Author Charles Hanna


IdeaCity Charles HannaAuthor Charles Hanna is a Canadian success story.

But at the height of his entrepreneurial career his path took a dark turn. He slipped into depression, followed by addiction.

Then, at his very lowest point, a fluke of perception allowed him to realize that his addiction was trying to kill him.

In Higher, he describes his descent and the steps he took to discover a new path.

Then he offers his roadmap to anyone struggling with despair, lack of fulfillment, or addiction.


I was born in Alexandria, Egypt, the second child in a prosperous family.

Shortly after my birth, my elder sister died of polio.

My grief-stricken parents hired a nanny to look after me, but she was let go when I became so attached to her that I cried when my parents tried to pick me up.

Eventually, my sisters Denise and Mimi were born. Mimi and I became extremely close. But tragedy struck my family again when Mimi died at the age of three.

I was heartbroken to lose the sister I considered a soulmate, and as my family grieved, I became more and more isolated. I began to teach myself not to depend on other people.

Although my Christian parents were deeply religious, as I grew older I rejected their faith and even their culture.

My family emigrated to Canada when I was 15. To absorb the culture shock, I pursued an extensive education and became consumed with climbing the ladder of success.

And even as I succeeded in my university studies, got married, began successful businesses and rejoiced in the birth of my first daughter, I was still haunted by feelings of isolation and the belief that I couldn’t truly trust anyone.

I began experimenting with drugs to relieve my inner discomfort, and descended into cocaine addiction.

When I experienced betrayals in both my business and personal life, my emotional disconnection drove me deeper into drug use until I could not control it. I edged closer and closer to dying from my addiction.

And then, at the doors of death, a miracle happened. A trick of perception allowed me to see what I had become, and I realized that I could no longer trust my mind to make decisions that would allow my life to continue.

Thus, my recovery began.

While in treatment, I began to see life from a unique perspective. I realized that all humans, addict and non-addict alike, share a condition I call Perception Disorder.

I began to understand the critical importance of self-love. I learned to accept that there is something – call it God, Life Force, Creation – that is bigger than us.

And as I learned to work with this higher power, I discovered that we can alleviate our Perception Disorder and develop deep gratitude, purpose, fulfillment and happiness in our lives.

I gradually rebuilt my health, wealth and business and am now semi-retired. In reflecting deeply on my life experiences during the writing of Higher, I’ve become a passionate advocate of a system that helps anyone find gratitude and serenity in their lives, even if they currently feel hopeless, disconnected or unfulfilled.

I’m now writing my second book as I raise my 12-year-old daughter.


“You have a cardinal responsibility to protect and nurture yourself.”

Charles Hanna