Self-Awareness: A Wake-Up Call to the World

Most of us are sleepwalking through life. When we can truly focus, truly control our mind, we can accomplish so much more.

Video Transcript:

For most people, they’re kind of sleepwalking through life. They’re letting life happen to them.
They’re never really in control. And you know, when you can put your mind, where you want, when you want, for as long as you want, that opens up to freedom of truly living an incredible life.

Self-awareness is a wake-up call to the world.

So when someone is not self-aware, they really aren’t aware of what’s going on around them.
And when that happens, we have a tendency to go down into our subconscious and do things we later
regret. Ten thousand years ago, when a saber-tooth tiger was near you, you would run. It was critical for your survival. Well today, most of the things we have are perceived threats, threat to our ego, threats to what people think about us.

So we have a stimulus. Someone in a meeting says something to you, and you think, whoa, they think I’m stupid. And you react to it. And all of a sudden, everything going on around you is gone. And you are so consumed with this thought and this feeling. It just enrages you, and you’re likely to say something that really could be damaging to your career, to your family, to your relationships. So what we want to do is, rather than having a stimulus, immediately have you respond from this emotional area which normally won’t serve you. Instead, engage the most powerful thing we have as human beings are prefrontal cortex.

You’ll feel it. You’ll feel it inside that icky sauce. It kind of happens. It may be a lump in your throat or feeling in your gut or tightness in your heart or in your jaw. As soon as you sense that stop. Stop., take some water, take a deep breath. If we do that, we now engage the beautiful part, this part of us that really can make everything right. And we now gain control. You’re not a victim anymore. You’re actually in a position to take charge, take control. Just because the world has been a certain way in the past doesn’t mean it has to be that way in the future. And if you’re willing to become self-aware, to wake up, we can change everything together.

So as we kind of get into this conversation, you and me, the part I really want to emphasize is: you’re in
control. You can become control in every aspect of your life. Psychology, psychotherapy, all that stuff is great, but nobody knows themselves the way you know. So I want to spend some time and talk about myself for a moment here, because the journey to self-awareness has been a long one. When I was a kid, I was always self-confident. I was passionate. I knew kind of what I wanted to do when I grew up. I wanted to be a doctor. Always had this ambition to be more, and that was driven by my ego. So I want to be really clear on that. That was a journey of myself, wanting to be good, wanting to be the best. They took me into college. In medical school, I graduated first in my class. I was picked as the Intern of the year, went to the top program in critical care, and decided to be a critical care physician because I wanted to help the whole person. And I loved it. I went out thinking I was equipped to take care of the world, helped a lot of people over time in the ICU.

But the one thing that start weighing on me is, I never got anybody healthy. I kept them from drowning. They were like bodies floating down the river. I pull them out, resuscitate them, put them back on dry land, and send them on their way. But I never really moved upstream to find the hole in the bridge, where they were falling into the water. And I noticed that in my life. The luster and the enthusiasm I had of going into work every day was starting to fade a little bit. It was more becoming a job. Medicine was changing, becoming more big business. It just wasn’t right. And so, I made a crazy decision. I decided to leave that and focus on moving upstream and helping people create help.

My wife was a gem. We had three year old and three month old kids. Gosh, it was tough. I mean, you’d imagine taking young kids like that. So Laurie came with me. We went out to Oregon to start this new idea of creating health. We lived on credit cards for two years and made no money. I wasn’t a great businessman, but I had this idea, and I stayed with it. And even though I was writing credit card checks from one credit card to pay the interest on the other, just creative financing to get by. I was with my family. I was starting to bring joy back. We were traveling and enjoying ourselves, but we didn’t have any money. We had ourselves. We were connected to the things I valued most. That’s where it started. I recognized I wanted to have that for others. I wanted to help people truly create better health and well-being in their lives.

So why I’m telling you that is because I’ve taken a personal journey of development, of awareness, of self-management, self-growth, to give me the psychological flexibility, the emotional agility, the emotional literacy to be able to, in any situation, look at the outcome I want for this mission and move it forward. And once I realized that and started working on that, I realized that everything happening outside, all the thoughts I’m having, all the feelings I’m experiencing, are not me. I’m the pure essence of this idea of creating optimal health and well-being. And now I can help you, too.

So what I’d love to do is use the metaphor of a river. In up at the top of a river, it’s calm, but if you notice rivers going down through rocks. They create eddies and currents. And the rocks take this calmness that we’d love to have and it churns it up. So that’s your stuff, your stuff is actually the rocks. When we’re in that river and responding to it, we’re trying to keep our head above water. We’re just trying to get by. So the first thing we want to do is move back, sit on the bank of the river and observe those rocks. And then, what we’re going to start doing is start taking those rocks out concept by concept, one at a time. We’re aware of it, and it no longer can have that effect on us.

Take a deep breath, recenter ourselves. Let those feelings pass. Those negative feelings take about 90 seconds and then they’re gone. And then, this beautiful friend of yours, this brilliant mind that you have, the ability to really think and rationalize and choose the outcomes you want, then becomes present. It’s important to realize, it’s not that difficult. This journey is simple, it’s brilliant, and it will allow you over time to really focus on what matters most. And it’s inside of us. It’s our consciousness, it’s our ability to sit back and look at all the things happening around us and maintain that calm. Because we know things are going to happen in our life. But if we can become the chief architect, designer, and thinker of our own lives, we can have full power, full control. You determine the outcome. It’s possible. And we can think for ourselves in a way that supports the things that are important to us.

We now have all the things that really matter to provide, be great parents, great friends, great community members, and put us in a place that the world sorely needs.

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