Episode 147 | December 18, 2018

Reach Your Full Potential with Dr. Chris Zaino

A Personal Note from Orion

When was the last time you were in a tricky or uncomfortable situation, and wished some kind of superhero or someone would come and rescue you? Whether that was sitting by the side of the road with a flat tire, or overcoming a critical illness, you have probably experienced a few times in your life where you wished someone would just swoop in and carry you off into the sunset, away from your problems. But here is the reality: no one is coming!

In fact, that superhero you wish for is already within you. You are capable of doing things that are bigger than yourself, things that you have never thought possible, once you learn how to tap into that hero essence inside of you. By knocking down all your fears and roadblocks, your inner superhero can lead the way to living the life that you dream of.

My guest today is a real-life hero (and he looks like a Marvel comics superhero too!). Dr. Chris Zaino overcame a life-threatening disease and pulled himself out of a deep hole in his life when he realized that nobody but himself could save him. He is a world-renowned speaker, author, and entrepreneur who became a doctor. Tune in for a very inspiring episode!

About Today’s Show

Hello, welcome to Stellar Life Podcast. Do you remember a time in your life when you did something heroic? Something that is bigger than yourself? Something that you didn’t even know that you can do that gave you a lot of pride and joy? That is not a separate part from you. This is your essence. And in essence, you are capable of living a heroic life and doing heroic things. And I believe that in each and every one of us, there is this greatness that we can all tap into and unleash. I believe that with all my heart. My guest today is Dr. Chris Zaino. He looks like a hero. He is a former Mr. America, Mr. Universe, and IFBB pro bodybuilder. He’s a world-renowned speaker, author, and entrepreneur. Experienced his own trauma and recovered from a deadly terminal disease and became a doctor and wanted to help others. And now he helps others not only on the physical level but also helps them with their mentality. He created the I  Am Hero project to resurrect heroes from that complacency of their secret identity so they can leave a heroic life once again. By expressing and experiencing true love now in every year of their life, and through his four-step methodology, he helps heroes rise. And now without further ado, on to the show. Hello, Dr. Chris, and welcome to Stellar Life Podcast. It is so nice to have you.

Oh, thank you so much for having me. And everybody who’s listening, I appreciate you guys and want to give everybody a lot of value today. So it’ll be fun.

Wonderful. Before we start, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I have a bunch of different lives. Let’s start in 1998. So in 1998, I was 21, I won Mr. America. That was cool. That was kind of a childhood dream. And I have my degree in exercise physiology from the University of Central Florida. I lived in Orlando. And so with that title and that degree, I was a trainer for some of the Orlando Magic team. I worked at Universal Studios with the show Xena: Warrior Princess, which some people remember and Hercules so that was really cool.

I used to love those.

Yeah, wasn’t that cool? It was an awesome job. It was really good. The internet was starting to rise up. So I started writing a lot for internet websites, doing covers of magazines and stuff like that. Everything was awesome. And then a couple years later, I got married and everything was cool. And about six months into my marriage I just start going to the bathroom a lot. You know, just like a stomach bug. I didn’t think it was a big deal and it got worse and worse and I started bleeding every time I went to the bathroom. So I went online and I typed in “bloody stool” and the first thing that pops up is cancer. I’m 26 years old and I’m like, “what the hell’s going on” because my dad died of cancer and my grandfather died of cancer.

And I just kind of disassociated with the lifetimes. When we have an insurmountable issue in our lives, we run and that’s what I did emotionally. I just disassociated and just didn’t know what to do. And then my whole life started getting worse and worse. I started losing weight tremendously and then the day I couldn’t really hide it anymore was at a department store. I would always check out to see where the bathrooms were everywhere I went. This health condition became like an emotional thing. Then these bathrooms were locked and they said: “yeah, just go outside they’re under construction.” I didn’t make it and in front of about 40 people in this department store I lost my bowels in public for the first of many times.

What does momentum do? It proves to you that you made the right decision. Click To Tweet

Oh my god.

So the reaction of people was what you just did. Everybody reading, you could probably lose your bowels in public and get away with it. But when it’s bloody mucus that’s coming through your jeans, it freaks people out. So I just remember at that moment… whether it be health and talking in a health circumstance but whether it be your finances, your relationships, your business or your health, little issues compound and they’re always going to get worse and worse and worse over time if you don’t get to the cause of it. And here I found myself like in the middle of this department store just going “what the hell has happened to me?” “What’s my life become?”   

My entire day was just destroyed. You know it was your awakening time it’s like, “wow. I am really rock bottom right now.” So I ran out of there, called my wife and then we went to the hospital. I was diagnosed with an incurable terminal disease called Ulcerative Colitis. They put me on tons of drugs. The drugs gave me Hepatitis. Basically, I went from 230 lbs. to 158 in about three and a half months and the only option at that point was surgery. They want to take out my entire colon, I’ll be on six grand worth of meds every month. They said I was sterile. It was a nightmare. And so that was the moment where I had some amazing life-changing events that happened, that allowed me to experience and see that this whole episode I’m talking about is an experience that really took my life to one of the greatest lives I could ever have.

So I went home to see my mom. I’m wearing a mask because I’m on immunocompromising  medications and stuff and my mom already lost my dad. She lost two sons already so this is son number three. She’s really going through a rough time. And she sends out that email that every mom would send out, Prayer for Son, and everybody’s saying hope the surgery goes well, and then my anatomy teacher from 10th grade says “I want to see Chris when he comes home.” So I come home and then I was like, “Hey Mr. Bowerman what are you doing here?” He was like, “I need you to go see my doctor. He’s a chiropractic specialist, he works with your spine and will change your life.” And he said it in a way where it was so nonchalant but you have to understand I tried everything. I went to the best doctors in the world. I went to billion-dollar facilities. I had $250,000 in medical bills.

So I told him “Mike Listen, I appreciate you being empathetic and wanting to help me but no thanks. I tried everything.” And then he said this to me, “well, you didn’t try everything because if you tried everything, you would have your result.” And so I’m going to take a little sidebar here for everybody who’s listening. You know, a lot of times you feel you’re stuck somewhere and you don’t realize that becoming a victim or losing hope is a disease process. Meaning, whether it be your relationship, your finances, your business, you don’t realize you’re losing hope until you’re there. You don’t even realize you’re becoming a victim until someone says something that shakes you out of it. Like, for instance, like what he said, “well, you didn’t try everything because if you tried everything you would have had your health.” It woke me up. I was like, “oh my god, he’s right.” I became a victim and didn’t realize it. I went out to see this doctor and he just talked to me about the brain and the nervous system, the spine, everything that everybody knows, you know, your brain controls everything. And then he showed me blind spots.

You might feel like you’re the victim and you need someone or something to shake you out of it.

I didn’t realize, another thing guys if you’re reading, and you’re not reaching a certain level of success or desire that you want,  it’s because there could be blind spots that you don’t realize. So he took pictures of my spine. I never knew what my spine looks like and I had so much damage in my lower spine. Now, the way the body works, your brain sends messages through your spine, that’s where your spinal cord is and the nerves come out of your spine, except your spine’s damaged. Wherever those nerve roots come out of your spine, whatever organ these muscles or tissues they go to, they’ll form a disease process. So I never had a physical pain but my first symptom was this terminal disease ulcerative colitis. So he showed me my blind spots and I just told him, I just want to get better. Like, if anybody’s in a funk all you want to know is one thing, how do I get out of it? How fast will it be? I just want to be well, I want to get better, I want this thing to change. And then he tells me something that changed my life. He looks at me and he’s like, “listen, as long as that blind spot is there, your body is not in the environment to be able to heal itself.”

And then he points out and goes “but when you choose to correct the problem that you have, that’s affecting your life, and your future, and your family, when you choose to do that, then your body will be in the environment to heal itself. And that’s up to you. That’s up to you and your body. But you will get well if you don’t quit.”And so I had someone in my life put all the responsibility back on me and it empowered me to do something about it because otherwise as a victim, victims don’t take responsibility. They blame the circumstances but when he says “no, it’s all you.”, it sucks when you realize “oh my god no one’s coming to save me but me.” but when you realize “no one is coming to save me I can step up and I gotta choose taking personal responsibility and in charge of that.” I started to correct that problem in the spine. And I wish I could tell you a week later was great. No.

It was tough. For everybody reading, when you do start making changes, and you see blind spots, and you get right counsel and you’re changing the recipe, it’s not an overnight change. I was still seeing blood every single day but I’m doing something to correct it. You don’t see the results right away just like the disease or the problem didn’t get there overnight. You just gotta hang in there until you start seeing momentum. If you guys are taking notes, the greatest thing to remember is this. My stepdad, he was 88 years old when he died. And I told him “you lived 88 years what’s some wisdom you could give me?” And his one-liner immediately is that “the toughest thing in life is to make a decision.” And I think that’s why we don’t move forward in life because we’re always afraid that we may or may not make the right decision until we see the momentum. So for me, until three months went by I’m off half he meds, and five months go by I’m off all the meds until I was able to see the momentum and say I know it’s working.

Then basically, what does momentum do? It proves to you that you made the right decision. And then now when you know you made the right decision, you have the momentum. No faith is needed anymore. Because faith turns into knowing like, you don’t need to believe something that’s not there. Oh, I don’t need faith. It’s working. And seven months later, my body healed itself from an incurable terminal disease, called ulcerative colitis and that was about 16 years ago.

Find an experience where you have the right to speak your truth and tell your story. Click To Tweet

That’s amazing. And I love how sometimes when you know you’re in it, you don’t see it. But when you look back, it’s almost like a gift with a bow in the bottom and your greatest pain becomes your greatest gift. It’s a part of your path of awakening and the path of your purpose and your destiny in this world. So how did you go from that pain into the person that you are today and creating your teachings?

I went through that experience. The reason why I’m sidebaring with you guys is that I’m pulling out life lessons that I learned when I went through this whole experience so no one else has to go through that. So what I realized is I didn’t even have a disease because it was never mine. Understand that the problem everybody’s facing right now is not yours. You got to see it as not a disease, not as a bad relationship, not as a bad job, not as a financial crisis. You need to see it as an experience. And it’s an experience that’s providing contrast. Meaning, when I was sick, there’s one thing I’ll tell you I didn’t want I did not want to be sick anymore but when you know what you don’t want, it automatically gives you more clarity of what you do want. I know I didn’t want to be sick but I sure as hell knew I wanted to be healthy. I definitely knew I want to be healthier than I did eight months before this ever happened to me.

In an experience of contrast, we learn what we don’t want but it also clarifies and pinpoints even greatly what we do want and a lot of times your stand becomes your brand. For me, my stand was, I had this experience, I took charge of my health, I got it back and then I was like “wow I have a purpose bigger than my fear.” I would’ve never gone to a chiropractic doctor ever, this wasn’t even on the list. But looking back, 16 years being healthy, being whole, having a beautiful family, having two sons I wasn’t supposed to have, and then you have financial security, I get to take care of hundreds. I went back to school to get my doctorate to do exactly what got me well, and because I had a story and an experience with it, in 2005 open up my office, we became the largest clinic in the history of my profession 28 times.

And it really stems from not going to school to get a job but finding an experience in your life. And it doesn’t have to be a good one, it doesn’t have to be lovey-dovey. But finding an experience where you have the right to speak and tell your story. Like, I have the right to tell someone to take charge of their health because I’ve been there, right? And we all have an experience in our life that we could take from it. And we could turn around to help so many other people. As you said, I am absolutely blessed. It was such a gift in my life. I would never if I had a time machine, I would never use it. It was the most amazing experience I’ve ever had in my life. And I’m so grateful I went through that, but I’m even more grateful that I made the right choice and how I responded to it.

I did a training with Michael and Amy Port. It’s a speaker training and I was onstage being trained by Michael Port, which was an extraordinary experience. I told my story of surviving an abusive relationship, finding my superpower. It’s very interesting, you know, about our teachings. As I was looking into what you were doing I was like, “he’s like the male version of me.” Because I speak a lot about the She Hero Journey. I actually have an episode on this podcast. It’s a solo episode, episode 92, where it’s all about the She Hero Journey and I’m talking about my journey and how I unleashed my superhero and how I moved forward and I bring lessons from my life. So I just I really love your content. And when I was looking at what you’re doing I was like, “I love it.” It is so freaking amazing.

And when I was onstage with Michael Port, he said “she knows she deserves to be on the stage because of what she’s been through.” You can see that I was owning the stage because I know that my message and my mission is greater than me. And whatever I experienced in my life can really help others. So I so relate to your message. And I want to dive deeper into your take on your inner superhero.

The experiences you’ve been through, whether good or bad, give you the right to share your stories.

A lot of times it’s the same legalistic type of dogma that people think they need to do to become worthy. But once you realize it’s not something from the outside in, it’s not about discovering your hero or attaining your hero, it’s about rediscovering. it’s reattaining. it’s all inside, it has always been inside.

Yes. What was your journey like?

I went through a health experience, I got a great profession, got everything but I think it really happened when I checked off all the boxes. So, I checked it all off. I was 36 years old, checked it all off. And then on the preceding years after that, I started feeling a little numb, a little disengaged, a little unfulfilled even somewhat of a low-level depression. And I I couldn’t tell why. I introspect a lot so for me to say I feel these feelings, but I can’t tell you the cause or why drove me nuts. I was like, “why am I ungrateful?” And I don’t even tell anybody because I was like, who am I gonna talk to without saying “you’re blessed? Don’t be ungrateful”, and it wasn’t coming from ungratefulness. I didn’t understand this issue and it got worse and worse and worse. I started becoming more disengaged at home, at work, with my patients… started becoming numb. And one day I was in my office at home and I heard in the other room, my oldest son, Justus goes, “hey, mom, what happened to daddy?”

And he said it in a way like, that’s not the same person that I grew up with.  It took a child to be like, “hey, I could see that that hero isn’t there anymore.” And so I heard and said, “forget this. I’m taking some time to myself.” And I questioned my purpose. I really went through that why exercise. Why do I do what I do? Well, I want to help people. But my heart was still callous. And finally, after about a day and a half, lots of saunas and just being by myself, it just came out of me. I just want to be admired for contributing to the world in a way it’s never seen before.

I love your honesty because usually when people write their purpose it’s all about “I want to help the world and my significance comes from the goodness of my heart.” Honestly, we all want significance, and we all want to be recognized for our gifts and for our journeys and for following our purpose and quite honestly, I think we deserve to.

I call it the success 101 answers. We are telling people what they want to hear for so long that we actually start to believe the story. But if we were honest, it’s like, “no, I just want to be admired for achieving amazing and great things in the world that no one’s ever seen before.” And at that moment, I literally felt the calluses on my heart start to melt. So I knew something was happening. So I went on Google and I typed in admiration, contribution, achievement… So I typed in all these words because I wanted to see what these were meaning.

My emotions were coming high again, I’m excited. I feel like a kid again. So when I looked up these words, I’m scrolling down the page and I see the definition of hero was crazy. It is one who is idolized or admired for courage, contribution, outrageous achievements, and nobility. And when I looked at that, the definition of hero literally felt to me like it was my own. Like it was the purpose statement I was given since I was a little kid. Because when I was a little kid, you know, I always dressed in superhero uniforms. I worked out to look like a superhero. I won Mr. America Mr. Universe to have a superhero title. I beat a terminal disease and later on become a doctor to go save lives.

So I knew at that moment I had the achievements as the definition says but I realized right there I didn’t have the courage to allow myself to become the person I was really created and put on this planet to do. Because I realized at that moment, the reason why I didn’t have the courage is that through life, I kind of have taken on a secret identity, meaning that I had two of them. One is I found my identity on what I did as a job. How many people reading right now find their identity in what they do? We ask children what do you want to be when you grow up? But as adults, we ask people what do you do for a living? So it’s so easy that we find our identity in our job title.

I love this distinction. It’s so great. It’s like what do you want to be versus what do you want to do? And then I was just at a business seminar for women where the second question was obvious- “what do you do? And what do you do?” And after saying “I help alpha type women awaken their inner goddess, unleash their power, and find love” and whatever I came up with, I started changing the script. And every time I just gave a different answer just to entertain myself because it was boring. What do I do? What do I really do? I coach people. What does it mean? It means changing people’s lives.

But how can you even put it in words? It means keeping a person from hitting rock bottom and igniting their light. But how can you say that in a few sentences? And now that is something that I do because when I do it I am in the beingness of connecting to the universal Google and downloading information, which had nothing to do with all my titles and everything I learned and all the amazing people I learned from throughout my life. Like how can you even communicate that? How can you even convey that?

When you do tell someone what you actually do which was the truth like, when I listened to you, basically, I hear this. “I put myself in alignment with the universe and allow it to speak through me to someone who needs help.” When you’re in your flow, you don’t know what you’re going to say. Things come out of you that helped them that you never would have thought of. So it’s all about you being aligned to help that person in becoming aligned. It’s like that Marianne Williamson quote saying, “there is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.” So if you want to inspire people, it’s you. It’s you working on yourself and becoming aligned and becoming satisfied and becoming in that place of your own hero or goddess. And that’s the thing that inspires and allows people to do the same.

When you're connecting on stage, that person is receiving the message that they needed to hear even though it wasn't the words you said. Click To Tweet

It’s tough to say what you do but if I asked any adult what do you want to be when you grow up? It makes some wake up to realize “wow. I’m living a life that just kind of got here. And I didn’t realize that I’m doing something I really didn’t want to do.” Well, maybe someday I want to do what I want to do. Or I’d love to do what I wanted to be when I grew up. And I think that’s the secret identity. People get caught up in that, they look in the mirror, and they realize they don’t even recognize who they are anymore. They don’t even know who they are. Why? Because through teachers and preachers and dogmas, what starts to happen is we put on this false identity. We live out other people’s values for our life. And that’s the thing that gets us in trouble. And that’s why we feel unfulfilled because I went to college because my mom went, I’m doing this because this person went or the movie said you’re a good person if you do this. I like to use clothes as a metaphor. We’re wearing someone else’s clothing and we’re a counterfeit version of what other people want us to be. And that inner desire that goddess or that hero wants to come out. That’s the feeling you have. You’re grieving your potential. That’s what’s happening.

I have two talks. One is Unleashing Your Inner Superhero and one is Awakening your Inner Goddess. I see it’s two sides of the same coin when I work with women because one is more like owning your power and one is owning your feminine power because I talk a lot about feminine masculine polarity and how to embrace both your masculine and your feminine. When with alpha type successful women, they are more trained in their masculine and less in their feminine. So how would you combine those two ideas into one? Or is it unnecessary?

Which one do you feel more excited about?

I like both.

So before I speak, I talk to the meeting planner, I understand the audience better, I send out a survey for the audience or the ticket holders to fill out so I get an understanding of them. And then I’m able to customize or I’ll know which one of the two to deliver. So if I know I’m going to one group of people and I have a little bit more information on them, I could actually speak to them and go from there. That’s all I do. I actually call it reframing. It’s the same talk but I know how to adjust it to the audience. The most important thing I want to hear when I do a talk is “you were speaking right to me.”

I know, I love it. Yeah, I got that too.

That’s the goal. Because that means you connected. And the greatest part when you speak, anytime someone comes up and be like, that was really great, from now on, start to ask them what part was it.  Because I want to find out what part of the talk or part of the message really resonated so I could develop that more. And a lot of times people say when you said this… and you know what I noticed? I never said that. So when you’re connecting on stage, your words or your spirit is actually penetrating that person. And that person is receiving the message that they needed to hear even though it wasn’t the words you said.

As long as you’re on stage and it feels warm and comfortable and significant. When you accept your inner hero, your  inner goddess flow, you’re the best transmitter and all those people connect. What do you mean the first or the second talk? If you talk in a room of 500 people, there are 500 versions of your talk that were just spoken. You have to understand the receiver receives it differently. So the only job you have is getting in alignment and getting yourself in that place to be the best transmitter.

When I was on stage with Michael, it was in front of 550 people. It was the largest audience I’ve ever spoken to and it just felt so good. I felt like there was an energy coming from my heart touching the people at the end of the room and the people on the balconies, and it was such a nice flow of communication because when you are in your zone of genius, it works. You feel like you’re in your purpose. So I want to ask you about mindset tips. How did you develop your hero mindset? And also, what are the five secret ingredients to create a heroic, victorious life?

When it comes to the hero mindset, I realized it really was about auditing my life and realizing what things behind closed doors I feel good about but I feel that it’s shamed in the outside world. Because that means that there was some type of contrast. And there was some type of congruency. I started realizing that everybody’s told we need to follow our passion. And then when I looked up the definition of passion, it was unruly emotions and temper. It wasn’t a very pleasant definition at all. I was like, I don’t want to follow my passion because passion is someone who’s out of control. They’re managed by their emotions, they’re in a tantrum, a frenzy.

So we’re always told to follow our passion. Like, I’m just thinking two forks in the road. The other fork in the road in my life was a detour. And the detour was this road that was blocked off and had caution signs it said, you cannot go here. People tell me not to go here. Religion tells me not to go here. And I was like, “let me find that truth for myself.” And then when I looked up the word pride. I was told pride was so bad and ego was so bad but when I looked up the definition, pride was basically finding love and achievement or personal satisfaction in your own achievements or finding love and satisfaction in the achievements of others that you’re closely associated with or having satisfaction in the gifts and the talents you are given that are also widely admired by others. When I just read the definition I was like, well, there’s no sin there. There’s no anti-god there.  

A hero mindset is about self-awareness and finding the real truth about things that matter to you, not just because society told you to.

I literally for years, never received thanks or appreciation from my colleagues, patients or peers because I felt that anything near pride or ego would make me a bad person. And all it did was just lower my self-esteem, my human value and it actually led me to a lot of resentment. And then when you look at the term ego, it’s one’s sense of self-esteem and self-importance. Like there’s no sin there either. And when you realize the hero has pride and ego, the goddess does have pride and ego because she has self-esteem and importance from her message. She does take pleasure, he does take pleasure in the unique gifts and talents they were given, and their achievements. And so I realized a hero does have pride and ego but then a hero also has humility.

A hero knows their weaknesses. So in the weakness, like we know our superpowers, but we also know the areas that we’re not in the flow. And in those areas come the courage. In those areas of weakness come humility and I was never told you could have pride, ego, and humility all at the same time. Because again, we were told and was taught by different dogmas a very conditional life. Like even the word love, the word love so much baggage comes with it, because none of us were really raised in unconditional love. We all were raised in conditional love. We always had, “oh I’ll produce something to get the love of someone else.” Even a parent, even though they meant well. So I realized what is love to me and I had to change the definition. Love to me is unconditional appreciation. And so if I know that I could just sit here right now and just have just unconditional appreciation for you. And everybody’s listening at the moment right now, that allows you to express and experience true love right now in the moment, and then in every area of your life.

So it’s getting the mindset that it’s okay to feel proud of yourself and admire the things that you have accomplished. The opposite of that, false humility, brings you into victimhood. No one likes that that’s why that Marianne Williamson quote, “there’s no enlightenment in shrinking for the insecurity of others.” You need to thrive like a child. If you want to know your qualities that you were born with, you look at a child under six years old and then you’ll see all the innate important qualities we were always put on this planet to thrive and flourish. Kids have pride, they have an ego, they have imagination, they’re creative, they love energy. they’re super focused on the things they want, they live in, what I call vertical time, meaning we live in horizontal time- yesterday, tomorrow- they live in the now. They question limitations, they’re relentless, they’re closers. They have all these amazing qualities. They’re secure, they’re forgiving, they’re loving, right? They’re just amazing. And then the biggest question a child asks is “why?” They always question you why. It’s time to go to bed. Why? And when you actually truly answer their why you realize you’re just repeating something that your parents told you.

It’s eight o’clock. Why? I’m not tired. It’s time to eat. Why? I’m not hungry. So you start to realize, they never read a book, they never went to a seminar, they never did any personal development, so it only means one thing. We were always born the hero. So all those beautiful qualities that were in us were destroyed by institutions. When a kid wants to just speak out loud and dance and play and do all those beautiful things, that was basically suffocated as we grew up but that’s where that secret identity came from. And it’s about reconnecting and not becoming childish but becoming childlike again.

What are your daily practices? Do you do any morning ritual?

I have a two hour morning ritual but I don’t expect anybody to do that. It took eight years to develop. I set my alarm to five minutes earlier and I sit on the edge of the bed, and I projected how the day would go because I didn’t like waking up to an alarm and having the day own me. So I just took five minutes and that’s where it starts. So if you’re listening and you want to have a morning routine, set your alarm clock five minutes early and just sit on the bed and plan the day the way you want it to go in your head. I’ll give you one solid week and you will actually serendipitously see something you actually thought about like a deja vu-ish type of way happen. You’re like, oh my god there’s something to this and then you’ll never go back.

My morning ritual is I’ll wake up, I’ll either exercise do some cardiovascular activity and I like that because I stack it. I’ll listen to a podcast on the treadmill so I’m just trying to train my mind. It’s like I’m always self-developing in there. Then when I come home I do some detox protocols. It could be a sauna, I meditate for 24 minutes and then I’ll read for 15 minutes. I’m not one that prides himself on reading 70 books a year. I think it’s the worst thing to do. You know why? Because I think you’re just a spectator. When you read a book, understand that someone put their entire life worth of experiences in that book. It’s like the masterpiece of their whole existence. So why would I disrespect that? I could look at a clip of it and I’m only going centimeters deep.

But if I take one book, take my time and take notes, and underline things, and really extract the meaningful lessons and apply them to my life, then it’s okay that it takes you four months to read Think and Grow Rich. But hey, if you apply anything in that book, your life would be better. So I would rather read one book 70 times and know that I could apply it and go a mile deep than to read 70 books and just go an inch deep. So I really just read something so I could grab the concept that they’re trying to say in there and apply it to my life. It’s baby steps, no rush. Don’t worry about it but at least I rather you apply it.

What podcasts do you listen to? What type of topics are you attracted to?

I use the podcast as teachers. So let’s say there was a moment of my life and I just kind of needed a push. So I’ll listen to someone’s podcasts that they’re a little bit pushier just to kind of kick me in the butt. Then after that, for some whatever reason, I start to slowly leave that and I could be listening to more of a meditation type, spiritual type. So it’s almost like the universe is speaking to me through everything. It’s through books, through podcasts, through people, it’s like, there are moments where I need the push and then there are moments where I’m more attracted to the more meditative type podcast or like a Hayhouse  type of podcast.

I’m more into the mindset type of stuff just like what we’re talking about right now. It’s perfect. Two years ago, when I was making a transition, and I moved and did all these things, I was listening to more of the almost yelling at me podcast because it was just the push I needed not realizing, like you said, you look back and realize oh, I needed that type of information at that time. But now it’s more meditative more like we’re talking about right now, universal laws. I’m more interested in all those types of inner healing, inside out, reconnecting that stuff right there because I know that the better we all take care of ourselves, then everybody else benefits. So yeah that’s my morning routine. Have a good breakfast and I’m  off to work.

False humility brings you into victimhood. Click To Tweet

That’s beautiful. Are you interested in biohacking and all kinds of new technologies to improve your mind and your body and your spirit?

A friend of mine, Ben Greenfield, he’s a big biohacker. And then Dave Asprey and stuff like that. I like listening to it, I’ll check it out. But right now I’m more into the Joe Dispenza stuff.  He takes meditation and he actually demystifies it which is really cool. He does a lot of research with it like what they were doing for thousands of years, science is starting to catch up. I think that’ll be the next big thing for sure. That’s the zone I’m in now. It’s really working on working on the inner me right now.

Dave Asprey was on this show and Luke Storey was on the show and they’re both amazing biohackers. I also believe in the power of meditation. So there was another episode where I interviewed a guy that went to India and was a monk in the same temple that I went to when I went to India and did my meditation, where I had my own big awakening. So let’s go back to your teachings. What are the five secret ingredients to create a heroic, victorious life?

That’s the hero secret sauce. Someone says you won Mr. America, you did all these things. What would you say is the is the thing that got you there? What’s your secret sauce? I’ll just go over a couple of them. We won’t go over all five because I could give everybody this. This is my gift to them. One of them is vision. When I envision, I daydream like a kid so daydream like you’re a kid. It’s not just envisioning it, just to see it but I literally take the envisioning of it to a visceral response. Meaning I envision it until I get goosebumps, I cry, I get emotional, I literally envision it in until all of my senses, even smell, even taste…

For instance, like when I speak, I picture myself on this big stage I was going on and I was nervous. So leading up to it I picture the clothes I was going to wear. I knew the shirt, I knew the colors, I knew when I stepped on the stage because the stage is made of plywood, it’s painted black. And, I felt the plywood giving. And then you there was like a little bit of smoke from the smoke machine. And so I was able to smell the smoke of that smoke machine. And feel the warmth of the lights, and I’m seeing myself deliver that because you have that experience people are receiving it. Everybody there is admiring me, they want to hear what I want to say they’re receiving everything you want to say. And their lives are being changed, I feel their hand on my right shoulder saying you touched my life, he changed my life. All this stuff, I play in my mind. And I play in my mind in such detail. In the beginning, it’s not that much detail. But each time you think and daydream that same vision and just and the day that comes, I’m wearing that shirt, I’m wearing those pants, I’m so in tune.

You’re in tune to that frequency of manifestation and to that vibration that attracts exactly those people who will come and tap you on the shoulders and exactly those people with the light in their eyes that will get your message and because you have the dominant frequency and you have that stronger state that you have been working for and imagining for so many months, when you tap into that, and you go on that stage, you elevate everybody in that room together with you.

100,000,000%. Try it. Whether it be building the large practice in my profession, winning Mr. America, winning Mr. Universe, I, like a little kid, daydreamed it. And I felt it, I saw it and it happened. Does it happen all the time? No. But you know what? It definitely makes me go further. And this is the reason why I do it. I think too many times people look to other people for inspiration. So let’s say someone watches a Tony Robbins or someone watches a Michael Port. We’ll look at people and we’re like, wow what a great speaker they are. They move you and they’re inspiring, they’re so good, I want to be like that. So they’re inspiring but what you’re doing is you’re letting someone else inspire you. And a lot of times you have to understand that the people that inspire you, or the people that you admire which are really seen as a reflection of your own character traits in them. I don’t want to be a Tony Robbins because then I’ll just be a counterfeit version of somebody else.

Mark Twain, I think he was the one that said just be you because everybody else is taken.

How many people are using other people? they talk like other people because they think it’s the actions, it’s the words but we have to realize is take a step back. It’s like you’re just admiring someone who’s walking in their hero is walking in their goddess-like, just admire someone who is who is allowing themselves to be who they are. Let that inspire you to be who you are. So when you envision like this, this is why it’s so important. So just imagine if you painted this vision so clearly, who are you picturing in your mind and heart? Yourself doing this thing in the future. So, therefore, who are you looking up to inspire yourself? Your own self. So that’s why envision it. The most important person to be inspired by is yourself. There’s no counterfeit. It’s you.

When I started in this development journey I felt like, “it’s a small me and that guru that I put on a pedestal, me and the guru are so far away. I am just this tiny person, and they just know it all” And as I grew and evolved and learn more about that, the more I owned myself and my own strength, the more I saw my own light and my own reflection in that guru. And the more I understood that this is a teacher that came to my life to teach me how to own me, it’s not about being like anyone else. And this is also in general, my life’s journey, where I was really out there. And when I arrived in the States I put myself in boxes so small that I forgot who I was. And then I had to rediscover myself and my colorful personality to own it. I was a pleaser, I wanted to please everybody, I want everybody to love me, I still kind of want everybody to love me.

But I think the most important thing is to own yourself and your secret gifts and powers. Because this is what the world needs. The world doesn’t need another Tony Robbins. By the way, Tony Robbins right now is working with an AI that is going to actually think like him and teach like him. I heard it in an interview. So AI is going to be replacing a lot of that, duplicating a lot of us even in our consciousness. But on a human level, and not when it’s not just about teaching people in the same way on a human level, we do need to own our own gifts and our own powers and connect to that, connect to our light. And every time we get distracted, it’s about coming back to our light and coming back to the person that we are.

It’s important to know yourself and own your gifts and powers. That is what the world needs.

What I like to tell people is it’s becoming a potentialist, not a perfectionist. A lot of times they used to say I’m a perfectionist like it was a good thing. You got to understand I got this high standard but all I was really saying is I was scared and I was using excuses not to move forward. Now a potentialist is this. You’re just a person, you wake up every day and say, “all I asked myself is to do the best I can with what I got in the moment I have it” and that’s really all you could do. That’s all you got. Like today. That’s one thing everybody could do is say, “hey, I could just do the best I can with what I got in the moment I have” knowing that if today you just got 80% in you and then you put in your 80%, that’s 100%.

So if a firefighter broke their arm or hurt their shoulder busting into a house and there’s a child on the other side of the fire in the flames, the firefighter doesn’t think “well, I gotta wait, I do it. But my shoulder got hurt. I gotta wait.” Even with one arm behind their back, all they could do is “I’m just going to do the best I can with what I got in the moment I have it.” I think a true success principle for sure and a hero quality is in the moments you don’t judge yourself, no guilt, no shame, no right or wrong. Just say “listen, I’m just going to do the best I can with what I got the moment I have it, and I’m okay with that.” Living a potentialist life is really just such a wonderful way to approach things.

What are your three top tips to live in a stellar life?

Well, number one, I think it’s self-awareness. Just knowing how many times am I living because someone else told me and yet I didn’t find my own truth in that. So self-awareness, knowing what I would do it differently. Self-awareness is number one. Number two, I would definitely say, expressing and experiencing true love right now, in every moment of your life. Meaning that the only thing that matters is now. So if I could express unconditional appreciation to you right now and in this moment… here’s the thing it’s all for you. Meaning that if you express, you give someone a gift, how does that make you feel? It makes you feel great. As you express love and unconditional appreciation even if that person doesn’t accept it, even if that person doesn’t give it back to you, the act of giving such a high vibration of love and appreciation to someone, you automatically get the reward. Because as you express it, you’re also receiving it regardless of what that other person thinks of you or doesn’t think of you. So that’s always a good one.

And then the third one for a tremendously successful life is knowing that checking off the boxes was never the goal. And I always thought to check off the boxes, once I check this off, once I hit this, conditional life. Once this happens, I’ll be happy. But then you’re going to realize that once you climb one mountain, you’re perception changes, your vision changes, and you wind up seeing five other mountains you couldn’t see before. And so that’s the greatest part of life. It’s that once you reach one perceived goal that you think you have, there should be 5 to 10 other goals open up for you. So that’s called expanding and evolving, you will never get there and I’m saying that in a good way. You’ll never reach the top and I’m saying in a good way because as a human being as a spiritual being, living a physical experience on this earth, you’re here to evolve and expand. You’re here not to retire, you’re not here to check off the box and then sit on the couch and be proud of yourself, like, pat yourself, the back for hitting these goals. You are never going to reach all that. You’re always going to continue expanding and evolving. And as you would expand and evolve, this is how you deliver massive value and contribution to the world.

A hero has pride and ego but also has humility. Click To Tweet

Beautiful. So I know you have an amazing gift for our listeners. Why can they get it? And where can they find you, connect with you, and learn from your wisdom?

Oh, very cool. First of all, if you guys did enjoy this, please rate the podcast. Make sure you rate it and star it and comment below. And you could go to www.iamhearo.com/secrets and then you’ll get my Hero Secret Sauce. You get a bunch of PDFs and really cool videos that go over these five major things you could apply to your life today to get started moving in the right direction immediately. That’s my gift to you. And if you want to keep the conversation going, probably Instagram and Facebook are the best @DrZaino. And there I put out content every single day, I have lives every single day. And because I know your time is so valuable, it’s your greatest commodity, time is the only thing you cannot make more of, I make sure that every bit of content going to move you in the right direction. And then I also answer all my comments and I answer all my direct messages. So when you comment or ask a question or send a message, you’re actually talking to me. So I make that a very high value to connect with you guys as You should take advantage of it, it will definitely bless your life.

Thank you so much, Dr. Chris and thank you, listeners. As you are listening right now, right here, see your own light because you have power and greatness within you. Express unconditional appreciation for yourself and to others and lead a stellar life.

Your Checklist of Actions to Take

✓ Take action as soon as possible when you notice something wrong with your body. Health issues will compound over time and before you know it you could have a medical emergency.
✓ If you want to inspire others, you have to work on your inner self first. Become at peace with your true self in order to shine bright enough to lead the way.
✓ Before your next big speech, send a survey to your audience if you are able to get a list of attendees. Then, review their answers so that you can tailor your speech as if you are speaking to them, by using their same language.
✓ Ask yourself – are you being what you wanted to be when you grew up? If not, what steps can you take to get back on a path that leads to your ultimate fulfillment?
✓ Don’t be afraid to embrace your child-like nature – one full of curiosity, spirit, openness, agility and creativity.
✓ Try this for a morning routine: set your alarm clock 5 minutes early and wake up, sit on the edge of the bed, and envision how you want the day ahead to go.
✓ At the end of the day, give it all you got, even if all you got is 80%. If you tried with that 80%, that’s still 100% of everything that you had, on that day.
✓ Know the difference between a potentialist and a perfectionist. A potentialist will wake up every day determined to do the best he can with all that he’s got that day.
✓ Don’t focus so much on getting to the top of the mountain. Once you are there, you will see 5 more pop up. Life is about the journey, not the destination.
✓ Think of the rough patches in life as experiences of contrast – showing you what you don’t want in life can really help you discover what you do want, and the courage to go after it.

Links and Resources

About Dr. Chris Zaino

Dr. Chris Zaino is a world-renowned speaker, author, entrepreneur, Former Mr America, Mr. Universe and IFBB Pro bodybuilder.
After defying a deadly terminal disease in his late 20’s, Dr. Zaino leveraged his experience to get his doctorate and becoming one of the largest wellness clinics in the world, seeing thousands weekly.
Dr. Zaino created the IAmHeroProject,to resurrect Heroes from the complacency of their secret identity, so they may live heroic lives once again , by expressing and experiencing true love, now, in every area of their lives, through his 4 Step methodology HeroRises.


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