“From Ordinary to Living His Dreams – It was Always There!”
Austin Waines – Barrington Hills, IL | Posted: Saturday, June 12, 2021
As a writer for Success magazine, I am always inspired by the personal stories of the people I interview. This one is no exception. The really cool part of this man’s story is that he didn’t initially set out to achieve a goal, he set out to change what was going on inside himself thereby he could then change his life and accomplish any dream, desire, or goal he wanted.
If you looked at Keith’s life for the first 50 years you would say this guy had it together and was very successful. But if you ask Keith, he’d tell you sure on the outside, but on the inside, he was anything but successful. Sure, he’d accomplished a lot of things in his life, married for 16 years with two step-children, had a family that loved him, worked in the corporate world for 26 years, ran a few marathons, and was in very good health, but deep-down Keith wasn’t happy.
Although Keith was flattered by my request to interview him, he wanted to make sure I understood the reason why he was doing it. He told me it had nothing to do with highlighting how successful he was, but everything to do with how he got to where he is now; he wanted to share his story to help and inspire others. He wants everyone to know that if he can he can achieve his dreams, anyone can! Stick around because you are about to get to know Keith Toborg on a very personal level. He opened up and shared a lot of his life with the sole intent of giving hope to you, the reader.
As I pull up to his absolutely gorgeous home in Barrington Hills, IL, I find myself very excited to hear his story. A part of me is wanting to learn as much as I can not only to write about it, but in hopes of hearing something that can impact my own life.
I ring the doorbell and Keith and his wife LuAnn greet me at the door along with their two Sheppard / Lab mix dogs. When you meet Keith you instantly feel a passion, strength, and warmth about him. It just radiates from him. Keith and LuAnn invite me in where I get to meet his mom and dad, step-daughters, sisters and brother-in-law, 3 nieces, and two nephews. You can tell there’s a lot of love in this house and how proud his family is.
“Wow this is quite a greeting” I said. I wasn’t expecting to get to meet so many of your family, this is great! Laughter… Sorry, Keith said. We don’t mean to overwhelm you. My family means the world to me and I wanted them to not only be part of this process with me, I wanted them to enjoy it as well.
“Thank you so much for doing the interview at my home. Can I get you a cup of, tea, or water perhaps?” Oh, yea thanks. Coffee would be great I said.
As we walk thru the hallway, into the kitchen, I can already get a sense as to what’s important to Keith. It’s not about the bling, or the things, it’s about family and friends. It’s about his faith and celebrating life, and seeing others celebrate their life. It’s about living healthy. The pictures share a lot of his story, but a part of me knows I’m about to find out how all these frames came to be filled.
Keith: It’s such a beautiful day, the sun is out, and it’s nice and warm. Why don’t we go out on the back deck and enjoy it.
We walk thru a big beautiful kitchen, where he stops and says “this is where a lot of magic happens. My wife and I love cooking together and this is where it all happens”. We walk thru sliding glass doors onto the deck overlooking a sea of plush green grass, flowers, and trees that have been around for a couple hundred years. It’s simply breath-taking. I take a deep breath and smile. “Wow this is gorgeous” I said.
“Thanks”, Keith says. I come out here a lot and just take it all in. I’m always amazed at how beautiful God’s creation is. Whenever I’m out here, I think about all the things I’m grateful for and blessed with.
“I can see why; this view is spectacular. By the way, I may need to take a dip in that pool before this is all over.” Laughter.
That’s already in the plans. I’ve got an extra suit all ready and waiting for you. We can do the interview, go for a dip, and then LuAnn and I are cooking some wild caught salmon with grilled veggies, and a delicious salad for everyone.
Keith: “Why don’t we take a seat over here so we can have a little shade and enjoy the view at the same time”.
Keith and I sit across from each other and the rest of his family join us outside, sit down, and listen in.
Me: “So, I have to ask, what did you think when I called you and asked to interview you?”
Keith: “Well to be honest, I thought it was a joke. I mean, I was expecting a call next year.
Me: “When my buddy called and said I needed to talk with you I just had to listen to him. If there one thing he knows, it’s people and I trust his judgement. He’s said that you’ve got a story to tell and that our readers would love to hear it; that it could a catalyst to change their life. I did some quick research on discovered he was right. I just had to reach out and see if you would sit down.”
Keith: “Cool – let get into it!”
Austin: “Let me start by asking you how do you define success?”
Keith: That’s a great question Austin! You ask that question to 10 different people and you’ll probably get 10 different answers. To me, accomplishing your goals in life is a part of it, a big part. But, for me, true Success in life is becoming the best version of myself possible. You see, we all have hopes and dreams. We all want to accomplish our goals, but the truth is most people settle. We are shaped by our experiences, our family, our friends, our environment. We don’t usually take an active role in choosing what is true for us, it just kind of happens. I believe that deep down, inside every one of us is a calling. A calling to be the absolute best version of ourselves possible.
By the time I was 50, I had done many things, and accomplished a lot in my life, but nothing like I’ve been able to create in the last few years. I’m 53 now and I’ve lived more in the last 3 years than I did in the first 50. Success to me is acknowledging you have more to give the world and then getting after it so that you are developing, honing, and using all of the gifts, skills, and abilities that you’ve been blessed with to their fullest. I truly believe that you bring your greatness to the world, or you bring it to the grave. And the choice is always ours. We are not victims. We have a choice! The problem is that 95% either don’t realize they have a choice, play the victim card, or are too scared to put in the mental work that is absolutely necessary to destroy the limitations we’ve allowed ourselves to believe we have.
“I like that. It’s internally based, not looking at what you have as a measure of success, but who you are and what you do with it.
Keith: Exactly! All these physical things (the money, the house, cars, etc.) are great, but they are the effect of who I’ve become – who I am today. If I was the same person now as I was at the age of 50, I wouldn’t have any of this. The bottom line is that the Cause is our internal world, the Effect is our external world. We must first work on ourselves in order for things to change on the outside. As Jim Rohn says “For Things To Change, You Must Change”. That is TRUTH!
Austin: “That’s quite a statement to say you lived more in the last 3 years than you have in the first 50. Can you explain that a little more? I think this is what Success magazine readers will really want to hear.”
Absolutely – this is what it’s all about. Let me start by taking you back in time a bit. My mom and dad over there are incredibly wonderful and loving. I was raised in a loving Christian home. I have two older sisters, Pam and Kathy sitting right there. I had a great family growing up. Mom stayed home with us until I was about 13, and my dad worked hard to provide more for us than what he and my mom had growing up. And he did! I wasn’t on the street, I wasn’t abused, I didn’t come from a broken family or anything like that. Anyone would look at how I was raised and say I had a good life. And I did.
But there were a few things that happened in my life as a kid that controlled me for a long time. Those events shaped me in a way that gave me a belief that most people didn’t like me. I also had a Fear of Rejection. The Fear of what other people think about me, pretty much ran my life. I mean it impacted every single part of my being and virtually every decision I made in life. I started drinking in 8th grade and found that numbed the feelings. I became an alcoholic and by the time I was 24 I had made a lot of bad decisions and did a lot of drinking and drugs. I thought about suicide many times. Got involved in a hit and run with a squad car, lost my license to drunk driving. I did the counseling deal which helped a little, but never got to the root of what was truly going on inside.
I graduated High school, and went to college at Iowa State. I couldn’t deal with college because I was just unhappy and again this fear of rejection was pretty much ruling my life. I didn’t feel accepted by anyone and I just wanted to get out of there. So, I came home in the second semester, got a job and after about 2 years decided that $275 a week wasn’t going to cut it for the rest of my life. I went back to school, graduated, and I accepted a job offer 2 weeks before I graduated. I was at that company for almost 26 years.
When I was 24, God decided that He needed to smack me upside the head to get my attention and He did. I was drinking a lot and it all came to a head. I could feel that disaster was coming quickly one way or another. I really felt that I was facing two roads. I was going to wind up in jail and/or kill myself, or I needed to stop drinking and change my life. I put myself into an outpatient treatment center got into AA. That was the beginning. And by the way, I’m happy to say that I’m sober 29 years this past February. I don’t take any of it for granted and I am grateful and blessed for every day God grants me here.
Austin: “So, you said it was the beginning. The beginning of what?”
Keith: “That is when I began a 29-year journey to where I am today. But, as you’ll see everything changed for me in about a 6-8 month period of time when I was 50 years old.
Do you recall earlier when I said that there’s greatness inside each one of us and that deep down I believe we all feel it, and that most people take their greatness to the grave instead of to the world? “Absolutely” I said!
When I started AA I started down this path of personal development. That’s part of what AA is all about. You can stop drinking, but if you don’t change, chances are you’ll go back to drinking or you’ll just be an unhappy person that doesn’t drink. That’s what some people choose. I didn’t want that. I wanted to make changes and I also wanted to get over my fear of rejection and what others thought about me, but didn’t know how to go about doing it. I worked the 12 steps in the program, found an awesome sponsor, Bill Drew, who has since passed away, but that man helped save my life.
Over the years I’ve read a lot of books on personal change, gone to Tony Robbin’s events which were awesome and helped me further, but those underlying fears of rejection and what other people think about me just weren’t going away.
About 8 years ago, I decided to become a Certified Health Coach. It took me a year, but I got it done. Once that happened, that’s how I re-discovered the wonderful company called Juice Plus+ which ultimately is the vehicle that allowed me to own my own business and help others. A simple concept of Fruits and Veggies in a capsule backed by science that I could build a business around while still working full-time in the corporate world; it was a perfect fit for me. Now, 26 years ago I was in the company when the product JP+ had first come out. But 2 years after I started I just couldn’t deal with the rejection. I hated to quit, but it was too painful so I stopped; but deep down I always regretted letting my fear of rejection win.
Fast forward 5 years and I’m 50, five years into my second JP+ journey and I’m stalled out at what we call the Virtual Franchise level. I was making about $400-$500 a month in residual income. Not bad, but not even close to what I knew I was capable of. I was frustrated with myself; others were growing their business, but I wasn’t. It’s the same company, same product, same marketing plan with the only difference being me. I knew exactly what was holding me back – those two fears.
Here’s where it really gets interesting and this is the part that I want everyone to hear my loud and clear. As I said earlier, I knew I had skills, gifts, and abilities that I hadn’t even scratched the surface on. I was pissed and sad at the same time, and always looking for what might help me finally overcome them. I came across what’s called the Master Key Experience. I listened to this guy, Mark Januszewski on a video. He talked about the program being focused for 26 weeks on changing the blueprint of the unconscious mind. That absolutely resonated with me. I knew I needed to make the change in my unconscious mind and after listening to Mark I jumped in. I figured 26 weeks of focus on changing the blueprint that was running my life had to have some impact and finally give me the opportunity to be the best version of myself possible.
I jumped in with an ALL IN attitude. This was truly the beginning of what I call “Doing the Work”! Up to this point I had never really stayed with trying to make changes for more than probably 6-8 weeks; and I was inconsistent in those times. Every time I’d get uncomfortable, I would stop. I would forget to do it, make an excuse, or I would lose patience because change wasn’t happening fast enough or it was only short lived. Little did I know that was my old blueprint wanting to call the shots and stay exactly where we were.
For 26 weeks, day in and day out, you are focused on changing your unconscious programming; your blueprint. There’s structure, accountability, and both tangible and intangible assignments. You don’t do the tangible ones, you’re out and asked to come back next year. You don’t do the intangible ones, you cheat yourself and don’t make the changes you’re striving for. You discover your unique purpose for this point in time in your life and you drive that into your subconscious mind day in and day out. There are some things that you are asked to do that I didn’t want to do because I had family in the house and they would hear me saying things out loud. Talk about facing your fear of rejection. I’m doing exercises, knowing that someone was probably thinking what the heck is he doing, but at the same time knowing that I need to be ALL IN, that I’m worth it, and that I was sick and tired of letting the old blueprint run the show. Enough was enough. I was doing this and that was it!
That 26 weeks was no joy ride, believe me. I wanted to quit half a dozen times. And there were days and weeks in the beginning I thought this just isn’t working for me. I read about others having breakthroughs and here I was not feeling a thing. Then one day I was driving behind a car that had a bumper sticker. Some words were missing, but the message read loud and clear to me with the remaining words that were there. They said “Do The Work”! And it rang a bell with me. I thought, Keith, you didn’t get here overnight and you’ve been living with this bullshit (sorry mom and dad) for so long, and it was simply going to take time to install the new blueprint. At that point, I decided ok that’s it, I’m just going to keep Doing the Work. Then after a while things just started to click. I don’t recall what week it was, but it just started to happen for me. I changed on in the inside, and my actions began to change as a result. The process was extremely slow at first, but as small things began to change, other things began to change. It was like this snowball effect where momentum started picking up and everything began to change quickly. It was an amazing experience that hasn’t stopped. Those fears that used to run my life – GONE!
I get that it’s not easy, but man it is so worth it!
Those 26 weeks are what made all this possible – period! They changed my life!
Austin: “Can you tell a little more about how it changed your life?”
Absolutely! Cause and Effect as I said earlier is what it’s all about. The cause is what’s happening on the inside; in the unconscious mind. That part of us runs 90% of what we do. The outside is the effect. Meaning you have around you what you are on the inside. In order to change your outside world, you have to go inside. If you go inside and make changes there, it’s game over. Your outside world will change because your subconscious mind will be working 24/7 to make it happen. In the last 3 years, I’ve gone from knowing that I have more to offer, to actually offering it. I am literally living my dreams now. I am always growing and always looking to learn. I’ve gone from fear to waking up every morning with passion, purpose, power, joy, and outrageous excitement. I now believe that anything is possible!
In the last 3 years I’ve become who I was meant to be. I ran a 3:21:19 Boston marathon qualifier. Yes, you heard that right. At the age of 50 I ran that fast. I’ve become a 7-figure earner in my company. I’ve helped 30 other people obtain not only financial freedom, but freedom from the things that were holding them back and thousands of other people live healthier happier lives. That’s what fires me up. I love helping, inspiring, and seeing people change. I love watching them discover what they are truly capable of, what God has really blessed them with. Through my team we’ve been able to help 10,000 people live healthier lives. We are literally changing the health of generations. I’ve spoken in front of crowds of 5000 people. I bought this beautiful home on 5 acres. I was able to fly my entire family, everyone you see here, to Cancun Mexico for a vacation. I always wanted to do that and now I can. I retired my wife. We now have the time freedom, financial freedom, and health to do whatever we want. It’s really cool! I’ve been able to pay for things for my church like refurbishing all of the stained-glass windows. I am contributing at levels I never dreamed possible before; both in terms of money and my time. I travel pretty much whenever we want and our next trip is to go to Africa. LuAnn was there about 7 years ago and wants to go back. So, I’m going to take LuAnn, my mother, and perhaps a few more if they want to go. And while we are there we’ll do some mission work.
It was in me all along, I just had to work hard to make changes on the inside and I still do the work today. This is only the beginning! All these things are great, but if they all went away today you can’t take away who I’ve become; that to me is success. Living Life Full Out, being the best version of myself possible, going after your dreams, helping others, making a difference in this world, that’s the juice of life, that’s what living is.
Austin: “You mean, you still have rituals you do today?”
Absolutely every single day. Michael Jordan didn’t become the best basketball player by just by showing up to the games. He put in the work every day! He was the first one to practice and the last one to leave. He played every play and never gave up, even if the team was down 20 points. He had a work ethic that almost no one else was willing to commit to. This is how I approach life. I didn’t get here by accident. It wasn’t luck. I forge my psychology every single day. I feed my mind with good stuff every day. I stay focused on who I am and who God made me to be. And I teach others to do the same. You have to put in the work. It’s hard mental labor at first and slow going; it feels like nothing is happening, and then slowly, but surely things begin to change, and then it picks up speed. Today, because I’ve done the work and laid the foundation, I can now decide what I want, put that in my unconscious mind, and I know it’s game over. No matter how much work it takes to accomplish it, I know I am going to get it done. Then I go to work and make it happen. You overcome obstacles and challenges standing in your way. You bust through the, jump over them, go around them, tear them down. It doesn’t matter because subby is working 7/24 to make the outside world match the inside.
Most people take their outside world and make their inside world match it. Not me. I look inside first, then I force my outside to match my inside.
By the way, my company, Juice Plus+, is all about Inspiring healthy living around the world. We are about changing lives and helping others. I’d like to thank Jay Martin our founder for giving me this amazing opportunity to become a part of the JP+ family and build a business of my own. The integrity of the company, and how they care for their people, their franchisees, the products, their business model, and our customers; it’s all absolutely amazing! Thank you, Jay, for providing me a vehicle to achieve so many of my dreams. The best is yet to come!
And most of all if it wasn’t for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, none of this would be possible. He is who I owe it all to.
Austin: “So, what’s next for you?”
This has been a journey for me. I am a successful man today, because I am using what I’ve been given to the fullest. I know there is more for me to do and to learn, but I truly believe there is no limit on what I can achieve and who I can help. My focus going forward is to not only continuing growing me, my business, and helping others to live their dreams, but now I am going to focus on creating a legacy. Something I can leave behind that will continue on long after I’ve gone home to be with my Savior. Something that will continue to help others and make a massive impact on this world even after I’m gone. I haven’t yet decided what that is, but I’m praying about it and know that He will give me the direction no matter how big it might seem, I know I’ll be able to make it happen. All things are possible thru Christ who gives me strength. When He’s at the helm, everything is possible!
I give all the glory to God, without him none of this would be possible. We would cease to exist. Austin, just remember. There’s only one you ever. There never was, nor will there ever be another person just like you. You are unique and blessed. It’s up to you bring out your own individual greatness. Now the only question is will you bring your greatness to the world, or will you take it to the grave?
Austin: “Well, Keith I have to say that I am inspired. I love what I do, but you’re right. I’ve been holding myself back because of my own fears and it’s time I need to make some changes myself. I have a feeling you are going to inspire a lot of folks that read this press release.”
Keith: “I want to be very clear here. Everyone has potential, just like the rocket that put man on the moon. It had a ton of potential, but if it wasn’t used, it would have sat there and wasted away instead of doing the impossible and putting man on the moon. If anyone wants to discover who they truly are, be their best, and live life full-out, they have to be willing to put in the hard labor of mental work day in and day out.
Austin, you’re doing an amazing job. I’m sure your writing has changed lives already. But if you hear a deeper calling from within and you know you have more to give and you want to be the best version of yourself possible, that my friend is the beginning of something beautiful. Now you just have to do the work.”
My Personal Reflection:
I couldn’t help but think about that last comment Keith made for the rest of the day. Yes, we went for a dip in the pool, I got to talk with all of his family and they are truly proud of him and love him. They told me that he inspires everyone around him to be their best.
As I waved goodbye I realized that I’ll never be the same and that Keith had impacted me in a way I didn’t expect. I realized that although I’ve accomplished a lot in my life, that I haven’t even scratched the surface of what I’m capable of. I believe he’s right – everyone has so much potential. Now that you and I know that, it is our responsibility to discover more of who we are, accept it, and go to work to make changes on the inside. Take your greatness to the world, or take it to the grave. It truly is OUR choice.