Listen to my latest podcast episode:

799: Why Body Fat, Inflammation, & Disease is Skyrocketing Because of Vegetable Oil – With Dr. Cate Shanahan

TMHS 713: How To Build Your Mental Fitness & Stay Sane In An Insane World – With Greg Harden

“Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”

-Maya Angelou

What is one thing that all successful people have that helps them stand out from the rest, and helps them be successful? The answer is simple: Every aspect of our lives is impacted by our mindset and our mental health … and a healthy understanding of the power within is what makes famous people like Tom Brady and Michael Phelps become successful.

How do you get to where you want to be in life? What do you need to let go of? What new attitudes and behaviors do you need to learn? How can you reach true self-love and self-appreciation?

World-famous peak performance coach, Greg Harden, has helped countless people – including Tom Brady, Michael Phelps, and Desmond Howard – overcome their personal obstacles and change their mindsets. He joins us today to explain how to be successful in life by reinventing your mindset. You’ll learn how to become empowered and change your perspective. Listen in to gain all the tools you’ll need to change your mindset – and become the main character in your life’s story.

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • How to empower yourself to gain a new perspective.
  • Why being humble is a crucial step to reinventing yourself.
  • The benefits of giving your all – even to things you hate.
  • Why forming better habits can bring you closer to what you love.
  • How self-appreciation can improve your relationship with others.
  • The importance of letting go of the past.
  • How to respond to the obstacles in your life.
  • The power of controlling your thoughts and how you feel.
  • Why it’s crucial to have a mentor or counselor.
  • Important insights about asking for help.
  • How learning from others can help you grow.
  • Ways to get rid of self-defeating attitudes.
  • What is neuroplasticity, and how it affects your brain.
  • How you can see physical manifestations from changing your mindset.
  • The importance of forgiving others for their mistakes and how it affects you.
  • How to create a plan by identifying what works in your life.
  • Why you should organize your thinking and behavior.
  • The secret of what truly sets humans apart from animals.
  • How to get rid of self-doubt.
  • Why you should welcome criticism.
  • What is a SWOT analysis and how can it help you achieve your goals.
  • How to train your mind to overcome losses.

Items mentioned in this episode include:

Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!


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. What changed in Tom Brady's mindset that took him from a third string quarterback in college to NFL MVP and winning a record seven Super Bowls? What improvements in Michael Phelps' mental fitness helped him to overcome the obstacles in his personal life and become the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time? Today, you will learn what those mindset changes were because we have the person who taught it to them. But it's not only superstar athletes that our special guest has helped to transform their lives. He's helped countless people who simply wanted to get past the pains and struggles that hold them back from happiness and success and create the life that they want by truly understanding the immense power that we all have inside of us. You're absolutely going to love this episode.


But first thing, I want to remind you that mental and physical fitness are important to our ability to thrive in today's world. And I want to share a special gift with you to help you to support both. The results of a recent double-blind placebo-controlled 12-week clinical trial performed at Florida State University is detailing something that can help us to get our very best, to perform at our very best when engaging in fitness and exercise. Now, as you're going to learn, it's not just the fitness benefit, but also the mental benefit as well. Now, what these researchers were studying was a pre-workout formulated by Onnit. It's a product called Shroom TECH Sport. And they tested it. Again, this is a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. And they found that at the end of the 12-week study, participants who were utilizing Shroom TECH Sport increased their bench press reps by 12%. They increased their total bench press and back squat reps by 7%, so doing supersets. And they increased their cardiovascular performance by almost 9%. Alright, again, this is versus a placebo. There is a notable increase in performance.


They're getting more out of their exercise and they're performing better by utilizing Shroom TECH Sport. Now, here's the rub. This is utilizing earth-grown nutrients. This isn't some synthetic caffeine bomb that's often packaged up as a pre-workout, and they got these crazy names like 'Total War,' 'Total Destruction.' We're talking about something that's utilizing earth-grown nutrients, time-tested, clinically proven earth-grown nutrients like cordyceps, medicinal mushroom, like ashwagandha, like green tea extract, and other adaptogens that are, again, clinically proven to support both mental health and physical performance. Alright. So, something like cordyceps, multiple studies have found incredible cardiovascular benefit, but also being able to help to reduce stress.


So, this is hitting on all cylinders, for body and mind support. And here's the cool thing. You get to try it for free. That's right. You're going to get Shroom TECH Sport absolutely free when you go to That's, And Onnit is giving this incredible gift for you to try out Shroom TECH Sport, absolutely free. Now you just pay shipping and they're going to send it right to you. And also, by the way, if you've utilized... They've done this before in the past, but they're doing it for us right now. If you utilized this in the past, you can always head over to and get hooked up with 10% off storewide. Alright. But if you want to try out the Shroom TECH Sport for free, just pay a little bit in shipping, go to and get hooked up. And on that note, let's get to the Apple Podcast review of the week.


ITUNES REVIEW: Another five-star review titled 'Wonderful Show' by HorseyGirl2222. "I love this show. Shawn is so positive, honest, and dedicated to bringing great information on life and healing to everyone. His delivery is easy to listen to, and his gifts are amazing. Thanks, Shawn, for bringing us so many great episodes of The Model Health Show."


SHAWN STEVENSON: Wow, it's truly my honor. Thank you so much for sharing your voice over on Apple Podcasts. And if you get to do so, please pop over to Apple Podcasts or wherever you're listening to The Model Health Show, if you can rate and review the show, I truly, truly appreciate that. And without further ado, let's get to our special guest and topic of the day. Greg Harden is a peak performance coach, motivational speaker and executive consultant who is best known for his work with seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback, Tom Brady. He's also worked with Heisman Trophy winner and Super Bowl MVP, Desmond Howard, and 23-time Olympic Gold medalist, Michael Phelps. He spent over 30 years educating everyday folks and elite performers while working at the University of Michigan, including 400 future professional athletes, 50 NFL first round draft picks, 120 Olympians from over 20 countries, and he gained national recognition when 60 Minutes profiled him as Michigan's Secret Weapon. Now today, he's here on The Model Health Show to share his powerful insights, and this is a conversation that's definitely gonna stick with me for years to come. Let's dive into this amazing interview with the one and only Greg Harden.


It isn't often I use this word, but I have a legend sitting here with me. Greg Harden, Mr. Greg Harden, and I've just been absolutely enthralled by your work.




SHAWN STEVENSON: And you're one of those individuals that when we find out about, you're just like, "How did I not know about this person forever?" Alright. And obviously, you have this acclaim in working with some of the most successful athletes to ever do what they do: Tom Brady, Michael Phelps, the list goes on and on. And I think immediately, what people would feel is like, "I'm not like those guys." And you make the argument. And matter of fact, you lay out really the science of this, the art and science of like, "You do have this in you, you just don't know it. And you need the guidance," and that's what you've really unlocked for us. So can you start off by talking about, on the surface and maybe even a little bit deeper, what makes somebody like Tom Brady different?


GREG HARDEN: Wow, if we go straight to it, humble and hungry. Bruh, hungrier than the average person, but humble enough to be coachable.




GREG HARDEN: Coachability is the critical piece to the puzzle. That's what you see. That's what you've seen. Let's think about how you coached yourself out of a degenerative spinal... Bruh, I've been dying to meet you. Your backstory is one of the most amazing backstory... I'm getting emotional just thinking about what you did and how you pulled it off and how you transformed yourself. So, we're talking about self-transformation. We're talking about reinventing yourself. We're talking about re-engineering, redesigning how you think and how you act. That's what you did. You pulled it off. I don't know if everybody understands your backstory, but bruh, you started off in a situation where giving up would've made sense.




GREG HARDEN: And then you talk about your grandmother. And your grandmother was just loving you... She wasn't giving you no motivational speeches. She's just loving you to death and be happy to see you. And you were miserable, negative and depressed, and she's just happy. And you're like, "How come I can't be like that?" Correct me if I'm wrong.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, you're right.


GREG HARDEN: And then you hit a switch. You hit a switch in your mind and said, "I am not going out like that. If I'm not going to make it, then I'm not going to be miserable, negative, and depressed. I'm going to enjoy whatever time I have." And then you started eating differently, thinking differently, walking differently, talking differently. Then you turned yourself into Johnny Badass. No... I'm sorry. I get excited real early.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Hey, listen, here's the thing that I love most about this book, which everybody needs to get a copy like yesterday. You literally laid out how I went from there to here. You laid it out. There wasn't a portion missed. And one of those was taking responsibility, because in that process, when I saw the circumstances, I was dealing with, I was pointing a finger. "Why them? Why won't they help me? Why me?" And it wasn't until I took full responsibility for my life, I became empowered, and it changed the game for me.


GREG HARDEN: That is the game changer. Imagine trying to explain to a 19-year-old Tom Brady, who's really convinced that the coaches don't like him, that they're not giving him the opportunities they're giving the other players, and him sharing that with me, and I'm listening carefully 'cause that's what I do. I listened, I listened, and he vented, and he's emotional. And I shared with Tom, "I hear you. I feel your pain. Who gives a rat's ass  about what the coaches think? What do you think?" You want the coaches to believe in you, and you don't believe in yourself, son. So, until you believe in you, don't expect me to believe." Now, the good news is I'm crazy enough to believe anyway. And I believe that you're capable and qualified of transforming your mindset, transforming the way that you see this, and take full responsibility for... If you're only getting three reps, those got to be the greatest reps that anybody's ever seen.


And then they'll give you five, and then over time, oh, lookout. And that's how you transform. So, yes, taking total responsibility... For example, if we use that same example, we look at Tom and Tom wants to be a professional football player, and he's not even in the lineup. I say, "You need to train as though you're going to be a professional football player. In fact, why don't we get football out of the equation?" I said, "Why don't you train like an Olympic athlete?" That's a different mindset than, "I want to play football, and I want to be in the NFL." Why don't you be one of the best athletes on the team? Why don't you change the way that you're approaching this? And it seems to have worked out a little bit.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Right. Results speak for themselves. It's so powerful because it's those intersections and those moments of decision that really write the story or create our history, in a sense.


GREG HARDEN: Yes, sir.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And there was a great story that you put in the book about you working for the most negative person and how that was weighing on... You would take that with you, and you would be negative. Can you share that story?


GREG HARDEN: Bruh, I was a young buck. I was in my 20s and I came back to school and I'm going to finish what I started. And I'm going to be in Connor's world. I'm going to be in radio, television, and film. That's what I'm going to do. But most importantly, I've been trained that talent is a dime a dozen. And if you don't know how to be in back of the camera, you may not be employed. So, I wanted to be on both sides of the camera. I wanted to be in front of the camera for joy and entertainment, but I wanted to tell and create stories, so I worked at a television studio. We had a television studio at the University of Michigan that was better than half the ones on CBS, NBC, and ABC in Detroit. And so, I'm embedded, boy, I'm working the camera, I'm doing staging and lighting, which I truly appreciate. This is a great studio. And I get to work with this champion of staging and lighting, who is the most miserable, negative, onerous, mean-spirited guy I'd ever met in my life. And every day, all day, he was just whining and complaining, and telling you how stupid you were, and boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. And like, this is not what I signed up for. So, I'm getting negative and I'm getting miserable, and I'm whining and I'm complaining to anybody who'll listen to me.


And I went out to lunch with one of my co-workers. They said, "Man, let me tell you something. This guy is a chronic alcoholic. He's lost everything before and his wife has died. And there's a reason he's that way." "Oh." So, all of a sudden, I get to switch the context. I think it's about me. I think he's attacking me. I think he's abusing me. No, he's hating himself. And his self-loathing spilled out onto everything he touched. And so, I had to really rethink how I was not just interpreting him, but how I was responding. That's an early clue in my life, not in my training, not in my education that says, you get to decide how you're going to interpret who you're talking to. You get to decide whether or not you're going to be miserable because he's miserable. He's sick, he's broken, and his job is... Hurt people hurt people. And his job is to hurt you. And now you can fold and be a victim or you can begin to understand how to read people, how to understand people, and boom, boom, boom. So, it triggered a lot for me. That guy was really sent  to teach me a lesson. Hopefully, I learned it.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. Yeah. You teach this to the people you've worked with as well, that the obstacle is the way. Those adversities are actually great teachers and opportunities, to see difficulties as opportunities.


GREG HARDEN: You're going straight to The Daily Stoic.  You understand, the obstacle is the way. And there have been obstacles in our lives. I mean, the good news is we don't look like what we've been through.




GREG HARDEN: And so, the things that I thought were just overwhelming and horrendous that happened in my life prepared me to work with others. It prepared me to be able to hear somebody going through stuff and not judge them. Somebody is tripping, dipping and slipping, and not just say, "You tripping, dipping and slipping. This is what's going on. This is what you can get out of it." So, one of the most important lessons in the book and one of the most important lessons I try to teach is, you can either go through life or grow through life. You can go through it or grow through it. And if you choose to grow from the obstacle, grow from the challenge, grow from the difficulty, if your mindset is to like, "Whatever's being delivered, I can go through it." If you look carefully, in one of the chapters talking about 100%, 100% of the time, I'm suggesting to people that they have an attitude where they give 100%, 100% of the time, and have that as their default mode.




GREG HARDEN: Well, every now and then, somebody would be smart enough and say, "Mmm, 100%? Nobody can do that." And I said, "Of course not. But if my mindset, if my primary form of operating in my head is to try to give 100%, I no longer am coming off at 30%, 40%, 50%. If my mindset is to give 100% at the things I don't even like... " Desmond Howard is a great example. Desmond Howard was ready to leave Michigan. And we sat and chatted, and I shared with Desmond that there must be a reason you're not starting and not playing. 'Cause he came in. Most people don't know, Desmond Howard was a running back in high school and was amazing, and he was switched over to wide receiver. But back in the day, in that period of time, if you didn't block in the Big 10 and you're a wide receiver, you're not getting on the field. Well, Desmond didn't block.


And he was struggling. And I explained to Desmond, "You can leave Michigan, but who cares? You haven't done anything. And so, you're going to go somewhere else with different colors? Guess what? They're going to treat you the same as we're going to treat you. But most importantly, Des, let's look at it this way. If you want to leave, why don't you blow up and become extremely successful and have us beg you to stay?" And he said, "Huh?" I said, "Let's look at this 100%, 100% of the time. There are things you don't like to do. I need you to give 100% to the things you hate. Now, if you create a habit of giving 100% to the stuff you hate, what are you going to do when you get to the stuff you love? You'll have a habit of trying to give 100%. Okay?" "Well, still, Greg... " "Let me help you out." If my mindset, my default mode is 100%, 100% of the time, my worst day is going to be better than the average man's best day. That's a game changer, baby.




GREG HARDEN: That changes the game.


SHAWN STEVENSON: I've specifically highlighted, circled, and emphasized that part because, again, it's a formula of how I went from there to here. And even with that 100%, because you got to think about, okay, so well, what about your "downtime?" Even when I rest, 100% rest, right? Right?


GREG HARDEN: My man, this is the guy, you understand? That's where you nailed it. If I am going to give 100%, that means my family is going to get 100%.


SHAWN STEVENSON: That's right.


GREG HARDEN: That means my relaxation, my ability to... Look, so I was in mental health, and I was a clinical therapist, boom, boom, boom. But people don't understand, we're talking about meditation or medication, and that's the continuum. And so, some people don't need medication. Some people need to learn how to calm themselves down, how to center themselves, to actually stop using buzz words, mindfulness, and understand and train for it.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Facts. Facts. I love this too. You gave... For Desmond Howard, he was looking for that geographical cure. Right? So, if I just change locations, if I leave this school and go to another place, then that will cure my problems. But what people don't understand is that you're taking you with you.


GREG HARDEN: Same person going with you, same insecurities, same self-doubt, same need for approval of others. All that's going with you. And then people will identify you as someone,  and they'll drift to you based on your personality and style. And you'll allow people in your life who are not healthy because that's your habit, inviting the unhealthy in and trying to get them to like you.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. It's a recipe for disaster.


GREG HARDEN: Yeah. Self-love and self-acceptance is where we're going to go. At the end, you'll always find that we end up in the same chapter: Self-love and self-acceptance. How I feel about me must not be based on external forces, my performance, my money. How many of us know somebody who's as rich as we fantasize, we want to be, as popular as we fantasize we want to be, who take their own life? That's a recurring theme: The inside has to be transformed. Money, power, all of that will not make me love myself or care about myself as much as I need to, in order to stay sane in an insane world.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. Can you share a little bit about... Desmond Howard is integral in my story, because...




SHAWN STEVENSON: I mean, just... I was a Green Bay Packers fan. St. Louis, we didn't have a football team for a while. Right? And so, I just really... Brett Favre and all those guys, I kind of latched on to as far as my fanhood. And I was a running back, special teams, returning kicks and punts is just my thing, you know?


GREG HARDEN: You were on the suicide squad. My man!


SHAWN STEVENSON: And some of my best game films is just returning a punt, and of course, you know my story and dealing with the injuries and the degeneration. But having that outlet and to be able to watch greatness. But I started to also, not just studying greatness in athletics, but becoming obsessed with studying greatness of all types. But can you share a little bit about Desmond Howard? What happened? What was the transformation that took place when you started working together with him?


GREG HARDEN: Let me make it clear to folks. Tom Brady is the most popular guy in the world, right? And so, they associate me instantly. Tom Brady came to see me because of Desmond Howard. He said, "I saw what you and Desmond did, I want some of that." Desmond Howard, I try not to tell this story over and over, but I can't help it. I'm doing a summer development camp for football, at the end of the camp, Desmond and another guy approached me, talking about they're thinking about leaving, boom, boom, boom. I tell them, "Eh. But who cares?" And they said, "Oh," so Desmond stays. Desmond Howard, I asked him, "Why did you approach me?" He says, "Well, I've been watching you." I say, "Okay, go on." He says, "I have a question for you." He said, "When you're talking, sometimes you seem like a learned professor with the data and the research to back what you're saying. And then you seem like a pastor, passionate, firing us up. And then you turn into, at that time, Richard Pryor."  And he looks at me, Shawn, he looks at me and he says, "Is that on purpose?" I said, "What's your name again, sir?"


He said, "Desmond." I said, "You're telling me that you pay that much attention?" "Yes, sir. Every time you talk. I was fascinated by the way you delivered, and you had three different styles of delivery. And I just wanted to know if that's on purpose, 'cause that's what I want to do with my life." How can I not fall in love with a 19-year-old who studied me for a year before he'd even talked to me?  He wasn't even talking to me. He wasn't talking to me until he studied and evaluated and had some clue that I was doing things a little differently than everyone else. I had to take him under my wing because I knew how serious he was. And his parents, his parents had set him up. JD and Hattie had set him up to be someone who was coachable. And he would look at you and he would say, "If you tell... " He would say, "Tell me what works. I know you know. And if you tell me, "Don't touch that because it'll burn you, I'm not like the rest of these kids. If you say it doesn't work, I'm not going to do it." I'm like... "How old are you?" 19 years old. Ready to be... "Tell me what works. I'll do it." Desmond Howard... Under that whole thing that I just laid out, I said, "Desmond... " now I can tell the story now 'cause I'm not... Can't get him in trouble. I taught Desmond how to jump rope like a boxer, how to hit speed bag for hand-eye coordination.


I told Desmond Howard, if he was serious, that he would train like an Olympic athlete and would be the best athlete on the team. And he said, "Okay." Desmond hated to run, so he would run an additional 15 miles a week,  while everybody else was partying in the middle of the night, and wouldn't talk to anybody, go out and run. And so, when tour days in August showed up, Desmond was the best conditioned athlete on the field. And this was after they were like, "Desmond, he thinks this is Desmond Howard University and he doesn't care about any of us. And all he cares about... " and he showed up in camp, bruh, they didn't know who this kid was. He was hungry. His recovery time, which we need to talk about, his recovery time had shifted, everybody else grabbing their knees and thighs and bending over and Desmond's laughing, waiting for what's next because he conditioned and trained himself to be a superior athlete, not a football player. Who wins the Heisman and they're this MVP of the Super Bowl on special team... Who has ever been a special team’s player in the Super Bowl?


SHAWN STEVENSON: Incredible. Incredible.


GREG HARDEN: Bruh. And of course, he told me the night before the Super Bowl, the only Super Bowl I've ever been to. 'Cause he says, "If I'm going, you're going." I go to Super Bowl that night before, he says, "Greg, I'm going to... " "Bruh, wait till tomorrow." He's jacked out of his mind! He's visualized scoring. He plans... "I'm going to put my team in a position to win." He's deliberate and intentional about what the plan is, what the vision was, and how he was going to operate, and that the team, not him, saw it. At that time, the other team, which was the Patriots, weren't committed to special teams like Green Bay was. And they were going to exploit it. It was a planned action. What else you want to know?


SHAWN STEVENSON: Hey, again, the results speak for themselves. I mean, that's seemingly miraculous. But there's a strategy, there's intentionality, there's a plan behind it all to make it manifest. And it's like putting yourself in position. I love that about your work as well. Repeatedly, throughout the book, you're talking about how so many people get in this habit of complaining that they're not getting an opportunity, instead of focusing on being ready. Again, Tom was like sixth string, right?


GREG HARDEN: Yes, sir.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And just being ready, working on the things that he can work on, controlling the controllables.


GREG HARDEN: My man. Yes, sir. Because I can't control what the coaches think, except by demonstrating and being consistent. So, my ability to decide how I'm going to respond is different from reacting. So, I have to learn to respond to what's going on around me. I can't control... I can barely control my dog.  I'm trying to control other people and what they think? I can't. What I can control is how I think. I can control how I feel. I can control that you are not going to have power over me. I can decide. And we're not talking about the extremes and the traumatic relationships, where someone is being abused. We're talking about outside of that realm. We're talking about my ability to decide that if I don't bend over, you can't ride me. I'm going to decide how I feel. Now, the most difficult lesson, Tom, Desmond, Shawn, is when you say, 100%, 100% of the time, you have to add the phrase, "Win, lose, or draw." Now, everybody hears the 100%, but they don't want to hear the win...


Oh, and they hear the win, but they don't want to hear the lose or draw. So, I'm going to give you 100... I want to be that guy... The athletes, the executives, the people that I've worked with, I've got to teach them that even if you lose, your opponent is saying, "Dang, I hate that guy. I wish he was on our team. That's all I want. I want to win!" I'mma be mad if I don't win, but I'm going to get over it quickly because I know that I gave 100%. And the guy on the other side is talking about, "How in the heck did this come to pass? Who is this guy? I want him to be part of my program." That's what we want.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Absolutely. Absolutely. Now, I've got a question for you. And this one would be helpful for a lot of parents and just a lot of people in life in general. And you gave a very simple formula for these people that we see are so exceptional. It's the double H: Humble and hungry.


GREG HARDEN: Yes, sir.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And the hungry part, I think people can connect with that. The humble part, that's another story, because I think a lot of us come into situations really feeling like we got things figured out. And to hear something, again, you're pointing out Desmond being 19 years old and really being so humble and so coachable because... And I see this also in my older son, Jordan, and him really... And of course, there's conditions to where he'll seek counsel and ask my opinion on things. Because him growing through all this with me and him being there, living in Ferguson, Missouri with me, sleeping on an air mattress, to him just getting back from Maui two days ago. And so, he's been on this journey with me, and he's seen the outside results. And I put him in position also to not just listen to me, but listen to other teachers, right?


GREG HARDEN: Yes, sir, yes, sir.


SHAWN STEVENSON: So, tuning him into you, for example. And rather than me trying to pine away and hammer this into him, let other voices that he respects in.


GREG HARDEN: Yes. But that's grace. That's being able to understand that you can't control anybody else, but you are going to invite and create opportunities for him to grow. You're going to let him fail and you're going to let the guy down the street say the same thing you've been saying for 10 years, and he's going to say, "Oh my God, Dad, guess what Mr. So-and-So said?" But you'll set it up. If he runs away from home, back in the day when he was a young buck, you set it up, so you knew he's going to run away, and you knew who was going to pick him up and take him to their house. You'd encourage him, "Get out then." If I kick my son out, I already had somebody ready to pick him up.


SHAWN STEVENSON: That's what it's all about. It's the ability to be forward thinking, of course, and to create what I call... I call them safe stressors for our kids as well. And also, what I want to ask you about is, knowing that we tend to be a know-it-all, we tend to think we got things figured out, and I think it... I don't want to make this too dichotomous, but it tends to be men more often that really just like, "I know what to do," or "I know things." How is it possible to instill or to teach people to be more coachable, to be more humble?


GREG HARDEN: Yeah. If they want to be successful. See, the carrot in the fantasy of being successful is how you rope them in, and you surround them with successful people who tell them, "I had to ask... " Michael Jordan had to ask for help. You can come up with a list of names after name after name of people who we admire and respect, and in their story, there will be someone who believed in them before they believed in themselves. There'll be someone in their story that helped them learn how to have breakthroughs and how to think differently and see the world differently. So, asking for help turns into an art form, and you teach them. It's an art to use consultants. When I talk about try... When people want to narrow it down to mental health and take it out of the realm that I'm talking about, mental fitness, when we're just talking about mental health, teaching people how to use counseling.


We have a lot of communities who don't want to go into counseling. They have great reasons not to go into counseling. And I teach people, counselors are like... Oh my God, how much does the person who's running Google make? And they'll say, "Billions." No, no. Let's assume they make a few million dollars. Okay? But we know that we're talking about people who are making a ton of dough. And then I'll ask them, do they use consultants? And they'll say, "Of course he does." I said, "Well, why does he/she need a consultant?" Because they can't see everything. Guess what? Counselors are like consultants. See, some of you get confused because you have to open up and be honest and share your feelings. And that's how you see counseling. You need to see counseling as hiring a consultant. If you don't like them, fire their ass, and get another one  until you get one that fits who you are and can hear what you're saying. But you've got to teach people that getting coached, being counseled, having consultants, having mentors is how you stack the deck in your favor. That's a selfish act to go into counseling. It's brilliant to use help.


SHAWN STEVENSON: That's powerful. That's a powerful perspective, reframing things for people. Thank you for sharing that. That's...


GREG HARDEN: But that's what we do. That's what you do. How are you going to get somebody to work out? Change my... Eat... "But I love... " I won't say names, but certain beverages that are marketed as hydration drinks, so... But how do you get people to shift... "You want me to drink beets?"




GREG HARDEN: So, we help them by reframing. We teach people... In one of the chapters, we're talking about the angel and the devil on the shoulders, takes us straight back to cartoons, right? The cartoon is saying, "Well, we shouldn't be like that." And on the other shoulder is, "Ah, screw them, let's get it." So, when we talk about self-defeating attitudes and behaviors, one of the pieces that we have to examine is letting go of yesterday's baggage. Man, that's my favorite out of all the things that I've come up with, letting go of yesterday's baggage is universal, if ever there was one. Teaching people how to reframe, reinterpret what happened to a 12-year-old that you're dragging around…




GREG HARDEN: At 50 years old, boom, boom, boom. Trying to get people to reevaluate how that experience affected them and giving them a chance to reinvent themselves and reinvent their perception of the event and seeing it as something that prepared them for who they are today, it's work, but it's the best work you can do, is teaching people how to reframe, restructure some of their old memories. 'Cause you can't have an adolescent running an adult's life. You can't have a wounded 16-year-old running your life and telling you who you are or how to respond in relationships. But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


SHAWN STEVENSON: I don't think so, Greg. I don't think so.


GREG HARDEN: I'm not, but I could be.


SHAWN STEVENSON: That really reminds me of... My father recently passed away, my stepfather, and I was just sharing this with my oldest son and my wife, that in the household, there was always this looming feeling of fear. There's always this feeling of fear, because he was very deep, deep in the realm of being an alcoholic, the drug use, and he would flip, like, you never know what's going to happen. And so, there's this looming fear. And I have two younger siblings, my brother and sister, and our lives are very different at this point. And I was just thinking about with him passing, I experienced so much gratitude and this feeling of deep thanks for him being a fixture in my life, and in some instances, teaching me not what to do, teaching me how I don't want to be...




SHAWN STEVENSON: But also, one of the qualities that I picked up, no matter what, even with his alcohol abuse, he showed up on time to go to work. He got it done...


GREG HARDEN: Every day.


SHAWN STEVENSON: No matter what the circumstance.


GREG HARDEN: Yes, sir.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And so, I took that on, I took on the things that were beneficial for me, and I let the things go that were not. And whereas I had my little brother who's in a state of disarray during this time period. Hopefully, he's processed. When this even comes out, hopefully he's made a breakthrough. But losing his father, he expressed to me, he loves him, but he also hates him because of not having that father figure who is giving him the things that you talk about again in the book, giving him the affirmation, giving him that acknowledgement that he's looking for, making him feel important. But the thing is, for me, again, I'm saying he saw me as important enough to come home and to be there. He could have left. And so, I'm just looking for those things... And also, most importantly, and this is another thing that you share in the book too, is making the decision to see that he loved me, although he might not have known how to express it.


GREG HARDEN: 'Cause he hadn't been trained, his daddy didn't show him any love or affection. I remember my favorite piece with my pops is talking about how he programmed me to be a rigid,  narrow-minded individual, because a man don't need help and you don't ask for help. I'm 8, 9 years old, go out into the yard, taped and he's working on a car, working in the yard, something. And I said, "Pops, can I help?" And he looks at me, "Boy, let me tell you something. If you see me in a bear fight, don't help me, help the bear." I mean, you don't even know what he's talking about at 8 years old. But over time, he repeats the same thing over and over. A man don't need no help. That bear going to need all the help he  can get, if he fighting me. Man, my subconscious mind, I'm socialized, programmed to believe that a man has no need for anyone else's assistance. Man, that messed me up for years. I was a helper and asking for help was a struggle for me. I'm a professional helper telling people to ask for help, but me ask for help. "No, I've got it. Not a problem. I'll figure it out, 'cause what I'm supposed to do."


When I surrendered and allowed myself to believe that my father didn't mean any harm whatsoever, he may have been harmful, but he didn't mean no harm. And his love was real 'cause of going to work every day, making sure you had everything you could possibly need. His ability to express care, compassion, and concern. He didn't know how to do that. But once I realized that he cared that his heart was in the right place, it was hilarious when I ended up... My wife and I, Shelia, were the primary caregivers for him in his final days, and it was magical. It was unbelievable. And one day, we were take... I was taking care of him. And like you take care of... Once a man and twice a child, and everything is but for a while. Bob Marley circle, ladi dadi. You understand? And we were sitting up and I'm taking care of him, and he looks at me and he says, "Who would've thunk it?" And we cracked up. We were in the bathroom cracking up, looking at it. Who's taking care of who? And the opportunity to have that full circle... 'Cause I can remember him taking care of me, but he had to take care of me and... So, it was great to have that experience, but showing love, showing... I mean, love isn't love until you give it away.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. Got a quick break coming up. We'll be right back. Neuroplasticity, the ability of the human brain to grow and adapt and evolve and really to unlock our superhuman capacity, is driven by our experiences, our practices, our activities, but also our nutrition. Fascinating new research published in the journal, Neuron, found that magnesium, this key electrolyte is able to restore critical brain plasticity and improve overall cognitive function. Again, neuroplasticity is the ability of our brain to change and adapt. Now, this is one key electrolyte, but it works in tandem with other electrolytes like sodium. Sodium is critical for maintaining proper hydration of the human brain. If you didn't know this, the human brain is primarily made of water.


We're talking somewhere in the ballpark of 75%, upwards of 80% water. It's so important because just a small decrease in our body's optimal hydration level, what's noted in the data, just a 2% decrease in our baseline hydration level can lead to dramatic cognitive decline. Helping to sustain and maintain proper hydration levels in the brain, sodium is critical in that. And also, researchers at McGill University found that sodium functions as a "off/on switch" for specific neurotransmitters that support our cognitive function and protect our brains from numerous degenerative diseases. Right now, the number one electrolyte company in the world is delivering a gift for new and returning customers. With each purchase of LMNT, that's L-M-N-T, the number one electrolyte in the market, no binders, no fillers, no artificial ingredients, no crazy sugar, and sweeteners.


My friend's son was just over at our house, and my son, my oldest son, Jordan was training them, taking his teammates through some workouts. And we opened the freezer and there's a bottle of Gatorade! There's a bottle of Gatorade in our freezer. And my wife's like, "Whose is this?" 'Cause we know we don't roll like that. We don't mess with the Gators, all right? We don't mess with the Gatorades. And we knew who it was, it was one of his friends. And he came, he's like, "Well, at least this is the no sugar kind." And then I go through some of the ingredients with him and I find those curve balls of like, here's where they're sneaking in these artificial ingredients and things that the human body has no association with. But he's taking a step in the right direction by being in our environment. So, you know what I did? I put the LMNT in his hand. Alright, make sure that he's got the good stuff, the very best stuff. And also, this is backed by peer-reviewed data and a huge body of evidence. And we're talking about the folks at LMNT, that's L-M-N-T. Go to


And you're going to get a special gift pack with every purchase, whether you're a new or previous customer for LMNT. So again, this is a brand-new opportunity, free gift pack with every purchase over at LMNT. Go to And now, back to the show.


Man, you know what? I'm hopeful even more so, reading your book, I don't know if it was a catalyst or just the timing or if I would have done this automatically, but I sought out counsel. I definitely have that same affliction of not asking for help, you know? And this was another thing I picked up from my father because I didn't really even see him... He didn't even mess with a lot of people, you know? Very skeptical of the world around him, period.


GREG HARDEN: Yes, sir.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And so, again, I can pick up the parts of that that can be healthy and put the other parts down, but I sought counsel, losing him and then having this inflammatory thing going on with my siblings, and seeking counsel from my friend, Michael Beckwith. And I reached out to him, and I asked him about how to perceive this in a more healthy way, because I was experiencing pain in my neck. It popped up, right?


GREG HARDEN: Yes, sir.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And it was a physical manifestation. I had a lump that showed up, and it moved to the other side. Once I got better, it went to the other side. Like, "I'm not done with you yet." And I'm just like, I feel such a sense of peace and gratitude and all that, but my body's like, "Nah, bro, you're holding on to something." And what it is that he pointed out, which he nailed it, was expectation, right? I was expecting that my brother and sister would learn from this and grow from this, but that put my father into a nursing home for the last 15 years, as still a young man. And the brain damage from the drug abuse, and it's just like, you don't see where this is headed. And so what I'm hoping for, and in this moment, and you really point this out, and I sat with this, I just sat with this and just spent some time thinking about it and hopeful that he'll put it down, he'll put the baggage down, the story that he's not enough, the story that his father didn't love him, the story that he was just a victim of abuse. Put all that down and to focus on all the good, the family that he has, that he's created despite all of these things, the lessons that he's picked up. But I'm just really hopeful that... And for everybody listening, what do you need to put down?


GREG HARDEN: And how do you use the word forgiveness? See, one of the most difficult challenges in life is to forgive. And you can imagine in certain sessions, you're talking to people about forgiveness, and they look at you and say, "You're nuts. Why would I forgive somebody that did A, B, C, D, E, F, G... " and they go all the way down to Z, "To me?" And you have to share with them. You don't forgive them for their sake. You forgive them for your sake. Because the madness, the... When we're talking about staying sane in an insane world, we got to take it all the way to that level. Because I'm not... Doesn't mean I forgot, doesn't mean that it wasn't wrong, it doesn't mean any of that. But I am not going to keep dragging you around and letting you live in my head and hold me hostage to things that were yesterday. And so, to let go, I have to be willing to forgive, not what they did, but forgive that moment and how it affected me.


I've got to let go and forgive you because you're a human being. 'Cause our fantasy is our parents should have been Peter and Priscilla Perfect. That's a great fantasy, but that's all it is. They turned out to be human beings. And if you really want to know who you are, study your parents and then study your parents' parents and where they're from, what continent, what ethnic group, what years, what was going on at the time. Your parents are a direct result of their parents, and it goes on and on. You need to study your family to know who you are. And then you... What you said brilliantly opens up the door for us to understand that we can extract from who they are, the great qualities and characteristics that they had. I don't care what they were into or how unhealthy they were, there are some things that they did that make total sense, that worked. And you want to take all of those characteristics, because in hating your parents... The secret to mental health is letting go of yesterday's baggage, forgiving parents for not being perfect, because they just couldn't. They couldn't pull that off. But you can decide what really worked well when they did it well.


And you can also decide what you're not going to emulate or copy from the family history. 'Cause we understand, well, diabetes is in our family, so you know what to do. Heart disease is in our... But we don't think about alcoholism and addiction. We don't think about negative attitudes or depression that's not necessarily triggered by a chemical imbalance, but by habit and routine and whining and complaining about everything and blaming everyone else. So those habits, you can look at and see which habits were good, which habits were not. "I'm going to keep these," and that's what you should do, not just with your parents, but with people around you. Take the best from me. Don't take my bad habits. I cuss like a sailor, right? I'm good at it, but it's not my best habit. But I have some good habits that you can extract, that you can take away. There are people in your family and people around you, people who you've met, there are people who you're studying who don't even know you're studying... You should have mentors that don't even know they're mentors, but you're studying the way they move, the way they groove, the way they articulate, their moods, etcetera.


And say, "That works." What we teach in the book is identifying what works and what doesn't work in our lives. That's the simplest formula you can give people. If getting drunk every day is working, by all means, continue. If it's not, if it's deteriorating relationships and destroying your financial health, if it's doing A, B, C, D, and E, you have data. Look at the data. The data says it's not working. "Every time I get drunk, things don't go right." Look at the data, turn into a scientist. "When I'm not drinking... " boom, boom, boom. So, we begin to become so sophisticated that we... To become the world's greatest expert on you requires you to look at the opportunity to do critical self-assessment, how you evaluate what's working and what's not working in your life. Self-defeating attitudes and behaviors, simply talking about how I think and how I act.


There are ways that I think that are not healthy, there are ways that I act that are not healthy. Switching it over to the positive side, what are the self-supporting attitudes and behaviors I can incorporate into my life to increase the chances that everything is going to go just the way I dreamed, the way I visualized it, how I organize my thinking and my behavior? So, just be deliberate and intentional about creating who you want to be. I mean, that's what you did, Shawn. You created this beast, this monster, this go-get-it guy who was supposed to be broken, and you said, "No, I refuse." It was deliberate and intentional.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. And your intentional message as well on becoming the world leading expert on yourself.


GREG HARDEN: You're trying to be an expert on everything else, the know-it-all. Okay, how well do you know yourself? "I know myself." Okay. What are your weaknesses? "Well, I don't have any." Okay. That's a weakness right there, we've already exposed one of your weaknesses. Your ego structure needs to be changed. It's not your friend. Your ego must become your ally, not your enemy."


SHAWN STEVENSON: I love that. Within that extraction process that we've talked about multiple times, it just reminded me of something else. Like sometimes, you got to dig. Sometimes, you got to dig. But if we have that muscle built of self-inquiry, then it becomes more readily available to be able to do this. And one of the things that my oldest son when I was talking to him about that looming fear in the household growing up, and he said this to me, that the only memories that he has of my father is this jubilant person, this person who's just kind of glowing with this kind of child-like nature. And that was there, that was there, then, when I was living in that household and had that looming feeling of fear. This man, I'm talking... He's old school, hard knuckle, that kind of mentality. He was the first person, first person that I ever met that beat a video game. So he got Mike Tyson's Punch-Out and he'd be up late at night playing his... And I couldn't beat it. I was probably eight or nine years old, and I was just blown away that this man beat this video game. And so, this was one of the ways that we bonded, was over these video games...


GREG HARDEN: Yes, sir.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Randomly. And again, he had this childlike nature about him. And that's one of the things that, little did I know, I brought that with me and instilled in my family. We have a family culture of play that I was able to extract. And again, I can carry the bad stuff, the "bad stuff" with me, and let that be the domineering story, or I could focus on the good...


GREG HARDEN: Yes, sir.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And keep sharing that.


GREG HARDEN: Yes, sir. And it's crucial that you extract as much as you can from your father and your father's father and the people who raised you, because it won't just be mommy and daddy. There are people who are powerful influences in your life. I talk about one in my TED Talk, where this person had a profound influence until that got to the point where it wasn't that good. And all I could do is extract some things from him, but I had to reject a whole lot of things that he was bringing to the table. Yeah. Transforming yourself is an art, and that's what we're talking about, teaching people how to decide that they're not... Look, a dog going to be a dog. A cat going to be a cat. A cow going to be a cow. Lion going to be a lion. The only creature that was made by whoever you believe in, that can decide to be different than they were yesterday is a human being. A human being can decide not to be a dip and a dog and an abusive person, and change. They can decide to change their lifestyle, they can decide to change their attitude, they can decide to be stronger. They can decide to let go of fear and self-doubt. They can do... The human mind, the only thing that separates us from animals is our ability to process and ponder the nature of our existence.


Your dog has all these characteristics you love, but you don't know if he's pondering,  "Hmmm, how should I change?" What creature? Well, my wife busted me immediately. She said, "Well, a butterfly, a caterpillar is going... "  I said, no... Then she went even deeper, "A tadpole is in the water and becomes an amphibian and can walk... " I said, "Yeah, but they don't decide." They don't decide to be different. Human beings are the only creature. They can... Yesterday, how I was and how I operated, I've got to shift as fast as I can, if I want my life to work. My desire to have my life work can trigger change. Oh my God, we keep going back to, that's what you did.


SHAWN STEVENSON: I'm telling you, this episode here, this interview, this conversation, this is something that I'm going to take with me forever. Even in that moment when we got to listen back to a little bit, we had a little brief pause, just hearing your voice again is something that, for me, I'm so grateful for this moment because I needed this right now. And also, I know a lot of other people are going to feel the same. And I want to talk now about putting things down, and you specify these self-defeating attitudes and behaviors, and you break these things down so that we can really start to identify. And again, with that self-inquiry and self-assessment, the ability to be honest with ourselves and to look at the results and choose other than. And I want to talk about a few of these that you call the "usual suspects." And of course, we talked about putting down that baggage. You also talk about self-doubt and how dangerous that can be. Overgeneralizing, refusing to ask for help, we've touched on a little bit. But I want to ask you about this one, this one was obsessing over criticism.


GREG HARDEN: Being totally uncomfortable with being critiqued. And we're not talking about criticizing you, we're talking about people trying to give you honest feedback and being overly sensitive to any feedback that doesn't make you feel good or makes you uncomfortable or feels like they're passing judgment. Well, that might be true, but there are times when people aren't doing that. There are times when people are trying to give you a perspective that you can't see. When we talk about a SWOT analysis, where the story in the book is about this... One of the best stories I have is about this kid who I'm introducing to SWOT analysis. Anyone with an MBA or in the business school knows this, or in organizational consulting does know what a SWOT analysis is. And you're going to create a quadrant and you're going to identify the strengths of our organization, the weaknesses or challenges in our organization, opportunities to success and threats to success.


Well, I was fascinated with that and decided human beings are running a company. And it came real easy when I'm talking to athletes who have a fantasy of being professionals. I would say... So, I would ask them, like, given the way you're making your decisions and the way that you're operating and your behavior, and if I had a half million dollars to invest, would I give it to you based on how you're living your life right now? And it would be instant, say, "Nah, you...  Not the way I'm operating now." And so, let's talk about if you were to run a company and you wanted to have... This is before NIL, and you're trying to create a brand. Given how you're operating, would I invest? No. So let's look at your strengths, your weaknesses, or challenges, 'cause some people don't like the word weakness, opportunities and threats.


I want you to do a review of what you think is working and not working. Boom, boom, boom. Internally, externally, boom, boom, boom. And I need you to come back and we're going to review it and see if we can come up with personalized goals. Alright. I say, but if you really want to go deep, I need you to identify two to three people who love you, who you trust, who are not going to abuse this opportunity. And I want them to give a SWOT analysis of what your strengths are, what your weaknesses are, opportunities and threats. And then we're going to come back, and we'll review yours first, and then we'll look at theirs and see if there is congruence, incongruence. Are they seeing things you can’t, see? Boom, boom, boom. Man, this one kid said, "I'm going to do it." He chose his ex-girlfriend and the guy who fired him.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Oh, man. Oh, man. Glutton for punishment.


GREG HARDEN: And they had done such a good job because he chose them because they cared about him, and he knew what he was doing. 'Cause I thought he was nuts, "nutsy bobo," as my wife would say. When he came back, the overviews were just unbelievably on target. And he grew and learned so much about himself. The ability to critique and examine yourself is important. But being overly sensitive to people... Right now, we've got... It's not right now, historically, there are amazing athletes, there are amazing CEOs and corporate attorneys who can't take any feedback, who you can't tell them anything they need to work on. They don't want anyone to give them any advice because they know everything. You'll have a 17-year-old who's not coachable because they're so... If you critique them, they lose it. It's sad to see that you... It's hard to try to get a young person who is so sensitive that they can't have any feedback. And even if you structure it... And some of us are trained to structure it in such a way that it shouldn't be offensive, they still don't get it, and they're still offended, and they're still upset with you.


SHAWN STEVENSON: So, there's two parts here. Number one is, developing more of a student persona. And I encourage that with everybody, is to be a lifetime student.


GREG HARDEN: Lifelong learning.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yes. So that's the first part with being able to absorb... And I think it's important too, to have a sense of, not necessarily comfortability, but confidence in where you're getting that criticism from, as you just mentioned. Like you were surprised, my ex-girlfriend? But he knew.




SHAWN STEVENSON: And that's one side of it. And the other side is, we tend to latch on to the negative criticism. And so that prevents a lot of people from taking action or from growing, because they're so focused on the negative. And you shared this story about giving a talk, I think it was middle schoolers. It was like a hundred middle schoolers. Can you share that story?


GREG HARDEN: Oh God, how can you forget that story? 'Cause one of the beauties of our work is that we have to learn to practice what we preach. And if we practice what we preach, our recovery time, we'll get back to that, changes. So, middle school's our toughest audience. And this time, the middle schoolers, and their parents, and all the teachers in the school showed up. I had written it for middle schoolers, but now I've got... Half the audience is adults. And so, in my mind, I say, I've got to figure out how to alter it, edit instantly, so that I'm covering it for everyone. Well, I tried that, and I'm anxious. And at the end, it's the first time anyone ever asked me, "Could you sign our program? Oh my God, thank you... " And I'm signing little programs, and I'm getting feedback. So, there was about 200 people there, about 98 of them stayed after to chat it up. And it was fascinating. I'd never had an experience like that. And I got all this feedback about how many people loved it, about 98% of them loved it. And then these two people said, "Eh."


They were not impressed at all. And they shared that with me. And for two weeks, I was so distraught about what I didn't do and how I failed and how distressful it was. And then it dawned on me, wait a minute, 98 of the people loved it, two people didn't like it. Hmm, wouldn't that be like 98% on an exam? I said, "I really need to rethink how I'm approaching this." And I had to catch myself. We have to learn to catch ourselves when we go into the spiral, because it's predictable, therefore manageable. We have habits that we know are going to show up,  but we still get trapped into how we can be upset and disappointed and overwhelmed by any criticism. Those two critiques wore me out for two weeks, and I finally caught myself and restructured, recalibrated, and reinterpreted the whole thing.


SHAWN STEVENSON: That's powerful. The game is being played in our minds. And so, again, this is the roadmap to really understanding this. We're just scratching the surface. Now, we keep on putting a placeholder for recovery time...


GREG HARDEN: Yes, sir.


SHAWN STEVENSON: So, let's talk a little bit about that.


GREG HARDEN: Especially with you, it's going to be so exciting for me because we're talking about a fitness guru. A fitness guru, you understand. This guy has learned to change his body and your body, anybody's body, tell you how to... He's like a performance nutritionist, a sports nutritionist. He's a guy that can get you into show-enough shape. Let's imagine that I'm from another planet and I have no idea what physical fitness is. And anyone who we talk to, even if they have never been in shape, knows somebody that knows somebody that’s been in show-enough shape, or have seen somebody. And of course, we talk about cardiovascular fitness, we talk about endurance, we talk about strength, and we talk about flexibility. We talk about all of these things. But until you say the word 'recovery,' you don't know anything about fitness. Until you understand that I want you to give everything you've got to the point where you can say you spent... And then shorten how long it takes you to recover before I ask you to do it again. So right now, we could go outside, and we could run a hundred-yard dash, you and I, and you could recover in like 30 seconds. I could recover in 30 days, perhaps.




GREG HARDEN: You understand? So, when we talk about fitness, we have to include the word, 'recovery time.' So then what is mental fitness? Mental fitness. See, everyone talks about mental toughness, and everybody talks about the game is mental. It really is. But when we're talking about life, not just sports, when we talk about mentally fit, we're talking about training for it. We're talking about practicing, training, and rehearsing to be more fit physically and mentally than the average individual. What does that imply? In our lives, we're going to have trials and tribulations. We're going to have loss and grief. We're going to have heartache. We're going to be disappointed. We're going to fail miserably. But how fast you recover tells me how mentally fit you are. Again, we have to learn how to grow through it and not just go through it, not to be broken by it. Our ability to recover faster from disappointment, our ability to make a horrible shot and get over it... See, the past is like... I don't know who told me this. This is years ago. The past is like a canceled check. The future is like a promissory note.


The only cash we have on hand is in the here and now. Mindfulness is teaching us not to wallow and be obsessed with the past and not to be preoccupied with what it should have, could have, what might, and stay focused in the present. When I'm mentally fit, I get over making mistakes quicker than the average person. I throw 28-3. 28-3? What could that conjure up? Atlanta and New England, Super Bowl. Now, the only reason I'm watching at this point is 'cause I love Tom. This is the two best teams in the world.  28-3 at halftime. It's over. But I'm not going to bet against him, 'cause it's Tommy. But it's over. But I'm watching it out of respect. And in the back of my mind, if anyone... But it's...


It's not impossible, but it's improbable. But if you are mentally fit, you still believe that there's a few more minutes left in the game called the second half. If you are mentally fit, the interceptions, the mistakes that were made in the first half can be neutralized. If you're mentally fit, you're not preoccupied with the score, you're preoccupied with, what can I do next? And you play to win, regardless of what the score says. So, mental fitness, to keep it simple, is your recovery time, getting... And sometimes, we're simply talking about shrinking how long it takes to recover. You may still struggle mightily, but it's no longer going to be a month, a week, all during practice. You're going to recover after one mistake. Instead of making five more thinking about the one, you bounce back and keep rolling.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. It's the definition of staying ready so you don't have to get ready.


GREG HARDEN: Come on, bruh. That's all we're talking about. How fast can I recover from a loss, from disappointment, from making a mistake? I don't make five more because I made one. And teaching people, recovery time includes recovering from success.




GREG HARDEN: Bruh, it's not as easy as people think.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. Wow, man, that hit different. Yep.


GREG HARDEN: Yeah, yeah. You felt that one, eh?




GREG HARDEN: 'Cause bruh, right now, you better prepare yourself for success 'cause things are blowing up. And so, your ego is trying to decide, "What team are we on?" "Is it me?" This book, this book ain't about me, it's about the wonders of being able to work with individuals to try to be a change agent, trying to teach people how to get the best out of themselves, just to leave a legacy. My days are limited. I know I'm in the fourth quarter, if you like hockey, the third period, whatever you want. This is the eighth inning, whatever you want to say. Bottom line is, this ain't about me. It's about how will I be remembered? Will I have made a difference? Will my sense of purpose be real? My sense of purpose is being a guy who can challenge people to be the best version of themselves and teaching them how to do it.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. This is such a special book and I really want to encourage everybody, get a copy. Get a copy, not just for yourself, but for somebody that you care about. Read it together. And again, I don't usually put this kind of emphasis on getting a book, but this book is truly special. You just said it. This isn't even... This isn't about you, you're here on the cover, but this book is for all of us. And this was an honor to sit with you. I'm looking forward to doing this more often, and I'm very grateful for you just having the audacity to put this into writing for us, to be able to pass on this knowledge. It's truly powerful.


GREG HARDEN: Well, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to be with you. And I told you when I read about you and studied you, I was totally fascinated. And your life story is one that sets a standard, and it gives a model for people who are struggling. And so, thank you for the time and the effort, and I really hope that people like this book because I put everything I had into it and I've got more coming.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. Stay Sane in an Insane World. We need this right now. The book is out right now. Greg Harden. Get your book everywhere that books are sold. And is there anywhere else that you want people to connect with you to get more information?


GREG HARDEN: I have a website. I know that's ancient. But I have a website. Shane Salerno is my guy who has set all this up. Blackstone Publishing is creating great opportunities for me to get out of Ann Arbor and go around. We're in LA today, talking to an amazing human being. So, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Apple, those are all vehicles that are going to be, we hope, excited about this. And I just hope people will pick it up.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Absolutely. Again, Greg Harden, Stay Sane in an Insane World. Pick up your copy right now. I appreciate you. Thank you. Greg Harden, everybody. What do you need to let go of? What new attitudes and behaviors do you need to pick up? What are the things that are going to get you from where you are to where you want to be? Greg's book is an excellent roadmap to help us to traverse this really dynamic experience of living life as a human being, especially right now. And I think it's just immensely valuable; especially, again, learning from somebody who's got a proven track record of figuring these things out, but also helping other people to do the same at a world-class level. I'm telling you, you're absolutely going to love this. And also, when he said this statement repeatedly through this episode, I really want to reiterate this point that we can go through it, or we can grow through it. Because a lot of us, we can get into the day-to-day grind and we can find ourselves just trying to make it, just trying to make it through the day, just going through it instead of really perceiving that our struggles, our challenges, even the mundane things are offering up an opportunity for us to grow.


We can get better each day, despite popular opinion. Alright? Somebody like Greg... So, I know this off camera, but when you see him and you see his energy, and you also just see his physical appearance, what is being portrayed outwardly, you would think he was probably in his 50s, but my man is three quarters of a century old. He's almost 75 years old and he's got this energy, truly. He's about to be doing this for the next 20 years. And it's really important for us to understand that no matter where we are in our lives, we can start to write a new story. We can take the pen... You already have the pen, but you can be proactive at using it and stop outsourcing your life, stop acting like a supporting character in your own story. You're the star. And again, definitely encourage you to pick up a copy of Greg's new book. And listen, we've got some powerful masterclasses and world-class guests 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 That's where you can find all of the show notes. You can find transcriptions, videos for each episode. And if you've 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 this 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.

Maximize Your Energy

Get the Free Checklist: “5 Keys That Could Radically Improve Your Energy Levels and Quality of Life”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

0 comments. Be the first to leave a comment.


The Greatest Gift You Can Give Your Family is Health

When you gather your family around the table to share nutritious food, you’re not only spending quality time with them - you’re setting them up for success in all areas of their lives.

The Eat Smarter Family Cookbook is filled with 100 delicious recipes, plus the latest science to support the mental, physical and social health of your loved ones.

Eat Smarter Family Cookbook


The Eat Smarter Family Cookbook is filled with 100 delicious recipes + the latest science to support your family’s mental, physical, and social health all in one place.

A family that eats together, thrives together.

Order the cookbook and get an amazing bonus today!