I asked Pete Pitts to say a few words about the theme I chose to focus on with this month’s columns and blogs. The theme was “Intention.” Being “on purpose,” if you will.
So without further ado, here’s Pete!
I didn’t plan on my life turning out this way, originally. I have been surprised and shocked over and over again by the convoluted twists and turns that have brought me to this present moment. It wasn’t my intention to become addicted to crystal meth, or to become homeless and feel like I had lost everything in order to gain even more in the long run. From performing music onstage and in music videos with Grammy and Oscar award winners, to working on film sets and sharing laughs and tears with Hollywood celebrities, my path has been full of abundant blessings as well as devastating tragedies. Perhaps some will say that I got lucky, that I was merely in the right place at the right time, and that I have simply encountered fortuitous circumstances. Anyone who believes that I am just lucky obviously was not with me during the days and nights I spent addicted to drugs and alcohol, writhing on the floor in my bathroom in excruciating pain, covered in my own vomit, tears streaming down my flushed cheeks. Anyone who believes that I made it to this point merely by chance was not with me as I ran through thickets of briar patches and mud in the dark woods of Tennessee as I fled from police officers who wanted to arrest me for being intoxicated in public. Perhaps I was running from myself more than I was running from those law enforcement officers. Definitely, actually. I hated myself. I felt worthless. I looked at myself in the mirror on a daily basis and called myself a waste of space; a waste of oxygen, a waste of life. That is not how my story was meant to end, however. No matter how hard I prayed for death, and no matter how often I wished for peace of mind, my story was not meant to end during those dismal moments.
Yes, I made a lot of stupid and foolish choices. Yes, I was a rebellious teenager who desired solace, attention, acceptance and escape from my emotions. Was overcoming drug addiction, daily suicidal thoughts and emotional turmoil an accident? No. It was intentional. It required hard work, patience, continual focused effort and a lot of grace. I probably do not deserve any of the amazing blessings that I have experienced throughout the last few years. Yet I have chosen to embrace the blessings, just as I have embraced my numerous shortcomings. The choice to accept what has happened to you in your past is a choice, after all. No, we cannot control everything. I really hate not having control, but I have had to accept a limited degree of control as a part of life. Some things we can control. We do have a great deal of influence over the direction of our lives. I wish my dad was still here with me today, and my little brother, Timothy, who committed suicide without any warning signs or notable cries for help, and my cousin, Heather, who was the first person in my family to achieve a doctorate degree in psychology at the age of twenty-seven, before tragically passing away due to a blood clot in her lungs. I want to share this moment with them so desperately. I want them to know how much I love them even more now that they are gone. I will never be able to undo my past. You will never be able to undo yours.
So what is the point of it all? Why not just give up? Let me tell you why. Your story is not over yet. Neither is mine. We are here, on this earth, at this precise moment, for some reason. You may not yet have discovered what your reason is. You may have many reasons, and multiple purposes, or there might just be one specific thing that you need to do in your life. I cannot give you that answer, but I can share with you how I discovered and realized my own life’s mission. I intentionally sought it out like a bloodhound searching for a fox. I mindfully pursued a sense of peace, fulfillment and satisfaction in my life. My first music album, Short on Time, did not fall from the sky, and it was not manifested overnight. My recurring role on the hit TV show The Walking Dead did not fall into my lap. My first book, Path To Success, did not write itself. I sacrificed sleep, money, relationships, blood, sweat and tears to make my dreams come true. I sacrificed my own home and chose to sleep and live in my car in order to work in the industry of my dreams, instead of maintaining the comfort and security of my relatively-accommodating day job. As I parked my car and slept in the parking lots of gas stations, department stores, rest areas and restaurants, I knew what my intention was. I wanted to provide a better life for myself and my family. I wanted to come a bit closer to determining what I was here on this earth for. I cried, a lot. I prayed, after running from God for years. I chose to have faith, after finally gaining the strength and courage to shake off the fear that had held me captive for most of my life. It wasn’t easy, but I intended to achieve my goals. I finally realized that giving up was not an option for me. I had given up too many times in the past, and I would no longer remain a victim of circumstance. I would instead fight and train to become a victor. I would achieve victory. As I took my usual “struggle-bath” in a restroom before going to work on a major film set, I looked in the mirror, and I saw a warrior looking back at me. Not just because of my blood-shot eyes, unkempt hair and rumpled clothes, but also because of the aura that my spirit began to exude. I had intentionally chosen to sacrifice my comfort and security in order to gain freedom and peace of mind, eventually. That same day, after cleaning myself up from a long week of sleeping in my car, I walked up to Clint Eastwood and thanked him for allowing me to be part of his film, Sully. I smiled and laughed with Tom Hanks that same day. I gave my dreams a chance to manifest into reality through careful planning, calculated risks, and a lot of continual diligent effort.
So what is your intention? As I write this, I have just spent a long day listening to the stories of many different people who have each gone through their own struggles and conflicts. They are still going through challenges. So am I. So will you. But what is your intention, through it all? Do you miserably exist in a life that you know could be better in some way? Do you ever “kill time?” Do you still “get bored?” I don’t. I haven’t felt “bored” in years. That is not an option for me anymore. I have intentionally chosen to value each and every moment of my life. I have chosen to manage my time in a manner that is conducive of an actor, rapper, and author who one day plans to work with Will Ferrell, Johnny Depp and Denzel Washington. I have spent my time assiduously working in the entertainment industry, and I have already worked with Robert Downey Jr., Ice Cube, James Franco and many other celebrity icons. I have also spent many days, months and years as a waiter, bartender, chef, manager, sales associate, sales manager, personal fitness trainer, office clerk, auto action driver, delivery boy, caterer, landscaper, brick masonry laborer, general construction worker and even a janitor. I tried many things to determine what was not right for me, in order to bring me one step closer to what I actually felt I was meant to do. And I am doing what I believe I need to do right now. I am continuing my acting and music career while speaking to anyone who will listen about overcoming adversity, setting and achieving goals, and living a life of joy, happiness and success. I want to help people experience an abundance of health and wealth, peace and freedom, significance and security. My intention is to bring more positive and inspirational energy into a world plagued by darkness and replete with evil. What is your intention today? What is your intention this week? What is your intention for your life? You may not yet have asked yourself these questions, or you may be asking but do not yet have the answers. My advice is this: keep seeking. Be intentional in all you do. Good intentions do not necessarily guarantee results, but I can promise you one thing: being intentional will guarantee that your results will be much closer to what you decide you want, as opposed to random chance. My intention through these words is to express to you how valuable I believe you are, and how much I believe in you, and I intend to express that to the fullest extent possible.