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A lot of self-help books, secrets to success formulas, and online gurus promise you an easy path to getting everything you want in life. But it doesn’t work for most people. Worse yet, it can fill you with misery during the process.

Here’s the truth about success:

It doesn’t come from following a formula (even if you’re following one from a successful person).

The true secret to success depends on you, how you define success, and the actions you take to achieve it.

In this episode, I reveal why relying on other people’s recipes for success is a terrible idea. And how to achieve success — no matter how you define it. Listen to the episode now.

Show highlights include:

  • How following someone else’s recipe for success is your recipe for failure (5:31)
  • The one question to ask yourself before taking advice that prevents you from creating a miserable life (7:23)
  • Why being constantly productive rips all the joy out of your life (9:31)
  • The counterintuitive way taking advice from your parents, neighbors, and church leaders can steer you to an unhappy and unfulfilled life (11:19)
  • How forcing your beliefs, thought patterns, and religion on your spouse creates a miserable marriage (12:20)
  • Why making more money can rob you of having a happy life (even if you think buying a nicer house will make you happier) (16:44)
  • The one and only true secret for success regardless of what success means to you (19:11)

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: Hey, welcome back to the Alive and Free podcast. Guess what guys we get to talk about the Secret of Success today. Woohoo! Everybody has their own secret. Everybody has their own, a special formula. It's kind of a gimmicky marketing thing to do. We even put stuff we do up into formulas and things like that. But I want to peel back the layers a little bit, because if you've been around the personal development industry for any long, or if you've been around parents ever, who tell kids what needs to happen for success, or if you've been around anybody who has any opinion who's achieved any success and is telling other people about it, then you have encountered somebody's viewpoints or beliefs about success. And I would get, or I would wager, or I would bet that some of the things that you've heard are things that you aren't doing. And I would also bet that some of the things that you've heard are things that you've adopted, because you've heard that those will lead to success. And I would bet that some of the things that you've heard are so outlandish that you would not really want to do them, or they seem too hard or way out there, and it makes successing difficult. Or I would wager that some of the things that you have heard don't match what other people have done and so, there's some confusion going on. [01:52.6]

So, I want to take a minute here and just lay this out. Now, when I first started doing this, it was like back in 2011, when I first got a coach, the first time I ever hired a coach and I was trying to figure out finances. And I was still kind of like at the tail end of a lot of the compulsive addictive behaviors that I was, I was into at the time and with pornography and eating and, and angry outbursts and stuff. And so, but I wanted to try and figure out life and everything we had, we were living in Arizona at the time and I was trying to figure out how to run my Kung Fu business better. And it wasn't working super well because of the advice I got and their advice for success was to run the lowest cost program, to be really cheap and, you know, offer yearlong memberships and things, and then sell the heck out of like fancy seminars, new newfangled seminars coming up every bit and weapons and all this other stuff. And so, there was a constant like sales pitch, almost every class it's kind of like a Legion airline, right? These cheaper airlines, like, yeah, it's a cheap ticket, but you know, nickel and dime nickel and dime. And so I was in that space, really looking at it. And while I was looking at it, it wasn't working. [03:02.2]

The people that were giving me that advice for success, they were people, the masters over the organization. They were people that they ran a little bit of a real estate business on the side, they were renting out a home or two. So, they were getting income from that way. They ran two separate schools come, Kung Fu schools. And though they had to pay rent on both schools, they had two different student bases that were like 45 minutes apart. And it was just the two of them. So, all of the extra net profit would come into them and they had several other schools under them, including my own. Where, when a student tested, we paid them a portion of the testing fee, which was another thing that we tried to get paid students to do a lot test really fast between ranks so that we could maximize the amount of revenue. Of course, they didn't talk about it that way, but that's basically what it boiled down to. We weren't really testing for proficiency. We were testing for speed of learning so that we could get revenue. [03:54.6]

And my martial arts career is it's a fascinating topic that we can, we don't need to go into. I have another time, but if you ever have questions, let me know. And so, we would send them a portion of the test fee, and then we were required to host them for a seminar once a year. And so, when they would come, obviously they would get most of the test fee at that point in time. The testing fees were bigger and they were testing like for black belts and brown belts and things of that time. And then on top of it, then the seminar fee and everything else was going into them. And while I could profit from the doing it, meaning I did get paid and cover the expenses of it, the bulk of the money went to them. So, this is the, these are people that are giving me advice on how to run a business as being the sole owner of a business who's playing, who's basically paying licensing fees or royalty fees versus them who aren't really paying that and are receiving royalties from other people. And on top of it, they have another source of income. Well, I didn't see that at the time. So, I was struggling. I was trying to do things their way. I started a university program and I was pulling in students and another guy was doing that and he owned his own school and he was doing well for himself. And he had a bunch of students and he had a really robust university program with several different classes that were feeding into his school. [05:06.8]

But then as I looked at it, I was like, oh, this instructor is actually doesn't own his own home. He lives in the back of his school. And several other instructors who were quote unquote doing well, the same thing. They didn't actually have an apartment or a place they lived. They were living in the back of their own school and which was against code violations, you know, for a commercial business, but that's how they were getting by. And then they were proclaiming that they were very, very successful. There are a lot of people on the planet online right now, teaching you how to make money online that have a recipe for success that is dishonest even to themselves. They may not even realize how dishonest they're being, but dishonest about what's really going on to bring in the success. Many of them can't admit that they're struggling behind the scenes. I certainly have financially where some months has been great and other months it hasn't. And they, they aren't willing to admit it because they think they want to think positively or optimistically. And they want to do all this other stuff. And as a result, what comes across is that here's an extremely successful person who has the recipe for success. And that my friends is something that needs to be seen through. Okay. [06:15.8]

Now not all of them are doing it maliciously or to make a quick buck. Some of them are, or some of them are, and don't realize it. But often there's some really big hang ups in the background. There are other people that I then later studied with when I was starting to get some coaches and get into masterminds who taught me, you know, successful people have coaches. And I was like, okay, cool. I always need to have a coach, otherwise, nobody will like, want me as a coach or something like that. And so, then I hired coaches or other people's like successful people do this, that or the other. And they have a morning formula and they have a routine where they wake up. One of them was like, we wake up this morning and we do our exercise and we do our family notes and we do these other things before we even hit the door in the morning. So, we're up before everybody else and we're like snipers in the day and all this other stuff. Other people were like, no, you have to run your business a certain way and you need to do this type of product and this type of sale. And if you don't do it, then you're not going to make money and you're not going to succeed. And they're like, literally, so life of freedom and like awesomeness. But then when you look at them, they're burnt out every month, month and a half, and they're tired of their business. And they don't like what's going on. And there's the unhappiness on the backside. [07:23.4]

And so, when we start to look at what people have taught you for success, the first thing I want you to suggest that you do is ask yourself first. Do I really want the life that the person I'm listening to is leading? Because if I don't then taking their advice is probably not the best idea, cause all they can tell you is how they got to where they are. Now, that means me too. Like, if you don't like what I'm saying, and if you don't like the advice I'm giving you, and if you don't like my definition of freedom from addiction or depression or anxiety or anything else, and you prefer the 12-step version, then taking advice from me is going to frustrate the heck out of you because it's not going to jive with what you in your mind, you think needs to happen. If you're going to take advice from me about religion, but you don't like where I'm at in that regard, then that's not the smartest thing to do. Because you're just going to confuse the heck out of yourself, trying to do something that's not in alignment with what your core desires are. So, the first question to ask yourself, when it comes to it is, is the person I'm listening to actually worth listening to when it comes to getting me where I want to go? obviously before that would be, is, are they being honest? Is, are they actually experiencing what they say they're experiencing? Right. [08:36.9]

I live what I teach people like everything that I'm talking about with freedom is like a very real experience for me. It's a living experience, so, I can say that. And I'm very, very real authentic. Like when I say there's no triggers for point, I mean, there's no triggers for porn. When I say, if something does come up, like someone shows me portn, it only lasts a minute. I mean that like, or a second or something like that. I mean that when I say like your emotions, don't depend on somebody else, it's literally a reality in my life. They don't. And it's a beautiful way of living. But if you like, no, I want other people to be responsible for how I feel, I want other people to see how they've been treating me. I need them to say, I'm sorry, in order, then taking advice from me will free you of that, but it might be frustrating in the beginning. I would suggest you do take advice from me on that regard, because it's really amazing, but obviously it's your choice. Okay. So, ask yourself one, are they being honest too? Is the life they're living the kind of life I want? Any of the people that I was listening to, it was hustle and grind and work really hard for a payoff later. [09:38.0]

But the payoff later never came because I ended up building an entire business and lifestyle around hustle and grind and work really hard and put processes in place and build something new and then replace yourself. But then have to train that person and a constant proliferation of effort and work that had taken time away from me being a father, taking time away from me, getting involved in the things that brought me so much joy in life or that I found the most enjoyment of that had taken time away from me being able to just talk to my wife or to stop and not have anything to do on a weekend or things like that. I had built a business based on their philosophy that created a life much like theirs, go, go, go, go, go, go, go. Some people like that, they feel like that's the measure of a good person that they're constantly productive. I don't like that. I find that to be a massive misuse of the amount of time I have on the planet, because I miss so many heartbeats and so many breaths while I'm busy thinking about other things. [10:45.4]

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. [11:14.2]

So that's the question, is there life, the life you really want to be living? Because what advice they give you will lead to that. And I think that's a really good question for you to internalize. That includes advice from your parents. That includes advice from neighbors. That includes advice from church leaders and friends and like neighborhood councils. And when it's advice like that includes all the things. If you live by their advice, you get to have the life that, that leads to. It's important to develop that level of discernment in my book. Okay. Course, if you don't about thinking clearly then obviously taking my advice is also not an important, not worth your time. Okay. It's just going to frustrate you. Next. And I'll give an example of that. Like, I really take some time to think clearly about every concept that goes through my head. I take some time because I want to really make sure that I'm being precise and that it relates to my perception. [12:12.8]

When that comes to religion I will ask questions about death, about life, about the nature of these things and like really come down to the bottom of it. And I remember years ago, my wife and I were talking and we were very disagreed on some things and I was like asking her questions about it. And she just stopped. And she was like, look, I don't want to think about that. I don't think it's helpful for me. I, when I think about death this way, it really builds me up and I feel really good about it. And that's why I like to think about it that way. And that's period, end of statement. So honest, so clear, but it is not a priority to her to live life like I do. So why would she take advice from me? Yes folks, your husband or wife does not need to think the way that you think if you're trying to make them think the way that you think, guess what that's going to be a miserable relationship many times. [13:00.7]

Anyway, now let's talk about the rules for success that these pundits and gurus, including myself, maybe giving you, right. There's like the 17 laws of what this and the 50 laws of that and the 30 laws of this and the X number of laws of that and, and the five key habits and the, this, that, and the other. And if you look at it, what has happened to bring you that information, some guy or girl was trying to figure out how to “crack the code,” to be able to have the success that they wanted in the world. So, what they did then was that they, cherry picked the people that they consider successful. Can you see the bias already? Of those people, they interviewed them and then have the answers that they got in the interview. They looked through anything to find any number of common themes among them and of those common things, which are abstractions from what was really happening. They then deduced that there were five habits or this, that, or the other, or all these things. And then they said that these are the keys to success. Can you see the long line of problems that shows up? [14:10.0]

First do you want to be successful like the people that they're studying? Second, what is the personality of the person that they're studying? What is their constitution? Are they night owls? Are they morning larks? What is their diet? What is their exercise regime? What is their ethnic background? What is their upbringing like? What is the place that they live in? What are the things that they particularly enjoy or don't enjoy? There's no element of actually looking at a human being and saying, what will allow this human to thrive? There's only an element of, well, this human has thrived. Therefore, they must have done something and they completely eliminate the variable that is the human being, doing the thing. They completely eliminate that. They say, you need to retrain that variable and you need to go and you need to do your vision boards and your, your daily rehearsal, mental rehearsal, none of which are wrong, but maybe not everybody's cut out for that. And so, then they plastered this in front of you like they've just discovered some law of the universe. Guess what folks, the laws of the universe were made up by humans. There is no such thing as a law of the universe floating around the cosmos somewhere, trying to enforce itself. Gravity is not a law. It is an attempt to explain what people see happening and it keeps being edited based on new thoughts or new processes or new explanations that have come up that are more useful, right? [15:31.3]

And so, like Einstein really changed gravity, but even if we look at the natural world and you're looking at dinosaur bones and stuff, there's evidence to suggest that what we think of gravity as was different back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, like the laws of the immutable and irreversible laws of nature themselves have changed. What? Yes, the laws of nature, my friends are made up by people. We use the word law as if, to pretend like we found something out there that has been discovered. You didn't find anything; you created a new explanation of some observations that seems to pan out. And guess what? We can create a very coherent set of explanations about the universe called laws that actually help us predict the things that humans are capable of perceiving. And we can still be flat out wrong. Those laws, those made-up explanations are useful, they're helpful, but they can still be dead wrong. And so here we go and we say, no, no, but there are also laws of human nature on laws of success and laws of the seven habits of highly successful people. And this is the way that they communicate and all of these things. And I am not here saying that any of the information given is bad. It has helped people. People have found tremendous help from it and others have not. [16:43.5]

And if we took all of the successful people ever studied on the planet and put them all into one tool so that we weren't dealing with the author's biases all the time as, oh no, this person is successful, but I left this dude out, which might be the kind of success that you actually want AKA a happy family life without a lot of responsibility…Hmm… Everybody's like, oh no, I need to make a million bucks. Do you, do you really? Because think about the other side of it. My dad was so amazing with this. Like he retired from the air force as a fighter pilot, and then he went and he got a job at Sandia Labs doing some like whatever top secret stuff that they were doing fake here and there. And for many, many years, they asked him to be a supervisor to give him a promotion, to give him a bonus, to be a raise and all this other stuff. But he's like, no, I really enjoy just sitting in my own little corner in my own little chair, doing my own little code and then going home at the end of the day and not having anything to do. That was his success. And he was happy, joyful, enjoyed it. He felt like he was part of a big company doing some big things, but he could just do his part and go home and it was amazing for him. [17:46.0]

So, if we take all of those people and we put them into pool and we say, okay, cool. What are the common threads among all of them that has allowed them to succeed? You will not find a single one. Even the main ones. Oh, well, they get up early in the morning. There are successful people who don't and there have been throughout time. Oh, well, they exercise as many times in the other way. There are successful people, depending on your definition of success, who don’t. Oh, well they eat this diet, there are successful people who don't. Oh, well they think this way. Oh, well there are successful people who don't. Oh, well they sell big things. Oh, well, there are successful people who don't. They sell little things, successful people who don't, they sell products, successful people who don't they're business owners, successful people who aren't. Their employees’ successful people who aren't their spiritual gurus. Well, they're successful people that aren't. For everything you can think of, there is not one common thread. So, when you want to look for the key to success, you've got to be aware that you're looking through a whole bunch of people's guesses, speculations, and explanations based on studying other people who they may not even want the lives of those other people. They may just think, well, these people were rich. I want riches. And so therefore, and they may be studying the wrong folks. So, you have to understand that. Not only do you need to know if the person you're studying is being honest and real, you also have to realize if you want the life that they have. And then you have to recognize that what you think you know about them and all of these laws of success that they may be talking about may have little to do with what it actually means to succeed. [19:11.5]

So, I'm going to give you the secret to success right now. The secret secret formula for true success in the world, meaning to force achieving the things that you want to achieve. Okay? And that may be whatever it is that may be a happy family that may be wealth untold. That may be traveling places around the world and having experiences, adventures. It may be learning new skills. Whatever your definition of success is, it is achieving the things that you desire to achieve. Okay. And with those definitions, the ones, things that every single person on the planet has done without fail is Do the actions needed for them to achieve them, to achieve it at the time that they did it. Let me say that again. The one thing that every human on the planet who has had success, meaning achieved the things that they want to do achieve, the one thing that they have done is that every single one of them did the actions needed for them to achieve that thing at the time that they achieved it. That's it. Which means that if you really want success, it's beautiful to get up early in the morning and exercise and have endorphins running for your body. It's beautiful to have a great nutrition plan. I really highly recommend a lot of things of that nature. It's beautiful to have a movement program, whether it's deep exercise and CrossFit, or it's just walking or whatever, or swimming or, or Qigong or Tai Chi or something, but some form of movement going on in your life. It's a beautiful, beautiful thing, yoga, things like that. [20:41.4]

But, but the one thing that you need to be able to do is see what is needed to achieve the thing you want to achieve at the time you want to achieve it. And that requires asking better questions like we've talked about last time, and that requires enhancing your perception, both of the circumstances and of you, where you're at your capabilities, your motivations and desires. At some point in time, almost everybody I know of who succeeded. And this is a generalization. So, throw it out if you don't like it has literally tossed out the advice of other people. They still listen to folks, but they throw out anything that isn't needed for them. They only use what's needed because they know what they want to achieve. They can see what's needed for it, or they discover it along the way. And then they do the actions needed. You don't need to have motivation. You just need to do the action. You don't need to trust. You just need to do the action. You don't even need to have a view vision of yourself as that being, you just need to do the action. If you do the action in the manner it's needed at the time needed, the achievement will happen. If it didn't happen, it means that we didn't see some of the variables involved. That's it, there's a lot of people that plan their business and then 2020 hit and then came a pandemic and the Corona virus and all of these other things happen. They didn't see that happening. They didn't know that that was going on. And as a result, some of their actions were not in support of success because that variable was introduced into the environment. [22:08.3]

We certainly had some stuff happen because we run in person retreats and all of a sudden we had to postpone and one for several months because we needed to make sure that everybody was okay and we wanted to make sure there wasn't any freak-outs and going on like that. And then we were able to restart again, but we had to correct some things. We didn't plan on that. And as a result, we had to learn it along the way. [22:27.0]

Success doesn't come because you followed some formula. Success comes not even with advertising or anything like that because they're always changing their algorithms and stuff and the formula changes. Success doesn't come by following a formula. Success comes from knowing what success is for you, from seeing what's needed to do it and from doing those actions, that's it. And every person on the planet who has ever achieved the thing they wanted has done so, because they did the actions needed including wait, that is also an action. Doing nothing is also an action. They did the actions needed to achieve the thing that they wanted to achieve at the time that they achieved it. And that's it. [23:10.3]

And so now you have the secret to success. You don't need to buy 10 million books unless you just like listening to them. You don't need to try a bajillion formulas unless you're looking for some options and ideas, cause you don't have any in your fresh out. And you're looking for some new perspective. But you don't need to believe anything that you've read. Test it out on your own experience, pay attention to what you want and then do the actions needed. [23:32.7]

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. [23:50.8]

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