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Why Gratitude Comes First

The ‘Staying Power’ of The Beyond Intention Paradigm

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TRIGGER WARNING – This article on why gratitude comes first, contains information about suicide which may be upsetting to some people.

Hello folks, I hope everyone is keeping safe and well out there! Now that we’re well and truly done with the start of the year (the hardest part) I’ve been taking some time to reflect on what comes next – and how I find myself here in the first place. People often ask me about my Beyond Intention Paradigm, and why gratitude comes first.

It’s been a long road to get to where I am today (with a few bumps along the way). Yet what I have learned is that somewhere along this path to growth, we all find our calling (often by accident). Through darker times, it is that very thing that leads us back towards the light. 

Deep down I was always a seeker 

Brought up in the UK, I’m a child of immigrants who moved from Africa during the 70s. I later discovered that this was more commonplace in the 90s, but my father – having got as far as he could with his education – sought further study in the form of a PHD. My childhood was a strict and conservative one, with myself and my siblings of a Christian up-bringing.

Sure I was happy, but I never really resonated with the stuff I was told to resonate with. From an early age, I was not afraid to question this way of life, and these beliefs! Deep down, I was always a seeker, which meant I was always entrepreneurial. You may be surprised to hear that I started this journey around the age of five or six.

To my family’s delight, I set up a ‘breakfast in bed’ service at home – employing my sister to do all the cooking of course! And that was just the beginning of my Beyond Intention journey and why gratitude comes first.

man in black backpack during golden hour
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I became the opportunity for people to engage with something different

Growing up in a predominantly white area, my transition to young adult came with its challenges. While I was never subject to racist remarks, my friends were often ‘un-PC’ when the subject of race was broached. Looking back, this was perhaps more to do with them not ‘knowing’ how to behave – as opposed to any hate-filled intent.

Instead, I often found myself presented as an ‘opportunity’ for people to engage with something different – minus the fear that inherently comes with experiencing something new. In this way, I’ve been a facilitator of change and opinion. Enabling people to establish relationships that perhaps felt impossible beforehand. Whether that be on the subject of race, reality creation, spirituality, or where I’m at with my Beyond Intention Paradigm now.

I found myself giving people the chance to engage with that stuff – minus the new moon, psychic ‘woo-woo’ kind of approach! From that point onwards, I found myself taking these concepts and presenting them to people so that they may engage with them on a more practical and reasonable level. 

You could say I was an ‘Undercover Asperger’s’!

I wasn’t diagnosed with Asperger’s until I was 27 years old! Until then, I had spent a whole lifetime living as an autistic person, not knowing they were autistic. As a result, I continued to suffer from the bi-products of that because I wasn’t getting the support I truly needed. I didn’t even know I was facing that challenge! Not only did this give me severe anxiety, but my inability to relate with people prevailed, as I was unaware that my way of relating to people was understandably different.

After three decades of practising however, I’d say I make a pretty good undercover Asperger’s! When it comes to my charts, I have a few spikes within my map on the social scale. You could say I’m the perfect autistic spy in the mainstream world! 

faceless man in black sack on head in dark room
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I didn’t see my Asperger’s as a disability

Contrary to what people may think, I never saw my Asperger’s as a barrier. Instead, I felt very much blessed in my abilities. From my capacity to remember sequences of numbers, to my pitch perfect voice where I can copy a sound. It’s the same with language – if you tell me what something means just once, you don’t have to tell me again!

Without realising it, these things helped me a lot, forming part of my internal drive to succeed. I learned how to build computers at 13, and I bankrupted the vending machines with my school tuck shop! I soon found myself the entrepreneur I’d always hoped to be – making my first million by the age of 19. 

While this all sounds very glamourous, I was young and made mistakes. After setting up my first business, I accidentally broke the law by not having the right licensing. I lost it all, so I sought counsel. Only this time, the people I trusted stole from me – leaving me pretty much penniless.

It was in this moment that I thought: why bother? What is the point? It was also in this moment that I really felt like giving up.

Every thought we have has the potential to become a ‘thing’ – why gratitude comes first

As a precursor to my Beyond Intention Paradigm, I was working with the model: Vision, Purpose, Faith, Gratitude. But my failures made me doubt myself and the practice I’d worked so hard to build. Was I living in a fantasy world thinking this stuff was actually real? If it was real, surely it was repeatable – and I wouldn’t be able to screw it up twice! I traced the breadcrumbs back to my mid-twenties to figure out what had gone wrong with this model.

Something was obviously working to begin with, as I got what I set out to achieve – and consistently. But it wasn’t ‘sticking’ – it had no staying power. What I’ve discovered since then is in the truth of our reality; every thought we have is already a ‘thing’ – just not a physical experience. Becoming the bridge between that thought and our real world is one thing – but becoming the bridge that stays is another.

With Vision, Purpose, Faith, Guidance, I held a clear vision of what I desired and acted purposefully every day. I did so in the faith that all would be well. The end result was the ability to feel grateful, and stay present in that gratitude. But something had gone wrong for this not to work. I soon began to realise that it was gratitude that comes first, and that none of this would work if I wasn’t aligned with the outcome I wanted. 

woman standing on train rail
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You have to accept responsibility for the world that you live in

When I lost everything the second time, something quickly dawned on me; I realised that so much of my identity had become tied up with getting things done and enjoying success, that I found myself feeling like a failure. Every moment leading up to this point had been a waste, and it also got me questioning other rejections from my past, such as losing my place at Oxford University.

The only reason I didn’t choose to end it all was because I didn’t have a sure-fire way of doing so. I was so fearful of failing that I couldn’t end my own life! I didn’t want to be the guy with the permanent scars, or the guy that wound up in hospital. I’d been there with other people and that wasn’t going to be me.

It may sound extreme, but I quickly realised that if I wanted this to happen, I’d need to commit all my resources, all my power, and all my effort into being successful at this outcome. I already had an effective model, so I needed to understand what did and didn’t work so I could create a reality where I could successfully end my life.

As I got caught up with understanding this model however, the original intention behind my search got lost along the way – and I have gratitude for that to this very day. As more revelations came to light, I accidentally found hope – which kept my depression and suicidal thoughts at bay. And this was how my Beyond Intention Paradigm was born. It may have come from a dark place, but through finding my true calling I couldn’t be more desperate to live, finding fulfilment through sharing with others.

If you’ve experienced thoughts on suicide or need help to support a loved one, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline are there to take your call. Talk to someone now, you are not alone. All my love and strength to you.

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