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You get in your own way more than you think. This is especially true when you want something — like more money, a better relationship with your spouse, or to ditch your mental health problems.

Here’s the trouble:

The more you want something, the harder it is to get it. It goes against what every motivational speaker will tell you, but it’s true.

Instead of wanting something, you need to become it. For example, if you want a happier life, you have to become happiness first.

In this episode, I’m revealing how to become happiness and freedom so you can always access it (even in your darkest moments).

Show highlights include:

  • How your ancient “survival skills” betray you and create anxiety (and the 3-word trick to stop it) (4:38)
  • The insidious way wanting something poisons your psyche and makes you subconsciously avoid it (8:13)
  • The admittedly difficult way to always be filled with joy (even when you can’t pay your bills or fight with your spouse) (10:52)
  • The “Building Happiness Approach” that makes you more creative, more intelligent, physically stronger, and improves your immune system (16:00)

If you want to radically change how much control you have over your emotions in as little as 20 days, you can go to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and sign up for the Choose Your Own Emotion course.

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 https://thefreedomspecialist.com/ and book a call where we can look at your unique situation and give you the roadmap you’ve been missing.

If you’d like to buy a copy of my book, Is That Even Possible?: The Nuts and Bolts of Energy Healing for the Curious, Wary, and Totally Bewildered, you can find it on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/That-Even-Possible-Healing-Bewildered/dp/1512336041

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. [00:27.6]

Bob: All right, the last couple of weeks were kind of like big, heavy things. And I like to tackle big topics and make them simple, or like give you a fresh perspective on it because part of freedom is not being locked down even to a, a single way of seeing things, you know, like the way you define something and I think we've talked about this before. Having multiple ways of looking at something and defining it gives you the freedom to move between them and use the one that's going to work best in a given situation. Well, some years ago I was in Canada working with Vladimir my, my teacher in Russian systema, we were in the woods and in the water and in the trees and in the grass and swinging with sticks and, you know, fighting and blindfolded and all kinds of different stuff. And at a certain point, I think it was like the third or fourth day I was there at this all-immersive camp experience. I'm in there and I'm watching him demonstrate some things and I'm just so blown away by how simple and effortless it is and how much he just joined people around. [01:32.6]

And as I had watched, you know, I'd watched him do certain things and I was sitting there looking and I was feeling really down on myself, feeling like I was supposed to be better. Like, it's my job to really master this, but I didn't feel like I was. And so, I wasn't super down on myself, but I was really wanting it. So, I went up to him and I said, you know, I got a chance to ask him a question and I was sitting there chatting with him and the sun was going down, so it was kind of dark. And I just said, so how do you get really good at this stuff? And he looked at me and he said, you're not going to like the answer. And immediately my brain is making up stories, like, Oh no, I'm going to have to free dive into the North sea and swim with sharks. And like, I don't know, go, go assassinate someone in their sleep on behalf of my country or something like this. Cause I'm sure all of those things are things he might've done in his course, career as, as a special operative for 10 years, doing all kinds of heinous things, to be able to come out of that and still be spiritually on point for himself and have a guilt-free very clear conscience and be able to live and be as gentle a human being as I've seen. [02:39.3]

He's the type of human being that, he's unlike anybody I've ever trained with or learned from he's completely unassuming. He won't take credit for anything. I mean, he'll do stuff and talk about that stuff, but he's not going to claim that he's done anything more than the things that he's done. He gives credit to other people and he's very, very careful to say, you know, like sometimes things don't work and you know, there isn't one it's always going to work one way kind of thing. He's very, very self-effacing, but not in a sort of demeaning way. Like I've seen a lot of people do. It's not fake humility. It's just literally, he's just a very unassuming person that doesn't need to take credit for anything. He's he has all the confidence and skill he needs. So, he doesn't need to sit there and take credit for stuff. And when he shows up, he's like a ghost sometimes, you don't see them there unless it's time to teach. And then he's like a tiger and he can just disappear like that. It's remarkable and amazing. And so, I'm sitting here thinking I'm like all the things that would have taken for him, do I have to live a life like his in order to get this good? [03:39.3]

And he stops me train of thought and he looks at me and he says, three words don't want it. And I said, what? He said, don't put your heart into it. Don't want it. Just go do your work in class and then go home and live the rest of your life. Just come to class, keep going to class, do your work, don't want it and then go live the rest of your life because you wanting it is going to stop you from getting it. This was years ago that he told me this. And like many times, he's, there've been several times in my life where he's just said one offhand statement and then left and I was left with it. And it, they still have radically altered the way that I think in my life. In this one, three-word sentence, he encapsulated what so many of us struggle with. [04:38.1]

You see you and I; we have something going on in our life and we tend to focus on the pain. We tend to focus on what's there that we want to fix. We look for problems. This is not a bad thing. This is a survival skill. Looking at problems in the foliage, for instance, might help warn us of a predator, you know, looking for changes and variations, and it might help us find berries and food for survival. It's important to recognize, looking for weaknesses in wood might help us detect if the roof is going to cave in, important. So, it's a very important survival skill to detect problems. But the thing is in human society, our capacity, to survive has so far surpassed what is actually needed that most of us live lives of such luxury and such comfort compared to what we would be if we were just out scraping for it on our own, in the woods. And don't anybody tell me that that's one's case that like we've forgotten that it's not necessary for survival and we've allowed our discriminating capacity and our judgements and our search searching for problems to creep into all the other facets of life, which means we got so good at surviving that we created this ability for us to experience greater dimensions of life. [05:51.4]

But then we destroyed those dimensions by bringing our survival skills into it. So, we go, we have this issue. I have an addiction, I have depression, I have anxiety. I have PTSD, I've got trauma, I've got these root issues. And these limiting beliefs, or my relationship sucks and all these things. And I don't want that in my life, so I need to go fix it. I need to go master this thing, or I'm not strong enough and I want to be really good at basketball, and I want this and I want that. And so, we're going to go, go, go, go, go. And we go use our willpower to try and make a change happen in our life. The difficulty here is that you've probably seen a budgillion YouTube videos of people who have done that very thing. And as a result, have achieved on the outside, all the things that they want, you know, or some of the things that they want, who knows if it's all the things that they want, you know, you, you listen to like Dwayne, the rock Johnson talk about his just work and effort and how much he wanted a career, like Will Smith, but didn't have it. And so, it was just hard work and effort and back to the wall and all of the psychology that went into it that made it be to where he got to be in the position that he's in today. [06:53.9]

So clearly, he had to want it. And there's all these other gurus that are out there asking you, what do you want? What do you want? What do you want? And you know what people answer most? Well, I don't want this and I don't want this. They don't even know what they want. All they know is their own pain and they're trying to escape pain. For me with martial arts, I was trying to find mastery because I felt like it would mean something about me when I was younger, would mean I was more of a man or that I was strong enough or that I was intelligent or I was capable of all the things that martial arts can't really mean about you, I had put on it, right? And I hadn't this psychological stuff that I had imposed on simply being a good martial artist. What have you put onto all of your hopes and dreams? What is getting that million dollars really going to do for you? What other things are there that are not there? Earning a million dollars is just earning a million dollars. That's all it is. Earning $10 is just earning $10. It doesn't mean anything about you, but what do you think it's going to mean about you? All of that stuff is there, right? [07:57.1]

So, we go through life and we have these goals and then we start working toward them. So, we have clients come in and they want to get rid of their addictive behaviors and they want to get rid of their anxiety or depression. They want to get rid of their reactivity to their spouse and they want to get rid of their marriage problems. And the first thing that they have to understand is that the more they want it, the harder it's going to be to get it. Why? Here's, why! You don't know how to get it. If you did, you would have it already, but you don't yet know how to do it. Which means that all of your wanting that's based in your mind, like, okay, I'm going to go do this, and I'm going to do that are all based on plans about stuff that doesn't work. And the more you're busy trying to do it, the way that you've done it, you're going to keep getting the results that come from the way that you've done it. That's all that there is to it. [08:49.5]

So, the more that you want that to happen, yes, that's a direction I want to walk, but all the rest of it just needs to come as a by-product. You don't know, for instance, if you and I were going to go on a big, long hike, we'd be like, we're going to climb this mountain. Well, you don't know actually everything that's going on. Maybe you've climbed it a million times and that's fine. But if it's a new trail, you don't know every bend of the trail, you don't know how long it is or how long it's going to be. You may have information in your head, but you don't really know what it's going to be like. The more hiking, you've done, the more prepared you might be to do it, but you still don't know what it's like to climb that trail. And so, all the preparation you're going to do and all the frantic ness around it, isn't going to get you up the trail. The only thing that'll get you there is go to class, do your work, go home and live the rest of your life. [09:34.9]

If you or someone you know is looking to drop the F-bomb of “Freedom” in their life, whether that's from past trauma, depression, anxiety, addiction, or any other host of emotional and personal struggles, but they just don't know how or wants some help doing it. Head on over to thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and check out some of the things we've got in store for you or book a call so we can look at your unique situation and get you the help that you're looking for. [10:02.7]

Then what happened to me after this point in time, and then I'll come back to this. What happened to me after this point in time was, I still wanted it. I still was struggling and trying to get it and memorizing things and trying to read up on stuff and learn the secrets and figure it out. And, and all of that effort was beautiful and wonderful. And that doesn't mean that our external skill didn't come, but see real martial arts, isn't an external skill. It's a way of being and real freedom from all of these mental health issues, isn't an external skill. Even though I talk about it, like it's a skill, it's a way of being, which is maybe you could call it a deeper skill, but ultimately, it's deeper than that. I talk about it as a skill, because most people are looking for a pill. So we have to go one layer deeper and recognize, Hey, it's a skill. But even beyond the skill is just being, when you become freedom, when you become happiness, it goes with you wherever you want. It's always there. It's not an issue it's always accessible. You can use it however, in whatever way you want express it as much, or as little as you want. It's always there. When you become truly masterful at martial arts, it's there. [11:09.9]

So, I remember one-time Vladimir he was talking about doing some certain types of sensitivity work to detect where people are holding tensions and fears inside of their body. And somebody asked him like, well, so how often do you practice this? He's he looked at him and he goes, I already have it. I don't have to practice. And I know there's a lot of people out there that are like, no, that's dumb. But honestly, if you are it, his life is that. So why do you need to practice? One time, they were talking about pushups in class and how he noticed that Vladimir didn't do a ton of pushups, every class or anything else. So that, that other guy, he mentioned one time, he was like, yeah, no, I don't do pushups set off in any more unless I'm teaching. And so, the other guy was like, Oh, I guess pushups aren't that important whatnot, cause Vladimir had said, when you become like a tiger, you don't need to do pushups. And so, the guy was sitting there like, no, we don't do pushups in class much and till someone pointed out to him. Yeah, Vladimir is a tiger all the time, if you're only a tiger in class, you need to do pushups. [12:06.9]

The difference is when you become the thing, the practice falls away. It's just an expression of your life. That's all that there is to it. And there are certain practices that you may or may not have because they're beautiful or wonderful, or are leading you in an even deeper direction. But the initial practices that got you there, aren't always going to stick with you. Things will evolve as they go. Great martial artists, you walk into any situation, if you have just as a state of being constant awareness, understanding and freedom of movement and ability to move your fears and tensions and your body in different places, then you will simply handle each situation that comes up the way that it's designed, the way that it's needed to the best benefit of everyone there, including if you don't have the skills and you lose the including that, but you'll be able to do that with equanimity. That's really mastery. [12:51.7]

But me wanting that, by getting a bunch of skills and techniques was going the opposite direction because I was building up fear and fear prevents you from being able to see, it prevents you from being able to understand, it prevents you from being able to move, prevents you from being able to breathe, all the things you really need in a martial arts encounter. And the same thing with all the problems that our clients come to us with, they're afraid that this thing's going to be with them for the rest of their life. And they're busy trying to make it go away, trying to make it go away. But what you resist persists. Really if you're trying to overcome something, then that means it's still exists in your mind. It's still there as a thing, which so you're still dealing with it, no matter if you're winning or losing. And so, the first thing we have to do is get them past their reactions. Oh no, I felt this. Oh, no I felt that, you know, two days in they're like, it's not working. Okay, this is a deeper thing we're working on here. This is about becoming freedom. It's not about learning some skills and tactics and techniques that you could learn from just a book somewhere or a blog post, and then saying, see, look, my life is better. [13:53.3]

No, your misery comes from the way that you've learned to be. You're a black belt at all of this misery and all of this suffering. So that means you've got to go to class, learning to be a white belt so that it naturally comes out of you. And practice, it's just like basketball practice, you go to practice so that you play better in the game. Well, the game is life and any practices you do are just so that you start playing better in the game. That's it. And the practices themselves are pretty amazing, they're also part of life. So, don't want it was this really powerful slap in the face from a guy who is an incredible martial artist and who I really respect for his willingness to simply say what was needed. In that moment, he was demonstrating exactly what he was trying to share with me. He simply listened to all that I was speaking and said, what felt like was the right thing at the right moment, at the right time, without fear of it being the wrong answer. And then he left. If that had been a martial encounter, a self-defense move. And I had thrown a punch instead of a question, he would have paid attention to all that was happening and delivered the right move at the right time with what he felt like was the right answer, and then left it at that. He was demonstrating it. He didn't want any particular stance. He had no ground to defend, nothing to prove. He simply said, don't want it. [15:11.8]

And so, if you have problems in your life, if you're struggling with something, I'll have you consider the possibility that your desire to give rid of it is keeping it around. Your desire to have it gone from your life is the thing that's keeping it around. Your curiosity, why is this here? What's it doing for me? All of those questions mean you're still interested in it, or you wouldn't be asking questions about it. And your interest in it is keeping it around the whole process that we work with with our clients, something I like to call happiness building at times. It's not about freedom from addiction, it's not about freedom from depression, mental health issues, money blocks, and all the other reasons that people come to us into our retreats, cause it's a whole host of different issues. Some of them are really dire and others are just people that are stuck or looking to like really break through a plateau in their life. And everything we're focusing on is happiness building because it has been shown time and again, in medical research that happiness produces a better immune system, more creativity, more intelligence, more stamina, more physical strength, better connection in relationships, more perception and awareness. All of these different possibilities that come from simply happiness. [16:21.7]

Happiness is not the end goal. It is the foundation upon which to build a life. It is the prerequisite. The first step only upon being happy, can you really start to look at life without trying to get life, to fix your unhappiness? And only then can you build relationships that are powerful and start to look at goals and things you want to do in life without needing to do them in order to be happy. They can become something much different. They can be things that are needed to be done, or you can actually stop and do nothing and still enjoy your life without feeling compelled, to have to go do stuff in order to feel good about yourself or feel fulfilled. If fulfillment is already there as a state of being, then you don't want it. And in not wanting it, you'll do the things that everybody else is like, Oh, if I could do that, I'd be so fulfilled and so happy. Don't want it, be it. That's what I'd have you consider. Be the person for whom it's not a problem. [17:18.0]

You know, Einstein, supposedly famously said that, “You cannot solve a problem at the level of thinking you were at when you created it.” And a lot of times I've even said this before we think, okay, well, in order to solve a problem, we got to move from A to B, we’ve got to let go of A in order to get to B. We've got to like assess the problem, really look at it, see what all the details is, and then determine what we want to do from there. That's actually not true. The first step to solving a problem is to get yourself into a state of being that doesn't actually see the problem. Then all you see in front of you is a mountain slope, you're on the skis and you've got the mobiles and the trees below you and the powder and whatnot. And all you see in front of you is hmm…a bunch of possible paths to take around and on the same mountain, which one would I want to take that would give me the best experience? If all the obstacles in your life transformed into just a ski run that you get to choose how you interact with, because you no longer see it as obstacle, your life would take on an entirely different flavor. [18:16.6]

So, I know it seems like there's a lot of problems that you have in your life and you don't want, I don't want poverty. I don't want depression. I don't want anxiety. I don't want negative relationships. I don't want to wife or a husband that, that, you know, hounds me like this. I don't want kids screaming in my ear or a messy house, or I don't want my time taken up with so many things, or I don't want this, or I don't want that. Not wanting it is keeping it around. Become, focus all of your energies and all of your mental effort onto the thing you're seeking to create. Just go create something good. Go create something valuable. And if you hold your mind there enough to where the other thing just ceases to be a part of your consciousness, guess what? It's gone. You've become happiness. You've become freedom and it'll follow you everywhere. [19:05.1]

And that's it for todays “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. [19:23.2]

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