A Heart Attack’s Teachings: Finding Your Opus with Chet Scott

Chet Scott joins us for something we don’t do very often on Gravity: a returning guest. He’s a leadership and development coach for some of the world’s most influential people. After “waking up” in 1993, he set about pursuing his life’s opus – something his organization, Built to Lead, strives to help everyone discover for themselves.

Last time he joined the show, we explored how his upbringing led him to where he is today, but we didn’t get into the personal health revolution he went through after a client convinced him that he was “skinnyfat.” Chet had been getting some bad data in health tests but was unable to figure out why. It turned out that, although you’d never know it to look at him, his relationship with sugar was causing him to have worryingly high glucose and blood pressure levels. He was pre-diabetic. In Chet’s words, he had been a sugar addict who had used the substance to self-medicate. 

Following a “skinnyfat” diagnosis, his doctors felt he needed to be on medication – his wife agreed – but Chet wanted to do things his way. The client who had been looking out for Chet’s wellbeing had convinced him of the issue by reading to him from a book, so Chet took the advice in that book and used it to turn his life around. His wife gave him 90 days before he had to take the doctors up on their plan, but at the end of that time, they had a difficult time believing Chet hadn’t taken any medication at all. His vitals weren’t just better – they were great.

Ever since then, Chet’s been an intense follower of his health regime, prioritizing core workouts and fitness plans aimed at building longevity. That’s why it was a total surprise when he suffered a heart attack in March, earlier this year. As the doctors put it, it was a one-in-a-million fluke that it happened, but it was also a one-in-a-million fluke that he survived.

This completely reframed how Chet looked at the world and, now, he’s even more focused on his life’s work than ever before. Built to Lead is still about finding our opus. As Chet puts it, everything we do is work, so we should find our labor of love and do it right.

What Brett asks:

  • [02:10] How would you describe yourself and your work?
  • [08:45] Do you think finding your identity is a life’s work?
  • [11:35] Can you tell us about the journey of health and discovery you went on after learning that you were “skinnyfat”?
  • [17:00] What happened after your health journey?
  • [27:00] Is it fair to say that your heart attack was a fluke?
  • [35:00] You decided to get straight back on the horse after your heart attack, but did you take some time to reflect and experience gratitude first?
  • [37:00] Tell me about your prayer at the hospital.
  • [42:00] How do we get to a moment of truth from our words and actions?
  • [49:20] Is there anything you’d like to get across to the audience based on your learnings?

Lessons for intentional living:

  • Chet’s story is a stark reminder that we should cherish every moment we have on Earth. In terms of health, he’s been doing everything right for over ten years, and yet a one-in-a-million fluke still nearly cost him his life. As he puts it in the episode, it only takes a minute to die, so let’s enjoy ourselves and make the most of this gift while we have it.
  • People – men in particular – can be worryingly unwilling to seek help when a medical problem arises. Chet owes his life to the fact that he was with friends who recognized the severity of his condition even though he didn’t. No one will ever be annoyed with you for seeking medical help – even if it turns out to be a false alarm. On the other hand, people will care if you neglect yourself. You know your body better than anyone, so if anything ever feels off, please remember today’s story and don’t hesitate to do something about it. Getting the all clear will make you feel so much better in the long run.