Episode 119 | June 5, 2018

The Art and Science of Reinventing Your Life with Adam Markel

A Personal Note from Orion

Do you wake up every morning and say “I love my life”?

If you don’t, then it’s time to  make some serious changes.

If you are just going through the motions, going to work but never actually being present, going to happy hour or the gym because you feel like you have to, and living a life that you are not passionate about, you are not alone. More than 55% of people are looking for new work because they do not feel fulfilled in their life.

I found best-selling author and mega-transformational teacher, Adam Markel to be super cool and super smart! Click on the link below to listen, and discover how you can get the courage to pivot in life and succeed as your authentic self.


In this Episode

  • [03:17] – Adam starts off the conversation by sharing a bit about himself, and sharing the story of the day that convinced him to change his life.
  • [09:08] – We learn that Adam’s reaction to being given a reprieve was giving a name to the source of that reprieve.
  • [13:08] – Orion has pivoted many times in her life, she explains. She then shares a story that illustrates that many people are okay with living a mediocre life.
  • [15:03] – How does Adam influence people to create change in their lives?
  • [17:27] – Adam makes a powerful point that in most cases, the root cause of many challenges is a discomfort with change, or unwillingness to change.
  • [20:11] – We learn about one of the reasons that most of us don’t embrace change.
  • [22:28] – What was Adam’s process to finding his true calling? In his answer, he points out that when you know what you don’t want, you also know what you do want.
  • [26:27] – Orion brings up the work of Esther and Abraham Hicks, and their points about contrast.
  • [27:37] – Adam digs into the idea of identity, as well as pivoting into different identities.
  • [33:33] – What are some tools that Adam recommends for listeners that can create a shift in identity?
  • [36:29] – Adam talks about how important it is to be present in each moment as your authentic self.
  • [37:54] – We hear about one of the elements in Adam’s book Pivot: resilience. He talks about the three steps in the resilience process.
  • [43:58] – The third step in Adam’s resilience process takes at least 21 days to form a habit, and involves saying “I love my life” three times every day when you wake up or get up.
  • [45:15] – Adam offers Stellar Life listeners a free gift! You can get your gift by going to this link.

About Today’s Show

‏‏It’s so cool to see somebody that is so successful, and so brilliant, and so down to earth, and sweet. Man, he’s got a little place in my heart now. I never met him before. We just had a conversation and I just enjoyed him so much. I enjoyed talking, I enjoyed communicating with him, and of course, I really enjoyed his teachings. He is absolutely extraordinary and you are going to love this interview. If you do, please remember to send me a note, send me an email, let me know or just give me five stars on iTunes, for god’s sake because this is a wonderful podcast. I’m sure you’ll agree—at least I think so. My mother thinks so too. My husbands think so too. A lot of people think so. If you think so, let the world know and spread the love because I’m bringing in such amazing guests. I’m super, super, super proud to introduce you to Adam Markel. He’s a transformational teacher who inspires, and empowers, and guides people to live authentically, purposely, and powerfully from the heart. He’s trained thousands of people from Singapore, Europe, Canada, Malaysia, Vietnam, Australia, and all across the US. Adam uniquely bridges the world of business psychology and spirituality to facilitate massive and lasting personal and professional transformation. Now, without further ado, onto the show. Hey, Adam. Welcome to Stellar Life podcast.

‏‏Oh, it’s so great to be here. Thank you so much for having me.

‏‏Yeah, thank you so much for being here. You’re kind of a big deal. I’m very excited to have you on the show.

‏‏Aww, now you’re going to make me blush. I’m glad this isn’t being videotaped.

‏‏Before we start, why don’t you just share with everybody a little bit about yourself?

‏‏Oh, I thought you did already. I’m kind of a big deal.

‏‏You are kind of a big deal but I want to know your perspective. I want to know your story.

‏‏If you ask me, I don’t think I’m a big deal. That’s good. Certainly my kids wouldn’t say that. A little bit about me, as you said, my name is Adam and last name is Markel. I feel really blessed in this moment especially, just to be alive and to be breathing. I have to say, honestly, this has been one of the greatest changes for me, personally, in my life over the last few years. I just feel so much gratitude more and more frequently—not all the time, I won’t say that’s the case, and I’d be lying if I did—but I really do sit in gratitude so much more now than I used to. That’s probably a good lead into where I was several years ago. We’ll call it almost 10 years ago that I used to wake up in the morning, as we all do—hopefully everybody is waking up in the morning, we can talk more about that later—and I would put my feet on the floor and it was dark because it was sort of in the [6:00] AM range or a little before that or somehow. The kids were sleeping, my wife is sleeping, and I’m up alone, getting ready to go to work. My first thoughts of the day when I put my feet on the floor were thoughts of dread. I don’t know how else to put it. It was this anxiousness, this anxiety, this feeling inside of me that what I was doing was not what I was supposed to be doing. My time was going by, I’m getting older, and I just don’t love it. I don’t love it. In fact, it’s causing me pain because my heart feels like it’s sort of shrinking in the process, my soul is being deteriorated by the fact that I’m basically selling my soul for money. I was workaholic, I’m still sort of a recovering workaholic to this day. Back then I was a lawyer, so I spent 18 years as a lawyer. I was practicing attorney in New York and New Jersey. I started the day everyday like that for a period of a couple of years. At a certain point, I was in so much pain, I knew something had to change but I didn’t know what, and I didn’t know where to even begin. I think there’s a lot of people who can relate to that because the statistic show that most people are in jobs that they don’t love. Worse than that, they’re in jobs that they’re actually looking to get out of. They’re looking, actively looking for new work. More than 55% of people are actually looking for new work. If you’re one of those people who’s been sort of searching, or looking at jobs online, or doing other things while you’re at the job that you’re currently with, you’re not alone. I was in my own business so it wasn’t like I could go look for another job or quit, I had to do something else. My wife and I, we got a reality check pretty quickly because there was a Saturday, and we’re driving, just the two of us. I asked her to take a couple of rights and a couple of lefts, and before she knew it, we were in front of the hospital, a local hospital by our house. I said, “Just pull into the emergency room over there.”

The statistic show that most people are in jobs that they don’t love. Worse than that, they’re in jobs that they’re actually looking to get out of. Click To Tweet

‏‏Oh, my God.

‏‏I wasn’t laughing at that time either and neither was she. She didn’t know what was going on. I just said, “Go, park the car and I’ll see you inside. I’m okay, I’m okay.” I was lying through my teeth because I felt like my heart was pounding so hard, it’s literally going to burst out of my chest. Next thing you know, I’m on a gurney and they’ve got those electrodes all attached to my chest, which had some hair on it.

‏‏Thank you for that detail.

‏‏I know right. The worst detail is where they took them off. But next thing you know, Randi’s there by my side—as she has always been. We’ve been married almost 29 years this summer. Between nine years, we have four kids. Back then, I was working all the time and as I said, just doing this work that I didn’t love. I thought I was going to die that day. I had in my mind that I had seen my kids for the last time. The emotion is running through me, and my fingers are tingling, I’m dizzy, my heart is beating so hard, I’m sweating profusely, and my wife is standing and holding my hand next the bedside. The doctor walks in, he pulls the curtain back, and he starts to look at the chart, and he asked me questions, “What do you do for a living?” “Oh, I see.” “Do you drink coffee?” I’m like, “Yeah,” and I tell him how much and he says, “I see, they wrote down that you were having some trouble sleeping, getting up in the middle of the night, take something to go to bed,” and all that kind of stuff. He says, “I’m just going to tell you right now, you’re not going to die today.” With those words, my wife and I both began to cry, it was like just water works, can’t even stop it, kind of uncontrollable sobbing. He says, “You’re not going to die today, you’re not going walk out of here today. You’re a lucky man, because I can’t tell you how many people come in here about your age, have a heart attack, you’re not having a heart attack. You’re heart’s fine. You’re probably having an anxiety attack brought on by too much caffeine, too little sleep, too much stress, really, just stress in your life. Tell me a little bit about it.” We did, we talked a good while about my job, and about what was going on, and what wasn’t working for me. Anyway, we walked out of the hospital that day as you can tell–I’m here today. Randi and I holding hands, I’m looking up at the sky and I said, “Thank you.” Just spontaneously looked up and said, “Thank you.” I said, “Thank you, God.” Saying thank you God was not something I said at all. That wasn’t my language.

‏‏What was your language? What kind of person were you before?

‏‏I’m a spiritual person but I wasn’t a person that would say thank you, God. That was new language for me. I realized in that moment that that was me realizing I’d been given a second chance. I got a reprieve and my reaction to that was that there was somebody looking out for me and I gave a name to that, to what I believed was the source of the guidance and the source of this benevolence in my life so I said, “Thank you, God.” That day, just leaving the hospital was the start of something, we didn’t have a clue what it was to start of because we knew something had to change—I knew something have to change. Randi and I, we talked and said, “We’re going to figure this out.” It took about 2 ½ years where I transitioned and pivoted, because you mentioned the name of the book, Pivot: The Art and Science of Reinventing Your Career and Life, and I wrote that book in response to that whole situation. As that was unfolding over the course of about 2 ½ years, we reinvented. I reinvented my career and a number of the things to do with even the way I saw my personal viewpoints, and habits, and how I saw things in my life. All of that underwent this reinvention process that became the subject of the book. When I started to write the book, it was for the kids, initially. It was a guide book for our children because as I said we have four kids. I knew that at a certain point, they might come to a fork in the road, or even feel like they’d hit a dead end and either their personal, some area of their relationships, or their health, or their career, just the way I had. I didn’t have a midlife crisis, fortunately, thank God, I didn’t have a midlife crisis, I had a midlife calling. I ultimately found what I want to do, I found what I was qualified, felt called to do, to serve in the world, and that became the subject of the book. Initially, it was for the kids, and then our oldest daughter is always writing the book. She says to me, “Dad, this book is not just for us, it’s so great, you want to write this for us, but this is for a much bigger audience of people who are going through, or could be going through similar states of transition as you have.” That’s what we did. We found an agent and a publisher, and the book has become a very big best the statistic show that most people are in jobs that they don’t love. Worse than that, they’re in jobs that they’re actually looking to get out of. seller, and it’s enable me to travel around the world, and speak to many, many, many thousands of people all over the world about personal, business, and career reinvention, meaning how it is that you pivot in your business or your personal life. That’s been an incredible blessing. The pivots haven’t stopped because of course, once you discover that there’s a science and an art to transition, you realize, as I did, that transition is everywhere, we’re constantly changing. As Ram Dass said, and I love this quote, “We have to make friends with change.” Most people are not friends with change, they look at change and they’re scared of it, and they resist it, and it’s a whole different concept. In any event, hopefully that gives you a little bit of background on me and where I’ve been over the last several years and what we’re up to now. Our company is very committed to helping people to work through those transitions in life and find the thing they’re really called to be doing. That’s, regardless of age, we get people that are very, very young, or relatively young, and people that are relatively older. It’s very cool.

‏‏I pivoted so many times in my life. I’m from Israel and then I went and lived in Japan, I went to the US, I did this, I did that. I feel like I was so many different people throughout my life. We live in Santa Monica but I’m in Israel now, we’re here for a few months. I have to tell you, even though I’m from here, riding the wave of change is not that easy because there are ups and downs. When you’re in an unfamiliar environment and you don’t have—I’m a creature of comfort, somewhat—I don’t have my comfort, it’s more challenging. But I think I’m a unique bird where I lack certainty but I don’t value it 100%, I become more certain as I get older, but I know many people that really, really hold on tight to their certainty and to keeping life the way it is. They want to control everything, they don’t want to make any change even if it’s hard like Wayne Dyer was telling the story, he was about this guy that walks by a house and there is an old man in a chair, the rocking chair, and a dog. The dog is crying. He just passed. In the evening, he came back a few hours later, the old man is still there and the dog is still there crying and he’s asking the old man, “Why is your dog crying?” He says, “He’s sitting on a nail.” “Why don’t he just get up?” He says, “Because, it doesn’t hurt enough.” A lot of people are just okay with living a mediocre life.


‏‏How do you influence people to create change?

‏‏That’s a beautiful question and a great lead in, I really appreciate the way you framed that. I think mediocrity is an epidemic in our world. I think it was Henry David Thoreau that said that, “People lead lives of quiet desperation.” That’s what we see a lot. I think when people hear that, they nod up and down, they go, “Yeah, yeah, I get that.” It feels true. There’s no statistics to say, “This is how many people are leading mediocre lives,” there’s no way to prove it. But yet, if you ask an audience of folks—and I’ve had the blessing to speak to a lot of people, part of what was my journey out of practicing law was to learn how to speak, learn how to not just get words out of my mouth, I could do that, but to be able to have an impact and speak to influence and speak to teach—and when I learned how to do that, and I started doing it in places all around the world, I realized how powerful that medium is. Now, our company, among other things, we actually teach people to do that. We teach them to speak more powerfully, more authentically, more effectively, that kind of thing. When I’ve spoken to people, I’ve asked questions, I ask those questions, I’ll say, “How many of you feel like mediocrity is an epidemic in our world?” We see it in so many areas, including even the way products are created, and how well they’re made, and all that kind of thing. And people, “Yeah,” everybody raised their hand, “Absolutely.” We all get that. Yet, where does mediocrity sit inside of us? Where is it that we tolerate? I say we because it’s me, you, all of us, where do we tolerate mediocrity? Where do we tolerate something less than what we’re capable of? What’s something less than the divine inspiration that’s inside of us? That place to me is called the “status quo.” As you said, people will fight for the status quo, they will fight for certainty, they’re addicted to certainty. They’re addicted to control because somehow it helps people to sleep better at night. It just gives a sense that your life is going to not get rocked. You’re not going to get knocked to the ground with something that comes out of the clear blue and yet we all know that’s just not true. There are people who have plenty of money but then they have this grave health issue, or really awful relationships, or they’re people that just cannot keep money, they can’t create any financial lasting or sustainable financial success. Frankly, more often than not, to me, the root cause of any of those challenges have to do with how comfortable they are with change, how willing they are to deal with the uncertainty, to surrender to the fact that uncertainty is a certainty, change is a constant. These are seemingly contradictory terms and yet, this is exactly the way the universe is made up. It’s a beautiful series of paradox. It’s paradox upon paradox upon paradox. That’s what’s beautiful about it. It’s also not something you can figure out so it’s not like looking at it that way makes you go, “Oh, I got the answer now. I got the solution.” Because there is no answer or solution, no single answer or solution. It’s becoming aware of these things so that you then—through that new expanded perspective—gain new options. I think that’s really the essence of what pivoting is about. It’s about looking at the creative opportunities that exist in every moment in the context that everything is changing in every moment. There’s a process that we’ve used, we’ve taught it to people, the book is the process with case studies and all that kind of stuff. The process leads people through gaining clarity, getting into momentum, and then being able to plan to actually do the thing they want to do, they want to be able to create some sort of a plan because it will give them that feeling of certainty or that feeling of security but it starts with clarity. Part of that clarity comes from asking important questions like again, “Am I more interested in succeeding in my life?” And by succeeding I don’t mean the conventional definition of success, I mean, what is it that will make you wake up in the morning and feel great? What is it that will kickstart your day, meaning that you’ll wake up and have this enthusiasm for what you’re going to do that you’re going to be proud of the work that you’re doing—that’s a definition of success. To be proud of the work you’re doing, to be happy about the work you’re doing each and everyday would certainly lead to the feeling of success.What is it that will help you to shake things up for yourself? To not accept the status quo and to be able to deal with the uncertainty that comes from embracing change? I think part of the reason why we don’t do that, why we are often afraid of change is because from the time that we were really young, like kindergarten age or even earlier, what we were trained to believe is that making mistakes is bad, and that there are all kinds of awful consequences that come from making mistakes. To me, just the awareness that that’s the way we’ve been programmed gives us a new option, that option is to challenge that mindset of being afraid of making mistakes. In some ways, playing the game of life on defence, playing the game of life to not make mistakes, or make the fewest mistakes possible versus playing the game of life in terms of what are the creative opportunities that are present in this moment? Which are the ones that I would want to seize? What would I want to be doing? How would I baby step my way into that thing or to be doing that thing? Regardless of whether I’m going to make mistakes because the fact of the matter is we’re always going to make mistakes. Again, it’s a really interesting process. Again it starts with awareness—everything always does.

‏‏Right. I like what you said about living your life on the defence. For me, after I got really hurt in a relationship, the question that ran my life was, “How can I not get hurt?” Every relationship I went into, I went into that baggage like, “You’re not going to hurt me and prove how you’re not going to hurt me.” But when I changed that question into, “How can I trust more? How can I love more? How can I get more out of a relationship? How can I be a better partner?” When I start asking the right questions and focusing on what I want rather than what I don’t want, life became better. I met my soulmate, we got married. I totally love what you said about don’t live your life on the defence. What was your process to finding your true calling? Because you said, you were a lawyer and then you became this powerful, a great success coach, motivational speaker, author, how did that happen?

‏‏Thank you. I want to answer that question and I’m also still marinating, I guess, in what you said a moment ago because it’s really beautiful how you used a great personal example of relationship ending, and the pain of that, and the feeling of just not wanting to get hurt again. That’s the thing about mistakes that we’ve all made is no one wants to repeat them. We will defend ourselves in many ways from making those same mistakes. That changes us; it closes our hearts, it closes our minds as well to opportunities that might otherwise be there. You used an example of focusing on what you want versus what you don’t want which is a really powerful process when people become aware of that. I like to use that in a little bit of a different way, which I just really quickly share with you. That is I believe that everything has a purpose, we all have a purpose, everything in life has a purpose. Nothing goes to waste. I’m constantly looking at how things get utilized. This law of utilization—this alchemy, if you will—that even the things in life that we don’t want, or the things that are kind of nasty or ugly even that they have a purpose, that there’s something really valuable in them. I used a T-chart, I share this with folks, I’ll just explain it now. It’s a T-chart where on the left hand side of the T-chart, I write down the things that I don’t want. What don’t I want? “Well, I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to be hurt by people crossing my boundaries. I don’t want to lose money investing in something like real estate or something…

Even the things in life that we don’t want, or the things that are kind of nasty or ugly even that they have a purpose, that there’s something really valuable in them.


‏‏…or Bitcoin, right or something where I don’t know enough about what I’m investing in. I’m going in ignorant, I’m going in without doing due diligence, and maybe I’m not even working with people I know well enough to trust. I don’t want to do that because I’ve lost money in the past doing those kinds of things. Those are a really easy list to create. If you ask people, “Just create a list of stuff you know you don’t want.” The list will get long really fast. It will get long quickly. But here’s the alchemy piece to me, is that when you know what you don’t want, you also know what you do want. For each thing that you’ve listed on the left hand side that say, “I don’t want,” what do you know in that moment? What do you have complete clarity about that you know you do want? If it’s the, “I don’t want to be in relationship with people that cross my boundaries, or I don’t want to be abused in a relationship, or any of those, I know I have complete clarity, I want to be in relationship with people who respect my boundaries and don’t take advantage of me. I want to invest with people that I know and trust. I want to invest in things where I know it’s not guaranteed that I’m going to get at certain return, but what I am interested in is understanding the investment so that if I do lose money, it’s not because I was foolish enough to invest without thinking or investigating. That I know I do want.” That list of don’t wants becomes such a catalyst for change. It becomes such a catalyst for awareness. It becomes such a catalyst for clarity. Yes, I’ve heard so many people in the personal development space for years, and years, talk about focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. Almost like saying that the “I don’t want,” is this refuse that you put in the trash and take it to the dump. I look at it like it’s recycle, it’s a recyclable material. You can use that, in fact, it’s the craziest thing but some of that stuff that you would want to send out to the dump and get it as far away as you can, it becomes the gold, it truly becomes the gold. The lead becomes gold because it teaches you what it is you want in life. So many people don’t get what they want in life because they just don’t know what they want, not really.

‏‏Amen, Adam. Amen. Are you familiar with the work of Esther Hicks, Abraham Hicks?

‏‏Oh, my God. Yes.

‏‏Yeah. She/he/they talk a lot about contrast and how without contrast, we don’t know what we want. When I look at my life—again, a personal example—I totally see how every time I went through pain, trauma, whatever it was, when I look back, it was all a gift. Sometimes, we get the gift with the bow on the bottom, we can’t see the gift at that moment but a year later, two years later, we look back and we say, “Wow, that was a gift.” If we’re able to embrace it, then like you said, it becomes gold.

‏‏Yes. I want to answer the question you asked me. I want to respect that that’s an open loop.

‏‏Open loops are so good because people are so–they don’t know what’s going on, “Well, wait, what happened? What about that question?”

‏‏Orion, you’re awesome, yes. Absolutely. You tell me, it’s your show, do you want to close that loop or you want to keep it open?

‏‏Let’s close it.

‏‏Yeah. The idea of identity, it’s an interesting one. When we think of purpose and identity, people often think, “Yeah, I’m born to do something.” They’re searching in their lives for the thing that they were born to do, the purpose that they have here. That identity becomes a lot of what they do for a living, it becomes a lot of how they see themselves, etc. My own experiences is not that I was born with a particular purpose or identity but that overtime, my identity changed and has changed, has evolved, let’s put it that way, that’s what we’re all doing, we’re all evolving. It’s interesting to me because early on in my life, my first job was as a summer camp counsellor. I taught swimming. I was teaching swimming, I was teaching tennis, and then teaching swimming to kids, 8, 9, 10 years old. Then after that series of jobs; lifeguard, and waiter, bartender, usual stuff, and then after college, my wife was studying to be a teacher, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life so I became a teacher for a couple of years. I taught in the New York school system because with a degree of any kind, they would hire a teacher. I had an English degree, I taught English. Then I ended up going back to school, becoming a lawyer, spent 18 years doing that. When we talk about this, especially in the context of pivoting, we use an example of a phone booth. In the book, we talk about this phone booth being like Clark Kent’s phone booth, Superman’s phone booth. Superman would enter the phone booth as Clark Kent and emerge as Superman. There was one identity going in, and there was another identity coming out. We look at this question of how we see ourselves and what we’re doing, what we see our purpose very much in a similar light to that. That there are times in our lives when we enter that phone booth and we come out as one thing because it’s what’s appropriate at that time. When I went into the pivot phone booth, going a law school, coming out of the phone booth, and I came out as a lawyer. I came out with a law degree, I passed the bar exam, I have my suit and tie, and briefcase, and I was a newly minted, ready to rock and roll attorney. Part of the reason why I was doing that was because I wanted to have a profession that could really support a family, create a family, and that’s what we did. Fast forward 15 years later, I was miserable and not happy with what I was doing because it wasn’t fulfilling inside. Anything that’s not fulfilling, you will never feel success from something where you don’t feel fulfilment. Doesn’t matter how much money. I know people think, “If I just make a lot of money, if I just have a bunch of money, I will feel good.” That’s just a lie, it’s just not true. What’s true is that no matter how much money you have, if you feel fulfilled, you will feel successful. The more money, the better. I mean, look, I’m all about both. Have fulfilment and have a great business, and a rock and roll system, and everything that would contribute to abundance of every kind. Change as many lives, positively impact lives in the biggest way possible, and get rich doing it, that’s my opinion. But ultimately, if the fulfilment is lacking, you will not feel successful no matter how much money is involved. After a point in time, the money wasn’t what was bringing me any happiness so I went back into the pivot phone booth, I went back into this phone booth to ask the questions and this is what we do in the book is what are the questions to ask, and you said earlier that you started to ask yourself a better question. That’s how you got better answers. It’s the same for all of us. Going back into that booth, I asked myself, “What is my true identity? Who am I in this moment? Who do I see myself being in the future? What’s the vision for that? What does that look like?” When I went in that phone booth, what I realized was that I was a teacher at heart. I had been teaching since the time I was a kid, I was counselling my friends, and my parents even at times. I was a counselor at a summer camp and then I was a teacher. Everything I was doing, even in the practice of law, the work that I actually enjoyed was the counseling part, was the giving advice part. I realized, “I am a teacher,” and I’m not planning to go back into the New York City school system, or any other school system for that matter. I want to teach, and I want to teach in a different way. I want to be able to work with people in ways that are just cutting edge and help them to root out the stuff that’s stopping them and all the business stuff included. I said, “This is fantastic because now I know who I am in this moment.” The fact is, I know this as I say this to you now, 10 years from now, 20 years from now, my identity might be different. It might be calling for a change because it’s evolution. Evolution means that nothing is stagnant, anything that’s stagnant is dying. Things have to stay in motion and have to evolve and change. The caterpillar might be content on that leaf and then when the caterpillar is no longer content, and it’s this discontent, this divine discontent that ultimately, and the painful transformation, and metamorphosis that turns that caterpillar into a butterfly, but at the end of it, that new being is now seeing the world and experiencing life in a very different way. You cannot stop that process. You brought it up at the very beginning, when people are interfering with their own evolution, they’re interfering with their own process of growth, that’s when they feel sick, they get sick, and they’re miserable. There’s a lot of misery in the world, there’s a lot of anger and misery in the world, just turn on the news and you see it everyday.

Have fulfillment and have a great business, and a rock and roll system, and everything that would contribute to abundance of every kind. Click To Tweet

‏‏Yeah, I love the news. Adam, what are some tools you can share with us that can help create a shift in the identity, the phone booth tools? What are they?

‏‏To me, you always have to gain new awareness. What precedes any growth for me, for anyone, is new awareness because the information we already have is dead as Osho would say, “All new life exists in this moment, and in this moment in the present, in the now, there’s an unknown.” We don’t know what the next moment will hold, we don’t even know if we’re going to breathe another breath. That place of unknowing and uncertainty is actually where true freedom lies. Yet as you said, this is the greatest anxiety for most people is to not know what the next year’s going to look like in their life, what the next week is going to look like in their life. Part of where I counsel people, where we counsel people is to recognize that your only job right now—and I want to provide a ritual as well because I believe in the power of rituals, and rituals to me are habits that are conscious. As opposed to the habit, I brush my teeth with the same hand everyday, I do it unconsciously, I don’t even think about it, I think of rituals as being the master habit, the conscious creation of our own life experience through the things that we do, we call rituals. I want to leave your folks or make sure that we cover that today as well. When it comes to what we’re discussing now, we have to be able to sit in the present moment and recognize that all is well in this moment, and also recognize that our true identity is to be present, meaning our purpose in life is to be present in the moment, to be here now. Then lastly, to be guided or to be guidable because so much of our time is spent in reaction to stress, we could spend hours and hours talking about what those reactions distress, how we know it, our bodies produce cortisol, we know there’s this flight, fight, freeze, response that people have. They’re either frozen, or they’re fighting or flighting.

‏‏I have the chocolate response.

‏‏You have the chocolate reponse.

‏‏I love chocolate.

‏‏That’s a good response.

‏‏Too much chocolate.

‏‏Exactly. You know what it is? It’s in this moment, we can be guided to the next moment. By that, I mean, it can be the next moment that is still sitting in stillness. It could be that the next moment is that the idea pops into your head that you can’t deny. You got to go out buy the URL for that idea, you’ve got to go out and make a phone call, you’ve got to go out and speak to someone or do something. That idea, that thing, that inspiration, that guidance comes in those moments of stillness, of surrender, of presence. Presence is so important. When people say to me, “What can you say about purpose? What’s your true purpose?” My true purpose is to be present, to be myself, and be present in this moment as myself—as my authentic self. When I’m not playing out scenarios of every catastrophe that could go wrong in the future, and I’m not regretting or resenting something of the past, but I’m simply in this moment, surrendering to this moment, I am myself, my true self. That’s where I receive guidance. This process of moving from the guarded heart to the guided heart is the subject of the next book that I’m writing in TED Talk, that’s going to be delivered in a few months. I really think it’s the powerful key that we must get to that place and I think more often than not, we’re not necessarily thinking that’s a productive use of time that we have to be constantly doing, and doing, and doing, and doing when there’s great ROI in being, there’s tremendous return of investment in being. Hopefully that answers your question as giving some guidance as to the guidance.

‏‏It’s a beautiful answer. Let’s talk about your rituals, or the ritual you wanted to share with us.

‏‏Yeah. To me, in all the things we’re talking about, in the book Pivot, we talk about this process and explain the process. One of the elements in the book that I think is really powerful, these two, and they dovetail, one is resilience. Regardless of what the activity were involved in our lives, whether it’s a business activity or it’s a personal activity, we’re going to have set backs, we’re going to have things that are going to hit us unexpectedly. People aren’t going to like us, people aren’t going to buy our stuff, people are going to leave.

Regardless of what the activity were involved in our lives, whether it’s a business activity or it’s a personal activity, we’re going to have set backs, we’re going to have things that are going to hit us unexpectedly.

‏‏No, no.

‏‏Yeah, it’s all going to happen, it’s shocking.

‏‏Shocking, shocking.

‏‏Shocking, shocking. Love that word. Crazy, it never happens, never to me. What do you do? It’s not one time like somebody says, “No,” somebody rejects you, somebody doesn’t like what you’re doing, somebody trolls you on social media and says nasty things or whatever. It’s not one thing that ever takes anybody out, it’s that sometimes, we go through a season. There’s a season where things are tough, tougher than they actually have to be, but they are. That’s the way it is. It’s not a question of fairness or unfairness, it’s just the way the evolutionary process is. It may be like saying to the caterpillar as it’s going through whatever those eight stages are—I forget when our kids are little and they had to study it—but there’s all these phases, stages of the metamorphosis, the pupa stage, I don’t even remember, these all these different crazy stages with funny names. The caterpillar wouldn’t stop right there in the middle and go, “You know, this sucks. Look at me, I was a caterpillar, I couldn’t fly, but man, I could at least move around from leaf to leaf. Now I’m stuck in a cocoon, what the freak is this? Somebody get me out of here.” You can imagine how it’s ridiculous and yet that’s exactly I think where people are a lot of times, that they’re going through a stage that’s ugly, and it feels ugly, and they’re not sure what’s on the other end of it. They don’t see what’s really on the other end is always going to be the emergence of the butterfly because it’s part of their evolution. They get down, they get discouraged, they get tired, they get sick even physically, and they get angry, and all the rest. Resilience is the key. How is it you build resilience as a human being, as an entrepreneur, as a business owner, as an employee, so that you can continue to evolve and do it with grace, do it with ease, do it with joy, do it with smile on your face even when shit’s tough, and it gets tough. Resilience is the key and we believe that the way you build resilience—well, there’s three steps in the resilience process, I’ll say it really quickly. One is you take the situation that you’re in and you have to frame it in a way that empowers you. Whatever is going on, you’ve got to be in an empowered state, especially when you see it as something negative. I’m not saying, “Turn it into something it’s not,” but you’ve got to frame it in an empowering light, that’s first. Second, you’ve got to gain wisdom from it, whatever that experience was, good, bad, or ugly, you’ve got to know what the lessons are, what’s the wisdom, the nugget, the golden nugget that’s in it? Because when you receive that wisdom and you own it, you own the responsibility for it, because you paid the price of it, it could be you did something or someone did something to you or whatever it is but you own your part in the whole thing and gain the wisdom, then it’s like you get a golden ticket, the universe gives you this golden ticket, you get to move ahead in life, in the game of life. Lastly, you’ve got to take care of yourself. Self care, self care, self love is the third component. That is so important. That dovetails into ritual. We teach a number of rituals and we provide a 21-day plan at the end of the book. But the first ritual—the most important ritual—is the waking ritual. What is it that you plant in the garden of your life experience at the very moment that you’re waking up in the morning? I teach the ritual as a prayer as well. It is my prayer. It doesn’t have to be yours or anybody else’s but this is my prayer that we all wake up tomorrow. That’s what I’m giving thanks for in this moment that whenever you’re listening and consuming this content that you woke up, because you wouldn’t be listening to this if you hadn’t woken up today. That is a blessing. It wasn’t guaranteed either and tomorrow’s not guaranteed. My prayer is that we all wake up tomorrow, wake up ourselves on a metaphoric level, wake our consciousness up, become more alive and more awake than we are even today–that’s one step one. Step two is that in that moment when we realize we are in fact waking up and taking a deep breath of life that there are people who are taking their last breath of life. There are also at that same moment babies being born all around the world taking their first breath of life, and that is magnificent, it’s beautiful, it’s sacred, it’s holy even. In that moment, you can be grateful. There’s a reason to be grateful no matter what’s going on; it could be you have to go to court that day for something that’s upsetting, it could be anything going on that day, you’re going for a chemo treatment. It could be anything. But in that moment that you’re waking up and you realize you have been given another day, and that there are people that didn’t get that blessing today, you can be grateful. Step two is to just cultivate some feeling of gratitude inside of you, whether it’s for your family, or for anything at all, it doesn’t matter what it is. Thirdly, if you’re willing to do this, and we recommend that people do this for a period of time, usually at least 21 days, and that’s just the conventional thinking around new habit creation. It could be 30, it could be 60, it could be anything you want, as long as it works, what works, you keep doing and what doesn’t work, you stop doing. If you wake up, you’re in gratitude. The third piece is that either from your bed or when your feet hit the floor, you say these words, you say, “I love my life. I love my life. I love my life.” Three times on waking. We found in having shared this with people all around the world that some pretty incredible things manifest from this practice. You might even say miracles. I can’t use that term except for myself. It’s been miraculous for me. I have seen remarkable things happen for other people when they have adapted this new ritual.

‏‏Beautiful, beautiful. Thank you for all the amazing tips you just shared. I just want people to know more about you, go get your book, go attend your seminars, and listen to you speak because you are a wonderful speaker, where can people find you and connect with you?

‏‏Oh, thank you, Orion. First and foremost, we would love to give your listeners a gift. It’s no strings attached, it’s nothing being sold. A gift for them to discover and be curious in the discovery process about their pivot, about the change that we know is constant, it’s not something they have to agree to to have it be true. I sometimes say that to people, just because whether you believe it or not, it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t make it less true whether you believe it or you don’t believe it. The fact is that change is constant in our world. It’s important that we have access to greater and greater tools to deal with change, to work with change, to manage it and to utilize it. We have a kickstart guide with six questions. Personally, we don’t see the answers, it’s not a survey, or anything like that. These six questions are really powerful—you pointed out the importance of questions earlier—six powerful questions. We also outline some of the rituals that we use during the day in terms of business, productivity, and personal success. They can get to that kickstart guide, and access it, download it, and hopefully use it to their benefit by going to startmypivot.com to get the free kickstart guide. They can also from there, if they want, get access to our Start My Pivot Community on Facebook, there’s a button there, they can click on that for access there as well. If they want to get the book, Pivot: The Art and Science of Reinventing Your Career and Life, folks can go to Amazon of course, you can also go to adammarkel.com. On that site you can read our blog, you can check out our podcast which is we’re also quite a bit of fun. That’s really where folks can find out more about the work we’re doing and hopefully want to explore these questions because I think they’re really powerful for everybody, whether it’s wanting to create more of a success into your business or just want to wake up in the morning and put your feet on the floor and really, really feel the truth in the statement, “I love my life.”

It’s important that we have access to greater and greater tools to deal with change, to work with change, to manage it and to utilize it. Click To Tweet

‏‏Perfect. This was so much fun. I thank you so much for being here. Thank you for being on the show, and thank you for all the great work you do in the world, and all the people you help.

‏‏It’s been a pleasure, Orion. Thanks for having me.

‏‏Thank you.

Your Checklist of Actions to Take

✓ Kickstart the day with gratitude. A new day brings a new chance at life so don’t waste it with negative energy.  

✓ Find what you love and keep doing it. Find a career or hobby that inspires and brings you joy.

✓ Don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself and start a new life. You’re only one decision away from a different situation.

✓ Deal with change gracefully. When you hit dead ends, you can always take a detour and find another route.

✓ Be kind to yourself in times of burnout and struggle. What you say to yourself will affect you so be careful with your thoughts.

✓ Trust the Universe and that everything happens for a reason. The challenges you are going through have a purpose

✓ Be more aware of your thoughts, feelings and external environment. The more you evaluate the things within and around you, the better you can distinguish what you can and can’t tolerate.

✓ Be in the moment and accept the present as it is. Don’t stress about your past and don’t worry about the future but make sure what you’re doing today will give you a better tomorrow.

✓ Trust the process and know that resilience is key. It’s never easy when you work to get the life that you want but it will all be worth it in the end.

✓ Grab a copy of Adam Markel’s book, Pivot: The Art and Science of Reinventing Your Career and Life.

Links and Resources:

About Adam Markel

Adam is a recognized expert in professional and personal reinvention. A highly sought-after public speaker, transformational leader and business mentor, he guides individuals and businesses to capitalize on change and magnify their impact.


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