Our Story: Meet Cory
Hi, I’m Cory Chadwick – a super proud dad, husband, and founder The Mental Gym.
I’ve always been a pretty happy guy, but for too much of my life it felt like something important was missing. Like I was stuck living my 7 instead of my 10.
It can be tough to put your finger on it, but it feels like you’re meant for more.
I knew I had untapped potential, but I didn’t know how to realize it.
I wanted to become my best me, but I didn’t really know what that meant.
I wanted to be a confident leader – someone who inspires, makes an impact, and brings out the best in everyone around me – but I never learned how.
I wanted my life to matter, and to be a part of something that matters, but I didn’t know where to start.
I didn’t know how to get from here to there, or how to become who deep-down I always believed I could be.
I rarely (if ever) talked about it though. Who would I talk to? What would I say?
There was a part of me that felt guilty too – like my life is already good, so who I am to want more?
Life wasn’t easy, and over time I learned that might be the point.
Growing up, my parents were on again, off again. That was hard.
When I was 16, I contracted a freak-rare brain virus that took doctors seven months just to diagnose. For seven months I didn’t know if I was going to live or die. Fortunately, once they figured out what it was, they were able to treat it – but that was a scary time.
As I was battling my illness, my mom was battling something too – she had severe bi-polar disorder. And with so much stigma around mental health at the time, she tried to keep it hidden.
I had no idea how much pain she was in until one day, during a long bout of depression, mom tried to take her own life. A short time later she tried again.
It was devastating. I felt powerless learning that no matter what I did, there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do to help her, and no matter how hard I tried, none of this was in my control.
And then one day, she went through with it. Mom killed herself. And just like that, my mom was gone.
I was crushed.
Soon after mom’s passing, my dad, who had been my role-model and rock though everything, began his battle with addiction. Bit by bit I watched as the man I looked up to all these years became someone very different from the dad I once knew.
Just like with mom, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t help him. This too, was out of my control.
And it broke my heart.
It was the hardest time of my life, and I wondered if life was ever going to get better.
I saw how easy it would be to stay down when life throws you down, and to let your circumstances define you.
How easily you could become a victim of your situation.
But I didn’t want to be a victim – that’s NOT who I wanted to be and that wasn’t the kind of life I wanted to live.
I was tired of feeling powerless and it was time to take control.
So, I asked myself the single most important question of my life: who DO I want to be and what kind of life DO I want to live?
That's when I promised myself I’d discover who I was capable of being – the greatest version of me – and live the happiest, most fulfilled life I possibly could.
I Was Going to Live My 10!
But I didn’t know how.
So, I began studying people – looking for patterns – and quickly realized something that changed everything:
Just because you’re a good, smart person who works hard and cares, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll realize your potential.
Just because you want to be a leader and make an impact, doesn’t mean it will happen.
Just because you check a lot of boxes, doesn’t mean you’re happy or fulfilled.
And just because want to Live Your 10 as your very best you, doesn’t mean you will.
Because you don't know how. It's not your fault, but you don’t learn this stuff in school.
Instead we learn how to think and make choices like everyone else – not how to Live Your 10, but how to live your 6 or 7 instead (because 6 is "good enough" and 7 is "fine").
It’s something I call the mediocrity trap.
Of course, nobody intentionally aspires to mediocrity – it happens by default – and that’s where I found myself too.
Living Your 10 doesn’t happen by default, it's intentional – you create it, and it takes a system.
I didn’t have a system then, but I knew if I was going to Live My 10, I couldn’t keep being a mediocre me living a mediocre life.
I also knew nobody was going to hand me my 10. If I wanted it, I had to take full responsibility, make no excuses, and create it for myself.
And I knew that I couldn’t sell myself short, play it too safe, or settle for anything less than what I really wanted.
But before I could do that, I had to face the elephant in the room. I was afraid.
I was afraid of ending up like mom, and I couldn’t turn out like dad.
I still love them both very much and despite everything that happened, they were wonderful parents. I’ll always be grateful for that.
But I needed an answer.
Mom had bi-polar disorder, and my grandmother did too. Being aware that mental illness or addiction or any number of other life-pitfalls could be in my future, I had to be proactive.
I didn’t know that I could beat mental illness, but I thought to myself, you've got to try, right?
So, I started re-wiring my brain – more specifically, my thinking and decision-making process.
I was building a survival system.
Essentially, I was Upgrading My Operating System.
Over time, and the more I learned (about myself and about life) and the more I upgraded, that survival system became a thriving system.
I realized there are two parts to life: the hand you're dealt (genetics, parents & upbringing) and what you do about it. You can't change the first part but what you do about it is entirely up to you, and your Personal Operating System.
Quite simply, the better your Operating System, the better you are at work, at home, in life, and for the world.
I was finding success in so many areas of my life – business and relationships were thriving. I was becoming a confident leader, bringing out the best in everyone around me and performing at a higher level than I ever have before (with less effort too!). I was healthier (mentally, emotionally and physically) and happier than I’d ever been.
It was still me, only better. And thanks to my Upgraded Operating System, I was discovering what it truly meant to Live MY 10.
Along the way I built and ran a very successful business.
I enjoyed what I did, but still felt something was missing. Deep down inside, I knew I wasn’t living up to my greatest potential.
I also didn’t feel as though what I was doing had purpose.
I quickly learned that potential and purpose were both non-negotiable pieces, and they became two of The Three Pillars of Living MY 10. The third pillar: meaningful relationships.
I knew what I had to do: I ended a 2.5-year relationship with an amazing woman because deep down, I knew she wasn’t ‘the one’.
A short time later, I sold the business too.
It would have been so easy to settle.
In many aspects, my life was great. It certainly looked great: I had a growing business, a nice car, and a beautiful girlfriend I thought I’d marry.
Even though I had worked so hard to Live My 10, I found that over time, my priorities had changed. My business and my relationship were great things that were hard to walk away from, but I promised myself I’d Live My 10.
Two years later, I met my incredible wife Erica and I’ve never been happier. As I write this, we’ve spent more than eight amazing years together, and every day just keeps getting better.
That’s also led to the greatest honour, responsibility, and joy of my entire life: becoming a father to my two beautiful boys, Brooks and Callan.
When my boys were born, things suddenly became clear.
I felt a huge sense of responsibility, not just to be the best dad I could be, but to help make the world a better place for them.
By this point, I had already taken my lifetime of learning and upgrading to develop the “The Operating System for Living Your 10" – and was using it to Live My 10.
Now I needed to share it with others.
I believe people have huge amounts of untapped potential. I see it every day.
We can realize our potential but first, we need to know we can (that it is in fact something you can do) and second, we need the guidance, community and Operating System to do it.
But once that comes together, amazing things happen.
That’s why I founded The Personal Greatness Project and then, The Mental Gym – to help good people become the greatest versions of themselves.
And simply becoming who you deep-down believe you could be anyway, you help make the world a better place for my little boys, and for all of us.
After years of seeing the inspiring, incredible results The "OS for Living Your 10" has had on business leaders, teams, athletes, coaches, students, teachers, and parents (and more!) I founded The Mental Gym, to be the most practical and accessible way for good people everywhere to come together, train together, and Live Their 10.
Do you know why it feels like you have untapped potential and you’re meant for more?
Because you do, and you are.
We’re building a community of like-minded people who genuinely care about becoming their best selves too.
And if you’re ready to discover what that could mean for you in your life, I'm inviting you to join us.
Be great today… And Live Your 10