I sat there on the washed out rocky cliffs of the island of Malta, staring into the infinite horizon, a man on the run from his destiny. The shame and frustration of avoiding my true calling in life had built up in me, and I picked up a rock near my feet and flung it far as far as I could into the deep blue of the Mediterranean Ocean. As the rock splashed far below, I could see the ripples sending their waves through the calm water below…as my mind began to rehash how I had gotten myself here.
The vision for SPEAR had been planted in me as a boy.
I remember watching epic movies and wanting to be a superhero like those I saw in movies—like all boys of young age. We see such brilliance on the silver screen growing up…while we live in a gray world largely void of inspiration. While most young men dispense with such silly ideas about becoming a hero once they ‘grow up’, for me such desires had only grown stronger.
We live in an age where heroism is being called for. Most Americans today no longer trust the leaders of their own nation. People feel jaded and are looking for trustworthy and responsible leaders to tackle the unique challenges of the modern world. The world is asking for heroes.
I remember being asked on my college applications who my heroes were. It struck me as ironic that the heroes I listed were figures of legend, myth, and history—I had no real world heroes alive today that I aspired to be like. I judged the leadership of this world to be sub-par and unworthy of imitation, so my heroes always came from my favorite books.
I remember researching the Samurai, the Spartans, and the Knight’s Templar, and being inspired by their tales of bravery, honor, and brotherhood that anchored these legendary organizations…and I started to see how such traditions might exist again in the modern world. The gears of my young mind churned in my early 20’s on how this might be done.
I knew I needed to create SPEAR, in 2012, when I began my work for USC as a Curriculum Innovation Specialist. As I worked hard to create new educational programs, I began to see all the areas where education could be improved….and like a splinter in my mind, the vision of SPEAR grew stronger. What if we could create a fraternity that wasn’t about just booze and girls? What if we could band together to change the world for good? What if we could create a culture of constant personal growth and self-improvement?
‘Start it. Start it. Start it…..’ The refrain in my mind said.
Yet all I could see were the reasons why I shouldn’t do it, and the reasons why I would fail.
Would anyone listen to me?
Who am I to pull something like this off?
My self-doubt prevented me from actualizing my passion….I was avoiding doing the great work been assigned to me—and anytime we run from our true purpose in life we fall into the abyss.
After nearly two years working at USC, I was ready to leave, having learned what I could from my work there. Needing to get out of LA and clear my head, I booked a ticket to the remote island of Malta, following the advice of my recently deceased uncle. Before he died, he had told me to go there to find peace and rejuvenation. People were asking me what my plan was, what my next job would be, how I would make money…I didn’t have a good answer. But I have always trusted my intuition…and after two years on the grind, I was ready for an adventure.
I spent an entire year on the island, playing music, partying, meeting new people…but generally avoiding this deeper calling in my soul. Like the prodigal son, I dwelt abroad traveling through Europe enjoying the life, spending my money I had saved, and seeking thrills and adventure, which was fun for a time. I did meet some great people there and started a funky little band called The Cosmic Sect. We actually played our first show opening for Arnold Schwarzenegger—which came about through a series of crazy coincidences. But I digress.
There came a point where my lifeline ran out. I remember it was December 2014, and living with no income for over a year had taken its toll on my savings. I was frustrated and still unclear about my higher purpose. Sure playing music was fun, but it didn’t fulfill me. There was something more inside my soul that was hiding. This pain had grown over time in my heart–I could literally feel there was another life for me that I was running from. I thought of the dreams of my teenage years, and that maybe I had missed the boat altogether. There began to be some days when it seemed like suicide was the better option than trying to clean up the mess I had made in the last 12 months of my life.
The turning point came when I realized that if I was willing to contemplate suicide, I sure as hell better try to do the very thing that inspired me so deeply the last five years of my life. ‘At least, I could go out in a blaze of glory going for something I believe in, rather than rotting away on an island’ I told myself. That week I made up my mind. I started laying groundwork for the vision, doing random odd jobs online to raise money for my return ticket to America and that’s how it started. Nothing glorious—just an attempt to bring meaning back into my life.
So when people ask why we created SPEAR, the answer is simple. We created it for ourselves first and foremost. We built it because it has a deeper meaning for us. It acts as a vehicle for the manifestation of our visions and inspiration. This is part of our exit strategy from an average life. Once you commit to anything with your full heart, you generate results quickly–I believe that fate responds favorably to bold actions.
Upon returning from Malta and touching down at LAX, I realized I could never pull this off alone. I quickly reached out to the men that I respected, who had the right credentials to be a part of this. Those men also brought in others, and a team assembled itself pretty quickly. It all came together in the span of a few months, and we began working, training, and growing together consistently. Since then this process has forged a community of extraordinary men that I am honored to have as my brothers in this endeavor.
As I have matured, I realize that SPEAR has a life of its own; we are simply here to steward the idea into maturity. Like Apple or Google, SPEAR is an idea of forging masculine excellence and making that process fun. We do whatever is needed to support that. Every month, we make improvements and changes that align with that vision, and I can say that the training we have developed is already the most comprehensive program of personal growth for men that I have ever seen, and we have made sure that we left no stone unturned.
Those in SPEAR become men of courage, confidence, and character, worldly success, and spiritual awareness. It is my vision that these leaders will in time be the backbone of great nations, and the vanguard of our time. I am grateful to be on this road and excited to bring the power of SPEAR into the lives of young men across the planet.