July 26, 2022

E373: Ending struggle, power of quitting and how to manifest the life you want | CPTSD and Trauma Healing Podcast

In this episode, I make a compilation with our amazing guest Jordan Harbinger, John Lee Dumas, David Meltzer, and Tom Bilyeu. Today, you’ll learn the practical tools about what it means to create a change in your life, where you move through action,...
See show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/e373-ending-struggle-power-of-quitting-and-how-to-manifest-the-life-you-want-cptsd-and-trauma-healing-podcast/#show-notes

In this episode, I make a compilation with our amazing guest Jordan Harbinger, John Lee Dumas, David Metzler, and Tom Bilyeu.

Today, you’ll learn the practical tools about what it means to create a change in your life, where you move through action, to end suffering, where you change the way that you think about time, perception, the good and bad things that happen to you and how to understand what it means to start to create momentum in your life.

If you align yourself with the right people, your life will change, your life will transform, your life will be different, but you're going to have to invest time, effort, energy, or money because if you want a moment like this moment that I'm having in real-time that you're about to experience with a person that from me, changed my life forever. When you understand what you are capable of doing, you will be fucking limitless. The only way you're ever going to understand what you're capable of doing is by facing your fear, gaining skills that have utility, leveraging those, and building the thing that points you towards the direction you want to go in your life. 

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Michael: I think that hearing you say action and suffering is such a big proponent of that and I heard those words from you. So, I wanted to say thank you for that, in the case of this journey been such a big deal. Why is that so important to you? Like what was the catalyst to come to that with yourself?

Jordan: Sure. So, this wasn't something where I was like I read it in a clever self-help book or anything. This was one of those hard-won lessons where I was like; okay, so what happened was, I had a podcast in a business, a training company and I run it for 11 years, and over time I'd been doing like pretty much all the work I had a lot of teams, they were great, I worked with a lot of amazing people, but the people I had brought in as partners years and years before, it’s Thursday at 2:00 p.m., they're not answering their phones anymore, they're going out for, they want weeks and weeks off, they're not adding to the bottom line, they need raises because they have a credit card and debt. I'm like, okay, I'm saving money, I'm getting married, I want to have kids, I'm saving up for a house, these guys are like, hey, we have 30k in credit card debt, we need a raise and I'm like, this isn't working like we're paying more in taxes because you need more income.

So there were a lot of little disputes and we had an amicable split worked out, and then they just went, we're not going to honor this, we're not, we're just not going to honor it and then I was like, you know what? I have to start over on my own and do the Jordan Harbinger show and just not worry about it. Because when I talk to people, that what you might call mentors and guys that have sort of been there and done that and business, they were I know you think it's a big loss, just start over and move forward. Sue him or whatever but don't get bogged down in the suit, get to work moving forward and that was awesome advice, that's exactly what I did. But then my former partner sued me because they were like, wait, you weren't supposed to move on and be successful without us. So they tried to, well, they did file a lawsuit, it didn't go well for them and but it took a long time and it was expensive, it was much more expensive for them but that was a that's another story for another time. That's what happens when you sue lawyers, it gets expensive for you. So but I had been waking up for the first couple of weeks after the split and I was like, how am I going to restart this thing that I created over 11 years on my own like is the timing wrong, you know, I'd started in 2006 when podcasting was like new. Can you build a big podcast now? Are people going to find me? Do I have what it takes to do this on my own? Like all these questions, but it wasn't like, all right. I've got this. I was Oh my God! I'm screwed, and then, I'd wake up at 2, a.m. to go to the bathroom and I wouldn't be able to sleep again, and I'd be like, my heart's pounding. What is going on? And I went to the doctor because my wife was like, dude, you never sleep anymore, like I lost a bunch of weight, and so I went to the doctor and they're like, oh, your blood markers, everything's good. What's going on in your life? And I started talking about what was going on and they like, bro, you're having like literal, what sounds like panic attacks at night and I'm like, I don't fit. No, I'm not panicking. I'm just thinking about all these things that I have to do and I'm thinking about all these issues that I'm dealing with doing within like, yeah, it's called anxiety. Don't know if you've heard of it and I'm like, no, no, no your miss your misunderstanding, I'm worried but it's not like I'm freaking out. I'm just waking up and I can't go back to sleep but my heart's racing and they're like Hello Google freaking anxiety, you dumbass, this is what you have. And then, of course, many doctors are like here's pills, and I'm like no, no. Humans deal with anxiety. I don't need pills. I'm not having suicidal ideation. I'm not like, I don't have any issues with my body right now, we will monitor my blood panel, and you know, my blood and what is it, like, gut panel, you know, monitor the stuff that says, hey, you're killing yourself like, make sure that's not happening but I just started walking more outside. I started talking to friends more. I made sure I had social contact every single day even if it was like a 12-hour, 16 hours, super busy day. I would do like 30 minutes or 20 minutes or fifteen-minute call with a friend that helped a lot, but the action and suffering thing was I felt like I had so many things to do that you ever made a protein shake in a blender and the top comes off and everything in your disciple.

There goes my afternoon, right? Cause you're cleaning like frickin whey protein out of the lights, that's what I felt like my life was at that time and the energy had nowhere to go as like every day I'd wake up and it would be like (sounds) and I'd be all over the kitchen and I'd be like, oh! I gotta clean this up and I'm cleaning up all these little things, I got to start a Twitter account, I gotta open bank accounts, but then, I was all right.

Instead of freaking out about all this stuff because there's so much, I just sat down and I made a plan, it was like a hundred things that I had literally that I had to do. And I made this huge ass list with my wife and when I made the list, I did a few of them and then I took a glorious nap, and then when I woke up, I did a few more until I was tired, and then the next I went to bed and I slept fine because I was like, well tomorrow I'm going to do this and I'm probably out of time about here and I just started knocking everything down. And as I did that, my business was building up and I just rebuilding things and getting things back on track and I was like; Wow! Look, making a plan, great insight, jack off, why am I listening to you about this? Seriously, though? Like, if you have no plan of the plans only in your head, that's a huge problem because your head is going, well, maybe you should move this over here, but about that. Oh! But when you do this thing, don't forget about that, but if you write everything down and you're just knocking them down and then you think of something new, you just add it to your to-do list, there were hundreds of things on this list over the last few months or over the first few months of rebuilding the Jordan Harbinger Show, and as I knock them out, I felt better as opposed to feeling worse, which is what I felt like before because it would like it was like, pulling weeds, right? I'd pull one out and go.

Oh! Good. I finally did this and I'd be like, there are these three more things I didn't even think of, and I'm up at three, am typing and writing things down, that was miserable, but when I had the action, focus. I was able to focus my energy like a laser beam instead of a blender and that was really, what made me feel like instead of when, what is me, how am I going to do it? It was like, okay, we had a major setback, but I'm on my feet and I'm walking and I'm warming up to a run again.

Whereas before I was just kind of rolling around in the mud, that's really what it was. I was gaining, no ground, even if I was gaining ground, it didn't feel like it because I didn't have any sort of sense of a map of the territory and it didn't feel like I had forward momentum.



Michael: The truth is like, when you were value-driven, whether that's part of your ethos or your who you are as a human being, there is patience and a vast amount of it required. But often you have to give something up to get you want you were having a conversation with Jordan Harbinger one time and you were talking about the courage to quit, and that hit me so hard, dude, because the greatest change in my life, came from quitting shit that did not bring me value. Talk about the courage to quit, John.

John Lee: Do you know how many people's lives suck right now? And I mean are just like shitty lives right now, because they're afraid to quit. Like it's the majority of the population and I see it every single day. I see that person that's in law school on their first or second semester and they hate it and they're miserable, but guess what? They paid 20,000 or 40,000 dollars to be there and everybody thinks that they're in law schools, what's so impressive. So they end up spending the next 40 years of their life, being a miserable lawyer or the person that just read a book one day or so be that. You know, so watch Grey's Anatomy, they're like, oh my God, being a nurse is amazing, you get to do this and you get to marry the doctor and you get to, and they become a nurse, and I've seen it happen to people close to me and my family by the way. And they go to school, get the degree, get the job, they're working 9 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. shifts overnight, and they're just miserable because they're just changing bedpans and they're just doing this and they've never thought that it was anything like that. And I'm just like, oh my God, like these people, they had this sunk cost fallacy, they think that just because they started going down the road that it's too much energy or there's too much cost to turning around going back to the beginning and trying again, you know, just to kind of give like a financial example, this happens all the time people. And in the stock market like they'll buy a stock at like 22, like, oh my God, if it goes to 30, like I'm going to sell and I'm going to make 50% gain, it's going amazing and then it goes to 40, they're like, oh my God, it's that 40. Then it goes to 50, they're like, oh my god, look what happened to them selling at 30, will now they're not going to sell because now they're seeing real dollar bills and then the stock starts going down the like it just goes back to 50, then I'll sell, but now it's down to 12 that just goes back to 40 I'll sell then it's back to third.

Well, if it just gets better and then I'll sudden they're on the red and this happens all the time, and so it happens in finance, happens in life, it happens in business, happens in everywhere, the sunk cost fallacy and it all stems back to people, not being willing to have the courage to quit, the courage to know that I'm going to make a decision and it may not be the best decision, that I could ever possibly make but it's going to be a decision that I make. I'm going to go forward not look over my back in hindsight, and this kind of does bring me back to my Army days. I'll tell really quick stories that you know, we were on a mission Under Fire and I was a platoon leader, so I had to make a decision. Now here I am this 23-year-old young buck, I'm going to be like General Patton and make like the greatest decision in the world right now. It's going to win the war, you know, but I got to come up with a greatest decision and he grabs me and throws me against like LT a good decision now is better than a great decision later because there might not be later for us and like I was like, holy crap like he's right bullets or literally flying. So that's obviously an extreme example, but it's true in life as well. If you just go through life and you make really good decisions at every opportunity and you're just action, action action, action, take making good decisions, it's going to lead to something great. But if you're frozen in the moment, and you just are waiting for that great decision, you are never ever going to take the type of action that it takes to be a massive success.

So you need to understand the courage to quit, the courage to make a good decision and not worry that it's not a great decision, the courage to take action, those things are critical to your journey.



Michael: One of the things that I think is really fascinating is you're growing up going through traumatic experiences, finding myself in my own rock bottom and coming through it, I recognize that the only way that I was ever going to be living a fulfilling life was to do fulfilling thing. What role does desire play in helping you figure out fulfillment? Because I have found this huge desire to end generational trauma my lifetime but I will say this, it came through the rock bottom?

David: Yeah. I think when we have nothing to lose and we get that choice, that ex existential choice of hey, I only got one place to be other than this so, I got a choice so, I wanna make this happen or do I wait the other thing happen, you know, existence itself in fact that's what the one lesson of covid that I enjoyed with Deepak Chopra, we discussing that was the first time on earth that everybody had to take into consideration who human existence, everybody had some sort of existential experience of the fear least of that bottom of a choice, the ultimate choice to live or not to live. And to me, that's a bottom that we all have, that's the last part and when we make that decision and some people can make it without ever hitting that point other people like you and I think we're just maybe not as it light and we have to be forced into the choice. But once we make the choice and I see a lot of people who have been confronted with that choice have acceleration in their lives now, they have purpose and passion in their life, they have desire but I will tell you where desire comes from in my circumstance and where I see, I could help other people start the process of gaining desire and the greatest desire you can have the number one common denominator of the spirit of excellence or people who seem to have a lot of passion, purpose and profitability in their life is the desire that they must be what they can be. And understanding that to me is understanding who. I think the simple question of who can I help with what I want and who could help me, that one thing I think helps as a catalyst to desire that will we start exploring who we can help and who can help us, there's an inspiration, a confirmation of in spirit of being connected to and through each other and through source to become a greater resource by asking for help and also giving help an incredible way in order to start the process of pragmatic tool, to start the process of building desire.



Michael: As you've gone through this journey, what do you think are probably the precursors that have helped you step into and attain not only the learner’s mindset but the growth mindset? Because I would have to think, at some period of your life, you were in your own way. I think that's true for all of us and I don't want to put words in your mouth if I'm wrong, but we're they are certain steps that you took to actually adopt this understanding of possibility in your life?

Tom: No doubt. So the good or bad news is that you know, Carol Dweck and the book mindset did not exist when I was going through all of this stuff. You know, I'm very excited for the generation coming up behind me that have the internet, they just grow up with all of this incredible information. What I had thought was nature's gift which was pain and suffering and so I was in deep emotional pain in my early to mid-20s and my pain was largely around that I didn't believe I was smart enough to achieve the dreams that I'd had since I was a little kid and that was a very dark and difficult realization. And the thing was, it was actually true, I just didn't have the word yet. So I wasn't smart enough yet. I wasn't good enough yet. I wasn't talented enough yet. And because I didn't realize that I could get smarter better faster stronger, it felt like – I had been cursed and there's this amazing moment in this movie called Amadeus, this is based on real characters, so Mozart, obviously Mozart Amadeus, and his contemporary guy named Salieri and in that movie Salieri laments to God saying, why make me just good enough to realize I'll never be as good as Mozart? And I remember that hit me like a lightning bolt in a way, that's funny now, but it wasn't funny at the time where I was like – yes, that's exactly how I feel. Why make me just smart enough to realize, I'll never be smart enough to do the things that I want to do? And that was crippling for no man, five or six years, I give us a really long period of time where it seemed self-evident to me that I wasn't smart enough to do what I wanted to do.

And so I didn't even try and so my life was just getting smaller and smaller and smaller and smaller to the point where, after graduating from film school, second in my class, by the way, which is a whole another thing. Graduated second in my class from arguably the most prestigious Film School in the world and I'm selling video games retail in like some hole-in-the-wall shop, you know, deep in the valley here in LA. And I remember the owner of that company actually pulled me aside and was like, what are you doing? Like – you could do more. But I longed for that. My ego was so fragile that I needed to be in a position where somebody would pull me aside and say, what are you doing, kid? You're smarter than this. And because I needed to feel smart, I just realized, oh, if I go put myself in these small rooms where people don't have dreams and they're not as smart as me that I'll get that feedback that I want and it was so self-destructive and so unnerving like – I used to, and I mean, look, I don't want to paint, you tell these stories and while they all are true, it becomes a mythologize version of your own life, but I would come home and some days just literally lay on the carpet, just lay, face down on the carpet. So, I'm like, what am I doing with my life? Like – if you've seen when Harry met Sally and he just sits there and moans, that's literally what it was like. I was so unhappy and had no sense of how I was ever going to get out of this. And so it just felt like my life was this one-way street to mediocrity.

And then I started reading about the brain and so I don't remember unfortunately what gave me the insight around, look into this idea called “Neuroplasticity” and it was being really debated at the time.

Now, of course, we call it a growth mindset, but it didn't have that name back then. It was debated in science because this is like – the late 90s early thousands and I decided, one day that I was going to act as if brain plasticity were real and to try to learn things and get better. And couple that with at that moment, I happened to get a job teaching, which of course, I got out of this, sort of desperation of those that can do and those that can't teach, which is a whole thing and teaching is this incredible profession, but at the time, I did not have the right mindset around it. So I wasn't doing it thinking, oh my God, this is gonna be this incredible way for me to prove to myself, that brain plasticity is real, but that's what it ended up being, that what I realized was, okay, I'm reading about the brain. That's a hugely transformational thing in my life.

I start reading about the brain and how it works and at the same time, I'm teaching these students how to make their films better. And so I end up having this aha moment of wait a second if I can teach the students and their films are objectively getting better, why can't I teach myself the same thing? And so that was that light bulb moment of oh my God, you actually can get better. And so it became this like and of course, it's not like one moment and now all of a sudden like I'm on the right path, but it gave me the signals of, hey like you need to keep pushing yourself, you need to keep trying, you need to keep reading and studying and like – really what I would now say (ABL) Always Be Learning, but it started me down that path of like – hey, don't think that you read your last book in college, start reading more now, start getting into this, start listening to people that give me what at the time just felt like hope. So, anybody that was like, of course, we can get better. I was like – I want to spend more time with this person. I want to be around people that are pushing me to get better, that are pushing themselves to get better. And then, dude, the nail in the coffin, I started going to the gym and when you realize, wait for a second, I can't pick up a 50-pound weight and curl it today, but two months from now, I can and you look at your arms and they're getting bigger and you're getting stronger and you can move weight that you couldn't move before because the brain is invisible. And so it doesn't feel like anything is changing because it's happening, so slowly. But if you're in the gym and you're keeping a journal and you can see four months ago, I was lifting 25s, and now I'm lifting 50s, you're like damn, like – it really becomes this thing. And then if you're married to my wife, she's like touching your muscles and it's like, oh my God, like this is so sexy. And so it just creates this reinforcing thing of like, hey, I know I am seeing the change in my body. I'm pretty sure I'm changing in my mind, all of this like plasticity ability to change become so tangible that then I just became a friend and it was like how fast can I learn and we get into sort of the modern era of Tom that people know me for of like, always be learning, optimize every for, getting the transition from potential to actual skill set, going and happening and then using that skill set in the real world and getting this feedback loop going off, I'm now capable of things that other people are not capable of and that allows me to do things and accomplish things that other people can't do and accomplish and then that changed my life, but it really was, that whole sort of messy like, having to read about the brain and figure out that just because I wasn't smart today, I mean I couldn't be a little smarter tomorrow. 

Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


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

Jordan HarbingerProfile Photo

Jordan Harbinger

Creator, The Jordan Harbinger Show

Jordan Harbinger, once referred to as “The Larry King of podcasting,” is a Wall Street lawyer turned interview talk-show host, and a communications and social dynamics expert. He has hosted a Top 50 iTunes podcast for over 14 years and receives over eleven million downloads per month, making The Jordan Harbinger Show one of the most popular podcasts in the world. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, he deconstructs the playbooks of the most successful people on earth and shares their strategies, perspectives, and practical insights with the rest of us.

Headshots: jordanharbinger.com/headshots

John Lee DumasProfile Photo

John Lee Dumas

John Lee Dumas is the founder and host of Entrepreneurs on Fire, an award-winning podcast where he interviews inspiring Entrepreneurs who are truly ON FIRE. With over 3000 episodes, over 100 million lifetime downloads, 1 million+ listens a month, and seven figures in annual revenue, JLD is just getting started. JLD's first traditionally published book, The Common Path to Uncommon Success can be found at UncommonSuccessBook.com and EOFire HQ is at EOFire.com.

Tom BilyeuProfile Photo

Tom Bilyeu

CEO Impact Theory

David MeltzerProfile Photo

David Meltzer



David Meltzer is the Co-founder of Sports 1 Marketing and formerly served as CEO of the renowned Leigh Steinberg Sports & Entertainment agency, which was the inspiration for the movie Jerry Maguire.

His life’s mission is to empower OVER 1 BILLION people to be happy! This simple yet powerful mission has led him on an incredible journey to provide one thing…VALUE. In all his content and communication that’s exactly what you’ll receive.

He is a three-time international best-selling author, a Top 100 Business Coach, the executive producer of Entrepreneur‘s #1 digital business show, Elevator Pitch, and host of the top entrepreneur podcast, The Playbook. His newest book, Game-Time Decision Making, was a #1 new release, David has been recognized by Variety Magazine as their Sports Humanitarian of the Year and awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.