Hi Fam! Thanks for checking out my blog. My name is Matt Brigante and while I am a Management Consultant at a Big 4 Firm by trade, I am also a Certified Personal Trainer and Registered Yoga Teacher through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and Yoga Alliance (200hr RYT), respectively. From early on in my professional career I have been on a mission to uncover health and well-being tips and apply them in the corporate context – and I am excited to finally be recording and sharing with you all via this blog.
As a heads up, a lot of my learnings are going to be contextualized through my personal journey, so by reading this you are also taking a step inside my life and my mind. I plan on keeping it 100 in this blog and put it all out there so, for those of you who don’t know me, welcome to my life… and for those of you that do know me, let’s get real…
Before I get into what this blog is all about, it’s important that I give a brief overview of who I was and who I am now, as many of my future posts will connect back to my journey. Rather than bore you with the details of my entire life, you can think of it in 2 major chunks The Dark Ages and When I Woke Up
The Dark Ages: there is no need to go into all the details of who I was at this time, but I sure was a knucklehead. I thought I had all the answers and there was no one…I repeat…NO ONE who could tell me what to do. I had energy but no direction, I like to think I had some level of intelligence but it didn’t matter because I was just such an angry person and in some completely misguided way to feel significant, I acted out in ways that I am totally embarrassed of. This behavior became a cycle…a lonnggg cycle that got progressively worse. I’d act out and people would step away from me, so I felt shame, and I would push even further back from them to guard myself. I would cut them off before they had the chance to cut me off in order to preserve what little sense of self I had left. So, the cycle went on and I developed such bad habits and a reputation in my life that:
- I got kicked off every sports team I played on in high school after being arrested (glad I wasn’t 18!)
- I was ostracized by friends and their parents
- I lost a job (that was given to me by people that I love) because I got wasted and made a fool out of myself
- I finished my first semester at Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) with 3 credits and a 1.65 GPA (mind you I started with 15 credits)
And I can go on and on and tell you more but the fact is you’ll just have to take my word for it. I was broken, callused, and I was lost…
The Wake Up: But one day, after that first tough semester at RVCC, I woke up. And when I say woke up, I mean that pretty literally. At the time, it was so strange (now I know why I woke up, but that’s another story for another post). For this post, what matters is the fact that I woke up. I was out the night before and when I woke up in the morning, I saw so clearly for the first time how I had been living and acting, it was as if I were an outsider looking in on my life and I was shocked.
That morning, as I sat there in my thoughts, everything started to feel different. I felt this new sense of confidence that I had never known before and a focus that I was ready to commit to change my life. When I went downstairs to tell my family, they were supportive but they had heard this story before so the response was: “Great Matt, we’ll believe it when we see it.” But sure enough, by the grace of God that day marked the beginning of the biggest transformation of my life:
- The very next semester I finished with 15 credits and a 4.0 GPA and maintained that for the rest of my college career as I transitioned to Rutgers Business School and graduated from the business school summa cum laude
- I became certified as a Personal Trainer and Registered Yoga Instructor through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and Alliance Yoga, respectively. And turned this into a successful little business through college
- I received an offer from a large consulting firm where I’ve had the opportunity to lead our social innovation program, which has been one of the most challenging and transformative experiences of my life and has enabled me to lead projects across the globe working with some of the most inspiring organizations in the world and learning from some of the most incredible people as well
- My relationships with friends and family have gone from empty and toxic to rich and meaningful relationships and now I get to help mentor young kids that are in the same tough that position I was years ago
PLEASE NOTE: I do not list these accomplishments to boast but instead to show the contrast between who I was and who I am now. I am not pretending I am someone who has all of the answers I work to get better every day and I fall short every day. However, there is a lot that I learned through this transformation. My shift did not happen overnight, and it wasn’t an easy one (in fact, 8 years later, it’s still happening and it’s still tough!). There were a lot of bad habits and patterns of thought that were hardwired into my brain and reinforced for years and I knew I had to kill those in order to make room for the person that I wanted to become. I began to pour into books and podcasts and anything I could get my hands on to help me improve the quality of my life – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I started to rigorously look inwards to understand my triggers and shortcomings. I sought out mentors, experiences, and challenges that would test me, enlighten me, and push me into new territory. All of these things have drastically improved the quality of my life – some being valuable lessons of what I should do, others on what I shouldn’t do.
It’s a constant exploration and I still have so many questions! Which is what brings me to this blog… I’ll explain in detail the inspiration and purpose of this blog in the following post, but in short, this is meant to be a platform to share what I have learned and what I am currently learning with you – with the hope that it will be interesting, informative and useful.
So, come along with me on this journey…at the very least, these next 6 months will be epic as I will be living and working at a Surf & Yoga wellness retreat in Nicaragua for a sabbatical program with my company, but more on that later :)…
Thanks for reading!