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A life spent ceaselessly trying to live in accordance with everyone else's expectations is a road to a regretful existence.

What if everybody else is wrong? What if the solution to living alive and free is really just hidden inside you…

…And all you need to do is learn how to uncover it?

Today I’m talking about the danger of expectation – and how you can avoid spending the rest of your life trying to fit your square peg through someone else’s round hole. Today we’re going to build you a square hole and get you on the road to real freedom without conforming to everybody else’s way of living.

Here Are The Show Highlights:

  • A road trip story about robbing from the rich to support the poor (0:50)
  • The truth nobody wants to tell you about rules, laws, and secrets (2:30)
  • Addiction lessons from a popular 19th-century poem (8:50)
  • Two key tools for assessing whether or not you should listen to someone else's advice (12:00)
  • The true definition of real freedom (15:00)

If you or somebody you know is looking to drop the ‘F’ Bomb of freedom in your life and break free from addiction, depression, anxiety or anything that’s making you feel flat-out stuck, head over to www.liberateaman.com and book a call where we can look at your situation and give you the roadmap you’ve been missing.

Read Full Transcript

It's time to rip the cover off what really works to ditch addiction, depression, anger, anxiety, and all other kinds of human suffering. No, not sobriety. We're talking the "F Word" here - Freedom. We'll share, straight from the trenches, what we have learned from leaving our own addictions behind, and coaching hundreds of others to do the same, and since it's such a heavy topic, we might as well have a good time while we're at it.

Bob: Welcome back to the Alive and Free podcast. Today, we are going to talk about the danger of expectations and what you can do to shrug all those "should's" in your life in a way that allows to powerfully step up and live free and alive. Back in 2007, I took my little family. We had two children at the time. And we drove from Albuquerque, New Mexico up to Seattle, and on this road trip, I wanted to listen to something, so I popped in the book Atlas Shrugged. [0:01:00.1]

Now, I was driving the actual truck. My wife was driving our car with our little kids. I was in the big yellow Budge or Penske truck that my oldest son called "the school bus" or in his language of the day, "spoobus." And so she didn't have to listen to this, but there I was listening to this tremendous story, Atlas Shrugged. I haven’t seen the movies, so I don't know how those shaped up, but here this story unfolded. I'm not going to give you any spoilers that I'm aware of, because if you haven't seen the movie yet, and those of you who want to read it a philosophically oriented novel, it was a really good read, and very eye opening and still, I think very pertinent to what you can see happening in the world today. But ultimately, here was a group of people where you have the economy of the United States struggling, there's railroad lines going on, right, and it's struggling and the economy is becoming more and more socialized, trying to "rob from the rich" in order to give to the poor. To take from people who are producing in society and force them into using their wealth and their means to make sure that all the other people were taken care of. [0:02:05.3]

They called them "the looters" in the book, and what happened was all these powerful business owners just started disappearing from the planet. Nobody knew where they were. Nobody knew what had happened to them. They just vanished, in mid-air, and all their assets went dump and some of them like literally made dumb decisions in business and what not. And so they just started disappearing and later on, obviously Dagney, is that her name? Dagney Tagart or something like that? She ends up figuring out what's going on with them. Turns out, they had gotten tired of the way that everybody told them they were supposed to behave. Tired of the way that the world, the government, was forcing them to operate, and so what they did was shrug it. They just quit. They left it all behind and they went and created life on their own terms and it was a powerfully thriving situation. It was challenging for them. [0:03:00.1]

They loved being business owners and they were doing their own thing and what not. She discovered, I'm sorry if that's a little bit of a spoiler, I realize for the book, those of you who wanted to read it, but really, really powerful concept inside that. Your whole life, people have been telling you how to do things, and if you've been struggling with addiction or depression or any number of addictions or bad habits or if you've been trying to build a business, everybody on the planet is screaming at you about how you are supposed to do things - "This is the way it works. These are the laws of human nature. This is the rule book by which business functions. This is the rule book by which addiction functions." And let me let you in on a little secret: Every law, every rule, everything that we're talking about is all made up. What is a law? A law is an idea created by a guy, usually, or a girl, because guys tend to have this kind of absolutism maybe or maybe not, whatever. But created by a person to describe what they're seeing in reality. Reality could care less about all the laws we make up, but we keep making up laws and rules saying that this is the way the world operates, until suddenly, some years later, we discover that something is actually different and it doesn’t have to operate that way. [0:04:12.6]

And that big "what if" question… What if, my friend, what if we're all wrong, and what if there's a better, easier, more amazing way out? That's the question by which I had to operate. You see, as a porn addict, as someone struggling with addiction, I went to these meetings and in these meetings, people told me, point blank, that I was an addict. They told me, point blank, that I'm going to have to be fighting this for the rest of my life, that I'm going to always need to be at meetings, that I'm going to always need to have some kind of sponsor or coach, that I'm always going to need to have some sort of accountability buddy or software, that I'm always going to need to have full disclosure and check-ins with my wife, and that there's really nothing I'm going to be able to do to get past this, that I'm always going to be fighting it, and that's that. [0:05:02.2]

Now, if you're going to a counselor or a therapist, they're going to tell you that based on the definitions of like the profession, addiction is something that is like literally a disease. You can't get over it. You can only manage it or cope with it. That's kind of, by definition, the way it goes, and a lot of them function that way. Some of them don’t tend to think that way and want to give you another way out, but more or less, that's kind of the framework. That's the world has offered you, and as I sat there looking at that, something inside me said, "That's dumb. Are you serious?! For the rest of my life, I get to look forward to having this struggle inside me, every time my wife leaves and there's an opportunity for me to go look at a computer? Or every time there's a trigger?" And we can discuss triggers another time. But "I'm going to, the rest of my life I have to live this way? I have to deal with like the guilt and shame of being the guy who betrayed his wife in this way, and even though, you know, we worked out our differences, is it a debt that I'll never be able to repay? [0:06:00.7]

I gotta live the rest of my life this way, always worrying about what's going to come around the next corner? I've got to live the rest of my life this way, worrying about what society's going to do next and what the TV show is going to have on or what's in the next movie? All of that stuff? That's what you're telling me - that I gotta live the rest of my life this way? I don’t want to." And for the first time, I wasn’t actually suicidal. I had been suicidal before. But I wasn’t actually suicidal. I just was staring down life as I either have to live that way, which I don’t want to live; it's not worth it. So I either have to end it, somehow, or I gotta find a different way to live. And in that moment, I left the meetings. I stopped going. No matter how good-hearted these people were, no matter how many of them had been "sober" for however many years, but none of them were free. They were still fighting it. It was still a part of their identity, and I didn’t want that to be a part of my identity. I wanted my big, you know, resume item, to be "Hey, dear God, when I finish life, I just wanted to let you know that for the last so many years, I didn't do this." [0:07:04.2]

That didn't seem to be a success or an achievement in my book. I wanted something different. And so I left all of those expectations behind, and I realized that the reason the expectations were set up, the reason that all of those rules about the way you're supposed to get out of addiction, or the way you're supposed to get to run a business, they're set up that way because that's all that the people who are telling you know. That's what they've learned from their own experience. Now in business, if the people that you're listening to actually are doing what you want to do, then obviously, they've figured something out. But in addiction, the people that were giving me this advice, they weren't free. Some of them were sober. All of them were fighting it. They weren't free. Why the heck am I going to take advice from them if they don’t even know how to get there themselves? And so I had to take a step back and start to assess, "Who am I taking advice from and why am I listening to the BS rules that they make? [0:08:05.2]

People that are trying to tell me how to live a happy life, if I go look at them and I go ask myself this question based on their life, are they actually happy?" Or at least most of the time, are they happy? And if they're not, and I see anxiety and pain and anguish in them, why am I going to take advice from them on how to live a happy and fulfilled life." I'm not. And that idea, there, to just shrug all these rules and look deeply at what it is that I want and who knows how to get there, has caused all kinds of transformations, not just in terms of giving me the possibility of finding freedom, but in spiritual pursuits and in business pursuits and in relationship pursuits. It has allowed me to chart my own course in a very, very powerful way. Now back in 2009, I actually wrote a poem about this, and yes, I'm going to quote it to you and you don’t have to like it. I'll just say Robert Frost wrote a poem called the "Road Not Taken", and I had listened to this all the time, like a lot, and I thought it was a beautiful poem for a time until it didn’t resonate with me anymore, and so I wrote an answer. [0:09:12.4]

So the Robert Frost poem goes like this, "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I took night" Oops, sorry, that was mine. Redo. Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and gazed down each as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; then took the other, as just as fair, and having perhaps the better claim because it was grassy and wanted wear; though as for that the passing there had worn them really about the same," Sorry, it's been a while. "And each that morning equally lay in leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I marked the first for another day! But knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I should be telling this with a sigh, sometime ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. [0:10:09.5]

Now here I am, in my own temperament, looking at that, and naturally if someone only gives me two options, I feel constrained. I feel stuck. And we'll talk about probably that in some future episodes, about this idea of being stuck and what to do.
If you, or someone you know, is looking to drop the F Bomb of Freedom in your life, whether that's from addiction or depression and anxiety or just anything that's making you feel flat out stuck, but you have no clue how to shake it and just want help doing it, head on over to LiberateaMan.com and book a call, where we can look at your unique situation and give you the roadmap you've been missing.

Bob: So here I am, standing there, in the road less traveled, and I'm looking at these two options, the one more traveled by or the one less traveled by, and I wrote this response: "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I took neither, but rather stood. Stood to gaze and watch and learn of each road's mean, if soft or stern. Stood to asking if inwardly either road called out to me, but neither did. So I remained, in that one place where two paths came. At length, this thought came inwardly - that neither road was meant for me. Both were made for others' feet, which mine would never find as sweet. I rose to this forbidding voice and set anew to make my choice. And then, forged a path. Alone." See, where you go in life and what you have to do in life is not dependent upon everybody else's expectations and rules. What if we're all wrong? What if the people telling you how to get out of addiction have no clue how to get out? What if they don’t? There are two key components to this. [0:12:04.3]

The first is ask yourself have they really gotten to the place that I would like to get to, totally free, to where it's not even a fight anymore, and by not a fight I mean literally, not a fight. People nowadays could just show me pornography. I developed a way to just delete it from my mind and move on. Not a fight. I sit in a room all day long with internet access, on my own. We don’t have accountability software on my computer. I can go see it anytime I want. Not a fight. Not an urge. Not a temptation. Does the thought show up in my brain sometimes? Well, it's been a while, but if it does, it goes away just as quickly. Does my body, as a guy, say "Hello" to pretty women as they pass by? Yeah, sometimes. Usually, they don't say, "Hi," back, so it's not a problem. End of conversation. I don’t have this fight anymore, and the hundreds of men that we have helped get to this place eventually, each in their own time, to where literally it's not a fight. [0:13:02.2]

You can just move on with your life. So ask yourself, have they gotten to where you want to get to? Literally, ask, and be clear about it. So, like when it comes to business, have they gotten the, are they running the kind of business you want to run. If they're not, then their advice isn't going to really help you run the kind of business you want to run. Are they making the kind of money you want to make? If not, then why are you listening to them? And so on and so forth. When it comes to addiction, are they really free? And are they happy? And have they ended the fight? Or whatever else you want - if all you want to do is control the behavior, and that's one level of freedom and that's all you want, great. But if you want the kind of freedom from not just the behavior, but all the emotional junk around it, the depression, the anxiety and all that stuff - if you want freedom from the thought processes that used to control your mind all the time, and if you want freedom to be able to literally step out and be the person that you want to be, you gotta go find somebody who's there. Okay? Once you've asked yourself that question, then the next question is "Should I listen to their advice, then?" [0:14:06.4]

Okay? "Who am I listening to? Do they have what I want? Should I listen to their advice?" If you are listening to their advice, and they're not where you want to be, just be aware that that is not going to get you what you want. I realized that they weren’t doing it maliciously, for me. They were offering this advice because it was the best that they knew, the people that are like, "You can't declare that you're free, because pride goeth before the fall." Because that's all that they knew. "You can't stop going to meetings or you can't stop getting accountability partners and stuff because otherwise, like, you know, it's just going to creep back in." Because that's all that they knew. "You're always going to have to fight this." That's all that they knew. And that doesn't mean it's the truth. It just means is that is all that they knew, and they're trying to give you the best they know how, and maybe the best that they know how isn't actually what 's best for you. The third piece of the puzzle, and the reason I shared that poem that I wrote, as much as I sadly butchered Robert Frost's poem, I think he's dead now, so hopefully he's not rolling over in his grave, although some members of an English class, the year before mine in high school, actually wrote him about that poem and said they gave him a different suggestion for how to end it, and he wrote back and said, "If I could have ended it better, I would have." [0:15:24.4]

Way to go. Way to stick to your guns. So the next reason that I shared the poem is this. Is it built for you? Right? Everybody tells you the way you should do things, and most of the time, in the entire coaching industry and in most industries, it's because they've found a solution that works for them. But the reality is, you're different than them, and if you have to be them in order to be free, that's not freedom. Because real freedom is the ability to simply be yourself without any guilt, shame, or worries or concerns. [0:16:01.0]

You can let all of you out onto the planet without fear that it's going to wreck something or hurt someone or hurt yourself or damage stuff or you make you fail or anything. To be totally you. That's freedom. And you can't do that. You can't be that kind of free. I mean, and that's the easy kind of freedom because all you have to do is be yourself. It takes a bit of work to get there, unfortunately, because of how much pain and training and social conditioning we have had over the years. But if you want that kind of freedom, you cannot, the equation cannot be okay, well, then you have to be like so and so, because otherwise you're not free. You just have to be like so and so the rest of your life and you'll never feel like you measure up, because you're not playing to your own strengths. So wherever you get help, you've got to shrug what everybody else tells you you should do, including me, if it doesn’t work for you. For crying out loud. Right? If it doesn’t work, then great, let's find a different thing that does work because what we care about is your freedom. We don’t care about you being me. [0:17:02.2]

The world needs only one of me. It doesn't need two. That could be too much. Okay? So, it's gotta work for you. So the freedom formula, the thing that I put together, after so many years of my own struggle and then years and years of research trying to refine this to where we were getting repeatable results for clients of all different kinds of personalities and instinctive traits and different walks of life, different ages, from age 11 all the way up to like 71, like seriously, we have worked with all kinds of different people, from all kinds of different backgrounds. And what we refined was a process of helping us do this in a way that allows it to cater to who you are, so that you are the solution. Now, is it a lot of work to get to that point? Yeah. I mean, you gotta dump a lot of stuff. You've got to solve what's really underneath it. You've got to develop the skill sets that are going to enable you to do that, but they all have to be catered and encircled around you, so that for the rest of your life, you're not trying to shove yourself, this square peg, through every round hole that everybody else is trying to put out there for you. [0:18:06.5]

How about we build a square hole? And how about we allow that to be your solution and freedom? What if everybody else is wrong? What if the solution is really just you? And we found a way to do that in a really powerful way that only takes, you know, a couple of months. But that's ultimately what I had to figure out. Look, everybody else is telling me it's not possible, and I don’t accept that, so I'm going to make a different solution. And I did, and at first, it was just for me, and then after that, we had to figure out how to make unique solutions for everybody else too. Processes to go through that are powerful, skills to learn, and ways to help them really allow themselves to show up and shine. So, I'm going to close with this, this one idea. Look, when you're feeling stuck, when it feels like there's no hope, when it feels like it's not even worth trying anywhere anymore because all the solutions out there, everybody else is telling you it's got to be a certain way and if it's not that way, then you're going to hell, or you're going to die or you're going to fail, that kind of absolutism doesn't honor how great you really are, the being that you came here on earth as. Whatever the gifts and abilities, your natural talents are. It doesn't honor you. And if we're dishonoring you, then how is that even going to lead to a happy life? Maybe you do get free, but at what cost? And how much shame and guilt and other things are built up on top of that level of freedom? So I'm going to give you permission today to shrug all the shoulds, to just ask yourself this one question - what if we're all wrong. What if we're wrong about everything? [0:19:43.2]

And how freeing… we're going to talk about this next time in a very particular venue. When I talk about the religious and spiritual side of things for me and what it took for me to find God in a very different way than I expected, by asking this question - what if we're all wrong. And what I discovered on the other side of that was so beautiful. And so, we'll talk about that next time. For now, just start to look at it, all the places where there are rules and expectations about how it has to go, how long it has to take for you to heal, how much work is involved, the kind of work involved - all of those things need to be brought up and questioned because what I'm here to tell you is there's a much faster, more effective way to help a person out of addiction than most people even believe is possible. And half of the battle that I have with people who are looking for my help is to convince them that it's a possibility because they've been told by so many people, for so long that it's not. [0:20:41.9]

And that, my friends, we'll talk about in another episode a little bit further down the line called The Addiction Myth, but that's the result of really good marketing and a cultured that latched on to an idea. But we'll have to talk about that another time. For now, we're going to sign off. Remember, next time we're going to talk about finding God, what it means to be wrong in such a beautiful way. We'll talk soon.

And that's it for today's Alive and Free podcast. If you enjoyed this show, and want some more freedom bombs landing in your ear buds, subscribe right now at wherever you get your podcast from, and while you're at it, give us a rating and a review. It'll help us keep delivering great stuff to you, plus, it's just nice to be nice.

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