Ex-Mormon exclaimes ‘Holy S—, We’re Alive’ in new self-help book
The Daily Shifts CEO helps people find success
The title of Doug Cartwright’s book, “Holy S—, We’re Alive,” hit the ex-Mormon and former millionaire after he came down from his first psychedelic experience in 2017.
“I was experiencing the universe from a cosmic perspective, and when it brought me back into my life, I thought, ‘Holy s—, we’re alive,’” Cartwright said. “I realized things happened before I was born, things will happen after I die, and I’m here, for an average of 80 years, to have this human experience.”
The book, which will be available Aug. 10 through Amazon, recounts the Park
City-based podcaster’s journey from growing up in an affluent Salt Lake City neighborhood to attending VIP parties with celebrities like Drake and losing everything he worked for, which led him to what he calls true success and happiness.
“I was kind of raised inside a bubble,” said Cartwright, CEO of The Daily Shifts, a company and app designed to help people find mental clarity and discover inner peace. “The culture, which is very outward facing, is about how you look in the community, and what your fellow church members think of you. So everyone puts on their best face.”
Cartwright put on his best face, especially after he was constantly teased and called the “fat kid” when he was a child.
“I felt something was wrong with me, so I had to do something to prove that I was worth something,” he said. “So I became captain of the football team, student body vice president and I had a lot of friends. While I was doing everything that I was supposed to do, I later realized that I was doing this to gain validity from my peers and community.”
The first time Cartwright deviated from that cultural path was when he got sent home from a church service mission.
“There are some standards you have to live up to in order to be deemed worthy of going on a mission, and I had broken some of the rules two days before I left,” he said. “Because it would have been too embarrassing to come forward, I kept it a secret. And this shame and guilt built so heavily on me. So after nine months out, I confessed that I hadn’t lived up to the standards, and was sent home. It was the first time I felt like I’d tarnished my reputation.”
Back in Utah, Cartwright left the church and found validation in his work.
“I found door-to-door sales with Vivint Solar, and found an incredible mentor, Casey Lund, who instilled personal development and leadership qualities in me,” he said.
Under Lund’s care, Cartwright started making money.
“I was 21 and made almost $300,000 in one summer, and when I was 23, 24 and 25, I made almost $2 million,” he said. “Life was good, because I was getting that validation that I had been seeking all my life.”
But the validation didn’t last, even though Cartwright had the $100,000 car, attended Super Bowls, World Series and NBA Finals.
“I was dating Miss Oklahoma, going to VIP events and flying first class around the world,” he said. “Even though I was doing everything I wanted, I felt miserable.”
Cartwright calls what he felt “Success Void” in his book.
“I realized that I was using these external materials to fill the inside void, and I felt really lost because of it,” he said. “The advice I was given to help make me feel better was to go make more money, but I didn’t think that was the answer, because I had money.”
As he looked for answers and solutions, Cartwright began yoga and meditation.
“That resonated with me, and lowered the existential crisis I was going through,” he said. “Then I started coming across articles and books that talked about psychedelic compounds. And what I was reading went against everything my community in the East Bench taught, which was that every drug is meth and you will get addicted and die. So, I started studying these compounds, and I felt my body vibrating. It was like my soul was on fire.”
Two weeks after being exposed to this information, Cartwright indulged in his first “trip.”
“I was at an event and someone offered me some psychedelics,” he said. “Usually 99% of the time I would have said no, but on June 10, 2017, I had my first psychedelic experience and it shattered my constructs of reality into confetti. It left me raw and vulnerable to the concepts of reality that I became a deep student of the universe and seeker.”
Cartwright embarked on a two-year adventure traveling across the world, meeting spiritual gurus and psychologists, and experimenting with different forms of healing to find the meaning of success and happiness.
“I think definitions are so personal, but in my eyes you know you’re successful when you’re content where you are, eager to see what the future holds, but not in a hurry to get there,” he said. “I see people who are restless, who are never satisfied or fulfilled, because they are always seeking.”
In the book, Cartwright calls that restlessness the “Happy ‘When’ Syndrome.”
“It’s about those people who say they will be happy when they get that new job, lose the weight, get out of debt, find a new partner and things like that,” he said. “They are always looking for something that’s always just around the corner.”
Cartwright hopes his book will help people become self aware, and find their own happiness.
“Many people try to manipulate the outside world or the people around them in order to feel OK, but the true happiness in self awareness is managing your emotions,” he said. “There is also a common misconception that becoming self-aware will automatically make your problems go away, but that’s not true. Self-awareness makes it so you’re OK with your problems. And becoming self-aware doesn’t mean you’re happy all the time. It just means you’re OK with what you’re feeling, even if it’s grief.”
Cartwright also hopes his book will empower people to live their lives the way they want, without waiting for permission to do so.
“In the book, I say, ‘self-love is a superpower,’” he said. “If you fill the inner void with self-love, you will no longer need external validation, and that will give you the confidence to be the most authentic version of yourself.”
Doug Cartwright’s “Holy S—, We’re Alive” can be ordered at Amazon (amzn.to/2U3f8mq). For information, visit Cartwright’s social media accounts @doug_cartwright.
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