the right wolf, to summarize it in like a sentence or two, what does the right wolf look like for Craig Perra? When Craig Perra is being who Craig Perra needs to be kind of in service of others, what does it look like?

Craig P:
He is driving results where other people haven’t. My niche, Warwick and Gary, I’m in the sex and porn addiction. field. And so, my clients don’t share on Facebook that they work with me. If they did, I’d be on Oprah, I’d be on Ellen because I have worked with titans of industry, professional athletes, professional, Hollywood icons. There’s a list that goes on and on. Hey, can one of your guys just put on Facebook how life-changing this program was. But when my wolf is being fed, I’m taking what I’ve learned, and I’m helping other people change their lives and driving results quicker than they were able to get someplace else, better and bigger than they were able to get someplace else because most of my clients come to me on the heels of inpatient stays, years and years and years of therapy. So that’s when I’m on fire when I’m driving those results, and that’s what feeds me.

Gary S:
As we say on Beyond the Crucible, it’s not time to land the plane yet, but the captain has turned on the fasten seat belt sign. And one thing that we want to make sure that we get to is for listeners who are hearing what you’re saying, Craig, and who believe that you may be able to help them in some way, how can folks engage with the Mindful Habit and with you?

Craig P:
Sure. Absolutely. Thank you, Gary. First is I have a podcast available on all major platforms called Sex, Afflictions and Porn Addiction. So, a whole bunch of great episodes there where I speak my heart and my truth, and some great interviews as well. My website is www.themindfulhabit.com. There’s some free training there, there’s ways to contact me, there’s a phone number. I’ve got a receptionist who’s ready for your call. So yeah, go to the website and reach out if you are struggling and you need help.

Warwick F:
One question I have is obviously, you mentioned, you have a particular focus on people with sexual addictions, that kind of thing. But I have a feeling this mindfulness concept of living a life on purpose, feeding the right wolf, kind of being who you were designed to be helping others, that that could help people with other addictions, even other challenges. Maybe they got fired and they feel worthless. They’re in the wrong slot or round peg in a square hole. So I know you have a particular focus, but do you feel like that your whole mindfulness concept can help a broader group of people too?

Craig P:
Yes. And so what I’ve done is I’ve taken certain aspects of mindfulness and made them very practical, being mindful of your triggers, of your thoughts. And quite frankly, for every addiction, you know what I think the real addiction is, the addiction is to our thoughts, those repeating thoughts over and over and over again. So, I’ve got a five year plan. I talked about that, all these people say how great I am. Warwick, you’re absolutely right.

Craig P:
My next product is a general addiction addicted to your thoughts product. We’re moving from my narrow, safe, secure place of sex and porn addiction into mainstream, and that’s happening in 2020. We’re super, super excited about that. And that’s I think going to open up just people to say, oh yeah, check this guy out. Now you can’t do that because if you refer someone to me, a friend, the friend is going to say, wait a minute, how do you know about him even if the principle is deep and profound. So yeah, we’ve got a five year plan and we’re taking over and it’s going to be really exciting to see where this goes.

Gary S:
And it could lead to more people sharing on social media that they’re working with because you’ll be expanded and people will know exactly what they’re doing.

Craig P:
Exactly, exactly. That’s right. I mean, if I, I can’t, but if I did share my client list or if they shared that they worked with me, my life would be so dramatically different. Guys, it really is crazy, crazy, crazy. You’d be like, oh my god, wow. And what I’ve done is I created a system, it’s called the Mindful Habit System, and it goes back to my corporate days, which is, when I’ve got to teach a compliance item, I need a desired outcome, and I need learning objectives that are going to support that desired outcome. Those were things that were missing in my therapy. And those are things that my executive clients love that give them a framework, give them a structure, and they’re off to the races. And so, I built this system that’s centered around mindfulness and habits. I see them as these two opposites almost. And teaching people to be mindful of their habits has led to significant life change. So, we really got some fun things in store for sure.

Warwick F:
If we have to sum this all up, somebody might be listening right now, they’re at a low point, could be sexual porn addiction, addictions in general, or it could be just depressed life has just not turned out the way they want to, maybe they’re even thinking of suicide. Why should somebody at their lowest point see that as a gift, and as importantly, why should they have hope? Why should there be hope at your lowest point?

Craig P:
Think of the scene in the movie, I’m 49 so I remember the Rocky movie, Rocky is the boxer, the American boxer. And anybody who’s seen that movie remembers that scene in the movie, where he’s down, he’s down, he’s down, he’s been beaten again, he hasn’t blocked the punches, he’s getting older. And then there’s this step, this conscious choice to get up, and there’s that little shred of hope that at least that there’s something that’s better than this. And so I tell people, you are going to look back on this low point with a sense of pride, with a sense of learning and reverence, where this low point where you’re so out of alignment with who you think you are and who you want to be, that’s your gift. This is your body telling you that things are off and this is your inspiration and your motivation to get them back on. And that journey is incredible.

Gary S:
To continue the Rocky metaphor, I think I just heard the bell ringing. I think our bout, our round is done. The plane’s going to land. Let me summarize for you, listeners, what we’ve learned here today. And the first thing is the last point that Craig just made that Warwick asked Craig about and that is, your lowest point can be a gift. Warwick talks about it a lot, Crucible Leadership talks about it a lot. From your Crucible Experiences can be birthed a change in trajectory of your life that will lead you to a better place, a new chapter. It can feel really bad when you’re in it, it can feel devastating when you’re in it. But if you learn the lessons of it, if you’re mindful of it, as Craig talks about, you can write a new chapter to a new story that leads to significance and purpose. That’s really takeaway number one.

Gary S:
I think the second takeaway from what we heard Craig talk about today, and it’s so encouraging to me in working with Crucible Leadership to see when Crucible Leadership concepts are mirrored in another person’s concepts whose story couldn’t be more different from Warwick’s, but the bounce back and the insights are the same. And that’s this, Craig said, it takes courage to say I’m on the wrong track for my life. It takes courage. And so, we encourage you listener, if you’re in that place where you feel like you’re on the wrong track, if you feel like your purpose is not being fulfilled, you can muster that courage and you can look to something different that more aligns with what Warwick talks about, your vision and values, and what Craig has talked about about habits and mindfulness.

Gary S:
And then the last truly practical step that you can take, listener, is this. Craig mentioned it, it turned his life around. Warwick’s talked about it too. Find yourself a mentor, and not just any mentor, but look for someone, as Craig put it, someone who has walked in your shoes. When that moment happened for him, after failed attempts in therapy, failed attempts in bouncing back from these addictions that plagued him, that changed everything. He found a mentor who had walked in his shoes, and that mentor led him to a place that allowed him to get to where he is now. Both Warwick and Craig are examples of people who have leveraged the power of a mentor who understands to turn their life around and to live a life of significance.

Gary S:
So, thank you listeners for spending time with us, and we have a couple of quick favors to ask of you. One, if you liked what you heard here today with Craig Perra and Warwick talking about their crucibles and about how Craig came out of his through developing some mindfulness and some habits that changed the way he thought and acted, if you enjoyed this conversation, if you’ve enjoyed previous conversations, right now, you’re listening to this podcast on an app. There’s a subscription button somewhere on that app, we would ask you, please, to subscribe to the app. Helps you because you’ll never miss an episode, helps us because it helps us get this message out, get our guests out to more and more people.

Gary S:
And then the last thing that we would ask you to do because we think it can help you along the journey that you’re on. Warwick’s been on a journey, Craig’s just described his journey. We have at crucibleleadership.com an assessment you can take. It’s like a three minute assessment, very short. But what you’ll get out of that is a read back, some feedback that will tell you where you are on your journey from your Crucible Experience to establishing that life of significance. Where are you at and where do you need to focus your efforts to make sure that you’re successful in getting yourself towards significance, as Craig has been, and as Warwick has been, and as so many of you have told us already, you’re on that road and you’re pursuing your passions, you’re pursuing your purpose, and you’re off on a run to your life of significance.

Gary S:
So, until we get together next time, thank you for listening. And remember, your crucible experience is painful, it can be devastating. It can feel like it’s the end of the world. You can feel like there is no hope. But as Craig pointed out here today, that low point is a gift. And if you lean into that gift, you learn the lessons of that gift, you will begin to write a chapter in your life that is far from the end of your story, but is a new story that will lead to purpose and significance.

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