Fresh Blood Podcast Episode Guest - Michael Ward

Michael shares the importance of defining your own ideal life, overcoming personal stories and finally finding that purpose that fulfills and going after it in his 40’s.

Michael Ward has spent the past 20 years working in the media and broadcast industry moving up in a variety of sales and business development roles. He now leads high level client strategy on media campaigns while mentoring junior staff. Michael has also become a Life Coach, having the courage in his 40’s to start chasing after his own dreams and finding that thing that truly lights him up.


Michael Ward – Broadcast Sales/Business Development and Life Coach

Jolie: [00:00:00] Today we are speaking with Michael Ward. Michael has spent the past 20 years working in the media and broadcast industry. Moving up in a variety of sales and business development roles. He now leads high level client strategy on media campaigns while mentoring junior staff, Michael has also become a life coach having the courage in his forties to start chasing after his own dreams and finding that thing that truly lights him up. I can't wait to hear more. Michael, thank you for joining us on fresh blood. Could you tell us a little more about your story and your path to getting where you

[00:00:38] Michael Ward: [00:00:38] Yeah, definitely. Thank you for having me. I'm really excited to be on and to share my story and my journey. I grew up in the Bay area in Northern California. Just South of Oakland little town called San Leandro is very much a blue collar town. The people that were making a lot of money.

[00:00:52] We were like foreman and whatnot. There wasn't a ton of, white collar workers. And my life growing up was a bit of a mixed bag. My mom passed away when I was really young, around six years old. My dad remarried a few years later. So I got a stepbrother and his stepsister and just in my family, We, I had two brothers and three sisters and there wasn't one of us from the same two parents.

[00:01:13] It was just that's the way it was. So lot of different personalities, a lot of different people and it was just a really cool dynamic in a way, but also a troubling dynamic at certain points. And, growing up, I didn't have the best relationship with, yeah, I didn't have the. The best relationship with my step-mom and she just, wasn't very nice.

[00:01:31] And I can look back now and see that I was very much a part of that as she was, but at the time it was tough and, I just had this desire in me from a very young age to, to get away. Like I didn't like being around my family. I didn't like her. And I was going to show them that I didn't need them and I was going to be successful.

[00:01:50] And that drove me to do well in school to seek out opportunities to develop extracurricular activities and sports and volunteer work and put myself in college. My dream was always to be rich, like I wanted to have money because I didn't grow up with the time I wanted to be able to do all of the things in life that I dreamed of, that I wasn't able to do.

[00:02:10] And I always pictured myself, having that corner office and like the, all the accolades and perceived freedom that money would bring. And, I put myself through college, I went to San Francisco state and then, yeah.

[00:02:24] Jolie: [00:02:24] You put yourself through fantastic.

[00:02:26] Michael Ward: [00:02:26] It was n ot my first choice, but it was one that I could afford to put myself through.

[00:02:30] And, still was one of the top radio and television schools, which is what I studied. And as chance would have it, one of the guest speakers in the class when I was a senior actually became my first boss, I graduated and emailed and called him once a week and faxed him as it was back in the time of fax machines, my resume once a week.

[00:02:49] And after three months, he finally called me and told me to leave him alone and referred me to HR. And I was so excited. I got a call back. I was like, I didn't care that he was mad. I was like, I got a call back. And then talking with HR, he, it turned out, he had just promoted as assistant and it was like, Oh, you're the kid that's been bugging me.

[00:03:06] Let me bring you in. And I started my career as a media assistant media buyer in San Francisco. And my career has progressed since then. I've been in the media industry for 20 plus years. That was January of 2000. So it just at the millennium turn and I've handled multiple roles.

[00:03:23] I've bounced around in my career. I've went to San Francisco to Santa Barbara, to Tucson, to Sacramento, to LA, and throughout that journey, it's been, advertising, buying, strategy, client service, and then over to the sales side where I was a local salesperson and dealing with local businesses, dealing with ad agencies, placing media in the market.

[00:03:43] Then I got into sales management and business development roles, as well as working in Spanish language realm. So really run the gamut. But I see now, like the whole time I would do three years, four years at a job, maybe, anywhere from one to four years, if you look at my resume and I would get bored, I would feel like, all right, this is all there is, let me look for something else and try something else because I wanted to continue challenged.

[00:04:06] And and also progressed both as far as title and income and all that stuff goes that's.

[00:04:13] Jolie: [00:04:13] Yeah. Okay. There's so much here. I'm so asking you with already, first off the difficulties you had when you were young and how that drove you, because a lot of times difficulties when people are young, it can take a different form and go in the opposite direction. I'm wondering if there's anything that you can pinpoint that helped you take that right path, or if it was something inside of you, do you think.

[00:04:35] Michael Ward: [00:04:35] I think that it was something inside of me. I. My mom passing away impacted me dramatically in ways that I had no idea about. I was just too young to understand. And it took me years and years of therapy and introspection and things like that to really start to understand the full impact.

[00:04:52] And I don't even know that I do to this day, but my relationship with my step-mom really drove me to not want to be around my house and seek out my friends, but. No matter what, even if she was putting me down, I never let her criticism of me or her idea of who I was and what I was going to become, impact what I thought and what I felt.

[00:05:12] And that's that, I think that was a blessing in disguise because it really helped me to solidify and own who I was going to be and not let anybody else tell me what I was worth, what I was capable of and what I could do with my life. I was going to show them. Didn't matter who them was. I was going to show them, Hey, this is who I am and this is what I'm going to do.

[00:05:35] And if you don't believe me, just watch me.

[00:05:37]Jolie: [00:05:37] Yes, I think that's fantastic. I love it. And how you got your first job. I just wanted to comment on that because it was brilliant. And really it's a great lesson for so many people. Persistence pays off. It really does because this is how you're successful in life.

[00:05:52] No matter what you do, you're going to have to be persistent at whatever it is that you're going to be doing. So I think that's fantastic. Now I interrupted you a little bit there. Cause you were saying that you were getting bored and with your different jobs. And I feel like you're coming to realization there.

[00:06:04] So did something happen with that realization that changed something for you?

[00:06:08]Michael Ward: [00:06:08] Recently. Yeah, absolutely. I've progressed in my career continuously making more money. Growing as far as roles and responsibilities, leveraging my experience to be able to take on, large clients and work at higher capacities. But ultimately everything that I had always done was revolved around money and I thought money was going to make me happy.

[00:06:29] Money was going to allow me to enjoy these experiences. Money was going to give me the freedom to do the things that I loved, but ultimately what happened is I got to a position in my career where. I was making what I considered to be really good money. I was comfortable. I was able to pay my bills.

[00:06:46] I still had plenty to left over, to do what I wanted with. And I wasn't in love with the work. And I was, it was taking all of my time. I was working extraordinary hours. I am working extraordinary hours and doing things that, that are. That don't necessarily align with what I enjoy or what I want to do.

[00:07:06] A lot of analysis, a lot of dry sitting in front of a computer. And, sitting in front of a computer and doing an analysis. Doesn't light me up and. I've always been a fan of, in the personal development space and I wanted to do something different.

[00:07:18] I've always had this vision of doing bigger things. want to do my own podcast. I want to be on stages, speaking to people. I want to impact lives. And I had no idea how to do that. And I've never given myself permission to explore that. And that's what I've done over the last few years is really start to shift my mindset around, Hey, what can I do?

[00:07:36] What is possible? And really start to evaluate my, what my beliefs have been. And look at things from a different perspective and realize those were limiting beliefs and every everything that I've done until now has been based on what I see as possible. And now I'm able to start breaking down those barriers with some techniques that I've learned and just, different experiences that really helped me to see what's possible and the actions I need to take in order to make those things reality.

[00:08:02]Jolie: [00:08:02] That's I love that. You said you gave yourself permission to look at these possibilities. I think that's really key because we do hold ourselves back and it is giving yourself permission to say these possibilities, they are there for me. They can be there for me. So now, what do you feel has been key for you on your path to success?

[00:08:32] Michael Ward: [00:08:32] I think having that persistence is definitely part of it. I've always had that inner drive to be successful and not really, I would never let anyone else's opinion or idea of what was possible limit me if they didn't believe In the L they, if they didn't see me, the way that I saw myself, I knew that it was going to be a short term fit, but whatever their ideas were, I wouldn't accept.

[00:08:57] I only would accept my own or ones that were even greater than what I had. And I think that as a result helped me to really. Shield myself from a lot of naysayers, and and just the persistence, I was not going to let up. I was going to keep going, no matter how many times I fell, no matter how many mistakes I made and how many holes I dug myself in, which were plenty, I was always just going to keep going.

[00:09:21] And that was again, going back to the question earlier, that was the persistence that I'd learned as a kid through those resentment times and all that stuff, it's just look. It's going to be hard and sometimes you're going to need to have inner resolve. That's the only way it's going to get done.

[00:09:34]Jolie: [00:09:34] Yeah, no, it's so true. And that. That persistence, that inner resolve that you were able to push forward with during those times of stress, I really it's I know it was a struggle during those times, but what you came out of, it was a gift. And honestly, it's a gift that I wish I could give everybody because for you to be able to own your own self and not let the naysayers or anyone with a negative opinion or a lower opinion impact you, that's amazing.

[00:10:05] And that's something that, that really such a large population we're working towards. So I think it's and it's something that everyone should take away from that. That's the goal.

[00:10:13] mike-ward_recording-1_2021-04-15--t07-05-50pm--michael-t_-ward: [00:10:13] And

[00:10:13] Michael Ward: [00:10:13] one thing there's, if I can add to that one, one thing that's really helped me is as I've shared this with other people and tried to explain to them how they can do it, if you don't respect the person that is providing that opinion and value, that opinion don't listen to it. Don't, like, how are, if they're not doing something that you want to be doing, if they don't have experience or have shown success in that field or that area then how can they possibly speak to ? To it, or to your ability to achieve that. You need to be able to look at them. I don't even respect you as a person.

[00:10:49] I don't respect what you've done. I don't respect your experience. Why would I let that opinion impact me? But if you're looking at someone who's got a proven track record who you value their opinion and the opinion is it could be critical, but it's also coming from a good place. You can take that and build on it and see, all right.

[00:11:05] Yeah, there, there is some holes in my game that I can improve on. Let me improve upon those because I value that feedback. And it really depends on the person.

[00:11:14]Jolie: [00:11:14] Nice. Very good advice. So what would you say is your one or two of your greatest successes in life at this point? And what did you learn from

[00:11:23]Michael Ward: [00:11:23] I think first and foremost, the biggest success, I think from a broad perspective, from a personal perspective, I think my greatest success has come from, being with my wife for 10 years and us raising a family and With all relationships, you go through trials and tribulations.

[00:11:38] We've had our we haven't had our fair share. Our first child together was special needs, his special needs, and which creates a myriad of challenges. She had a son prior to getting the relationship. So there's a family dynamic there that's, triggers a lot of emotions for me being a step-parent of my own now and having experience a step.

[00:11:55] But outside of that from a business perspective, I think my greatest accomplishment is is just come lately in my shift in mindset. And my, the having the courage to step outside of what I've done for 20 plus years to begin forging a new path, to being open to it, to leaning into that discomfort, there is an extreme amount of unfamiliarity, which creates that discomfort and just embracing that process.

[00:12:22] I am so 2020 was a complete shit show for. Damn near everybody. And I consider it one of the greatest years of my life because of the leaps and bounds that, that I was able to make it just in terms of my mindset. What I think is possible. Being able to start developing coaching programs, impacting the lives of others, and then taking what I've known through

[00:12:45] knowledge gain or experience and being able to impart that on someone else to help them improve their situation, improve their perspective and improve the direction of their life. That to me has been amazing. It's finding that thing finally at 44 years old that I am truly passionate about. Okay.

[00:13:03]Jolie: [00:13:03] Oh, it's inspiring. I can. And you can see how it lights you up and gets you excited. It's wonderful. And that's what that's my hope for everyone is to, if they're not already doing that is to be able to find that because that's what we all deserve. We spend.

[00:13:16]We spend our lives doing work.

[00:13:19] My, my wish is that we can find that thing that lights you up. So that's fantastic. Now, what about you?

[00:13:25]Michael Ward: [00:13:25] The reason hide my coaching. That's the goal of my coaching is to be able to help people to understand not only like where they're at and why they're struggling, but give them permission, like to break down those limiting beliefs, understand what those are, how to retell those stories to where they're empowering and not.

[00:13:40] Taking them or limiting them and help them to see, Hey, this is what you want. It is possible. These are the steps you need to take. This is the way that you retell those stories that have been holding you back to where they can actually push you forward and allow them, give them the permission to be able to step into that and be able to walk that path.

[00:13:58]Obviously where they're at, where they want to be to walk that bridge with absolute fearlessness and conviction. And that's basically the entire drive behind my coaching programs.

[00:14:09] Jolie: [00:14:09] No. That's great. I think it's fantastic. And now what about the flip side of this process? What would it, what about a time that you failed had a big challenge or obstacle and what you learned

[00:14:19] Michael Ward: [00:14:19] Yeah. So I think I mentioned this to you earlier. I think my whole twenties decade was just a myriad of mistakes. Fueled. I knew at 21 years old, I remember standing in my roommate's doorway with a 40 ounce of beer. And I remember telling him, this is my poison. If I'm never going to achieve what I want in my life, it is because of alcohol.

[00:14:41] And I knew it at that age, but I didn't quit for nine years. I progressed in my career. I got different job opportunities and all that stuff, but I was barely holding it together. Alcoholism was. In and through my life, everything revolved around it. And I was just this constant battle of build burn.

[00:14:59] I couldn't generate any consistency. And I had no idea really the impact that it was having until I stopped drinking. But. I think that, that created so many obstacles for me and exasperated. So many of the resentments and the emotional trauma that I hadn't dealt with yet, I just had an emotional maturity of about a 15 year old and here I was a 29 year old man trying to hold it together, and on the outside it looked like everything was fine, you get into my bank account, you see the credit card debt and living check to check and, things weren't as good and definitely. Inside, I got to the point where, I was battling suicidal thoughts and and just bringing a lot of bullshit to other people, particularly my family, that really was the impetus of me making a different change, making it a change in direction and deciding to get sober.

[00:15:52]Jolie: [00:15:52] something with your family? Was there like a moment or was there a moment that happened?

[00:15:58] Michael Ward: [00:15:58] Yes. Yeah. I came out at very last though. I'm share. One of the things that I've learned through going through the 12 steps in AA and was that I'm not interested in shutting the door on my past. My past experience can benefit others and they can hear a, I was there or I am there and this dude got out of it.

[00:16:14] How did he do it? And if you're in that boat and you're listening to this. Reach out, I'm happy to help. But yeah, it was, I came out of a blackout. It was my niece's birthday party. I was 30 years old. I'd been in and out of AA for about a year. And then I had just stopped going for about nine months and everything went downhill pretty fast.

[00:16:31] And I was at my niece's birthday party. I had been drinking all night. Think till five in the morning, then started drinking at noon that day and sometime around two in the morning after the bars closed. I came out of a blackout. I was fist fighting my brother on my parents' front lawn. I'm a third year old man.

[00:16:45] I'm fighting my 32 year old brother. My step-mom's on the porch, yelling at me to get inside for my brother to stop beating me up. I have no idea what's happening. I come out of the blackout of flying through the air and I hear the yelling. I'm like, what the heck I wake up in the morning. And, when I'm going into a house and my step-mom's yelling at me and my brother's yelling at me, my niece and nephew are sitting on the couch bed in the living room and they're sitting up and, there may be 10 years old and five years old and they're freaked out, like what the heck is going on?

[00:17:11] What's all this yelling about why is Michael so angry and storming in the house? And why is grandma yelling? And I don't. I was present enough to see the look on their faces and the sheer fear. And I woke up the next day and said this is getting too close to my family. I didn't have the self love at that point to care what I was what it was doing to me, but I didn't want to bring it to my family.

[00:17:32] I didn't want to bring it to the other, like I figured, like they got enough to worry about they don't, they shouldn't have to worry about me, but I woke up that next morning and I, and I. Sat on a couch. And my dad's what happened? And I was like, I have no idea. I don't know why we were fighting. I don't know, whatever I was all scratched up and, whatever.

[00:17:47] And and I said, I got to go back and he's you got to go back where, so I got to go back to AA. And for me, my dad's always been my hero since my mom passed away. He and I had been super, super close and I may has been made as well, been talking to God himself, as much as I Revere my dad and telling him that.

[00:18:03] And that was it. That was the moment I was done. And I did go back to AA. He's does it help? And I said, yeah, it helps a lot. And that was the start of my journey. That was the last day I drank September six, 2000 no, September 17th, 2006.

[00:18:15] Jolie: [00:18:15] And for you, Congratulations. I think it's fantastic. And it's very, you have a lot of insight into yourself, very astute insight to yourself I find, especially, just the fact that you can realize that you didn't have that self love for yourself. And that's so true. I Really it's sad what a large percentage of the population doesn't have self love for themselves.

[00:18:35] And so how did that come for you finding that

[00:18:37] Michael Ward: [00:18:37] Yeah. I was already seeing a therapist before I got in to AA and continued to see her and then through the 12 steps and really starting to build my self-confidence, one of the 12th step is to give back to others. What's freely been given to you be of service. You know what I mean?

[00:18:54] Seek out people that may need your help. And I was. I realized that doing these esteemable acts being of service, and being accountable and doing what I said, I was going to do all the time consistently, no one could take those for me. And I started to realize that, Hey, I made bad choices, but I am not a bad person.

[00:19:14] And I do deserve love. And yet my mom, wasn't there to give that to me. So I may not really understand what that is, but I deserve it and I can seek it out and I can start start getting it by giving it to myself. You know what I mean? And when I'm not out there doing this shameful behavior or doing these things that are creating problems or messing up, my finances is a lot easier to start having some consistent behavior.

[00:19:38] That's actually empowering and helped me to develop that sense of self that I can be proud of and and giving myself permission to love myself and I also realized that our outsides oftentimes reflect our insides and what we attract to our life is a direct reflection of what we carry inside.

[00:19:55] And if I want it to find true love, that was always, my goal is to love and be loved. I needed to love my self, so then I could attract it and find my match.

[00:20:05] Jolie: [00:20:05] Isn't that a truth bomb Boom. And a big shout out to AA. You know what thank you AA, because I've seen it transform many people personally in my life, and I've talked to countless people, both in recruiting and on this podcast that has just transformed their lives. So thank you AA. Now.

[00:20:24]I asked us somewhat of version, but I'm curious, what do you think is key or most important to continued success through life?

[00:20:30] Michael Ward: [00:20:30] Yeah, I've found personally that I think that everyone should constantly be curious and always want to be learning. And not so much as Oh, I got to learn this or this information is being forced on me, but truly have this sense of curiosity.

[00:20:44] Because when you got that curiosity, you get excited to learn new things, it makes it fun and you get to bring in your imagination and this youthful exuberance starts to take over and you could dive into these new technologies and see how it helps you to connect. And it makes it fun, and I think that's a big part of it is constantly being curious, constantly be learning.

[00:21:04]And then. Always go back to, what is your own personal definition of success for me for a long time, it was me money make money. And granted, I still want to make money now that has not changed, but in my opinion, now money is going to be a by-product of the impact that I'm going to make. You know what I mean?

[00:21:23] And so if I can focus my passion and my joy and my experiences into this direction of coaching and helping people and sharing my experience, my story and what I've learned and that's going to dramatically help other people. I'm going to create a following and I will, income will be a by-product, but when you define success for yourself and it's different for all of us, then it's easy to continually have that curiosity continued to develop and evolve and be able to lean into those unfamiliar dis unfamiliar and uncomfortable situations, because as you learn

[00:22:00] you're out of your comfort zone. It's going to be uncomfortable, too many people don't lean into that, and it's wood shaver or a saw, you don't want to just dive into it and get all cut up, but if you just lean into it and it can shape you and help you, and eventually you're how you're supposed to be or how you want to be.

[00:22:18] But it's it's just a constant lean in process.

[00:22:22]Jolie: [00:22:22] Yeah, the unfamiliar thing is big because it, anything that you do, new anything new is going to be unfamiliar and our brains are naturally attracted to the familiar. So we just, even if it's not good for us, we're just, we're going to tend to go that way. So we have to become comfortable putting ourselves in that unfamiliar because all it takes is a little time and persistence and that unfamiliar.

[00:22:47] Becomes familiar.

[00:22:48] Michael Ward: [00:22:48] Yep. And, that's so true from an emotional perspective. And this is something that I've realized recently. I've I fell into this dark place even just a month ago. lot of stuff was happening with both work and at home. And I just, typically very positive and optimistic person fell into a dark place.

[00:23:05] And that's because it was comfortable for me. I was so familiar. I had spent years in that place for so long that when I fell back in there, it's like, Oh, this is my home. This is where I go to. When I'm in these uncomfortable, dark times, I fall back here and I wasn't comfortable like I used to be as like, I'm here because

[00:23:23] it's known and it's familiar, but I also know from my experience that it's not healthy and I shouldn't stay here longer and I have to practice the things that I've learned in order to get out of there faster. But there is an emotional home, again, like you said, it may not be good. Good for you, but because it's familiar, that's where we default to.

[00:23:41] And we gotta be aware of that. Obviously in real life situations it's applicable at the same, but it's definitely, there's an intense internal aspect to that.

[00:23:50] And the analogy I use on the the uncomfortable thing is that it's like riding a bike, you either do, or you don't, you can get on the bike and the first time you do it, you're unfamiliar. You don't have to do it. And you probably ride right into the street sign or a parked car. But after a while, you're going to be able to ride a straight line and then continuing to do it even more. You're eventually going to be doing jumps and riding no hands and all that stuff, but there's a process and the same could be applied to anything new that you're doing.

[00:24:14] Don't try, trying, will give you an easy way out. Oh, I tried it done. You either do. Or you don't do, but when you do it, you may not do it as well as you want, but you're doing it. And that experience is so much more valuable than waiting until you're ready. I'm ready to ride the bike now. No, you still got to try you still going to ride it in the truck or the pole.

[00:24:33] You just gotta do it more often.

[00:24:38] Jolie: [00:24:38] And I love the analogy, cause I have a picture of myself riding in circles. That's how I learned it. Took me a long time to straighten

[00:24:44] Michael Ward: [00:24:44] my first time my dad let go of the bike. I went straight into the side of his truck.

[00:24:49]Jolie: [00:24:49] He loved that.

[00:24:56] Okay. Here's a fun question. Do you have any regrets?

[00:25:03] Michael Ward: [00:25:03] that's a tough one because I don't like to say that I have any regrets. Let me see. So there's different trips I could have gone on that I passed on, but I wish that I would've learned about finance, investing assets versus liabilities at a much younger age. And I regret following what I considered the traditional path. Most of all, I'm 40. Now I'm finally understanding what lights me up and trying to develop this exit path, no matter how long it takes to go do something that I'm truly passionate about while maintaining my current position and making sure that I'm delivering and serving my clients and my employer.

[00:25:43] But I wish that I would have taken the time to understand what success meant to me and how I could implement a life that would lead towards that success instead of following the quote unquote traditional path, go to get good grades in school, go to college, get a job and, work your way up the ladder to get that success to me, success meant money and

[00:26:06] again, now having this shift in perspective, I can see now that if I'm passionate about something and I'm loving what I'm doing, the money will come and there'll be a nice by-product but I'll be happy every day. I won't be going to work, hating my job, looking for the weekend. I'll be able to dive in and love everything I'm doing all the time.

[00:26:24] And then the weekend is just gravy. And when you really feel like you're serving a purpose and something big, bigger than yourself and you're helping others, man. I wish I would have given myself permission or had the awareness to even start to consider something like that at a younger age.

[00:26:41]If I would have been able to do that in my teens or my twenties and quit, I think that man, my life would take on a different form. All that being said. I am absolutely 100% happy with my station in life at the moment. And I think that I'm in a great place. I don't want to take away any of my experiences that I've had.

[00:26:58] I feel like they're all going to benefit me into some degree and I'm exactly where I need to be. And it's just, I'm just going to.

[00:27:05] Jolie: [00:27:05] We all learn.

[00:27:05] Michael Ward: [00:27:05] Yeah, but there's a reason. Yeah. I don't know if you ever heard the analogy. There's a reason why the windshield is so much bigger than the rear view mirror, cause we always want to be looking forward and not spend.

[00:27:13]mike-ward_recording-1_2021-04-15--t07-05-50pm--michael-t_-ward: [00:27:13] You spend too much time looking in the past, you're going to crash. And you also want to spend more of your time looking forward and being pulled towards that. Then looking back and kicking yourself with things you should have, could have done.

[00:27:24]Jolie: [00:27:24] Absolutely. And talking about really diving into your definition of success is really important because we really are fed a definition of success as we grow up. And we just go along on that path and take what we're fed. And it takes a little bit of shake up for you to, to.

[00:27:42] Get in touch with your own path and your own success. And yes, you're right. Getting in touch with that, that's how you find that fulfilled life. someone

[00:27:50] Michael Ward: [00:27:50] And there's a process that you go through to so many people don't really understand. They've got these paradigms, these beliefs systems in place, and they don't even know where those came from or whether they serve them. Like they're indoctrinated from a young age, whether it's their parents, their church, their school, their community the television set.

[00:28:09]Their coaches, there's all of these people that are shaping the way that they think and what's possible. And if they're an environment that they don't see opportunity, they think that's all there is, and so getting to these people no matter where they're at in life and helping them to understand that they have a choice.

[00:28:27] To start recreating new belief systems that are in line with who they feel they are and their own personal truth will absolutely open the door to unlimited possibilities. But we create, with these beliefs, we don't even realize that they're limiting us to the degree we are until we start to examine them and see if they align with who we are, who gave them to us.

[00:28:47] Is that even real, does that apply today? Does that apply to where I want to go? For me growing up where I did, there was always that. The, it was, you had to be able to fight or protect yourself in an instant. You never knew where it's some danger was going to come to go down and you walk around with that.

[00:29:03] And then as I got older, as in different environments I don't need that anymore. You know what I mean? That's a belief that I had, I don't need to carry that anymore. I can have a different belief and take that energy and apply it to somewhere else. It's just and then seeing all the blue collar workers, the successful guys where the foremans is I don't want a blue collar job.

[00:29:18] I want, something else. So I had to look for examples and models and today those are relevant. Those are everywhere. You can find people who have done it already. Basically follow their roadmap.

[00:29:29] Jolie: [00:29:29] Yeah, and it was much harder. So I applaud you for going and finding the people that you could follow and trying to embody them. Cause that's another great way to be going about learning how to be successful. Now, do you, have you adopted any specific habits that you feel have helped you on your road to

[00:29:45] Michael Ward: [00:29:45] Yes. Yes, absolutely. I've got a very consistent morning routine. That's been a game changer for me. I get up every morning. I'm out of bed at five and I go 5:00 AM or yeah.

[00:29:57] Jolie: [00:29:57] Good you. I've been trying to get on that club and its

[00:30:01] Michael Ward: [00:30:01] Yeah. Most mornings I'm really good at it this morning. Not so much yesterday morning, not so much, but for the most part I get up and I'll go to my workplace. I'll take a 10 minute walk, 15 minute walk, and I spend a time doing a breathing exercise is five minutes of breathing exercise. Gets my body woken up and then I'm doing a three minutes of gratitude thinking about people, places and things in my life that I'm extremely grateful for.

[00:30:22]And then I start to visualize for three or four minutes as I'm finishing the walk and what do I want to accomplish on a grand scale? And then I bring that back down to what do I want to accomplish today in this week? What do I want the meetings to go? How do I want the conversation to go? How do I want to show up in the world?

[00:30:36] And that sets the stage. And then I go in, I do a 30 to an hour, 30 minutes to an hour workout, lift weights. And then after that, I'll sit down and I'll journal for 10 minutes and just get any thoughts or ideas there. And then I'll work on my coaching business. I'll put together some content, some ideas I'll post a comment, whatever.

[00:30:55] And then I dive into my day. But those that setting the table for the day has helped me dramatically and only just recently. Have I started doing meditation on a consistent basis. And this is, there's a type of yoga that it's called, but it's also called holotropic breathing. And I don't remember the yoga name, but if you look up holotropic breathing, it has been a game changer.

[00:31:17] I'm having the most amazing clarity and experiences from the meditation that I'm like, why did I wait so long to start doing this? It's been fantastic and kind woo woo you think about it. When I talk about the impacts of it's had it sounds far off, but once you experience it and you do it, it's yeah, it's amazing.

[00:31:38] Jolie: [00:31:38] It is amazing. It is a game changer and yes, people can think it's weird, but it is an absolute must. If you ask me, it really is. And I as well, I meditated for a while younger and then for many years stopped and started again in the past couple of years. And it just. It basically, if I'm cranky, you just need to go send me to meditate and I'm going to be just fine in 10 minutes.

[00:31:59] And I had psych, I was like, Oh, I feel so much brighter now, but I hope everyone paid attention to your morning routine because that is the winning routine right there. You just nailed basically all of the success gurus advice as to how to have a winning day, Michael wards doing

[00:32:15] Michael Ward: [00:32:15] yeah. If it's worked, especially through the pandemic and everything like that Talk about uncertainty. You know what I mean? Like my income dropped by 50% and, clients were just pulling their advertising, spin right and left. Other clients were leaving. My company was going through a reorganization.

[00:32:32] I, we had to make pivots and that morning routine helped me to stay grounded and really just trust my own personal process and implement a higher degree of faith that things are happening for me and not to me.

[00:32:46]Jolie: [00:32:46] This pandemic, I had the same experience as you through this pandemic. And it really brings home the importance of having of adopting that right mindset if you will, because getting through a global pandemic and being able to focus in, on certain areas that can at least benefit you while you're going through this.

[00:33:09] Again, global pandemic. It really amazing to me, it just, it shows the power of that. It shows the power of that mindset. And if you can apply that during really difficult times and get yourself through, just imagine what's going to happen in these next year is when it's applied to let's hope some better

[00:33:26] Michael Ward: [00:33:26] 100%, 100%. And it's it. I just posted yesterday the differences between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset and, a lot of people are in that fixed mindset where they're just stuck and they're victims and they don't have control of their outcome, or this is as good as life's going to get.

[00:33:41] What's the point of even trying and it's just such a small jump over to that growth mindset where you can actually see opportunity within challenges and start to understand that the process of getting there maybe uncomfortable, but it would be highly beneficial. It's going to bring you a greater reward and opportunities within challenges and.

[00:34:02] And all that. You really start to see this level of possibility and are also able to generate absolute moments of joy and happiness in the darkest and most difficult of times, if you just are able to shift your focus

[00:34:14]Jolie: [00:34:14] Which brings me, how do you push, how do you personally push through struggle?

[00:34:17]Michael Ward: [00:34:17] It's funny because I used to. Just take on that that masculine energies, I'm just going to clinch up. I'm going to power up and I'm going to, I'm going to charge through and what I've realized more so over the last couple of years is that that type of energy is not sustainable.

[00:34:34] And ultimately if you tense up and you're trying to force your way through something for a long period of time, you're going to start to break down. You're going to break down physically. You're going to break down mentally. You just can't go like that for too long. And so really what I've done is started to lean on my faith and and trust the process, but also shift my perspective around things.

[00:34:57] I've been really good about shifting my perspective and looking at things from different angles. And I've found that as I do that, there's that saying where focus goes, energy flows and I'll reference this story. I know this gentleman. Extremely wealthy. He was talking, telling a story about he's in the Malibu is overlooking the ocean.

[00:35:17] It's got this beautiful acres of lawn and this fantastic view. And he's sitting out there smoking a cigar and he's got this dog recently that he's not in love with his wife got it. And then he notices the dog peed on the grass and created a peace thing. And he was angry. And he's telling us how, the more I stared at that state, the more angrier I got and I just kept looking at it.

[00:35:35] And then I was cursing the dog, and I was cursing to my wife and I found myself so worked up and my wife came out and I made sure I was going to tell her about that dogs ruining my lawn. And my wife, his wife says my wife comes over and she grabs my head and she turns it two degrees. And she says, why don't you look at the rest of the lawn in this beautiful view, instead of focusing on the one single problem.

[00:35:57] And he said in that moment, I, it clicked to me that I always have the choice to shift my perspective and look at all of the beauty that I have in the moment, as opposed to looking at all of my problems. Or even the one problem versus the millions of things I could be happy with. And so I apply that to my life when I'm with my kids, I try and say, be there yeah, I may not know how I'm going to pay my bills and I don't know how I'm going to do all these things and work is stressing me out, but I don't have to worry about it.

[00:36:24] I'm in this moment right now, I'm with my daughter. I'm with my wife, run with my son. Right now, none of that matters. I can focus on this moment and just seeing them light up and share their imagination and their excitement for life. They don't, they're not aware of the problems. Why do I need to be, let me be here right now with them and that energy that I create in that moment.

[00:36:44] It's going to fill me up with gratitude. It's going to fill me up with love. It's going to help me to enjoy my life and that's the energy that I can then take back to my problems and approach them from a completely different way. And it has proven to be a very effective way to navigate through difficult times.

[00:37:02] Jolie: [00:37:02] Beautiful. I think I'll always remember that story. It's perfect. That's a great analogy. Now, what, what motivates you then? What would you say motivates you?

[00:37:12]Michael Ward: [00:37:12] It used to be money. I always, I wanted money. I wanted prestige, I wanted status and I would be lying if I said, I didn't still want those things, I do but I want but I'm not so concerned with them anymore. Now what motivates me is following my heart being authentic and and helping others.

[00:37:33] It, I really want to be able to help people on a grand scale, whether that's through my writing, whether that's through my speaking, whether that's through my one-on-one coaching, I want to make sure that I am impacting the world and chasing my own dreams so that I can be an example of my, to my kids.

[00:37:48] So when I tell them that anything is possible for them and I'm teaching them these principles they have an example of what that looks like, because they're going to see their dad doing it, and they're going to see that it's not easy and they're not, they're going to see that maybe there's some challenges and there's some ups and downs, but what I ultimately want, I want them to see is that there's a happy man who is fulfilled and helping others and being a good person.

[00:38:11]And providing for his family on all levels, whether it's attention and time, love and affection, money, and support and whatever else they need. They're going to see me as an example of someone who found out what their own definition of success was and was willing to chase it down and reap the rewards of that.

[00:38:31] Regardless of, they're not, didn't necessarily have to be monetary rewards.

[00:38:36]Jolie: [00:38:36] That's great. I think that's a perfect answer. Before we start wrapping up, I'm curious, is there one change a listener can make right now to help them get a little bit closer to their own success?

[00:38:51] Michael Ward: [00:38:51] Yeah. Yeah, I think that there's so many people that what I've found, they don't spend the time truly thinking about what's going to make them happy. What does an extraordinary life look like for you? Take five or 10 minutes. Put on some ear buds, go into a zone and think about it. Because when you ask somebody, what does an ideal life look for?

[00:39:11] They're going to tell you, Oh, I want more money. I want this house or I want this car, they'll give you one or two, maybe three things and that's it. But what you want to do is sit down and think, what does it look like? Where do you live? What do you do for a living? How much money do you make? What impact, what do you want to feel on a regular basis?

[00:39:27] What do you, how do you want these feelings? Because ultimately everyone wants these things because of the way it's going to make them feel. And they think they need to have those things in order to feel that, but there's ways to generate those feelings that will ultimately bring those things much faster to your life.

[00:39:42] But you're going to be able to be happier along the way, because you're feeling those things, feelings all the time, but take the time to really think about what that looks like for you, what that feels like for you. And then once you have that, start to think about how you can go on a path. Towards those things, regardless if you've ever done it before, regardless if you have any idea on how to do it, it's possible.

[00:40:04] And if you don't know, if you need someone to help you to carve that path, to map that out, that's why coaches are available. They're there to help save you all of the trial and error and the years of that and get to that point that you want to be at in a much quicker fashion holding you accountable, but you have to sit down and take the time to know what really is going to light you up.

[00:40:26] What's going to make you happy. May not come out in the first session, but I'll tell you this, you spend five or 10 minutes doing it. You're gonna be a hell of a lot closer than you were then just having three things that you think just arbitrarily, you're going to make you what happens, what you want.

[00:40:38] But it all starts there. It starts in the mind as you think. So you feel as you feel, so you act as you act, so you become, but it starts with the mind. You have to be able to see it.

[00:40:52] Jolie: [00:40:52] And you brought up a big thing. I You are a life coach and life coach life coaches can make a huge difference in people's lives to help them make those shifts in the right mindset and make those shifts in life to go to really go after what they believe in. I believe you have a life coach

[00:41:08] Michael Ward: [00:41:08] I've hired two different coaches over the last year that I work with. Yes.

[00:41:13] Jolie: [00:41:13] See, that's great. And then in your life, coach yourself, and are you taking on new clients? If people are

[00:41:17] Michael Ward: [00:41:17] Absolutely. Yeah, I've got two different programs and I'm getting ready to launch a third. One is a higher ticket one-on-one coaching. It's 12 weeks long. It includes one-on-one coaching and through a specific curriculum that it'll help you go from where you're at to where you want to be.

[00:41:32] Reevaluate the stories and beliefs, you have understand the power of your language, understand the idea that life's happening for you and not to you, and really like finding what your purpose is. And being able to cross that bridge, identifying the difference between who you currently are and who you want to be, and then be able to build that bridge over there and ultimately be able to do it fearlessly and with absolute conviction, because you're aligned with what you feel your purpose is.

[00:41:57] And then. The second program, that's called pivot to prosper. That's my higher ticket item. And then the other one is called manup 21, but that's a con it's a five-week goal setting exercise where you do a visualization, you set goals that are in line with that. And then you start to do other things.

[00:42:14] You understand the power of, a very brief overview of your beliefs, the stories that may have been holding you back. So we can retell those, teach you that as a tool in a very top level, understand the power of language, understand your why? The reasoning behind what you want to accomplish and what you want to do.

[00:42:30] The why is always tied to something greater than yourself. And you're always going to hit problems and potholes and obstacles. And if you have a strong enough why you will find a way around and through all of them. And so it's important that you understand your why. And then the final piece is just building the highway to happiness.

[00:42:47] I touched on it a little bit, but so many people think they gotta have the goal to have achieved it in order to feel happy about it. But the idea is. We want to celebrate every single step of the way, because ultimately what that's doing to your brain is signaling. Hey, find more of that. Find more of that.

[00:43:01] So I can feel this again. And so you're looking for ways to feel that again, how can I continue on this path? How can I continue to move towards that goal? And that's going to build momentum. That's going to build excitement and that's going to help you to feel successful, which is going to lead to a greater success and a faster rate.

[00:43:16]Too many people got that highway to misery, where they're just constantly focused on their problems or the challenges or the lack. And everyone defaults to that and they got this shitty, dirty bumpy road to happiness. And so we flip that script and we start to develop, we start to pave that super highway to happiness.

[00:43:32]Jolie: [00:43:32] great. It really, this is the perfect place for us to wrap up, but it occurred to me that there was something that we had discussed. And I'm just really curious about, I want to know. So you had mentioned that, one of your. One of the bigger struggles in life obviously is losing your mom and it's anyone who's lost their mom.

[00:43:50]It's very difficult. It's an incredibly difficult process to go through. You happen to go through it at a very young age. And you mentioned that it was, a struggle for most of your life, but that there was a moment that helped you deal with it.

[00:44:02] And it was like a, it happened in a moment where something shifted for you. And I was curious about that moment.

[00:44:08]Michael Ward: [00:44:08] Change. My mom passed away when I was six years old and that impacted me and my behavior and my sense of self and my identity for 40 years, I'm almost 45 now. And. Couple of years ago, I was at this seminar. I was at a Tony Robbins seminar and he was asking us about our earliest memories and they talked us through it and he said, all right, what's your earliest memory typically?

[00:44:30] When do we have the earliest memory? There's an emotional tie to it. Memories are typically stronger when there's more emotion involved in it. And that's why they're there. They put this imprint in your brain based on the emotional response you have to the moment. And so we went through the earliest memory and then he said, I want you to think of your first significant memory, the one that really you can tie the most emotional attachment to.

[00:44:53] And. It was me at six years old in the hospital room. The last time that I saw my mom and my dad had to argue with the hospital staff back then to let us in, she was on all the tubes. She was in ICU and I walked in the room and he got family on all the walls. My grandparents were there and my uncle was there and I watched my sister.

[00:45:11] And then my brother go up onto the bed with my mom. Who's in tubes and machines and everything in and all over her shaved head. She's dying of cancer and I hold my dad's leg and I'm scared out of my mind at six years old, I've got no idea what's going on and it's my turn. And I go up there and I sit with her.

[00:45:29] And then I'm going through this guided meditation to this Tony Robbins event. And he's okay. And you know what happened? And so I'm sitting there with my mom and I'm holding her hand in them. I'm crying. And I tell her it's, I'm scared mommy. And she says, I know it's going to be okay. And I said, I love you.

[00:45:45] She said, I love you too. She squeeze my hand. She said, it's going to be okay. And that was the last time I got to speak with my mom. And so I'm in this meditation. And I'm feeling these emotions and of course I'm upset and he says, all right what do you think from her perspective? What do you think let's look at that same event, her perspective.

[00:46:05] And then in that moment, I saw she had fought, she didn't abandoned me. She didn't leave me. She fought her ass off. She was diagnosed with cancer months after I was born. So for six years she fought through everything. Round after round of chemo shaved her head wore bandanas, always was there for me, my brother and my sister to make sure we were going to be okay.

[00:46:25] She wanted to make sure that we are going to be okay. So she fought her ass off to stay alive, to do that. And and through that, every picture I ever saw of her, every story I ever heard of her, no matter if she was sick or not, she loved life. Every picture she was smiling. Every memory I have of her, she was loving.

[00:46:40] She was dancing. We, just affectionate and. She truly embraced life, and lived as if she were dying, she lived, she, we were all alive, but we don't always all live, and so that was the example. And I saw that in that moment. That was what my mom, but she loved us so much.

[00:46:57] She wouldn't give up. And then he said look at it from God's perspective. And God said, Hey, Kathy, I know you've been fighting to keep around for your kids, but I want you to know. You're going to come with me and we're going to watch over him. We got them. They are going to be okay. Tell them it's going to be okay. And that's what she said to me. And so I was able to step away from that experience. And I see things from a different perspective and I realized that my mom has been with me every step of the way that she is truly watching over me. That. It is going to be okay. And so now when I'm going down this road, that's completely unfamiliar and I'm trying to pave my way into this unchartered territory.

[00:47:42] And I start getting scared and I start getting uncomfortable and life seems to be blowing up around me. I always come back and remember, it's going to be okay.

[00:47:57] Jolie: [00:47:57] I love that so much. I need to have a cry, but I love that so

[00:48:03] Michael Ward: [00:48:03] But that in perspective, around a life event that had shaped the way I was forever in that instant, I changed it. And I went from disempowering. Poor me story to fuck yeah, I've watched over and I'm protected and it's going to be okay. And I can walk fearlessly.

[00:48:23] Jolie: [00:48:23] I love it so much. It's the perfect story to this wonderful conversation on and leave people with. And I think that was I'm so glad I asked because that's something that, that so many people really need to hear. Thank you very much, Mike. I appreciate you coming on. As far as your coaching business goes.

[00:48:42] Yeah. We'll have in the show notes, your website, and an email and any other way that people can get in contact with you and moving

[00:48:51] Michael Ward: [00:48:51] Awesome. I appreciate the time and really appreciate you inviting me on. And if if anyone wants to reach out, check the notes and feel free.

[00:48:59] Jolie:

I loved Michael’s story, there is so much to learn here.

Michael didn’t have an easy set up circumstances, but regardless of his situation, regardless of the criticism he received, he allowed himself no excuses. He created his own expectations, he built himself up internally and he reached and stretched himself to bring everything he wanted into his life.

So many people have used similar circumstances as Michael’s as reason to not try, to not give it their all.

I love that Michael did not let what other people thought affect him. He did not let in other people’s criticism, allowing them to define who he is and what he can do. This is something so many people struggle with. I struggled with this for a long time.

I allowed other peoples words to have an impact on me and I admit I allowed that to happen for much too long.

Then I heard a talk by Marissa Peers that helped me learn how to deal with criticism.

Marissa reminds us that we have a choice. We choose whether or not to let criticism in and you don’t have to accept the words of anyone. You don’t need to let that in. You simply say, no, that’s not going to work for me and let it go. The only words that matter are yours.

Like Michael said, if feedback comes from someone you respect who wants to see you do well, then take that feedback to make you better. But destructive criticism, the kind that is meant to tear you down, that does not belong to you. That is coming from someone who is feeling inadequate, or inferior. The only thing someone who is feeling inadequate can do is either raise themselves or diminish you – so that’s what they do. But you don’t have to let that in. That negativity belongs to them, and you can deflect that negativity and stay equal. If you start feeling some of those negative feeling they are throwing at you – ask yourself, does this energy belong to me? Does this criticism belong to me? No

Marissa gave good examples of what to do when faced with destructive criticsm or someone just plain being mean –

You say

Thanks for sharing that – that’s telling them that they can have that opinion but you don’t need to let that opinion in

Or you can say

I’m sorry, I didn’t get that, could you repeat that? – they most likely will not repeat it or will back track – it’s putting them on the spot a bit and gives them a chance to reconsider what they were saying.

If they do repeat it then you can say, oh, were you trying to hurt my feelings?

If they say no, you’ll likely get an explanation that will be beneficial.

If they say yes, say, well that’s not going to work for me, I’m not going to let that in.

You know, since we’re sharing, did you know that critical people have the most criticism reserved for themselves. When you criticize other people, you’re showing everyone around you that you don’t like yourself.

Another simple solution when someone is being mean – you can simply say, you must really not like yourself right now, are you having a bad day?

It’s amazing the simple changes you’ll find happening once employing these types of tactics.

Another thing Michael did, is he built himself up – he told himself he was meant for greater things, he told himself he could achieve his goals – this is really important. Nothing boosts your energy like praise – did you know that not only does your energy raise when someone praises you but your energy raises when you praise other people – so give people the kudos they deserve and you’ll not only help them, but you’ll help yourself. The extra good news here is that when you praise yourself, you get even extra benefit – your self talk is the programming language for your internal super computer. When you praise yourself, it goes right in, your brain figures you have no reason to lie to yourself so it believes it – making you a happier and more self confident person - so praise yourself.

It’s important to note that the flip side of this is true as well be aware of your own internal self criticism, any time that self critic makes an appearance, kindly show them the door and focus in on whatever you can to praise yourself internally.

Now, how Michael got his first job – I love this story – sending his resume every day – not afraid to be a pest, not afraid to be that squeaky wheel. There’s a reason they have the saying – The squeaky wheels gets the grease. So many of us were taught to not be squeaky – don’t rock the boat, don’t bother that person – well, sometimes, in life, you need to be a bother in order to get what you want. If it’s really important to you, give yourself permission to squeak away!

Persistence and perseverance is key to ANY job, to any success – show you have what it takes and someone will give you the opportunity.

Michael made the very common mistake of pursuing money to make him happy, thinking money would bring him the success he craved. When he reached that goal, in terms of monetary success, he learned that universal secret, it’s not the money that lights you up.

He was yearning for something more, something different.

How many of you can identify with that? That itch that is needing to be scratched, that thing that is missing.

So Michael gave himself permission to explore those different things, he dove deep into himself and spent time figuring out, what can I do? What am I capable of? What are my beliefs? What fires me up? What feeds that passion? And how can I use that to be of service to others? Through this Michael found that thing that lit him up, helping positively impact the lives of others. This is the common thread through all these conversations I’m having on Fresh Blood. That when a person begins to focus on the value they can bring others, this is when the true success and fulfillment follow. When you are passionate about what you are doing, you find yourself loving every day and you tend to do whatever you are doing persistently and with joy, which eventually leads to the money.

So I’ll ask again.

How are you bringing value? To your work? To your family? To your community or some greater good? Keeping the focus on how you can help others is consistently the perspective shift that seems to happen before someone starts finding the flow of success.

As Michael shared, doing the esteemable acts, being of service, being accountable and doing what he said, no one could take those from him. And through this, he started to realize that, Hey, I made bad choices, but I am not a bad person. And I do deserve love.

I want everyone to sit with that for a moment.

We have all made bad choices in life. That does not make us bad people. You deserve love. You deserve happiness. You deserve to live a life that fills you up.

As Michael wisely realized, our outsides often times reflect our insides and what we attract to our life is a direct reflection on what we carry inside.

What are you carrying inside of you?

If you aren’t carrying that self love, it’s time to get in touch and find it. You are an unrepeatable miracle that has made it through all of your life experiences to date, to get you right here in this moment. Own it. Revel in and love your own special sauce.

I appreciate that Michael brought up that dark place we can all go to sometimes. We discussed how anything new feels unfamiliar but that you can make anything unfamiliar, feel familiar simply by not giving up. However, that familiar place, even when it’s not good for us, can be a siren song. This is not only the case with doing new things but also with emotions. It’s important to remember this so we can bring awareness to when it’s happening, and it will happen. Not only with dark funks, but with toxic relationships, negative family cycles, bad habits – you want to recognize when you are regressing in old negative ways, notice it with kindness as this is normal and oh so human, and start applying the various tools you’ve learned to pull yourself out.

If you’re telling yourself, I haven’t learned the right tools, then get curious! Get into that continuous learning and look into the various ways other people have been successful. If this podcast has taught us anything, it’s that there is so much to learn from other people’s stories.

Michael also talked about another huge key to success - knowing what happiness, what that success looks like for you. What does living an extraordinary life look like for you. What is your ideal life. Who do you want to be? Not based on what you’ve been told by anyone else, not based on what society or your regligion tells you, but deep down, what does your soul tell you.

This is your life.

It belongs to you.

Create your own reality.

As Michael advised, think about what you want to be feeling. Ultimately we want things because of the way they’ll make us feel, so start there, start with the feeling and go after that, by doing so, you’ll bring those “things” into your life much faster.

It starts in the mind –

As you think, So you feel

As you feel, so you act

As you act, so you become,

but it starts with the mind. You have to be able to see it.

Michael’s morning routine is one to take note of, it aligns with all the research on the very best way to start your day.

He gets fresh air with a quick morning walk. Partakes in breathing exercise, gratitude exercise, visualization exercise, a work out, quick journaling session, meditation and then start the day. If you are doing none of these things in the morning, I might suggest picking one or two to start with and see how you feel.

Anyone, even the most non morning people you can think of, can easily implement some aspects of this routine. Simply before getting out of bed, close your eyes and think of five things you feel grateful for, really feel that gratitude fill up inside of you, let it swirl around and give you all the good feels. Then picture yourself five years in the future as if everything that could possible go right has gone right for you. See what it is you are doing, where you are living, what your life looks like from all angles. You know what this looks like because you’ve gotten in touch with it, right? Then focus in on what you can do today that might move you closer to any of those goals. By doing this, you’ve just added three powerful morning tools to set you up for a good day and your feet haven’t even hit the floor.

I love the story Michael shared about perspective –

The man who lives in a gorgeous house overlooking the ocean with a huge expanse of green lawn, getting angrier and angrier about the pee circle on his lawn caused by his wife’s dog, working himself up about this perceived injustice. His wife simply turns his head and says, why don’t you look at the rest of this beautiful view instead of focusing on that one problem.

Does that resonate with you?

Could you start picturing different moments when maybe you were wholly focused on the one little problem rather than all the beauty around you? I can.

How many times have you come home and felt irritated by the mess left by others rather than feeling grateful for that home and the fact that there are, others.

How many times do we let petty irritations win?

Let’s all remember this story – where the focus goes, the energy flows.

It is your choice where you put that focus.

So where will you be keeping your focus moving forward?

Lastly, I’m grateful that Michael shared the story about his mother and how he was able to shift his own perspective on this mothers death. I found this very powerful and an exercise that we should all practice on emotionally charged past experiences.

Give yourself this gift, take that difficult memory and walk yourself through the same process Michael experienced. Picture the moment of the memory in as much detail as possible, feel all the feelings you went through as you experienced it. Then picture that same memory from the other persons perspective, think of everything they went through to bring them to that point, the experiences they have had that have shaped who they are and that may have caused them to react or act as they do. Then, picture it from the perspective of God, or higher source or from an all knowing viewpoint, and see how your perspective shifts.

Perhaps you too might see, that it’s all going to be ok.

I leave you with my wish for us all, that we can change our disempowering stories and put down our limiting beliefs so that we can embrace the infinite possibility that we possess. After all, we change the world by first changing ourselves.

Until next time

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