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If You’re Going Through Hell, Keep Going

The behind the scenes story of X: THC 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 it felt like I was going through hell.

Winston Churchill once said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” I guess this is what I was thinking as well.

From childhood, I had always felt like an outsider. I was the “weird” kid growing up. To help myself understand not only myself, but the world around me, I began studying hypnosis and neurolinguistic programming (NLP).

I then realized 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. I put my own money into this mission, with the thought that if I don’t believe in myself, who will believe in me? 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 enveloped in this desire to make a difference in the world that I put the mission above practicality. I ran out of money before the film was completed, and found myself near bankruptcy.

On top of that, the stress caused me to become seriously ill resulting in the 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. After all, I had a mission to complete. That is what drove me to forge ahead.

So with this understanding, 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. is now 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.

We set out to help people understand that you are not alone, and not only did we achieve that, but we created a worldwide community of people that are now proving that you are not alone. We far surpassed our original goal, and while it wasn’t easy, it was worth it, because it’s YOU who are reading this right now that makes the journey matter. We are honored to be able to inspire people with our story and with stories of so many other people who have overcome incredible challenges in their lives. And to think, our music is the soundtrack to all of that is a great honor.

So we want to thank YOU for reading this, because you make all of it matter.

I hope you’ll join me, and my bandmate, Chris “Ninjaboy” Liang 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, click here to check out our debut album, X: The Human Condition.

Thank you for listening and for making it all matter.

-Michael

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