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We have a chance to learn something new every time something happens in our life.

But the smartest, most creative people know a secret to applying that lesson across all areas of their life.

In today’s episode, I’m sharing how you can do that so you can turn catastrophes into a catapult to a better life.

Here Are The Show Highlights:

  • The #1 biggest mistake you make after something big happens in your life that’s preventing you from reaching your potential (2:02)
  • Jesus’s little-known secret for not believing in hard work (6:01)
  • The “5-minute trick” to overcoming your deepest held addictions (9:29)
  • The subtle mindset shift that turns your most mundane chores into exciting tasks you look forward to (10:27)
  • The only 5 things you need to focus on to continually level up your life (12:45)
  • The stupid-obvious way to stop making life unneccessarily harder than it needs to be (17:06)
  • How your worst addictions can improve other, unrelated areas of your life (17:29)

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 unique 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: Today we're going to take a deviation from some heavy topics. I want to give you a tool today, a way of working with life events that helps you turn them into catapults instead of catastrophes, and even working with good life events, instead of turning them into catapults, instead of comforts—how to improve your life constantly by learning its lessons or by turning it into something that is constantly feeding you. [01:01.0]

This happens a lot. I want you to think about sunscreen to preface this, and some of you might be against sunscreen, so maybe we'll say aloe gel or lotion or something. It can be totally organic. It can be ethically sourced. It can be natural and effective for your skin, and nourishing for your skin and whatnot, and be like True Love Skincare or stuff like that, which is a company that I'm aware of.

Whatever it is for you, when you're applying that to your skin, do you only take little dollop and stick it on the top of your elbow? No, you don't do. You only take a little streak and just stick it on the top of your nose and think that'll protect the rest of your face, a big white mark on your nose? Is that right? No, none of us do that. I don't do that.

What we do is we take a piece of it and we rub it in, and we keep rubbing it in, until it has finally been absorbed, and we rub it into all the nooks and all the crannies. When you're washing your hands with soap, it's all the nooks and all the crannies. You don't just keep it in one place. [02:02.7]
But most people, when something happens in their life, sometimes they learn a lesson from it and then that's it. They just keep it in that one place—I learned in church this. I learned in school that—and then, it stays in that one little area of arena.

But if you want to learn how to learn better, how to make connections across various disciplines and to sound smarter, and to be more creative in what happens, if you want to learn to be more creative in what happens in your life and what you do with it, if you want to learn how to increase your intelligence, if you want to learn how to make your life better faster, then my suggestion to you is to follow along with what it is I'm about to share with you, because this is going to give you a way of practically doing that that doesn’t take that long. It's just practice and it's just a skill that you're going to have to practice over time, but it's going to radically shift how you approach the events in your life instead of being a victim to them. Are you ready? Here we go. [03:01.2]

All right, first order of business. First order of business is to figure out what happened. An event happens and your job is to sit there and say, What happened? Why is this important to me? Why do I feel like it's important or what stands out to me about it? What's the lesson that I'm seeing in it? And then, we'll work on the application piece where you're applying the lotion of this lesson all over the lesions on your body, but all over every nook and cranny, everywhere instead of just in the area where it's at.
For instance, let's take something super massive, because what we want to do is to help you out as best as possible. Little things, this works amazingly for little things and I may give you a couple of instances afterwards, but let's take something massive.

Let's say, a person dealing with an addictive behavior went back to it after a period of time. They did what people call a relapse—which doesn't actually exist, although it's very common phrasing around addiction, but that's a topic for another time—so, let's say, I don't understand what happened. People say this a lot. I don't understand what happened, but there I was and, all of a sudden, I found myself viewing pornography again. [04:05.1]

People come to me with this one, but it could be something simple as, Oh, I binged on root beer and chips the other day, and I don't get it. Let’s use both of those, binging on root beer and chips, and viewing pornography.

We want to know what happened, literally, just the facts first, what happened externally and then what happened internally. The day was going along in a certain way. I found myself stressed because of family and I found myself really freaked out. I didn't get much sleep. I stayed up late at night, and then, the next morning I woke up and I looked at pornography.

So, that's what happened. I woke up in the morning and I looked at pornography. That's what happened. All the rest of it is the story around it, meaning why is this important to you? Why does this matter to you? What is standing out to you about it like, I can't control my situation? That's the feeling that people have, or I'm such an idiot or I'll never be able to be done with this. That's what's showing up, right? [05:01.8]

So, what happened is the event. The story you're making out of it is next. What's the story you're telling yourself? Why is this important to you? That's really critical to identify in a situation like this.

Here, I woke up in the morning and I looked at pornography. Why is this important to me? It feels like I'll never be done with this. This is why this is important. This is the meaning I'm making out of it. All right?

Other one. I was at my friend's house last night and I ate tons of root beer and chips, and I just binged on them and then I ended up feeling really nauseated, and I threw up this morning, or I threw up last night or something. That's what happened. Why is this important to you? It's important because I don't want to have that behavior. I felt like I was out of control. That would be the meaning they're making out of it.
You could do this for positive things, too.

I read a scripture where Jesus said, “my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Why is it important? That seems to go against the entire idea that people have put out there that hard work, trial and tribulation, and difficulty is the way that life is supposed to go, but He said, “Take my yoke upon you,” and He described the yoke as easy and light. This is important to me because it's challenging my thinking. Doesn't matter what it is, we want to know what happened and why it's important. [06:17.8]

Now, when you're looking at what happened, I outlined the day before for something big like when you're returning to a compulsive behavior or something, it's important to look at what led up to it, just so that you can get clear on the facts, just the facts—how you felt that are the internal facts, and what actually occurred that are the external facts—because if you can figure out what led up to it, you can often pinpoint what was really going on.

Then, the next question of why it's significant and what's the lesson you're getting out of it might be something simple as, Man, I realize now that what I'm using pornography for is to manage my stress levels that I haven't actually been taking care of myself and decompressing at night. So, I've been taking all of my stress into my sleep and I don't sleep well, and I wake up in the morning. I go to bed later and I wake up in the morning. I'm not actually decompressing from the day. [07:08.8]

And so, the lesson then becomes, Holy cow, I need to go in and take some time in the evening and really figure out what's going on. That's the action you would take from it, but the lesson is “when I don't.” It's usually a “when” or an “if.” When I don't actually decompress at night, I'm more likely to go and look at pornography or I'm more likely to be more stressed out. Right? Good.

We have three pieces of the puzzle here, “what,” “why” and “what's the lesson?” The lesson is just literally a kind of principle, something that's going on in your life. Man, when I binge on root beer and chips, and when I overeat, I don't feel good. That could simply be the lesson. When I overindulge in root beer and chips, that could be the lesson. You want to boil it down into a simple applicable principle. [08:01.3]

And then, the next part is the cool part, but I want to do the positive ones as well. Maybe the lesson you learned is Jesus’ entire message was that life needs to be easy and light, not hard, difficult and heavy, right? That could be the lesson. But then, you want to relate it to yourself, of course, but I have been thinking and making it a virtue to make my whole life hard and difficult, and so, that could be the lesson. Great. It's challenging your thinking in the lesson is life is meant to be hard and light.
And so, then the next question is, okay, now we want to apply the lotion of this lesson to your life. First and foremost, you want to apply it to the area that you're finding it in, right? What's the lesson you're really getting out of it? Cool. When I don't actually decompress and let go of all of my negativity in the evening, then I'm more likely to view pornography.

What's the application there? How would that apply to my own struggles with a pornography addiction? I realized that I'm using pornography, not because of in and of itself, but I'm actually using it to cope with more difficult things, and if I just pay attention to my emotional state during the day and do some things to help me no longer be driven by those emotions, then I'll be less likely to look at porn.

So, the action I'm going to take out of this, if you want to make an action, is I'm going to spend five minutes tonight. It’s not a huge one. Don't make huge actions out of this. We'll get to that in a second. But I'm going to spend five minutes tonight and I'm going to decompress, and I'm going to see how that works. We have some protocols and stuff we teach our clients to do at night.

Anyway, binge guy, binges on root beer and chips. For some reason, that was what I decided, right? So, when he's figuring out, Okay, how does this apply to this particular situation? he's going to go, I have to remember what this felt like the last time, and recognize that the application is when I overindulgence in soda, chips and things, that I can end up throwing up and feeling miserable the next day. That's an application. He hasn't chosen an action out of it, but “What are you going to do about it?” would be the final one. That's an application. [10:06.6]

When we're doing the life is meant to be easy and not [difficult], what's the application to my spiritual life? I have been turning my scripture study into a chore every day and it's been this burdensome thing, and I haven't been approaching it and making it an easy and light process for me, something that lifts me up and whatnot. I've turned it into a chore.

So, I think I need to actually go around and address how I study my scriptures in a way that makes it not a chore, that actually makes it something that is light and fun, even, and easy for me to do, but that I get way more out of, because that's the way that it seems like Jesus is talking about.

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.

So, we have three different scenarios and we automatically have something happen.
Something good happened in the scripture verse one, and so because something good happened, we're just turning it into more good.

Something negative or that we don't want happens, and the other two, I ate too much root beer and chips and I vomited, and we're turning that instead of into just something that you say, Oh man, the other night I totally … ugh, it felt so bad. You're turning it into an opportunity to recognize overindulgence makes me feel negative, over indulgence in food and junk food makes me feel negative. But you're turning it into an opportunity to go do something.

With pornography, what's going on? This thing happened and it’s negative. I don't want it in my life, but now I am recognizing that I wasn't paying attention to what led to it, and if I just pay attention to what leads to it, I can stop it before it starts. That's a powerful recognition. [12:06.7]

Now we move into the application across all areas of your life. Now, I had a coach a while back by the name of Garrett J. White. He runs a Wake Up Warrior movement. They do some really powerful things. Some of the things that I think there are better ways to do them, but everybody's got their own opinion. But Garrett J. White really, as an individual, saved my keister in a couple of different ways and really helped me see some powerful things a number of years ago—one of those things was this, this idea of taking something from your life.

I had already been doing this for mindfulness practice, but he gave me a structured practical way of doing it, which is what I'm trying to give to you.

He boiled down life into several different areas. I'm going to boil it down into five. His was four, but I'm going to boil it down into five.
- One is going to be your body, how it applies to your body, specifically, how you treat your body, the food you eat and so on.
- One is going to be your spiritual life and that doesn't have to be religious. It can just be purpose, life purpose and all that other stuff, your spiritual life. [13:05.1]
- One is going to be your relationships.
- One is going to be your activity in the world. It could be a career. It could be a business, if you own a business. It could be hobbies.
- One will be your mind, because your body and your mind are somewhat different.
And so, we're going to do those. Now, there's more categories you could come up with. You can always do more. But if you have those four or five, you're going to do some amazing stuff.

So, how does this apply to my body? Here are the three lessons we've gotten so far. 1) If I pay attention to things, to how things build up, then I can stop them before they start. 2) The second lesson: over indulgence causes me to feel bad. 3) The third lesson: life doesn't actually have to be hard. It can be easy and light.

How does that apply to my body? One, when I pay attention to how things build up, then I can stop them before I start. Man, I've had some chronic pain in my lower back and I've just been complaining about the pain, but I haven't really figured out what causes that in the first place. [14:09.7]

I haven't even looked into what the generating principle is and how I can start to circumvent that, so that I can stop the pain before it starts, recognizing maybe I need to build up my glute muscles in my hamstrings in such a way that they can support the lower spine, and then my lower back pain goes away. And what if I just did a few exercises like that every day, and that would allow me to stop the pain and discomfort before it even started? Cool.

How does that apply that same lesson, paying attention to how things build up, so that you can stop the negativity before it starts? How does that apply to my spiritual life? You know what? Often, I find myself going for periods of time where I'm just really not interested in spirituality at all. I'm fed up with it. I get frustrated at church because I go there and I just hear people talking and none of it seems to apply to me. But I don't know where that came from. I don't know why I started doing it this way. What if I went back and I looked at where that came from? I don't actually know right now. [15:03.8]

So, if I did, when did I start getting to disquiet and ill at ease in there? I recognize that it came from already looking at church like it's a chore. And when I go to church, instead of me looking at it like a chore, what would happen if I looked at it like something different? And if I handled that, would I experience church a little bit differently? That's stopping it before it starts.

How does that apply to my relationships? You know what? I haven't been paying enough attention to my wife or my husband, and just little times where I check in during the day and whatnot. And so, what happens is we've been having this feeling of, really, disconnection for a long time, and I keep thinking it's a big problem between us, but maybe it's not a big problem. What if it's just little things that need to happen that are building to a thing of disconnection?

And what if I just went and had a conversation with my wife about that and recognize, You know what? We've been feeling disconnected for a long time. I'm wondering if it's not a big problem at all. I'm wondering if I'm just not paying attention to what’s starting all of the disconnection and if we just stopped it there. [16:03.2]

For instance, I go to bed every day already after she's there, so I'm not there to say good night to her, and then she wakes up in the morning and we're not there in the morning together, so we have very little time together. And what if we just started spending a little bit more deliberate time together? Would that change things? Okay, cool.

What about my activities in the world like a business? You know what? I'm burning out on my business every couple months and I just get to the point where I'm frustrated—and I hear this a lot from entrepreneurs—and I don't know what else to do. What could I do about that?

You know what? If I paid attention to what was building up, I could probably stop this before it started. Where does the buildup come from? You know what? I keep pressuring myself to have my business grow in a certain way, but that's not actually lined up with what I care about in life. And maybe I need to go back and really assess what I really care about, and build a business that allows me to have what I care about, instead of one that's taking me away from what I care about. And maybe then I wouldn't burn out on the business, right?

If I go for the mind thing, man, I'm in a brain fog a lot of times, or I don't understand something, whatever is going on. Man, I just feel like accounting and taxes are super, super hard to do. I hate thinking about them. I hate doing them. [17:12.1]

What's the buildup on that? The buildup on that is that I'm busy trying to do them on my own and I'm not getting any help, and so, I always am frustrated and taxes always take a lot longer, when I could probably just go find some help with it or hire somebody who knows how to do it, and then that would alleviate a lot of things on my end.

So, if you can see, one simple principle applied and smeared across all the nooks and crannies of your life makes a huge difference. A huge difference. After you've done that, you no longer care about the negativity of the situation because we went from “I looked at porn” to “I'm not paying attention to how things build up in my life, and I've recognized places where how I treat my body and my lower back pain is causing some stuff, spirituality and how I'm experiencing church. I've recognized the disconnection in my relationship. I've also recognized how I'm burning out in my business,” and all from looking at porn one morning, and you've turned this catastrophe into a massive catapult for your life. [18:08.6]

Because you were able to extract a lesson from it, the lesson stated in general life lesson kind of terms that allows you to smear it in more nooks and crannies than the one that you got it from. It's important to apply it to where you got it from, but equally important is it to see that that same principle is going on everywhere, and sometimes when you handle the biggest one somewhere else, it actually fixes the problem where you thought it was in the first place, because, really, that wasn't the biggest issue.
The same thing happens if you're trying to apply the notion of overindulging “makes me feel miserable” or if you're trying to apply the notion of “life actually can be easier.” You might start looking for places that it can make your spirituality easier or your relationships easier, and they don't have to be a burden and they don't have to be hard.

It can allow you opportunities to negotiate a whole and create a whole different life, just because you've done the simple thing. What is it? What happened? Why is it important? What’s the story I'm telling myself about it? What meaning am I making out of it? “What. Why. Lesson. Apply.” [19:08.6]

That was Garrett J. White's kind of four-step thing that I learned so many years ago. “What. Why. Lesson. Apply.” That's it. Here's what happened. Here's why this is significant. Here's the lesson inside of it and this is how it applies, not just to where I got it from, but this is how it applies to every other facet of my life, every other arena that I can think of, and these are the great, deep truths and insights I have on earth.

What will happen at the end of this is that you'll take some innocuous thing, like somebody pulled in front of me in traffic, and you'll have a tremendous inner revelation about how your life can be improved. Sometimes tears will accompany it and you'll have these amazing insights, and you'll go home and people will be like, How was your day, man? I just figured out this amazing thing today. Even things that most people would call negative, you'll be sitting there turning around and telling them how much amazing stuff you got out of it—just because you took the time to look at it, create the lotion of the lesson, and then apply that and smear that over every nook and cranny of your life, so that every part of it was nourished and protected, and you didn't just smear it over your one elbow and the rest of your life is still falling apart. [20:21.3]

Hopefully, this helps you. Hopefully, you're getting a sense of just how powerful it can be to have an approach that's very simple. What, why, lesson apply. What happened? Why am I making this a big deal? Why is this important? What's the lesson in this and how can I apply this simply to my life?

Go and do likewise, my friends, and go watch as your own awareness and your own quality of life begins to increase bit by bit, as you develop this muscle, this skill of turning what most people call catastrophes into massive catapults for amazing success and fulfillment, and ultimately so you can live fully alive and fully free. [21:04.8]

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 podcasts 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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