The Most Tragic Story Ever
(or, How to Finally Become Who You Really Are)

By Brian Vaszily, Creator of The 9 Intense Experiences &
Founder of

Take the time to read this one all the way through to the end. You truly won’t regret it…

When I say that 9/11 created one of the most beautiful events I have ever witnessed, people naturally look a bit stunned. Some even give me a dirty look.

And when cancer survivors express how thankful they are for the cancer, as many do, they often get those same stunned looks.

When I was younger, my father essentially spent ten years dying, and the last six months he spent in three different hospitals were especially difficult. I do not wish his extreme suffering, or the pain, anger, confusion and sadness it caused my family, on anyone. But it was one of the most enlightening events of my life.

During that last six months of my father’s life, when I was only 20 years old, I got a girl pregnant. I didn’t even know what marriage meant, and I had only known her for four months. But due to the rough relationship my father and I had for years – I did not know how to handle his anger that was ultimately directed at himself but lashed out at those closest to him – I felt deep guilt.

This girl had come from a strict Roman Catholic background, and the last thing I wanted was to be “responsible” for her being chastised for having a baby out of wedlock. So I asked her to marry me. Turns out that she was a wonderful person, but over seven years I realized not the wonderful person for me.

The divorce, when my beautiful son was six years old, was even a more difficult period than that of my father’s dying. And a period I am extremely thankful for.

Take Two

Another woman who had a similar background to me – married too young because she had gotten pregnant – had entered my life. She and I really hit it off together.

But in large part in those early years, we hit it off because neither of us had experienced the youth that most young twenty-somethings had experienced. When I was in my young twenties, I had been married, a father, and going to school full-time while also working full-time. Her situation had been similar in her young twenties.

We got married – my marriage #2 -- and for the early years of our marriage we had a blast together. Perhaps too much of a blast. “Everything in moderation” is not what we lived. We were great parents – we take pride in that – but in releasing all that pent up youth together, we did not delve properly together in many of the other important aspects of life. Our finances, as just one telling example, were a disaster.

As ignoring certain responsibilities, including to one another’s hearts - and she has a beautiful heart - caught up with us, that marriage turned rockier. We both veered increasingly away from one another. We ended in an explosive shatter, divorced again, and that lead for me to a year thereafter of both remarkable beauty but also deep, deep pain and soul searching.

Meanwhile, on the close sidelines to this entire period, I watched and did what I could to lend a hand to a close friend who battled cancer and survived. I watched as two uncles – one in his 50s, one in his 40s – died within a year of each other … survived by their mother, my grandmother, who had to deal with her children leaving here before she did and is thankfully still alive today at 88.

And I parented my son and stepdaughter who, especially when they hit their teens and as anyone who has been a teen knows, have encountered mountains of their own. From a grown-up perspective it may seem easy to discount their battles as minor compared to issues faced later in life, but to them they are monumental … and therefore monumental in any parent’s heart.

And I am grateful for it all.

And it is anything but the most tragic story ever. But why am I telling you this, and what is?

The Question

Though I have met with challenges in my life, as we all do, I have also been so fortunate to have countless beautiful experiences … and to be surrounded by countless beautiful people, some who have passed through and some who have “always been there for me” like my Mother and sister.

But throughout all of the challenges, increasingly, the question formed in my mind:

Why does it seem like we rely on tragic intense experiences in order to focus, or refocus, on what really matters in our life? To focus on nurturing the love we already have and finding love? To focus on improving our own health to not only live longer but brighter? To focus on achieving what we know deep in our hearts is our purpose, our calling, in life … in our careers, in our personal lives?

Heading back to the very beginning of this piece, the tragedy of 9/11 really positioned this question front and center in my mind.

Yes, on the one hand 9/11 prompted collective fear and a desire amongst some for revenge. But on the other hand, I had never – never – witnessed in my life people collectively become so … warm and focused.

Warm to their loved ones … as that could have been any of us in any building or airplane. Warm to their neighbors. Focused on their own biggest goals and dreams in life … because again that could have been us in any building or airplane, and life is so precious. That aspect of 9/11 was beautiful.

But then, even as it does for the cancer survivor years down the line, the “little stuff” of life – fed in no small part by the mediocrity fed to us daily from media and voracious marketing – crept back into most people’s hearts and minds in the months and years after 9/11. It rusted and crusted over people’s hearts, and clouded their vision on what really matters, once again.

And now here we all are, running scared in the face of another disaster of sorts: a horrid economy. Although it too has an un-discussed bright side: if it stops people from equating buying bigger McMansions with “success,” if it stops people from equating bigger stock portfolios with “happiness,” and instead gets them to be with the people they love more, focus on the true big things once again, it has a bright side.

Again, The Question

But do we need tragic intense experiences in order to focus, or refocus, on what really matters in life?

If the answer is yes, would that mean that in some subconscious way, we are therefore inviting tragedy in?

Like something good for us that we can’t stand – a child who hates vegetables but whose body despite that still craves that nutrition – are we on a deep level that makes no sense to our ego inviting tragedies into our lives because we rely on them to refocus us on what really matters in this short, precious life?

After 9/11, I began the “active” part of my journey to answer the question.

I spent 6.5 “hands on” years on a journey to answer the question.

I researched successful people now and throughout the ages … with success being defined as those who had achieved their greatest goals, whether that meant becoming a millionaire or finding deep inner peace while living in a cabin in the woods. I also aligned myself closely with successful people trying to help others with their knowledge, like Dr. Mercola, Hale Dwoskin, and Donna Gates, working for and with them and learning from them.

And I received the greatest gift of my life, the answer to the question:

No, we do not need tragic intense experiences in order to stay focused on what really matters and to achieve the great success we know deep inside we are capable of.

We can in fact stay focused on what really matters – achieving our dreams and nurturing our loves – and prevent ourselves from getting sidetracked (and stressed out, overwhelmed, and frustrated) by keeping ourselves focused on positive intense experiences.

The Nine

In all my research I discovered that there are nine key areas of experience that remarkably successful and content people stay focused on that others forget about … or never get to know.

Not all deeply successful people focus on all of them, but all focus on at least some of them.

When I looked at these nine intense experiences, I realized that ALL of them in one way or another had, in generations past, once been experiences that were far more a part of people’s lives.

Somewhere along the way most of society – except for the deeply successful people – abandoned these essential experiences.

Could the extreme lack of immersion in these experiences for most people today be why so many people feel unfulfilled and overwhelmed in life, stressed out, anxious and empty inside?

Could this be why depression rates are at an all-time high?

Could this explain an overabundance of apathy in the world?

As I delved deeper, immersing myself and then others in certain “actions” related to each of these experiences – the actions being anything from deep conversations to immersion in books, movies and music pertaining to the particular experience to visualization exercises for them – a most resounding “YES!” came back as the answer.

Immersion in any ONE of these areas of positive intense experiences, and certainly several of them, and most certainly all nine, rapidly cracked through various negative emotions and self-sabotaging thoughts.

And – much like a cancer survivor who sees life with new eyes – immersion in these positive intense experiences enabled people to far more clearly see the path they should be on to attain the success they envision for themselves, and to walk that path.

The first tangible result of this discovery and my years of research was, of course, the website and the free Intense Experiences “Live Deeper” newsletter

In the newsletter, I present articles just like this one, as well as recommendations of everything from books, quotes, audio programs and artwork to movies, workshops, photos and toys that will help you immerse yourself in positively transformative and rewarding – that is, intense – experiences.

And the “masterwork” to date of this discovery and my years of research is, of course, The 9 Intense Experiences 10-CD audio course.

I am deeply honored -- but not at all surprised -- that so many people who have gone through even a few experiences in The 9 Intense Experiences have said it prompted amazing self-discoveries … that it realigned the path they were on … and that it led rapidly to success and inner-peace they weren’t sure they’d ever reach.

I’m honored -- but not at all surprised -- that many well-known doctors like Dr. Mark Hyman, personal growth gurus like Mark Victor Hansen, and business experts like Christine Comaford-Lynch are recommending it to their own patients and readers.

I have said it before and it is true: as deeply successful people know well, it is really only natural and inevitable that immersing yourself in these nine intense experiences will positively – and extensively – improve your life and lead to far greater success, inner peace and happiness.

Most people feel so trapped in what I call the “hamster wheel life” (going faster and faster, but getting nowhere) …

They feel so overwhelmed, tired, over-stressed, over-worried and like they aren’t achieving the life they know should be theirs (especially in the current world and economic climate) …

And they are SO far removed from these nine intense experiences … … that when they immerse themselves in even a few of the experiences they burst forth and blossom like a flower in the desert finally receiving rain.


It is a tough question to face, but I hope you are ready for it:

Is it possible that on some subconscious level you may be calling forth difficult or tragic experiences in order to refocus on what matters most in life?

Are you instead truly ready to, in a positive and engaging way, achieve the success – however you define it – that you know should be yours … and to experience deep joy and inner-peace for doing so?

Even if you don’t delve into The 9 Intense Experiences audio course – and only your intuition, not any marketing or friend’s advice, can tell you if you should – I hope you will subscribe to the free Intense Experiences “Live Deeper” newsletter

I hope you will forward this article on to everyone you love and care about, and to those certain bloggers and others in the media you may follow that, against the tide, like to focus on actually helping people.

And I hope you will discover more about what each of the nine intense experiences are at The 9 Intense Experiences website (you will see them briefly explained in several places on the site) so you can delve into them yourself.

It may not seem like it if you listen to the news or read the newspapers, but now on a universal level we’re experiencing a time of powerful transition and new hope.

Right now is the prime time for you to become who you really are.

What is the most tragic story of all?

It is not the economy, terrorist acts, natural disasters, diseases or the death of loved ones.

The most tragic story ever is the one where we wait for yet another personal or public tragedy to get us focused on really living this gift called life.