On today’s episode of the Marketing Genius Podcast, I had the amazing opportunity to meet with James Arthur Ray, one of the foremost experts in the areas of leadership and performance, and an accomplished author. We discussed James’ journey to where he is now, fighting back from tragedy, performing at your peak, and much, much more.
James’ got his start working at AT&T School of Business as a C-Suite Consultant. During this time he was developing his business skill set, as well as his spiritual and mental skills. Studying with masters in many different arts, James’ learned to control his emotions, words, and actions to make his life what he wanted. This allowed him to take his consulting career to the next level and start his own business consulting companies around building a healthy culture.
“The culture is defined as the collective values, beliefs, assumptions, and perceptions of all individual team members.” James’ used his background in the social sciences and psychology to get to the core of what organizations need to create a thriving culture, and turned that knowledge into a lucrative business. He began writing books and giving keynote speeches very soon afterwards, bounding into the limelight. Unfortunately, this was around the time that tragedy struck.
On a 5 day spiritual journey 3 of James’ students tragically lost their lives during a graduation ceremony called the “Sweat Lodge”. James had performed the ceremony numerous times before, but somehow, this time was different. The state of Arizona wound up charging James with a crime, citing he was responsible for the party’s safety, and sentenced him to two years in prison.
After serving his 2 year sentence, James was released back into the Arizona heat. Without a home, out of money, and 20 million dollars in debt, he was at the end of his rope. “What are you supposed to do when everything that you believe about the world, people, or hard work is gone?” He determined that to turn his life around, he needed to focus on his purpose.
“When you know your purpose. You get back up and keep going,” by finding his reason for being, James was able to push through this dark time. You might be thinking, “how could I possibly survive something like James went through?” The reality is, you have to change your mindset. Had James focused on the money aspect of his life, he would probably never been able to recover as well as he has. He instead chose to focus his thoughts on meaning, not financial security.
If you are interested in listening to a fantastic redemption story, learning how to push through difficult times, and perform better in life, you definitely want to check out this awesome interview.