Ben Harvey was overweight, $137,000 in debt after five years without a job and clinically depressed.
One day, two of his friends took their own lives. That was the turning point.
In the space of just a few years, the Sydneysider cleared his debt, shed around 35kg, weaned himself off a cocktail of medication and became a self-made millionaire.
"I said to myself, 'There has to be a better way of doing things,'" he told news.com.au. "I started studying mindset and transforming my reality to live the life I wanted to live.
"I'd got my weight well over 100kg, I lost about 35kg, got married and had a child."
The 39-year-old, who runs a training company for "getting out of the rat race", Authentic Education, realised his efforts to set goals and make long-term plans were working against him. "You have to set goals that line up with who you are," he said. "People are chasing other people's goals. They're not achieving more, they're getting sicker."
Ben realised he needed to stop thinking about being happy in the future, and start thinking about right now. "Too many people are delaying the outcome they want tomorrow, or next year.
"I started setting goals in reverse fashion by looking at how I want to feel today."
He began researching different types of psychological techniques such as reiki and hypnotherapy, and checking in to see how he felt, and if he had noticed "tangible results."