"We all have the tools to manage our emotions and face our traumas, it's just about having the awareness to unlock these tools and take the time to look at ourselves."

Mike Diamond

Ever wondered how addiction can paradoxically coexist with high performance? Enter Mike Diamond, an inspiring recovering addict, is here to unearth the realities of addiction and the illusion of control it creates, even amidst an extraordinary performance. Mike's story is a true testament to the deceptive nature of addiction and the power of choice to take control of your life.

Mike dives into themes of personal growth, self-discovery, and the significance of embracing the present. Even touching upon spiritual and philosophical tools like Buddhism and stoicism to find balance, and the impact of physical activities like deep stretching and yoga to channel the energy of trauma into healthier outlets. We also explore the transformative power of empowering others, releasing expectations, and the profound influence of small, meaningful conversations.

This episode is not merely about the dark side of life - it's more about the redemption, the reclamation, and the transformation. With the insights from this episode, you will be better equipped to understand, empathize, and perhaps help someone who's battling their demons, or perhaps, fight your own.

Follow Mike @themike_diamond

Follow Chase @chase_chewning


In this episode, you will learn...

  • Addiction can often be disguised behind high performance, leading to a dangerous illusion of control. Individuals struggling with addiction can often still perform at high levels, making it difficult to recognize.

  • The importance of self-discovery and healing in overcoming addiction cannot be overstated. This process often involves facing uncomfortable past experiences and finding healthier ways to channel energy and cope with trauma.

  • The power of small, meaningful interactions and acts of kindness can have a profound impact on your life and the lives of others.

  • Creatives, artists, and entrepreneurs can be particularly prone to addiction. Understanding this can help in identifying potential issues and finding balance in life.

  • Confronting addiction and changing behaviors requires an understanding of your own habits and the ability to distinguish between needs and wants.


Episode resources:

EFR 740: The Hidden Connection Between Addiction and High Performance, Plus the Tools, Techniques, and Strategies to Live Life on Your Terms with Mike Diamond

Ever wondered how addiction can paradoxically coexist with high performance? Enter Mike Diamond, an inspiring recovering addict, is here to unearth the realities of addiction and the illusion of control it creates, even amidst an extraordinary performance. Mike's story is a true testament to the deceptive nature of addiction and the power of choice to take control of your life.

Mike dives into themes of personal growth, self-discovery, and the significance of embracing the present. Even touching upon spiritual and philosophical tools like Buddhism and stoicism to find balance, and the impact of physical activities like deep stretching and yoga to channel the energy of trauma into healthier outlets. We also explore the transformative power of empowering others, releasing expectations, and the profound influence of small, meaningful conversations.

This episode is not merely about the dark side of life - it's more about the redemption, the reclamation, and the transformation. With the insights from this episode, you will be better equipped to understand, empathize, and perhaps help someone who's battling their demons, or perhaps, fight your own.

Follow Mike @themike_diamond

Follow Chase @chase_chewning


In this episode, you will learn...

  • Addiction can often be disguised behind high performance, leading to a dangerous illusion of control. Individuals struggling with addiction can often still perform at high levels, making it difficult to recognize.

  • The importance of self-discovery and healing in overcoming addiction cannot be overstated. This process often involves facing uncomfortable past experiences and finding healthier ways to channel energy and cope with trauma.

  • The power of small, meaningful interactions and acts of kindness can have a profound impact on your life and the lives of others.

  • Creatives, artists, and entrepreneurs can be particularly prone to addiction. Understanding this can help in identifying potential issues and finding balance in life.

  • Confronting addiction and changing behaviors requires an understanding of your own habits and the ability to distinguish between needs and wants.


Episode resources:


0:00:00 - Speaker 1 How long have you been in recovery as of today?

0:00:03 - Speaker 2 So I got sober April 16th 2006. So what are we talking? 17 years, and what?

0:00:10 - Speaker 1 four or five months, yeah, here we are. August, yeah, 2023. And how long would you say that you were suffering from addiction, oh God.

0:00:19 - Speaker 2 So this is a really good question, because the first time I was ever drunk, someone got me drunk at four years old. That's right.

0:00:27 - Speaker 1 Yeah, I really died of alcohol poisoning. So did you get hooked then, do you think, or when? When do you have the first attachment to you know? 12 on this, 12?

0:00:35 - Speaker 2 Okay but the funniest thing is, as a four year old, I think if I got my son drunk at four he wouldn't drink. So the alcoholism was in my blood. Interesting, you know me. Like, why would it? Why would I keep drinking like I had the feeling did something to me? You know what I mean. I just kept drinking to get drunk.

0:00:53 - Speaker 1 We're gonna get there.

0:00:54 - Speaker 2 Yeah, we're gonna get there.

0:00:55 - Speaker 1 Yeah. So I want to ask you Does an addict know they are an addict and choose to make the same unhealthy and potentially devastating choices life choices anyways or Are they truly living in denial about their situation?

0:01:10 - Speaker 2 That is such a good question. I didn't think I was an addict. Hmm, I just could, because I could work hard, play hard.

0:01:18 - Speaker 1 So you could navigate, yeah, these choices. And you know, air quote here, living a normal daily life. You're like, I got this and I think.

0:01:26 - Speaker 2 I think it's, I think it's an insidious, it's like I say it's cunning, baffling and powerful because it, when we're on, like I always say, you know Robert Downey Jr, you know well whether I think he's my crack, whatever it was, I was sure he did everything. Yeah, he did everything from crack a dywan man, mm-hmm. Look at the stretch. Do you know?

0:01:48 - Speaker 1 I'm saying so I start smoking crack and right could I be Iron man?

0:01:51 - Speaker 2 right, exactly so I'm. For me, there was not denial, it was just like I can get away with it. Hmm, well, you know what I mean. I could perform at such a high level. Met me, darrell strawberry. How do you smoke, crack and do all that crazy stuff and then turn up for the bits or whatever it was. It hit the ball over the fence. Yeah, do you know what I mean? So I think, if people enable you and People don't pull you aside and I think it's really hard for people like celebrities and people that are in the public eye, like Especially like an Amy Winehouse, right, super successful. But you could see that you know everything was falling apart, but then she could get up and sing and then. So I think it's it.

For me it was like alright If it wasn't fun anymore. Hmm, it sounds weird. I didn't drink to and do drugs to meet you. I, I'm the same crazy person. I Just enjoyed. I enjoyed doing coke and drinking, and then I was in the club business and entertainment business. So it wasn't, and then it's that kind of whole lifestyle Was.

0:02:59 - Speaker 1 It wasn't just one specific this drug or this drink, it was everything that that kind of embodied.

0:03:05 - Speaker 2 Yeah, just, and I did, I could just. And the problem is I Could bounce back real good like I could do an April, or cocaine, drink vodka all night or Jager Myster and the next day get up and go to the gym. See, that's, that's messed up. And because of that, because I could, I never missed a workout.

0:03:22 - Speaker 1 So therefore, you're like I don't have a problem, I don't have a problem if I can do this, if I can be a contributing member to society and go to the gym and work out, then I clearly all this other stuff. I must have it in control.

0:03:32 - Speaker 2 It's the worst thing I was in better shape and fitter than 99%. Yeah, wow, like I was fitter than anyone and I was cracked out of my brain. And then who was ever gonna? But even when I said to someone I stopped drinking and doing the coke, they're like you had a problem, but you're in the gym right, yeah, you see what I'm saying so that's. That's not it's denial, but it's called I. It's like it's a sickness, because why should I be able to perform at that level?

0:03:59 - Speaker 1 Do you think there is a a correlation to this level of addiction and a level of high performing thousand percent?

0:04:08 - Speaker 2 I am wide, completely different. I am completely different. Why, like I, alright, I'll give you a perfect example 2017 my appendix burst. Okay, now, I didn't know my appendix were burst for two days. How did you not know that? I thought it was colitis pain. So it was my birthday.

I went to the gym and every year on my birthday I try to do something challenging. So I looked up in a Guinness World Record thing oh, the most pull-ups. I think it was 340 pull-ups in an hour With a weight vest on. That's pretty damn impressive, right? So I thought, alright, I'll put a weight vest on and I'll see if I can do 300 in an hour, which is six. Put what? Five pull-ups every minute, right, six, five, three hundred. I did it stomach cramps, feeling horrible. I got home, you did 300 pull-ups yeah, weighted vest, yeah, with a burst appendix yeah, but I did not was burst. So check this out. I just thought it was stomach pain from a colitis. I get home that night to have dinner. It's my birthday.

During that day, my wife came in and said surprise me, we knew we're having a baby. We didn't know the sex. And she said we're having a baby boy, let's go for dinner. And I'm like, yeah, and I was laying there for two days, no, I've been sweating. Oh, it's colitis. I Went then down on the couch because she's pregnant, so didn't want to wake her and I was like, yeah, my stomach's really bad. So I went to use the bathroom.

Now, with colitis, crohn's disease or any diabetric colitis, they call it flaring, which means you have diarrhea. So I went to use the bathroom. I didn't have diarrhea. I was like, oh no, it's either my gallbladder or my appendix. So she came in from downstairs and she's like you're right. I said, look, I don't want to panic you because you're pregnant, but I think my appendix burst.

They rushed me to the ER. They did a CT scan, right. I was in septic shock, of course. Yeah, my appendix had burst two days before. I Remember when it burst, but I thought it was just a part-sharp pain. The doctor says to me you're 50, 50 to live, right, this is what he tells me, because I was a four-hour surgery, mm-hmm, I'd lost. I was in the hospital eight or nine days. They removed like seven or eight inches from my intestines. Wow, lost 50 pounds, emaciated. Wow. He said if you don't remove your colon, you'll be done, it's gonna be rotted. I said, no, keep my colon, I heal myself. Naturally. I took some pain medicine and antibiotics, obviously, and then a year and a half later, I ran 30 half marathons in 30 days With a hernia, and I'd only run one half marathon a little bit before that to push my son in the stroller.

0:06:50 - Speaker 1 Why would you jump to that far into the spectrum after just what you went through? Because it was.

0:06:55 - Speaker 2 I watched a woman run 100 miles and it's like how do you do that? So I pushed my son with for one half marathon just to see if I can do it. I'm gonna go run for a month. Now that's a crackhead, that's you know. I'm saying I can go to that extreme. Wow, like I get cold on a detox. No one will do the detox. I spend 10 days with someone and I help them talk two hours asleep, I just walk them through it and they they can stay sober. So it's like that energy doesn't go anywhere. I have to learn how to channel it.

0:07:29 - Speaker 1 You got to learn, develop a different relationship with it. I.

0:07:34 - Speaker 2 Look at it like this, right, mal and brando said it perfectly. They said do you believe in acting school? He said acting school is great, to to practice, learn the craft. But a tiger never joke goes to jungle school. Damn right, I haven't heard that before.

I'm a fucking honey bad. I'm an addict. I have generational trauma. My ancestors came from nothing to Australia. There was a lot of shit I had to walk through Trauma, mental abuse, physical is right and addiction in my bloodline. Then there were there were super entrepreneurs, super creative, great athletes. That's in my DNA, right, that doesn't go anywhere. So when I write a book like a dose of positivity, dose is dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin in dolphins. There's empowering ways to get your dose and disempowering Right. So two motivations you and I have avoid paying, gain pleasure. So how do you want to get your dose Right? So when it's gonna happen, anyway, anyway, yeah. So I have to know the honey badger that lives inside of me. I don't. I don't ever walk back, I Walk forward. I. It's just in my DNA. It's the right place for that, right. If there's an issue I walk for. I walk into the flames. Some people want a trophy for running out of the Bernie building. I'm running to it. That's just who I am.

0:08:58 - Speaker 1 That's your norm, that's your. This feels right.

0:09:01 - Speaker 2 Is it nature or nurture? I don't know, it's just the like. Only go on what feels right.

0:09:07 - Speaker 1 When you were because you've already shared, you know, you unpacked a lot with your family history, generational trauma, the types of professions entrepreneurs, creatives. When you were learning all this, was it more empowering for you to go oh, this makes sense, I can kind of attach meaning, or there's some explanation. Or was it overwhelming like, how am I ever gonna escape this if this is in my blood? There's no way I stand a fighting chance, because I think a lot of people go that way. They'll try to unpack what happened to my family, what happened to my grandparents, what is in my blood, what are these personality types. And I think most people will come up against that split decision I don't have a shot in hell. Or Okay, this is useful information for me to take control of.

0:09:53 - Speaker 2 See, for me I like to unpack it because I'm not a. You know, when people say Data, like, like, they don't want to spend time with the thoughts in their head right, right, right I, I could kill a thousand people in my mind all day. That doesn't mean to pick up the hatchet, mm-hmm. You know what I mean. Like.

0:10:12 - Speaker 1 I think we're all crazy. You can better understand.

0:10:18 - Speaker 2 I know and it may allows me to forgive people. See, if I know that my grandparents came from nothing and my grandparents were really hard on my parents and they didn't have the tools to manage their emotions and no one talked about their trauma and their pain, then what did they do? They just downloaded their pain and suffering and fear and anxiety or whatever, on to me right?

0:10:43 - Speaker 1 So you don't go to blame, you go to to grace.

0:10:46 - Speaker 2 I go into like well, you didn't have the tools interesting, you didn't?

0:10:50 - Speaker 1 I mean, that's the ideal place for us all to get right, but it's true, isn't it? Think about it Like if.

0:10:56 - Speaker 2 I, if I look a resentment, if I ever resentment at you for acting a certain way, does it change you? No, and another thing I've done is this I meet people where they're at, so and this is what gives me grace when I started to read about, really go deep into Buddhism, right, so you've got Buddha, who had the palace and his dad tried to keep him away from the reality. Danny went to the, the reality of the village, and he saw suffering. So he's like, well, you're trying to do this is real. So then he emaciated himself, right, and then he's like that doesn't work, but the palace doesn't work. I Need to find the middle ground and if you look at Buddhism, the eightfold path, it's the middle ground. Right, so I go. Okay, there's a lot of pain and suffering in my life, but people before me suffered pain. They just to say they didn't have the tools. You have the tools because Buddhism, stoicism's been around we all have them.

It's just first you got to have the awareness to unlock the tools and and you want to actually take time to look at yourself, right, true, yeah, so I go. Okay, those people suffered, they passed the suffering down and I go, wait a second. But what happens if I was born in a palace and Comfort? Would have I done the work to go into the suffering and find myself? So, without the suffering, I didn't find myself. Yeah, does that make sense? So if it relieves me of the pain of blaming someone, yeah, where before I was really angry at people that abused me? But then I go well, you're abused, I've got to forgive you. You know what I mean. And I let him go Because, at the end of the day, what we don't work on works on us. Oh, I like that. Say that again, what we don't work on works on us. And I always say if you do the work in the dark, right, you shine in the bright lights. If you don't do the work in the dark, you get exposed in the bright lights.

0:12:52 - Speaker 1 That could not be more True as to why we're sitting down here today. I was sharing with you earlier the the background of everforward, and I'm in the light now. But I was in the dark for 15 years, just Not dealing with this traumatic death and just stuffing Emotions down for a decade plus. And you don't realize, I think, how much you're living in the dark when you're living in denial because you think like, oh no, it's, I'm good, I got it, I can just always go find another light place to live. You know, but that's denying this, this Source that is keeping you in constant pursuit of trying to find the light. But then, when you turn and face it, like oh shit, I am the light.

0:13:39 - Speaker 2 Yes, you know and I think the hardest thing, like we're all going to suffer loss right in nothing's permanent. Suffering is inevitable Suffering is inevitable, because everything's for rent.

0:13:52 - Speaker 1 I can't even take this body with me.

0:13:54 - Speaker 2 Everything's for rent, right when you face your creator.

So, what I look at, and I look at people that, like, are building these fake lives, right, cause we see it all the time. Right, I just tell the truth, like I just go, yeah, and people got upset with me because a lot of people, you know, ashamed that they fucked up or they did drugs. I'm like I screwed up all the time. That's what are you gonna do? I just don't screw up now, but it doesn't matter where we go, right, it doesn't matter what happened yesterday, it doesn't matter what happens tomorrow. In all reality, I am sitting here on a podcast with you. That's it. This is real time, here and now and now. Right? So think about this. Yesterday I got up early, just say, and I read, I meditated, I didn't get crazy in traffic, I did everything. Okay, that was yesterday. What am I doing now? What happens this very second when I leave this? Because I could walk down the street and this could be the last podcast I ever do, right? So you have to be so comfortable in the uncomfortable, in the present, the microscopic present of now. That's it, because I don't know what's around the corner and you're not supposed to, and that's another reason that people can never turn a dream into reality. So I'll tell you why. You don't know the person you're gonna have to become. Oof, yeah, right, yeah, to turn the dream into reality.

Now, how's this catch 22? Follow this for a scenario. Let's just say you and I go to the movies, right, we want to see a movie and someone comes out of the movie and tells us the end. You don't want to go see the movie, right, right? So if we knew the end of our movie, we wouldn't continue on the journey. It would completely change the journey. We wouldn't want it. We know the end and that's what messes people up, because we want the dream and we think we know how it's supposed to go. But when we face an obstacle, what do we do? Most people quit. It didn't go as planned. It can never go as planned Because life is too unpredictable. There is no plan. There is a plan to stay present and have empowering rituals and routines and journal and do all these things, but then you've got to play the card. You dealt in life and most people can't.

0:16:14 - Speaker 1 Why is the present moment you think, the most difficult for most people to really sit with and be with? I don't think we're taught.

0:16:25 - Speaker 2 Because we'll put it this way what do we crave? Novelty.

0:16:30 - Speaker 1 Stimulation, dopamine.

0:16:33 - Speaker 2 Dopamine hit, and I think the world is purposely designed like that, right, we're always chasing these things are.

0:16:44 - Speaker 1 Exactly right.

0:16:45 - Speaker 2 We're always chasing the carrot, we're trying to avoid the stick. Now the brain, the primitive part of the brain, the amygdala, the lizard brain right, is always scanning for danger, right. So who teaches us from the beginning of time, when we're young kids, to stop, regulate our breathing right, slow down, stop, stop, you're triggered. Is the danger gone? They don't. They keep us in, fight, flight, freeze and feed right, bad news coming in. Oh my God, how do I alter my mood? But if we're taught to slow down and regulate the mood, not alter it, then we become master our thoughts and emotions. But we're not taught that. So sitting by yourself in the silence and watching the thoughts and going, hmm, that's interesting. And then coming back to breath, that's difficult because it's training, it's retraining our mind and body and our soul to slow down.

0:17:47 - Speaker 1 I think you said it. That's interesting. That's the part that I hope most people can get to and what I can share. Where I have gotten in this practice of being present, being in stillness, shot out right on holiday again and even now with I'm relatively new in the meditation train is just recognizing, truly recognizing. But even beyond that recognition and acceptance and true belief that a thing is, just because a thing is does not mean that I also am that thing, particularly when it comes to feelings and emotions and stress, response and anxiety, worrying about something and regret in the past and anxiety about what has not yet come to pass or maybe will never. But just go. That is a thing. I am not that thing. Just because I have a perception about it does not make it honestly always true. And if that's true, that something is not always true of my perception as I relate to it, then I have a lot of power over that. I can choose to navigate my life, my thoughts, everything differently, to really circumnavigate that. What you said is perfect choice.

0:18:58 - Speaker 2 I don't think we realize how many choices we have. Oh my God, no. And especially growing up, because society, until recently, it's like well, if you do this right, if you get a degree or become a doctor or you do this or you do that, you'll have a better life. And that's why I tell people it's like why did you choose that partner? And they're like well, I thought, but who gave you the information? Well, you know, my parents did this, or society did this, or culture says this. I'm like okay, so what are these rules? Who constructed these rules? Oh my God, yeah, right, yeah. And then you strip, like I said to someone the other day, I was like the most important thing in any relationships is values and rules. And they're like what do you mean that? I so tell you why.

Years ago, I owned a club with rock stars and let's just say, people talk about using value, the fun, as a value. It was fun for me to do cocaine and party. It was. And this girl asked me on a date. I said absolutely so we partied a little bit. And then she's like you know what's really fun? It's like getting up in the morning and running marathons. I was like she's out of her mind. Yeah, you're crazy, right, I do rals of cocaine. I can't run with this chick in the morning. So I went on a couple of dates. It's just like that's not fun. You're gonna kill me Right Now. I get sober and she messaged me when I was doing the 30 half marathon. She goes Diamond. Do you remember how you didn't think it?

0:20:25 - Speaker 1 was fun.

0:20:26 - Speaker 2 Yeah, I was like see, yeah, value is fun. Rule now is for me to get up at four, where I used to go to bed at four. So you have to look at your values when you sit down Someone and no one does it and ask yourself what do I value? But why do I value it and what is the rule? Cause some people aren't even playing in this with the same rules in the same arena, and they wonder why they get home and it's not that they don't like their spouse or do like their spouse, they just don't know who the person is. Oh, wow, yeah, right, cause it spent no time.

The most important thing that we're not taught and I do, and people ask me why do I get up at three, four in the morning? I'll tell you why. I get time with me. I get time to write down my thoughts, right, journal. I get time to sit with my thoughts when I meditate. I get time to stretch my body, which really is a pain in the butt, but I have to do.

I get time to read, right, you get time to reflect. I get time to write down my goals. I do all this before the world wakes up and that's all your choice. So my choice, you know why? Cause then, when information comes in, I have the ability to ask myself is it aligned with my purpose, my goals, right? And then, if it's not, I'm like it's not right for me, but let me see if I can help you or be of service and pass it forward when before I would take in all the information, not spend enough time with who I am and what I want and why I want it, my rules and rituals and routines and whatever, and just take on every beer. People, please are not set boundaries. Let all these people down get frustrated, cause I thought I had to be all these people for everyone else.

0:22:07 - Speaker 1 So in your addiction.

0:22:08 - Speaker 2 Yeah. So now I'm like, yeah, I can't, I'll have to say pass and I let down. I just it's just not, I just don't have the time. Yeah, but, but, but no, I don't have the time, I can't help you, I'm the wrong guy, I just can't do it. And it's. It's setting those boundaries and not people pleasing and and moving away from cultures and family rules. And you know cause? Like Europeans, you're the worst. People pleases gaslighting. They'll hate someone and like, oh, it never, I can't. But then you're buying them a Christmas present. You're like you don't even like this person. Yeah, but it's your cousin. I'm like, yeah, but you don't like them. Have you ever sat down? Yeah, Right, Cause they always say blood stick of the mortar, right. And I go yeah, If the blood is toxic, you need to get a blood transfusion.

0:22:55 - Speaker 1 A lot of people are probably nodding their heads right now to that Right.

0:22:58 - Speaker 2 Because we, we, we accept certain things, cause people say, well, it's family, yeah, but that's that's enabling people. I've seen families and there's a person in the family and they're a complete crackhead and they've looted everyone and they've stole from everyone. And I do the intervention and I'm like, yeah, but this person, you can see the problems.

0:23:17 - Speaker 1 Yeah, but it's my brother, I don't care, they're going to something bad, take that family title out of the equation, you would have a completely different relation to this experience.

0:23:26 - Speaker 2 You're enabling the person, absolutely yeah. So I always say I will support your recovery or I will support positive decisions, I will support empowering choices, I will support that and I will give you tools and I'll offer you a better way. But if you want to just go the other way, I'm not supporting it. Oh, you're a mean person. No, I'm setting boundaries. That that right. Yeah, I'm not mean. I'm being honest, oh, yeah, but no, your idea of what honesty is and authentic is different to mine, because I can say no to people, yeah, and I can't can't play by those rules.

0:24:03 - Speaker 1 You know, I've had some addiction specialists on the show before and people who have gone through their own period of addiction, and I've asked this question pretty much to everybody. But I'm curious your answer here today. People who suffer from addiction and they make a choice, a series of choices, to remove themselves from that world, that path of addiction. They tend to, in my experience, put themselves on a different path that some people might argue is just a different form of addiction. We become obsessed with marathons, we go the opposite route and just turn it to a super health nut or we just go, go, go, go go. I think, like you were saying earlier, channel that energy, channel that family trauma, channel that essence into something that is air quote here healthier, or at least just not destroying their life. Is that the case? Does addiction ever really go anywhere? It just gets rerouted.

0:25:06 - Speaker 2 Well, I think that's a good question. I think we're all different and I think addicts substitute, so I knew there was a point. I think anyone that suffered a lot of trauma and hasn't gone through a lot of talk, therapy and deep unraveling will be inclined to run through it or push through it. I love David Goggins, but there's a lot of trauma there. He's one of my favorites, but there's a lot of trauma. At what point and even Buddha talks at what point is the suffering, the emaciation? What am I running from? What am I trying to run through?

0:25:51 - Speaker 1 What I've discovered he's literally running through fires right now.

0:25:57 - Speaker 2 If I can't sit in it, there's a reason. You've got to be able to sit in it. I learned this great lesson and it changed my life. I was in a Bikram yoga class in 2006 and it was August. I got sober in April. It was in New York City, had to be about 110 degrees and the heat is on. I was friends with this girl and she's like come to Bikram. I'll never forget I was in this standing bow position and at the time I was doing Kyokushin karate, I was running five miles a day, I was doing 45 minutes of jump rope, all the extreme stuff being an athlete, being great sprinters, kid and fighting and sparring, and that wouldn't mess with me. And I was standing in this pose and I was looking down and I was sweating and my heart was racing. I was like, how is my heart racing? It confused me. So the next day I went to class and I did the same pose and I put a heart rate monitor on and my heart rate was like 155, 158.

I'm like how could it be? What is it triggering in my body? So I never really paid much attention to it and when I started writing this book, I could feel a lot of trauma. I was getting stuck because I didn't want to go straight. I had to push through it. I'm dyslexic, adhd. Like I had to sit down and write and I was tight in my legs and my groin and I was like, oh my God, this is back to the Bikram stuff. I've got to stretch through this, not run through it. So I stopped because I was running 10 miles a day at the time, because running is easy, running can give me that high, the runners high. I had to start really stretching my body and by really deep stretching the trauma, I pulled all this trauma out of my body and then I started to really understand the power of yoga and deep stretching and what stays stuck in the trauma and the sympathetic nervous system. Do you know what I'm saying? Now?

For me, the stretching is way more important than running. Yes, I lift weights, but if I have to stretch and stretch my body because that centers me and it's hard, running is hard, it's very different. It's stretching is the hardest thing. Running is easy. I can run all day and get a high, I can go to the gym, but sitting down and sitting in a posture and when your mind is racing, coming back to the moment, it's really difficult. Yeah, it's really Hard to, and especially when it hurts. Yeah, you're like I want to know I'm gonna lean into it and you like got to keep leaning into it, but that stuff is really pulls out all the aggression and the anger and the trauma. It's really important.

0:28:44 - Speaker 1 Do you ever think about, or do you have a to you real life concern, or even fear that All the ways, now that you are channeling your addiction and leaning into these new ways to Choose uncomfortability to hopefully then get your life more comfortable Do you ever worry that there's gonna be a point where that's not enough anymore?

0:29:12 - Speaker 2 No, because I I think now I'm okay with myself.

0:29:20 - Speaker 1 So okay. So it's less about chasing that sensation, Because you have what a better sense of identity now. I just don't chase it anymore.

0:29:29 - Speaker 2 I just sitting me, I'm okay with me. I'm okay with my past, like I. I ring you over the old friend. I had to call her up and make an amends and about some stuff and she's like She'd give me at my worst right. And she's like Does anyone really know how crazy you were? Because she's seen me at worse. And I said I think that some people do, but people that see me so about Don't know, because it was a completely different.

0:30:01 - Speaker 1 They know you as a different person.

0:30:02 - Speaker 2 Yeah, because I show up, I'm, yeah, I've got a temper. But back when I was using coke and smoking crack and doing her like I was out of my mind, right, and I think for me it was always try to prove that I was, I Was enough because I didn't, I didn't get any like really good affection as a kid, hmm. So when I was, I really was like a great runner but I was told I was a showoff Right. I was never like praise for being a good runner or if I Did something exceptional no one actually gave me credit. So then I was always trying to chase that to get the credit.

0:30:40 - Speaker 1 Interesting, so like I've got to just outperform.

0:30:43 - Speaker 2 Even more and kind of, eventually they're gonna get it. And then look, I'll be honest with you, my books in bookstores. My parents will never read my book. Oh, come on, seriously, yeah, that's real shit. No one, no one, none of my siblings have congratulated me, but so I so, but I'm okay with it now. Like my dad will ring me up and ask me if I have a job.

And I left home back in 1993. Come on, I swear to God, I've done TV. I'm on the TV show fucking intervention saving people's lives, and they have no clue because I left. I chose to take the hero's journey and that was because I got kicked out of school at 16. So I'll tell you that and you're like, but I'm not affected by it anymore. Before it was like I'll fucking show you guys, and now, like you just don't. You, just, you, just, you see one part of my movie and you just didn't see the whole film. You checked out, you saw the first 16 years and then I left Perth at 19 and I've had this great life right and I've done top shows. I write books. One of the top interventions there is I'm one of the most called guys there is.

0:31:51 - Speaker 1 Like people call me Incredible. You're changing other people. You know what I mean, but my family will never see it like that.

0:31:57 - Speaker 2 They'll literally ask me if I have a job and it's like okay. So I'm not now Searching that approval because I know I've arrived at a really good spot and at the end of the day, man, I know I'm kind and I'm a good person and that's all I do. Like I was in the grocery store the other day, and Whenever I'm frustrated and things don't go as planned or someone gas lights me, instead of being angry I just go and be of service. So I was in the grocery store and there was a girl in front of me and she couldn't pay her for groceries. So I was just like that's whatever. I said I'll pay for it. She's like are you serious? I'm like yeah, of course I will. You want to? You need so pay for groceries. I said what's your name? She's like destiny. I said there you go, there's your destiny, I paid for your groceries.

And she's smart. She's like what do you want me to do? And I said just be kind. So the lady the cashier knows me, she goes. It's so great. I'm like you know, I always do that. So I go out to my car and a guy follows me and he said can I speak to you? I said yeah, of course. It's like what do you do? And I said I'm a speaker, coach, interventionist. He's like you know, if you didn't do that, I was gonna do that. He goes. But the guy behind you, yeah, he goes. It was so awesome. You did that, I said. And he said do you write books? I said I do. I've got a book. I had a book in the car, gave it to me, said we have a credit union down the street and we I just left a meeting and we were like we need a speaker, an inspirational speaker. No way, I swear to God. He goes here's my card, we'll buy your books. There's 150 people in the office right Now.

If I wasn't of service, well, right, and I didn't get out of my own way when a deal didn't go my way and I was kind and compassionate and a good person, see, if I was caught in my head. What would have happened is that I've been like, just get out of the way. You can't pay your bills, not my problem. Instead of saying she can't pay a bill and not worrying about my shit at home, or this guy that dipped me on a speaking gig Right, worrying about scarcity I'm like, yeah, do you need to eat? Like let me help you. And because I feed her, the universe feeds me. Oh, yeah, yeah, brother, absolutely right, yeah, so that's what I always look at. How can I not bleed people but feed them?

And what I said the other day, which hits people, when I stop Trying to prove the world and I look to improve the world, how can I make the world a better place? How can I improve people's lives? I've got nothing to prove anymore. Guess what I get everything. The universe's plan pays me 100 times more than my plan, my plan of ego. To compare myself. I need a bigger house, I need this, I need to do this. I'm good. When I think like that, I miss all the opportunities that the the universe is like get out of way. Yeah, I got you. Just be a good person, right, stop being a douche.

0:34:54 - Speaker 1 It makes me think in these moments, when it's so easy, so natural, to react in a way that Might be the perceived norm you know, somebody cuts you off in traffic, you get pissed, you flick them off, or any kind of altercation in your day-to-day life that Gets you off of your path.

It's almost as if, in that moment, you are taking the days, weeks, months, years that you have spent devoted to building a better life for yourself, crafting a better mindset, and you're just going. You know what it's all worth just giving that up here today. Let me just take all of that time, all of that energy, all of the books, the podcasts, the course, the meditation, all that, and just Give it to this random stranger who I probably will never, ever see again. In my life we had this experience that lasts 20 seconds, if that, and then then we have a debt to pay later because we have to Come back to center, we have to gather our thoughts, we have to, you know, maybe now deal with a situation, but what you just talked about there was recognizing Moments where my power could be taken, or I can empower somebody else, and in doing so, I am continuously empowering myself.

0:36:12 - Speaker 2 If I look to empower people. All right, I'll give you a perfect example. The other day there was it, always run the tape. Now there was a girl in the grocery store and a guy was screaming at her because they'd moved the mac and cheese. And I was like, dude, you need to calm down.

0:36:27 - Speaker 1 You remind me of an old dame cook skit, but you know, there's the jelly.

0:36:30 - Speaker 2 Yeah, right, right, but it's true, right. It's like and I was like you need to calm down. And he's like, and the first thing he says is what are you a tough guy? And I said there's nowhere in my vocabulary that I saw as a tough guy, but I'm like I don't think she made the decision. She's working the cash, she's cashier. I'd worked in grocery stores packing groceries. If the manager says move stuff, you move it.

So he was all heated up and he couldn't get out of his sympathetic nervous system. He's in fight mode. This girl feels threatened. I said, dude, you need to come down, like, let it go, I'll pay for the mac and cheese. So now, this is the difference. Now he's like I'll see in the parking lot, I'm like to do what. What are you gonna do?

I'm a guy that's been in hundreds of fights in the club business. I'm out of my mind, I'm an addict, so I run the tape. I'm not gonna. First of all, I'm not hitting someone over mac and cheese and I'm not getting shot over mac and cheese. So if I hit him and knock him out and he could die, it's over mac and cheese. Yeah, if he pulls a gun out and shoots me over mac and cheese. I die Either way. I'm not fighting over mac and cheese. So what do I do? Is I walk by and go, whatever dude, and I let it go? Yeah, keep walking, I'm gonna keep walking to my car. It's mac and cheese. You're out of your mind now.

Second case if I come in the grocery store and there's a guy Punching the crap out of a woman over mac and cheese, I'm jumping in Because I'm running the tape, that I'm jumping in to help her and be of service. And if the cops come and they've got video cameras, I'm gonna be like this guy's beating the crap out of a woman over mac and cheese. Yeah, I choked him out. He needs to go to jail. If I have to go to jail for that, I'll take that. Just you know, I mean, that's the difference I look at now.

So even when I was coming here, there was a guy that cut me off in traffic Instantly. My sympathetic nervous system is through the roof, right, but I'm like oh, whatever, let him go, I don't care, I'm not gonna chase you. I don't know how, where you're going. I don't know where you left. I don't know the hurry you're in. I'm always early. I prepare, even on planes, right, I'm always early. I am so early why? Because it's a day of flying, so I expect traffic, I expect delays, I expect people to be crazy, right? So I'm always early. And if people are grumpy and they bump me, I'm like dude, go before me, go before me, do you mean so? Proper preparation prevents piss-poor performance, right?

0:38:47 - Speaker 1 Yeah, and you hit a keyword there expectations. I think that's the root of a lot of our frustration and the root of our Getting in our own way is we have just these ridiculous, aware or preconceived expectations of how our day, how the world, how others should should. I pray, exactly yeah, but what you're talking about here is such a simple mindset shift to just get out of that expectation mode. And if we just expect the opposite, if we expect something different, it's you know you're walking, you know they expect my military days, you know you're going through an experience and you're like, oh, this is like a clear, friendly zone, like, but then all of a sudden there's an ambush like no, no, no, that's a completely different situation. But if you're going intelligence reports you know we have, you know, hostiles in the area, you're on guard, you're in a completely different mindset, you're, you're literally a different human being. But it's all a matter of how you go into that situation.

0:39:41 - Speaker 2 Yeah, and I think that's why rituals and routines are the most important thing. And doing your breath, working and understanding when you're triggered, understanding your triggers, understanding what triggers you why you trigger and that we can untrigger ourselves, of course by breathing and regulating and, like they say, create a gap between the stimulus coming in and how you choose to respond.

Right. So it's like for me, I just do the basics Right get up early, meditate, read, write, journal, prepare, always prepare. I'm always really early and then I get the parking spot right out in front.

0:40:16 - Speaker 1 Yeah, yeah, you did Right, I don't worry about anything.

0:40:19 - Speaker 2 Yeah, and then, when I'm presented with information, I sit with it. I just sit with it. Okay, what is this? Let me give myself a chance to sit. I don't race. See, there's nowhere to go.

0:40:33 - Speaker 1 Where would?

0:40:33 - Speaker 2 you think there is though right when we're going we these finish lines All right, that's called destination disease. Arriving at the destination. It's a disease to think you know you're how you're gonna feel.

0:40:43 - Speaker 1 Let's go there. Please unpack that more.

0:40:45 - Speaker 2 Okay, so I'm gonna get the perfect girl. I'm gonna make a certain amount of money. I'm gonna graduate from harvard, I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna do that. I'm gonna win an olympic medal at the gold. Win a gold medal in the olympics, right? What happens the next day? It's done, it's forgotten about. That's destination disease. You never arrive, right, you're always in pursuit.

You're always, but he's the best thing. You don't worry about arriving, See, I can just be present here, Right? And this is why I tell people if you have a plan and you have a desire you know I desire to get this right let's just say you come up short, Okay. Or let's just say you win 24-hour rule. Celebrate the win for 24 hours. South of the Lost for 24 hours. You get 24 hours to reset.

0:41:36 - Speaker 1 But that kind of goes against norms. Right, we think in celebration or a win, or we accomplish something that we set out to accomplish. We, we, we deserve, we earn the right to exceed in the glory, you won the Super Bowl, right.

0:41:51 - Speaker 2 Okay, what happens the next day?

0:41:52 - Speaker 1 Why not set the same parameters around if we, if we win or lose the same scenario?

0:41:55 - Speaker 2 But it is. It's neutral because it's just what is it? At the end of the day, it's all forgotten. I tell people it's a real simple exercise. I go when was the last time you went to like the cemetery? They're like why? And I'm like that's reality, Damn, when do you end up? Look, the two of us are standing next to Bill Gates and all the billionaires in the world. Right there's, I think, 2685 billionaires and I think there's a net worth of $117 trillion. Wow, Something like that. It's like line them all up. Let's line them all up against you and I. Last day to live, we face our creator. Can I take my underwear? Nothing goes with you. Nothing's for rent. All the things that you and I own go to someone else.

0:42:45 - Speaker 1 Right or wrong, that's reality. That's the ultimate, ultimate.

0:42:49 - Speaker 2 But that's real right. Nothing comes with this. I believe I'm a spiritual being having a human experience and I have to figure out whatever the experience is in the moment. I take nothing with me, all I can do. I can't actually leave you anything. It's what I leave inside you that matters.

0:43:12 - Speaker 1 Damn.

0:43:13 - Speaker 2 Yeah, right, yeah, you're not going to remember the watch. You're going to remember how I made you feel. So if, every day, I can go around and drop a little dose of positivity on someone I didn't affect you, that one little drop of dose of positive to make you feel worthy, to make you feel seen, you go then and help the next person. The compound interest and ripple effect of that is massive. By just helping one person every day smile and feel good about themselves. That's it, that's all I do. Every day I come out of my house. My neighbor had a stroke. My other neighbor has kidney disease. My other neighbor is suffering cancer. My other neighbor lost both his parents. My other neighbor lost her husband. That's my morning walk, just saying hi to those people, making them feel good. I haven't even left my neighborhood yet, damn. Then I go to the grocery store. How many people can I touch in my grocery store? The greatest thing that my son's kindergarten teacher said to me was your son is kind, compassionate and empathetic the best feedback Right.

0:44:30 - Speaker 1 Wow, that's a reflection of you and your wife.

0:44:33 - Speaker 2 How's this? When I had my book signing. I don't watch him. Every person that walks in the book signing he goes. I have to hug you. It's my daddy's book signing, dude, he's five. I've never beat him once. I've never put my hands on him once. I did not want to download all my trauma on him. Right, I make mistakes, like any parent, but I've never put my hands on him. I've never screamed at him. He'll never walk around and say my daddy called me a loser. My daddy said what do you want to do? I said this is the job. He looks at me. I went to Nice with him.

I had to carry this kid on my shoulders eight or nine miles a day. I like to jump on my shoulders, I'll carry. Did I get home? Was my back stiff? I said to my wife I need to meditate, I need to stretch. She's like why I'm dying carrying this 50 pound kid. The point is that I will walk in the snow to let him drive a Bugatti, but I'll teach him one thing he's got to be kind, he's got to be of service. When he sees a homeless person, I go give him change. He doesn't have a home. You have a home. Always be kind, he's like okay, and he knows that person doesn't have a home. I have a home, amazing Do you see what I'm saying.

0:45:45 - Speaker 1 That reminds me of a concept that I have grown to, gone from hearing to completely adopting and believing in, and that's if we want to change the world and I think a lot of us do If we want to change the world, we have to first change our world. This reminds me of something I actually struggled with a lot in grad school. So I got my master's in health promotion and nutrition and I would always struggle with some of the professors about. You know, it was a mass approach. It was we need to target populations, we need to target neighborhoods, and at that point I was already in clinic every day with individuals working on behavior change, weight loss exercise.

I began to kind of already pivot in my belief that like, yeah, that's a good way to go, but we're just spraying and pray. If I'm in front of a person every day and we all are I have an opportunity, an obligation. I believe to be the best me to represent my ideal world and hopefully imprint on somebody else to show them an example of what can be, but also to empower them, to help them, to help each other, and then after that we're just out there in the world, carbon copying all of that and that's the ripple effect. That's the change that I think anyone listening to this show is absolutely looking for and hoping for in the world. But like, here's the opportunity, here's the calling out to do that, you just nailed it.

0:47:13 - Speaker 2 And this is what I told someone the other day Everyone's to change the world, but no one wants to look at their community. Yeah Right, so I said to someone the other day. I said do you know why? I'm completely unbreakable and I don't care? He said, well, I said, all right, I have no ego. So if I had to provide for my family tomorrow, I'll go work at a Starbucks. I don't care. Now, within three weeks, I'm going to outwork everyone in the Starbucks and they're going to say to me you probably should you start one. Say, I started at the lowest section, they're going to move me up because I want to be there.

And what's going to happen after six months? I'm probably going to be an area manager. Why? Because I have discipline, I take nothing personal and I'll just outwork you. I will just outwork you.

Now I go into everything with that mentality. See, what I tell people is this you don't need money to start. What builds self confidence and self esteem is building a skill set. So if I lean into my inclination right and I work out how to bring you value by being of service, you have to pay me for what you value. Now this is where people get it confused.

There's four parts to learning. You're unconscious and you're incompetent. You don't know what you don't know. Then you become consciously incompetent. Now you know how incompetent you are. That's hard and messy. No one wants to work through it. You work through hard and messy. Most people have quit right. You become consciously competent Not there yet. Once you are there, it's an unconscious competence, it's flow, it's ingrained in the DNA. So think about how many people are unconsciously incompetent with things they shouldn't be doing. I get up in the morning and I reach for this or I do this or I scream at people. Do you see what I'm saying? So if you lean into your inclination and you go. I'm just going to work hard on my skills, do the work in the dark to shine the bright lights, and my purpose is to bring value to other people. They will eventually pay me, because people pay you for what you value. Now, if you stand in line long enough, you get to the front. So you've got to be so good. You can't be ignored.

0:49:36 - Speaker 1 You stand in line long enough. You eventually get to the front Right.

0:49:40 - Speaker 2 So how many people quit before the magic happens? So all I do. Someone said to me how are you making it in America? I'm like they speak English, right? I'm like, yeah, I'm like I just outwork everyone. I knew I was good at acting. I knew I had some skills there. I knew I was great at selling.

0:49:55 - Speaker 1 How many people come here and don't speak English and still outwork everybody?

0:50:00 - Speaker 2 And I said, if I just simplify my life, rule of thirds, okay, when I make money, simply make money. I don't get comparison syndrome. I do what I can afford. I get a small place I eat. Second part of rule of thirds save a little bit of money to invest it in things that bring me value and myself. Third part now a little bit of fun and vacation. Within my realm it means yeah, right.

What do people do One to three? They don't work on themselves, they don't save any money right, and then they're always broke. Let me check my check.

0:50:38 - Speaker 1 As you were talking reminds me of this phrase that I pulled from some former guest of the show. I'll link this down in the notes. Where everybody be in Asriah Becker they have this book called Becoming and in it there's this quote the goal here, as you discover a version of yourself that is deeply solid but is never rigid, the goal here is to emanate a warmth that makes other people's nervous systems unwind in your presence, without you saying a single word Wow. So when I read that and then had them here to unpack that, I was like that's it, that's the goal that I am after. That's living a life ever for to where you're. Like you're saying, you're at that end. You're unconsciously competent, but it goes beyond you. That's the whole point. Wow, you are a better person and you are the person you hoped you could be and will be able to continue to be. But then that causes a ripple effect for others around you.

0:51:36 - Speaker 2 Well, I mean that goes into hurt people, hurt people heal people. Right, it's, yeah, you're just so centered and calm, that people match your energy because they feel the vibration of like oh, I'm safe.

0:51:52 - Speaker 1 That's really powerful, that's a great, that's emanate a warmth that makes other people's nervous systems unwind in your presence without you saying a single word. That's it, everybody. That's special.

0:52:04 - Speaker 2 All right wow.

0:52:04 - Speaker 1 I want to ask you, kind of going back a little bit more here to the world of addiction, because I do think that this word is very timely and I think a lot of people are addicted to different things here in the modern world 2023, and we either are aware of it and it's a joke because it's, you know, social media, it's what everybody's doing or we're unaware of it and it potentially could be a silvery slope, and I think this is especially true for people in the entrepreneur space, creatives and you were hanging around with these types of people before.

That was the word artist and you know, last time I met you as fanboying over, you know, these photos you were sharing with Scott Wilden and all these just great 90s rock groups that I just grew up adoring, and you know I think the same would be said for them. You know, artists people that just have this thing inside of them that they have to find an outlet to get it out, whether that's music, whether that's painting, whether that's video, youtube, podcast, whatever do you think creatives, artists, are more inclined to addiction of a variety of sorts than the average person, the person who is not an artist or creative.

0:53:18 - Speaker 2 You know what's really interesting. I think we're all addicted to something. That's a bold statement and I think. But I just think some addictions are more destructive than others. So, for me, substance, it's cocaine and it's, like you know, alcohol and then. But then meditation to me, I'm like I'm addicted to meditating, but that's not destructive, that gets me centered. So when I start to look at, I think all the worlds are staged and we're all players. I think we're all creators at different levels, right, sure, and I think some people are just have a deeper reservoir to create.

So if you listen to, say, someone that writes great, you know great book, like Stephen King, for example, right, I'm, I can't articulate myself like Stephen King, it's just not in. It's just not not my talent, right, but I can write books and I write them the way I write them. But if you listen to us, you read Stephen King and and the way he writes his books, it's just like that's a really deep well. So I think everyone has a different well, right, with their creativity bubble and and what we draw from.

So but I think we all have, you know, I know people that addicted their phones, some people addicted to sugar, some people addicted to junk food. Some people addicted to bad relationships yeah right, some people gamble, some people it's porn orthorexia addicted to healthy habits exactly so I think we all have something, and I think part of the human experience is for us to do our best to find the middle ground every day in our own thing. But if you really start to, there's no rules to addiction. I think when you start to really study people, I think what we do is we spotlight certain behaviors. But if you pull back, I guess I get a different look at it, because I see some people that you would think on the outside have it together and there no one does no one.

0:55:25 - Speaker 1 No, no, no, we're all figuring it out.

0:55:27 - Speaker 2 Yeah, we're all just figuring out moment by moment, and that's why I tell people when people say, oh yeah, I was under stress, right, I go. No, no, no, under pressure. True character is revealed like that, right. So when people say, well, I was under pressure, I snapped, that's who you are, someone that snaps under pressure. So when I look at a guy like and I talk it in my book there's direct mentors where people could call you and I directly and we mentor them. Then there's indirect mentors where you're indirectly affected by the journey of another person that inspires you, educate you or motivate you, right like someone that we read or follow or listen to right so my favorite indirect mentor is Victor Frankle.

Not a bad one, right? Why? Because I think, wait a second. He went through Auschwitz and was calm and peaceful now. And Stockdale is another one, general Stockdale, who the prison?

0:56:24 - Speaker 1 of all yes right, so when?

0:56:26 - Speaker 2 I look years, years, eight years beating whatever and always had faith he'd get out so for me, stoic fan as well.

There you go right exactly if I look at those guys as my indirect mentors, and I'm driving down the highway and I'm in sunny, something in California, with these first world problems and I really they're really first word problems and I think, all right. What would Stockdale say to me right now? Or what would, uh, victor Frankle say? They'd be like Mike, seriously, I'm in a prison, of war camp, or I'm in Auschwitz. You're walking down the street and someone cuts you off, or they didn't give you a speaking gig, seriously, or you got a little lawsuit, get a lot. You know what I'm saying. So that makes me reframe my perspective, sure of like that kind of like slow down. So I think to me it's like looking at like, yeah, like those people, and looking at myself and then that's really to me those guys are like the purist.

0:57:26 - Speaker 1 It's hard to top that because you aren't, objectively, the worst case scenarios anyone could ever hope to find themselves, and they were and they were Stoic and they were like they remained peaceful.

0:57:35 - Speaker 2 It's like it's like, uh, nelson Mandela does 28 years and he comes out peaceful. Yeah, he's like cool, he could have set fire to the world, right? So to me, that's those people have got this point. Where that's there's, where's the addiction in that they're not ruminating. You can be addicted to your thoughts. You can be addicted to anger. You can be addicted to negative emotions. You can be addicted to your resentments. You know what I mean. So people look at one of these things, but then I say, okay, so there's a guy or a girl and you're like how do they drop dead at like 40 years old? They have a massive tumor. I'm like, well, what were they doing in their mind? You thought it was perfect. How many people do we see now dropping dead really young? Right, anurims, right. So what's going on? So it's like I don't think harbored stress, thank you.

0:58:26 - Speaker 1 Yeah, you're addicted to your stress emotions, right you're?

0:58:29 - Speaker 2 addicted to your stress, you're addicted to your past, you're addicted to your trauma. It could go on forever. So I think we all carry with Lord. We're all flawed right.

0:58:40 - Speaker 1 Is it possible for us to ever be our own mentor? Because you're talking about people here who were in, objectively again, the world's worst case scenarios, the worst experience a human could ever find themselves in, and they were leaning into life experiences of others. I think in one way you could say it's a coping mechanism like we need. The human consciousness needs to detach itself from this scenario and kind of go somewhere else. But maybe the person listening right now goes. You know, hopefully you can think of the show and Mike and me, but you know I don't have that person. Or when I'm in worst case scenario, when I'm in the shit, you know, in my addiction or just in my poor health, whatever that might be, I can't think of somebody else. I can't get out of my own way and go think about somebody else that had it worse, or go call on that mentor. I need to be able to call on myself. How do we do that?

0:59:32 - Speaker 2 I think you do. I think what you just said is really brilliant. So I think I I was so weird. You said this. I got up the other morning at four in the morning and because I get myself up, seems to be a theme so far.

0:59:43 - Speaker 1 Yeah, three, four in the morning, right?

0:59:45 - Speaker 2 and I was really sore and I was stretching my body and I know I have to stretch, no matter how I feel. And I was stretching my body and I was like, wow, how interesting it's dark. I'm stretching my body and it doesn't matter what my parents said, it doesn't matter if I had billions of dollars, it doesn't matter if I had the best Olympic coach. I have to stretch my body in the morning. So I think what you've got to do is gather the information, but then you have to have the ability to actually do the work yourself to apply it to yourself and find meaning and I think the mentors help you and they inspire you and they teach you that it's work.

But then you have to, like Kobe wasn't the greatest player, he realized after he lost to Utah, you know, at 1718, he had to go get his, you know, go back to the gym and throw three, thousands of three throws over the summer because he's like that's a different level. No, phil Jackson wasn't going to mentor him on that. He had to do it and he had great people around him. You, you, the mentors, help us see what's possible, right, yeah, but we have to still walk the path. Yeah, they can show us the path, but we still have to walk it.

Do you know what I mean? Like I could have Carl Lewis as the great, as the greatest runner. I still love Carl Lewis. Back in the day to me he was my best and Carl Lewis could be my coach, but I've still got to go it up and run, run the hills by myself. So it the mentors, the inspiration that it's possible, and here are the tools. But if you run, you know 10, 50s and you run the hills, I've still got to get my ass up and run the hills.

1:01:26 - Speaker 1 So the mentor can't carry you, your parents can't carry you, the banker can't carry you because, at the end of the day, I've got to carry myself up the hill you know and that reminds me, I feel, where I was talking about this recently maybe a social media or something that it we often, I think, don't give ourselves enough credit for the hard times that we have been through and the holes that we have pulled ourselves out from, because in the new holes and in the new shit storms, that goes out the window. Yeah, the next time that you are having the worst day ever, you don't know when you're going to get out of the situation. The end is an insight you're maybe struggling with an addiction of some sort. You just you can't snap out of it. You've been here before in some capacity.

1:02:13 - Speaker 2 Yeah, no, you know that and that's we've all felt the bottom before. Yeah, and I think that's the only reason you have a mentor, and that's when you read an inspiring story, just say, okay, they've, they've gone through it, I can get through it. And just you know what the best thing is just stay in the moment, just just, just get through the moments.

1:02:33 - Speaker 1 I think having a mentor this is kind of a new rule of thirds here. I think having a mentor, having these people that we can call on, listen to, read, go to, to show us what is possible, that is an end outcome, that is a finish line. Okay, finish line is possible. That I can relate to. That's point B. I'm at point A. Recall on that's best case scenario. Go back to worst case scenario of yourself, go back to your worst day ever. Now you have comparison, you have, you have relevance. I was at the bottom here. There's the top over there. I'm somewhere in the middle. Now let me come to the present moment and figure out which direction I want to go, because right now I have two options. Nobody wants to go back to that worst case scenario. We know this finish line is possible because we have proof. Where do you want to go? Yeah, where do you want to go?

1:03:23 - Speaker 2 and just, down course, just just just. It's not supposed to go as planned. Just just, am I okay, right, this second, and if you're not, just am struggling, okay.

1:03:35 - Speaker 1 I'm so glad you said that. I think that that has been one of my favorite truths that I have been sharing, maybe the last a couple years. I've slowly adopted this belief of meaningful small talk. You know, when I'm in an Uber or I'm talking to somebody or even just say, hey, what's up? Man, instead of going oh, yeah, hot weather or a minute, insert any kind of bullshit response here, actually being honest and going to today sucks, I mean. I'm not trying to be a Debbie downer, for everybody but real padding it a little bit, being real and just get out.

Man, I've had better days. Yeah, you know you can. Then you can move on. But I have found the level of just feeling like I can finally take a breath by letting a little bit of that out and opening up the channel for a truthful, meaningful conversation, however short lived it might be, and it deepens that relationship. I wind up talking to my Uber driver about something really interesting for the whole course of my trip. I have a great conversation with person getting my coffee. They also then kind of feel a safe space. There's that nervous system safe space. We've been talking about that like okay, you know what. I don't have to put on this facade either. I can actually be somewhat truthful and let my guard down a little bit. I'm gonna feel better. This person's gonna feel better. Then we're both gonna have better days about it yeah, I think that's just.

1:05:02 - Speaker 2 I have had a neighbor, just I could see she was struggling and I just, you're okay. She's like I'm not. I just gave her half an hour just to dump. She's like I don't know why I'm telling you all this. I'm like it's fine, it's fine. So it's like she dumped all the stuff and she had a toxic boss and I was like what are you doing? Because I'm an accountant. I'm like you know what? Just try to send out some resumes. I said where do you think you want to work? She's like I want to live in Phoenix, it's okay. I saw her last week and she grabbed my notebook. She read it. She's like you changed my life. I said what do you mean? She goes. I got a job in Phoenix, I'm selling my house, I'm out, wow.

1:05:37 - Speaker 1 And I was like oh you're just unpacking that little how do I change your life?

1:05:43 - Speaker 2 she goes. You just let me speak. I didn't think I was going crazy. A lot of the time I get on the phone of people, I'll get interventions. I just listen and I'm like, okay, you're in the weeds, it's okay, I've been in the weeds, let me just try to. Let's just do the basics and then, once you get the basics done, it's just just day by day you know, that's so true man oftentimes and reminds me of back in my coaching days.

1:06:15 - Speaker 1 Some of the best sessions I ever had with my clients and some of the best results and most adherent results we ever had didn't always come from when I provided a solution I get hey, you know, here's what you need to eat, here's what you how you need to move your body. It was just holding space for that 30 minute hour session and letting them express themselves long enough, I think, give some feedback to then walk out empowered. And I used to call it this inception approach, where most people, I think, know what they want to do, know what they need to do, but until that idea is theirs first, it doesn't stick. You know, we need to be three dreams deep. Yeah, in a conversation with someone, they voiced the thing that we have been trying to hint at for god knows how long. Then, when they finally wake up, like that's what I'm gonna do, not because of somebody else told it to me, but I in my core believe it to be true and I just didn't have enough safe space until now to talk about it.

1:07:17 - Speaker 2 Yeah, you just gave people's, just let them talk through it. Yeah, that's so powerful, it's so true, but not many people. That's what growing up is tough if you grow up in a toxic environment, around people yelling and screaming conditions, unrealistic standards. Yeah, you can't just sit with your thoughts and most people don't know what they think and how they feel because they've never had a chance to actually look at those feelings and thoughts and unpack them and say why do I really think that? Like, why do I really think? Why am I feeling? Do I really like that? Do I dislike it? I don't know, and it's okay not to know.

1:07:57 - Speaker 1 Yeah, it's okay to say I don't know. That's the thing asking questions, many of us might believe then has to come with an answer. But no, you don't have to have an answer for your question, right?

1:08:10 - Speaker 2 now say I don't know, let me sit in it, let it come to you and then, if you don't know, you look, I actually don't know, I don't have the answer. That's okay as well. Sometimes you don't have the answer, like I wouldn't have any. I need any more time. More needs to be revealed. I'm not gonna rush, who knows?

1:08:27 - Speaker 1 Mike, I want to ask you if you can think back on your time in addiction. What was your lowest low during that time and what was your highest high? Literally, where were you? What were you doing and what was the mindset like that, that state of being made you feel like what you're doing was like this is a good thing, this is. I'm gonna keep this out it's like this.

1:08:51 - Speaker 2 It's so funny. So the highest high was kind of weird because it became my lowest low. My highest high was when Scott and I were gonna when VH1 agreed Scott Wyland, scott Wyman and.

1:09:08 - Speaker 1 Lisa of Stone Temple.

1:09:09 - Speaker 2 Pilots was in Velvet of Over the Time VH1. I love that bit. Yeah, velvet VH1 had agreed to do a pilot, yeah, with us, and we were shooting the pilot and yeah, it's just out of my mind, right. And then the lowest low was two weeks after we'd shot the pilot and there's a couple weeks after I don't know two weeks, but a couple weeks after and we were, we all messed up and drugs cocaine and that and his wife, mary, had had enough and she was just like you know, I'm done, I'm not gonna play this game anymore.

And For me it was like all the games over and for him it was like just whatever, she kind I don't know if he, I don't know what he was thinking, but I don't know if he was thinking She'll, she won't leave me, or I just was like it was too real for me. He was unshaken by that, yeah, but I was. And I think what, what shook me more than anything? That he wasn't shaken and I kind of didn't have kids and I didn't have a wife. I was just out of my mind and I zoomed out for once and and saw the forest from the trees and was like I don't know where this is gonna go. But I Just was like I've climbed the wrong mountain. Wow, you know what I mean? Like it's not supposed to feel like this, it's not supposed to look like this.

I came from Australia with nothing like I thought that's why I say destination disease, right, but I'd become, I Become something. I Intuitive thing, you, it wasn't my calling to Go out like that. I'm not gonna drink myself, drug myself to death Because it's cool. No one stopped me. I was getting tons of money.

1:10:56 - Speaker 1 And it sounds like you were in the time in place and with the people that Eating all I never paid for anything.

1:11:03 - Speaker 2 It was just like you're around the biggest rock stars in the world, host and parties with them, traveling wherever you want. It's like I know why people don't get out, because, no, you, you feed the beast and you think somehow You're going to get through it. You don't get through it. That's why people die, that's why people overdose, that's why people get in horrible car accidents, that's why people lose everything. That's why people sign horrible contracts because you don't really. It's so surreal. And you know, when I landed in America with nothing and then, six months, a year later, I was running the hottest clubs in Miami at what? 24 years, 23, 24 years old, and you're making thousands of dollars and girls are literally begging you to get in and rock stars are your friends and you're like huh, this is real and you're standing at the front of a club in Miami.

1:11:59 - Speaker 1 This be bad.

1:12:00 - Speaker 2 You don't know and I was sober at the time and then you drink and you party when everyone else is doing it and you don't know the catastrophe that's going to happen. It's like you're coming to the edge of the water's edge. You know what I mean. You know you're gonna tip over, but no one else is freaking out.

Everyone on the boat is going over and you're not smart enough to know that the whole boat is going under like everyone's gonna drown, everyone's gonna drown. I've been in rooms with some of the biggest like you're like this is I gotta get out of here, but people just sit around going oh yeah, it's like you watching the tsunami come you like is that a scene? No, it can't be. It wipes out the village and that's what addiction is and that's what Living, like you say, the high life and getting caught up in the game. And now it's. I don't regret anything. The only thing I regret is and I don't regret it, but it's like time wasted, sure, yeah, like every night was Saturday night and it didn't have to be.

1:12:56 - Speaker 1 You know me like it's a lot to keep up with man.

1:12:59 - Speaker 2 It's a fucking Wednesday at three in the afternoon you think it's Saturday night, like what are you doing? And you're working, not saying you're not working but. I was around people that could do massive amounts of coke and run millions and millions of dollars through their hands on Wall Street, like we. But it was just, it was insanity. I've never seen so much money, so much sex, so much debauchery. Just it's like how does it look? I mean I could never write about it, but my son will write about it one day because it's so surreal, like it's like what?

we've all seen Wolf of Wall Street, yeah, but it was that kind of level it was, that it doesn't, it's not, it's crazy so someone's listening right now to this conversation and maybe I think one of two things are gonna happen.

1:13:47 - Speaker 1 One, they're gonna have this gut feeling of you know what? There's an addiction in my life. There's something I've been ignoring, I've been pushing down or I'm at least questioning that. I want to evaluate that relationship. Is it healthy or not to there's gonna be a curious person and want to just evaluate their life for the sake of where can I optimize? Where can I maybe get ahead of something that is turning into an unhealthy habit, potentially addiction? What would you say to either of those people that wants to evaluate an addiction or just become curious about their life and their choices to Maybe get ahead of an addiction? How could they do that?

1:14:23 - Speaker 2 Yeah, that's great. So I would always say if it's a drug or alcohol thing, put it down. Say you feel that sounds so easy, though right, but see how you feel when you put it down. Okay, okay, so I'm gonna not drink for six months. Why couldn't do that? Why, why?

1:14:42 - Speaker 1 What about just today?

1:14:42 - Speaker 2 just don't drink, no, but wait a second, if I say to you if you, if you think it's alcohol, and I go, don't drink for six months. And you make an excuse, I see, I see. Okay, I'll give you the example. There's two guys in the drunk tanker jail. Guy goes over to the first guy. They both got caught. Will you drink and drive again? He says absolutely no, it's the dumbest thing I've ever thought of doing. Not an alcoholic. He knows not to drink and drive. Second guy will you drink and drive again? He goes yeah, I just want to take the freeway, I'll take the back streets. So what I'm trying to say is what's the excuse If you can't put something down that you think and you're questioning it's destructive? Look at why you think it's destructive and put it down. And if you can't put it down, ask yourself why so?

1:15:34 - Speaker 1 it's not as much the substance as it is the behavior.

1:15:40 - Speaker 2 Addiction is a behavior. I'm an addict. Forget the substance. I've got to work on myself and my behaviors. See, I could not drink, I could not do drugs, but I could still be a savage, right. So I said look at your behavior. Okay, why am I altering my mood? Remember, avoid paying game pleasure. What am I avoiding in myself and why am I going to something external to feel the internal? So, what am I doing that's altering my mood? And what's the problem? Well, I think it's drinking. Put it down. Go to meetings for six months. See how you fear, why I couldn't do that. Well then, you have a drinking problem. Well, it's.

It's the shopping online. Don't shop for six months. Yeah, but I have it in your house is like full of things, you don't need anything, right. Then you have a shopping problem. Okay, you're dating online. Every night it's a different. But don't date for six months what I have to date, why? Well, I need to feel that the feeling ah, right, you bought another cat, you got 52 cats. Why'd you buy another cat? Why need another cat? Because the cat needs friends. No, you don't. Don't do it for six months. See what you can put away for six months to a year right now. Let's just say you do a year and you get through the year and then the first thing you do is Do it go back to that behavior.

1:17:11 - Speaker 1 So that what then? You just prove that you can just table it for a while, that you just just like white knuckling.

1:17:18 - Speaker 2 It's, you know, like a dry drunk Mm-hmm, right. So it's like look at the behavior and if, if you are thinking about it as well, like I can't wait to drink, I can't wait to drink as soon as I did these, I'm gonna count up those 365 days, that's a problem. I Can't wait to shop, and it's like everything else, then you've got it. You're not addressing something inside that needs to be addressed. There's a wound, there's some trauma, there's something that's coming up that you're not addressing.

1:17:47 - Speaker 1 And once you address it, then you can move through it. Would you apply that same advice to the person? Is maybe like the second part, addiction curious, you know, I'm wondering if I'm too addicted to online shopping.

1:17:59 - Speaker 2 Don't stop shopping, okay, yeah, do you really need it, or is it a want?

1:18:04 - Speaker 1 That seems so easy though.

1:18:06 - Speaker 2 No, but think about it. I go to some. On the other day they got a BMW and I'm like well, I need the car. And they're like you know you need transport. You're in debt massive amounts of money. Why do you have the be? Well, it makes me look good. Bomb Mmm makes me look good. You need transport, but you're you're putting yourself out there in a way that you have to compare yourself. Look, if you strip it down, right, you don't need a lot of clothes. Look all the really successful guys. They're minimalists. They barely wear anything. They wear the same crap. They get by because they know how to simplify their lives.

1:18:38 - Speaker 1 Talk about reducing decision fatigue. Right, exactly, reduce decision fatigue.

1:18:42 - Speaker 2 Strip it down and go from there.

1:18:44 - Speaker 1 Well, all of this, I think, when we soak it up, mull it over and then apply, it is going to help us move forward in a area of our life, or if not all areas of our life, ever for it, as I say. My final question, mike, is when you hear those two words ever forward, what does that mean to you? If you were to describe what it means to live a life ever forward in your world through your eyes, what does that mean? What does that look like?

1:19:09 - Speaker 2 Well, see, first of all, it's the it's so good, thank you, because I always feel like we're always moving forward and for me, you know, time always moves forward, so I just have to stay present and allow things to move forward by making empowering choices.

1:19:29 - Speaker 1 Time waits for no one. That's no. What a great reminder that right To move forward we don't need to, it's gonna do it for us, anyway. So I just need to be here, just be he now and allow it to unfold. What a burden off of our shoulders. Like you know, because I think I'm actually kind of researching some stuff now for an upcoming episode I want to do solo all about this quote.

I heard this term purpose anxiety. Oh, that's great. Purpose anxiety. I think it was look at some old ritual content or something. And and you know he's a former addict as well and just you know, go, go, go, go, high success ultramarathon. And you know he was like no, no, I'm gonna be here now for a little while.

And I think a lot of people are suffering from purpose anxiety right now, and we're in a great time to have this podcast, to have your book and to learn ways that we can. Okay, I'm gonna move forward, I'm gonna better my life. I'm gonna go, go, go, go, go. What's my purpose, what's my meaning, fulfillment? But talk about decision fatigue. You know what's the? What's the best hack, what's the best routine, what's the best book? What are the best podcast, what are the best routine supplements, training, nutrition, all these things, and really you know, this is coming from someone who does this for a living. I create, I have these platforms. I'm I've been looking for ways to move the needle and then I share them here. I Would tell everybody just get still get quiet and just pay attention. It's a pay attention to what is going to inevitably just pour out of you. The answers are right here.

1:21:07 - Speaker 2 You just gotta get. Still, you just nailed it. I would just say this just do the next right thing, that's it. Don't ever think, do not overthink it. Let it let the process unfold. Step back a little bit that it unfold.

1:21:22 - Speaker 1 Well, mike, where can people go to connect with you? I'm gonna have all the information and book, of course, listed, but where are you hanging out the most online? Where?

1:21:28 - Speaker 2 Instagram, the Mike underscore diamond Instagram, and that's where I'm pretty much they're gonna tweet much and just cuz they can pull your tweets up from 10 years ago which.

1:21:40 - Speaker 1 I'll just say when I was kind of researching you a bit more, there is another Mike diamond that is like this Fitness junkie, just Jack dude, I'm like I mean you're a baby boy, but I was there's the boys do yeah, there's the plumber.

1:21:54 - Speaker 2 Oh, I didn't know about the Mike D the plumber and I have colliders and people when I do speaking gigs like it's not the plumber, there's the BC boys, is the plumber like yeah. So it's.

1:22:03 - Speaker 1 Yeah, I did. In that YouTube rabbit hole I did wind up watching a Mike diamond BC boys interview. Anyway, I'll say, oh, I haven't seen anything from them?

1:22:10 - Speaker 2 Oh yeah, it's not me just, Mike.

1:22:13 - Speaker 1 This is my pleasure man. Thank you so much for being here.