Ever wonder what exactly makes some people change their lives completely and just how they manage to do it? Well, it’s some of the same questions that researchers have been trying to figure out for decades.
It’s also the questions that Philip Anthony Mangan wondered about himself before making all of the positive changes in his life.
Over the past few years becoming a successful model & commercial actor, vegan activist, and a health & wellness guru.
Prior to moving to New York City in the fall of 2016 there’s a good chance you wouldn’t recognize the Philip that you see today.
Back then he had shoulder-length long hair, dressed up in costumes every night (which he says were actually the only clothes in his wardrobe) and owned a fleet of animal printed party buses in his home state of Florida.
You could easily compare his previous life to one similar to Ryan Reynold’s character from the movie Van Wilder but Philip will tell you that the movie is very pale in comparison.
“Don’t get me wrong there were a lot of fun times but overall it was just a very destructive lifestyle.”
With free drinks flowing endlessly and different events to celebrate every night of the week (whether it was someone’s birthday or just a Tuesday) Philip described it as a vicious cycle of overindulging.
During the 7 years Philip operated the business, he said he often wanted to make changes to his life but since he didn’t know exactly what to do he would constantly slip back into the toxicity.
“Every time I would finally make one small step forward I would then seem to take two steps backward.”
He then described how not seeing a clear way out led him to continue doing what he was familiar with.
This behavior not only affected his physical and mental health but also led to many problems in his personal and professional life.
Besides often feeling lazy and depressed, his relationship with his family, whomever he was dating at the time, as well as the growth of his business all suffered.
“I felt very numb inside back then and when you feel that way you just don’t really care much about anything or anyone but yourself.”
After cycling through different highs and lows for several years, Philip states the initial steps to his growth journey didn’t occur until he was able to slow down and quiet all of the noise.
He credits a big part of this to a girl he dated because of her calmer lifestyle.
“She wasn’t big into the party scene like most of the girls I dated in the past and because of that I found myself more drawn to staying in with her instead of going out and doing the same things I’d been doing for years.”
As the months passed by, Philip slowly began to notice all of the positive changes that were happening to him.
Besides being able to think more clearly and feel emotions that had been locked away for years, he also regained a sense of ambition.
“Honestly I became so much more self-aware and it made me want to start being a better man in all areas of my life.”
Fast forward to a year later, Philip found himself at a fork on his path of change when he suffered a broken heart from that exact relationship which allowed him to initially expand himself.
“I was completely devastated and couldn’t really comprehend my situation because after not feeling anything for so long, in the matter of a short year I felt both a love and a pain that I didn’t know existed.”
At that moment, Philip was forced to face reality and face it alone.
He knew he could either go back to numbing himself again or he could deal with the emotions head-on and keep pushing forward. Push forward he did but very slowly he explains:
“It sucked and the pain took a very long time to go away but honestly it was a crucial element in helping make me into the man I am today as it made me deal with my emotions and no longer suppress them.”
Over the next year, Philip started to invest more time into his personal wellness, his business, as well as into the people and things that boosted him like his family and his great Dane Tiger.
“You don’t realize how much the certain people and things you surround yourself with play an influence on you, until you separate yourself from them.” He explained
“Unfortunately, you also find the people that you previously considered friends, are nowhere to be found when you start making these changes to your life.”
During this time Philip was also faced with one of the toughest decisions he ever had to make, which was to part ways with his best friend and business partner who was impeding the growth of the business.
“I could either let this person keep dragging me and the business down, or I could cut him loose and not only survive but possibly thrive.”
Once he did, it was the company’s most successful year to date but somehow Philip found himself beginning to question his future within it.
“This business demanded a certain lifestyle and since I didn’t exactly align with that lifestyle anymore, it didn’t provide me with the fulfillment it once did.”
This is where Philip believes the next major step to his growth journey took place because it made him open his mind in a way he hadn’t before and trying to discover his purpose.
“It was both scary and exciting to think of doing something different with my life, especially after doing the same thing for so long but I was more excited than scared which helped to motivate me forward.”
From there Philip slowly started to piece together his plan and after taking a trip with some friends to New York City, Philip said he knew in his heart that’s where he was meant to be.
“I honestly had no clue what I was going to do there but that didn’t matter to me because I loved the energy and the possibilities of big city life.”
He then got to work by setting a time frame for his move and preparing his business so that he could operate it remotely.
“I set many goals in the past that didn’t work out but the thing I realized at that moment was both my mind and my heart were connected to it this time and I was willing to sacrifice completely for it.”
With an emotional connection to the change at hand, one last piece of the puzzle was inevitably completed just a few months prior to his move, he cut off his long hair that he had for the past 15 years.
“I remember my hairdresser telling me, if you can cut off your hair then you can do anything and from there I really channeled that whole mindset with everything I did.”
Armed with some newfound confidence Philip finally made the move to New York and found himself making one change after another.
Hustling his way into the modeling industry (which he says is an entirely other story in itself) to becoming a certified personal trainer and switching over to a vegan diet.
“It really wasn’t until I went vegan that I realized the last major step in making change truly possible is to simplify things so they become sustainable for you to do.’’
In doing that he then started making his own daily care products at home, vegan meals with 5 ingredients or less, and taking reusables everywhere he went, which not only saved him money but time as well.
However, simplifying things wasn’t the only realization he had from going vegan which transformed him. The more Philip learned about the plant-based lifestyle, the more he gained a deeper sense of feeling.
“It slowly began to unlock this compassion inside of me that I was blind to before and my journey then shifted from only caring about the things going on in my personal life to caring about something much greater, the planet.”
Philip credits the emotional intelligence he gained over the past few years to helping him unlock this selflessness.
He is now active in spreading the message to others using social media to teach via @the_veganmodel, doing part-time work with an environmental nonprofit Our Children’s Earth Foundation, as well as volunteering and attending events in his community that align with his beliefs.
As you can see from his story change is a timely process but Philip believes what he learned along the way can be simplified into 4 steps, which is why he created a health and wellness coaching platform called “My Fittest Hour.”
“Since I went through a lot of trial and error on my journey of change I want to now use the knowledge I gained to help save others time and energy from having to go through the same struggles I went through.”
Philip further explained how he thinks this My Fittest Hour can be especially helpful to other men since they lack the same emotional intelligence as women, but overall can be beneficial to just about anyone who wants to make changes to their life.
Wwhether it’s going vegan, losing weight, getting physically fit, changing jobs, starting a business or just having a better relationship with their wife and kids.
Lastly, Philip believes his platform is a key foundation in getting more people to care about environmental issues such as plastic pollution, factory farming, and climate change.
“I believe there is this direct correlation between our overall health and the health of our planet because until you become more mindful and connected to your personal well-being then you won’t be able to open yourself up to to care about something much greater”.