Winston Churchill once said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
Well, if you’ve ever had to face adversity and gone through it, you’ll relate to this story. The behind the scenes story of our band, X: THC (A.K.A. X: The Human Condition) proved that reality can be stranger than fiction…
Through all of the setbacks and obstacles that were overcome, things in the end, happened the way they were supposed to. Looking back now, I can see all of that clearly, but at the time, like Winston Churchill said, it felt like I was going through hell.
I found myself fighting back from the brink of blindness, near bankruptcy and a host of other challenges all at once, but it taught me that the “impossible” is achievable. My unlikely recovery is what inspired me to share my story with the world in order to inspire others.
From childhood, I had always felt like an outsider. I was painfully shy and never fit in anywhere. But I eventually realized that I was not the only one who felt “different”, and that EVERYONE feels this way at SOME point in their lives.
I wanted to help others understand that “you are not alone”. That was my mission. So I set out to create not only an album, but a film that would accompany it.
When the “experts” in the entertainment industry told me it was impossible, I was driven to prove them wrong. Without investors, I laid my own money on the line to fulfill what I considered to be my mission. But when the time came to actually begin filming, I was overwhelmed. I had no previous film industry experience, and I was writing, directing and co-producing for the first time.
All I had was a vision to create something that would touch people, and hopefully help someone out there. It was a musical “message in a bottle”.
But while my intentions were good, I became so driven in this desire to make a difference in the world that I put this mission above everything else. I ran out of money before the film was completed, and found myself near bankruptcy.
On top of that, pushing myself to the brink of exhaustion, the stress and the nonstop work caused me, the machine, to breakdown. I suddenly become seriously ill, was misdiagnosed, and given the wrong medication, resulting in the terrifying loss of my eyesight. Yes, it was a dark time for me… literally.
But it was also a blessing.
What I learned from all the setbacks I experienced is what made me into the person I am today. Because when you face adversity, you have a choice of whether to fold or fight back. I chose fighting back.
I dedicated myself to getting well, and getting back on my feet financially, which I did, miraculously, eventually. I got my eyesight back, finished the film and the album with the help of many volunteers who joined in because of the positive message of the project. and never-ending persistence. The film, X: The Human Condition has been featured on Amazon prime video in all English fluent countries around the world.
But that’s not the best part of the story. Not by a longshot.
As I was going through my own personal hell, I realized that the message we were putting forth in the film and music was somehow reflecting into real life. It was, in fact, the human condition.
Overcoming adversity is what we all go through throughout our lives. As we become more enlightened, we become more resilient, and able to take on and tougher challenges.
More importantly, I realized that my story was not the only one of overcoming adversity and building resilience. This realization led me to do something I never even dreamed of doing. I created a community website where people from all walks of life are now sharing their own stories of overcoming adversity… RiseUpEight.org
We are doing this together as a community, to inspire anyone who has challenges in life to realize that “you are not alone”, and that you shouldn’t fear adversity, because it will make you stronger, and lead you to become the person that you are meant to be.
So now we’ve created a worldwide community of people that are now proving that “you are not alone” through the sharing of our stories.
And we want to thank YOU for reading this, because you make all of it matter. Without YOU there would be no reason for us to do this.
I, and my bandmate, Chris “Ninjaboy” Liang feel blessed to be able to inspire the world with our music. We hope that you will join us on our journey to reach higher levels of inspiring people through our music. If you’d like to hear the soundtrack to our journey from dark to light…
We titled it to not only promote the website Rise Up Eight, but to make the statement that no matter how many times you fall, you can RISE!
Thank you for listening and for making it all matter.
ps- The funds collected will go towards continuing our inspiring mission. We are also donating a portion of the proceeds from our album sales to the United Way’s COVID-19 Worldwide Community Response and Relief Fund to help fight the pandemic.
What do you think? Have you had to face adversity in your life and overcame it? Are you still in it? Please share below and let’s discuss…