Our Story: Meet Cory
"Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness." - Bronnie Ware
Hi, I’m Cory Chadwick – a super proud dad, husband, unwavering optimist, and founder of The Mental Gym.
I’ve always been a pretty happy guy, but for too much of my life it felt like I was stuck at a 7 instead of Living My 10.
Life was good, not great. I liked my life but I didn’t love it.
It felt like something big and important was missing, like there was a gap between who I was and who I deep-down believed I could be – but I didn’t know how to get from here to there.
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. I didn’t know if I was going to live or die. Fortunately, doctors were able to treat it and I am here today – but that was a scary time.
As I battled my illness, my mom was battling something too – she had severe bi-polar disorder.
I had no idea how much pain she was in until one day, during a long bout of depression, my mom tried to take her own life. A short time later she tried again.
It crushed me feeling like there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do to help her.
And on July 1st, 1999, my mom killed herself. I was devastated.
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 become a very different person.
And just like with my mom, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t help him either.
My heart was broken. There was so much that wasn't in my control. It felt like life was too hard – and I wondered if it was ever going to get better.
I saw how easy it could be to stay down when life throws you down, and let your circumstances define you.
I saw how easily you can become a victim of your situation.
But I didn’t want to be a victim – that’s NOT who I want to be and that’s NOT the kind of life I want to live.
It was time to take control of my life.
So, I asked myself the single most important question I ever have:
Who DO I want to be and what kind of life DO I want to live?
That's when I made myself a promise.
I Was Going to Live My 10!
I just didn’t know how (it's not like they taught us this stuff in school).
But here’s what I did know:
Living My 10 wasn’t about being pretty happy, it was about being truly happy and fulfilled.
If I was going to become the best version of myself, I couldn’t be afraid to think differently and live life on my own terms.
And maybe most importantly, I’d have to take full responsibility for making it happen – no excuses, no blame, no regrets, no what-ifs.
So, I began studying people – looking for patterns – and realized something that changed everything...
We’ve learned to live a '6 or 7 life' by default.
We’ve learned to accept life the way it is because it’s “fine”.
We’ve learned to think, make our decisions, and ‘show up’ in life, not as the best versions of ourselves, but as ‘good enough’ versions of ourselves.
Of course, most people don't aspire to live their '6 or 7' life – but it still happens – and that’s where I found myself too.
I woke up one day and said 'huh, is this it?' I just thought there would be more to life than this.
It was frustrating because even though I had a lot going for me – good friends and family, a successful business, nice car, a beautiful girlfriend I thought I’d marry – I still didn’t feel fulfilled.
I knew I had more potential than I was realizing.
I had so much room to grow in my relationships and as a leader.
I wanted to feel inspired – to impact people, make a contribution, and matter.
And the thought of being an ‘ok’ version of myself settling for a 'good enough' life scared the crap out of me.
I felt like I hit a wall – a ceiling that maxed out at my 7 – and I needed to find a way through it. I also knew myself well enough to know if I didn’t, I could regret it forever.
It took time and a lot of personal reflection, but the dots finally connected.
There are three non-negotiable pieces for Living Your 10:
Realizing your personal potential, having incredible, meaningful relationships, and living a life that matters.
And if I was going to Live MY 10, I needed to figure out how to have all three.
So, I got to work discovering why too many people live their 6 or 7, and why too few people Live Their 10.
The more I learned about myself and about life, the more I understood those three pieces all have common ingredients – Must-Have Ingredients for Living Your 10:
Self-Awareness, Accountability, Vulnerability, Purpose, Optimism, and Grit.
I call them The Essentials.
I discovered how impactful advancing each one of Your Essentials can be. But what really excited me was discovering there’s something truly special about the way they all work together.
Quite simply, the more you advance Your Essentials, the better you are at work, at home, in life, and for the world.
I was advancing My Own Essentials and 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. I was performing at a higher level than I ever have before (with less effort too!) I was happier and healthier than I’d ever been. I was inspired, I felt alive, and I was doing it all my way.
It was still me, only better. And I was discovering what it truly meant to Live MY 10.
Yes, it would have been easy to settle, but why should I?
After all, I had made a promise to myself: I’m not here to live my 6 or 7, I’m here to Live My 10.
I knew what I had to do.
I left 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.
Two years later, I met my incredible wife Erica and I’ve never been happier.
As I write this, we’ve spent nine amazing years together, and it just keeps getting better.
That also led to the greatest honour, responsibility, and joy of my entire life: becoming a dad to my two beautiful boys, Brooks and Callan.
Being the best dad and husband I can be means more to me than anything – and I love working on myself to be a better person, partner, and role model than I was the day before – for them... and for me.
When my boys were born, things suddenly became clear.
I felt a huge sense of responsibility – not just to be the best dad and role model 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 developed The Essentials for Living Your 10 – and was using it to Live MY 10.
Now I needed to share it with others.
I believe the world would be a much better place if we all advanced our own Essentials.
I believe people, leaders, families, and organizations are capable of so much more. I see it every day.
I also believe we’re all capable of Living Our 10, and we need a place to work on Our Essentials… consistently.
That’s why I founded The Personal Greatness Project and then, The Mental Gym – to create a new normal where 6 or 7 is no longer the default and people everywhere are Living Their 10.
After years of seeing the inspiring, incredible results my work had on business leaders, teams, athletes, coaches, students, teachers, and parents (and more!) I founded The Mental Gym – a Gym for Our Minds, and a place for like-minded people everywhere to train together, grow together, and be their best selves together.
We’re building a community of like-minded people who aren't here to live their 6 or 7, they're here to Live Their 10.
And if you’re ready to discover what that could mean for you, I'm inviting you to join us in The Mental Gym.