#17 - What I Learned From Hitting Rock Bottom During the Hardest Year of My Life

2018 was the most challenging year of my life. I had to shut down my health tech company. My relationship of two years also recently ended.

I moved back in with my parents and could barely get out of bed in the mornings. I didn't know what to do with my life anymore. I had hit rock bottom, feeling completely empty inside.

I was desperate for answers because no matter how much I distracted myself, I only temporarily numbed the pain that always came back whenever I was alone with my thoughts.

Thankfully, I had deeply caring mentors who inspired me to look within for answers.

Cleaning up became the theme of the year. I started to sweep the temple of my heart and own up to my mistakes.

This journey led me to realize that my biggest regrets all had to do with how I treated others.

The surface level pains were rooted in my ego. Once I got over the pain of my startup not working out, my deeper pain was regretting how poorly I treated the people who worked for me.

My girlfriend leaving me definitely hurt. But after getting over all the voices rationalizing that it wasn't my fault, I confronted my deeper pain: She challenged me for being transactional with strangers, friends, and my parents, only nurturing relationships for personal gain, and I didn't listen. She was right.

No amount of external achievements can ever replace the fulfillment that comes from the relationships in my life. So I called her and owned up, shortly after calling my parents to do the same.

Joseph J. Lam
On a mission to help people connect deeply with their parents. | CEO & Co-founder of Parents Are Human (parentsarehuman.com)