Dec. 24, 2021

E161: The Quality Of Your Life Is The Quality Of Your Choices with Alan Lazaro |Trauma Healing Coach

In this episode, we have featured guest speaker, Alan Lazaros and we talk about the quality of your life is the quality of your choices. I understood something really important, and that is if you're always the smartest person in the room, you're the...
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In this episode, we have featured guest speaker, Alan Lazaros and we talk about the quality of your life is the quality of your choices.

I understood something really important, and that is if you're always the smartest person in the room, you're the dumbest person in the room. And so, I forced myself to go on this personal growth and development journey through self-education. Also, Alan shares with us about the power of choice and how it affects our lives.

Alan and I met a few years ago at one of Brendon Burchard's events influencers, and it wasn't that long ago. Well, maybe it was at this point 10 years ago, I was like sitting and looking at Brendon Burchard, Tony Robbins, you know, these guys used to be self-help gurus quote-unquote, right?

Alan Lazaros hosts the former Hyper Conscious Podcast and now Next Level University Podcast. He also has business coaches, podcast coaches, speakers, and entrepreneurs. Alan is an Engineer with an MBA who now runs his own business consulting firm.

Remember, there's a sacrifice on the backside of moving towards your dream, but it all starts very simply in your belief about what you believe!

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Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation! Michael Unbroken here – author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma and you are listening to the Michael Unbroken Podcast.

My friends, I am so pumped about today, I got my homie Alan on with us. He is the co-host of the Next Level University podcast is a business consultant specializing in helping business owners and executives maximize their growth impact and probability and he has a co-host. Kevin, who isn't with us today, but they have an incredible that you guys are going to want to listen to. Alan, before we get, started cause you and I have a little bit of history, I just want to say thank you so much, my friend, for being here today and for sharing your message and your heart, your truth would be Unbroken Nation. How are you, my friend? What is going on?

Alan: I'm doing so well, I think that life is such evolution and I'm currently going through my own sort of transformation here. So there have been a lot of growing pains lately, but I'm excited to be here and I really appreciate I know when you and I first met we absolutely connected. I know we both had a lot of adversity in our childhood, a lot of traumas that we've overcome, and everybody's got a story, you know, and I think everyone has adversity to some extent and even if you don't, that might be your adversity, you know what I mean? So I think this is very valuable, I like the approach that you take to making your adversity or advantage, I think that's honestly what has shaped me into the man I am today, so I'm super excited because I think it comes down to adversity and what you do with it, which is your choice.

Michael: Yeah, absolutely. And one of the hard things, I think, is probably for most people to wrap their heads around and this was my experience for so long as understanding that adversity to some extent and what you do with it does, in fact, become a choice. I want to dive into that more with you however before we do that little background. So you and I met a few years ago, at one of Brendon Burchard's events influencers and it wasn't that long ago. Well, maybe it was at this point 10 years ago, I was like sitting and looking at Brendon Burchard, Tony Robbins, you know, these guys used to be self-help gurus quote-unquote, right? If you're listening and just being like this self-help stuff is bull shit, who does this? Who is this for? I'm not jumping up and down, I'm not celebrating like what is happening? And then I understood something really important and that is if you're always the smartest person in the room, you're actually the dumbest person in the room. And so I forced myself to go on this personal growth and development journey through self-education. Talk to me quickly because I'm so curious, how did you end up at influencer sitting next to me all those years ago?

Alan: So it actually started when I was very young. I'll try to give you the shortened version, but I was taught from a super young age that life is about choices. My mom said; Alan, you can be a CEO or you can be a farmer, I'm gonna love you either way but if you aim high and you go for CEO, you can wake up one day and just decide, you know what, I want to be a farmer, and I actually told that story once in someone reached out and said, hey, my aunt is a farmer, they work so hard like, so if anyone's out there, please don't get offended. My mom was trying to explain it to me when I like 7 of like – listen to aim high in life and work hard and you'll have choices. So fast forward a bit, I basically was told that I could take Middle School off so, I got straight A's up to that point, my mom said in eighth grade, I could take, eighth grade off, I'm sorry, not just Middle School 8th grade, and she said, you got to make me a promise though, if I let you get C's and D's in eighth grade, you got to promise me, you'll get the president's award in high school. And the president's award in high school, basically means you get straight A's and you don't get any B’s and you get a 95 or above GPA. I actually have a plaque signed by George Bush and so she took a chance on me and she trusted that I would do that, and I did. And then I went into the College of my dreams, got a degree, end up in Corporate America, and I job hop a lot and I'm soul-searching. I say this; I was a 1% earner by the age of 24 and the reason I say that is because of the truth of the matter, you've heard money doesn't buy happiness, a lot of people say that okay. I've actually reframed it. Money does not buy fulfillment but lack of money can create pain and so pretending that money doesn't matter is not a virtue, but I do know that money does not buy fulfillment. The only thing that buys fulfillment is growth and contribution. So to answer your original question. I got in a car accident when I was 26 years old and my father had passed away in a car accident, when he was 28 years old and I was two years old, so I'm too, I lost my father in a car accident, that created a lot of adversity that I don't necessarily want to get into the details of and we can later in this conversation if you want to but let's just say that suffering I was no stranger to adversity I was no stranger to. And so I'm 26 and I get in this car accident and there's this lift kit and truck in front of me and it was the brightest lights I'd ever seen and I had that actual moment of like, this is it, this is the end. And for anyone who's never had a life or death situation, it's hard to explain but for anyone who has, it's literally like the scariest thing in the entire world. And after that fortunately I was driving 2004, Volkswagen Passat, which I used to call the tank, both airbags did deploy and I and my little cousin were okay. That said, after that, that really messed me up and this is why I ended up going all-in on personal development. I think we all have that sort of wake-up, come-to-life moment where we have to face the naked truth, what I've come to view as the naked truth. And the naked truth of the matter was being that I kind of yes, I was aiming high, yes, I was achieving. Yes, I was smart and successful and yes, I had grown through a lot of adversity but the truth was – a lot of my life up to that point at 26 was seeking external validation and when I face the possibility of death, having understood that my father passed away when he was 28 and I'm 26, at the time, I had tons of regret, I wasn't really proud of the man that I had become not because I was a bad person, but really in hindsight is 20/20. I was not maximizing my potential, I wasn't I was drinking too much and too often, I was partying, you know, I partied in high school, I partied in college and then I partied incorporate and it wasn't like – it’s weird even thinking back cuz it's not like I had no one else thought I had a drinking problem. I just knew kind of that I had a drinking problem. And every single time I would choose to drink rather than read a personal development book or better myself or it's almost like it just took a self-respect hit and so I had all that regret at 26 and that's when I turned everything around. So I now live by this quote that hopefully will resonate, “you cannot see the stars during the day they are always there but sometimes it takes the darkness to see what you simply could not within the light.” The brightest star in the sky, the North Star, I wear a North star around my neck and it guides me especially when I'm in the dark, especially when I'm in the dark and I think this is what I've kind of come to. In chapter 32 of this life, I'm 32 years old, all the coaching calls and all the interviews, and all the podcasts, and all the speaking and consulting, I'm studying people all the time and what I've come to realize is that it's what you do when you're in the dark, that actually makes the biggest difference. The nighttime is going to come for all of us, the challenging times and the adversities and the emotional pain is going to come for all of us. It's what you decide when you're in the dark, that's actually going to make or break who you become and after 26, after that car accident, I saw a light that I had never seen before too. Tony Robbins, Ted Talk, I know you've probably seen it, unbelievable. And the second star I saw was a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. There's a woman named Bronnie Ware from Australia who worked in hospice for eight years, she thought her job was to take care of the terminally ill, but her real job was to listen. She wrote a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, we've actually since interviewed her. Amazing woman from Australia and she noticed through those eight years that all these terminally ill patients, all said, I wish I wish, I wish and I to this day have a flashcard in my pocket with all five regrets, the number one regret of the dying is I wish I had lived a life true to myself and not what others expected of me. So long story long here, that's how I ended up going all-in on personal development after that I was all in and the reason why and I often say this, I got so far to hell know when I almost passed away in that car accident and had to face my own mortality that I went all-in on hell, yes, and I decided to go all-in on my dreams and most importantly all in on self-improvement all in on personal development and ever since then, here I am six years later, almost seven years later and of course, Brendon Burchard, Tony Robbins, Ed Mylett, all these people that were at rock bottom at one point and really built their way through personal development whether it's Jim Rohn or whoever it just it immersed me in the world and it made me wake up to the idea that when I improve, my life will improve.

Michael: Man, that first off, amazing journey that you've been on. And I often recall, like you being very young, I made my first six figures at barely 21 years, old working for a Fortune 10 company and I was a kid who literally had a high school diploma handed to him because I graduated from the worst high school and one of the worst high schools in America. And the corporate structure around partying and drinking especially being in a cell's environment at that time was like – we're going to go rage all night and no one had a problem with it, we'd get up and go back to work the next day, have some beers out my lunch break so on and so forth and then you find yourself in this really instant interesting, crux of who am I? Of an identity crisis of why is this okay, I don't feel good about it, but I'm doing it anyway.

And then, for me, what ended up happening is that at 25 and my listeners know this, I've shared this with you before, you know finding myself at 25, putting a gun in my mouth and that being my rock bottom and from there, understanding something really important about life and that's that life, only happens by keeping the promises that you make to yourself and by living within your own true authenticity and that's a word that gets thrown around and like – honestly, at some point you're like, yeah, this is ridiculous but the truth is that it does with it does exist within that context. And so what I'm curious about from your perspective, so much of life involves the choices that we make, and yet by proxy and perhaps environment we are often using everyone else in everything else as a scapegoat to not step into who it is that we have the potential to be. Alan, talked about the power of choice and how it affects your life?

Alan: So I often tell a hypothetical story, whenever someone asks me about choice and we have a speech called the five seas and his opponents, see which is choice and this is the story that I tell. So, Hypothetical and I'll be upfront about that because sometimes this two-story can trigger people.

There is a woman, who's a mom in the park who has a two-and-a-half-year-old son, she puts him down in the sandbox because she sees an old friend. She goes up to the old friend and they start catching up, they were from high school together. And the two-year-old had just learned how to crawl out of the park into the street, hit by a car, hypothetical story, okay? Now you and I and anyone I've ever told the story to could argue for days about whose fault it was, whose responsibility it was, okay? The mom should have been paying more attention for sure, true, very true. The friend could have noticed who she was talking to could have noticed the two-year-old crawling into the street? Yes, true. The driver should have been paying more attention, also true. The one thing that no one would ever argue is that it was the two-year-olds fault, ever. Why? Because the two-year-old was not aware that cars are dangerous and so this is the interesting thing about choice. All behavior is belief-driven and all beliefs are predicated on awareness or a lack thereof and so every choice you make, what you say, what you do, what you don't say, and don't do, what you think, feel, and believe are all a choice. But we're not always making those choices consciously, and most of us are not making them based on high awareness.

And the truth of the matter is that at 16, I made a choice to go and lose my virginity to a girl that I had just met and that's not a choice I would make in chapter 32, why? Because now I'm aware that that was probably not an intelligent choice. So everyone out there listening can think of a choice they made in the past that was really not a great choice, not a good decision. So everyone thinks of one, got it, okay. Why did you make that choice? On some level, you weren't aware of the consequences, especially not the long-term consequences, right? So here's the Power of Choice. We do, what is fun and easy and pleasurable today at the expense of our own fulfillment and our own future or we do what is hard and necessary and virtuous today for our future and for fulfillment. I think that choice comes down to this, I think we have a misunderstanding of what to optimize for and I'll give you a little more clarity on that. How many times have you heard someone say, I just want to be happy? But the problem is, do we actually know how to do that, and do we know how to sustain it? I think happiness is miss defined in most people's subconscious and therefore they're optimizing for the wrong thing, what most people think is happy, that is actually a pleasure.

Hardcore example, but it super makes sense and it's a way to really get this point home, watching porn will never fulfill you, having sex with the love of your life is fulfilling but also pleasurable. See? if you're optimizing for the fulfillment, you're going to have pleasure along the way versus the do not, or the porn, or the vice whatever it is. The alcohol, as you mentioned, see one of them is self-respect, hit, one of them is self-love, hit, one of them is self-esteem, hit. You mentioned, keeping the promises you make to yourself. Some people have let themselves down so much and so often that they stopped making promises, but when you stop making promises, you stop building self-esteem. When you stop building self-esteem, you stop dreaming. When you stop dreaming, you start losing hope and when you lose hope and you lose that brighter future and you lose self-belief, of course, you're going to have to try to fill that void with pleasure and it's this nasty cycle of being stuck. What happened to you at 25 after rock bottom is you decided no more, never again, that’s it. I'm going to start actually making and keeping the promises that I make to myself and then that has snowballed and here you are, this incredible inspiring human being that all of us are capable of being. If we actually made the decision and stayed committed along the way.

Michael: Alan, I'll challenge you here, just so we can create something of value for people listening or watching. Easier said than done, right? And people will look at people like you and I and go somehow their special but Alan I'll tell you a secret, I'm not special, I don't know shit. I'm not any different than any other human being on planet Earth other than the fact that when I make declarations, I do everything within my power to see them through, and that requires a tremendous amount of sacrifices, you know. And this is a community, relationships, employment, career, entrepreneurship, having a podcast, there's always a sacrifice on the backside of moving towards your dream, but it all starts very simply in my belief about what you believe because what you think is what you speak and what you speak, becomes your action and your action ultimately becomes your reality. Talk to me about the way that you used to talk to yourself, prior to that accident and then after?

Alan: The way that it's a great, great, great question, I've never been asked that question before. So I'm going to really think about this one. How did I used to talk to myself versus the way that I do now? I think, the way I used to talk to myself it's almost like this. I don't feel like I did it as consciously so I almost can't answer it. I almost can't answer the question because I wasn't thinking about how I was thinking, so it's like, I can't tell you how am talking to myself because I wasn't thinking about how I was talking to myself. At least not nearly as much as I am now, whereas now I have all these questions rolling through my mind constantly. Am I maximizing my potential? What's the greatest use of my time right now? Where am I trading in pleasure at the expense of fulfillment? What can I do today that will make my future self happy or fulfilled? Like I'm now very we used to have a podcast called the Hyper Conscious Podcast, we rebranded to Next Level University. Hyperconscious means acutely aware so to be transparent and honest here, I was not acutely aware of the way I used to talk to myself, I was not acutely aware of the way, I used to think I was a little bit on autopilot. And in comparison to the way I am now, I was a lot of bit on autopilot and the unexamined life is not worth livingSocrates said that I am now examining my life so frequently like every coaching call is a check out to check back in with my clients. Every conversation with my girlfriend now, like it all has to do with contemplating myself, contemplating life, contemplating the economy, contemplating philosophy contemplating and I think that the way I used to talk to myself was kind of it was probably this is who I think I am, this is what I'm going to do and it was honestly here's the best way I can sum it up. The way that I used to live was, the way that I think I should live, now the way I live is the way I believe is aligned with my highest self, whereas before, it was kind of downloads from my environment. Like I had my true north like Steve Jobs was my hero, I wanted to be a Fortune 50 CEO, but I feel like that was what I thought I was supposed to do whereas now I'm doing what I believe is best and it's not based on anything outside of myself really, of course, it's based on my understanding but it's more of an inner compass that I follow now. And honestly, I even say often email and I will talk to my girlfriend and I'll say, I just got to download earlier sweetheart, I want to share this with you. And what I mean by a download you can call it infinite intelligence, you can call it a subconscious breakthrough, you can call it spiritual guidance, you can call it intuition, I got a download and I feel compelled to share that inner compass that I have. I’m telling you after my car accident, man, I just stopped listening to anyone outside of me and I started finally listening to my own intuition and my own emotional, mental, and spiritual guidance system.

Michael: Super profound man. I'm actually excited, no one's ever asked me that question before. I think frequently the same thing, I and many people who have a traumatic experience or come through evolution and ultimately create a change in their life come to as much self-awareness, as I think, we're probably capable of having as a sentient being and within that context, you start to self define who you are, thus, what I believe and I'm going to put words in your mouth for just one moment of I'm not going to ask people who I should be instead I'm going to follow my gut and my intuition which is simultaneously not only terrifying, but literally the most empowering thing, I think that a human being is capable of doing but so often our environment to your point, right? Interacts and engages with us in a way that helps us create and make meaning of who were quote-unquote supposed to be leading us down this path to which we are often in conflict with self and then you use a point of measure of who is around me, right? Because so much of that influence is about not only your inner circle of immediate people but your outer circle. What their times in now, especially, let's talk post-accident, right? This moment, this breakthrough where you had to redefine your inner circle and if so, how did you change that?

Alan: Yeah, I often talk. Have you read the book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey?

Michael: Certified actually.

Alan: Okay fire. Yeah, that's right, we talked about that. So, you know how he has the pleasure center and the family center and all the different centers. In order to answer your question, I think we should start there, you inherit your center based on your environment as a kid. So we're all born naked scared - rent with a pristine hard drive of pristine, you know, the only fears we have or the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises, everything else is downloaded. I always say were born limitless, and taught to be limited. And so I inherited a pleasure centered paradigm, my mom and stepdad, so after my father passed away, I had a stepdad until I was 14 years old and then he left and that's another story but they had a very pleasure centered Paradigm, whether they are aware of it or not, they believed, subconsciously, that life was about fun and because of that, they did all the things that are quote-unquote fun. And so, to answer your original question, I want all your listeners out there to think about this, like, what Paradigm did I inherit? A pleasure-centered Paradigm is basically a deep subconscious belief that what's pleasurable is good. I no longer have that belief, I actually have the opposite belief. I actually think what's pleasurable is typically outside of alignment with what you're capable of and your greatest level of growth and contribution. So what Stephen Covey talks about is how to create a principle-centered Paradigm. Some people are family-centered, some people are pleasure-centered, some people are work-centered, some people are Church-centered, a principle-centered Paradigm is predicated on being your own philosopher. What's a principle? I'll give you one example of a principle. One, hard work is a good thing when it's congruent towards your dreams, that's one principle, one philosophy that you can either live by or not. It's kind of like the rule book that guides us but, are you creating your own rulebook? And so to answer your original question, looking back I had a pleasure centered Paradigm and I didn't know it and when I was 26 years old, I woke up to the consequences of the pleasure, centered Paradigm, and then I decided to create my own principle-centered Paradigm based on my own understanding and what I used to do is take my circle because your original question was about your circle and let that influence, who I am, I flipped that. Now, who I am is going to dictate who I spend time with. And so to make this as simple as possible, but hopefully, it will land for everybody when you're born, if I was born in Shanghai, I'd speak Chinese. If I was born in Massachusetts like I was, I would speak English not because I was inherently more well designed for Chinese than English, but because of where I was born. So, whatever you grew up in, whatever your inner circle was, when you grew up, it was not by choice, it was by Fate, okay? Or chance, whatever you want to believe. Once you become aware of how much your circle influences and impacts who you are, you can decide to flip that and you can say, okay, I am no longer going to be a product of my environment and of my circle. I am now going to make my circle a product of me and that's what I did and this story will really resonate. I remember I was a junior in college and I would still party at home, we grew up on a lake and I would invite all my college friends to my and my high school friends to my home during the breaks and we would have these big bonfires and it was we had a lot of fun. Couple of years later after my car accident I invite this one kid, his name is Sean, he was my roommate at the time and I invited him after one of my fitness shows and I had another party with a lot of people at it. And he literally sat me down later that night and he said it is unbelievable, how much different these parties are in these people are then they used to be and I had this moment with myself and I thought it was fascinating, he's like, dude, hardly anyone's even drinking here, I didn't drink at the time, I was after my fitness show, celebrate my show. And I said, Sean, the parties aren't different, I'm different. So, all the people that used to the Law of Attraction, all the people that used to be attracted to those parties where people who were like me, they had similar core aspirations core values core beliefs. At this other party, I attracted a ton of bodybuilders and a ton of Fitness people and a ton of personal development people because that's who I became. And so, how did I change my inner circle? I changed myself and I allowed me changing myself to act as both a filter and a magnet. So, who you are at all times is going to filter out the people who don't belong and magnetize in the people who do as long as you take that inner guidance system that inner truth, dial and dial it up. The more you dial that inner self, that uniqueness up, the more you will filter out the wrong person's places, things, and ideas. And the more you will filter in the right persons, places things and ideas. 

Michael: I fully believe in the idea that the Catalyst for the reciprocation of our environment begins internally. A more simplified way to say that is who you are is represented by what you attract, you know, what you just stated. However, and this is where I want to go with this, the choice again to where we begin this conversation, plays an inevitably unparalleled role because you have a choice and who is and who is not in your life. At 14 years old, I put a restraining order on my mother at 18, I told her I'd never talk to her again without one of the most difficult choices I've made to this day, still of my life. I can guarantee you, Alan, I would not be speaking to you right now.

The idea of making choices that are incredibly difficult is not only daunting but at times feels like a betrayal of who we are internally and even intellectually because we come from this environment and we look at it as this thing supports me, even though it's an asshole. How do you like really step into that commitment of – I'm going to change my inner circle because I understand that it is to the detriment of the future of fulfillment that I want to have?

Alan: Yeah. This is one of those things that's so hard to teach because it's brutal. It's nothing short of brutal and anyone, I mean, that choice that you made man, and I understand that, it's fascinating, if I didn't make some of the choices that I made we wouldn't be having this conversation either. And I think it comes down to a couple of things, one, this is one of the weirdest things ever, man. I was on the phone with a client recently and she's like, I just don't have the discipline that you have, I said, no, you're less aware of the downside, that's all it is. I feel like I know what this future is that is possible and if I don't show up for my highest self today, I know that takes a hit. Your inner circle like you said if you don't understand how much it impacts your future. So if your listeners are out there and they want me to answer this question about how do you make those hard choices about your inner circle? If you understood if I could sit there and say, you're not going to achieve your dreams. You're not going to have the impact you want to have. You're going to have regret; you're going to potentially be broke, you might end up getting divorced, you will not be fulfilled and your kids will know that you're not fulfilled because they can tell energetically like if you knew the downside of the 10, 20, 30 years out, you would definitely change your inner circle today and this is the thing, man. I'm 32 years old, and I went for Father's Day, Kevin, and I always spend Father's Day together, because we both grew up without fathers and we're actually starting a charity called The Next Level Hope Foundation, which is going to be unbelievable, but every Father's day since we started working together, we spend together because that's traditionally been a fairly sad day for us and now we get together and we talk about our goals and our dreams and eventually we want to also do that for kids without fathers boys, without fathers as well.

But I went back to my old home, we grew up on a lake and we went fishing and we've since sold the home like I don't own it anymore, which was also weird being home without it being home, you know. And we had a competition, 13 fish were caught, I'm not going to say any numbers but Kevin only caught five of them, you know what I mean? So, we know who won? No, I'm just joking, but I remember thinking to myself. I had all these memories flooding me and I realized in hindsight that most of the environments that I found myself in. I think that I didn't make the tough choices as much as I should have and honestly, and I'm going to take full ownership, I told you at the beginning of this episode that I was in an interesting growth phase. Here's why, I agree with what you're saying, not changing your inner circle, will affect your life, more than anything else that I'm aware of, and I didn't change it quickly enough. I eventually changed it, man, I eventually got unstuck but I'll tell you what, that I kept people for a few more chapters than I should have and that's the god-honest truth and I'll tell you what, I made a new decision recently, my new decision and this was a self-decision, I said, from now on, my goal is to help people maximize their potential, that's who I am, that's who I've always been even when I didn't know I was doing it.

The only way to do that is to add value to people and what I figured out is I can't add value to people if they don't value me. So this is the decision I made simple, but difficult. I will no longer spend or invest any more time energy or money anymore into anyone who does not value me at a level 10. That sounds hard-core, but here's my reasoning. Any time I've ever not had the courage to trust my intuition when it came to people, I always regretted it and I know spiritually that my calling is not going to manifest if I don't make those hard courageous choices. And what's been fascinating, is that I've had a lot of people who didn't value me at a level 10 actually, come back and value me at a 12 and say, hey man, I was a real dick to you at the beginning of your dreams, I'm so sorry, can we jump on a 30-minute call? You know, why? Because I chose to value myself and that's what I have faith in. I'm putting my faith in that, my faith is in my own alignment with my own highest self and trusting that the right person places things and ideas that will be attracted to me rather than trying to fight to try to stay in the lives of others people.

Michael: That's powerful, man, and congratulations for making that choice. Because the only way you create change in your life is by creating change and I really want people to hone in on what you just said. You said something and you may not even have caught it in that moment which was a very binary statement for the lack of a better way to put this. I believe that the way that we think about who we are in the world, there is no space for gray areas. I believe gray areas exist in a lot of elements of being a human being, but not in the way we show up, and what I mean by that, as you said, I am the kind of person that this is a very yes or no statement. And when you get incredibly clear concise and poignant about the person that you are while in alignment with your values, your wants, needs, interest and you didn't use this word but I will add its boundaries, the world will thus, reflect that, but there is a requirement that you didn't touch on that, I know is a part of who you are because we happen to know each other, which makes this a level of depth that I don't always get a share; you deploy consistency in your life because when we met years ago, you said to me, I foresee my life being this and I told you, Alan, I foresee my life being this, and here we are intersecting again in a very different dynamic and parameter in Paradigm then when we met years ago, sitting next to each other, in the crowd. Talk to me about the power of consistency in your life?

Alan: So of the five C’s that we talked about at Next Level, it's called the five C’s of the next level life and there's a bonus C in the bonuses choice. I already told you guys that the first one is Clarity, you've talked a lot about Clarity in this episode, which I love because it's so critical. The second one, commitment becomes more clear commit. The third one is confidence, it can be built over time. The fourth one, consistency, that's my favorite one, other than choice and then the last one is a community, which is your inner circle. We're actually touching on all of them in, you don't even know about them, which is just so cool, how this is working and then the sixth one, the bonus one is choice, consistency, okay?

I think the first thing to understand about consistency, this is a simple statement. We interviewed Steven Kotler, you know, Steven Kotler is? Okay just wrote a book called The Art of Impossible, unbelievable book, man. Neuroscience for days and it's excellent, great interview! He has wound quote in that book that I absolutely adore, he said, you know very little is actually impossible given a decade. Fire, it's like, that's true. I reversed it. I inverse thing, I'm a math guy. Almost nothing is possible given a day, you and I want to do the splits tomorrow. Can't do it. Do you want to climb Mount Everest tomorrow? Can't do it. Want to be a concert pianist tomorrow? Not possible. Want to be a millionaire tomorrow? Not possible, unless you already are, right? I don't know, but yet in a decade, we can do all of those things, all of them, if we can be consistent. If you're out there, listening right now, think about this, your dreams are possible that's why you have them, if you can't be consistent, they're not possible. We just surpassed 645 episodes of Next Level University, if we couldn't be consistent, man, I mean, we're pretty successful now and I'm very blessed and I feel grateful. I mean, we've gotten again, I'm not going to sit here and talk about our success, but I'll tell you what, man. I remember trying to shoot four listens a day. You don't even mean like, we got 4,000 like three days ago. I remember four a day was like a remember a good week was like 20 listens, you know what I mean? We have clients now tons of podcasters and their way I'm like guys you're way ahead of us, my girlfriend has a podcast called the Why Power podcast. We had more listens in the last week than they did all year and they're way ahead of where we were, when we were one year in they were they're way ahead of that.

So consistency, I can talk for days about it again when you see someone who's self-disciplined, two things. Number one, they're not self-disciplined and everything, they're not most people who are healthy aren't wealthy, most people who are wealthy aren't healthy, most people who are healthy and wealthy don't have a great intimate relationship, very few people do it all and it's why it's really challenging, I'm trying to do it all, it's very, very difficult. Health, wealth, and love that's what our slogan is. So number one, it's really difficult to be consistent in everything, so choose wisely. Number two, I am not more disciplined than you, I'm more aware of the downside of discipline. I'm going to, rephrase that, and I'm going to land it, even better. I am not naturally more self-disciplined than anyone listening, I've developed more self-discipline and consistency because I'm more aware of the long-term mathematical downside of inconsistency. Albert Einstein called The Law of compounding, the eighth wonder of the world, we had more listens last week than we did the entire first year. I'm not more into consistency than anyone else, I'm just more aware of how little you can achieve without it and that's what I want to give to your listeners like – there's no reason okay exercise for 20 minutes a day, everyone can do that can totally possible unless you're in a wheelchair or something extreme, in which case, I'm so sorry, but in theory, it's easy. In practice, consistency is one of the hardest things in the world, I actually think human beings are some of the most inconsistent creatures on the planet genuinely and I think that's empowering actually because now you can fight against inconsistency and actually be consistent if you look at all the most successful people at their craft, they all have that one thing that never stopped goal one gained momentum, goal two accelerate the momentum, goal three seagulls one and two.

Michael: Yeah, I love it, man. Here's what's so fascinating about yet, again I was just crossing paths in this really intense way in my coaching program Community, Connection, Commitment like those are my three C's, right? And I love it because it's so true because it holds over it crosses all boundaries and barriers of human existence and I think that at baseline you have to have them, all right? In order to go to the next level and one of just coattail quickly on what you just said, everybody starts at zero, everybody doesn't know how to ride the bike, nobody knows how to make the money, nobody knows how to do the self-love thing, nobody knows how to step into the self-healing journey, nobody knows how to do fucking anything, we start at 0. The difference between success and failure in your life is what you choose to do and that all starts with how you think and speak to yourself because how you think is everything. Alan, my friend before I ask you, my last question, can you tell everyone where they can find you?

Alan: Anyone out there, if this resonated this I felt like was a very deep and authentic episode to me. So if you did resonate with this, I think that you'll probably resonate with a lot of what we do again Next Level University, we're on all the podcast platforms where on YouTube, you can reach out on Instagram @alazaros88. You can also go to, it's not, it's Next Level Universe because it encapsulates, everything, that level. Honestly reach out if this resonated even if it's just to say hey, I really love that episode, thank you so much. My only goal on this episode was to nobody's going to change your entire life in one hour, but one tiny shift can change the trajectory of your life forever. My motto is 1% improvement every day. I actually did the math out once when we hit six hundred episodes I wanted to understand this. If you improve by 1% every day for 600 days, I did the math out actually put 1,000 bucks into a financial calculator, and I put it in for 1% per day, iterations for 600 days, you have 384 grands. So you are 384 times better if you can be 1% better per day for 600 days. And so we did 600 and there's this photo that goes from 100 to 300 to 600 and it's like mind-blowing. We didn't have a studio, I mean, we were brutal men with a couple of kids with a big dream, right? As you said, everyone sucks at first, we were terrible at first, but that's the problem we say, oh, I can't podcast, that's because you're seeing us, we're already way in it, of course, we look great, but no one knew us back then, right? Everybody starts somewhere, every beginner, every expert was once a beginner. So that's the one thing I would say is, if you are interested in one percent improvement every day that's what we're about and reach out.

Michael: I love it, man. My last question for you my friend is, what does it mean to you to be Unbroken?

Alan: I really appreciate the question, again another question I've never been asked before. I want to try to find the most integris answer I can, what does it mean to me to be unbroken? I don't wish for okay, for me, anyone who knows my life intricately knows that normal and ordinary was never going to be a thing for me even something as simple as my father passing away at to, I mean, if you're out there listening, think about your relationships with your father, like all of the good and the bad and all of it, like imagine just never having that. So like that created a lot of adversity, right from the get, you know, and a lot of people meet me now and they see the way my life is and I do think that they get the impression that I got lucky a little bit. You know, I'm tall and blah blah blah like in shape good-looking all that, it's it couldn't be further from the truth and I don't say that because I want pity. I say that because I think I was given a gift and here's what the gift was. What does it mean to be unbroken? I had so much self-belief and so much adversity which is what created so much strength. What does it mean to be unbroken? whatever this is that I've built, it's so powerful and so unique, and it only ever got stronger through all the shit, it only ever got stronger. Dude, I was talking to my girlfriend last night about this and she asked me about Father's Day and what it was like to go back to my old town and I said, babe, I mean, honestly, you be bad but it's what I did with it that mattered.

So what it means to be unbroken is it's not what happens to you it's what you choose to do about it, it's choice. You can be unbroken if you choose to be, but you have to understand that it's going to be hard and the very last thing I'll say, is this, I do not wish for you to have an easy life, I don't. I wish for you to have a challenging but deeply meaningful life. The easy road is never going to fulfill you, the challenging, proactive, growth road, will the one of growth and contribution. Choose to find your uniqueness grow to your maximum potential and use that to serve the world in your own unique way, and I promise you that we'll be more challenging but far more meaningful.

Michael: Well said, my friend.

Unbroken Nation, thank you so much for listening.

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And Until Next Time.

My friends, Be Unbroken.

I'll see you.



Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.

Alan LazarosProfile Photo

Alan Lazaros


Alan Lazaros is the host of the former Hyper Conscious Podcast and now Next Level University Podcast. They're also business coaches, podcast coaches, speakers, and entrepreneurs.

Alan is an Engineer with an MBA who now runs his own business consulting firm.