"Questions immediately change our future before the answers even arrive."
Imagine if you possessed 4 powerful questions that would automatically (and almost instantly) put you in a positive state of mind, improve your relationships with every person in your life, and deepen your sense of purpose.
For those of you joining us in San Diego next month for the Best Year Ever Blueprint LIVE experience (December 7-9th), this conversation is the PERFECT preview of the event and these are the type of transformative questions that you’ll be engaging with next month.
Today’s podcast episode is an encore presentation of the #1 most popular episode we’ve ever done, which is an unscripted conversation between me and Jon Berghoff that originally aired live (with 4,000+ people watching), last year, and let’s just say it got VERY personal.
Here are just a few of the 434 comments that were left by those watching live:
- Mariam: “That was amazing! I’m all the more motivated to push through every challenge I face. Thank you!!“
- Evan: “Thank you Hal and Jon. The visualization exercise helped bring intense clarity as to how I can live out my purpose. I’m more excited than ever to put new ideas into action and can truly see how my actions will positively impact the world!“
- Shirley: “Wow that was incredible … amazing images and feelings.“
It’s important for you to know that as Founder of the Flourishing Leadership Institute, Jon’s job is literally to use the power of strategically designed questions to facilitate rapid, strengths-based, whole system transformation for organizations and communities, which he’s done for some of the most recognized brands in the world.
What Jon discovered is that these same principles—the ones that global organizations regularly invest $100,000+ for Jon to teach and help them implement—can also be applied on an individual level. And today, Jon’s going to share his knowledge with you!
*BONUS* Guided Visualization:
Not only do we give you the following 4 questions and explain how to use them, Jon’s going to lead you through a powerful and inspiring guided visualization that you most definitely won’t want to miss!
- Question #1 can lead to both immediate and lasting motivation, fuel and sustainable drive. Aaron Hurst, CEO of Imperative and author of The Purpose Economy would suggest that this question has redefined what it means to be our best at work and at home.
- Question #2 will reconnect you with your highest capabilities, unlimited potential, and your greatest capacity for new levels of fulfillment and achievement. Over 19 million people have asked this question in the past 15 years… you don’t want to miss the boat!
- Question #3 will enable you to redefine the “DNA” that dictates if and how effectively you take action. Researchers Danah Zohar and Ian Marshall would consider this question to be at the root of what it means to develop our Spiritual Intelligence.
- Question #4 is one that leading scientists like Dr. Barbara Fredrickson and Dr. Carol Dweck, from the field of Positive Psychology, have determined this question to be the highest determinant of your ability to “shape your destiny”.
- *BONUS* Guided Visualization: This will be one of the highlights of your day when you listen to today’s episode. Jon leads you through a powerful and inspiring guided visualization! You’ll also receive his best advice for taking the images in your mind and turning them into reality.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
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COMMENT QUESTION: What is your big takeaway? Write it in the comments below.
[00:00:51] Jon: Achieve Your Goals podcast listeners, Jon Berghoff your co-host here. Hey let me tell you a little bit about what you’re about to listen in on. This was a live stream that somewhere over 4,000 of you have tuned in to watch both live and after we recorded it just yesterday. Hal Elrod and I had a conversation and Hal wanted to interview me and have me share with all of you some of my teachings around the power of questions.
You will hear us talking about the power of questions, three or four different types of questions that when we learn how to ask them and this conversation is full of a lot of practical examples. We had some folks on the live stream who sent us their notes afterwards and I’m not exaggerating four or five or six pages of notes. Feel free to really tune in, you can listen to it several times if you want.
We talk about four different types of questions that can really be transformative for you personally and professionally. The other thing that happens this was totally out of nowhere this wasn’t planned, usually a lot of this is not planned but we decided I led a guided visualization and based on the feedback from many of you who were on the live stream it was quite an experience to say the least. I encourage you not to just skip ahead to that because everything we say leading out to it really helps you to get the most out of that guided visualization which happens near the end of the conversation. As always you’ll hear us mentioning it during this conversation.
These questions that we share with you in this conversation today, these are the same questions that our Best Year Ever Blueprint Event is designed around. It’s an experiential learning event with 400 other people from around the world. It’s all built around using these questions to change our lives and our businesses for the better. As always we cannot wait to see many of you in San Diego coming up in about seven weeks at the Manchester ground height December 17th, 18th, 19th.
If you’re still waiting to pick up your ticket, do it quickly because the seats are being filled up really quickly bestyeareverlive.com, bestyeareverlive.com. If you’re still deciding on coming to the event or not let this episode be a preview for what’s going to happen at The Best Year Ever Blueprint. Enjoy, hope you have as much fun as we did recording this. Take care.
[00:02:42] Jon: Hey welcome everybody let’s jump right in where are we starting? What are we going to do today? You’re ready?
[00:03:31] Hal: The title of today’s live stream is Four Questions To Ensure Your Best Year Ever More Naturally, Effectively And Faster Than Ever Before. That’s a big thrust of Jon and I. It’s a big focus of Jon and I just how do we set our lives and our business, our work environments so that there is a lot of a harmony and the things… Well nothing is ever effortless. How can we make it feel more effortless? Having a team is an example of that.
Jon doesn’t have to make an effort to do something if a team member is doing it. That’s a way to set up your environment so that it’s more effortless for everybody involved. Jon you were brought in by huge corporations, by industry conventions, mastermind groups of all types and by yourself you’ll facilitate 100, 200, 500 I think recently there was a 700 person summit that you led.
For anyone that doesn’t know Jon’s work essentially in two to three days, you lead them Jon through a process to create a strategic plan to solve a major problem to transform their culture with the whole system in the room. Each person, each position so that everyone is represented and you probably would mind m e to say this but I’ll just say you get paid a lot of money to do this and it’s in the area of $100,000 for a two to three day summit that you’ll put on and that’s just your fee.
You might be the only person in the world who does what you do at the level that you do it at. I want to share that with everybody so that they know because I don’t know that people fully realize that and then that’s why I bring you to run all of our events because there is no one in the world I truly believe and I’ve been to so many events and very high priced events nobody does what you do and now when I go to these events I’m always comparing and I’m like this is pretty good but it’s just like event 1.0.
It’s a bunch of speakers in front of the room and they’re just teaching a bunch of stuff and I’m taking a bunch of notes. Your unique expertise is something called ‘Appreciative Inquiry.’ Before I go any further will you just introduce everybody to ‘appreciative inquiry’ and what that is and how it can apply to this conversation today and to their lives in general?
[00:05:35] Jon: Yeah, sure, happy to buddy and thanks for the intro and this is super cool to be here. I know we’re recording this and this will be a podcast episode but there is hundreds of you I guess that are going to be here for this live right now as Hal and I talk. It’s awesome to be here with all of you. Yeah, Hal in a nutshell the work that I do, my day job is I’m an owner of an entity called The Flourishing Leadership Institute.
What we do in a nutshell is we help whole systems of people to create transformation. Tomorrow I’m kicking off a summit tomorrow for the city of Cleveland. We’ll have 500, 600 people in one room for two days. Where we’re actually designing sustainability initiatives. Let me stop right there and talk about why does that matter to anybody who is here today. What’s really interesting is even though Hal the work that I do is what I call at the level of the system.
In other words many miracle morning fans they found your book, they found our community they’ve been through our live events. Really what they are aiming for is developing themselves to be the best version of themselves. That’s what today’s call is going to be all about. What’s interesting for me is even though the work that I do is at the level of the system where I’m trying to help if you think of personal empowerment is about helping a person.
I’m trying to empower hundreds if not a 1,000 people or a whole system all at once. What’s really interesting is a lot of what I’ve learned through the work that I do it actually applies just as effectively to an individual. It’s all based around a couple of principles and you asked a question a minute ago. What is this methodology that I use in the work that I do?
It’s called ‘Appreciative Inquiry’ and it’s based on several principles that are all related to the power of the questions that we ask ourselves. Hal, today what we wanted to do is we wanted to share with everybody what we’ve learned or some of the most valuable questions that we can ask that can create both immediate and also permanent transformation. I’m excited to talk about this also Hal because our best year ever live blueprint event which every year our fourth year of doing this is coming up in less than two months in San Diego in November 17th through the 19th.
That event is actually designed around these four questions that we’re going to share today. You might think well, we’re going to run this call and you’re going to feel like you have to come to the event to get the real value. It’s actually the other way around.
[00:07:36] Jon: We’re just going to give away the most important lessons right now to this community that we go deeper into at that event. We hope that in the next 45 minutes or so you get exactly what Hal what you just promised everybody which is some real ideas to create an immediate powerful impact in your lives and I’m super pumped to share those in any way I can.
[00:07:59] Hal: Awesome brother well let’s start with, talk about the power of questions because that’s one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned from you is to whenever I make a statement I go Jon, “This is going to be blank, blank, blank.” You go, “Really? Well, how might it be different or how could it be better?” You’re always framing a question that stimulates our thinking. Yeah, talk about the power of questions.
[00:08:19] Jon: Yeah, I’ll start with this Hal, I’m going to pass along a story from one of our mutual mentors Jeff Hoffman who was at our Best Year Ever Blueprint Event last year and he tells a story about a time when he was stuck bringing a five year old to work one day. This five year old is they walk into his office, she starts questioning everything. She says, “Why do you have that printing machine over there?”
Jeff is constantly telling her, “Well, it prints paper, it doesn’t matter.” She would ask, “What of those people over there doing? What’s the reason that you’re doing this and why are you doing this?” One of the things that Jeff realized is that he was reminded by spending a day with a five year old that a lot of the things this five year old is asking about he realized you know what, I ought to be asking those questions myself as an entrepreneur.
He loves sharing the story with us about the power of having a child like Wonder and how important it is that we become great at reconnecting to this capability of asking questions. In fact some interesting research on this if you look at children at the about the age of three or four when they start to learn how to communicate, the height of their curiosity expressed through their questions is at about four or five years old.
What’s really fascinating is if you look at our current education system which was built based on teaching people how to work in a factory where they really need to learn how to have answers versus how to ask the right questions. What’s fascinating is if you look at kids at four or five years old they ask a lot of questions and the amount of questions they ask steadily goes down up through high school.
It’s probably not a surprise to most of you that are watching today or listening to hear that the level of engagement, how engaged students are is almost a direct correlation with their ability to express curiosity through questions. Hal you and I are a big fans of this philosophy and we try and embody it when we can but we really believe that whether someone is an entrepreneur or someone who just wants to get the most out of life, having that permanent curiosity is a super important quality.
[00:10:18] Jon: I’ll share with everybody right now that I think there are certain principles of asking questions that are a big deal and I’ll share a couple of these real quickly.
The first one is this when we learn to ask new questions, that are questions and the word that I use Hal is Fateful F-A-T-E-F-U-L and I’ll explain what I mean by that. Our questions are fateful. In other words what I mean by that is they immediately change our future before the answers even arrive.
As a metaphor Hal I’m looking on the screen, you’re wearing glasses right now, I’m wearing contact lenses. Any of you that are watching this live stream if you ever worn glasses or contacts you know that when you put a lens in front of your eyeball that lens immediately changes what you see and how you see everything. Well the way I look at it Hal is questions are just like putting a new lens in front of our mind.
The moment I ask a new question I’m putting on a new lens and we’re going to give everybody today some examples of the types of questions that you can ask that can immediately change your future before the answers arrive because they create a lens that changes how we see everything immediately.
The other thing that questions transform is not only the future but the present. They bring us present and I like to say that they bring us micro present and we’re big fans of meditation and mindfulness. Really mindfulness is a practice of getting hyper present.
Well, questions can do the same thing and then the last thing I want to add Hal is depending on the types of questions we ask because not all questions are created equal but there is questions we could be asking. If I’m going to suggest that in a few minutes some of you are going to discover on this call today that there might be questions that you’re asking all the time maybe unconsciously that are not serving you.
The right questions also have one more quality about them is they’ll elevate our wellbeing. These are questions that change our emotions in a positive way and a metaphor I like to use is if you think about a boat… Hal you love the boat.
[00:12:19] Jon: If you think about a boat travelling through the lake, behind the boat it leaves a wake behind it. I would suggest that every question has an emotional wake behind it whether or not we realize it.
If I walk into my office today and I say consciously or unconsciously I ask myself the question, what’s wrong in our business? What’s not working? What’s struggling? What could go wrong? What I don’t realize is that those questions have a wake that they leave behind them emotionally that’s negative. There is now a whole field of science. Five years ago I could be talking about this and people would say there is no evidence for this but today, there is an abundance of evidence for this.
The whole field of positive psychology has really proven out that when I’m in a negative state of mind, it shuts down the part of my brain that is able to see new possibilities, it’s able to be creative. It’s able to find and create opportunities. It shuts down that part of my brain that connects with other people. The questions that put me in a positive state of mind, there is a scientific neurological basis for the importance of that.
The other thing that the right questions can do, is they can improve our relationships with others because often times we’re not just asking a question of ourselves, but we’re asking a question to have a dialogue or a conversation between two or more people. The other thing great questions can do Hal, we’ll talk about how to do this today is they can completely turn around or transform or deepen the sense of purpose that we have in our lives. Ultimately all of these things allow us to achieve more so there is a lot of power to asking great questions and I just wanted to set it up with that and then we can go into this however you want, wherever you want to go.
[00:13:49] Hal: Well, let’s get specific. Let’s start with today I promised everybody watching is four questions that will empower your best year ever, ensure your best year ever and do it in an easy effortless way. What’s the first question? What’s the first of the four?
[00:14:02] Jon: The first question is what I would call a question that connects us to a deeper sense of purpose. A deeper sense of purpose and I’m going to remind everybody of a parable that they might have heard before. It’s the parable about the three brick layers. I might take this deeper than you’ve ever heard it taken. Many of you have heard this, you walk up to three brick layers and you ask the first brick layer, “Hey, why are you doing what you’re doing?”
It’s the fundamental ‘why’ question it’s the question that has to do with purpose and meaning in our lives and in our work. The first brick layer says, “Well, I’m doing what I’m doing because I need to earn a paycheck.” The second brick layer who is doing the same thing working side by side with the first brick layer I ask him, “Why are you doing what you’re doing?” He says, “Well, I’m doing what I’m doing because I’m building a building here.”
You notice they’re doing the same thing but the answer has actually evolved, and maybe he says, “Well, this is what I do for a living. I build buildings.” It’s more than this is a job it’s this is my career. The third brick layer, I ask him the same exact question. I say, “Why are you doing what you’re doing?” He doesn’t say I’m making money, he doesn’t say I’m building a building. He says, “Well, we’re building a cathedral here which is going to bring people closer to their creator.”
What’s really interesting about that little parable is it’s a great reminder of several things simultaneously. Number one they’re all doing the same thing but they give a different meaning to what they’re doing and the lesson in that right there is that we sometimes think that to find more meaning or purpose in our lives it means well maybe I should be doing something different. I would argue that’s not necessarily true.
Purpose is not necessarily about what we’re doing, but about the meaning that we give to it. I’m going to give everyone some real tangible examples in a second here of the types of questions that you can ask that can literally instantly transform the sense of purpose that you have. If any of you are listening today and you lead teams, I’m also going to give you some examples of how you could bring these questions to a team.
[00:16:07] Jon: It doesn’t have to be hundreds of people like I do. It could be to three people or five or ten. There is an important lesson about that brick layer parable. Number one is it’s not what we do but the meaning we give to our work and our lives into any situation that truly gives it a sense of purpose or fulfillment or meaning for us. There is another important lesson Hal that we’ve got to remember and that is in that moment when I ask those bricklayers, “Why are you doing what you’re doing?” We have to remember that nobody was dictating how they answer that question.
We have to remember that at the moment that they responded to my question they had unconditional responsibility for their answer. What does that mean? What that means is we sometimes think of purpose as this thing in our lives that’s divinely guided and I’m not going to argue, maybe it is.
The problem is when we put the responsibility of having purpose in our lives outside of ourselves unconditionally and what I’m here to suggest is that we can actually take total unconditional responsibility for having purpose and meaning in our lives because there is nobody that’s controlling how those brick layers answer that question. So everyone who is watching today when you ask yourselves the question, “What is it about my work that gives me a sense of meaning, fulfillment or purpose?”
Maybe you don’t like the first answer that comes up, maybe you wrestle, maybe you struggle and I want to give you the freedom and I want to give you permission to choose another answer and then maybe choose a different one, and choose a different one until you find one that maybe reconnects you to what it was that you once were connected with.
How, let me give everyone some examples of questions that connect us to a sense of purpose. For those of you watching the live stream if this makes sense or you have any comments, feedback, you like and maybe even sharing post it in the chat box because we can see it live right here. Questions that connect us to a sense of purpose are questions like, “Why? Why does this matter?
[00:18:02] Jon: What is it about what I’m doing that gives me a deep sense of meaning, purpose or fulfillment? Now here is an interesting one, what is it about my work and you can replace work with anything, my family, my children, my spouse, my health. What is it about my work that maybe I’ve lost sight of, maybe I’ve forget or maybe I’ve taken for granted, that when I reconnect with might remind me of why this work means so much to me?
Any of these are questions that connect us to a sense of purpose. The most important lesson that I want everyone to take away from this is this, is to never stop asking why am I doing what I’m doing? Never stop asking why does this project matter? Why does this client matter? I had this up in yesterday, Hal I was wrestling with dealing with a really complex challenge for a client, a mastermind community where I’m designing a really complicated agenda and because it’s so complicated I was telling myself stories. I don’t know if any of you have ever done this, but I was convincing myself to work on anything other than this really challenging problem that I had. I realized I was ignoring what I needed to do.
I was convincing myself to do everything other than what I needed to do and the ultimate reason why Hal was because I had lost connection with why this work mattered to me. I took a deep breath because sometimes asking a great question requires us first to pause. I believe in this idea that when you push pause on a machine it stops working.
When you pause in a human being it starts working especially when we can learn to connect with things that matter a little bit more like you’ve been teaching us. When I pause and I ask wait a minute, “Why is it that this client even matters to me?” When I wait a minute this matters because I’m not only helping a ton of people but by figuring out how to solve such a complex problem right now I’m going to enable myself to create value for so many more people that I haven’t even met yet.
[00:20:02] Jon: What happened is by asking that question and creating the space for a cool answer to emerge, I thought, “Oh men I am pumped to go back into this.” That’s an example of a question that connects us to purpose and Hal before we go to the next question I’ve got a bonus here.
[00:20:19] Hal: Bonus, I love bonuses.
[00:20:20] Jon: Okay. We’ve got a bonus, if any of you lead a team of any size this might be fundamentally one of the most important exercises you can ever facilitate. When I say team, this could be your spouse, this could be an employee, this could be a business partner, this could be a customer, this could be anybody that you collaborate with in any way of any importance in your life.
One of the most important activities that we facilitate when we walk into a team is we start as many conversations as we can with the same question. That question is why are we here today? Why does the work we’re doing matter to us? Even if it’s just the meeting that we’re in. Hey, why is this important to us? And what we love to do is let’s imagine eight people sitting around a table.
So often in life we start a meeting and we start talking about the task at hand but we now have neuro-science, brain research that is showing us that when we start a conversation on the left side of the brain, and we don’t start it on the right side of the brain which a purpose question will do that, we rarely get back to the right side of the brain. We get so task focused, we get logical, analytical that we shut off the part of our brain that’s actually able to do some of the most important complex thinking the part of the brain that does relationship building. When you start a meeting off one of the best things you can ever do is say, “Hey, before we talk about topic X, Y, Z, whatever that topic is, I’d love for each person to just take a second and share why does this topic matter to you.”
You take it one step further when everybody shares their answers look for what’s common amongst everyone’s answers. There might be a theme or two or three themes or patterns that emerge. We’ll write those down, we’ll put them up on the wall and we’ll say, “Look at that everybody.” What’s interesting is to notice that right there is actually our true authentic shared purpose.
[00:22:06] Jon: This right now elevates my leadership because as a leader one of the big mistakes, this is like leadership 1.0 is I should tell people why I work it’s meaningful. I should tell them what our vision is. Doesn’t really work anymore right? The future of leadership is about inviting people to be included in arriving at that answer together and then helping them to see where their answers were actually connected and that’s what we call the authentically shared sense of purpose. Just a little exercise any of you that lead teams and that’s it all I’m going to say on that question about connecting the purpose on. I think it’s a big one it’s important.
[00:22:41] Hal: Yeah, and like you said it applies to family right. Why is what we’re doing great? Is what we’re doing meaningful? Applies to leadership at every level and I love what you said that right leaders are not about the people that stand up and shout, “Here is why we’re here. Here is what we’re doing.” They would invite a sense of co-creation if you will. I love that. Let’s dive right into this question number two.
[00:23:02] Jon: Yeah, the second type of question and we are at our Best Year Ever Blueprint Event in San Diego, we do a lot of work around this question. I’m going to give everybody today two out of the four ways that we actually use this type of question at that even. The second type of question is what we would call a question that connects us to our strengths. Hal instead of me talking about these questions from this point forward anyone who is watching I actually want to ask you these questions.
We’re going to make this call from this moment forward experiential. If you’re somewhere where you have a pen and anything to write on, you’re welcome to actually play along and become a part of this experience because you’ll get this all at a deeper level. Let me present a question here that might connect you to your strengths to when you’re at your best. I want to invite everyone who is listening to go look backwards in your life.
Look back across time and I want you to think about a moment then if you’re an entrepreneur, you’re a professional, you can answer this question professionally. If you want to answer this question personally you’re welcome to do it anyway you want. I want to invite you right now to go back to a moment and time in your life when you were at your very best. We’ve all had ups and downs, that’s the human experience but I want you to think about a moment when you were fully engaged.
If you’re an entrepreneur or if you’re in business maybe it was a time when you achieved something. When you accomplished something that was really meaningful maybe you were part of a team that was thriving. Maybe you overcame an adversity that you’re really proud of. If you’re a parent maybe it was the time when you felt like you were really thriving as a parent.
Maybe there was a specific moment and what I want to invite all of you to do is go back through your memory and connect with one specific moment right now. A specific story of when you were at your best. As you connect with that story, I want you think about what was happening in that moment. If it helps you’re welcome to close your eyes.
[00:25:05] Jon: What was happening in that moment? What did you bring to the situation? How did you show up? What did you believe in that moment? What were you doing? How were you behaving? How were you communicating? Maybe the story that you connected with is one where you were in a relationship with somebody else. Either a personal relationship or a co-worker and maybe you collaborated together, what did you say to each other?
What were you thinking? What were you feeling? When you go back to the story and you think about all the answers that emerge for your right now, what’s happening is you’re connecting to a time when you were at your best and what happens when we connect to a time when you’re at your best and if you wanted to do this as an exercise after the live stream you could answer all of those questions and actually write out your answers.
Then once you write out those answers, here is what’s happening. What’s happening is we are actually studying a moment of success for you. We’re studying success and what gets really interesting is when you answer those questions and then I ask you this question, “How can you take the qualities that you brought to that moment into the present moment right now? How can you take the qualities that you embodied when you were at your best into your future?”
All of a sudden when we connect when we’ve been at our best to right now and to where we’re going, we’re now tapping into our strengths. Now if any of you are really interested in this idea of connecting to your highest human strengths, I would encourage you to go take not now wait till we’re done with the live stream. Go take one of the two strengths assessments.
We have a Quantum Leap Mastermind member Alisa Dan Nelson who helps people to figure out how to work with their strengths. We should tag her in the comments but you can take one of these assessments, they are either free or really inexpensive to help you to articulate what are your character strengths. Now Hal I want to give everyone one more example of how to connect with strengths, questions that help us to come from a place of strength because it’s just not about moments in our lives when we’ve been at our best.
[00:27:07] Jon: By the way if you lead a team I’m going to give you right now in a second here what I think is maybe the most important question to ask of a business, of a team, an organization. Let’s go back to it’s not just about when we’ve been at our best because I don’t know about all of you but I’ve had moments. I’ve probably had four of them today when I’m not at my best. There is also an empowering way that we can use questions so that when we haven’t been at our best or when we had major challenges, major adversities.
In fact let’s make this real, you’re watching or listening right now. I’d like for you to reflect for a moment and if you want to reflect on your past or your present either one works. I want you to think about a major challenge, a major adversity, a major obstacle that you’ve either dealt with or that you’re dealing with right now. Pick the biggest most audacious challenge you can imagine just to really help you out hopefully.
When you think about this challenge that you’re facing, I’m not going to ask you why this challenge sucks because you’re probably already pretty good at answering that question. I’m not going to ask you any questions that allow you to live as a victim. What I want to do is I want to ask you a question that’s going to allow you to convert that challenge into an advantage, that’s going to convert that adversity into an opportunity.
It’s going to convert a problem actually into a solution. How do you do that? Well, with questions like this, what is the gift within that challenge? What is the gift within that challenge? Hal you and I had a shared mentor 20 years ago Dan Casetta who actually he’ll probably be speaking in our Best Year Ever Event this year.
Dan used to say to us, he used to say, “Life doesn’t get easier, your skills get better.” One of the things that always reminded me of this is when I was facing an adversity is that adversity is telling me this is an opportunity to develop myself. Sometimes our greatest adversities are actually our greatest teachers.
[00:29:06] Jon: This is true with relationships, our greatest enemy might be our greatest teacher. The people that we have the greatest challenges with in our lives for me as a parent sometimes it’s my children. Sometimes it’s my spouse. I almost always realized in both of those cases it’s really a reflection of me. Sometimes with what I realized is that these greatest problems I’m facing, are really just my greatest teachers.
They only become a teacher if I’m present enough to pause and ask, what is the lesson? What is the wisdom? What is the learning that this challenge is delivering to me? I might not see it at the first glance but if I pause and I ask, and then I ask well, how can this actually benefit and how can this learning, how can this gift, how can this lesson, how could this actually serve me and my future? How could it serve others? All of a sudden I’m re-shifting the meaning.
I’m just like the brick layer who’s going from well I’m here to make money to I’m building a cathedral. I’m not just facing a challenge I’m now facing an opportunity because I’m asking a new question that now allows me to come from a place of strength. Hal the last thing I’ll add on this question about strengths is for any of you that lead a team, an organization and you could even do this with your families.
One of the best questions we could ever ask is this, no matter how we change, no matter how we evolve as a team what do we value so much that it should always stay the same? This is a big question because what it helps people to connect with is what is it that’s already great about who we are as a family, a team, a community, a business, an entire organization.
It connects us to our strengths, what is it that we’re so great at that no matter what changes we need to make sure we stay consistent on these strengths. For teams and organizations, super important question because then it gives people a sense of pride and it reminds them that hey there’s things that we can build on and build from as we create a new and better future. Hal I’ll finish at that on this question about strengths.
[00:31:07] Hal: One of the things that I wanted to touch on that you shared earlier is always finding the gift within the challenge. The opportunity within the adversity et cetera and I think that a really important perspective for all of us is to realize like anything you complain about, think about this.
Anything that you complain about; your work, your spouse, your kids, your family if you just stop and shift it around and go wait a minute, so many people around the world are praying for the thing I’m complain about, they wish they had a spouse, they wish they had children, they wish they had a job. I think that for us to realize that that the thing I’m complaining about is something other people are praying for, wishing for, they would be so grateful to have, I think that can help us connect with how great life is in any given moment.
There is always adversity, there is always challenges as I learned recently sometimes there are greater than others but that doesn’t ever, ever determine our attitude. Our perspective always determines our attitude. If you’re looking at things and asking the questions that you’re talking about then that is a perspective that’s going to allow you to feel joy, feel gratitude in fortunately every moment of life even in the midst of the most difficult circumstances you’ve ever encountered. Question number one Jon was really about connecting us to a sense of purpose. Question two was connecting us to our strengths. Talk about question number three.
[00:32:34] Jon: I will and Hal I want to honor a question or two that have come in through the chat box which is a little tough to keep up with.
[00:32:40] Hal: Yeah, it is.
[00:32:40] Jon: I’m not going to aim to actually answer every question but actually I will aim to and I’ll fall short of that I promise. Any of you who want to please post a question. Actually I want to honor Steve Black who posted a question and he said, “Where was that information researched?” I’m starting with Steve’s question because I appreciate it at a very deep important level.
Now Steve I don’t know when you posted that, so forgive me I don’t know what I was talking about when you posted it. I’ve got an answer at every level that I want to share with everybody. First of all let me start with that question about purpose. Actually let’s go back to the beginning of this call inquiry, curiosity.
Our own experience in working directly with entrepreneurs has shown us that an insatiable curiosity is really a factor that is underlying every great entrepreneurial achievement that we’ve ever witnessed. If any of you are curious about this idea of questions, I’ll give you a couple of great resources where they’ve compiled a lot of research that I really appreciate. One of them is a book called, “A More Beautiful Question.”
‘A more beautiful question’ talks about the research of asking questions, it talks about the correlation between kids, engagement, and also entrepreneurial success stories and there is a lot of entrepreneurs in there that we all have heard of that are cited for giving credit to having just asked different questions. The other thing I want to respond to here from Steve’s question was about purpose.
Well, there is one bit of evidence that tells us that people are looking for purpose in their lives which is the fact that that highest selling book of all time is that the Rick Warren book ‘A purpose driven life’, Victor Frankl ‘Man’s search for meaning’. I don’t have the exact number 67 million copies. The marketplace has shown us that people want to find meaning in their lives.
The most current research on the topic of purpose, I get from working with Aaron Hurst who is the CEO of Imperative. He also wrote a book called ‘The Purpose Economy’. One of the things that he looked at is as demographic shifts are changing who is in the workforce and there is a lot of conversation that people are having about Millennials and how Millennials they are the first generation that wants meaning or purpose in their work.
[00:35:03] Jon: I don’t think that’s true, I don’t think any of the things said are true. They just might be the first generation that talks about it. My parents wanted meaningful work it just wasn’t talked about in their generation. There is a lot of great research that Aaron has done. In fact he just published a few months ago the first ever state of the US workplace, The Purpose Index where he quite literary they interviewed 6,000 or 7,000 workers across the US.
They correlated people who were driven by a sense of purpose. They have all their own measurement tools and what impact does that actually have on their performance at work? Aaron is also someone who I’ve learned a lot about from around this idea that there is a lot myths and misconceptions around purpose. Few that I mentioned I learned from Aaron and one that I didn’t mention is that we often think that to have meaning or purpose in our lives means that we’re contributing or connected to some sort of charity or social mission.
Actually there is a lot of people who work for charities or nonprofits who don’t have meaning in their lives. That’s a misconception it’s not that that can’t give us a sense of meaning or purpose. What Aaron has uncovered through his research is that finding meaning or purpose has a lot more to do with the meaning that we proactively architect engineer that we proactively give to what we’re doing in any given moment.
That’s why I used that brick layer parable because even though that’s not from a research study it’s something that helps people to understand the concept. Then I also want to add the reason why I’m answering Steve’s question is because to me it’s the most important question. I personally I’m sick of hearing people that people like me Hal and people like you who get a platform like this.
We’ve got hundreds of thousands of people that will watch or listen to this and who share ideas that aren’t based in real science and real evidence. There is danger in that, there is a lot of danger because they can mislead people. The strengths revolution the good news is almost 20 million people have taken either the VIA character strengths assessment or the strengths finder 2.0 assessment.
[00:37:06] Jon: If you go to either of their websites, you’ll find not one, not 10 but hundreds of studies that have been done and meta studies that have looked across all of those that are connecting the power of working from our strengths and performance in our lives or in our relationships.
I just wanted to honor Steve’s question because I work in the corporate world. I serve large institutions where if there is not science or evidence that backs anything I’m doing I could get in big trouble really quickly. I think that’s important even for those of you who just showed up today because you want some good ideas. You should question everything and you should make sure there is some sort of evidence.
Now sometimes some of you are like me and you’re like, “Hal, we’ll rely on our life experiences evidence because we don’t need the data. I don’t need the whole field of positive psychology to tell me that being in a good state of mind is going to do great, great things for me.” However, if you want the evidence, go check out Doctor Barbara Fredrickson’s book Positivity where the research that they’re doing is fantastic and it’s now undeniable.
When people are in a positive state of mind, it completely changes their mental capabilities. Their ability to relate, think or solve problems great new possibilities for themselves. Steve, I just want to honor that question I appreciate it. Hal where were we buddy?
[00:38:23] Hal: On the third question buddy. We’re on pins and needles wanting to know the third type of question.
[00:38:29] Jon: Yeah, what is the third question, the third one and by the way if you’re loving this or you want to go through a deeper experience of this. Come hang out with Hal and I in November 17th, 18th, 19th. If you’re curious bestyeareverlive.com it’s two days or if you’re an entrepreneur come for all three days where it takes-
[00:38:45] Hal: I want to say something about that by the way, sorry to interrupt you. I was thinking of this when I recorded my cancer diagnosis video yesterday, which was such an important video by the way. I don’t know if anyone knows this but I’ll share 17 takes. 17 takes where I was recording the video and I would just get jumbled on what I was talking about. So anyway to me it was such a big announcement and I still don’t it was perfect but I had to get it out there.
Here is the point, in the video as I was reading the comments and I’m still reading the comments, I mean hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of comments have come in thank you so much. Here is what I realized. I want to meet you in person, that’s it. Yeah, the event’s life is changing, yes Jon Berghoff is going to lead you through this revolutionary process as am I and the rest of our team.
I just realized, I want to meet our community members and Jon it’s like we have different levels of community. There is the our email subscribers is the largest email so I’m glad everybody hears a little peek behind the curtain. Our email subscribers is our largest segment of or community, we have hundreds of thousands of email subscribers. Then you go into the Miracle Morning community and that is 115,000 of you members but it is much more intimate as all of you know.
It’s much more engaged. Whenever I tell people about the community, I always say, “It’s not the quantity,” because they get it, “I’m impressed, oh my gosh, you have 115,000 people in your community. That’s amazing.” I go, “No, no, no, that’s not what’s impressive. It’s the quality of engagement interactive, support, love. I mean we love each other it’s wild.” In there is our in person community and think about this, you all over a sudden go from 300,000 to 115,0000 to 300, 400 people that will be together in San Diego and totally engaged, totally interactive.
I’m there the whole time, I’m hanging out in the room, either I’m on stage or I’m in the back of the room just talking to folks. It’s my favorite thing in the world to meet you in person after I’ve connected with you online. Anyway I just wanted to share like you explained the data behind the event, the science behind the event but I just want to meet our community members in person. I invite everybody, come join us. It really is a life changing event, Jon sorry to interrupt you back to you buddy.
[00:40:55] Jon: Yeah, one of the things that we do at the event is we take questions like the ones we’re talking about today and we move you through a pretty deep enjoyable playful fun experience where you connect with other people around these questions and that combination effect is irreplaceable. We can’t create that for you on a live stream. We can do our best to give you some ideas.
I’m going to share a story. I’m going to share a story. Last year I got a phone call from the Front Row foundation, a Wish Organization that you and I are supporters of in fact Saturday night at our Best Year Ever Event every year we celebrate the Front Row. Hal and I throw a huge party for everybody and just to honor a Wish Organization and also to honor a life philosophy of being moment makers for ourselves and others and getting the most out of it and bringing the most of ourselves to life.
Well, I got a call from them last year and they said, “Hey Jon we want to have you come facilitate a large group planning session for the future of The Front Row.” Of course I said, “Yeah, it will be fun.” Well, something unfolded and happened that we look back on and we still can’t always explain and I believe this is true personally. I think the mystery of life is permanently beyond my comprehension and I think that’s part of the importance of being curious Hal is that I spend a lot of time in nature.
I believe that part of what nature teaches me is to stay permanently deeply curious because when I’m in nature I realize that I’m in this environment that my logical brain can’t explain. My logical brain can’t explain how it is that a forest has survived for hundreds if not hundreds of millions of years.
There is a deep wisdom there that I will never claim that I fully understand but I study it. I also study indigenous native tribes this is where the call goes really quirky. Hundreds, thousands of years ago beyond that nature wasn’t an invisible school. That was education, it was being in the woods.
[00:43:03] Jon: When we look at indigenous native tribes one of the core essential qualities of indigenous peoples is an inherent curiosity. For them it was can I be so curious that I hear the sounds of animals, the chirping of birds that if I’m not curious I won’t hear it. Can I see something moving that I wouldn’t see if I’m not curious?
Well, this might sound awkward or interesting I really believe that when we learn how to get curious individually and collectively from a place of humility, from a place of real humility that’s when the most incredible things happen. That’s what happened last year, The Front Row invited me in and we facilitated an activity in fact Hal you were a central part of this activity. We broke off into teams and people created visions of the future and we asked a question of everybody.
The question was, “What kinds of images of the future for this wish ration organization would create the possibilities and opportunities that we’ve never before imagined?” This is a question that draws us unconditionally in a positive way into the future. We broke people into teams and Hal your team actually came up with an idea. The idea that your team presented was what if we invented a whole innovative way of fundraising.
This innovative way of fundraising would be where we invite people from our community to offer up their strengths, their capabilities, their talents. Others within the community could bet on those strengths or talents. I’ve got a web development person here, someone who knows they’re probably going to spend money on that one thing, maybe they can just bid on that and we allocate those funds to go to The Front Row. You and I offer up a ticket or two to one of our events and people who are going to go they buy that. It’s not a complicated idea but it was a new idea for The Front Row.
[00:45:01] Jon: Well, here is what ended up happening, it’s probably a big surprise to a lot of you was to us. What ends up happening is that vision got presented during the day at about 11am. The whole meeting was done that night at 5pm. And we invited everyone to my home here in Hudson Ohio and we sat around a fire pit on my back deck.
As we’re sitting around the fire pit somebody walks up to me and they whisper into my ear and they say, “Hey Jon, remember that idea from earlier why don’t you actually auction off a ticket right now to your Best Year Ever Event and someone here will probably buy one.” I thought that’s a great idea. Everyone has had a few drinks, I’m sure someone will bet on it this will go well. I grabbed a post it note and we throw an impromptu auction and I write Best Year Ever ticket.
I hold it up and what would you guess somebody buys the ticket. Then all of a sudden, I’m pretty sure I turned to Jon Vroman and I said, “Hey, you’ve got your dad’s retreat let’s offer a ticket to that.” We make up an auction item we auction off the ticket to that. All over a sudden we start coming up someone over here says, “Yeah, I’ve got a timeshare property, I’ll offer up a week of that in Florida.”
Someone over here says, “Hey, I’ve got these consulting services that I bet one of these 25 people sitting on this deck might be interested in.” All of a sudden Hal that idea that you and your team had presented about six hours earlier was starting to come to life in real time. What ended up happening to make a long story just a little bit longer, what ended up happening is we started counting it up.
All over a sudden we’re at $10,000, $20,000, $30,000, $40,000 and all over a sudden we realized oh my gosh, we’re at $84,000. Now we are a few hours in and the wine was flowing and that probably didn’t hurt. The long story short is we ended up raising about $100,000 and what it was is that it was an expression of a vision coming alive. The crazy part was that vision we would have been excited if it would have come alive months from now even a year from now let alone minutes after it was presented. I share that story with everybody here because well you might think how can I connect to that story?
[00:47:03] Jon: I would argue that we can all learn a critical lesson and that is that when we hold an image of the future in our minds, the more passion, the more energy, the more focused, the more excitement we give to those images, the more likely they are to come true and sometimes faster, more naturally and effectively than we ever could have imagined. I want to invite everybody here to think about the importance of certain questions.
I’m going to give you some real examples right here and then we’ve got one more and then we’re all done and we can answer any questions that are in the chat box. But what we’re talking about right now questions that connect us to new images of the future. I want to ask you what images of your future and you could move into the future a year from now. You can move several years from now.
When you look ahead in your life and if you’re not driving a car close your eyes for a minute. I would invite you to imagine and if you’re not used to visualizing a couple of quick tips on this. First of all for some of you it’s easier to visualize if you imagine that you’re sitting in the chair of a movie theatre and you’re watching your life unfold on a screen. For probably more of you it’s a little easier to visualize if you actually imagine yourself in the movie if that makes sense.
You’re not watching your life but you imagine yourself stepping into your body in the future. For some of you it’s a little bit easier to visualize if you imagine yourself not in a detached way where you’re watching it on the screen but as though you’re actually hovering just above your body like you’re up in the sky and you’re watching your life unfold but you’re there while it’s happening, but you are witnessing it unfold if that makes sense.
That’s just that a quick tip on visualizing. The last tip I’ll give you on visualizing is for some of you it’s easier to visualize if you allow multiple images to move through your brain like if you’re like well I’m ADHD guess what that’s strength if you tap into it.
[00:48:58] Jon: That’s a strength because you can allow multiple images to move really quickly or for some of you it’s actually easier to visualize if you allow yourself just slow time down and soak into one specific image so you can choose. There is no right or wrong way I’m just teaching you the different ways to play with visualization. The next tip I’m going to give you on visualizing then I’m going to lead you through a visualization usually we use music.
I don’t know how to stream music into this so you just have to imagine there is music in the background. The next tip I’m going to give to you is if you want your visualizations to come to life, one of the best things that you can do is you can attach a physical emotion to the visualization. How do you do that?
The way you do that is by as you are imagining seeing something in your mind. I want you also to draw your attention to your physical body because that’s where our emotions reside. You might even think about, okay as you’re starting to see this future what do you feel in your chest, in your stomach, in your throat, your heart, your arms, your hands, your face and allow yourself to physically feel emotions even ones that you’re not used to feeling that can cause it to come alive.
The last bit of advice I’m going to give you on visualizing is right before we visualize right now, set an intention. The intention I’m going to encourage you to set is I’m going to encourage you to set the intention to see something that you’ve never seen before. I’m going to encourage you to set the intention to see an image, an image of inspiration, an image of impact, an image of connection with others, an image of contribution, an image success, an image of fulfillment, an image of your health, an image of your business, an image of your family, an image of your children, an image of your children’s children.
I’m going to encourage you to see an image that you’ve never seen before and bonus if lead visualizations go back and watch what I’m doing because I’m planting the images for you. Everybody take a deep breath, inhale and a big exhale./ How about another big inhale and another big exhale.
[00:51:05] Jon: All right I would encourage you to close your eyes unless you’re driving just close one eye. What I want to invite all of you to do for the next minute or so is I’m going to invite you to play and to be like a child. I’m going to invite you to move into your future and with a childlike wonder and an imaginary wand called your mind, your imagination, I’m going to give you permission right now PS you don’t need it ever but I’m going to give it to you to see what you’ve never seen.
I’m going to give you permission to play with your future, play with your mind and see images that you’ve never before seen and at this time if you want you’re welcome to slowly fast forward. Today is what’s today Tuesday as we’re doing this live. Fast forward a couple of hours, fast forward a day, first forwards a couple of days, fast forward a week.
At this time I encourage you to move into the future at whatever pace you would like and as you start to move into the future, I’m going to invite you to select an area of your life. If you want to select more than one you’re welcome to as I’m giving you the rules, there are no rules. You’re welcome to pick your health or you’re welcome to pick your health, your wealth, your spirituality, your community, your family.
If you want to see it all at once you can or you can just see one area at a time. I invite you to pick something that matters to you and maybe it’s your business. Maybe it’s your spouse, maybe it’s your children, and maybe it’s your neighbor. Take a big inhale and take a big exhale and as you look forward into your life and you pick an area that matters to you I want to invite you to see yourself maybe for the first time ever behaving in a way that you’ve never behaved.
[00:53:08] Jon: What does it look like making a decision you’ve never made? What does that feel like? Seeing something happen that you’ve never seen happen, what’s happening? What do you hear? What do you feel? Right about now what I want you to imagine is I want you to imagine as you’re in your life. It’s almost like a curtain is being pulled back as that curtain is pulled back it’s almost like you’re in a cave and somebody flickers a light switch.
All of the sudden instantly in this area of your life that you’re envisioning, all of a sudden imagine that whatever you’re seeing right now is a level two out of ten. I want you to imagine that all of a sudden instantly simultaneously jumps to a four but if you’re imagining a relationship I want you to see the depth of that relationship doubling from a two to a four. If you’re imagining the impact that your business has in the world I want you to all over a sudden see twice as many people coming to you, asking for you to help them.
If you’re imagining yourself as a parent I want you to imagine not through your eyes but into the eyes of those that you lead in your family, your spouse, your brothers and sisters. I want you to see the wellbeing in their lives doubling all over a sudden. What’s happening? What are you bringing to that moment? What are you contributing? Who are you being? How are you showing up?
What are you communicating through the look on your face, through the beat in your heart, through every thought and every feeling that you have as you see a new and exciting image of your future? As you look forward into your life I want to invite you like a kid flying through the air to actually start to move further and further into the future. When we start looking ahead further what we thought was impossible starts to become possible.
When we’re imagining we can even make it probable. I invite you to look ahead a year or two years, three years, four years, five years, and all of a sudden if you had a magic wand what image would you like to see right now? A picture in your mind’s eye, a movie playing out step into that moment like you’re there like you’re celebrating and see yourself celebrating
[00:55:25] Jon: I’m asking you what are you celebrating? What did you do? Who did you become? How did you show up? How did you treat others? How did you live life to get to this point? As you start to see these images or invite new images and different images take a big inhale and as you breathe it in I want you to breath in confidence. I want you to breath in comfort. I want you to breath in security and as you breathe out, breathe out doubt.
Breathe out insecurity, breath out hesitation, breath out fear. On your next inhale breath in wisdom, breathe in knowing, breath in patience. On your exhale let go of everything that’s held you back. Let go of the voices, let go of the images, let go of the feelings. As you inhale I want you to look again further into the future this time seeing your business, your life, your family whatever matters to you.
I want you to all over a sudden as you look into the future see another new image 10 years out and now this time the image is so far beyond you just meeting your needs because now you’re enabling others to go beyond meeting their needs. It might be your children living a life worth living. It might be your business making an impact that you all of a sudden for the very first you know for the first time might live on beyond your own life.
As you look at how this has happened I invite you to see a slide show one after another, image after image, accomplishment after accomplishment, achievement after achievement. Person after person who is part of this journey. In fact if you want to deepen an image of the future right now, I want you to imagine if you’ve ever seen the movie Mr. Holland’s Opus? Near the end of the movie he is surprised when his family walks him into an auditorium and image this is you. Imagine you’re now 20 years ahead in your life, pick any timeframe you want and there is somebody is walking you into a high school auditorium.
[00:57:31] Jon: As they open the door all of a sudden you see every person who has ever played a role in your life sitting in the chairs turns and looks at you and they smile because they’re honoring you not because of what they’ve given to you, but because of what you’ve given to them. As you walk up the aisle you see and you hear and you feel the heart and the connection of every person who’s ever played a role in your life.
Sitting in those chairs it’s not just mentors and friends and loved ones, but it’s those that you used to think were your enemies. It’s those that you may have spent a whole life never figuring out how to connect or get through. I want you to imagine right now that as you’re walking up the center aisle, an auditorium filled with people, people who’ve touched you and you’re now realizing you’ve touched them.
As you walk up on to the stage, I want you to imagine that standing on that stage behind a podium looking out at this audience it represents your final breath. For the next moment I want you to imagine your final breath and as you take a big inhale and an exhale I want to invite you to feel maybe a sense of peace and a sense of knowing and a sense of calm and a sense of purpose.
That maybe you’ve never given yourself permission to feel and as you look out at this auditorium of lives that you knew and lives that you never knew you never knew that you’ve touched these people. You never knew that when you held the door for one person they held it for another.
You never knew that when you smiled at a stranger they helped another and you’ve realize all of the sudden that in your life every moment mattered and you realize that not only the high point moments but the low point moments had within them a gift, an opportunity for you and everybody else around you.
[01:00:00] Jon: As you take that final breath I give you permission one more time to see an impact that you’re leaving behind to give you a sense of comfort, confidence, knowing, a peace of mind and a peace in your heart. Maybe you see your children holding hands with their children. Maybe you see a legacy that you’ve never before seen and you’ve realized that you’ve done your part that the world is going to be a better place because you are here. Take a big inhale and an exhale. Now I’m going to open my eyes, you’re welcome to open your eyes.
[01:00:54] Hal: Jonny I’m inspired man.
[01:00:57] Jon: I don’t know what happened for everybody else but I had a great time just now.
[01:00:59] Hal: Even without the music that was incredible. In fact because it’s for this group, I want you to continue your flow but I just want to share with you the vision that came out for me was my 100th birthday, the Miracle Morning we practiced in every school in the world and we’ve now achieved world peace and that I never thought of the Miracle Morning could be the thing that lead to world peace but I now see that so huge. Thank you brother.
[01:01:25] Jon: That’s awesome buddy. Well, for anyone who is still listening, yes the comments are flowing in now.
[01:01:31] Hal: Yeah.
[01:01:31] Jon: Their eyes were closed. I actually went to look at the chat box I’m like I wonder if they’re still here. I’m like, “Oh my God, nobody posted anything,” and then I had forgotten we told them to do this whole exercise.
[01:01:39] Hal: Had their eyes closed, yeah.
[01:01:42] Jon: Hey, I want to invite everybody who is here because there is an important step that when we run a live event and at our live events we lead these with incredible music and now we use live music too with brother James. I want to encourage everybody to take an action step right now. The action step and you could do this right when we hang up, the action step is after visualizing and yes this is recorded and this will be published on our podcast tomorrow.
You can go enjoy it and if you like this please share it with your friends and family. That’s a small request that helps us in spreading our mission. Then if you love that come join us in San Diego because we that for three days and it’s pretty incredible at least from my experience. There is something you should do after this call which is after a visualization, always, always, always go write into a journaling activity.
Take a notepad and a pen and I really suggest doing it manually not on a computer for a lot of reasons. Take a notepad and a pen and just jot down everything that you saw. Everything that you say. If you want to take the activity one step further what you do is after you write down everything you saw, find a partner and just like Hal did intuitively which is great. Find a partner and take 10 minutes, 15 minutes more if you want and share with each other what did you see? What did you write down?
When you share you can go beyond what you saw and what you wrote down because what happens and I believe in something called social constructionism. I don’t know if any of you has ever experienced this but when you talk something out loud, some of you may have heard the experience where you talk it out loud and all of a sudden you realize you’re actually coming up with ideas you’ve never come up with before.
When we interact with another person, if you want to study this just Google social construction and can go again and there is a lot of great resources on this but we use this at our live events.
[01:03:39] Jon: We have people talk through visions of the future and every time they tell us afterwards they go, “I felt the visualization was great. I thought journaling was great but it wasn’t until I talked through it with somebody else that it actually gave me clarity and focus and confidence that I’ve never had before.” Then the next step, the bonus on top of the bonus on top of the bonus is after you visualize and talk through it, that’s the best time that you could ever do action planning.
We’d lead 400 people through that over three days and they’re learning from each other but that’s a way that you could this on your own too. Hal I know we’ve gone over on time if there is such thing. How do we want to finish this up? What do you want to talk about? We can just keep talking people can…
[01:04:21] Jon: Did you just give the fourth question because I was just answering comments. Did you give the fourth question?
[01:04:26] Hal: I wasn’t listening to you because after the visualization Jon you gotta save that for the end man I can’t imagine you toping that.
[01:04:34] Jon: Yeah, few people just ask for the link to the event so I put it up there. Yeah, we’re used to doing this with lots of music that was a whole new thing. Okay, the fourth and final question and I’ll do a high speed review of everything we’ve covered today in a couple of sentences. We started today by talking about the importance in the power of the questions that we ask. Keep in mind that whole visualization everything that you just experienced for those of you that went through that with us, you were responding really to questions that I was asking. I was inviting you through the question of what are you seeing.
I was generating images helping you to generate. I didn’t do it, you generated new images sparked by questions. The very first thing I said today is that when we ask new questions our future changes even before the answer arrives because the question is like a lens.
When I ask what kind of images of my future give me a sense of fulfillment and if you noticed in that visualization, I spent far more time connecting you to the emotions then the images because when we connect an emotion to the image it does something magical that I can’t fully explain but it’s powerful beyond just getting stuck in what does it look like when we combine that with how does it feel? It’s incredible.
Now the questions are not just what do I want to achieve but how do I want to feel? Or you can back into it by saying, imagine myself feeling a sense of peace, calm, contentment, purpose, fulfillment, pride that I’ve never felt before.
What am I seeing happening that’s leading to that. You can use it both ways. Our questions change our future even before the answers arrive and questions that move us into a positive state there is now a neurobiology. There is a science behind this Dr. Carol Dweck, Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, Dr. Martin Seligman all these great researchers have helped us to see the science behind connecting to positive emotions.
[01:06:29] Jon: We talked about three questions so far, the first one is connecting the purpose, never stop asking why and remember that we have unconditional responsibility and freedom to choose how we answer that question. I hear entrepreneurs all the time Hal talk about how they want freedom in their lives. The problem is the type of freedom that I see most of them talking about is entirely conditional because they answer it with conditions.
“Well, freedom to me is when I own this and can do this and live here and go here,” those are conditions. The challenges will just keep creating conditions then will make it impossible to achieve all of that conditional freedom. To me real freedom unconditional freedom are those things that we can control at any given moment. The meaning that we give to something is an unconditional freedom that we have and we need to remember that.
We need to reconnect with that reality so asking why and generating and answer that we like that’s on us, that’s on you. That’s bad news if you want or it’s good news. The next type of questions is questions that connect us to our strengths. When are we at our best? When am I at my best? What am I good at? What gives me joy? What causes me to come alive? What do I want to do more of? How can I do more of that in my work and in my life?
How can I move towards using my capabilities when I’m at my best? I think humility is not a weakness. Humility in it on itself is a strength and genuine humility is actually what enables true curiosity and enables us to keep asking great questions.
Knowing our strengths allows us to stay humble too and it allows us to stay curious okay, where do I need to keep developing? Where do I keep depending on my strengths? The third type of questions is questions that connect us to new and exciting images of the future. Let’s remember that the words that we use when we craft the question, our words create our worlds.
If that whole visualization would have been led by questions like, “Hey, what do you want to accomplish a year from now?” There is a good chance that that word accomplish would have led to ego driven images, would have led to maybe superficial images maybe not.
[01:08:38] Jon: I don’t know but often times when think about goal setting we cut ourselves short. We think about ego centric goals but when we use words that connect us to a deeper sense of fulfillment, purpose, meaning, when we go farther into the future than we’re used to going, when through the words in our questions we invite ourselves to see images of an impact that go beyond just meeting our own needs. Those words create the world that that question leads us towards.
We’ve got to hold on to those questions and keep asking those questions. This isn’t an exercise for today as you’re driving to work. This is an exercise to try and live within. Great entrepreneurs ,many of you are entrepreneurs, great entrepreneurs they don’t stand in the present and try and bring people into the future. They stand in the future because that’s all they’re ever thinking about and they pull everybody else towards them.
The last and final question Hal, of course if you want to experience these deeply you’ve got to come and join us in San Diego November 17th through the 19th. Hal if I can I just want to admit our website doesn’t really do a great job of explaining that event. If you listen to this conversation today, it’s a heck of a lot deeper than anything our website says actually goes on at the event. The last type of question is the question that moves you into action.
A question that moves you into action or that causes any commitment. Questions like what am I going to go do now? What kind of action am I going to take to move myself towards that vision? What kind of action am I going to take to build on my strengths because when I connect to a sense of purpose I have fuel? When I connect to my strengths I know where I should be leveraging my capabilities.
When I know my visions of the future I know what I’m trying to move myself towards without being attached to it because it might keep evolving. The final question I’ve got to ask is how do I take all of that and take some action right now. What action can I take that will enact or bring to life my strengths?
What action can I take that will reconnect me to that sense of purpose? What action can I take that will move me towards that vision and then go do it right now? There is no better time than the present to take action on a new goal, a new dream or a new image of the future. There you go buddy.
[01:10:52] Hal: I’m just chatting with everybody in the box man I hope they’re doing a great job. This is fun. I like engaging with my community. Anyway I had a question that I had written down so I’ve been trying to keep up with the questions and it’s really hard. I don’t like how this the live chat only serves you…
[01:11:10] Jon: Tricky, tricky.
[01:11:13] Hal: … The foremost recent posts right the comments and then it just keeps going.
[01:11:15] Jon: Yeah, it’s a lot.
[01:11:17] Hal: Aaron Tim said how do you identify a good partner to talk through your visualizations with? If they were listening to this I would say that would be a good start.
[01:11:25] Jon: Yeah, someone who is willing to listen and to listen unconditionally meaning find someone who got to be careful because if they have something at stake in your future, they might unknowingly want to shape what you’re sharing with them. You just got to be aware of that. At the same time it’s not a bad idea to share your images of the future with someone who’s got a stake in it.
I think when we facilitate this, we have a whole process we move people through and when we facilitate it we tell them for 10 minutes you’re just going to share with the other person. Don’t respond I mean you can but don’t have a dialogue. Let somebody share their images in the way that we often facilitate it is if I share what I saw with Hal, what we’ll do is he will reflect back what did he love about what I just shared with him. That’s a simple way to do that exercise or create time and space with someone who is willing to listen. What other questions came in?
[01:12:19] Hal: Let’s see Jennifer does say that you’re doing a great job so thank you Jennifer I appreciate that. I’m sure Jon does as well. Anybody else who have questions so feel free to post them. It’s hard to catch questions while we’re doing the live stream, but now that we’re in the Q&A phase. Olivia says we work well together buddy. Should we keep working together?
[01:12:41] Jon: After that kind of comment I think we will.
[01:12:43] Hal: I think we will, what a beautiful movement you’re on daily says Crystal thank you Crystal.
[01:12:49] Jon: On that we’ll see you in San Diego, you got tickets, plane tickets, lodging, all paid for those things are on your vision board Best Year Ever Blueprint we’ll see you there on that.
[01:12:57] Hal: Awesome. Keith says when is the movie coming out? Oh Jon, I announced this in the video yesterday so everybody watching if you didn’t catch the video I put up yesterday. One of my spontaneous announcements was that we are going to show the first ever premier of the Miracle Morning Movie at the Best Year Ever Blueprint.
I don’t know about you but that really it’s always a life changing event but I really this became a historic event when we were able to get that done. I don’t know if we would. Our editors have been working on it. In fact I still haven’t seen the lightest or the fast cut we’re going to see this week but you’ll see the official premier in San Diego at The Best Year Ever Blueprint. That’s going to be exciting.
[01:13:33] Jon: Awesome.
[01:13:34] Hal: I know Keith you’re going to be there so that’s a given you’re going to see it brother. In fact Keith you’re in it Keith is in the movie Keith the movie star, commenting right here.
[01:13:43] Jon: Maybe that’s why he asked.
[01:13:44] Hal: Yeah, exactly he is going run to my friend and get to see me in this movie.
[01:13:55] Jon: That’s awesome.
[01:13:50] Hal: Victoria says what do you recommend for someone who is blocked due to negative people? Not sure what you mean by blocked Victoria I don’t know if you can elaborate on that a little bit?
[01:14:01] Jon: Find some positive people. Well, that’s a great question I don’t need to make light of that. I’ll share a response to that. One of them is we sometimes have people in our lives who let’s say they’re family. This is a great example, we’re often reminded through our families how complicated and difficult it is to keep harmony in our relationships. If it’s not family it could just be other people at work that we spend time with, but this question of what do I do if I’m blocked because of negativity of other people.
Well, the first thing is to remember that we need to take ownership over our experience of the world. Taking ownership over our experience of the world Victoria for anybody it starts with realizing that no matter who’s around me I have to take ownership over my internal experience of the world. Doesn’t mean that’s easy to do.
What I’m really talking about here is if I’m surrounded by people who don’t value what I value, and they don’t exude the energy that I want to exude, as long as I keep saying to myself, “I am blocked,” or I can’t do this because of them what’s happening is that language is allowing me to remain a victim and as long as my internal language allows me to remain a victim in other words if I am attributing responsibility from my experience of my life onto anybody other than me which is easy to do.
I do it I’m a parent are you kidding me. I blame things in my life all the time and the fact that I’ve got three kids and a wife and everybody. I blame everybody. I’m telling you from deep experience I know what this is like. What I have to remind myself of is that’s just me playing the victim. As long as I’m putting responsibility I’m blaming others usually it’s unconscious then I’m just creating a trap for myself.
[01:16:05] Jon: At the end of the day I can try everything I can to change my family, to change who is around me but there is always going to be something outside of me that could set me negative. At the end of the day I can’t control everything that happens around me. That’s step one is that I have to choose to be a player and not a victim in life. I’ve got to choose to take unconditional responsibility for my response to what happens around me.
That’s step one and I’ve got to realize and give myself permission and to realize that I’m never going to be perfect at that. That’s my believe maybe perfection is possible. I feel like believing it’s possible and in on itself is a trap. I think the human experience is one of odds and flaws. I think we all go from highs to lows. The key is and this is why I love mindfulness trying to catch myself sooner because if I allow my internal experience like a monster to grow too big and it gets a hold of me and it’s too late, it’s much more difficult to turn the ship around.
That’s why I have a regular mindfulness practice is because I want to develop something called sensory clarity. Sensory clarity is the ability to actually detect what’s going on inside of me. It’s like flexing a muscle so if my environment around me is one reason that I’m not doing great in my life, well one of the things that I need to learn how to detect is the moment that I’m actually telling myself it’s their fault because that actually resides in my body.
That some sort of emotion that goes with that and when I can catch that moment earlier, sooner, before it gets too big and it has taken a grip on me. Just by catching it, just by observing it, what happens is I release its grip on me. Now I can then move back into a more productive place. That’s the first step Victoria and then the next step is to take proactive action to shape your environment.
[01:18:07] Jon: For me my environment starts with my physical space and I’ll do some unplugging here. When I look around my office everything on the walls in my office has some sort of meaning behind it everything. Every single thing on these walls has a deep meaning. There is nothing that is superficially put up. I give the meaning to every picture. I give the meaning to every quote.
[01:18:35] Hal: Where is the picture of me in the off I didn’t see it when you scanned.
[01:18:37] Jon: It’s around the corner I swear. I swear it’s around the corner it’s there I promise.
[01:18:42] Hal: Awesome.
[01:18:42] Jon: Oh my gosh, so it starts with my environment. Everything around me physically I control and not only control the things or the symbols but the meaning that I give to those symbols. When I walk into my office I don’t consciously have to stop and say, “What does that picture over there means?” Because I’ve actually given it an elaborate sophisticated story so just being in its presence reconnects me to a really important meaning.
Then it’s not just my physical symbols but it’s people too. Who do I allow into my space of my life? I’ve got to take responsibility for that. I can just declare myself a victim and I know this is easier to talk about than it is to do sometimes but it starts with taking ownership. Hopefully that helps.
[01:19:25] Hal: Absolutely. By the way I love what Lilly said ‘Jon your room is a vision room instead of a vision board.’
[01:19:33] Jon: It is.
[01:19:35] Hal: I love that, then Azoura said Hal in the near future we’d like to know about how you won your battle with cancer. We know it’s a whole lot of things you did but we’d like to know the procedures. I’ll give you the short answer but the complete one which is I did virtually everything that my doctors told me to. I took advantage of the best that western medicine has to offer which I was resistant to a little bit because of the chemo and that’s not really building the immune system.
Then I simply supported it with all sorts of holistic practices that my doctors knew nothing about because they didn’t read it in their textbook, they couldn’t prescribe it. A really simple answer for you is go to chrisbeatcancer.com. He wasn’t the only resource I watched documentary truth about cancer.
I read many books but Chris beat cancer is probably my favorite about they recommend one resource. I combined virtually everything Chris beat cancer talks about which is all holistic with the best of natural holistic eastern and then the best of western medicine. Jon Berghoff has to jump off you guys, to pick up his son from preschool give him a round of applause I will. Man I appreciate you Jonny, great work today man, really appreciate it thank you.
[01:20:40] Jon: Hey thanks buddy, hey I’m going to call in as I walk over to pick up my son and yeah I’ll keep chatting while I go pick him up. Buddy do we, hey since we’re at the end here is there anything else you want to announce about The Best Year Ever Blueprint, so we’ve got a lot of people who are coming to that that are watching this.
[01:20:56] Hal: Yeah, my man I’ll share this one thing that again I don’t know if it’s clear on the website and by the way nothing against our website designers they’re amazing. We’re the ones that gave them the content.
[01:21:05] Jon: It’s us not them.
[01:21:07] Hal: Yeah, no but in terms of our speakers so entrepreneur there is something that I see questions float around but I don’t know if we did a great job explaining our entrepreneurial day which is so The Main Best Year Ever Blueprint Event is two days, Saturday and Sunday November 18th and 19th. On the 17th is entrepreneur day you can upgrade to the entrepreneur package if you’re an entrepreneur or if you want to be an entrepreneur.
The speakers that we have this year like this is one area where in the past we never focused on bringing speakers because that’s what host events do. We want to really create this experience environment with our speakers that we’ve got kind of our core team. This year we’ve got Joe Polish who founded The Genius Network which is a $25,000 year mastermind that he has hundreds of members belong to it and then the high level folks are in this group.
We have Mike Koenigs who run he actually he sold two business for multimillion dollar price points. Mike is going to be there founder of Traffic Geyser, published in all sorts of different companies. He is just always like a serial entrepreneur. We’ve got John Ruhlin the founder of Giftology. John will be speaking on entrepreneur day. I believe Dana Malstaff we’ve confirmed Dana yet or is this?
[01:22:11] Jon: Yeah she is. She is in there like swimwear.
[01:22:14] Hal: Dana will be there, for all of you female entrepreneurs will be representing. David Osborn who’s net worth is $80M he is going to come and teach you literally how he went from a net worth of $0.
[01:22:26] Jon: He was homeless he was sleeping on the street.
[01:22:29] Hal: Yeah, I don’t know about that but yeah. Yeah, but David Osborn will be there and in fact Jon can I say this David is flying me in his private plane to the event. That’s how he got to speak let’s be honest that’s how he is. ‘Let me speak and I’ll fly you in my plane.’ Sure you’re in.
[01:22:48] Jon: We’ve got Betsy and Zoe.
[01:22:51] Hal: Why don’t you talk about Betsy and Zoe for a minute.
[01:22:54] Jon: Yeah, so in a past lifetime I oversaw sales for Vitamix Corporation and we brought Betsy and Zoe into every one of our large conferences for like four years. What they do is they teach the skills of improv and for those of you who have been in this event year after year. What you’re going to see this year just like every year is going to be different than anything they’ve ever done.
They keep upping their game but they go into some of the well-known tech companies that we’re all fans of the Twitters and Facebook’s and Google’s and they teach within these companies the skills of improv and how to use those in life for our relationships, for our business, for our presentation skills. The best part about Betsy and Zoe is they’re wildly entertaining and they’re the best in the world at what they do. Any time I get a chance to be with and learn from someone who is the best in the world I really value that it’s meaningful for me.
[01:23:51] Hal: Did you mention I was answering comments, did you mention that they have a standing appointment on Twitter every week where they teach their improv?
[01:23:58] Jon: Yeah, no I don’t know if I mentioned that yeah.
[01:23:59] Hal: Yeah, all right cool. All right Stephanie Blackwood says it looks like I’m bringing my husband this year. Stephanie that is fired up she also says I love improv so Stephanie you’re in for a treat with Betsy and Zoe. Annette says can’t wait to learn from all these great people on entrepreneur day. Awesome Annette. My husband is just barely reading the Miracle Morning book but he is joining me at Best Year Ever. Wow, that’s two for two on the husbands with Stephanie and Annette.
Really, really cool in fact one of my best friends brought his wife two years ago to Best Year Ever and she was a little resistant she wasn’t sure. ‘This is not really her thing it’s my friend my friend was going there…’ Anyway and they both signed up for last year and this year I mean. It’s really is a neat thing, so your spouse, your kids even. Jon we’ve got to mention this our former mentor Brad Britten I saw yesterday that he signed up and he signed up his daughter who I think Madison’s do you know around 16sh around 18sh I don’t even know.
[01:24:54] Jon: Well, he is selling Costco right?
[01:24:55] Hal: Yeah, right so she is probably 18.
[01:24:58] Jon: I know she sells Costco because every couple of months I get a text from her trying to sell me something and I think last time I bought something. I can’t remember what I bought.
[01:25:06] Hal: Oh I’m actually really my feelings are hurt that she doesn’t text me and try to sell me Costco, what the hell?
[01:25:11] Jon: Oh my gosh.
[01:25:12] Hal: All right, well, hey love and appreciate everybody thanks for tuning in Jonny let’s wrap this thing up buddy I love you, I can’t wait to see you in person soon for I think my Front Row experience. Is that the next time I’ll see you?
[01:25:23] Jon: Yeah, I can’t wait buddy it’s going to be great.
[01:25:25] Hal: Yeah, very cool, all right I love you buddy.
[01:25:28] Jon: Love you buddy.
[01:25:29] Hal: Miracle Morning community members I love you all we’ll see you in San Diego, Best Year Ever Blueprint. If you’re not signed up you can go grab your spot at bestyeareverlive.com. There are still tickets available so bestyeareverlive.com. Thank you for tuning in and we’ll see you soon, take care.
[01:26:07]] Jon: All right Jon here hey I don’t know exactly where we chose to cut off that conversation. I’m recording this after the fact but I hope you enjoyed and if you’re curious that conversation never really ended and if you want to go watch on the live stream you can actually follow us. I went to pick up my three year old Kaizen at preschool and you can meet him.
Anyways I know many of you are treating this episode as your preview, as your prep for The Best Year Ever live experience in San Diego. Again if you’re going to be joining us and you haven’t picked up your ticket yet make sure you go do that today. There is still payment options available, I think those are going to go away in the next few weeks or even few days, so bestyeareverlive.com. We cannot wait to see you, take care everybody bye, bye.
[01:26:31] Hal: Thanks for listening to learn more about the achieve your goals podcast and get to get access to today’s show notes, transcript and exclusive content from Hal Elrod, visit halelrod.com/podcast. Thanks again for joining us be sure to tune in next week for another episode of The Achieve Your Goals podcast.