Episode 076: Positivity Exists Everywhere

When I was 11 I moved from Ohio to Massachusetts. After moving, my (already low) confidence and introverted personality grew at scale. I become even less confident in myself, continued to not develop self-esteem, and became more introverted. One of the reasons? I had serious body image issues. I was overweight. As a result, I was slow, bad at sports, and in general, didn’t fit in. Like so many others, I found solace in food, being alone, and taking no risks at all. Concerns about body image turned into depression, which took a toll on me for years.

When I was 26, on August 27, 2011, my son, Hunter, was born. Following his birth, my wife fell deeply into a combination of worst case postpartum depression, anxiety, and panic disorder. This forced me to be a single dad with my first child. In general, I changed all the diapers, fed him every bottle, read him every book, sang him to sleep, and did every other “first” with him for those first few months of his life. My wife wanted nothing to do with him.

Besides the obvious, what do these two situations have in common? They were both horrible and quite honestly, I don’t want anyone to have to undergo either one of them. What they have in common is opportunity for something great to come as a result.

I know you’re probably wondering how something great could come from someone being horribly depressed. Both of these situations presented positive experiences, and I unknowingly captured them.

Out of myself being depressed as a result of body image issues, I became introverted. As a result of being introverted, I found myself gravitating to a girl who was also pretty quiet and, in her own way, introverted. As a result of those things happening, we ended up really hitting it off and she is now my wife and mother of my son. We have been together for 16 years.

Out of my wife experiencing postpartum depression, anxiety and panic issues I learned what it takes to really be a man. Do I consider myself the manliest guy in the world? Certainly not. I do know this though – prior to this situation, I never knew what it meant to have to step up and completely ignore my wants and needs in order to take care of someone else. Once I experienced this, I realized what it takes to put someone else completely before you and literally focus 100% on them instead of yourself. If I never experienced this, I never would have developed this perspective and understanding.

These two experiences, which were horrible, also helped me understand what I really want to do. My mission has shifted to helping develop treatments and approaches to helping research mental health issues, specifically among kids. This is an area that is a passion of mine, and is very close to home. I want to help, I believe I can help, and now I understand that I need to help. I feel that it is my responsibility now to pursue this and take it as far as I can go, and I know I never would have felt this calling if I didn’t undergo those experiences previously in my life.

Positivity exists everywhere. It may be impossible to see sometimes, but it is always present.

Episode 075: SSDD and All That Nonsense

It’s Monday. You wake up, you go through your morning routine, which concludes with you driving (or commuting) to work. You get out, dreading the fact that you have to endure another day with people you can’t stand while doing a job you get no fulfillment from. About 10 seconds after you walk through the door, someone looks over and says “hey, how was your weekend?”. Your response…”eh…same shit different day”.

Is this you? Or better yet, is this the response that you get from others when YOU ask them how their weekend was?

This is a true sign of someone that is getting no satisfaction or fulfillment from what they’re doing on a daily basis. This type of response is akin to anything that would be comparable to seeing the glass “half empty”. I know that you know people who talk like this on a routine basis. Maybe it’s you. Maybe it’s your Father. Maybe it’s your best friend. Ask yourself: do you see any value in these types of responses when people say “hello, how’s it going?” on a Monday morning:

1) Eh…same shit, different day (or “SSDD” for short, and yes, I’ve heard people say that out loud)
2) Another day in paradise…
3) Is it Friday yet?
4) Living the dream…

There is ZERO value in that. Talking like that, people may as well be saying “my life sucks, and I want yours to suck too so I’m going to pour all my negativity out at you”.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand when people try to reel me in to their miserable life by saying stuff like that. I’ve developed the ability to steer clear of it and deflect it. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t encounter it AND become affected by it from time to time. I’d be lying if I said I was immune to it. We are all affected by our surroundings, now matter how strong our defenses are. That is an artifact of being human.

We don’t have the ability to change what happens to us (in general), because we can’t control the universe. What we can control is our attitude, our mindset, our perspective and our outward energy and emotion. Do you know what happens when you outwardly express positivity, even on those days when you’re really not having it and don’t feel like being positive? You influence your surroundings. You make someone else’s day better. You release negativity in a way that lessens your own tension. You begin to force your day to get better. It isn’t easy, and it does take practice. That being said, it is real.

This podcast airs on Tuesday, September 26, 2017. If someone asks you how your day is going and all you can think about is the upcoming weekend…take an extra second before you respond with something that is going to bring zero value to that interaction.

Gordon

Episode 074: Interview with Matisyahu Goren

Who do you surround yourself with? Are they beneficial to your mission by being around you or not? This is one of the things I believe has the biggest impact on why people succeed or don’t. We are creatures of adaptation, including who is around us.

I have been in and out of masterminds for some time now. Included in these are both paid and unpaid masterminds. Within one of those unpaid masterminds is where I’ve received the most value AND met some incredible people – one of which is today’s guest: Matisyahu Goren.

Matisyahu is an entrepreneur, father, husband, high level basketball skills coach (D1 + NBA), podcaster, is heavily involved in the Jewish community, and all around great dude. He runs a brand/cultural community called The Long Short Way, primarily targeting the Jewish community.

Matisyahu definitely has a lot to say, but it is all very valuable. One of the biggest things he recommends in this podcast for people trying to figure themselves out and find their way is simply reading more books, of which he recommends several. One that we share in common is Expert Secrets by Russell Brunson.

Connect with Matisyahu:

Facebook
Email

Episode 073: Establishing & Maintaining Your Vision

Have you ever had a thought about doing something that you got really excited about and then after a short period of time (hours, days, weeks, months) you moved on from it because you thought it wasn’t attainable, or it would be too difficult, or people would judge you, or it wasn’t “practical”? Have you regretted not following through with that vision, even a little bit? Wondering what it might have been able to turn into?

This is a major problem that a lot of people deal with – they have amazing thoughts that manifest visions, and those visions seem crystal clear and ultra attainable until they start to doubt themselves. Or even worse, when others start to doubt them instead, and results in that person not taking action towards their goals.

This podcast episode is all about establishing and maintaining your vision. Establishing the vision is the “easy” part, but maintaining it seems to the part where most people have issues. Also, I’ve found that the majority of the time when people lose their ability to believe in themselves and their vision, it’s the result of being around others who don’t believe in them.

Take one second and think about why another person would put down YOUR vision, and try to snuff it out before you begin trying to build something. Why does that other person care? Chances are, it’s because they’re full of negativity and have low self esteem with their accomplishments. Maybe they’re jealous. Maybe they’re boring and miserable and they want someone else to join them in that struggle. Whatever the reason, it’s your job as a dreamer and someone with a vision to pursue that vision and make it a reality. To do that, you need to stay focused on it 100% of the time.

It’s very easy to get distracted OR to get discouraged when people tell you that you can’t do something. The good news? They aren’t you. You are you. Because of this, you have total control over how focused you remain. Can you keep your crosshairs on the objective and drive towards that every day? Yes you can. If you do that, you will be able to reach that goal.

Visualize what you want, remain focused at all times, and don’t let negative influences affect you.

Episode 072: The Importance of Mentors

I often have wondered why people don’t like the idea of having a coach for something. A mentor is essentially a coach, after all. I truly believe that people KNOW the importance of having a good coach or mentor, but they don’t want to utilize one for a variety of reasons. Throughout my interviews of many people (and discussions with many more), the reasons that seem to come up time and time again are:

1) People don’t want to answer to others
2) People don’t want someone else to hold them accountable
3) People don’t know where to find a mentor
4) People don’t know what their mentor’s skillset should be
5) People don’t want to pay for a mentor/coach

There are others, but those are the most common from what I can tell. I’ve dissected each of these myself on my own time and can honestly resonate with each one of them. There are aspects to having a coach or mentor that is unsettling (or downright annoying). That doesn’t mean it’s not going to beneficial.

We do spend the first 18-24 years of our lives going to school. We have our parents barking orders at us, telling us what to do, making sure we don’t screw up too bad, etc. Then when we are at school we have teachers, teaching aides, professors, etc, telling us what to do and giving us assignments. Then as a teenager (or maybe earlier for some of you), you have a job – the person who employs you may tell you what to do, order you around, hold you to a schedule, give you responsibility, etc. All of this structure, year after year, tends to build a resentment towards others holding us accountable for things or telling us what to do. This also forms an anti-teacher or anti-coach mentality. So not only do we not want a teacher, coach, or mentor in our lives…we sure as hell won’t pay money for it. Instead, we’ll “figure it out” on our own, right?

Here’s the truth – business is hard. Fitness is hard. Parenting is hard. Doing anything great is HARD. Not impossible, but difficult. What makes it even MORE possible and LESS difficult? Having a coach or mentor who has experience and can help you avoid the pitfalls. Why make the same mistake that someone else has made, and possibly cost yourself a lot of time, money, progress, etc? A lot of mistakes could be easily avoided by having someone in your life helping guide you along the way – you will still make mistakes, but the major catastrophes can be avoided. What’s more, you could end up in a situation with a coach where you are always on the right path, even if you DO make mistakes, you are making mistakes while progressing. What a concept 🙂

Don’t underestimate the power of a coach or mentor, or even a mastermind. All of these things exist to help you. Do your research, weed out the bad ones, and find one that is appropriately fitting to you and your situation. You won’t regret it.

Episode 071: LOVE That You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

When you embark on something new, you don’t know how to do it. You also don’t know all of the little details that you’re eventually going to NEED to know how to do in order to make it work. I talk about figuring out the unknown a lot on this podcast, but the reality is, that’s the second part of the equation. The first part, is figuring out WHAT you need to figure out. There’s certainly no blueprint for either one of those – you must learn it as you go. The best part is, that is actually your STRENGTH.

By not understanding exactly what you need to do in order to crush your goals, you can dive in head first and not be paralyzed by the fear of the giant monster waiting to kill you as soon as you step through the door. Instead, you open the door, realize there’s a giant monster waiting to kill you, and you dodge the attack, find something sharp and stab it to death and move on. If you know the monster was there, you wouldn’t have opened the door in the first place. Unfortunately, to get where you want to go, you have to go through the door. Aren’t you glad you didn’t even know the monster was there, so you couldn’t generate the fear to keep you away?

Not knowing what lies ahead as far as challenges is your biggest strength. As you move on, you will get better and better at anticipating the TYPE of challenge that is before you, but you’ll still never truly know what’s there. What’s more, is that you just get more gritty and tough as you go on, so any challenge is able to be defeated in your mind, and therefore, able to be defeated in reality.

There is no blueprint – embrace that you don’t know anything about where you’re going, and use that to your advantage.

Gordon