In this episode, super excited to be back with you with another episode and talk about purpose, fulfillment, and accountability with my friend, Agi Keramidas. I'm super excited to have this conversation with Agi. Sometimes you look at people's lives,...
See show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/e182-purpose-fulfillment-and-accountability-with-agi-keramidas-cptsd-and-trauma-healing-coach/#show-notes
In this episode, super excited to be back with you with another episode and talk about purpose, fulfillment, and accountability with my friend, Agi Keramidas.
I'm super excited to have this conversation with Agi. Sometimes you look at people's lives, and I'm passing you go; what have you ever done that's incredible, and then you sit and have a conversation with them, and you go, man, that's so incredible. You face that fear; you made that decision; you put yourself on a path for your destiny, which is admirable.
Agi Keramidas grew up in Greece, and in 2010 he moved to the UK following a dream he had since a teenager. He's been a dentist for 20+ years, but the identity he embodies now is a knowledge broker and podcaster. He is passionate about personal development, and a lifelong student himself - continuously striving to evolve, realising his potential, and helping others do the same.
He is the host of "Personal Development Mastery" podcast, and his mission is to influence and inspire people to stand out and take action towards the next level of their lives.
So my friends super excited for this episode.
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Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation! Hope that you're doing well, wherever you are in the world today. I'm very excited to be back with you with another episode with my guest Agi Keramidas who is the host of the personal development Mastery podcast and his mission is to influence and inspire people to stand out and take action towards the next level of their lives, which I'm all about I'll give. My friend, what is happening in your world today? How are you?
Agi: It's great to be here like it's a real pleasure and what is happening in my world. Well, the previous hour of my day, I was interviewing you for my podcast so that is really amazing thing. So I give my answers first.
Michael: Yeah, I love it. Any of this; this such a fun conversation for me. I'm very curious about you and your experience. Now, I know you spent a very long time as a dentist and you know, what I'd love to do here is just for context to go back a little bit because people are probably going like, well, how about you come from a dentist of podcast guy? So why I'd really love to start, what I start the beginning, tell us about your journey and how you got to where you are today.
Agi: Yes. Sure. So it gives you a short version, I think there have been two major switching points or turning points in my life that make a big difference. When I moved from Greece my home country to England and that was something that I did in my mid-30s despite the external success that I had, I felt a void inside me, something was not, right. And eventually I've had the calling about England and took me a while battling with fears, insecurities, but I left everything behind at some point, my job, my family, friends, fiance and started a new life in the UK, so that was 11 years ago and that really started changing things, very much as a person became much more able to rely on myself because I was trusting my own in a different country and that changed me very much. I will take a little pause here, Michael in case you want to ask me anything but before I tell you about how do I went from dentist to the podcast?
Michael: Yeah, man, go for it, we're in it with you.
Agi: So yes, it's some point. I get five, six years ago. I had just finished a master's degree and instead of filling my really motivated wanting to pursue this kind of new knowledge and being able to do some really high tech stuff that I was learning. I felt really empty, I felt like, I didn't know what was wrong that's what I thought that there is something wrong with me, but that led me to start looking for the answers inside myself. So I call it my personal development journey, which I got some books, I got a big factors of my change was Tony Robinson's actually, when I went to his event in 2017.
Everything changed for being terms of how I was looking at myself and I will explain what I mean by that because all my life until that day actually, because there was a major change that happened in a day, all my life until then, I was a very close person and I was very shy, very uncomfortable in social situations, you know, don’t stand on the corner and only speak with people I knew. And when I went to that event, I realize beyond any doubt that this was not who I was all the time, all along, I had been lifted, this is who I am, I'm just a shy person. But it was at that time, that I realized that, it was a behavior, it was not who I was, it was something I kept on doing habitually and that was because of a limiting belief that I had that, I'd never realized or articulated before but it became very clear to me on that day and that limiting belief was like a little voice that plane at the back of my head. And it was telling me that; Agi people are not interested in what you have to say and it was on that day on that occasion, that became so clear to me.
And, of course, I realize that if I carried on having this a limiting belief, you know what, projected and that's how what Tony Robbins does in in that event itself which brilliant projects your life into the future if nothing changes. And then you look back at your life and you realize that this was such a waste, I could have done so many things and I didn't and that was what really triggered my radical change. Then I went into more and more personal development, coaching, all these sorts of things and very quickly I went from and demeaning literally few months, I did my first public speech from so I turned things around and not about a year afterwards I started my first podcast so that was I'm trying to keep it concise for them moment but if you want to discuss an open any of that in more detail.
Michael: Yeah, you know, (A) you can go as long as you'd like, this is our opportunity to go deep and hopefully bring a lesson to folks listening. The thing that came to mind for me immediately, what I thought was really interesting is so here you are in this position that 11 years ago, you decide to pick up your life and go to the UK, face his fear, step into this like realization, you want to have and yet you were still kind of stuck. What I think happens for people all the time is they get to this place where they take a change, they make a change and they expect things to be totally different, but then they're actually really not because they're still consumed with not only their limiting beliefs, but also the behaviors in the circumstances that they put themselves in. So, I know right now, there are people listening, and I've had this experience myself where we faced a fear, we make that decision, we go down this path of doing the thing we feel like we should do and then yet we're still stuck, there's 60% into whatever, is it you're trying to figure out. What was happening in that space between that move and that moment at Tony Robbins where you still felt kind of like this emptiness that you were trying to find and discover?
Agi: Yeah, that's good question. I think that inevitably we will get stuck in a way further down the line because we don't know what going to happen. So we do progress, we face the fear and that's how it felt to me and then I moved to the UK, I did the things I really increase my confidence but and what you were saying earlier, made me think that no matter what is happening on the outside of your life, your external circumstances, the person that you are inside is really what's going to determine how you perceive all that outside. So you can be the best place in the world but if you feel bad inside of you, it's not going to make that place look the way that it is. So moving to a different country or doing something different will not prevent you from getting stuck again, if there is something inside you that causes that, so you just take that two different setting, but at some point you will need to face it. So in answer to your question, I'm not sure if it was the same thing that caused me to be stuck one, the first time in the second, I think it to some extent, it was the same thing and that may be that deeper needs to live a fulfilled life and really fulfill your potential, do the most with the time that you're given.
Went on a nice high getting unstuck after that moving to the UK and then at some point I realized that this only shown was not enough, there was much more for me to do and be in order to do not feel that sense of fulfillment or feeling and staggered moving on.
Michael: So, yeah, but here's what I think about quite frequently. Fulfillment to me feels like the ultimate accomplishment. And what I mean by that is you can chase so many things like money, career, trying to have the best podcast in the world, whatever, right? And in that still feel empty, feel narrow, feel unaccepted by yourself first and foremost and that all ultimately, I think becomes a reflection of of the outside world. What I think people often struggle with is they're always seeking their purpose. I don't particularly think about life like that, I don't think about seeking my purpose, I instead think about seeking fulfillment and and I love that you use that word a couple of times. So when you're in this transition and you're trying to figure out what's next, there was a lightbulb moment? Was there something that really struck a chord with you where you're like, this is the thing I need to do like how do you arrive to this place where you start chasing fulfillment even within the chaos of trying to figure out who you are?
Agi: I think what you said about the purpose and I made the same mistake myself, and I think many people do that, they try to find it but it's nowhere to be found, it's not waiting for you two to find it. You have to create, that's how I see the purpose and the path of life, we have to create or compose it like a song, like a poem. It's not there and you look around to find it and the only way to create and compose it like that is by taking the next thing. So it's similar to what you said that it's not like I knew that five or 10 years from now, I would really want to be that or have that vision of my life are such but I took the next step that seemed to be congruent with what I was feeling, and I'm using feeling more than thinking, of course, they are in combination, but that's how I see it. And then the next step, of course, it helps to have some kind of direction to where do you want to go? But I don't think where not in control really of where we will reach that, or the circumstances of our life, will change that for us.
So I think the purpose or the fulfillment, all this will be found by the next thing and then the next thing and keeping on it is a journey, it's not 1.1 destination, that you I can say, okay, now I'm fulfilled, it's ongoing, it's like going to the gym, you can't exercise once and be fit for life, you have to carry on. The moment you stop and you go back on yourself, the fulfillment goes away if you start doing things that do not are not aligned with your true self, who you really are, what it is that you truly want to do and be share.
Michael: I think about you said something about control and I believe this, you can control all of your actions every single day, but you cannot control the outcome of those actions. And it's this weird juxtaposition because I believe that like – I'm going to accomplish every goal in my life, I believe that like a really doing so I move that way every day, but that doesn't mean it's going to happen, right? But I also go, well, that's not going to stop me and so I keep moving forward and I think that's really important. You mentioned something about feeling; feeling like you're doing this thing and as Tony being one of my mentors as well and hearing him, go, if you're in your head, you're dead, I love that so much because it's true. I talk about all the time on this show that your brain is only about survival, it is not about thriving, it does not care. So, how did you start to tap into your emotions, your feelings, about the choices and decisions that you're making to use those as anchor and leverage points to start to have the momentum in this journey?
Agi: Thank you for asking. I think in many ways, I think I was very blessed because one I was in the University studying dentistry in Greece, a long time ago and my best friend at that time was standing as well first a very strong calling inside of him spiritual calling and eventually he dropped out of dental school and went to Siberia and became a shaman, and then he was traveling around the world and seeing that and interacting with him once he started his, spiritual journey, made me very much more open to all those things that the mind, generally can't explain. So, I was blessed in such a way that I had this influence of what it is to feel your intuition or to be in your heart.
Let's say the foundation in a way that allowed me to do that but if I move it further on the feeling versus thinking for me, has a very different vibration or a very different color if you want, what the feeling is something that even thinking about it makes you smile, it's something that even now my hands kind of without wanting I do this motion up going upwards. It's like something is emerging or flowering inside of you, something beautiful. It doesn't matter if it's scary or not or if the mind will say that it's scary, but it is something coming from inside going upwards.
For me, the big characteristic that’s makes me smile. So I know that something is coming from my intuition, might my heart because it makes me feel good. If it's coming the other way around from my head, it's usually, when it's fearful, it's the what if, is the let's look at it logically and who are you to do this these are the it's completely opposite then I know it's very, very convincing, and many of us or most of us use that instead of the intuition. But it's really not going to lead to fulfillment, it's going to lead to survival to safety to let's do what we know, because anything outside of that, it's a risk, it's a danger. And but yeah, it's that feeling of joy of that smiling that comes no matter what the message is, that's how I know that it's coming from a deeper part of me and not my brain.
Michael: That's a really beautiful way to phrase that, I mean, I think about energy in that to, right? I mean if you're operating through this scope of, you know, woe is me or sorrow, or the things that you're doing are filling burdensome, you're not going to want to do them, you're not going to have the energy, the effort, the passion, even though, I'm going to use that word to want, to accomplish life, to have the goals, to be the person that you're capable of being. And I think there's so much validity and just recognizing how inside your body you feel in that moment as you're doing things and I think often we're so disconnected from that. When you were in this process of starting to shift into operating through feeling outside of just simply like, noticing, am I smiling is their joy, were there, certain things that you are pushing yourself into to do in order to have that response? Was their kind of a pendulum swaying from okay, I'm going to do this even though it's painful, but it makes me feel good about myself like, what was the process of really being able from an actionable standpoint to step into those things?
Agi: Yeah. The first thing that comes to mind was the fact that I was discontent, where I was not happy where I was. So that when it shown is a very good motivator to take some uncomfortable action. For me, there is an element and it's not easy to describe it, but it is an element of belief or trust, or will reluctantly use the world faith because for some people, it might have a different connotation, but will say belief and trust that this is the right thing to do. So that combined to the pain of the situation that I was in, prepared me to action, I did take the uncomfortable action, knowing that (A) I was not well where I was there, I had realized I was unhappy, I was drinking too much, I was smoking it, I was leading a road to bad outcomes, so I knew I needed to change. So I had this inspired idea, it was scary as hell, leaving everything I knew, and going to another country on my own. But the belief that this is right because otherwise I would be stuck here where I am and I'm only going to go, even down more down. Motivated me to take the action and I found out that once I started doing taking these kinds of actions that will come in from my intuition, I had support shall we say, or if they were things happening that were helping me cover, people coming my way or conversations having the synchronicities. It facilitated the process but yes, of course, the fear was there, the fact that I had to battle with that voice was there. And I think that's something we need to do. I don't think it ever goes away, does it? It's always there and you have to keep on ignoring it, or letting it say what it has to say, but you doing what you have to do in spite of that voice. Not sure if that answers your question.
Michael: Yeah, you know, I think sometimes even like I will go into the dark parts of myself in the moments of which I'm like, I don't want to do that thing because I need something to pull me through, right? Because like it is about feeling and a motion and then I would tell people to tread lightly with, stepping into the darkness because that can overtake you. But I have these moments Agi where I am looking at this thing that I need to do or accomplish and its midnight, it's 2:00 in the morning, it's a Sunday at 1:00 in the afternoon but there's this moment that comes from like I don't want to do this. And I remind myself, I'm tired, I'm lethargic, it's chaotic and I start to get into that dark space, where that dark space actually negative in a way that's pulling me down. And what's interesting is in that moment it's like battling dark against dark, which I know is a weird narrative, but I go every motherfucker who ever told you, you weren't going to be shit is waiting for you not to do anything right now and that is a feeling also that I pull out because I think just as much as you can pull into the light side of things, right? And I don't know if you have this experience too, but I'm really curious as much as you can pull into the light and the joy and the happiness like I really truly believe this and this is me, and I don't know if you agree, but I really truly believe sometimes you gotta kick your own fucking ass and be like go to work because these motherfuckers are waiting for you to fail.
Agi: Absolutely. What I believe is that each of us will find different things that motivate them. So I'm not sure if there is one universal motivator for different people it would be a different thing but certainly proving something to yourself and to others and maybe to yourself even more is a great motivator to get your ass up and do those things that you want to do despite the fear, despite if you're not feeling like it or anything else. Thinking about it, the way you asked me the question. I think it will find slightly different things that will really motivate them when it's really difficult you can't break through and that's probably related to their own background and what it is that the reason why the one to step on the other side and do all those things.
Michael: Absolutely, and that's why I don't think there's a right or wrong here and that's why also said, tread lightly with the darkness because it can take you to the wrong place if you're not paying attention. One of the things I'm curious about here is you looking at the trajectory of your life and going back to talking about these steps in these actions and just kind of the continuation of the moving forward, but I think one of the things unfortunately, that I see happen, so very commonly is that people will say I'm setting this goal and it's a big goal and I'm all about setting the big goal, set the goal bigger than you even think you can set it right now, go hard, right? And they'll go day 1, Day 2, all right, I'll do it tomorrow, I'll get back to it. Oh, well, there's things life is happening, but kid’s, family, right? How do you continue the momentum? If I were to pinpoint the number one way that people let themselves down, it's by giving up on their dreams because it got too difficult. How have you been able to either cultivate momentum or build momentum or even in those moments like, what is the process for that? Because I see the transition in the trajectory of your life, it obviously didn't happen overnight, I'm sure you're probably nowhere close to where you're trying to go and what's next? But how do you continue to have that carry through to push you towards what you want to accomplish?
Agi: Yes. So first of all, when you have a very big goal, as you mentioned, you have said that. If you just leave it like that and then try to take the next little step in order to reach their that's probably not going to work for me it wouldn't work like that, I would need to kind of reverse engineer that goal and see if that is really what I want, we’re do I need to be in a year's time from now? For example, to reach that or six months or in three months or next week, should tanking it down into smaller, things really help with the momentum because you have more clear direction and its broken down.
You know, that if I have completed, this chunk of the goal over this month, then I know that my next one is this and and so on. If I can give you an example, I run the London Marathon few months ago and that was the first time I ran a marathon, if I started just by thinking, how will I run those 26 miles? The motivation would be very difficult to maintain but I had broken it down reversely into, I need to do this a month before need to be able to do this a month before these two months before. So, I was working towards smaller goals or interim goals, which are much more achievable. So doing like 10 kilometers as is a much more approachable and goal than saying, I'm going to do the marathon; yes, you will do the marathon eventually, but you have to build yourself up to this. So I think that is the key to momentum to one of the kids, there are many but that is one of the keys to have smaller sub goals that will lead to that big goal and rather than looking at the very end of what you are wanting to achieve. Look a little bit closer, what is my next step? Especially when on those days, when you really don't feel like you want to practice or for work or run or get out of bed or that's really the time that it has helped me to keep up the momentum.
And one other thing that comes to mind us in action if you want because momentum is very easy to lose, it's pretty much a daily process but if for any reason because things will happen in life will happen. You get out of the momentum and you don't do what you wanted to do for one day. Make sure 100% that there won't be a second day that you will not do the actions that you have set yourself to do, because if it's easier, get back on the horse as soon as you can at the moment that two, three, four days pass and you might as well start over because your momentum will have dropped to zero. I don't know if you agree with that, but for me, these are things that I personally do it, they have helped me to maintain the momentum. You know after a point, it's a school zone when you pick enough, it goes faster and faster, you don't really need to do that much effort.
Michael: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that chunking out goals is such an important part of the experience because your people ask me all the time, we'll have you written so many books? How do you have podcast and stuff like that? I'm like, I started at zero, I started at one word on one page every single day and then what happened was I just started looking at, okay, what is the time frame on this goal, right? Some things have a timeframe, some things don't, really just depends you've got to figure that out but the one thing I made the decision about was every single day, it's going to get my energy, every single day it's going to get my effort and that meant every day, and when I wrote my first book, it literally was every day, for months, and months writing, reading, rewriting, editing, learning how to publish like the whole nine and then that’s held true in other things. And right now, I'm in the midst of some really big goals that require daily energy and Grant Cardone who was one of my mentors from super fortunate to have in my life. He told me one time, he was like, look man, if you want to have something, you're going to have to give something up. And I think about that against everything that I want to accomplish in my life. Am I going to have to give up Netflix? Am I going to have to give up going to the bar with friends? Am I going to have to give up an identity about what I'm worth? Am I going to have to give up a past that is hindering me from my future?
And there's so much to this idea but you know, these goals, this identity, this this life you want to create like it's right here for you, right? It's not going to be easy, it's going to be tedious like I promise you it's probably more tedious than it is enthralling but those moments where you hit these massive accomplishments and I'll say this for certain there's about 6.2 seconds of pure bliss and then you go into the next thing, right? How did you feel when you cross the finish line at the marathon?
Agi: Well, they're complement the sense of accomplishment was incredible. I burst into tears not finished because I there were tears of gratitude really, that I was able to experience that all the thing. It probably lasted me a little bit longer than that, but certainly, you have, of course, I think it's human nature to then look for what's next, otherwise, it's what were they nearly, it's not like you reach it and you say now I am successful period and now I can sit down and you know watch Netflix or they do nothing, it's not like that. There will be the next thing and as you said it's not easy or it might not be easy but what makes things meaningful; easy and meaningful are rarely on the same sentence I think.
Michael: Yeah, I agree. And, like please, like people will always misconstrue things that are said, we're not talking about like don't enjoy your life, you want watch Netflix, fine, do it like, who cares? That's not the point. The point is like, are you heading the direction? Are you trying to make betterment of your life? Because I promise you, there's got to be moments where I'm going to play video games all day, it's going to happen because I need it because it's a disconnect because it's part of my experience, but I also say If I committed myself to this thing, I got to do it before I can play video games. I gotta do it before I can go to dinner with my friends.
Sometimes I'm late, man, they're like, dude, you're an hour late, I'm like I had to do the thing because my commitment to me, always comes first because you've probably experienced this, you'll be at the dinner, at the bar, at the event at the thing in the only yoga class, you'd like the only thing you're thinking about is the thing you didn't do yet, right? And so, you got to be able to do that thing and hold yourself accountable. Agi, my friend, this conversation has been absolutely incredible, thank you for being here. Before I ask you my last question, can you tell everyone where they can find you?
Agi: Absolutely. Yes. Well, my podcast is I would invite people that enjoyed this conversation to listen to the podcast Personal Development Mastery, which you can find everywhere on Apple Spotify and so on.
Michael: Amazing. And of course, we put the links in the show notes and all of those things, my friend, my last question for you is, what is it mean to you to be unbroken?
Agi: I would say to be myself, to be who I truly am, it's an interesting word (unbroken) but for me, it implies that something that is true inside of you is lost, or is broken. So, should be unbroken, it's really not having is inside you that don't belong to who you truly are. So yeah, pain, your true self in every sense of the word.
Michael: I love it, my friend, thank you so much for being here.
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Knowledge broker & Podcaster
Agi Keramidas grew up in Greece, and in 2010 he moved to the UK following a dream he had since a teenager.
He's been a dentist for 20+ years, but the identity he embodies now is a knowledge broker and podcaster. He is passionate about personal development, and a lifelong student himself - continuously striving to evolve, realising his potential, and helping others do the same.
He is the host of "Personal Development Mastery" podcast, and his mission is to influence and inspire people to stand out and take action towards the next level of their lives.