Episode #43: How Practicing Gratitude Keeps You Grounded in Your Business - Teacher Zone

Episode #43: How Practicing Gratitude Keeps You Grounded in Your Business

Gratitude is such an important element to maintaining success in your business. But it’s hard to understand why and then stay motivated to do it.

In this episode of The Teacher Zone with Chris and Tyler, they discuss how practicing gratitude is one fundamental way to keep yourself grounded amidst the chaos of owning and running a business.

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0:00:06.4 Tyler Marolf: Welcome to the next episode of The Teacher Zone with Chris and Tyler. My name is Tyler Marolf, I’m the co-founder of Teacher Zone along with my partner here, Chris Bates, and wonderful and beautiful co-host. How are you, sir? 

0:00:19.5 Chris Bates: I’m awesome. What’s up! 

0:00:24.3 TM: Hey man, I just wanna… Before we start, I wanna say I’m grateful for you.

0:00:26.5 CB: You know what, I wanna say I’m grateful for you.

0:00:30.4 TM: Okay.

0:00:30.5 CB: So yeah, so if you guys haven’t figured it out this cheesy episode, no. This episode, we’re gonna talk about gratitude and how important it is in all of our lives. And so the reason we thought about this, or one of the reasons, is, number one, doing what we do is super hard. Running a business, it’s not easy.

0:00:55.4 TM: Ebbs and flows, it really does.

0:00:58.9 CB: You’ll have four busy, great days in a row where you’re moving the needle, and then the next week is like two days of trauma and you, and the outside world… Yeah, and the outside world, it’s so interesting whether it’s our staff or whether it’s friends and family, if you don’t own a business, you can’t relate, you just don’t get it. You don’t get how many balls were actually bouncing. So we had an experience, and Tyler, you can tell that story. Tyler and I are in… We’re in an elite coaching group for software owners, and it’s one of our tribes. And so in this tribe, we were doing a huge intensive and we were all learning about a bunch of stuff, and then a really humbling moment happened and Tyler, why don’t you tell that story and that’ll tee this off.

0:01:55.8 TM: So maybe some of you have done these intensives or summits before, and you know you’ve got a big workbook, there’s a bunch of curriculum in place, and this one happened to be on customer success, all facets of it, two eight-hour days. Amazing. And there is 400 plus software owners and founders on this thing globally, Italy, France, it was just really, really great, we love this group very much. And so, then they have Q&As, and they’ve got the moderators handling the Q&As through this ultimate Zoom, they have the ultimate set up for this, it’s just fantastic. And during these Q&As for the whole two days until the very end, there are very good questions, stock questions, business-related questions, not the most vulnerable, a little bit of vulnerability because, hey, we’re failing, and we need help with this, our business, our customer success avenue is failing here, but then we all… We related, we related, but it wasn’t what happened at the end. So we have the very last Q&A, we’re done after this, and people raise their hands, there’s a line of people and a couple of people go first, and then this young man, this founder comes on, and I won’t say his name, but he touched all of us at once, and I gotta admit, I was taken back for a second, Chris. He started to talk about how he has been listening and receiving all the information from the intensive, and it’s just been…

0:03:34.3 TM: He started to well up. Like when they took the break, he was in tears in his small group that broke off, he couldn’t function for a sec because everything was so overwhelming, and he just wanted to let everybody know that he knows it’s part of it, but he also wanted to throw himself out there, and along with letting everyone know that if they’re feeling this way, that we understood. And I thought it was so brave, vulnerable and gracious, and also traumatic at the same time. It was a lot of feelings at once that he was brave enough to come forth in front of everybody in that world.

0:04:16.1 CB: In that… Yeah.

0:04:18.7 TM: We’re talking multi million dollar businesses across the board, and this guy, who you could tell was successful, was not feeling successful.

0:04:27.9 CB: And vulnerability is one of the most powerful tools. So if you’re struggling with your leadership a little bit, I’m not talking about playing the victim, ’cause that’s a difference. Honestly, I have zero patience for victims. Anybody out there in my family, friends or whatever, I stay away from you if you’re a victim person, just so you know. That’s not how…

0:04:49.7 TM: Now we’re not talking about real victims, we know who you are.

0:04:53.3 CB: No, no, no, I’m talking about poor me, why always me, why always me? You know what, it’s hard for everyone.

0:04:58.8 TM: Victory loves company and we don’t [0:05:00.4] ____. Birds of a feather, flock together.

0:05:02.0 CB: That’s a power play, yeah. So that’s a power play, this is not that. What this is, is this is true vulnerability, and people can tell the difference because true vulnerability is saying I’m a strong person, but I don’t always feel strong, and I’m gonna let you guys know that right now I’m not feeling strong. And that’s why it really touched us because my first reaction was, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe he’s sharing this.”

0:05:25.0 TM: I couldn’t believe he was saying it.

0:05:25.1 CB: Oh, yeah, yeah those… Both of us was like, I can’t believe he’s sharing this.

0:05:26.3 TM: I was like, honestly, if you’re watching on YouTube, you’ll see my hand gestures. I was like, “Wait, wait, are you gonna do it? Oh he’s doing it.” Like I was watching it unfold. Not that I’ve never done that before, but you know, 400 people of that caliber, that’s the first time I’ve seen it happen in that scope like it was wild.

0:05:49.5 CB: Yeah, there’s a difference honest, heartfelt, vulnerability. And so I want you all to know that if you’re feeling that way, first of all, let us know because we are a community, and we do all care about each other. You’re not alone, and that vulnerability also really takes this to this place is why we chose gratitude is because what gratitude is at its core is gratitude is saying, I’m not gonna wait until a certain finish line or a certain event or certain goal happens, gratitude says I’m gonna let myself, even though there’s a lot of stress and things going on, I’m gonna be okay right now. I’m gonna let myself be okay. I’m gonna say, “You know what, everything right now that I have going on,” of course, I’ve not achieved whatever milestones you’re going for yet. That’s part of the journey, that’s the adventure, and were so proud of that guy that he had actually been vulnerable, that the community opened up and expressed gratitude. The chat blew up. It was because… Yeah.

0:06:54.5 TM: Unbelievable, and it also shows a willingness, Chris. There’s a lot of principles that come into play to get gratitude. And we all have the choice to pull the lever, right? Whether it’s your while you’re shaving, looking in the mirror, and you can choose to go, “Wow, yesterday sucked, and it’s not done.” Or you can take a breath and then the willingness comes in, so his willingness to be vulnerable made an impact on us to where we wanted to do a not as much business-related podcast and do a little bit more foofy one because, you know what, Chris and I are that way anyways. If you didn’t know that yet, it is about time we did this episode, but the willingness for that man to come on and be willing to say “I am not an island” in the first place…

0:07:46.3 CB: I’m overwhelmed right now was the gist. It was that, you know what, I’ve got so many things I can do for my business, I don’t freaking know where to start, and I feel totally overwhelmed, and that’s… We were all so grateful to him, and then afterwards he expressed gratitude back for the support to just allow him to be vulnerable for a minute. And the big thing that Tyler and I took away from that, obviously, vulnerability is important, and if you’re not vulnerable with your staff, then they probably aren’t relating to you maybe as much as they could, but it is about vulnerability…

0:08:22.8 TM: And we’ll define that as [0:08:24.8] ____ to you guys, if this is all new to you and you haven’t had a chance to really dive into understanding or deepening your understanding of leadership, being vulnerable doesn’t mean, like Chris said, walking around being victim, letting them know that you don’t feel good that day or something like that, please don’t think that that’s what we’re talking about.

0:08:42.9 CB: Tyler and I, we’re warriors, right? So we’re fighters, and we absolutely love the idea of practicing strength and working on ourselves and working on getting stronger, but you know what, we’re all human and throughout every day, Tyler and I have weakness, throughout every day, Tyler and I strength wanes and isn’t at its peak because our energy levels throughout the day are obviously always fluctuating, and so a lot of time your strength is based on your energy level, your diet, all the balls that you’re bouncing. And so…

0:09:21.4 TM: Hydration.

0:09:22.8 CB: Yeah. Drink water, if you’re not drinking water, drink lots of water.

0:09:26.2 TM: Yes, drink lots of water. It helps a lot.

[laughter]

0:09:27.7 CB: Yeah, I’ve got my water right here.

0:09:29.9 TM: I’ve got mine too.

0:09:34.0 CB: But the big thing that we connect to the gratitude and the vulnerability part, if you’ve not ever done that before, it’s actually pretty interesting to think about. So in entrepreneurs organization, we had a practice to create vulnerability instantly, but what it really does is create trust instantly. And what we would do is the very first meeting we would have together, you’d spend five minutes a person and you share something that you’re ashamed to share. And oh my gosh, tears start flowing immediately, it doesn’t matter who they are, I’ve dealt with some very big as far as successful humans, but then in two seconds, we’re all just children again because we all just feel so vulnerable, sharing those things. And so vulnerability creates trust instantly, if you’re authentic.

0:10:23.2 TM: Good point.

0:10:24.2 CB: That guy now we all have a deeper trust for one another, and anytime someone’s willing to be vulnerable, it connects humans, ’cause it says, you know what, we’re not robots.

0:10:36.9 TM: Which in turn the by-product is, is now that tribe, that little circle of people that experienced that impact, they also now know they have permission to approach maybe just one person that was there, or maybe a group situation, whatever, but maybe they had no permission to be vulnerable prior to that. So it opens up a willingness in groups, and it grows, which Chris, you’re bringing up staff, if you’re vulnerable with your staff, and remember, don’t take that the wrong way, it goes down to appreciating them, being grateful for them, letting them know that you know what, maybe if you’re not venting down too far, but your ops team might need to know, “Hey, it’s gonna be a tough week, but I’m trusting you guys that we’re gonna pull this off together,” like, “Here’s what’s going on.” If they know you’re a human and not a machine, that you’re just cracking the whip, man the trust builds just like you mentioned.

0:11:34.7 CB: Well, emotions aren’t… Emotions aren’t a state of being, obviously. And so I think that vulnerability… And let’s get totally into gratitude now. So vulnerability, I think is a prerequisite for gratitude. So you can’t be grateful for what you have, I believe, if you don’t soften yourself up a little bit, you’re right? And sort of just be like wow. Kind of like watching… If you have kids like watching your… When your kids are… My kids are getting older now, but when they were little, I remember like, I remember pushing Zella on the swing… Well I used to. Zella’s still little but… I still push Zella on the swing [0:12:16.9] ____ still.

0:12:17.0 CB: A picture came up the other day of my 15-year-old, Hudson, and Tyler knew Huddy since he was born, and he had a big old red fro when he was like four and [chuckle] so… And I was pushing him on the swing it was just…

0:12:29.9 TM: I still have video of the poop and diarrhea song he wrote in the back of the minivan Randy, you named that minivan, Randy. And he was like six or something, oh my gosh. Those were the things…

0:12:43.8 CB: It’s a classic. It’s a classic.

0:12:46.6 TM: We forget all about that stuff. Right now, Chris is laughing, he forgot what he was talking about.

0:12:50.9 CB: ‘Cause I’m remembering that, yeah.

0:12:53.8 TM: Yes, but in reality, that never went away even in our darkest moments, those things are the things that matter, and we think that the audit coming up is going to destroy everyone and my kids will melt in front of me and no one will be alive or… We get that real doomsday feeling sometimes, that intense and as we grow, get a little older, get a little more experience under our belts, it’s not as intense, those peaks and valleys, but the bottomline is, is gratitude is not being self-centered, so if we get out of ourselves for just half a second, and just have an exercise that pulls [0:13:34.9] ____, “What am I grateful for today?”

0:13:38.1 CB: Yeah, if you’re an ego-maniac, which, listen, we’re all leaders in some sort, and there’s moments of trying to feel stronger, and we’ve all gone through that as you get older, but if you’re an ego-maniac, it’s very likely that you have a hard time being vulnerable. You just do, because when our ego is involved, we’re selfish, like you said, and we… Out of selfishness, we’re trying to protect ourselves.

0:14:00.2 TM: Scared.

0:14:01.0 CB: So there’s a lot of…

0:14:01.7 TM: Well, fear.

0:14:02.1 CB: There’s a lot of fear, yeah, fear, a lot of fear.

0:14:03.9 TM: ‘Cause we don’t wanna… We put our walls up, and because if we think we have a belief system in place, and in some occasions, being strong and the optics in front of certain people or deals that are gonna be done, absolutely, but your core, your homebase, your family, your op staff that knows everything that’s going on in the business, that core that is your family, they don’t need those walls to be so thick and cracked and hard, like there’s a time and a place, it’s just…

0:14:36.2 CB: Well, I’ve noticed an observation, Tyler, we work with folks all over the world and they’re different entrepreneurs of different sizes, and I’ve noticed the bigger the entrepreneur… Now, I want you to listen to this, especially if you’re newer to business, the bigger the business, the bigger the entrepreneur, typically, the more vulnerable they’re willing to be. I’ve just noticed that, right, Tyler? I mean, think about all of our interactions with our largest customers, they’re amazing, and it’s like, we absolutely just throw it out there like, “Oh yeah. Today is a rough one.” Whatever, when I talk to the little guys, so it’s like, “Doing great, everything is awesome.” And it’s like, “Come on.”

0:15:21.6 TM: Yeah, I don’t… You know, I appreciate you telling me that, but can we just move on to something else that matters right now? 

0:15:28.2 CB: We know you’re just putting on a shiny front, yeah, a shiny front. So that brings us to gratitude. So here’s the deal, okay, I’m one of the most optimistic persons ever. I always have been since I was young. So I’m blessed that I was born with that sort of attitude, but gosh, we get… There’s so much stuff thrown at us that Tyler could attest, ’cause he and I are like a married couple, I go through my lack of optimism plenty throughout the week, and so we have to practice it. That’s what I’m trying to get at, is that the gratitude…

0:16:03.2 TM: Chris is smart though, Chris takes it out on me, and then sometimes my family is cannon fodder, like, “Why don’t I just take it out back on you and save my family?” I’m doing it wrong.

0:16:15.2 CB: Oh yeah, I speak to my family, yeah, that’s it. I know you can handle it. [laughter] So what gratitude does, guys, okay, if I just sit here right now and I just tingle like it’s Christmas, right, and you can actually see if you’re watching on the YouTube, you can see us start to glow when you start to feel gratitude, you can’t feel gratitude… You feel gratitude from the inside out, other people can actually feel that. Selfishness and control and lack of vulnerability, you start to suck in, that’s what you get…

0:16:45.5 TM: Your brow furrows.

0:16:47.7 CB: Yeah, you’re sucking in, and when you suck in, you’re more selfish, and then what you’re doing is you’re severing connections, so you’re getting less help, which makes you more scared, which makes you more selfish, and that’s the ego.

0:17:00.0 TM: And you’re unapproachable, and everybody’s like, “Well, I guess I’ll wait till he’s done doing that shit.” Excuse me, “Because I don’t think he wants help right now.” Or something like that, it’s this… Assumptions come into play…

0:17:13.2 CB: The idea of closing versus opening. And they’ve actually shown… There’s this exercise that I used to practice with the kids, Tyler, you know this, when my kids were younger, and they would be broody, I would use this technique I learned from Tony Robbins years ago, where I’d make them stand up, and if you’re listening to this, do this, stand up right now, and I want you to look up to the ceiling, and I want you to stand as tall as you possibly can with your shoulders back, pretend like you have a cape on, okay? And I want you to smile and put your hands on your hips like Superman, so now you’re like a superhero looking up, and you’re smiling, okay? And now from that position, I want you to feel sad without changing your physiology, and you can’t.

0:18:02.1 TM: You can’t, you can’t do it.

0:18:04.2 CB: You literally have to droop your shoulders.

0:18:05.7 TM: ‘Cause you’re already standing like a ding-dong anyway, so you’re laughing at yourself, and it’s great by then, ’cause now you’re laughing and it’s over. And you’ve already…

0:18:13.6 CB: So your physiology…

0:18:15.2 TM: Yeah, go to the science on that. We have endorphins, serotonin, all those…

0:18:22.0 CB: So yeah, so the two things that I like to or I’ve heard a lot, and Tyler and I aren’t experts on this, but from what we’ve read and stuff like that, you’ve got the two with the cortisol and the oxytocin. So cortisol is what our bodies release to make us more alert, but it’s a stress hormone, so you really don’t wanna release cortisol a lot. Well, guess what, you’re an entrepreneur, so you’re releasing cortisol constantly, because you have another fire, another…

0:18:46.1 TM: In the middle of the night, in the shower, and then three years later, your wife says, “You know, you’re not that great of a listener, lately.” Or something like that. That’s all cortisol related because you’re just like grinding. You’re kinda sore, sore, sore.

0:19:04.2 CB: So cortisol, yes, so what it does, it makes us more aware because it’s basically the fight or flight hormone, it’s that, “Oh my gosh, there’s a tiger that’s gonna eat me. What do I do?” And so that is… And the more you put yourself in that state, and I say put yourself, notice, because I do believe that we have control of this and habits are everything, so the more you put yourself in that state, you’re creating a habit of being in stress, of having more cortisol. And Tyler and I, over the last 11 years together, we have had our own journey of… There’s been moments where I’m like super cortisol-infused and there’s moments where Tyler’s super cortisol-infused, and the coolest thing is by daily working on it, he and I are getting to a place, Tyler, where I think we’re more oxytocin than cortisol at this point which…

0:19:54.4 CB: Or as in from someone’s cortisol, we have really learned how to lead with each other, too, to where I’m not cortisol all the time. I just had a sandwich and I… Maybe I got into gratitude for a second ’cause my wife and I actually get to work near each other. So I can go take so does Chris, so I can get out of reality for a second and go enjoy my marriage for 11 seconds or minutes or whatever, and then Chris is like different time zone, right? Two hour difference, and he’s not at lunch and he’s tripping, and we can let each other know it’s okay too. So the cortisol, I can let it get mine going, if it’s like that that bad, maybe it does scare me. Maybe it’s a shitty problem and I’m like, no! And now we’re both doubled up.

0:20:41.4 CB: Now we’re both in it.

0:20:42.3 TM: Yeah, yeah and then all of a sudden also it’s like 8 PM and we’re like argh! Oh my gosh.

0:20:47.2 CB: Here’s a secret. Here’s a secret. Here’s a secret. We’ll do an ASMR moment.

0:20:54.8 TM: Here’s a secret.

0:20:55.9 CB: ASMR. I’m sorry. Secret is…

0:21:00.0 TM: That stands for Active Sound Modulation Expertise Module.

0:21:05.3 CB: Amazing.

0:21:06.5 TM: I don’t think that it stands for…

0:21:08.7 CB: If you get yourself in gratitude, you actually solve problems better than when you’re in stress and in fear.

0:21:17.0 TM: Yep, that’s right.

0:21:18.6 CB: So that’s the irony, is that if you are actually… And part of that is what we just did, if you get quiet for a second, it’s getting still. It’s letting your eyes not move around and dart around. It’s bringing yourself back to the room. If you got pets, go play with them for a second, because they can bring you back to ahh. Or if you got kids go push them on the swing or take a walk, there’s a million things. People think that what we’re talking about right now…

0:21:46.1 TM: Nature is a big one.

0:21:47.3 CB: And there’s people out there maybe, probably not listeners to this, but maybe there are, that think that what we’re talking about right now is worthless and it’s not their thing. Do you know what? I’m gonna say that there are different belief systems, types of people, tribes, engineer mindset first, creative or mixed or whatever, and there’s a lot of different things, but you know what? What everybody has in common? What we’re talking about right now, everyone has access to, I don’t care what your beliefs are. Every human has this. So anybody thinking that what we’re talking about is like a waste of time, fair enough. We have no control over what you think. But it’s real.

0:22:29.9 CB: Well, okay, so let’s pretend like they’re really analytical, like, let’s get to that. So Forbes did a study that shows that businesses that practice and promote gratitude from the staff, so in other words, the staff isn’t feeling like, okay guys, once we achieve this milestone, then we’ll be happy. No, we’re happy and grateful for the business and the…

0:22:49.0 TM: You already are. Yeah, we’re super happy you’re here. We went through a lot to hire you. Why would you forget that you’re awesome, like four months later and not talk to you anymore? [0:23:02.5] ____.

0:23:04.3 CB: You don’t wait for a seminal event to celebrate each other. The more we can do it today…

0:23:08.3 TM: It’s called jail-house religion, too. You don’t wait for the crap to hit the fan to go, hey, hey. Hey Johnny, how are we gonna fix this and he hasn’t seen you in two months or something, you know what I mean? It’s just not the right approach. The analytical mind is what you’re approaching right now.

0:23:25.5 CB: Ideally, yes. So the analytical mind might say, I don’t need this mumbo-jumbo in my business, and studies have shown that you’ll actually have a 10% increase in revenue and productivity or more just from promoting these principles of letting people know that you actually appreciate them. Of feeling grateful for one another, so that there’s deeper connection and camaraderie. You’ll notice what Tyler said earlier about selfishness accompanying the lack of vulnerability and gratitude. They’re literally flip sides of the coin. So what’s the other side? Oxytocin. So when you’re grateful, you actually emit… They call it the happiness drug, you emit oxytocin, and you can actually fake it. You could do what I said earlier, you could stand tall. I can just feel so good about everything, I could feel like Superman, and all of a sudden my body will start admitting it, and if you think about it, remember when you were a little kid and you wanted that thing and Christmas morning perhaps, or something like a birthday or something for you that was… Take yourself to a super exciting childhood moment, and you’ll realize you were surging with oxytocin, you have that gratitude, happiness, drive going through you. If you put yourself in that moment all the time like it’s Christmas, you start to get goosebumps.

0:24:42.8 TM: And it’s not fleeting either, it’s not like you can… Unless you need to be medicated, I suppose. I don’t know, we’re not doctors. But it doesn’t just go away. It doesn’t just end. You don’t just fall off a cliff after you feel that way after you’ve taken the chance and choice cognitively to change your mindset for a second, it doesn’t just go away. It would take a lot for you to just 20 minutes later be [0:25:13.3] ____.

0:25:13.8 CB: There’s a residual echo every time you practice it. That’s a great point. Yeah, yeah, no, you’re right. So there’s a residual echo every time you practice it, and the more you practice throughout the day every day, the more it becomes habit. And the one thing that I think will really help a lot of you, especially as owners, is when you wake up in the morning, and I have to practice this too. Every morning when I wake up, I have to go, I wanna grab my phone because I know that I’m getting lit up like early morning first thing. We have customers in different time zones. All sorts of stuff is going on. So I have to not grab my phone or have it in a different room. I happen to have it next to my bed, but I don’t grab it. What I do is I spend five minutes and just lay there in gratitude and just make my body feel ready for the day. Please, practice even 60 seconds of that, and I guarantee you’ll start your day a little brighter than starting your day with worry or with stress. Start it with oxytocin, don’t start it with cortisol. Don’t let that stress.

0:26:17.7 TM: If you’re gonna say, tomorrow is the first day you’re gonna try it, or maybe right now, you could try it right now, and let’s say it’s day one, that you really haven’t in the last few years, been able to really practice something like that. Some people are crazy. They do yoga in the morning, meditate for 30 minutes in silence, that’s intense. We’re not saying that even though that’s high level stuff.

0:26:37.8 CB: That’s another talk ’cause we both… Tyler and I both have some morning routines but…

0:26:42.1 TM: Quieting your mind. Can you even imagine the two of us with a quiet mind? Well, we’ve been there, Chris, more than me. But that first little 60 seconds Chris just talked about, and then you do it again tomorrow. What I do is I wake up and instead of just grabbing that, let’s face it, I’m scuffling across from my bed through the kitchen, use the restroom, and my whole mind is just such an espresso addict. So it’s literally thinking coffee. You know what I mean? And that’s cool, I enjoy it, I love it and whatever. But you know what I do before I drink the coffee? Because coffee’s intense on your tummy, right? Full glass of cold water. I drink that first, it wakes me up, I can fill it on an empty slept on stomach, it circles around in there, and then boom.

0:27:33.9 CB: ‘Cause your body gets dehydrated while you’re sleeping. It’s just one of the best things you could do when you wake up.

0:27:38.3 TM: Hey Chris, right after I drink the coffee is when I calm myself… Excuse me, the water… And the coffee’s brewing, that’s my little moment where I’m like, I look out at the window and nothing matters for a second. I might not… Maybe the kids aren’t even up. I haven’t thought about them yet. I’m just quiet for a second. So that’s…

0:28:00.1 CB: Oh, that’s… No, that’s terrific. That’s a great practice so have that throughout the day. I will say, I heard on a podcast recently that, this is from a doctor who said that they’ve actually shown that your sleep cycles, by going outside, and Tyler does a lot of chores outside, I do some, but some of the mornings I have force myself, like first thing. If you’ll go outside first thing with that first cup of coffee rather than watching the news or something horrible, if you’ll go outside first thing…

[laughter]

0:28:29.3 TM: Something horrible.

0:28:31.8 CB: Right? Don’t feed yourself poison. Go outside. If you’ll go outside and get a little bit of sun, I think it’s… I don’t know if it’s 10 minutes or five minutes, but it’s a very short period of time, your circadian rhythm actually resets its clock, so your body will be better ready for sleep at the end of the day, just from activating it by some exterior sun, and so even if it’s cloudy out, they said your body has the same reaction, it sort of… It turns it on going, “Ah, it’s daylight.” So calmness, activating yourself for the day, using nature to get yourself in gratitude. You know, Tyler, I did something the other day. My mom has had… She’s doing great, but she’s had a lot of health issues. And we were all sitting outside last weekend after a barbecue. And I literally… ‘Cause you and I’ve been talking about this a lot lately. I literally sat there while they were all having a fun conversation, and I just sat for probably 15 minutes without saying a word, just listening to everybody laughing and being in gratitude.

0:29:37.0 CB: Just celebrating them, just internally. Just internally going, “You guys are so awesome.” I’m so lucky for this moment that I get with the family members that were present. And so it’s important to not… Don’t wait. Here’s the gist of this whole talk, guys, and this is the takeaway that I personally hope that one gets, Tyler, is don’t wait for it to happen to you, don’t wait for an exterior moment to make you feel gratitude like, “Oh, woohoo, we got the big customer,” Or “Woohoo, we signed up 10 new students,” or whatever it is. Don’t wait for that. Because if you wait for that, then what you’re doing is you’re basically, feeding yourself with the stress poison for possibly months on end, and only celebrating wins every now and then. So celebrate your wins throughout the day, all day. And here’s the irony of that practice. Number one, it gets easier and easier. Number two, stress dissipates. Stress can’t live in gratitude. Gratitude kills… It’s the stress killer.

0:30:49.3 TM: Right. Right. Well, I know…

0:30:51.8 CB: All stress is, is a made-up… Stress is a made… What do they say? It’s praying for what you don’t want? It’s a made-up prayer for what you don’t want, that’s what stress is.

0:31:01.4 CB: Right, and it’s also you’re probably reasoning about a bunch of stuff that isn’t even gonna happen in the first place, so. And hey, when all else fails guys, this has been a great talk, but stressed spelled backwards is desserts. So if all else fails, literally go find a quiet spot. It won’t stay quiet in your mind for too long ’cause a hot fudge sundae has a lot of sugar. So that’s gonna…

[laughter]

0:31:25.2 TM: [0:31:25.2] ____ in your body. But it’s not a bad thing, and if you gotta do that, you gotta do it. But for real folks, Chris is right.

0:31:34.5 CB: But it’s good ’cause you’re at least breaking that cycle. I’d be grateful for that amazing sundae…

0:31:42.0 TM: Right. And when you’re done with it, you roll out of your chair and you go for a walk. But no, for real guys, don’t let circumstances dictate my day. That’s what somebody taught me years ago in business. And I was young, I was in my 20s, and I guess I was… I must have been at… It was private mortgage banking, VP of the West Coast at Wells Fargo. And I’m sitting across from his desk, and I had been a decent producer for a while, and something happened and it wasn’t good and production was down. And I must have said a bunch of excuses or something, I don’t know, I was 24, 23, and he was so nice. And he’s like, “Tyler, he is like you know something I learned?” ‘Cause he said, and this is beautiful, he said this as well. He didn’t say it to me, he said, “You know what someone told me once, Tyler, and I practice, is to not let the circumstances dictate my day.” So I segue that every time if I feel like it’s a thing, I then also know that this principle is true too, and that’s the spirit of this podcast, is that at any moment of any day, I can start the day over.

0:32:57.5 TM: Time is weird, guys. The past we hold so much on to the value of the past, and a lot of it can be good; accolades and successes that motivate and say, “I could repeat that, I’m gonna build a the system around that and I can repeat this thing,” but there’s things in the past, that they do not matter as long as you’ve learned from them, if they’re bad, but there’s things that maybe weren’t even your fault that are bad in the past, that don’t matter. That’s not… Why are we worried about it? It didn’t, wasn’t even… So the point is, is moving forward, this second, now this second, now this second, that’s all we have, yeah.

0:33:37.7 CB: All there is. By the way, if you’re one of those victim people that sticks in the past a lot, ’cause you’ll notice only victim people stay in the past. Optimists are actually more future thinkers which can be a trap too, ’cause like you said, present is all there is. So whether you’re an optimist future thinker or whether you’re more of a pessimist victim past thinker, okay? I’m sorry, but it’s just true.

0:34:00.1 TM: Did you make all that up? Optimist future thinker? Optimist…

0:34:06.3 CB: It’s the way I look at it. Now it… I love to debate, by the way. If you guys think I’m wrong, tell me, let’s talk about it, but I personally look at it that way. I think it’s true because I think that everyone I know that are pessimist, they’re always, they’re the ones that post, repost that one success they had like 100 times on social media. Because they’re such negative people that they’ll always wallowing in the past, good and bad, like they’re never going to where they’re headed or in the moment, they’re always wallowing in the past. So if that’s you, just know it’s a habit, you just created a the habit, it’s okay. We all have them, we have habits of however we behave. So what this habit is trying to do is bringing you now, not future, not past, it’s trying to say right now, I’m good.

0:34:57.2 TM: Yup, and there’s something out there, guys, that everybody has it. There’s something bigger and stronger that we all respect in our lives, every individual can be different. It can be God, it can be the ocean, I don’t care what your belief system is, I have mine, but I try to harness that spiritual power that’s bigger than me first when I sit down and just say, thanks, I’m like standing here drinking coffee, breathing, and then I made kids, I made two humans, that’s kind of cool.

0:35:33.7 CB: Yeah.

0:35:35.1 TM: By the way, Chris, they’re looking at me all the time, and I’m a type A, got a lot to say, and boy, our business is stressful, this week. What are my kiddos doing? What good’s gonna come out of that? So I get grateful first because that’s the only way I can make them amazing later.

0:35:55.2 CB: And it’s still in the way that you actually listen to them. Because if you’re stressed or worried about the future or feeling guilty about the past, you’re not in the now and they can feel that. And so here’s the funniest part, there’s a two things in closing that I’d like to impart. One, there was a therapy years ago, I read about the Morita therapy and it’s a Japanese therapy, and what they would do is if you were struggling, they would have you sit down and write down all the things you’re grateful for and make lists. And all the things, of all of the contributions that had happened to you, and you do this over a period of time, and I think the lists are pretty long, and I did it back then, and it’s incredible when you start doing it, ’cause you start running out of the things you’re grateful for.

0:36:45.0 CB: So you’ll be like, Tyler, I’m grateful for you, I’m grateful for my dog, I’m grateful for my passions, I’m grateful for my kids, I’m grateful for you should go through it all. Now you’re like, “Oh, I’m running out of a thing… Oh wait, I’m grateful for the HOA. Oh wait, I’m grateful for my hardware store guy that just answered that question. Oh wait, I’m grateful for that really nice person that just helped me at this place. Oh wait, I’m grateful for I did the… ” All of a sudden you start realizing, there isn’t anything you have that you did. Everything that we have and are, is in connection or conjunction with something or somebody else, an external. In other words, how could we not be grateful? Everything… This shirt, the roof over our heads. You know how many thousands of years, humans messed up on roofs before we could have these roofs that we have over head right now? 

0:37:35.3 TM: There’s a lot of flat humans that didn’t make it.

0:37:38.9 CB: Right. And so there’s just so much that’s happened. So I think that that’s important is to do that, and then lastly, I’ll say, if you wanna make an easy way to do that, this is… And a lot of you might or may not have heard this, it’s called The Five Minute Journal. And it’s by intelligentchange.com, The Five Minute Journal. I have my kids doing it, I do it, and basically every morning, you just say, I’m grateful for… And you say the three things you’re grateful for. You say, what would make today great after that, okay? And then you say an affirmation of what you are, and at the end of the day, you do an unplug. So it’s a very simple way to start with three things that you’re grateful for, and if you do that every day, guys, it’s gonna start to wear off on you and it’s gonna become more and more. And I even find myself before I walk in our school, in my car, I turn off the radio for a second, I even usually talking to Tyler, so I say, “Tyler I gotta go,” and then I whew. And I put myself in gratitude for a second, and then I walk in. You know why? Because Tyler and I teach children. We’ve got students all over the place, and so I don’t wanna walk in with that negative energy.

0:38:52.0 TM: “Who’s that big angry guy storming through the building?”

0:38:55.1 CB: And I have. We all have, right? But I don’t wanna do that anymore, so I’ve really been trying to make a conscious effort before I enter our operation to make sure I enter from gratitude because people can feel that and they feel your connection.

0:39:09.6 TM: Right, that’s huge. Well, You know what, this is our gratitude episode, we’ve been wanting to do this. And that young man, that business owner really shook, Chris and I made an impact in, and so we wanted to just bring a little bit back to you. And guys, you gotta realize, Chris and I talking about this, we get to grow from it. So when two people are together and they’re conversing and they’re sharing gratitude back and forth, whether it’s about their friendship or maybe a topic like we’re doing, it’s cathartic. It renews our mind by doing this podcast and helps Chris, even though we’re trying to help you, and it helps me, even though we’re trying to…

0:39:51.8 CB: Mm-hmm. 100%.

0:39:52.5 TM: So, we’re glad we got to do that with you today, Chris.

0:39:54.8 CB: Well, you know what is so funny is we talked earlier about how you can’t be selfish if you’re in that great state of gratitude, but it’s ironic because selfishly, you’re better off. So by sharing it, by discussing it, by thinking about it, it is serving you too, it’s just not a self-centered serving, it’s more of an interconnected…

0:40:19.1 TM: Well, we could do a whole thing on service, by the way, but if you wanna help others, which entrepreneurs, that’s what we’re doing, we wanna help our teams make money, feed their families, we wanna solve a world problem of some sort, a business problem or whatever, and so we wanna serve, right? Serve. Serve. Serve. How do we help? How do we help? How do we help? If our cup is on fumes, if our cup… If Tyler’s cup is an eighth full, and then I’m trying to help people and I’m throwing the last drops that I have to try to help someone, what’s my motivation there? My own cup, and Chris called it like being selfish and concentrating on ourselves and finding a gratitude so that our cup of appreciation and selflessness starts to fill up when it hits the brim, we can dump our service out on people.

0:41:11.1 CB: That’s Right.

0:41:11.5 TM: Like we’re actually worth something at that point, so it does takes a bit of work. If you’re finding that this is hitting home hard right now because maybe your cup is a little empty, email us, you know, just email.

0:41:26.1 CB: Yeah. Well, yeah, and if you have practices that work for you, also let’s share it amongst our community, and, you know, Tyler, what you just said is so important, I like to look at us… Basically, our battery… Like is an easy way for me to think about it metaphorically, is that I’m powering our staff, each other, my family, inside out, so in other words, when I’m in the presence… Let me just take you like you as an example, I want to power Tyler, I wanna give you more, and as soon as I do that, it’s a gratitude state because I’m coming outside of myself. Any time you’re worried or you’re stressed or your cortisol, like we said, you’re sucking energy in. Dandapani, he’s a business guru, he calls it being an energy vampire, and so you’re an energy vampire, you’re sucking it in, he’s like to stay away from energy vampires, and so you want to not be that, you wanna be a power pack, and living in gratitude makes you an energy power pack, I believe, right? 

0:42:29.8 TM: And it’s infectious, and it will spread, and synergy will happen. And if you’re in a gratitude hole right now at your company with your teams, you’re not gonna get out of it overnight, they might think you’re full of crap the first week, the second week, and then finally like month three and a half, I have this personal experience, by the way, about three and a half months later, all of a sudden, they’re like, “Dude, this guy is not changing, he’s like this now,” I’m telling you, it never goes back. It would take a catastrophe to bring it back to where our teams… What I’m speaking of would get back to where it was through that growth. It would sound believable. So if you’re in that hole you can start digging out now.

0:43:17.5 CB: You just brought up a memory that I’ve been using lately is my great-grandfather, and my late great-grandfather was the happiest man I’ve ever known. He would laugh with his whole soul, and he was a big man, and I just remember his entire body shaking all the time from laughter, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Just he had that big huge laugh all the time. I remember one time, I was like 13, I was being broody. And he’s like, “Son what are you something… What’s going on?” And I’m like, “You know, life stinks.” And he’s like, “What? Life’s amazing!” And then he just starts laughing and he’s telling jokes all the time, and he’s always, and so I realized, now I bring him up because I realize now that it was a habit, he had created that habit in himself, or he was just always grateful.

0:44:09.7 CB: So, let’s all create that habit, let’s worked for it every day, just a little bit and know you’re not alone. And if you’re having a bad day, cool, start again tomorrow, or start again right now.

0:44:18.5 TM: No! Start again now and it’s right at the end of your fingertips. You have more power than you realize. Just flip the switch. So, Chris, thanks for talking about gratitude with me today and, hey, to all of you viewers, remember this podcast is fueled by teacherzone.com, if you don’t know who we are, go there, check it out. Get our e-books. There’s a couple of them there. You can see that at teacherzone.com/chaos, and just be part of the community. Email us, stay in touch, and we’ll see you next time.

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