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TMHS 617: Take Control Of Your Mind & Ignite Your Inner Power – With Dr. Eric Thomas
No one can give you permission to change your life because real transformation comes from within. It requires constant and intentional effort and courage. Most importantly, transformation requires a profound level of honesty and self-reflection. If you’re ready to tap into your potential and create different results, today’s show is for you.
Dr. Eric Thomas, also known as ET, is one of the top motivational speakers in the world. His message of empowerment, determination, and success has resonated with millions of folks who have decided to break disempowering patterns and redefine greatness for themselves. In his new book, You Owe You, ET teaches the importance of taking responsibility for your life in order to reach your potential.
On this episode of The Model Health Show, ET is back to share life-changing principles to motivate you to find your purpose and take control of your life. You’re going to hear proven relationship tips, how to take ownership, and real tips for identifying and accessing your unique superpowers. If you’re ready to take control of your mind and tap into your greatness, just press play!
In this episode you’ll discover:
- What it means to be sharpened by a relationship.
- The importance of removing your ego from your relationships.
- Three words that transformed ET’s life.
- How to begin taking ownership for your life.
- Why victimhood is a mindset.
- How taking responsibility gives you power.
- The lifechanging power of owning your decisions.
- How setting standards and boundaries for yourself can protect you.
- Why victimhood is a mindset & what it means to have a victor’s mentality.
- The relationship between excuses and execution.
- How to identify your unique gifts & superpowers.
- The connection between adding value and finding your purpose.
- How to connect with yourself and listen to your own voice.
- Why changing your environment will not change your life.
Items mentioned in this episode include:
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SHAWN STEVENSON: Welcome to The Model Health Show. This is Fitness and nutrition expert, Shawn Stevenson and I'm so grateful for you tuning in with me today. We are so powerful to affect change in our lives and also the world around us. But oftentimes it's not about our capabilities. It's not about our capacity. It's not about our talents. It's about the things that hold us back. It's about the stories that we tell ourselves about what we're capable of. It's about our psychology and there is no better person in the world to help us to really get inside of our own minds and to change our thinking than our special guest today. Now this is a very special episode because this is the first time that I'm having my guest, my friend, who I've done so much with over the years here at my new studio. So, it's just a wonderful experience to have him here. And we just did an event a couple months ago in Mexico.
In Mexico, it was actually my first time in Mexico and we do an annual event called Phenomenal Life. And so, I had the chance to of course spend some time with him, but also just to pour into our community, you know, to be able to impact thinking, to be able to impact lives, to provide practical applicable tools so that we can do the things and not just the surface level treatment of things, right? Ideas, ideas are important, but we also need practical application. And so, he is really big on that as well. So, we're going to talk about some practical things that we can do to help, to change our thinking and really tap into our superpowers.
And if I know one thing about my guest health wise, one of the things that he's always doing when he's traveling is he's bringing along his superfood nutrition, his superfood concentrate in the form of the Organifi Green Juice, a big reason that he utilizes this, and I know this because I taught him about it years ago is the benefit that it's carrying by having one of the ingredients being chlorella, chlorella gets its name from being so dense in chlorophyll. In a recent study published in the peer-review journal Appetite found that chlorophyll can assist in weight loss and reduce the urge to eat hyper palatable foods. Right? If you don't know this staggering statistic yet about our consumption of hyper palatable Ultra processed foods, let me fill you in.
Right now the average American's diet consists of about 60% ultra-processed foods. So, these are foods, not minimally processed, not taking a tomato and making tomato sauce. Alright, we're not taking olives and just cold processing, pressing them, and making olive oil. We're not taking avocados and making guacamole. That's minimal processing. What we're talking about when we're talking about ultra-processed foods is we have fields and fields of corn and somehow, we end up with a bowl of lucky charms, right? There's this huge disconnection from any origin, from any sense of it being anything nutritious, any source of it being a real food, it's a lost its essence. There's so many artificial ingredients, colorings, flavorings, preservatives, that this is no longer a real food in the sense of it. It's a food like product.
And that makes up 60% of the average Americans diet today. And it's no wonder that we are right now the most chronically diseased nation in the history of humanity, our rates of obesity right now here in the United States, over 70% of our citizens are either overweight or clinically obese. We have about 130 millions of our citizens have type two diabetes or prediabetes at this very moment. About 60% of our citizens have some degree of heart disease. And this is just for starters, that's just scratching the surface. But the good news is that there can't be a problem without a solution. And it really is directing us towards what can we do proactively to help turn this thing around? And so, it's optimizing changing what we're making our bodies out of, changing what we're making our hormones out of, because even our hormones are made from the foods that we eat.
And so obviously real foods is the mandate. Real whole foods. And if we're taking things, getting that real health insurance from nutrition, it's not going to be in the form of some synthetic "multivitamin." It's going to be coming from super food concentrate. So real whole food nutrition concentrated into incredible again with Organifi we've got low temperature processing, we've got real whole food, super foods like chlorella, like spirulina, spirulina is about 71% protein by weight. It's been used for thousands of years, chlorella thousands of years of history versus the synthetic multivitamin that was made in the lab last week. Alright, 71% protein by weight. Chlorella is about 50% protein by weight. So, it's a protein powerhouse as well, bioavailable amino acids. But again, it has some remarkable effects on our appetite. Also, chlorella contains lutein and zeaxanthin. These are two rare and remarkable carotenoids, that are proven to protect our eyes and lower the risk of macular degeneration.
Also, a double-blind placebo-controlled study published in clinical and experimental hypertension found that chlorella was able to normalize blood pressure of test subjects with hypertension. Head over to organifi.com/model. And you get 20% off their incredible green juice formula and it tastes good. This is the thing chlorella... Nobody said chlorella is tasty, this is why organifi creates this incredible formula with chlorella, with spirulina, with Ashwagandha. Put these incredible flavor notes that are so refreshing and tasty coming from coconut water coming from a little hint of mint. So, they've done things the right way, super easy to travel with as well. They have the Organifi go packs that I can wear my book bag whenever I'm traveling or backpack, depending on your jurisdiction. Alright, people have different names for things, obviously, same thing, shoes, or shoes somewhere they might be sneakers somewhere else, they might be tennis shoes somewhere else. So, I don't want people to be like, what's a backpack versus a book bag. All right, it's the same thing, same thing. But when I'm traveling, I bring along my Organifi green juice go packs. Get your 20% off, go to organifi.com/model that's O-R-G-A-N-I-F-I.com/model. You get 20% off everything they carry. And on that note, let's get to the apple podcast review of the week.
ITUNES REVIEW: Another five-star review titled “learning something new every day” by Miss Warma 2014. “I am so grateful for Shawn and his podcast. For the last two years, I've made a goal to learn one new thing every day. And Shawn is a huge part of that, between his podcast and his sleep smarter book. I learned so much. And thank you for giving us smart information during this crazy pandemic. I'm a fitness professional, and I tell everyone about you. Thanks, Shawn.”
SHAWN STEVENSON: Amazing, amazing, amazing. Thank you so much for sharing that over on apple podcast Day in my heart, I really do appreciate it. And on that note, let's get to our special guest and topic of the day. Our guest today is the one and only Dr. Eric Thomas and his words and inspiration have already impacted millions of lives. But ET as the world knows him by has led his team through dozens of fortunes 500 companies, organizations such as General Electric, AT&T, Nike, Under Armour, New Balance and UPS. The list goes on and on. Additionally, he's consulted for major universities, sports teams, such as the MLB, the NBA, the NFL, the university of Michigan, even right now, him being here with me in LA, he's going to be speaking with the world championship winning Rams this weekend as well. In addition, he's been a catalyst for so many different championship winning teams.
Most people have no idea that he's working with these teams behind the scenes and seeing their rise to game winning, championships winning, the NCAA championship. He worked with the team who won last year as well, being brought in as a secret weapon for these different universities. He's also worked with the university of Michigan, North Carolina and Duke, and also, he's just an incredible human being. He's a devoted father and husband and leader. He has one of the biggest hearts of any human being that I've ever met. So really grateful and excited to jump into this conversation with the one and only Eric Thomas. We have Dr. Eric Thomas here in the building.
ERIC THOMAS: That's ET to you.
SHAWN STEVENSON: ET my guy, man. Thank you so much for coming to hang out with us.
ERIC THOMAS: Thanks For having me, man, flat out. You know, we all know I don't care what kind of voice you have if you don't have a platform, it's silence. So always appreciate being able to come here. Yeah. Amongst the many invitations I'm like, ah, I feel comfortable here. I don't know if I want to do that over there.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, my guy, man. Well, first of all, I got to say, congratulations. You just had your 32nd anniversary with your wife Dede.
ERIC THOMAS: And my MJ. Yeah, my Magic Johnson.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. Magic Johnson year. Yes.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah, no question.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So awesome, man. And little fun fact. Your anniversary is on my birthday. August 23rd.
ERIC THOMAS: Okay. Okay. I knew it was... From what we... You know, I knew it was right there, but I know it was smack dad.
SHAWN STEVENSON: That's it man.
ERIC THOMAS: Got it.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So, we got those connections.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah, no question.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So, I... Just even on that note with your relationship with Dede, you know, first of all, it's just, it's remarkable. You know, 32 years is extraordinary, especially today.
ERIC THOMAS: Absolutely.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Well, I want to ask you, how has your relationship with Dede influenced your character and who you are as a man today?
ERIC THOMAS: You know, we were talking this morning in worship, and we were just saying mirror, you know, so it, I don't remember, who the gentleman was, but he was saying to me like, you think you ever retire? And I was like, absolutely. He was like, nah, you not going to retire. I was like, I will. He was like, nah, you know, when people like us who obsess, we never retire. I said, single people like us never retire. People who're married, who have accountability they retire. So, you know, so, and Dede was saying, yeah, what happens in life If you are human without a mirror, you know? Yes, you are powerful, but you're not getting... You're not sharpened. You know? And so, my marriage has been like, sharpening me, like Dede will always be like, all right, who's the public ET versus the private ET, you know?
And so, Dede has never been the cheerleader type. She's more like that, Phil Jackson. That's like, look, we already know you good. I want to make you great. You know? So, she's always, poking holes, she's a professional hole poker, but with Dede on one side and C on the other. I think that's why I've become one of the best to do you know what I do in this field. Because I have two people that are like constantly rubbing up against me. Constantly sharpen me, you know? So, that's what Dede has done. And you know, oddly enough, Dede is also, she's been that hope. You know, somebody was asking me the other day about some magazine was like about homeless and I was like, you know what? I did homeless with Dede So it, I never really... It was never really bad.
Like I always felt like, alright, E this is... This is temporary. Like you going to get out of this abandoned building. Like this is temporary. You're going to eventually be somebody and do something. And you have to, because if you don't, you're going to lose Dede. So, she's always been that phenomenal golden carrot that, you know, creator has put over me to go, hey, you going to lose this. If you don't get your stuff together. So, after 32 years, I was looking at her this morning and I was like, yo, I'm still attracted to her. Like, I still like being around her. And COVID really messed me up because I don't want to be around nobody else. 'cause I was with her about... Alone for like almost two years in San Diego. We cooped up in the crib. We not really going nowhere. And, man, it's amazing to still love somebody after 36 years, you know?
And then not just love, but want to be with, we still build it, We still dream it. You know? We bought the house next door to us in Michigan. So, we working on that, we working on the church renovating, we got the house in California doing the floors all over again. So, man, just working together and whatever. It's just like, I could have never... People ask how you doing, I'm saying beyond a dream. I could never have imagined that we would've got here together. But I just know by myself, I wouldn't have been able to do it. So, she is my, I don't remember the character in Charlie Brown, but she's my blankie. Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. Oh man. That's powerful. Powerful. And of course, like people can pick that up. You know, if they really know you and so listen, you said something really profound there, you said she's a professional hole poker. Right. So, people tend to think like they see a great relationship. They see a great business, they see success and they think that, you know, that person just got it. They don't really understand the tension that you have to be able to not just survive, but to be able to thrive and operate from and learn through because when she's poking holes, I'm sure it's not always comfortable?
ERIC THOMAS: No. You know. I would think after so long I would be used to it, but I got a call from one of my clients and they were talking about one of the programs they were in. It was like, I'm just discouraged this person talking to me, disrespecting me. And I was like, I already know what it is. It's one of the coaches. And they're not saying what you want them to say, and you're paying. And so you feel like because you're paying, you have the right to tell them how to coach. And I'm like, 1000, I feel you. And I told the person, I feel you, Dede is still to this day... How do I say this? While everything she says is truthful, the approach sometimes still aggravates me. It's like, you got to say it like that. Dede's like, look, here's the deal. I don't want to lose any of the truth, worrying about how I'm going to say it. I want to be able to concentrate on, this is the truth. This is where you... So just take the truth.
And so, sometimes we want the truth packaged a certain way. And so, for me, I've literally up to this day, I've had to... I've got to learn to go, man you know Dede's heart. You know Dede don't want nothing but the best for you. You understand when the air traffic controller is telling the pilot something's wrong, the air traffic control, he's not getting, he or she's not getting on the plane. They're not flying. They're not about to crash... Nothing's about to happen to them. They're not telling you because they're getting on the plane and they're going to have to deal with the repercussions, they're telling you because they really want you to be safe. They really want the plane to fly and get to its destination without any hiccups. And so, I have to remember like, Dede's not getting on stage, Dede's not writing a book, Dede's not directly impacted by this, she loves me. So yeah, that tension is real, but I have to grow and mature and say, E what do you want? You want a cheerleader that's going to make you feel good, and you are stuck in mediocrity for the rest of your life, or do you want a little tension, but somebody's going to poke holes and make you better and make you the number one motivational speaker in the world, in the life, in the lifestyle that go, and the legacy that goes with that bruh? All day, give me Phil bruh.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.
ERIC THOMAS: Give me Phil.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Triangle offense.
ERIC THOMAS: Give me Phil, bruh. Because I grew up in Detroit and I was a Piston fan. And I'll never forget, they ran Larry Brown out. You know that it was beef. They was like, they're not feeling my man. And then they got, rest in peace, Coach Flip Saunders, who everybody said was a player's coach, everybody loved him. And I'm sure they did, and I'm sure that's important. I just know as a fan, we never won another championship, we never went to the finals again. But I know under this person that they didn't particularly care for, we went to back-to-back. It was... At that time, Chauncey Billups, Tayshaun Prince and Hamilton Rick had that...
SHAWN STEVENSON: Wallace.
ERIC THOMAS: Wallace, that group, phenomenal group. But when they got the coaches that they really loved, and everybody was feeling and they kumbaya, we never made it again. And so, you have to ask yourself sometimes, do you want to win championships or do you want to be just always happy? And so, bruh, I love Dede. We don't have to poke holes every day, all day, because I'm not working every day all day. But when I'm writing a book or I'm doing a pod, whatever, I'm like, D, I didn't even know you listened. She's like, I don't. But I'm going to listening to that. I'm going to make sure you elevate your game. Yeah man. So, it's a phenomenally, sometimes tense, critique analyzation, but it's for my good. And Dede has always, since I was 16 and she found me homeless, she has always had my best interest at heart.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Right, right, right. That's the anchor. That's the anchor in your consciousness about that, because you just said such a great analogy too. A lot of people want that cheerleader. But what if we have a cheerleader... It's really difficult to be a cheerleader for the losing team, by the way. You see... You see the attitude, you see the morale go down when the team starts losing versus having the cheerleader for the winning team, which is going to challenge you.
ERIC THOMAS: Absolutely.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So, man, that's such a great analogy. Because, if you really take a step back, and... That's what she does for you, it's like that bird's eye view of things because we tend to want to see things through our lens, and have this tunnel vision, and it's just like why don't you get on the same page with me? I used to say that to Anne, like, you're not with me. Why are you not with me? And as we're trying to go, I'm trying to go travel to this particular event. And we have, just enough money to pay the electric bill in the account. She's like, we shouldn't be doing this. I'm just like, I'm telling you it's going to be amazing, all the things. Why you not with me? She's being logical...
ERIC THOMAS: Absolutely.
SHAWN STEVENSON: In seeing the bigger perspective. But here's the thing, and I know you know this as well. Once we help to satisfy her needs, her psychological needs, it opens them up. It opens our partner up to start to be more of an assistant, and more of a... Again, that Phil Jackson role of really helping you to take things to another level.
ERIC THOMAS: Absolutely. And here's a word, as you were talking, I just keep hearing with Dede, good judgment, decisive driven, good decision maker. And I'm like, E, you got to admit why you are whatever you are. The energetic. Whatever you are, you are not always the best decision maker. You were homeless at 16, that's not a good... You dropped out of high school, that's not good decision making. So, for me, man, I had to humble myself. And I really had to say, she's just a better decision maker, she's just... Her judgment is just better than yours. Went to college, finished on time, passed her NCLEX first time, she's just a better decision maker, credit score 800, money in the bank. She just makes better decisions let it go. You know, stop trying to get her on your side, which is the losing side. You feel me? Like E just be real. You're losing but when you let Dede take the lead, you're winning. So, divorce this idea of you have to have it your way, just because it's your way and I really did had to get to a point it's like, yo, E bruh the only... You're like... You are in love with... You have a fantasy with it's your way. But if you really sit down and put your way through the test, bruh you are failing, like you are not making good decisions.
She's making good decisions. Just hand it over to her and then let her give you the triangle and tell you how to work the triangle. And then you get out there and you do the triangle. She... Because she's not going to come out here and do the triangle, she's not asking to do the triangle. She's just been watching you and she's like, ah, you did get a couple commercials. You do have some endorsements, you did score 60 something, but you lost to Boston, and you didn't come here to get endorsements. You said that you wanted to win championships. And so, the way you're doing it I'm talking, but I, but you not winning this way. Your credit score is in the 600s you are in your seventh year at college, you haven't finished yet. You know, you talk about this speaking career, but I don't see where it's manifesting. And I was like, you know what? E don't take it personal, turn it over to her, let her manage you. And then boom, I don't even mean like, literally manage me in terms of like my career. Just manage me as a partner. So, once I let go, bruh and got rid of my ego it's been smooth sailing since.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Powerful man. You know, again, one of those big tenets for everybody is you said this earlier on, you remembered that she's on your side.
ERIC THOMAS: Absolutely.
SHAWN STEVENSON: She has your best interest at heart.
ERIC THOMAS: Absolutely.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And to put this analogy all together, you're on the same team.
ERIC THOMAS: We are.
SHAWN STEVENSON: But we tend in those moments, attention to be like, you're not on my team.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And that's just not the reality a lot of times. So, man, this brings us to this phenomenal new book that you've created for all of us.
ERIC THOMAS: Thank you.
SHAWN STEVENSON: As I mentioned the first time I sat down, I just briefed through the first 50 pages, like in an instant, because of course I know a lot of your story just being around you for all these years. But there were pieces, there were certain scenarios, there were certain stories that were fleshed out that, I didn't want to miss a second of. So, it was You Owe You?
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Why did you decide to make that, the title of the book?
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah well, I don't... It's so intimate. Like you don't get to talk about everything that has impacted your life. But when people ask me like, yo E when did it happen? Like, you know, a lot of people that meet me go, oh, you was homeless. Like literally you were a high school dropout. Like how you, what was the switch? Like how did you go from that to like, okay, so let's just say you were where you were and you end up getting a job as a whatever at a restaurant. Okay makes sense, but how you go from that to this? Like, and I always say to people the day I stopped saying, man, I will be so further along the road less traveled. If my mama didn't get pregnant at 17. Like, man, she screwed me up. Like, yo, you a kid having me, like you were homeless, ma.
Like you grew up with 13 other siblings, grandma, in a three-bedroom house, you know, one bathroom like, yo, why you bring me into this? My father, like, where were you bruh? Like you just had sex with my mom. Like, why weren't you like, yo y'all brought me into an urban city. Like the zip code you brought me into, like, you brought me into this terrible reality, bruh what? And that kind of mindset had me homeless, eating out of trash cans. Like just mentally I know it's we could talk about the health. Like people don't talk about where the mental health of being homeless, like the mental health of having an estranged relationship with the person that birthed you. Like yo, the abandoned building was tough the sleeping in, you know, 10 degree weather, 10 inches of snow, like, okay, yeah.
Frostbitten and walking around yeah, I got a kerosene heater that's my cologne. I smell like kerosene, wherever I go, that's tough but what's hard bruh's not talking to your mama like the person you had your first relationship with it. And again, my old dude wasn't in my life. So, it was just me and my mom until she got married. So, it's like, we had an emotional or like a chemistry that was out of this world, And for us not to be talking and to be beefing you're like, yo, I cuss my mom out, bruh. I don't even cuss. Like that's not even my swag, but I cuss my mom out and I was at the lowest point of anger and hatred and bitterness. And I looked at my life and it was like, yo E you got to be real, bruh.
Like you left home. You homeless, you got your life in your hand look at it, it ain't on your mama no more. It ain't on your biological father like you can't blame the teach... Like bruh, you, you actually are homeless. Like you got your own life in your hand and you losing, you was doing better at the crib. Like, look at you. You not taking a shower, you not brushing your teeth, you stink like bruh look at who you are and where you go bruh and one and it shift for me as I started reading self-help books and getting around, you know, different people. It's like, yo E this's your life, bruh. You owe you like you, not eight, no more, your mama don't owe you. Like the courts ain't about to go, oh, you abandoned him.
He's 17, 18 they not about to, bruh you not two. If you was two, the courts are jump in and be like, mom, what are you doing? You're irresponsible take care of your child. You grown E like you making your own decisions for yourself. And so, so it was at the point where I was like, yeah, you, you owe you bruh. Don't nobody else owe you from this point for whatever dreams, goals, whatever life you want to live. And a part of that was Dede to 'cause it was like, it's not fair to go into a relationship where this person is mutually beneficial. And I want to go commensalism 'cause I, you know, I say like I want to kind of make myself feel good. Like, alright, Dede was killing it? I wasn't helping her, but I wasn't hurting her. I don't know. It might have been parasitism like I might have been... I might have been, she got an 800-credit score. I'm mooching off her credit score.
I might have been, I ain't really making no bread. She working, she giving me her money. You... You feel me? And I got to a point where it was like, yo E I see why her mama hates you. Even though her father didn't raise... Like they weren't in the house together. You know, he was still there to some extent when I would see him, I could see why he felt like yo bruh like we didn't bring her into this earth and take care of, for her to get with a... You know? So, at some point I was like, yo, E you just don't owe you. You owe her. And so, you got to get your stuff together. So bruh for everybody, that's listening, just three quick words that shifted everything, you owe you.
Like I stopped looking outside and I started looking in the mirror before I was looking outside, like, your ma, yo police officer that arrested me at 3 o'clock why are you pulled me over. You feel me? Like it was all these other people. Why you pulling... Right bruh 'cause of 3 o'clock in the morning, y'all are 17, 18 driving around at 3 o'clock, but it was always the counselor's wrong. The principal's wrong. The teacher that sent me to the principal, the principal that kicked me out of Detroit public school. Like, y'all all the reason why I'm here, you know? And it was like yo E don't... Most of them don't know each other, but they all know you like you the common denominator, bruh, like it's on you bruh. So, it was at that point where it's like, You Owe You everything changed. So, I did Secrets To Success. I did. Greatness Is Upon You. I did Average Skill Phenomenal Will. And when C was like, yo, E the world needs a book now not just your crew, the whole... The world needs a book, what we on.
And I was like, yeah, it's got to be You Owe You, it's got to be... You got to take full responsibility for your life.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.
ERIC THOMAS: Especially if you live in this country. Now, look, we got a lot of challenges, but I'm going to tell you this. I've been to third world countries where it don't matter what time you wake up. It don't matter how talented and gifted you are. They just don't have the opportunities. So, it's like, yo E you are in the country, bruh, where it's a lot of maybe trials and tribulations that are uniquely, you know, for you. But even that is not an excuse for you not to take advantage of these opportunities that exist, bruh. So that was it. It was like, yo, what's the one thing that helped me that I think is common. Amongst most of us that's taking ownership. That's the one message that is not black is not male. It's not rich. It's not poor. It's not socioeconomic. The one message that is going to hit everybody that I've been through is you got to take full ownership and full responsibility for your life. That'll get 'em.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Facts, facts. Yeah.
ERIC THOMAS: So that one, right there will relate to a lot, not all 8 billion people, but we going to get it to the billions, when we start talking about blaming playing the blame game and not taking personal responsibility.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. You said it blatantly in the book and I've never seen it just articulated. So blatantly you said victimhood is a mindset.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Victimhood is a mindset mindset. So, you articulated that, but then you also gave some practical things that we can do to start to deconstruct that ideal.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Because when we are so latched on to this, I'm a victim perspective, which so many of us are, and it's not to negate the fact that we've been through stuff that things have happened and all these things. And you shared that too. But when we are giving our power away, really?
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: By pointing fingers and blaming the world.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: We're just... We're putting ourselves in a position where we don't have the power to change.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Right. So, I want to talk about some of these steps that you gave.
ERIC THOMAS: Okay.
SHAWN STEVENSON: You said number one, you have to take ownership of yourself.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Again, very practical. Can you expand upon that a little bit?
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah. So, I'm just saying like, okay. Yes. You didn't get good grades. Why? Well, my teacher don't like me. I remember my mom used to be like, yo, you don't got no teacher that like you, she was like, yo, what are you doing? Like, don't know a teacher... Like every teacher's against you. Like that don't even sound right. But when you are a victim, it's always. And so, I had to ask myself, okay, E yeah. Let's say teachers don't like you. And then bruh, it got real bad. When I started like studying history, especially black history. And I'm looking at the Little Rock Nine, like, yo, you got nine kids going to a predominantly white institution with the national guards. Like they got to get escorted every day with the military and dogs. So, they're literally going into a school where these teachers don't particularly care for 'em you got other grown people outside, spitting at 'em calling them all kind of stuff. And bruh, they managed to go in there and graduate and go to college and do...
It's like E you mean to tell me you ain't got... Like they got dog, they got police off... Like they got a real problem. All your teachers is in the urban community like you, they black, like you, like what, what, tell me again what the problem is. Like your teachers aren't against you like for real. So, I was like, yo E bruh, fess up. You're not studying. You do have a... You do have some type of learning up disability, whatever that is. But not to the point that you can't learn. It just means that you may have to read the book five times when somebody read it one time and they get it.
And I used to be like, well, he could read it and get it. Why can't I... It's like no. If it takes five times, just read it five times. So, I had to take responsibility for, you're not going to class. You're not paying attention when you are in class. You're daydreaming. You're not time on task. You're not meeting with the teacher afterwards or before. You're not meeting with other friends that know how to study and asking them what to... Bruh You're giving 50, 60%. What are you expecting? So, here's what I want you to do. I want you to give 120 and then if you fail at 120 and Shawn, let me tell you something, bruh. I tell students this all the time. Yo, when you go to every class, when you read, when you take every test, when you do every assignment, I don't even care if you fail. A teacher's going to give you... I do this in schools. Yeah. I ask teachers to stand, and I say, look, I come to every class. I raise my hand. I'm not disrespectful. Tell me what grade I'm going to get. They're like, yo, I'm just going to be real with you. At least a C plus B minus, at least like without even getting hundreds on tests.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.
ERIC THOMAS: And so, for me it just meant, Eric, what part do you play in your own destruction? Own that. Own that part. Don't put it on your wife, your kids, the country. Bruh I got some stuff I can say about every entity, but I'm telling you, bruh, when I started taking full ownership, full responsibility, I literally got control... My control. And I woke up one day. Bruh I was like, yo, I can't even believe I'm here. Like I can't believe I went from that to this. But it's all because when you take responsibility, as you said from the book, at that point, you get a power that is lended to you. There's a source, you know what I'm saying, that's like, yo bruh, I got you. I'm a back you up. Yo it's like when I used to be young and I played Ms. PAC man, and I get the banana, the strawberry, you know the pear, you know what I'm saying? You start eating them jokers and you hitting the pop.
They running from me. It was like when I took responsibility, everything that once was attacking me is now running from me and everything that I once feared I'm chasing it. I'm going after it now. And it was all the power pill I didn't realize was ownership was taking responsibility.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Come on.
ERIC THOMAS: Change the whole.
SHAWN STEVENSON: All right. I already see it. E's video game.
ERIC THOMAS: Heck.
SHAWN STEVENSON: It's coming.
ERIC THOMAS: I love it.
SHAWN STEVENSON: It's coming.
ERIC THOMAS: I love it.
SHAWN STEVENSON: I love that, man.
ERIC THOMAS: I love It. I Love it.
SHAWN STEVENSON: All right. So, we got to take ownership that's number one, number two, this is like a little bit of a, a pivot, but still in that same vein, you said number two, you have to own your decisions.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah. Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: You have to own your decisions.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah. So, I made my mom own hers. You lied to me, the person that I'm most closest to, and the person that told me don't lie. You lied about my whole life. And so, what I was doing was I was holding my mother responsible for her decisions. Mm-hmm but I wasn't holding myself responsible for my decision. So, the reality was, yes, your mother lied about your father, but the way you decided to deal with it, you never dealt with that. That's the real problem. The real problem wasn't that she lied to you. The real problem was you acted in haste and ran away from the crib and your pride wouldn't let you humble yourself and come back. So now you living in an abandoned building like dah or at that time living on the street first, I didn't do abandoned buildings 'till like deep into the game.
When I started understanding the homeless game, I was like, oh, okay. You ain't got to stay outside. You could like barricade yourself in some of these abandoned buildings in Detroit. I was at that time living in Southfield. And so, for me, it was like, yo, you made your mom, you held her to the fire, but you didn't hold yourself to the fire. Like you held your mom to the fire. And, part of this book too is like, yo, why is it so easy to be upset with people when they do you wrong? But you let you off the hook when you do you wrong. Like, why is that okay? Like, why is it okay? Oh, Shawn told me, he was going to give me an opportunity with 50 grand. He ain't come through. But then I don't wake up on time and I miss an opportunity and I'm like, oh bruh, you just overslept.
What? Like, I should hold me more accountable than you because you're living your life and trying to do what your supposed to do for you. This is my life. And so, I was like, yo, E if you could start taking ownership of the decisions that you made, why you decided to do that versus go, why didn't I just say, yo, can we go to counseling? Why didn't I say, yo mom I'm pissed, but can we just sit down and talk about why you did it? Like, what was the purpose of why you did it? Like I have to take ownership of you acted impulsively about something and you could have went about that a whole different way. And everybody could have worked together to talk about where we are and where we can go from here. But instead, you're just cussing folk out, threatening folk, you know, acting stupid.
And of course, Shawn, when I did it, of course it was on a Sunday when everybody's outside cutting the grass. It's not in the afternoon on a Tuesday where nobody's, you know what I'm saying? I'm doing everybody's outside. Everybody's seeing it. So now I got like...
SHAWN STEVENSON: Full drama.
ERIC THOMAS: All full drama on display? You know, I should have got an Oscar, you know, but so I just realized E you have to start taking ownership of your decisions because that's the real root of the problem. Not how do I say it? The event I realized, wasn't the thing, what is it? ERO? It wasn't the event. It was the response that was... That's more important than the event, is what it is, a lot of events, but I didn't respond to the event in the way I should have. So, the outcome ended up being homeless. And I was like, yo, E that ERO boy, you got to switch that you cannot control events, but you can control how you respond to events. And if you take ownership, you respond different than when you give the... Our responsibility away.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. I love how you broke down and kind of looked inside your mom's story, mama T and really looked at from her perspective. And you fleshed that out in the... In the book itself, because again, you had this narrative about her making this decision. Yeah. But not taking the time, especially in that moment to actually understand why she did it and all the opportunities she was actually giving you.
ERIC THOMAS: Oh, Come on. And has given me.
SHAWN STEVENSON: You know, it was really special. Yeah. Right. Continue to. But even at the last event I... Outside of my wife and my kids, I spent more time with her talking with her, you know, she's such a special human being. You really highlighted her. Yeah. In a beautiful way in the book too.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah. I had to, man. I did 'cause I didn't even realize you present them to the world before they get to present themselves to the world and how you do that is critical. And even those who I would identify maybe as, frenemies, the way I present them in the book is important. Why? Because I get to, I get to go first, you know? And so it's very important for me in the book to make sure that we understand like, yo, we all got problems, but there's a reason why we come. And man, when I look back at mom's roots, I'm like, yo, I didn't know it. I didn't understand some stuff. So, moms pretty much wrote, you know, the intro, like mom pretty much, you know, had to break down where my grandma came from, where my great grandma, you know, 'cause I don't necessarily... I didn't know them like that.
And I didn't know my grandmother's story 'cause grandma... So, it's funny we call her Lama, but you know, it's, slang for Li'l ma you know, Li'l mama. So, it's like Lama it's just rolls through. I didn't even know that. I was like, oh, I never knew that was her. So, my grandmother didn't talk a lot. Like she didn't share with us her past or whatever. So, this was the first time I realized that my grandmother's mother died giving birth to her. So now it makes sense why my grandmother, wasn't what she probably would've been had she been raised by her mom and got the things that a mother daughter, you know, that chemistry and what. So, grandma was more like grandpa, you know what I'm saying? Grandma was way more protective, you know, made sure we had everything, but the nurturing part, you know, wasn't.
And so, when I looked at my grandma like, oh, and our history, like shared croppers, coming up to, Detroit, looking for a job, Chicago looking for a job. You know, the emancipation proclamation like yo, this stuff is real. And I'm looking now how my people were affected by it. So y'all coming up north thinking that it's this, you know what I'm saying? It's this heaven up here. And you know, it's got its own issues being in an urban community living in the projects, Robert Taylor in Chicago, Herman Gardens in Detroit. So, like, we really were a part of that good times. Like that was our life with our grandmother. And so now I got a whole another level of respect for my mom because I'm like, yo, this is what you...
This the mud you came from, and as a result of that mud, this is what you prepared me for. And you allowed me to become number one in the world because of what you did early on. You know, where yeah Dede phenomenal and I give Dede all her... But it's like, yo moms was the one that started that we not going to be that. Each generation is going to get better. So yeah, man, it just felt good to write in a way where I could and I called my moms like, hey, I'm about to loop you what you do with the alee-hoop, that's up to you but I'm about to loop you and introduce the world to you and your genius in the way that you deserve that. And then hopefully, like I said you know, she'll take advantage. I had to tell her the Colonel came out with his recipe when, you know what I'm saying, he, wasn't 30. So, ma still got a chance to take this part of it, you know, and blow it up.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Absolutely I mean, she's got the game, she does.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah, she does.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Man, yeah so again, victimhood is a mentality, so we've got those first two pieces. The third piece that you gave was to set a standard. So that's that other... That's the other part of the recipe, for breaking out of that mental prison that we put ourselves in.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah, so for me, what I realized was you were able to respond to your parents in the news the way you did, because you didn't have a set of standards. So when you don't have standards, you just act any kind of way. When you have a set of standards, the standards also become an anchor. So, for me, it's like one of my non-negotiables coming up because my uncles were all let's just say they made very bad decisions, being intoxicated that landed them in prison. And then I had aunts who also let's just say, didn't have a healthy relationship, with alcohol, it wasn't recreational. You know what I'm saying? Let's just say that it wasn't recreational. My own father had his battle with whatever drug of his choice for years and then my uncle died of cirrhosis of the liver.
So, one of the things I decided at a very young age with that information, Shawn was I'm never going to drink or smoke, so some people be like, there ain't nothing wrong with drinking. I'm like, maybe in your family it's not, maybe y'all can do it responsibly, but I just don't see a history of being responsible with alcohol and drugs, so I'm good on that and so that was a standard. So, because that was one of the standards that I got just growing up in the home. I didn't have really a lot of personal standards. When I was with my boys that was doing stuff, they shouldn't do I was always sober. So, I was always able to get out of certain things because I was always sober. I didn't have a child, out of... I was sober, you know what I'm saying?
That was another thing because of what happened to me, I didn't want, I was a virgin. Like I didn't want to have sex because I saw it as man y'all had sex and y'all left me out here like I wasn't in a marriage. I wasn't in a what do you call it? A nursery, we going to pick the name together, we going to have a baby shower and we're going to go to the church and bless you. Like, I didn't have that, so I was like, yo, I'm good on sex. I'm good on, you know alcohol and substance. And so, but I didn't have my own personal other stuff that made me go honor thy mother and thy father. Like we didn't grow up in church. So, I wasn't... I ain't see, no honor that mother and father, like, I don't know nothing about that.
So, I disrespect them, but maybe had I had a principal or some standards, I would've been like, it doesn't matter how angry you are. Honor your mother and father. This is your mom; this is your dad don't disrespect them. And so, as I got older, I started realizing like, yo bruh standards, aren't meant to hurt you. You know, cats who like, I want to be free. Well, if you real free, you have boundaries. Like, there is no real freedom without boundaries.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Wow.
ERIC THOMAS: Like, you not free, free unless you got bunch of boundaries that's protecting your home or protecting your stuff. And so, I realized, okay, E you need to start creating standards. So, when the Demon Eric Thomas, when the dark Eric Thomas rises, those standards could say like, yo bruh, you doing us harm and you don't get to do us harm just because you're us. Like you don't... Because you're me, you don't get to destroy us.
You don't get to make decisions that's going to tear everything down that we built up. I'm going to hold you in check just like I will hold somebody else in check. So that's what those standards did, they actually provided me with emotional, mental, physical health. I was a vegetarian, for a long time and I think it was important because when I was eating meat, it was just meat and starch so being a vegetarian was the start of me introducing my body to vegetables 'cause when you homeless, bruh, it's like, you don't have the best diet. You know what I'm saying? It's like, they don't have grocery stores, but you know what I'm saying. Homeless folk, you know, but those standards started to protect me and the crazy part also, Shawn those values started to allow me to attract myself to other people.
'Cause there's some people that like E you could make a million, $2 million with my man. I'm like, ah, I don't know if our values and beliefs align, like I got to bring my wife around him. I got to bring my kid I don't know if I'm, you know, so I also realized you get rid of a lot of garbage when you have standards. So, for me, standards were the thing that I think allowed me to get a victim's mentality, a victor's mentality and keep that victor's mentality. CJ would be upset with me 'cause we went to Michigan State and Michigan says this, but it's true hail to the victor you know what I'm saying? I'm not supposed to say that 'cause that's Michigan, but the truth is hail to the victor, not the victim, you know. And so, once I got standards, man from that day forward, I just, yeah, I just took off.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, yeah man so powerful. We've got a quick break coming up. We'll be right back.
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So, this is something I haven't thought about ever in knowing you and knowing your story, the fact that you were, you were maintaining a standard, even when you were homeless.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: You know, because oftentimes there's this connection that we see with somebody being homeless to drug abuse. Alcohol abuse. And you already had this standard. I'm not participating in those things. You had the audacity to be this great human being in this one facet where you were adhering to your standard, especially with so much darkness around you, so much anguish where you could turn to those things, like you've seen in the environment that outlet and you just decided, no, that's not who I am. And so, to talk about the power of standards is so remarkable. It's like a... You just said it because freedom is not free. So, it's creating these boundaries for you to operate in and to have all the freedom within that. Right. Versus this thing, if you don't have a standard, just intercepting your life constantly. You know, so I could definitely identify with that and seeing that in the environment around me. I'm really the only person in my family who chose to not participate in those very same things.
And I always wonder, like, because I would see my siblings, I would see my cousins just like, don't you guys see what's happening. Like we're not going to be that. Right. Right. So, in my mind, it's just like, we got the message. Right. But no, it takes... You have to set the standard because even if you play with the thing, right. So, this brings us to the fourth portion here in this recipe. This one, this is a big one. E no excuses. Yeah. No excuses.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah. I so love excuses. They're like dessert to me. You Know what I'm saying? I love, I absolutely love, you know, excuses. But honestly, excuses are, again, not... A human, you need to take responsibility, but now you're giving it, oh, you're giving your power away to a circumstance or situation. You feel me. And so, people say to me all the time, like, yo, bruh, you know, you should be talking about boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. You know, you got a platform, you know you out here, why are you not addressing? And I'm like, yo, I'm not addressing it. I'm not addressing it first in the way you want me to address it. 'Cause I'm addressing it. I'm not addressing the way you want me to. I'm not addressing it on you know, on a podcast. But I'm out in the trenches for real, for real addressing it.
But what I will not do is I will not give the power that our young people have to any circumstances, or situation. Because if there's a circumstance, a situation that a human created, you have the power to overcome that because it was a human that created it. So, anything a human does as a human, you have a... You can counterattack the attack. So, for me then the excuse is giving you an out from making your dreams and goals becoming a reality. And we can't do that. Like it, we're in a no-fly zone. You know what I'm saying? It's a no-fly zone. It's a no excuse zone. Like we cannot make excuses. Why? Because excuses create opportunities for us not to make it happen. So, when people say racism, bruh, bruh that's it that, okay, you can call that excuse. You can call it whatever you want to call it.
It's not going to stop me and Dede from living the lifestyle. We spoil it. It's not going to stop me from PJing first classing it. It's not going to stop me from Dubai, whatever. I don't care what my man think about the color of my skin. That's his problem. That don't have nothing to do with me and my family and my dreams and my goals. You're not about to stop me. I don't care what legislation you put together. I don't care what you think about me. What you say about me. It does not matter. Why, because it has nothing to do with this temporary experience called life that I only get so many years and I want to live it to the fullest. You, that, this, that is not going to stop me from Dede where you want to live? What you want to drive? What you want to eat?
If well, food is expensive in California. I could care less how expensive it is. Dede, what you want to eat? How often do you want to eat it? What color do you want, do you want a room temperature, hot? Like we got a temporary experience. I'm not about to, okay... Now we live to be 2000. Maybe I could. I got a hundred years of excuses. Bruh I might not even make it to a hundred. And if I do, I guarantee you it won't be with the same independence. You feel me? So, if I'm a hundred, I'm not going to be able to run, if at 50 and at 42, I might still be able to run, but it's not going to look like how I was running when I was 21. So, for me, excuses are the more complicated things that are meant to stop you from living the life you want to live.
And so, no, I can't, we can't do excuses. We can only do execution because execution guarantees. CP3 hit me up and was like, E bruh, the speech you gave those kids yesterday. I just want to thank you again. So that execution makes the relationship mutual which extends the relationship. You understand what I'm saying?
SHAWN STEVENSON: Absolutely.
ERIC THOMAS: That joke will make that mutual. So, we about to extend this boy. So, we're going to extend the mutualism. Like I was like, yo you see, I ain't trying to be funny, but you know, I take kids to the Super Bowl. He's like, I know. He was like, ah, it's in Phoenix this year. I was like 1000%. So 'cause you there, Kev there. I want to enrich the experience these kids have. He like, let's go. But had I had an excuse for why I didn't do good at the event, he brought me to speak. You... A dude walked up to me. He's like, bruh, I'm 51 years old. I worked for ESPN for 21 years. He was like, I just want to give you context. I'm not some random dude off the street. I've never heard a presentation like that ever in my life. And I know you were talking to these kids, but as a 51-year-old, I took notes. Bruh that's execution.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.
ERIC THOMAS: So, when you execute like that, I was like, oh, does that mean the pub that CP3 gave me for my book on your camera with your audio, does that mean I'm going to get it a little earlier, now? He's like, I got you. I was like, thank you. So, execution begets execution. Excuses are a result of missed opportunities. And the one thing that we are not, we're not god's so we don't know how many opportunities we have. So, for me it's like excuses are glorified distractions to making my dreams and goals becoming a reality.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Come on, come on CB3 Chris Paul. He wrote the forward for your book.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah, my God.
SHAWN STEVENSON: As well. Everybody makes sure... It's out right now.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Make sure you pick up a copy.
ERIC THOMAS: Please.
SHAWN STEVENSON: You Owe You very, very special book.
ERIC THOMAS: Pretty please. Which camera is that? Please, pretty please.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Listen so much that you've given to all of us man, to the world and you know this there's so many people, you never know who's listening, you never know who's heart you touch. And so, this is just our opportunity to pour back into you and support this project.
ERIC THOMAS: Thank you. Yep.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So, it's already done E.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah. Thank you.
SHAWN STEVENSON: You know something else. So, we've got this framework here to break out of that victim mentality. That truly it's... It's something that puts us in a strait jacket.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: It inhibits us from creating a life that is possible for us. Doing that, doing that portion is critical. And now we get to that part where even in that moment, even when you were experiencing homelessness and you still carried your standard.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: You still carried these character traits that led to the person you are today. So... And you talk about this in the book by articulating, 'cause somebody might even hear this, okay. I'm not going to be a victim anymore; I'm going to take control of my life. But what do I do with my life? I don't... I'm not you, I'm not Eric Thomas. I don't have this talent. And you talk about activating or accessing our superpower.
ERIC THOMAS: Superpower yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So, let's talk about that.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah so, I believe that every human is brought into the world with a gift or gifts, whether that's you are supportive of other people and they can't get to where they need to get to without the type of support you provide for them, whether you are a leader and you have the ability to help people move from one point to the next. And I... And I say that because people say all the time "I'm a leader." I say, listen to me, if you are a pilot, you're not getting in the plane to fly yourself. You're getting in a plane to fly somebody else to their destination. So, a real leader is a person that helps other people get from point A to point B. If you're like me like yoh, you just provide fuel and energy and inspiration to the world. Or if you're like one of your mini traits, you're strategic like you have the ability to be analytical and think things through and make connections, right? Those are all gifts.
So, I think what we do sometimes, and I told my daughter this, I couldn't believe my daughter was going through this. Jada's such a strong human, but she had come to me right after graduating with her masters and was like, dad, I feel a little bit behind. I said, behind, behind what? And I said, no, no, no, no, no, not what, I'm sorry. Behind who? You've been on that the internet again, haven't you? You've been scrolling through the internet, haven't you? And you've looked at this person's internet page and this person's profile. This pro... I said, You're 24 with a master's degree, behind who? I said you; I don't know what... I don't know the world's population with a master... Like with an advanced degree, that's a small number. And you went to Michigan State and you were exposed to all the things at Michigan State and you traveled the world and you speak and you... I'm like yo, I don't get it.
And so, the thing I would say is that everybody has something, but sometimes you don't know that you have it because you're looking at your sister and what she has, or your brother or what she had. But I want you to go back to the time where people were like, can I count on you to do this when you were in school? And can you do that? Or can you do that? Where your friends love you for this? Like, that's a gift and that gift can turn into purpose. Now get... Let's leave the money alone. 'Cause people like money, man I just, I was just in Milwaukee and folks were was like, I'm sorry, Minnesota. People were like, can you talk to this kid? And can you talk to this kid, I'll do a CP3 thing. And the kid was like, yo bruh, I'm not trying to be funny. I know you big time, but yeah I watch your videos. Can we talk? I'm like, let's go. Bruh I...
I go to bed at night, not to make a bunch of money. I go to bed at night, hearing people say, yo, you helped me get through cancer. Like I had 28 chemotherapy treatments I had to go through, and I put your stuff in my ear. Yo bruh, I lost 300 pounds listening to your stuff, sometimes people say stuff like, you know, man, I made 12 million last year, listening to you. All the stuff they say, I was like, yo, which video was it exactly, can you shoot me that video please.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Let me listen back.
ERIC THOMAS: I need to Listen back, bruh. I need to... What part exactly. And so, it is the purpose of what I do that is the thing as I think so many people caught up on money and status and fame and whatever, fortune that you get. You don't understand that what makes us go to sleep at night and feel good about ourselves is, is the value we add in other people's lives, the value added in our own. So, for me, when I spoke for the first time and realized yo, they liked it. Oh, I think they like it. I was like, oh, I actually have something that I can contribute. Like, you know, when I was a kid, I'm sure maybe, you know you as well, when you go to your aunts or your grandmas and they make this Thanksgiving stuff, it's like, I go in like, yo, this stuff is great, but I don't really have nothing to bring, but I remember getting older and going to college and then coming with my family.
And no, I ain't my grandma and I couldn't cook like my grandma, but you know, I brought, I went to the store and got water. I got the juice, and I brought it and I'm coming in the house. Now like, yo, I'm not this. I'm not the one that's just coming to eat no more like, yo, I got a little money. I got a wife, I got my grandson, and my grandma loves to see more than she loves to cook, my baby's here and I'm like, yo, I'm bringing something and then Shawn, I really got big time and I learned to do the Turkey so well that everybody wants my Turkey every year. And what a joy it is, you know what I'm saying? Coming in that joke, like, hold up, yo, I got to go in the kitchen first, grandma ain't got the Turkey. And so, it wasn't eating that I enjoyed anymore, it wasn't being a child. It was contributing to the world and so here was a little church with 50 or 60 people who absolutely loved hearing me present.
Then I went to Oakwood and here are a couple hundred kids that love me too. And so you're looking at now the millions that follow me but bruh I felt the same way with the first speech I ever did. And it was like, yo, this is what I'm bringing to the table from now on. You feel me? And so, I'm telling you those of you who are listening, you want to be happy, you want to experience joy, start bringing something to the table whatever that might be for your family, for the school, for your community, for the church, you start using your gift and helping the people that's in your space. Man, that's the greatest feeling in the world feeling wanted and needed feeling a sense of belonging, that's the greatest gift in the world.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. Yeah. Man, and you give so many practical ways to access that superpower. I remember CJ saying that, you know, one of those ways to find your gift is to ask yourself what comes easy to you, that's difficult for other people.
ERIC THOMAS: Absolutely.
SHAWN STEVENSON: What comes easy? Because a lot of times our gift, we negate it because it's easy for us. It's natural to us and you know, especially today when there's so much distraction, another big part of this equation, like you just said, Jada's getting a scroll in on social media, we get distracted. It's another, not just a voice, but thousands of other voices and so we don't have that, that still time, that quiet time to really look within, and ask these questions, right?
ERIC THOMAS: Homeless is what... I remember that's all homeless was for me, was alone listening to my voice or I shouldn't say listening, but figuring out what my voice was, you know, versus my voice saying, yo, let's go over here and do that. And I was like, that's not my voice ain't saying, let's go do that. And then being courageous enough to go, yo, my voice ain't saying do that. So, we not about to go do that. And even when it got to a point where there was someone who was very influential in the group and who had looked out for me in a way the group had looked out for me, that almost made me feel guilty to do it. But I had to call on a higher power and pray and say, yo, God, I don't want to do that. And I don't feel, and he was like, no, the power is in you.
Say, no, you could say no and be okay. Like nobody... They love you; you think that you can't say no, there's something in you. So that was, there was this voice telling me your voice is deeper than what you think your voice is. You... Rely on you, like don't rely on me. Meaning, you know, some people are like, oh, well I'm a believer. I believe you should rely on God. No, what I was hearing the creator say was, I already created you with a voice. You got to start listening to your voice and being obedient to your voice. So, I was like, nah, I'm not going to do it. I'm still here today and I said, no. And that crew calls me periodically like we proud of you, bruh we see what you're doing, you're an inspiration to us. So, I think being homeless is not as bad as I thought it was because it gave me an opportunity to hear my voice more than the other voices. And when you listen to your voice, man, you going to be successful when you listen to somebody else's voice tell you to do some stuff, around 50/50, man, probably not even 50/50 chance that that stuff is going to be successful.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, I can't stress this enough. It's... But it's also one of the most challenging things today to be able to look within, to have that time for introspection is so important. And we evolved with it for centuries upon centuries, thousands upon thousands of years. And there was no choice but to have that time with yourself, to be able to listen to your own internal voice. Today, we are inundated. We are bombarded 24/7 with other voices and perspectives. And so, to unplug from that just a little bit, you know, just a little bit but what's going to tend to happen is it's going to be uncomfortable if you're not used to it, those feelings, those things we stuff down can start to fester up and emerge.
ERIC THOMAS: Absolutely.
SHAWN STEVENSON: But it's there for us to address it. I know you and the guys are recently just even talking about the GPS story on your show, on the podcast, make sure to check out Secrets To Success podcast by the way, but you know... You guys also touched on just very briefly, but I thought it was so powerful, the understanding that anxiety is not all bad.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Like we just have this negative label for the thing.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah. Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: But we actually had on a neuroscientist sitting right in that chair right where you are right now...
ERIC THOMAS: Wow.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And Dr. Wendy Suzuki. And the title of her book is called Good Anxiety, alright. And she was talking about this important biological feedback that anxiety can give us.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah, I heard her. Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: 'Bout developing the tools to be able to understand what this anxiety is trying to tell me and to operate in a healthful way, versus we have a culture where we'll take something to suppress it. We'll do something to suppress it, we'll ignore it, entertainment, whatever and eventually though that thing is going to cause some dysfunction, whether it's your body or your mind.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah, yeah. Like she said it. It produces, what it produces. If you let it, if you don't suppress it. It's actually going to take you to another level. Yeah. And I welcome it now. I don't stress about it. I don't... I welcome it. I say this anxiety is here to help me grow and take me to another level. So, whatever you're here to do, whatever... However, you're here to help me grow. I want to sit down and enjoy this relationship in the way that I couldn't 10, 15 years ago.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yes. Listen, our bodies and our minds are intelligent. And you are not broken. It's just being able to better associate with yourself is the key. So, this brings us to... This probably my favorite quote in the book.
ERIC THOMAS: Okay.
SHAWN STEVENSON: It says, "You can change environments. But until you change yourself nothing will ever change."
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Man, I just had friends that were substance abusers. I'll never forget. It don't matter what city I brought them to, bruh they would find it. I'm like, yo, how do you find that? How do you find that here? Who do you know that... You don't even know nobody here? How did you find... Who did you... How did you? And it just showed me. It's like, yo, it's not the environment. The environment follows the human. The environment follows the human. It's not like, yo, I'm in this environment. But when I leave and I go to Kansas, that's going to be a... No it's not. Whatever environment you were in in that city. You're going to take that... You're going to go to the next city in the cues and the clues and the rules are going to be like, hey, here we go. You're looking for this here go. You looking for that here go. And so, for me bruh, when I travel and everybody was like, yo, how you know all these good people?
Like how you know people that you could leave your wallet, your wife, your kid. Like how do you know so many good human beings? Like how are you with people that are not manipulative? Like man, why you got friends that's constantly like pumping you up in public? Like why aren't they envious or jealous? Like why do y'all support each other in a way? Like how do you get that many friends that's so supportive? I was like, yo, when you become supportive, you attract a supporter. When you become a person of standards and integrity, you attract the person... When you like... It's like, yo, all y'all married. All y'all are... Y'all not all happy. Y'all not all... All your kids that... Come on. It's not I'm like, bruh it... When you become it, the environment supports what you become.
It brings the right energy and the right people and the right human resources and physical resources and material resources. Like the universe is like, yo, this is who you are. So, we going to set you up for greatness. And you know, Dede's... You know, eat in a certain way. And it's like, yo, we stayed at the hub to the JW Marriott. But we stayed there downtown. And you know, Dede's doing this certain diet. Bruh, your house is right there, and they got everything. And I'm like, yo, we're going together. And I got the quinoa they got it. You know what I'm saying? They got the Kale; they got the Salmon that I want. You know what I'm saying? Well done is phenomenal. It's 400 feet from the... It's like, yo, I didn't even know it, but I didn't even choose the hotel. But everything just when they know I want kale in my system, I want the quinoa... Like I don't want to do the carrots, but I still want a nice healthy meal. I'm on the road. It's right... It's right there.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.
ERIC THOMAS: You know? And so, Dede wanted the... Whatever kind of protein she... I don't know what it was she wanted, but they had it. And it was... She liked it. It was tasty, you know. So, for me it's like, bruh, when you are the environment supports, you know who you are. But for so long I thought, if I would just get out of get out my parent's house, my life would be better. I was homeless.
SHAWN STEVENSON: You taking you with you.
ERIC THOMAS: I went with me. I was with me everywhere. I went... I couldn't get away from me. You know. And that's why I said will the real Eric Thomas, please stand up. And I knew it was another Eric in there. And I wanted him to emerge and lead us and not to trifling as my grandmother would say, the irresponsible, the victim dude. I didn't want him leading us no more. I wanted the victor to lead us. And he finally emerged, and my environment changed. And everything changed once he emerged. Like you said, I don't think that there's something that's going to miraculously happen to you. I think that person is inside of you. Like you said, you just haven't connected the mind, the body the soul. Like you haven't gotten on one of the cores in alignment with everybody to bring that best person out. But I do believe for all of us that person is inside of all of us waiting desperately to come out. Pick me, let... Get me in the game. Let me in coach. I'm ready. I'm ready to take us to the championship, you know.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yes, sir. You Owe You.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah, you do. You do.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Available at bookstores everywhere right now. Amazon, Barnes & Noble. Your local bookstores support them, support this incredible human being. Dr. Eric Thomas. Man E, I appreciate you so much brother.
ERIC THOMAS: Likewise, brother.
SHAWN STEVENSON: It's such a blessing to have you in this space.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah likewise.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And yeah, I'm just... Man, I'm excited to see what you do next, man.
ERIC THOMAS: Yeah, and I'm excited for us to keep doing stuff together. I got some stuff brewing, but I'm not able to share yet. But I got some stuff brewing and I'm going to need a team to help me to do it. And what I so appreciate about our squad is that we're all different, but we're all beast. And you can't check all of us at one time. You know what I'm saying?
SHAWN STEVENSON: Facts. Facts. Facts.
ERIC THOMAS: Somebody going to be out there. Somebody going to be out there.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Somebody's going to breakthrough.
ERIC THOMAS: And so, man, it's a blessing, man. The conferences, to see wifey and the kids and then my son, my daughter is there. It's just... It's a blessing, man. It's just a blessing, man and we've created something. And even when we leave this place, our footprint is still going to be on this Earth and that is a blessing. I hit AK yesterday and I was like, wow, AK was gotten into space and then we just took off. There's a lot of people that come around us, but we don't necessarily stick and stay. And so, when you look at the people that stick and stay, it just tells you so much about who you are and what kind of future you got. So, man, I appreciate you, the platform as always. I think what? Three or four times. I'm a regular.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Facts.
ERIC THOMAS: And I see some of the brilliant people on the show, I'm like, yo, I don't know how I can get the keep getting on there but, some of the minds and just the intellect and the research that these individuals have done, it's just like, wow, Shawn is exposing everybody but there are people that in our circle, they're being exposed to the type of information that it had not been for you. Our podcast is not like that. So, they're getting exposed to some stuff that's going to help them mentally, it's going to help them physically, going to help them emotionally. And we know, man, for real, mental health is so critical. So, we thank you for what you do for us and what you do for the world. And yeah, let's keep knocking them down one day at a time.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Absolutely. It's done. It's done. ET, love you, appreciate you.
ERIC THOMAS: Love you as well.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Pick up. You Owe You right now. My guy, Dr. Eric Thomas, everybody.
ERIC THOMAS: That's ET to you.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Let's go. Boom. Thank you so much for tuning in to the show today. This is one to share up with your friends and family. Send it directly to the people that you care about through the podcast app that you're listening on. Of course, take a screenshot of this episode and tag me and tag ET on Instagram and share it up that way as well. Really does mean a lot. This is an important book; an important message and I appreciate you so very much. We've got some epic shows and powerful master classes coming your way very, very soon. So, make sure to stay tuned. Take care. Have an amazing day and I'll talk with you soon.
And for more after the show, make sure to head over to themodelhealthshow.com. That's where you can find all of the show notes, you can find transcriptions, videos for each episode. And if you got a comment, you can leave me a comment there as well. And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome, and I appreciate that so much. And take care, I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.
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