The Bledsoe Show

Finding Your Purpose As You Age, Responsibility, and Meditation with Johg Ananda

Finding Your Purpose As You Age, Responsibility, and Meditation with Johg Ananda

In this episode, We have my good friend Johg Ananda. I met him at Burning man and he's the founder of Jambo CBD. Jambo Superfoods makes the world’s highest quality hemp oil CBD products. All natural ingredients, full spectrum hemp, no compromise. We talk about things that relevant to young men especially in their 20s like finding your purpose, responsibility, meditation, and much more.

Table Of Contents

Finding Your Purpose As You Age

Finding Your Purpose As You Age
Photographer: Randalyn Hill | Source: Unsplash

Mike: All right. So we were floating down the river the other day and we've been hanging out all weekend, and one of the conversations that we got in that I think people will be fascinated to hear, or at least it will be helpful for some people to hear, is we got talking about finding focus as you get older. Do you recall that?

Johg: Yeah. Yeah, and how do you seek it? How do you find it?

Mike: We were talking about the stages that we go through. It's like, in the beginning, especially for men, it's like we're saying yes to everything.

Johg: Yeah, it seems around the late 20s, you know 27 is the Saturn return, our typical age, but around that age, younger men tend to be seeking. Seeking their adventure, their purpose, their calling, what the greatness they're going to do in the world.

Johg: And so, you go from how do you have this attitude of seeking and looking for opportunity, to discriminating opportunity, to accepting opportunity, and then transmuting opportunity into responsibility. And then, with responsibility, comes meaning, and most of the good stuff of life.

The Journey Of A Young Man

The Journey Of A Young Man
Photographer: Aneta Ivanova | Source: Unsplash

Mike: Yeah. We were talking about how men tend to run really, really hot when they're young. It's like, there's a lot of things going on, and then hit a wall, and there's almost like a burn out that can happen. And then that brings a big realization.

Johg: Yeah. So, in the beginning when … I mean, you have a story with like … there's the baby, and then it has no really sense of anything, and then it has a sense of itself, and then it has a sense of object permanence and other people. As you grow, and so just fast forward, boom, now you're a man and you want to come out under the tutelage of your parents and kind of do your own thing.

Johg: And so, then you're seeking, and all these opportunities come in. And so, there's a mentality of saying yes to as many things as you can, and it's kind of like putting a different iron in the fire. And so, each one of these opportunities is like a different alloy of metal that you put into the stove, and … or, you fill your cup.

Johg: The cup can take a lot. And so, there's a lot of acceptance of opportunity. And a lot of things will just kind of fizzle out on their own. So like, few things absorb the energy in a way that they heat up and they really become attractive to someone.

Johg: And as people go, and they say yes to yes, more and more things, we were talking about how does someone go from transmuting all of that opportunity into like, okay, now I'm going to go deep and I'm going to accept these things and I'm going to grow.

From saying yes, to overwhelm

Johg: It's not typically because someone gets the sage wisdom of, "Hey, by committing something, you'll find greatness and meaning." Or in my experience, people will say yes to things, they take a job, and they start showing up, and they start doing more and more and more. And so, then they get asked to come back, they get more responsibilities.

Johg: So now, they're putting more time and energy into that one opportunity that they have. And so, then one, they're not going to get as exposed to as many opportunities because they're doing more of it. But then, as they get more opportunities to come up, they can still say yes to them because they haven't really found their maximum of when they overwhelm themselves.

Johg: And so, they'll continue to say yes until the point where all of the sudden, they can't fulfill all their commitments. And then you start to begin to experience the pain and anxiety and strife of over committing and not being able to fulfill what you've done.

Johg: And then, it's usually that pain that makes someone go retrospective and look at what they've set themselves up at. And say, "Okay, well now I'm beginning to understand that if I do all these different things, I can't do all of them well." And then you begin to understand, okay well, if I do want to commit to something. And that's where your no begins to become developed, when you begin to be able to say no to things, and start to understand that when you say no, you're turning down the exotic and you're turning down opportunity, but then you're also finding deeper meaning in what's there.

The value of saying yes

Mike: Yeah. Or else you don't get any experience. And then, also don't find what it is that you really want to be doing or liking. I remember I said yes to a lot of things, that I would get even a few months into something, and go, "This is not what I thought it was going to be." I thought I was going to like this, and I don't like this at all.

Johg: Yeah. And that's making me think too, that even to say yes, you've got to be kind of like catalyzed to go out and have an adventure. There's so many things that between binge watching television, or jerking off to porn, that kind of like sap the creative energy and force of men.

Johg: And it's like, that wanting to go and be great to attain status, to attain partners, and sexual partners, and to like, move up the ladder. That gets … there's so many different things pulling on you to kind of deplete that from you. And so-

Mike: So, there's a lot of guys not even … they're not even getting to the yes phase.

Johg: Yeah, that's what's coming up for me as we're talking about it, is that like, I'm thinking back at my thing, and I was like, yes, I moved to California. I want to do this, yes,

Mike: I worked with a lot of people like that. If there's people in the programs or working with people in their early 20s. A lot of it's like, get out of your parent's house and whatever comes up, say yes to it. So, depending on what part of your life you're in, a yes may need to be the thing that we got to push really hard for-

How To Find Your Why

Where is the love sung by The Black Eye Peas recreated in a tunnel underpass.
Photographer: Emily Morter | Source: Unsplashw

Johg: Maybe you need a why.

Mike: Yeah. So you need a why before you can find the yes.

Johg: You need a why before your yes, yeah.

Mike: How did you find your why?

Johg: Man, for me, it's just thinking about the potential, you know? Like looking around at the world and reading history, and seeing like the greatness of the potential of life, of what people have done. And then, even conventionally, you know, looking at what not necessarily celebrities, but just people that are maximizing and really living life, can do. And wanting some aspect of that and realizing that playing video games or watching TV, or doing all these other things, while kind of entertaining, they weren't getting me closer to getting on a ski lift, or going on a trip with my friends, or getting the house at the ranch that I want

Johg: Being able to envision the beautiful life that could be yours, and having that why, you got to have that. You got to have something that's worth doing, that pushes you to do the things more so than just doing the easy yes, which is like eating Oreos and playing video games until 2:00 in the morning and sleeping in.

Mike: Yeah. What was it that pushed you? Was there a time where you were coasting and then woke up one day and it's like, okay, now I purpose? Or was it something that came in slow?

Jogh's break out moment on finding his why

Johg: Man, I look at it like I really got catalyzed when I moved to California. And for me, that was … I was working with my dad for six or seven years, kind of on track to take over the family business. I was like 26, 27, so it was kind of like that magical time.

Johg: I just had this one moment when I was talking to my mom about taking over the business, and thinking about that, and it just kind of hit me, of if I did that, I'd be in hometown forever and I'd be with the same people that I had been with for all this time, and I wouldn't really just go out on that grand adventure of a man. I need to kind of get out and break out.

Johg: Yeah, I could just see the potential difference of like, not leaving home, and then going out and striking out on my own. And that was catalyzed by a trip to Africa I took. I went and I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, and I was journaling about what I wanted to do with my life, whether I wanted to work with my family. And so, yeah, it was that meditation, going back, understanding like, okay, if I do this, what does that mean for me? And then, realizing, I got to go break out and do something that's just difficult and new.

It's a market competition in a way

Johg: Yeah. I really felt it when I … so, I took my first job, I went to DC. And I was a project engineer for construction. And so, that's a good job. I mean, I got recruited out of school. I liked it, but man, DC is a city that has one big totem pole. The President of the United States is on the top, and I felt like I was at the bottom. And there's senators, and congressmen, and the FBI director, and all these different people that all have different levels of status.

Johg: And so, that's where it kind of clued into me deep that, okay, this is how this game works, is that, if you want to have an awesome partner; a beautiful woman that is independant and feels good about herself, and good values, and a good family, whatever it is for you. I mean, those are the things it was for me. It's a market in a way, and you're competing with all these other people.

Johg: And so that was a big part of it for me, to be honest, is just looking at that, understanding that, and understanding that looking at some beautiful, naked girl on a screen might satiate some aspect of myself, but really, I knew I could have a life where I had a wonderful partner, and a beautiful home, and a family and friends that love me, and I was doing cool things, and I'd be on the Bledsoe Podcast.

Locking in your north star

Johg: And you know, if you can crystallize that for yourself, and whatever it looks like, that's kind of like what it looked like for me. And then, hold that as the prime, the north star of which all other decisions get made, and you can just lock that in, and get it to go from this ephemeral, kind of murky thought in your brain into a very crystal clear vision. It seems to provide a well spring of energy and disciple and conscientiousness to move through the unrelenting obstacles that are on the path there, you know?

Johg: So, you got to have something that gives you the energy to do it, which is why I think so many people give the advice of like, if you're starting a business or you're trying to do something, do something that you love because there's just … it's so difficult to succeed in the world.

Johg: I mean, you can do it. But there's so many forces trying to knock you down, that if you don't have something that just keeps giving you more energy to get up again, it's very hard to do that.

Johg: I think to kind of tie it back, that's part of what we're talking about, making that transition from, I'm in college or high school, and kind of in my parent's orbit into transitioning out. And like, how do I break out and then become my own person, and then develop my own identity, my character, and then figure out what do I want for my life, and how to go get it.

The Idea Of Starting Over And Over

We wanted to display the concept of a person thinking. We entered a dark room, spent a long time adjusting the light, and came up with this image.
Photographer: Ben Sweet | Source: Unsplash

Johg: And then, one thing to add too, is that even if you can crystallize that end, like okay, this is what I want, I want a wife and I want a white picket fence, and I want this, and this, and that, as you move towards it, a lot of times you'll move towards it, or you'll get it, and you'll be like, "Shit, this is not what I want."

Mike: Yeah.

Johg: That happens all the time. And then, people can get really bummed out about that.

Mike: I mean, or the idea of starting over a lot of times. I've seen a lot of people, shit, I've done it myself. Yeah, get the thing. It's like, "Oh, when I have this, I'll be happy." And get the thing, and go, "I … This is miserable. This is not nearly what I wanted it to be."

Mike: I have an easy time, an easier time than most quitting things, and starting over. I think I did it when I was young. I thought I was going to do something that I was going to do for the rest of my life when I was 20, 21 years old, and that slipped away. And then I started over, and I started over, say, it feels like two, three times before I was 30.

Mike: So, starting over at something for me at 37 is kind of easy. And then I watch other people that go, "I've got to start over?" And it freaks them out.

Johg: Like, I don't know if I would even use that phrase though. Like, starting over seems like a … so, "Oh, my god. I got to start … I got to do it all over again."

Is it really starting over?

Mike: And that's an interesting thing, you bringing that up, that's a languaging thing.

Johg: Exactly.

Mike: And I'm using the language that I'm hearing from other people. They do say, "Starting over."

Johg: Yeah, that comes up for me is … and this is like, I mean, we're in the Bay Area, but it's like pivoting, you know?

Johg: Because your life is one discreet journey. And so, it's like, are you starting over or are you just getting more complete information that there's a better opportunity for you to go after is kind of the way I think about it, is that …

Johg: You know, I mentioned I started in construction. I was a project engineer doing RFIs and steel calculations for force loads. And now I run a factory and Jambo Superfoods, and then The Dirt Personal Care, and I'm in the CPG space. And it's totally different.

Johg: And in a way, it was like starting over. When you have a network and you have momentum. But you also get all the skills. And for some reason, whatever the thing that you're kind of starting over on, is the … anything you do, in a way, is what your brain has decided is the most important thing in the universe for you to possibly be doing at that moment. It's kind of like what we're always doing, is like of all the opportunities, whatever we're doing, that's what we've decided to do.

Johg: So, if people are moving from one opportunity to the next, it's like they're making the best decision for themselves, and life's a journey. And there's so many people that have kind of started over at different ages and had incredible success.

The internal narrative

Mike: I think something that is very difficult to see, or impossible to see is when somebody stops doing one thing and they do that, a strong pivot, it can seem like everything they had done up to that point is worthless.

Mike: But what I've found is, there is so many skills that are obtained along the way, and even skills that don't seem like they are going to contribute to the next thing that you're doing. And then, a year, two years, three years roll by, and all of the sudden, all those skills picked up somewhere else show up in this new place. You go, "Oh wow, that was actually really valuable for me."

Mike: I've been surprised at the amount of crossover from things that maybe I was doing in the Navy that now crossover to where I'm at right now, coaching. Which seemed very different … like, very different things. But that contributed to everything I'm doing right now. I couldn't imagine being able to do right now without having that. There's no way to predict that.

Johg: So, like you said, it seems like starting over. But who's doing the seeming?

Mike: Who's doing the seeming?

Johg: Yeah.

Mike: Yeah, it's the person's narrative.

Johg: It's the person's narrative? So, it's like a self … it's like a cage of their own creation that they're like saying, "Okay, now I've done all these things. I'm just throwing it away." So, it's an internal dialogue?

Mike: Yeah. It's a creation. They're creating starting over versus they could be saying it differently and would be visualizing a different scenario all together.

Why Johg Went To Mt. Kilimanjaro

A toilet with a view.
Photographer: Peter Conlan | Source: Unsplash

Johg: I went to that because, the real short version, is I had spent like three months in India. And then, five years later, my brother was going to go to India. And my mother asked me if I would escort my brother to India. Like, be a chaperone for him, he's younger.

Johg: And I had spent a lot of time in India. And India is … it's a beautiful country in a lot of ways, but it's also a rough place to go. And I didn't want to go on such a big trip and go so far without doing something great.

Johg: So, I said, "Okay, I'm going to go to … I'll go with Matthew to India, but I'm going to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro on the way." And so, while I was doing that, you know, I kind of took this as a big opportunity and space to just do this big introspective journey around the world. And while I was going up, I did a lot of meditation.

Johg: I read that book, Coming Out of the Ice, I told you about. I think Victor Frankel … not Victor Frankel. Herman … incredible book. And just was meditating about what I wanted to do with my life, because I had been working with my family for a bunch of years and I was kind of wrestling this internal dialogue of what it meant for me and what my trajectory was going to be like. So, that's why I went to Africa.

Mike: So, you go there, you get some space?

Johg: Yeah.

Mike: And you meditated, you had time to yourself. Sounds like you were journaling, and you started having a vision for your future?

Listening to your heart

Johg: Yeah, see that's the thing too. You know, it's a muscle that you can develop and you can grow. Like meditating is a thing where you can get more comfortable with meditating for longer periods of time, and I've seen that. Like a strength, like of going to the gym, you can get stronger at it.

Johg: And it's the same thing with intuition, but if you don't have it, or you haven't connected to it for a while, it's helpful to … in my case, I'd say get on your knees, put your hands in prayWer position, do some breathing. I'm sure there's long form breath stuff. But even if someone just did three deep inhales and exhales.

Johg: And then ask. And I don't know who you're asking, really, like I don't know exactly how that works, but we all know you can have a dialogue in your head, and you can just say, "What is the meaning of my life? What am I here to do? What's important? Should I take this opportunity or should I not?" And if you just sit there and you ask, not that I can speak for everyone, how everyone's brain works, but for me and most people I've talked to, you get an answer. You get a dialogue. Words come up, and there is something there, whether it's your conscience or your intuition or your subconscious. You can hear it.

Why praying is better

Johg: Yeah. I like the word pray because I think most people have a mental image of someone on their knees with their hands in prayer posture. And simultaneously, I think it's a charged word that most people probably don't like, like they wouldn't say that it's cool to pray. But if I say, "Get into this asana and do this and do this meditation and this breath work," all of the sudden, it's hip, and it's cool, and it's woke, you know?

Johg: But then praying kind of combines all those things into one-

Mike: Well, people have a lot of stories around prayer from their youth and maybe … yeah. It doesn't mean the same thing to what you're talking about. When someone thinks prayer, they're thinking about something completely different than what you're describing in a way.

Johg: Yeah, and so, I'm like, "Just try that." You know, there's a reason why it's a thing that people did.

Johg: There is some method of action that has some success that for thousands of years people prayed. And so, yeah, we can call it meditation and breath work, and that is too, but there is something about that asana and that … being on your knees, kind of humbled before yourself and the universe or god, and to bring your hands together and to ask. That posture works.

Johg: Like I said, it works better on a mountain, and it works great too if you're lying in bed and you just have your eyes closed and you just kind of like have a little discussion with yourself. Praying kind of has that … to me, it has that connotation of asking something external; that you're having a dialogue with something aside from yourself, which also is kind of yourself.

Cleaning The Mind Through Meditation

Morning Therapy
Photographer: Simon Rae | Source: Unsplash

Mike: I do different meditations. Sometimes I do more of a … I would say the majority of the time it's really being with all of my sensations in my body, and really putting my attention in there. But then also getting to a point where there's a … you probably get to this point, it's just almost like you're not breathing, and there's nothingness. But a lot of … the mind has to run a ton of scripts for me. There's a ton of scripts that got to run, and if I haven't meditated in a while, you know, a 60 minute meditation could be nothing beautiful scripts running.

Mike: Yeah, it's like the mind has to do a dump. And then, once it gets done taking a shit, then there's a lot of clarity. Or if I'm sensing tightness in my body and I'm being with that sensation, all of the sudden, I notice a story that comes up and all of the sudden that part of my body relaxes. After I realize that the story doesn't mean anything, I unwind it and go, "Oh, okay. That's all … that story is being born out of some insecurity I have," and I take a breath and it's okay, and then-

Johg: Yeah.

Mike: And then it runs out and there's a sense of peace after that.

Jogh's meditation model

Johg: So, the model I have is that that place that you get to after all those scripts run, it's kind of the light at the end of the tunnel. It's the light at the end of the closet maybe. And we're constantly throwing stories and experiences kind of into the back closet of our subconscious. And then, it's like when you meditate you kind of open the door and all of that crap falls out on you, and you got to clear it out and then you can get to that light at the end of the tunnel.

Johg: And so, once you've done the hundred or thousand hours of like spring cleaning to clean out the closet, then it gets cluttered up slowly over time, and then you can go in there for five minutes, 20 minutes, clean it up, get to that point, and then you get to the, "Okay, all of the scripts are done. Wow, this is amazing."

Johg: And I also want to say that for people that are starting out, they might not have that experience. They do 5, 20 minutes-

Mike: Yeah, but they're not going to have that experience-

Johg: Yeah, For me, it was like 10 years. And I know when I started and someone said, "Oh yeah, you can do a split. It's just 10 years of practice." And I remember being like, why am I even doing this? It seems so far.

Johg: But the time is passing either way. It's just going. And 10 years seems to go faster and faster as you get older. So I mean, just start. Whether it's meditating or playing the piano or starting your business or whatever, these things do take a long time, but you got one time to go.

Breathe in your belly

Johg: And what's really interesting about this, when we talk about trying to get that star and that place to point at, where you're driven to create and to build, and to become a great man, some of this stuff, when we talk about it, it seems kind of basic to do. And it is basic to do in a way, because some of these things are not really a big deal. You don't realize breathing into your belly, like you brought up, that's what kind of triggered it for me.

Johg: I do that all the time, and you're right. There's like a stress relieving aspect of just allowing your stomach to extend and feel almost kind of vulnerable, and then bringing it back and just kind of activating that chakra and the energy center. And so, it's not a big thing to breathe into your stomach, I mean, I can do it right now. But I also remember the first time I ever breathed into my stomach and I was like, I don't know 33 years old or something. And I was with a friend of mine, do you know him?

Mike: Yeah. I know

Johg: Yeah, man, and he was doing some body work, and he was telling me to … I was standing there and he was kind of checking me out and he said, "Breathe into your stomach," and I took a big inhale, like a big yoga breath. I puffed out my chest and he's like, "No, no, no. Your stomach." Now, I had been doing yoga for like 10 years at this point and lots of breath and all of these things. But I had never really just kind of like pushed it down there and just extend out my belly.

Breathing during sex

Johg: Yeah. And then if you think about taking that breathing, whether it's in your chest or all these different techniques and applying them to … you know, we just talked about breathing into your belly, but it's so useful. If you're going to go do public speaking and maybe you've got some anxiety, knowing a couple breath techniques to just reset and drop the heartbeat, or making love is another one where-

Mike: I think that one was the most motivating for me.

Johg: I mean, it's just crazy that especially with all the porn and all the stuff that kind of gets out there for the sexual information. As a younger man, I read and I bought books about you know, the art of sex or whatever. And they talk about different positions and the stuff in all these books. But breath work? Never talked about at all.

Johg: I mean, that's definitely the biggest game changer-

Mike: Biggest.

Johg: … in terms of being able to like have the energy flow, and then from … I think so much of sex is a stress relieving, cathartic, just release of all this anxious, pernicious chi of just like collecting it, as you're breathing, you're growing, you're kind of like raking it all in, and then you … and just blast it out.

Johg: At least that's what I do now. Because I can breathe. Before that, I mean, I felt like I was like stuck in first gear, man. I didn't even know about-

Mike: Didn't know about second or third gear.

Johg: Sixth gear!

Breath is a game changer in sex

Mike: This is really valuable. It's true. There's so many things that I thought would be important in learning about sex, like positions or how to hit this spot with the girl and all this stuff. And then, yeah, come to realize that the biggest game changer for me has been breath. It's like, can I soften my belly? Can I run my breath? Can I feel the energy? Oh, when I do that I can actually … it feels better. Like, the entire experience is improved big time. Most people never discover that.

Johg: Yeah, it's all good. It's all better. I mean, it's better for you, and then it's way better for the partner.

Mike: Way better.

Johg: Because for the girl, I mean, because the whole thing with the breathing is you getting your control of your energy levels and you can ride the wave, or at least get a wave going.

Mike: Yeah.

Johg: And then, yeah, so breathing is one. And just … I would just say spend way more time than you think you need to on the woman first. Like that would be-

Mike: Give her 45 minutes.

Johg: I mean, yeah, whatever you think it is-

Mike: I don't know.

Johg: … like double it and just take your time and then realize that a gift that experience is while it's happening, and just be like, don't be rushing, slow down. It's the best thing you can do. And again, that goes to breathing because if you're breathing, taking a deep breath, that's part of it, but just like slow down and breathe, man.

The Nature Of A Warrior

medieval armor
Photographer: Henry Hustava | Source: Unsplash

Mike: To me, I think about, that's the nature of the warrior. Going out and saying yes to a lot of things, and accumulating, and wanting to see what it is that they can achieve really. And then, after a while, hitting a wall, or saying yes to so many things … saying yes until you have to start saying no.

Johg: Yeah. Okay, what about the warrior? So, you go out, you say yes to these things.

Mike: Yeah, and what we were saying earlier in the show, is when we had to rewind back and go, "Oh, we got to get people just even to the place where they're saying yes to things."

Johg: So, they're developing and they're coming out of their … they're becoming their own person, and then they have to go out and do something to kind of prove to themselves that they're worth something and they can do it. And then they can have the things that they want.

"What does my superhero look like?"

Mike: People tend to be scared to take that on, like have a vision for yourself and then start taking the steps that … was there any fear in making those changes?

Johg: Yeah, the whole thing is scary. But it's scary not to too. You know what I mean, just to stay … it's kind of … yeah, it's easy … all of life is scary, and it's all difficult. I mean, it's difficult to get up every morning, early, and to train and go to the gym, and to say no to food, and to have those personal development behaviors that you talk about so much and you coach people to have. But it's also hard to not do those things and then to be "unsuccessful," and lazy, and not look your best. That's difficult too. It's difficult to go through life if you don't do that stuff.

Johg: And so, one way I think about it is that suffering is encoded into life. You're going to suffer no matter what. You're going to suffer at the gym, or you're going to suffer because you can't get a date, and you don't feel good about the way you look naked. So then, it becomes, well, have a strategy around how you're going to suffer, and suffer smartly. You know, going to the gym, waking up early, eating … I mean, man, there's … I used to think you had to suffer to eat healthy. That was a total scam.

Johg: I mean, if you eat good food, it is so delicious. I'm going to take that out. But it is a little bit more expensive. So, maybe you have to take away-

Mike: It takes more effort.

Johg: Yeah.

The Definition of Maturity

Johg: Yeah, man. So, the more you can … you got to say yes to a lot of things, and then hopefully you get some traction with some stuff, and some stuff becomes more meaningful. And then, you lock in.

Johg: And like a relationship is a great example of that, where there's this trade off between being able to go out and have a different woman every night, and that's very fun and exciting, and there's an aspect of every man that sees a beautiful woman and blood rushes downstream, and it's like, "That's what I want." And there's so much pleasure and bliss that can be had on that side of the coin. But then on the other, to find a partner and commit, and then wall off all of that other potential, it allows you to get a different type of reward. Like a different type of meaning, fulfillment, bliss.

Johg: That, to me, is like the definition of maturity. You know, as you get older, and there's so many different aphorisms that are related to that about old dogs not being able to learn new tricks, you kind of get locked in your ways and you know what you like. That's part of the human experience. But I think it's important for people to mature and to go out and seek stuff, and you know, I'm reminded … you know, you asked me what got me thinking about this.

Benjamin Franklin's Life

Johg: I read a biography of Benjamin Franklin. That cat, man, I just could not believe what that guy did. You know, he was like a runaway, and then he went to Philadelphia and he got into publishing. And then he dominated publishing. He was an entrepreneur and he was super successful at that. And then he had a lot of money and he was good at that. And then he got into science and he … we've all heard about him flying the kite with the key and the lightening strike.

Johg: He got credited, for better or for worse, whether it's accurate or not, but with discovering electricity in some way. And then he became, I think, the first international superstar because he was in America, but then, all of the salons in France, were all into science, the renaissance was happening. And so, then they were like, "Wow, this guy discovered electricity."

Johg: And then he went into politics and they had the American Revolution. And then, he was the guy that did the deal with, I think, France to bring troops in to help the Revolutionary War. And then after the Revolutionary War, when the confederation was falling apart, he was the elder statesman that got everyone together to sign the constitution.

Johg: I just looked at that guy's life and I was like, "How do you do so much in one life?" You look around, and there's so many people that do so little. And then, there's this one guy. And it was like, what was different about him? And I think what was different is that he didn't spend five hours looking at social media and staying up all night.

Attracting Money

Johg: You've got to do that groundwork to get yourself and your body to the point where you have the … I mean, money is energy. So, you attract it. It just sounds so weird to say it, until you kind of get how it works.

Johg: I want to let you know that even if nobody else notices, god notices." You know, the universe is watching everything you do. And so, when you do the work and you pray, or you meditate, or you go to the gym, or you read the book, or you do that stuff, even though you can't in an immediate sense see your bank account change, god's watching. It's like, when you smile into the mirror, the mirror smiles back at you. There's no decision making process.

Johg: That's how it works. When you go and you do good works in the world, it does reverberate and come back. And so, you've got to just have this mindset of doing that and becoming the person, and if you just do that, and have faith in that, and you work towards that, history and the literature and the science, and like all the successful people kind of pan out that it comes back to you and it works.

Johg: It's not really intuitive and it's hard to prove it. But that's the secret.

Mike's success journey

Mike: Yeah. Anything that I've been really successful at it's been a lot of consecutive days, months, years of … people message me, not so much anymore because I think I've mentioned it on this show a few times, but they go, "How long was it before you made money after starting your podcast?" And I go, "Well, A, I didn't think I'd make money running a podcast." I loved it and I saw a need. There was this opportunity and a need, and I was particularly set up for that. I go, "Oh, wow. I'm actually a pretty perfect person to do this thing that doesn't exist yet, and I'm excited about the idea. So I'm going to do this."

Mike: And I had the mindset of, I am going to build a business and I'm going to leverage the podcast to get more attention, get more people, more clients, things like that. But it was 18 months before I was able to crack that code where I was able to … I would say it's about 18 to 24 months, because I was running a successful gym at the time. I was making an average income, for where I lived, and had a house and all that kind of stuff. I was comfortable for someone in their 20s, or early 30s.

Mike: And then, the business I was able to generate online and do coaching remotely and all that kind of stuff was made possible, but it was 18 months, posting shows, high quality shows every week. I had faith, and I wasn't looking for the end result either. I go, "I know I'm going to leverage this," but I wasn't putting a lot of … I would keep podcasting no matter what.

A never-ending learning

Mike: And then, when I was able to learn how to leverage that to build something cool and then learned how to build a business. And then, a decade later, still learning how to build businesses. It's a never ending experience and never ending learning. But yeah, it's been just doing the right things. When other people are going out drinking, I'm working. Or they're going out drinking and I'm resting, or I'm doing something that's going to rejuvenate me that may not be work specifically. I don't want people to think, "Oh, while they're out having a good time, I'm going to be doing this." My good times … I mean, we were able to take off two days in a row as entrepreneurs and enjoy ourselves. And that's going to make us better at our jobs for probably the next two, three weeks.

Mike: So that's valuable too. But we didn't do a bunch of stuff that was going to wear us out. We didn't put down a case of beer two days in a row like a lot of people probably do-

Mike: … and then you walk into work and feel shittier than when you left.

Johg: Well, and the other thing too man, is like it's not all about money, in the sense that there are other profits that you get from doing that set of behaviors that are not monetary. So like, you can have your health, you can have better relationships, you can sleep at night, you can wake up maybe without an alarm clock. There's a lot of things that you can do that if you had to reorientate your life in a way where it isn't all just focused on, "When am I going to get paid, son?"

Things beyond money

Johg: And like, would you trade for some large sum per year? Would you want to go and say, "Okay, I'm going to go suit up every day and go work from 6:00 to 6:00 PM on the hundredth story of some-

Mike: I've been offered that.

Johg: Yeah?

Mike: Yeah, I've turned down … I've been presented with many opportunities to go into the type of work that would require that kind of showing up, and it doesn't make any sense to me. I mean, I could be making double, triple what I make personally right now, had I … and I may be running those businesses, but they would require the type of work that I don't want to do. Or work with the type of people, or be in the type of industry, or making the type of thing that is not exciting to me.

Johg: Because you just said right there, that's not the type of work you want to do. I think you know the kind of work you want to do.

Mike: Yeah.

Johg: And that's what people got to figure out.

Mike: Yeah.

Johg: Like, what do they want? What kind of work do they want to do?

Johg: And until you know that, you just say yes to, okay, I'll do this, this, this, and this. And then you try a few things, and you're like, "Oh wait, this lifestyle is actually pretty good."

Setting boundaries

Mike: And I've had moments where I look at other people who are in the same circle, same space that make a lot more money, and I'm like, "Oh, maybe I want that." And then I get a peek into what's really going on. And it's like, "Oh, I don't actually want that because I don't want to do that job." And so, it's the ability of, I don't wake up with an alarm clock most days of the week. But that's not a function of the amount of money I make. That's because I set boundaries in my business and work doesn't start til 10:00 AM. And I know I'm going to wake up by 7:00, that's just … my clock does that, unless I'm sleeping at your house. You got me-

Johg: You got some good sleep.

Mike: Dude, yeah. I got a lot of rejuvenation hanging out.

Johg: Yeah, so what did it for you?

Mike: Being in your home, you really set the vibe, the lights dim at night, just the energy of the house is-

Johg: I mean, elaborate for people so they can … you know, get some of that good sleep.

Mike: Yeah.

Johg: That dank sleep you're talking about.

Mike: That dank sleep. I think there's some things I can point out and some things that are more energetic in nature. So, being around you and Shannon, y'all are relaxed people and you do things slowly, in that you take your time. I don't know if slowly is the right word, but you take your time-

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