David Essel got his start in 1980 in the fitness industry. He was, as refers to himself, the exercise video dude, appearing in magazines with the likes of Jane Fonda, Kathy Smith and Denise Austin, the doyennes of 80s exercise and aerobics classes. That was when he began his motivational speaker career, spending up to 40 weeks a year as travelling the world and presenting at various fitness conferences.
David went on to earn a Masters in Sports Psychology and began counseling with athletes. In college, basketball and tennis were his two big loves and while he was only counseling athletes at the time, he was following his passion. However, the fitness world lost its allure somewhere towards the end of the 80s, and David felt like he burned out on the industry in 1989. He was fortunate enough to get a gig on Lifetime, just as cable television was really taking off. He was called Mr. Motivation.
From there, he went on to Fox TV in New York as a segment reporter and eventually got turned on to writing a book and expanding his counseling services beyond athletes.
"Even though it seems sporadic and kind of insane and crazy how I jumped from one career to another, the whole constant was always helping people to maximize their potential. That was it," says David.
Recently, he published his most recent book, Focus!: Drop the Law of Attraction. Slay Your Goals, and I was fortunate to get a copy, was blown away by it and really wanted to talk to David about how he got to be this guy who is a guru in positive thinking. I have recommended the book to a lot of people I know and I love the way David addresses the shortcomings of the laws of attraction, putting into perspective the work that has to go into being a positive thinker and creating that momentum for success in everything you do. As David says:
"People fall victim to multitasking, which is not going to get you anywhere. We fall victim to procrastination, which is one of the greatest killers of dreams in the world. We fall victim to projecting that the reason that we're in this financial situation, this weight, this health, this relationship is genetics, other people, the economy, the presidency, whatever. And when we stay focused, we start to look at the world differently."
Now, listen to the rest of the conversation below: