Oct. 7, 2021

Tony Hoffman’s Comeback Story - One Choice That Can Change Everything

Tony Hoffman’s Comeback Story - One Choice That Can Change Everything

After overcoming drug addiction that led to homelessness and prison, Tony Hoffman went on to acquire many great accolades. His goal is to motivate his audience through the methods he personally used to overcome his struggles into the one choice that...


After overcoming drug addiction that led to homelessness and prison, Tony Hoffman went on to acquire many great accolades. His goal is to motivate his audience through the methods he personally used to overcome his struggles into the one choice that can change the rest of their life for the better. Learn about the quote that Tony discovered in prison that unlocked the mental shackles he had placed on himself, and about Tony’s journey out of addiction and despair into a life of service and gratitude.

  • Tony grew up in a typical middle class family where his parents worked all the time. His parents' absence very often meant that Tony had to figure things out on his own. He was naturally gifted at sports and fell in love with basketball despite being short.
  • The biggest challenge as an athlete for Tony was that he didn’t have the life skills necessary to be coachable while growing up. Tony struggled with mental health issues because of the hole in his life where he needed his parents to be.
  • Tony talks a lot about being 12 years old, which was the time in his life when he started to form his perspective on the world. His social anxiety led to self-loathing. He confessed his thoughts to his mother, but her inability to handle the situation only made things worse.
  • Tony didn’t want to be treated like he was better than other people. He had to hire a sports psychologist to help him accept that he was gifted, and beating someone in sports doesn’t mean you are better than them.
  • He ignored many teachers who tried to teach him about life when he was younger because he wasn’t ready to learn at that time. Tony’s first basketball coach was one of them.
  • Tony quit racing at 18 to take a computer networking job in San Francisco. It was at that time he started experimenting with marijuana. This process of experimentation led to an oxycontin addiction which eventually resulted in Tony being a part of an armed house invasion of his best friend’s house to steal pills.
  • Tony likens an opioid withdrawal to suffering from a flu that’s 100 times worse than usual, and you can get rid of the symptoms with a single pill.
  • Tony’s rock bottom occurred a few years later where he was strung out on heroin and meth, and his brokenness made him lose all concern for himself. The drugs that he thought were fixing his pain were killing him, and he knew that and didn’t care.
  • Tony had a spiritual experience on Jan 21, 2007 after being sentenced to prison. Tony tells people that he had been in a mental prison for 23 years, one that he created himself. Most people have created a mental prison for themselves without realizing it. While he was in jail, Tony saw a quote on the ceiling of his cell that changed his life.
  • Tony realized that his gift was given to him for a reason and he became committed to getting out of prison and making the most of it. He decided that he would commit to doing the little things well and that would lead to making the big things better.
  • Tony changed his narrative from quitting everything he ever tried to knowing that he is deserving of love and passing it on to other people. 
  • Human beings seem to be the only beings on the planet that only take and rarely give back. Tony feels like that is the source of his discontent, and he can only feel fulfilled by giving and service to others.
  • The pandemic has been challenging for Tony since he shifted so much of what he was doing to public speaking, but as long as he knows what his values are they will always lead him to where he is effective. Focusing on the house, or the car, or the wealth will always lead to an empty well.
  • Understanding your core values is important because they are the bedrock for who you are. When you fall out of alignment with those core values, that’s when things fall apart.
  • Tony views going to prison and being stuck with himself as a gift. It forced him to assess the times in his life when he felt happy and what his core values are, specifically determination, focus, compassion, and empathy.
  • Being in prison highlights what really has value in your life. It shows how valuable your time is, your ability to walk and breathe and communicate with people in a way that inspires them.
  • Tony’s definition of discipline is doing good work even when you don’t feel like it. This plays into Tony’s morning routine where it’s very regulated. One thing he focuses on in particular, is that when he’s in a vehicle he spends as much time as possible meditating.
  • Tony’s sobriety model is based in spirituality and honesty. He needs to be able to be honest with himself and others, and quiet time is how he connects with his true self. Committing to be honest with yourself is the foundation for being a better person.
  • There are many paths to sobriety. Use what works for you.
  • If you’re struggling right now, talk to somebody who knows what you want help with. Sometimes something as simple as a conversation is all that stands between you and what you want.
  • Tony’s comeback story goes to his best friend KP. KP has struggled with addiction just like Tony and has put in the work to get sober and has picked himself back up each time he fell down.

 

Mentioned in this Episode:

@tonymhoffman on Instagram 

Facebook.com/TonyHoffmanSpeaking

One Choice podcast

Tony Hoffman

Former pro BMX racer, 2016 Rio Olympic Games coach, recovery speaker

Former pro BMX racer, 2016 Rio Olympic Games coach & person in long term recovery. Tony is now the top speaker for substance abuse programs.