Life Time Owner Bahram Akradi Shared His Secret to Overcoming Adversity

This article originally appeared in the December 2020 issue of Men’s Health.

BAHRAM AKRADI is the founder of Life Time, which, like many gyms, has had a year.

Life Time closed during March of this year due to the novel coronavirus. And during that time, Akradi stayed busy by launching a personal website to share his experience as an immigrant and businessman.

So much of our lives are out of our control. If you can’t change it, accept it, adapt—and move forward.

You had to figure out, okay, these are the things I can’t do anymore. Replace them with what you can do and focus on what you can do.

I had been working for more than 10 years on a book for my son called “Letters to Akiliez” (his name is Akiliez). I wanted to make sure he has something with him should something happen to me when he’s young.

We launched, and I started putting chapters of that book onto the website. I’m channeling my creative energy into something else rather than sitting back and feeling sorry that I can’t do what I was doing before.

I don’t think anything in my book is so profound that nobody else has ever said it. Maybe it’s a different way of saying it.

You can help somebody else feel a little better, right? If you make somebody else happy, you get the happiness out of making another person happy when you were struggling yourself.

I believe that life is about flow. A river accepts all the little streams that come to it. The river doesn’t say ‘No, no, no. I don’t want your water,’ from a little stream.

The things in life worth worrying about are so few and far in between relative to how many things we worry about.

I struggle like other people do. I just don’t struggle with it for very long.

I may get pissed off. I may scream and yell for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, an hour. Then, I put it behind me and I focus on what I can do now.

The joy I have today isn’t because of what I have.

The process of earning is more or less the scoreboard for accomplishment.

Don’t allow anyone to divide us. I think 2020 is a wake-up call for that message more than a virus. We’re all one.

There is beauty in variation. There’s different shapes to us, different colors, different skin, different shapes— that variation is what makes this fabric of life so beautiful.

We should discuss different ideas with respect. We can become more enlightened, if we open our eyes.

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