I have been very blessed and am very grateful that I have had the most fantastic opportunity in life to be the father of 4 incredible children, four beautiful grand kids and many friends in both Canada and the United States, my second home. I've also been fortunate enough to have a successful career that includes university professor and as a filmmaker. The first two-thirds of my life were spent getting. Now, I want to share my journey of overcoming adversity, finding peace of mind and prosperity and real purpose in the second half of life. To do that I have now written three books: Survival: Transforming Childhood Trauma; Success: Reflections On Money, Sex, and Power (the only areas of my life I’ve ever had any challenges with); and last Serenity: Aging With Dignity, Living With Grace. Serenity was released few weeks ago by Post Hill Press and distributed by Simon & Schuster in the United States and Canada. It chronicles my dramatic journey after receiving a catastrophic brain injury and trying to put my life back together.
As I sit here on a beautiful Thursday afternoon in beautiful Puerto Vallarta Mexico, here is what I know today - my life has been incredibly blessed. And here is what I've learned about life, regardless of where we are on the journey. We experience success, more success, a bump in the road, a significant disappointment, another bump in the road,a speed bump, whoa, a big success that leads one to realize - success is not all it's cracked up to be. And if that's all one's life is about; cars, houses, clothes and bobbles all lose their shine very quickly if we don't have a solid foundation under ourselves emotionally and spiritually. Then as we age, the wife/husband leaves, our parents die our best friend stops talking to us. Our business partner shafts us or betrays us; our children have issues, and we feel like life is unfair. And it is some of the time. Then we pick ourselves up, in my case do an inventory to see, "What was my part in this situation?" It's not always eas to be rigorously honest with ourselves. It is always so much more comforting to think "If it weren't for (fill in the name, gender, relationship, slight, resentment or hurt) my life would be fantastic. So my message today is welcome adversity. Embrace failure as a necessary part of succeeding and heed its lessons well, so you don't have to repeat them again. I've never had to face the kind of insanity encountered in 1986 when I ended up owing $5.2 million dollars on a feature film I was producing in the United States. That experience propelled me in a whole new direction in my life. What I thought at the time was the worst experience of my life ended up being the catalyst for the greatest change I've ever experienced, and still benefiting from it today.
I feel so lucky to know the people I know, to have met all the incredible people and to have loved the women I've loved. Not that there has been that many, but they have all been so amazing in their own ways. I am also looking forward to doing some more inspirational and corporate talks on creativity, overcoming adversity and utilizing spiritual principles to grow your business. Producers are the world's most sophisticated salespeople. We sell an idea that has no shape or form and networks and distributors invest an amount of money you could build an office building, apartment building or large commercial complex. All because I had a good idea that morning. And to think that all my high school teachers use to yell at me for daydreaming. Life really is fantastic, and I always tell people when they are in trouble, "Life will shortly be as good as it is bad for you right now." Nothing last forever and life will always change if we don't give up our dreams and have faith.
I would like to wish everyone in Canada and the United States a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Years. I was sitting here thinking, I have so much to be grateful for - my good health, my children, my grandkids, the incredible friends I have, living in two of the most beautiful cities on earth - Vancouver, BC and Toronto, ON. I am so grateful to my shareholders, Sonny, Chris and Louie for standing by me through what has been an incredibly difficult time.
This past few month has seen a seismic shift in my personal, business and spiritual life. It is the result of not giving up and continuing to follow my medical and spiritual path toward healing myself physically and emotionally from the effects of my injury seven years ago that almost stopped me in my tracks.
On July 1st, 2013 I wondered if I would ever work again. As it turns out, not only will I work again, but it appears I may enter yet again into one of the most productive periods of my life. I certainly never thought this would be the case when I began writing the first iteration of what is now, Serenity: Aging With Dignity, Living With Grace in the first week of July 2013.
The book reads like a serial drama. I was chronicling the events in real time as they were happening to me - having to put my production company on hiatus, laying off my staff, wondering how in God's name I'm going to survive, pay off my shareholders, creditors and keep my company afloat. I began utilizing the 8 Steps of the Master Mind (the concept of the Master Mind and having partners was created by the late great Napoleon Hill - author of Think and Grow Rich).
Well, as luck and persistence would have it, I finished my book and brought it out initially through a hybrid publishing company out of Texas. It is now being published in the United States and Canada by Post Hill Press and distributed by Simon & Schuster. I am in the process of setting up meetings with banks, insurance companies and a large organization in the USA about the possibility of co-venturing with me for their clients as my book focuses on overcoming adversity, finding peace of mind and real purpose in the second half of life. I believe the subject is timely as the cohort of Baby Boomers is the largest in history and we don’t appear to be going quietly into the night.
I can now attest - it works! What was interesting is I went back and read the book at the start of this month and thought, "Wow, this is quite good. Where did I get this from?" It made me realize I was inspired writing it. In that process, I laid myself open emotionally. If you have never been involved in the arts or where you just put yourself out there to be vulnerable and judged, it is a terrifying experience, at least for me it was.
Here is what I believe I've learned. No setback, regardless of how difficult it is, should ever cause any of us to give up on life. What it does do is show me that when I think I have lost all hope of a solution, I should stop and take stock. It also showed me that I needed to give up trying to solve the problem with the same mind that created the problem. I had to expand my horizons. And, I also had to seek medical help. Ironically, the Doctor I saw was a huge fan of "Spiritual Solutions" in addition to traditional medication. I have been part of a "Master Mind Group" for over a dozen years, so that was not a big stretch for me.
As a result of the difficulties, I encountered because of my injuries I've had to reevaluate my life. I know that the people who've worked with me (with the exception of one or two) have enjoyed their time with us. I love people and teaching, and when the position teaching at Capilano University appeared in 2013, it was the catalyst needed to create the change I was hoping for when I returned to Vancouver.
It gave me time to breathe and let go and let God (Good Orderly Direction) take over in my life. I stopped fighting and just surrendered after three hundred and thirty no's for television projects I was pitching to networks in Canada and the United States. I'd never gone more than ten or fifteen no's in my life up until then. It also allowed me to undertake a new radical medical treatment called Neurofeedback which has completely rebooted my brain and allowed me to regain about 80% of the memory I lost.
So as I sit here now, here is where I am: I signed two, 13 episode series development deals in the last year. I have acquired the rights to thirty-one NY Times Best Selling books that I hope to adapt as streaming series for one of the major US streaming or cable networks. I received an offer today to co-venture with me on the project from the third largest company in Canada.
For anyone who saw our award-winning CTV/Bravo! Yonge Street Toronto Rock & Roll Stories, directed by Bruce McDonald we are about to follow it up with part two - another feature Documentary that will take a journey from Yonge Street to Big Pink. My old friend and executive producer of Yonge Street, Jan Haust who is the fellow in the back of the car and doing the interviews - won the Grammy in 2015 after remixing the original Basement Tapes with Garth Hudson of the Band and featuring the musical genius Bob Dylan.
As of today, there are 37, five-star reviews of my book, Aging With Dignity, Living With Grace on Amazon.com and another 4 or 5 on Amzon.ca. If you'd like to hear more about my books, feel free to take a look at some of the reviews.
David Brady has 30 years of experience as an award-winning writer, producer and director of feature film and international television productions. In June, 2015 he founded David Brady Communications and changed his focus on writing nonfiction books.