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TMHS 432: The Massive Impact Work Has On Your Health & Why NOW Is The Time To Change It
All year we’ve heard staggering statistics about the state of the economy, skyrocketing unemployment rates, and the demise of small businesses. It’s obvious that your ability to create an income for your family can impact your life in a multitude of ways, but did you know that job satisfaction is one of the strongest influences on our mental health?
While that might sound disheartening, the truth is that each and every one of us holds the power to affect change and create a fulfilling, prosperous life. I truly believe that this moment in time has given us an opportunity to do so. Whether or not you know what gifts you have, they exist. And your health, your community, and the world are all counting on you to unlock your innate potential.
On today’s show, we’re diving into the measurable impact job satisfaction has on our overall health and wellness. You’ll hear my personal anecdotes on aligning my career with my passions, and tangible tips you can utilize to create a shift in your own career, wellness, and financial stability. I hope this episode resonates with you and inspires you to create the life that you want. Enjoy!
In this episode you'll discover:
- The link between job satisfaction and mental health.
- How hating your job can contribute to chronic health issues.
- The three main areas that are negatively impacted by career dissatisfaction.
- Why job satisfaction rates have been declining in the US for decades.
- The difference between a labor-based workforce and a knowledge-based workforce.
- How many Americans have filed for unemployment during the pandemic.
- Why changing your perception about money is life-changing.
- What your money blueprint is, and how to improve it.
- The difference between being an entrepreneur and having financial freedom.
- What ROR is, and why it’s important for changing your future.
- How your individual success can contribute to the well-being of your community.
- The importance of creating multiple streams of income.
- What the number one determinant of your health, happiness, and success is.
- How your limiting beliefs hold you back from greatness.
- Why perfectionism stops you from sharing your gift with the world.
- The power of holding a vision of what you want your life to look like.
Items mentioned in this episode include:
- Thrivemarket.com/modelhealth — Join today to get your free gift!
- Themodelhealthshow.com/nextlevelcoach — Enroll now to join my private masterclass!
- Master Your Focus in Turbulent Time with Jim Kwik – Episode 408
- Self-Image Leadership & the ABCs of Success with Bob Proctor – Episode 111
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. This might be one of the most important episodes that we've ever done. Today we're going to be discussing one of the most overlooked health issues that I think that we really have a great opportunity to change right now. And as you know, the world is very different. But with change, comes opportunity. And even still, my son, his school is closed down still, and so they're doing remote learning, and he's on a Zoom call right now for his class. And just yesterday, we got a memo that they would be having music for the first time this week. And I'm just wondering, how are they going to have music?
Are the kids going to individually sing with their headphones, and the parents have to listen to their child randomly? You know what I mean? It's a very different situation versus what I grew up with when I was his age. We had music... We had band, alright? Band was very different, it's a different terrain. You walk into the band room, and you got some kids that have been playing instruments for a while, not me, not me. The teacher was like, "Shawn, hey, grab the trombone."
"What? Trombone? You talking about the one with the... this thing?" Yeah, I did. So like middle school, even I was playing trombone. Can you imagine, I was in the long bus ride, the desegregation bus ride. It was an hour to get to school, an hour back. Can you imagine walking down that bus aisle with a huge trombone, when you're probably 80 to a 100 pounds yourself? Oh my goodness, it was just... It was not the best vibe, but it was an experience. And my son is not getting that experience. I think it really weathers you. Makes you tougher. But we're all adapting, we're all doing what we have to do, but there is something greater. It's not just doing what we have to do, it's also having the opportunity and the realization that we can take control of so many different dimensions of our lives right now, and make a change for the better.
We can sit back on the sidelines and just wait for things to pass over, or we can get in the game and help to usher in a world that really works for everyone. Now, before we get into this discussion today, and again, this is a massive health issue that so many people have no idea about, and I promise you that some of these statistics are going to truly blow your mind, and make you see life in an entirely different way. But another issue that a lot of folks are dealing with, is finding creative ways to try to cut back. Cut back on expenses, and especially when it comes to food, that's a big expense for many families. And especially, if you have higher standards, you're looking for organic, and non-GMO, and gluten-free options, Paleo options, farm-to-table, farm-fresh.
Having these higher standards can come at a premium. But there are incredible companies, and more and more options are becoming available to try to reduce that excessive cost that can take place, and as a matter of fact, save us money in creative ways. And so my wife actually just sent me a screenshot of some of the stuff she just purchased. She purchased... We get this massive, organic, unrefined coconut oil, and also snacks for the kids. My favorite little Paleo mayo. And home cleaning products, non-toxic. Personal care products, non-toxic. And she sent me a screenshot, and she literally saved... I got it right here, $95.67 off of our grocery bill when she ordered groceries today from Thrive Market. Saved us $95.67.
If we would have gone to a traditional health food store, like Whole Foods... We're getting these products, the same stuff we'd be buying at Whole Foods, from Thrive Market for 25% to 50% off the retail price. It is a no-brainer to use this service. So please pop over and get your membership to Thrive Market. Go to thrivemarket.com/modelhealth together as one word. That's thrivemarket.com/modelhealth. And they've got everything you need curated from the best companies, whether it's non-GMO, clean beauty, safe supplements, non-toxic home, sustainable seafood. They've even got clean wines, if you're trying to get your sip on, alright? All of that there at Thrive Market.
And they've also started... And they gave us the option, I saw in her screenshot that she sent me, the COVID-19 Relief Fund, which provides grocery stipends to families facing health or financial hardships due to COVID-19. We got to donate a portion of our savings to the fund to help people who need it. What companies are doing this? Not only are they saving us money, but they're also giving to the people who need it the most. So right now, if you get a one-year Thrive Market membership, you also get access to a free gift of your choice. They provide different gift options every couple of weeks, and right now you can get a gift that's up to $22 in value that you get to pick for yourself. So again, go to thrivemarket.com/modelhealth. And again, 25%-50% off the retail price of so many incredible products. And also, you get access to a free gift right now. Go to thrivemarket.com/modelhealth. And now, the Apple Podcast review of the week.
iTunes Review: Another five-star review titled, “Inspiring, encouraging, and refreshing” by 31 for 2. “Shawn, thank you for sharing the gift of YOU. I’m very grateful that I stumbled upon your Sleep Smarter book a number of years ago. And then this year, found your podcast. So appreciative of all the transforming information you share. You make me want to be the best ME, I can be. Don't stop sharing!”
Shawn Stevenson: That's just remarkable. Thank you so much for sharing that review over on Apple Podcast. Wow, that really... Man, that really does mean a lot. And if you get to do so, please pop over to Apple Podcast and leave a review for the show. It means so very much. And on that note, let's get to our topic of the day. Today we're going to be talking about one of the most overlooked health issues that has been affecting our entire world. And it's been overlooked long enough, and I truly believe that right now, is giving us an opportunity to actually change this. So we're going to start this with a meta-analysis of 485 studies. And this was published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. And they found that job satisfaction is one of the strongest influences on mental health issues in our world, most notably, for depression and anxiety.
The study noted a relationship, also between our job satisfaction and physical health issues, like gastrointestinal issues and cardiovascular issues as well. And this is echoed in several other studies, including a study that was cited in the Journal of Chronic Diseases. Taking into consideration, an array of risk factors, an array of vocations, and an array of income levels, uncovered that the lack of satisfaction in the work that we do is a significant risk factor for coronary heart disease. Why don't we talk about this? Real health and wellness is dynamic, it comes from so many different things. It's not just about food. You can eat the perfect, personalized, unique blood-type, body-type, every type diet, and go to work and spend half or more of your waking hours of your entire life hating what you do, or being unhappy going to the place that you go every day, or doing the work that you're doing, and still develop chronic health issues. Even if your diet is perfect, even if you're hitting the gym all the time. All of these things matter. Our relationships matter, our sleep matters. All of these things go into the overall code of the human that you are. And this issue, more than any other time in our lifetime, is something that we can change.
What's happening right now with the job market and all the other turmoil, I believe is offering up an opportunity for us to change this. Because many people are working themselves into sickness and don't even realize that it's happening. And they don't realize that it doesn't have to be this way. Now, as we're going to discuss, there is a modicum, of course, of doing what you've got to do, getting the bills paid, but we have to move beyond that. And this is the opportunity to do so, and we're going to talk about how we can actually do that today as well. But I want to dive a little bit deeper here because I just scratched the surface in some of the issues that we see.
The results of another peer-reviewed study and this was published in 2015, found a direct link between job satisfaction and psychological distress, as well as physical disorders. Now, according to the researchers, satisfaction with the nature of work that one was doing was the strongest predictor for psychological distress, for sleep disorders, headaches, and gastrointestinal problems. What? You don't hear stuff like sleep problems caused by dissatisfaction with the work one is doing. The data exists, but this is something that we brush off, we don't really think about this. Again, we think somebody's illness "comes out of nowhere," where there are so many different factors like they eat perfectly, they're exercising all the time, and we have to take a broader view of health now and take all of these things into consideration. That's what I'm encouraging us to do today.
Another study, this was from researchers from the Ohio State University, say that their work shows that happiness on the job, or lack thereof, appears to have the biggest impact on midlife mental health. One of the study authors noted that, and listen to this, this is really interesting. In having a scale of very satisfied, satisfied, to completely dissatisfied, they discovered that "Seen with the majority of people are either very satisfied or satisfied with their job, but we find that even the subtle distinction between very satisfied and simply being satisfied has significant effects on your health. I would say our study's main findings are you're likely to have worse health if you don't love your job, rather than if you hated your job." So did you catch that distinction? People who are just kind of getting by tolerating what they do, maybe they're okay with their job, but if they don't love their work, not loving your work, not loving the thing that you do every day, is far more of a predictor of negative health outcomes than if somebody absolutely hated their job. So that little subtle distinction of actually enjoying what we do every day is the strongest predictor of our health when it comes to the work that we do.
Now, the study authors also noted that job satisfaction levels in the United States have been consistently declining since the 1980s. And they said that "The main reason is due to increased job insecurity. People are not sure if they will always have their job today, compared to 30 years ago." Obviously, this is a big concern. The world is very different, things are changing. Our parents or grandparents, they might go and work for a factory. My grandmother, for example, she worked at a factory as a consistent job. You go and clock in. My grandfather worked there as well. And you can expect to have that job for decades. And the nature of that type of work, where people... We've really shifted from a labor-based workforce more to a knowledge-based workforce.
And there's so much going on with technology that is just changing the nature of how everything gets done. And we have to adapt to it. We must adapt, and there are so many incredible opportunities for us to take advantage of the technology. But if we don't get this message, if we don't see that our happiness is plummeting, our satisfaction with work is plummeting, as our health is plummeting. There are multiple reasons why this is all taking place. It's not just about food. Obviously a big component, but it's also about the work that we're doing, and how we're investing our life force. We are all limited editions here on this planet, and how we invest our lives, that limited amount of time that you have here, the gift that you have here matters. And that's what I really want to get across today.
There's another fascinating study, and this was published in the Journal of International Medical Research, found a direct relationship between our work environment and rates of obesity. We can look at all the top health issues that we're concerned about today and see a correlation between the work that we're doing and the manifestation of these diseases. And we've already touched on cardiovascular diseases, so issues with our heart. We've talked about mental health issues, issues with our minds. We've also talked about gastrointestinal issues being tied to the work that we do, our gut. Those are symbolic to me. Our heart, what is our heart telling us we need to be doing? What is our mind telling us that we need to be doing? What does our gut say? The work that we're doing and how we invest our hours each and every day, our precious time here matters, and our entire being is trying to shift us to something else.
Now, in addition to that, our current state of employment in the United States has just been in absolute chaos since this pandemic began. But it's just exposing something that has already just kind of been cooking below the surface. But the United States Labor Department estimates that nearly 50 million Americans have had to file unemployment claims due to the social and economic shutdowns. And this is along with hundreds of thousands of small businesses being forced to shut their doors, and over 100,000 small businesses here in the United States have already been forced to shut their doors permanently. And if you could just take a moment, I know some people are listening that had to endure this and experience this, but if you can imagine people sometimes working their entire lives or their family passing down the family business, and doing whatever it takes to keep the business open, prior to this pandemic happening, and then this taking place, and just really not even having a chance to keep your business going and to provide for your family. This is scary stuff, and we need to right now cultivate more of a sense of empathy and community and support, because we all need each other.
Small businesses employ about 50% of the entire US job market, which is crazy to even imagine that. It really is the lifeblood of the American economy. And without small businesses thriving, our world just isn't the same. And there's a massive breakdown, and I'm going to talk a little bit more about that, because according to another study... And what we're looking at here is unemployment can create permanent decreases in our emotional wellness. And right now, we've seen that unemployment rates are correlated directly... And this has been known for many years, when folks aren't able to work, rates of depression skyrocket. Anxiety, suicide, homicide, all manner of mental health issues, but things that are overlooked. When folks are unemployed, there's upwards of a 50% increase in their risk of having a heart attack when we're not able to work. Being able to give value, and to provide for our families, is tied to our... It’s tied to the beating of our hearts, literally. And this is why this is such a scary time. But also it's a time, again, of great opportunity. It just depends on the lens that we're seeing it through. But we do need to acknowledge the problem. Let's not act like it's not happening. Let's take a good look at it, let's get face-to-face with it so that we can actually come to some real-world solutions for these things.
Now, researchers at Oxford University stated in a recent report that "The striking fact is that over time, people simply do not adapt to being unemployed. If you are without a job, your life satisfaction is permanently lowered." Their research found that even those who re-enter the workforce after a sustained period of unemployment, never return to their previous levels of happiness and well-being. "You don't adapt over time," according to their data, "even when you regain employment, there's a permanent scar as far as our well-being." Now, I don't like to hear anything about permanence, but this is what their data shows. I believe that no matter what has happened, no matter what we've been through, as long as our heart is beating, there is an opportunity for things to get better. But if we're operating in this conventional setting, as many of these studies are looking at, we're going to be a victim of those settings, we're going to be a victim of the conditions of the environment and the world around us, and not understand how powerful we are to affect change and to create the lives that we truly want.
So what I'm really wanting to get across today is that doing work that we don't enjoy, doing work that we're not passionate about, can in fact kill us. This is what the data shows. But this is very counter-culture. This is very outside of the paradigm of the things that are discussed. And right now, our society, the workforce, our economy is fluxed up. But that is such a great thing because when things are permanent when things have a level of certainty and structure, they're very difficult to change. But once the foundation is shaken, it gives us, the opportunity to build something better, to build something new, and that's the opportunity I see right now. But we have to be aware that it's happening. We have to be aware of the sickness that was taking place prior to this time, and life-giving us this opportunity to remedy it, because what if this experience that's taking place right now is happening for us?
What if it's happening for us? What if this is giving us the opportunity to fix a sick system where people spend half of their waking hours investing their life force into things that make them unhappy? I think we're so much more than that. As human beings, I think that we're so much more than that. But we have to be aware of it, we have to acknowledge it ourselves to be able to take control of our lives and write our own stories. And now, yes, there is definitely a modicum of doing what we have to do, right? Paying the bills, I know that probably better than most. And so, what I wanted to do was to share some of my stories and things that I've never shared before, and hopefully provide some light in the dark time, some insights and tools, and also some inspiration, to know truly that we can go from just getting by. We can go from doing what we have to do, and create a life that we love, create a situation where we are getting up every day and doing work that fulfills us and that we're passionate about. It impacts the world because I believe that we are all immensely gifted.
We have an insane amount of talents, capacities, life experiences, latent capabilities, that we don't even realize that we have until challenges take place that force us to develop these qualities. That's what, in my perspective, every single challenge I've been through, every crazy-looking fork in the road, and there's Slender Man at the fork in the road freaking me out, it was providing an opportunity to learn something. And even if I went the wrong direction, I learned a lesson that got me back on track and got me to the place that I truly needed to be. And so, I've been in this field of health and wellness for 19 years now, coming up on 19 years. That's almost two decades! It's crazy to say that, absolutely nuts. Ten years as a clinician, and working as a nutritionist, consultant, researcher, working with patients, work with thousands of people, and really seeing a great level of success in that work, and it's parlayed into so many other things, in me being here with you today.
But this started with coming out of high school and all of the struggles that I went through, coming from the neighborhoods that I grew up in, and we'll talk a little bit more about that. But once I did, it was like superhuman level things to just, to graduate high school. I had the fortune of... I got accepted to every college that I applied to, and I went to a private University, initially, that gave me a bunch of scholarship money. And I decided, "You know what? I'm going to go pre-med." Was this because I was passionate about science? No, this was because of The Cosby Show. That's how I chose my prospective career choice, like “sizzling blasm…” it was like watching, Oh boy, who shall remain nameless, I guess. But watching that and seeing, "Okay, I should be a doctor. That looks like something that is good and successful. I'm going to be a doctor." Just based off of an image that I got of a situation that I can identify with. So, that was what it was.
And I remember my first electives. And my University just happened to have a nutrition class, big auditorium style class, and I signed up for that class within, I think it was my first or second semester. And it was, again, this was an elective, this is not required on the pre-med track. And I took the nutrition class under the assumption that nutrition meant fitness. That was the connection I had in my mind, was nutrition meant fitness. And the first day of class, the teacher walked in and I was... I immediately identified, like, "I'm fitter than this guy. What can he teach me?" And then, I proceeded to not show up for the class that often. Literally, I would come to class, it was like Tuesday, Thursday, once a week, once every two weeks. That's just how I rolled. I was a test-taker. It was one of those skill sets. "Just give me the material, I'll show up, do it. I got to sign, I'll show up and do it." I wasn't really abiding by the system and the structure of education. It's just like, "Just give me what I need to know," kind of thing. I still, I had that thread then. And I'm not saying it's good, but that's what I was doing, alright. But what freaked me out was the upperclassmen and looking at pathology, and just, once you start to research disease and sickness, it can really freak you out.
Today, we got the internet now, so you might have a symptom, you go look it up. Like if throat's a little itchy, your tonsils are swollen, maybe you got a little red eye, maybe you're... I don't know, maybe your back is a little sore, you go and Google your symptoms, you're like, "Oh my God. I think I have taintitis!" Something crazy, like some kind of random thing, and you fit the description, and we self-diagnose, and it can freak us out. But that was usually reserved back then for just people who were medical students, and we start diagnosing each other, whether it's physical health issues and there's mental health issues as well. We can get kind of wrapped up in the system. It was studying sickness, that's what it was. And even though that was my initial choice, I came to a realization after that first year that I absolutely detested science. I hated it. Hated it. This reminds me of In Living Color when it was like Damon Wayans hated it, I hated it. And I had to come to terms with that. And what's so crazy is that is I deeply love it. I think about science all the time, it's my boo, but it was the way that I was being taught, it just didn't... It didn't feel good. It didn't inspire me.
The way that it was taught didn't have any personal, visceral connection to me and my life, and that's part of the reason why I do this show today, is to make it connect for people. Because there's so much beauty to biology, there's so much beauty to kinesiology, there's so much beauty to science that intersects with our lives every single moment that I later discovered. But initially, I switched my major from pre-med over to marketing. Why did I do that? Because of a movie, because of Boomerang starring Eddie Murphy. That's how I picked my next major. I saw Eddie Murphy, Strangé, he's looking good, the suits, he had Robin Givens, Halle Berry, I don't know who to choose. I was like, "Alright, I want to do what he does. This, he's fly." So, I was like, "I'll do marketing, it seems cool that I'm making commercials or whatever." So, I shifted my major over. But life had other plans for me. This is during college, shortly thereafter my first year, is when my health just began to erode, but it was already happening years in advance for the degree of damage that took place.
Ultimately, when I was 20 years old, getting diagnosed with this so-called incurable spinal condition, basically severe advanced arthritis of my spine and my disc with disc degeneration disease, as well as bone degeneration disease, having broke my hip in my teens just from running because my body was breaking down from the inside out. But I grew up in such a sick environment, and the things that I was making my body out of and the way that I was abusing my own mind, my own brain, my own physical body with the way that I was living, I just had no idea. I had no idea. But because of that, and we're not going to get too much into that story, I've shared it many times; but going through that process of seeing how the healthcare system was completely backward and just looking at treatments of disease and not what actually creates health, I became obsessed with finding out everything that I could about health and the human body. And these were the things that were not taught to me in my University courses. And I shifted back, began studying biology and nutritional science, and all that stuff again. But the education in that University setting wasn't less than 000000.1% of the knowledge base that I have today.
But I wanted to find a way, "How can I take this information and help people?" Because eventually, I completely transformed my health. I became healthier, beyond... I didn't even know that that level of health and joy and clarity was possible. I didn't even know it existed. And so many of us are walking around in a fog we have no idea that we're in. And when it's lifted, it is miraculous! You realize that not only do you look, feel, and perform better, but you realize how powerful you are to affect change. And I wanted to see that replicated in every person that I possibly could. And so, for the beginning of my story, at that time when I had this revelation take place and I transformed my health, I was living in a one-room apartment in Ferguson, Missouri, trying to finish up my degree, sleeping on a mattress on the floor. Situation's not looking that sexy, alright. It was not looking that sexy. And I'm going from that from also not being able to work because of the physical breakdown that I was experiencing, to now, when I got physically better, it wasn't just my body, my mind changed or had to change in order for the physical change to take place.
So, I began to see my relationships differently. I began to see myself differently. I began to see the work that I was doing in the world differently. I started to have this feeling, like, "My time is valuable and I can do something." My grandmother instilled in me that I was going to do something great with my life, but I didn't know what. But I knew that I wanted to help people, because when I was down when I was broken, there really wasn't anybody there for me, and I didn't want anybody else to feel like this, and to be told that there's nothing you can do about it. Because I heard that from four physicians, and I know they meant well, but they told me this was something you're just going to have to deal with; "I'm sorry son but you're going to have to live with this." And it wasn't true. It wasn't true.
Now, taking action to start to do something that I enjoyed. I was just walking around campus and a friend of mine from high school... It was actually a friend of mine's little sister, but she also went to high school with me. She came up to me and she was like, "Oh my God, what did you do? You look so different." Because prior to that, I was walking around campus puffy, I was Sean P. Diddy Combs. His earlier nickname was Puff Daddy. My name is Shawn as well. I was on that Puff Daddy. I was puffy, alright. So, I packed on a lot of weight in those two years between diagnosis and decision to change. And, I definitely... Well, I wasn't moving around very well. I was to be real, I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed to even go to school. And I went from a full credit load down to three. One class barely stayed in school. I almost dropped out.
And, now, she saw me after this transformation took place, and how quickly it took place. And she was just asking all these questions like... And then, her final question was, "Can you help me?" And I was like, "Yeah, absolutely." And then, she was like, "How much should I pay you?" And my brain shut down. I could not believe that she offered to pay me for something that I would do anyway. I would love to go and work with her in the gym. And in my brain-freeze, I just said, "$7?" It even had a question mark at the end. I didn't even make it a solid statement, I said, "$7." $7! "$7 a session." And I thought that that was something that was comparable to a type of kind of student job that I might be able to get at the time. But I was just like, I definitely can't say more than that because I would do this anyways. And so, that was my first paying “client” was seven freaking dollars a session. And we had an incredible time, she was able to get some incredible results. I was just there for her.
And taking just the data I was studying a lot and learning about kinesiology and fitness and getting certified as a personal trainer. I'd decided to do that. And it went from there. It was like, one client to two, to four, to 10, to 20, to a waiting list. It got nuts, and there was these progressions that I had to go through mentally to offer my services, and the value that I was getting, completely transforming people's lives, but I just didn't value myself as much. So I'd go from $7 to eventually it was like maybe $10 to $12 eventually. Then eventually, of course, it got up into the 20s and so on, but it took a lot of time and a lot of inner work.
But what I wanted to share with you guys was, even though I began to make more income, I would always find creative ways to get rid of that money. So, even after I went from the $7 a session and paying my rent using the school refund check from my grants and scholarship, just to get by, once I got to $20 a session and having a packed calendar, I was still hovering around... My bank account, I was a hundredaire! Not even a thousandaire! Millionaire. Pshh, hundredaire, alright, just getting by. How? I was making so much money at that point compared to where I was at, and it reminded me of the statement that, "A fool and his money are soon parted." And on the topic of finances and work, I was a fool. I didn't know anything. All I knew was that if I just keep working harder, then I'm going to be able to solve these financial problems. If I just keep working harder, I'm going to be able to move past these financial pressures. But, I was being a fool.
I was being a fool because it's not about that. It's not about working harder. There is a level of hard work to being great at anything that we do, but that level of thinking was not what was going to get me out of the one-bedroom apartment in Ferguson, Missouri sleeping on a mattress on the floor, and having two kids by the way. By the way, that's where a lot of my money was going. Jorden, he's downstairs right now on his zoom class, his college university. So, my son and my daughter, that's where this income, especially as things start going up. I wanted to be a good dad. Let me take care of my kids. But I'm still just not being able to break through that self-imposed limitation because that's really what the real issue was; it was my unhealthy relationship with money. That is the thing that you cannot outwork that, you have to change it. You have to change that programming within your own mind because success is not about hard work. Success begins with your mindset. Success begins with how you see reality. Success begins with your perception. Hard work, again, there's a level of hard work to anything that we want to be great at, but you cannot outwork faulty programming with your thinking.
And so, the thing that I needed to change that I didn't realize at the time was my money blueprint. We all have a money blueprint, and usually, this blueprint is established during our childhood, and most of us never change it, or we barely change it. We might change the blueprint a little bit, add on a little single car garage to our blueprint, with money, but most of us, we get that blueprint and we continue to struggle, especially if you grew up around struggle. So, for me, we were poor. We were poor growing up. What we consider “poverty”. And so, me sleeping on the floor in my apartment, that's nothing new. That's what I... But I never made that connection. It's what I did. Getting a bed frame that's an occasional thing. When my kids are over they're sleeping on the air mattress, and the air mattress had a hole in it, so every day that we wake up, they're on the floor. You know, they go from a foot elevated off the ground to being on the ground.
But the things that I grew up around and the messages that I grew up around, were my mom would say things like, "I'm broke as joke." I'll be like, "Mom, can I have some money and go to, you know, with my friend?" "Boy, I'm broke as a joke." Or "Hey, mom, can I you know?" She'll be like, “Do I look like I'm made out of money?" Programming. Programming. And also, we had food stamps, and so that would come around. It's the first of the month, you get those food stamps. I call it food stamp Christmas. Sometimes mom would give me a whole little book of food stamps this is when I think... There's a card now, but this is when it was actual paper. You can be like kind of... What is it when you at the strip club when you're making it rain. You make it rain with the food stamps. Alright, get that book, maybe $10 of food stamps. Go to the corner store, rack up, ball out. Alright, so...
And WIC as well, this is where women, infant and children's program, I believe is called. And you get the government cheese and milk and bread and those kinds of things. And also we'd get food from food pantries. And we also grew up around this condition, the psychological condition and messaging of always waiting for something to come through. Income Tax check. The Income-tax refund, that's when we'd get Christmas. Literally, my mom told me so many times, "I'm sorry, baby when the income tax... “You know, it's Christmas. We're like, "The Nintendo's out, mom... ““No, baby, I promise when the income tax check comes, we'll get the Nintendo." But that's the beautiful part too, is we still... My parents found ways to make stuff happen. It wasn't always, okay, when we wanted it, but finding those creative ways.
And that's what a lot of families do. They hustle, they find different ways to make stuff happen for their babies. But, income tax Christmas, as well as food, stamp Christmas, income tax Christmas we'd always be waiting for a settlement to come in. Settlement, you'd get injured on the road or at work or something, get that settlement check or an inheritance, maybe. Somebody might kick the bucket, maybe a little money would come in. Waiting for something to come in, income tax check, a settlement. Lottery, right? Playing the lottery, gambling. True story. The first time in my recollection and I remember stuff from when I was three years old, two to three years old. I'm one of those weird people. Apparently, a lot of people don't remember those kinds of things days. But my earliest memories of “quality time” with my stepfather, he would take me to the race track, he'd get lost betting on horses, I'm off somewhere with a couple of quarters playing the arcade games. That was our quality time.
And it was far from our house too, so it was like probably... It seemed like it was super far, but it probably wasn't that far. When you're a kid it's just like, "Are we there yet?" You know what I mean? So that was the quality time, and he blew... Man, he blew our money so many times, but it's those one times when we'd get that money. When you get that money, you eat good. Man, we lived for that. But the reality was, I grew up around these conditions, so my relationship with money was money is scarce. Money is hard to come by. We moved 10 times. 10 times. Not because we were trying to like, "I want to live in Ibiza. I want to live in New York City." No, because we couldn't pay the rent. So we had to move on to the next one, on to the next one. So, moved 10 times.
And, you might hear like, "Why didn't they just work harder?" Man, let me tell you, let me tell you what my mother did. My step-father, man, I've never seen anybody work... I've been around some of the most successful people, never seen anybody work as hard as him. My mother, she would sell her blood, for every opportunity that they allow for you to sell your blood, she'd sell her blood to feed her babies. She worked, she got a job and is not the best conditions. So she'd be the night manager at a magic market. Magic market is like a kind of off-brand 7-Eleven. Right, a Magic market. She worked the overnight shift. This is when we... I lived with my grandma still, so when I would come and live with my mom on the weekends, and my mom worked at magic market, so I'd go to bed and she'd leave and in the morning, she would bring me back a pack of baseball cards. Had the little gum in there, loved it!
I had some of those baseball cards up until we moved recently. Then my wife was like... I think she low-key just kind of threw them away. I don't know, I got to go look, but I might have had a fortune, I don't know. But it was one of those little special things. But working in that situation overnight, in poor conditions, somebody attempted to rob my mother. Knife. She was stabbed eight times. She almost lost her life, but she was able to subdue the attacker. The police got him, and I remember she told me the physician was like, "Your weight... " Because she was overweight, "Saved your life. If you weren't as heavy as you are, you probably wouldn't have lived." What does that tell my mother? That fat is protecting you. Don't ever lose it. She worked hard.
The conditions that we were in, kept finding ways to keep us where we were at. And we were doing that to ourselves as well. I picked up that programming. Money is scarce, it's dangerous, you got to risk your life for it. You got to give everything that you have, just for moments, little tiny moments of happiness, tiny moments of happiness and peace. When in reality, my stepfather, he had to drink himself into a moment of peace. And I could either pick up all the behaviors I'm seeing or I could decide like, "I see that it's happening, I choose other, but I have to know that it's possible." So, as I'm working... I've dedicated my life to serving other people. I am on fire, and I'm just... There's so much beauty happening, but I'm sacrificing my own well-being because I'm struggling to get by each month.
And I'm taking care of everybody else, but the shift, it didn't happen for several years. Even after I met my wife, Anne, and she started helping and managing some things. And it wasn't until my youngest son, Braden, just turned nine years old this month, when this episode is coming out. It wasn't until... Again, I'd been in this field for over a decade at that point.
Made a huge impact on people's lives in so many different ways, but when my wife was pregnant with Braden and I've never shared this before when my wife was pregnant with Braden, our gas got turned off at our house in Ferguson-Florissant. I was trying to have the American dream, got the house. We got our cars. I'm doing this work. I see that there's something more. Our gas got turned off. And the thing was, I had the money. I had just gotten the money, but there's something that happened with the signage and we shouldn't even got that closed. And to see my pregnant wife in the middle of winter in Missouri and we're downstairs in the basement at this house where we had a wood-burning stove. We had never... We used it one time in probably, I don't know, six, seven years we lived there.
I don't know how long we lived there, but I found a way to light... Get that fire lit and then we had to stay down there that night. And it did something to me... I decided that no matter what, this will never happen again. I was not going to have my children grow up with the same struggles that I grew up with. I had to change it. And I invested so much in helping everyone else, but I needed to really focus on me and my blocks, my limiting beliefs that I was carrying that... And this was a statement that I would say to myself, "I just want to help people. The money doesn't matter." It can be both because my family should not have to suffer because I'm so concerned about everyone else.
That was backward thinking. I need to take care of myself, my family, make sure that our structures are great so it frees me up. It frees up my mind to help even more. I was being selfish in a strange backwards way. I didn't know that I was doing it though. And so once that switch happened in my mind, then I decided I have to figure this thing out, no matter what, just like with my health. When I made that decision, it took two years of the most intense, miserable pain and suffering for me to actually decide that no matter what, I'm changing this thing. Unfortunately, it usually takes that for us as humans to get to that place where our backs has to be against the wall for us to change. It doesn't have to be that way. We could change through inspiration as well, but it's usually through suffering. In that moment right there and seeing the look on her face, I know she's with me no matter what, but I wanted better for her. So part of that, that change was I had to change my money inputs. I had stacks and stacks, this incredible library of health and nutrition books, of kinesiology and fitness books, and all this incredible information. And I was a sponge, alright, as the French say, I don't know actually if they say that. Shout out to everybody listening in France, but I was just absorbing all of that and I became... It was me. It was built in. It was in my cells, but I didn't understand anything about business and finances.
These are things that are not taught to me. I took business classes. I took university-level marketing classes. They don't teach you how to be successful in the real world. I needed to change my inputs and learn from people who actually have the thing or have achieved the success that I would like to see. And so I'll tell you where this shifted for me, guys, it was somehow another... We saw a commercial online as we were watching probably some nutrition video or something, but we were watching some program online, maybe it was on YouTube and I saw an advertisement for a program called The New Money Masters from Tony Robbins, The New Money Masters. So this had to be... Braden just turned nine. And so, I don't know, probably about nine years ago. And Tony Robbins has been this icon in personal development, but also ridiculously successful in his life in the real world, having billion-dollar companies for example. And he was bringing forth this interview series with these people who were creating incredible wealth online, like doing stuff online. Now, for myself, I was offline brick-and-mortar, working in a clinical practice and I was being invited to speak at places. I was teaching classes. And I was making a huge impact through those mediums, but I became aware that there's this entire world online that I could be reaching and helping people.
And I really feel like I have something special that people need to know and this gives us the tool to do it, but watching The New Money Masters presented this, listening to different people, this concept of creating a niche site for example. And we were straight up into it like, "Okay. Now, we need to solve this money issue so we're going to create... “One of the ideas was like a dog training niche site where you get like an e-book or whatever. And we really started to invest our time into doing that and just like a couple of days into it, I just stopped and I had a nervous laden conversation with my wife because it just didn't feel right. I was like, "Babe, I know that it looks like we can make money doing this, but it doesn't feel right. I think that we can do this and create something online that is aligned with my mission and who we are and how we serve people and to help people to really change their world in a positive way through health and wellness." And fortunately, she agreed. Now, this was going to entail a lot more work because we didn't have that exact blueprint for creating a "niche" website, but we created my website and you know, it was incredible. All of the designs and I had friends who would see the website, colleagues, and they're like, "Shawn, who did your website?
Who did your website?" But it's this concept, it's this is "Field of Dreams" concept that we have as well that, "if you build it, they will come." If you build it, they will come. The website has been released upon the world, come, everyone, we've got incredible articles and we've got different products and things that I love that you can get access to. And as affiliates, and now we're going to have a little bit more income coming in, didn't happen. That's not how it works, at all, you know? I'm not going to say it was crickets. But they were like grasshoppers, you feel me? Like they're saying, like, "You wouldn't be able to tell them the difference that well." It's Jiminy crickets, cousin, grasshopper-less, alright? So... Now here's where it changed. There was another major component to changing my inputs that I was fighting with, that I did not want to let go. And I'm talking about I was holding on to dear life to this idea, this limiting belief that was lit... It was literally keeping me from achieving success that was possible for me.
And this was this idea of, "It's not what you know, it's who you know." It's not what you know, it's who you know. Like, I would hear this, and it would disturb me. Because I'm like, "Nah, it's not who you know, absolutely not, I should be good enough that my results speak for themself. It's not who you know." And with the who-you-know thing, I would think in terms of like nepotism, right? Favoritism because of who you know. And so I would fight against that. And I decided, "You know what, I'm going to know so much that it’s not going to matter who I know." But in reality, all I'm going to be is a guy who knows a lot by himself. It is our relationships, that's reality. That's how the world works. We are here together. But I grew up with this kind of lone wolf vibe mentality, because of my environment again. Like, we really didn't mess with a lot of people like my stepfather, he had maybe like one friend per decade. And they had their lane that they were in, like, we just didn't mess with a lot of people. Of course, I had friends and things like that. But just like, "You can't depend on people." Like, very much so of, always keeping an eye out. Like, a distrust.
And also this idea that "I have to do this, no one else can do it." It's kryptonite for so many incredible people. We just think that nobody else can do the job like we can. And so we try to do all these different jobs, right? Instead of just working really in our gift. And so I had to open myself up to trust, had to open myself up to inviting people in and having relationships. And it was like scary. I didn't realize this until years later, how quickly things changed. Now, I was already making big inroads and making big waves with the content that I was creating and what I was putting out into the world, and actually helping all these different companies that I really didn't even... Wasn't that closely affiliated to, to make income because people were buying all their... These cool superfoods and things that I loved. And somehow, something happened where there was a training taking place for some of the organization there... Some of the people who were part of the company, and there was this speaker for the company named Jim Kwik. Alright, Jim Kwik, accelerated learning expert, I've had on the show, I think he has the record of the most amount of times being here on... This is my home here, on the Model Health Show. He's just been such a game-changer in my life, but... And they were telling him about this guy, Shawn Stevenson that everybody kept talking about.
And under normal circumstances, I don't think that this connection would have happened because I just wouldn't have been listening, to be honest. But he invited me on to help to train the people who were in the company. And it was like... It was like breathing to me. And just... I tapped into something that I didn't even know I had that capacity. And it was so... Such a harmony. And in that moment, Jim Kwik, he was like already an icon doing incredible things. And now, I'm starting to connect with people who are doing incredible things that I had never had access to before. And that exposure, number one, changing my inputs of the things that I was learning as far as income; opening myself up and understanding that it's... The greatest asset that you have, I'm going to tell you this straight up, I hope that you get this, the greatest asset that you have is something called ROR, alright? It's not ROI, it's ROR, Return on Relationship. Your relationships are the most valuable asset, I promise you, in the world today, by far. Those who have healthy relationships and a diverse array of relationships are the ones who are thriving right now. Or at least not hitting the skids, alright? So ROR is incredibly important.
And then coming out eventually to Jim's place in California. And I walk in... He was holding a... I think it was a housewarming party. And I think I maybe have been to Los Angeles once before but my eyes were too big and just not really able to get what was happening. But now I'm at his place I walk in, and it was like in the hills, like your phone service goes out, I'm like, "What is this? We're too high up" Ears popping. And we go in and it's all these people who are these stars, right? On the internet, right? Or in health and wellness and people who were kind of in my space, and certain people knew me. I was like, "What is this? This is so weird. This is so weird."
But at the same time to see the conditions, to know that my man, he's the same thing we had that common bond is another thing like we connect on things that are related to each other, and he was a big fan of superheroes. So he had this big life-sized Iron Man-like right there in his freaking living room, it was incredible. You know just really creating a space that was from his imagination. I didn't know that was a thing. I thought that was on TV, like if a kid wins the lottery, kind of thing, like Brewster's... You know is that Brewster's Millions? Or Richie Rich. It's like Richie Rich. I'm just like, that's just on TV.
But man, he had created this. And so it... It literally when you are around it, it changes your perception. It's like your thermometer starts to change, of what is possible when you have that exposure. But I want to be clear with you, right now, we have exposure, opportunities we've never had before. Even 10 years ago, 15, 20 years ago, no way were you going to be having access to some of the most successful people in various fields, unless you actually were able to physically get there somehow. Today, we have the internet. We could see anything you can imagine, be around anything that you can imagine virtually, in which there are parts of your brains that don't know the difference.
But physical exposure obviously still trumps everything, but it's not just exposure, it's also imbibing the belief that it's possible for you. It's not just the exposure, it's also believing that it's possible for you as well. You have to believe it. It's not just like, maybe…could be. There's a picture that my wife and I have from that trip we went to the beach here in California, and we wrote something in the sand. And we had planted the seeds of us having endless summers and living in Los Angeles, which was a pipe dream, living in Ferguson-Florissant at the time, and... But it was those things, it was me taking action to get in the environment, to get uncomfortable. It was super uncomfortable. Now, and I'm like, honestly, like even through those things, I feel comfortable in pretty much any situation.
But it was more so those are the moments for me to realize who I am. Even within the midst of you know, like, people are there trying to who's who, I want to talk to who's who, whatever. And the fakeness, and then the other people are really good people, whatever. I'm me. I'm about that life. And I could repel any drama, and the fakeness, and any of that stuff. Because these were things they would try to talk me out of, you know making a move, or getting in different environments, right? But we don't see the world as it is, we see the world as we are. And so I'm on the lookout for real people. I'm on the lookout for people who are really about that life and who are about service and really care about other people. And that's predominantly what I see.
So, those were huge things. And I hope that you're gaining some big insights on helping to shift your money blueprint and your understanding of the time that we're living in right now. You absolutely can do work that is fulfilling to you, that brings you joy, that brings gifts to other people, that also takes care of your life structures, that also makes sure that your bills are paid, that also... Not just that, if that's what you want, you can have that, but if you want more, if you want some exceptional things, the things that you dream of, that's possible too. And it comes from these small but mighty shifts in our thinking. And one other thing, and I want to make sure that this is incredibly valuable, what I'm about to share with you. Another thing that was limiting me was a lack of diversity in the work that I was doing and the income that was coming in.
I heard Bob Proctor say this, and he's one of the greatest all-time legends in personal development and success, he said that "The key to wealth is having multiple streams of income." I didn't know what the heck that meant. The only streams that I knew were like, crossing the streams in Ghostbusters, like, merrily, merrily down the stream, like, playing swords like if you're peeing whatever, those are the streams that I knew about. Multiple streams of income, I just didn't even get it. But it was that lack of diversity in my thinking because I was just working in the gym, or I was working in the gym and running my clinical practice. But there were so many other ways because, in those points, I'm still exchanging my time for money. I was an "entrepreneur," and the word entrepreneur is derived from the French entreprendre... I hope that I'm saying that right, entreprendre, which means 'to undertake.
Right so I was undertaking, but you go beyond entrepreneur when you start to... You just basically, when you're at that level of entrepreneur, you're just your own boss, but you're still doing the same trading your time for money thing. But when you can create things that start to do work or start to add value, even when you're not there, or even when you're not proactively giving your time, that's when you go from entrepreneur to freedom. And so with that, in addition to opening my clinical practice and working as a nutritionist and consultant, working with businesses, things like that, I was teaching nutrition classes and cooking classes. Now you could start to scale it a little bit because it's not just one-on-one or one-on-two or three. Sometimes a class would have 20 people, 30 people sold-out classes, group coaching, and group fitness training.
I wrote my first book which... Let me put that in quotations, alright. I'm doing air quotes if you're not watching on YouTube. My first book was really a pamphlet, a little Office Depot cover on it. But I would have actually forgot about this, but a friend of mine recently, who's a doctor, he bought the book when then he came to one of my classes I was just like, "I can't believe you about this book." He was like, "It was great." "Really?"
But that was I'd teach a class and then five people might buy this little pamphlet book because they're so inspired. It might be $10 or $20, whatever it was. It was scaled. So it was that. I began speaking at more events and eventually getting paid to do it, but of course, at first, I was just like, "Let me speak! Let me speak. You guys, I got you!" But it was a speaking event, funny enough, and I'll share this story another time for something special that I want to tell you about later, but of how the Model Health Show came to be, but it started at a speaking event is when the inception of the podcast happened was while I was speaking at an event, and that if I didn't say yes to that event, this wouldn't exist.
And that podcast, by the way, has... And, guys, I'm from Missouri. This is not the hub of entertainment and glitz and glamor of the United States. From being from Missouri and having a show, and coming from where I come from, to have this show to be the number one health podcast in the entire country, many, many, many times over is an absolute miracle if you're looking at this on paper. But there was very specific reasons behind it, very specific things helped to make that possible. So that happened, and the podcast, of course, becoming an umbrella of so many other incredible things, but I created an e-book. It went from the pamphlet book to an e-book to eventually self-publishing a book to eventually the book deals, and everything just kind of evolved, but I had to take each step and keep diversifying the income.
And that's the thing I got from Bob Proctor, who's been on the show. Bob Proctor has been on this show two times. Oh, it's so crazy! So many of these people that I learned from, pretty much every person that as I'm thinking about over the years, whether it's in health, or success in finance, relationships, these are all people who are friends today or colleagues of mine, and it's just... It's freaking me out a little bit right now actually, but this is what's possible, guys. This is what's possible for all of us. On paper, I have no right, I have no right to have overcome any of those things, but... This is... It's not because I am special, it's because I have said yes to the capacities that are within me.
You have incredible gifts and talents and capacities, so much within you, dreams that need to be fulfilled, that you have to say yes to, and in order to say yes to those things, we have to let go of things that we prop up and hold on to as the reasons why we can't. We have to let those things go. We have to cut the cord on that anchor and just let it go so we can actually take off. So, and I just shared a couple of the diversity things that we did, but all always adding value. How can we serve? How can we help? With that premise, and not coming from the hustle mentality that I grew up around that prevented me from doing those things because it's just like, "I don't want to take advantage of a situation. I just want to help people." I get it. Like somebody's like, "I get it, Shawn, I get it." That's who you are. That's your heart. That's your core. We also have to make sure that you are good so that you can be even greater at the thing that you are here for.
So right now, I just... I feel... I really want to share this because it's been on my heart, some of the things that I've been able to see and experience. And recently Chadwick Boseman passed away, and he's done so many incredible things in his lifetime. I mean, just remarkable. Things that are going to live on for many years after this moment, playing these iconic figures in history, playing Jackie Robinson and James Brown and Thurgood Marshall, bringing these characters to life in a way that only he could, and of course, being this iconic black superhero in this universe getting created, and giving the ability to have exposure for people who... Just again, all I needed was to see something, "I decided to do pre-med because of The Cosby Show, marketing because of Boomerang." That stuff matters. It's powerful for many of us. It's the access that we get. It's the only story we get, so to see people that look like you on screen, the entire cast and the director, and it's just really remarkable what Black Panther meant.
And because of these things that I'm sharing with you today when that movie came out, I was able to rent out an entire movie theater and bring in students from low-income neighborhoods so that they can see the movie that they might not have gotten an opportunity to see in a movie theater. Man! So powerful. I still have... Oh, man! The kids sent me all these letters, and the person, the teacher who helped me to put it together is Ronnie Lee, who I mentioned before on the show. He's been through a lot as well. We met at UMSL in college and similar stories with our family members being on drugs and just coming up from very trying situations. He's an incredible teacher and light for these kids. So it was just amazing to be able to do that. You have to become successful, not just for you but for your family, for your community, you can help so many people if you stop playing small.
The biggest reason that the American family has been pulled apart is because of work and money. This time has brought many families closer together. We have to take advantage of this opportunity. Don't go back to how it was, it was not working. We can change this. It's giving us the opportunity to change.
I had to get my sip on this glass, courtesy of a friend, it says, “Own your awesome." Thanks for the message. So let me give you some specific tips now. Number one, you must have more than one source of income. You must have more than one source of income. If something ever happens again with the workforce, if something ever happens again with the economy, you will be able to ensure that you are not a victim to having one source of income, and you'll be able to pivot more easily. I've seen it, I've seen it. Let this be a lesson to you. And you fully have this capacity to make this happen. I know you do.
Number two, community, people, relationships are most important factor in success, it's not even close. Your relationships have the biggest impact. It is the biggest determinant on your health, your happiness, and your success. We have to get ourselves proactively around good people who keep us lifted up and remind us of our greatness. It doesn't mean it's always easy. It doesn't mean they're just going to say the things you want, but they call out and require and demonstrate to you something greater. It's the most important thing.
Number three, you have to let go of your limiting beliefs that are keeping you from what you want. Do you know how powerful you are? Do you really know how powerful you are? No one, no one can stop you. No one can stop you. Nothing can stand in your way. The only thing that can stop you is you. And to truly supersede and to move beyond, we have to get rid of these limiting beliefs that you're carrying. Carl Jung said, "Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate." What are the things you're carrying around in your mind? What are these beliefs that you're carrying about you and about what you're capable of, that is keeping you in bondage that is keeping you from the greatness that you are entitled to, by the very nature of you being here right now?
We have to be able to look our limiting beliefs right in the eye, dead in the eye. We have to be able to do that. Look them right in the eye, so that we can destroy them. So what are some of these common... And again, 20 years, almost 20 years, some of these common things, when you're wanting to do the work that you love. We start coming up with these stories, "Well, I'm not smart enough. I'm not smart enough for that." One of those limiting beliefs that so many people carry is that, "I'm not smart enough. I'm not smart enough to be able to do what such and such is doing. I'm not smart enough to be able to do fill in the blank, the thing that I would love to be doing." And sometimes, it's like, hiding on the background, 'cause you're like, "Of course I'm smart. Of course, I'm intelligent." But it can be floating around in there. Alright. Doing a little bit of dibble-dabble in your mind, you don't even really see it, it's kind of like a little bit of a Tinker Bell effect, bouncing around in your mind.
So I first heard this statement, and I want to share this with you, from my friend Jim Kwik. Again, accelerated learning expert, memory expert. He's the one that all these incredible organizations turned to, countless citizens across the world. World, I just got to say that on purpose, world citizens, world citizens, top actors, you name it, go to Jim, read the script faster, speed read, all that stuff. He was labeled as a boy with learning challenges, and now, he's considered to be one of the smartest people in the world. He said, "It's not how smart you are, it's how you are smart. It's not how smart you are, it's how you are smart." In our system of education, you're supposed to learn these as rote memorization. It's these different subjects, we got science, we got history, we got social studies, right, we got these subjects that we have to learn rote memorization, not necessarily any creativity or dynamic thinking. Even within the parameters of literature, there's so many different rules you have to fit into for the professor, or for the teacher, or for what they were told. You have to fit into those boxes, and if you aren't doing those things, if you're not good at the rote memorization, then you can be led to believe that you are not smart. You're definitely not in the context of what society believes, but somebody who is dreadful, like when it comes to math like...
Nightmare, but maybe they are an absolutely brilliant artist, and create the most amazing pieces of artwork. Maybe they struggle with science, this just like doesn't land for them, but they're an incredible writer. And so it's just like we start to label ourselves, "We're not as smart as... “Because you're supposed to have this broad range of cookie-cutter things that you're, quote, "good at" or intelligent about, to be labeled as smart, and we allow this to happen to our children. It's not how smart you are, it's how you are smart. What are the things that you are innately good at? What are you... What are you... Not just even good at, but what are you interested in? Because that's where you might find your gift.
I was not, quote, "good" at science, but I became interested in it. Things happened in my life to trigger an interest, and as I dove into that interest, and I was able to explore that, without judgment, it unlocked a superpower, and that superpower has literally changed the world. So, please understand, it's not how smart you are, it's how you are smart. And the things that you have a draw to, or an innate ability within, that's where your genius lies. Or where you have a great interest in, allowing yourself to have the interest, and not talking yourself out of it, that's where your greatness lies.
A quote that's often attributed to Albert Einstein says that, "Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." Trying to get things to be something that they're not, our society is great at that. And just look at the results, I don't have to make it up. We are, right now, sickest nation in the world. Every single health issue has continued to climb, every mental health issue. We're trying to treat symptoms, instead of the underlying issues. We have to get our citizens healthier, we have to allow ourselves to do things that we enjoy, that help us to feel valued, that help us to feel like we're able to contribute something meaningful, and that brings us livelihood. We have the right to be happy, and that message needs to be instilled in our children.
Also, another big limiting belief is that, "I don't have enough education." For some people, that is their barrier to entry in the first place. Like, "I don't have enough education, I'm out." Just talk themselves right out of something they would love to be doing. A life that they would love to be living. "I don't have the education." Other people, is not enough education ever. "Ah, I need another degree. I got degrees on degrees. My degree keeps me satisfied." So, it's never enough, I don't have enough to be able to serve, to be able to give my gift, to be able to do something that I enjoy. This is a limiting belief that we're carrying, we have to break out of that. We even have to change our definition of what education looks like. Again, look at the results in our society, of the way that our education system is structured. "I don't have enough... " Fill in the blank. "I don't have enough money, I don't have enough connections... "
And the funny thing about money is that we always find a way to get the money when we have to. If it's something that is a pressing, absolute must, we have to come up with the money, we always find a way. We always find a way. But when it comes to the things that we really want to do, "I don't have enough money. I don't have enough money for that right now." You know, "I'm going to save up, I'll get to it, whatever." We start coming up with stories... If you had to, if you had to get the money, you would find a way. So the real question is, when are you going to change that? Now, there's obviously many other limiting beliefs that come in the form of, "I am not enough," or, "Things that I don't have." But once those things are broken down, there... Of course, there can be a level of truth, there's different levels to things. But when you start to realize what you do have, what you do have access to, your ability to think beyond your circumstances, to be creative, and start to take steps in the direction, because we stop ourselves before we even get started, when we start to list all the reasons why not, and why we can't...
Another issue... Right now, we need more people who are doing real-world effective work in the health space. We're dealing with a crisis of health, it has been magnified right now, more than ever, and a lot of people are holding back on taking action, 'cause they're like, "I'm not healthy to the degree that I want to be yet. I'm not that picture-perfect place of health that I need to get to, and then I can start helping other people." And it is the craziest thing to me, because it's this idea that we have to be perfect, it's this idea that everything has to be perfect, and in these perfect ideal conditions, for me to be able to do this work. And the reality is, things will never be perfect. The goal post keeps moving. Every level you get to, or you retract to, there's always going to be another level to get to. And if you have this habit of talking yourself out of things, if you have this habit of listing the reasons you can't, you're going to continue to find more reasons that you can't.
Again, it's this idea that, "Once my health is good and where I want it to be, then I'll start helping other people." But it really is both end world. You can continue to help your own health and well-being while helping the health and well-being of so many other people. And ask yourself the question, are there people right now who are in the worst situation than you are? Just ask yourself that question. Absolutely, the answer is yes. So why not put your excuses to the side, and then begin to help those people? The world really, really needs you right now. And, in truth, a big part of that is a shift in education. It is a part of it, but it's a seeing education differently because the education track that we have currently has led to creating a workforce of people who are dealing with chronic diseases, because of them not being satisfied or happy with the jobs they're doing. We have an education system that churns out millions of people like that, every year.
We have to change it. And the world itself is rapidly changing right now, and where you are placing your attention, at this time, in human history, as things are changing, is going to tell the results that you will be seeing in the next year, two years, three years, and truly for your entire lifetime, it's that kind of script situation that's happening right now. And we do absolutely have the opportunity and the necessity to get educated, but we need to be educated in things that work because I went to a traditional university. I was doing the cookie-cutter thing that I thought would get me to what I saw on television, in these very small instances, but the truth is the way that things are structured, our education system, even with higher learning, we're not teaching people how to be mentally and emotionally stable, and happy, and satisfied, and how to deal with issues in the real world. We're not teaching people, in the conventional education system how to actually be successful.
This has to change, this is our opportunity to change it. So a lot of people reach out to me and they ask... They're passionate about health and wellness, they're passionate about fitness, and they ask advice on what degrees they should get, or what track, or what certification. And if you look at traditional college, just right off the bat, where there's incredible health coaching programs and certifications that you can get, if you look at traditional universities, and they often... Do you even think about the professors themselves, are they successful in the real world in the subject that they teach? A lot of my clients, when I was still working at the university, were professors, and most of them didn't achieve any success in the real world, and to think they were teaching. International business, was one of my clients, he was teaching international business, but the stuff that he shared with me, he sucked at international business. The little bits that he would do, little sprinkles, but it was more so he went, got his education, and then was teaching, the things that he was taught, but not actually seeing it in the real world.
You need to learn from people who have done the thing that you want to do. It's very simple, it should be Captain Obvious, but it's not the way that things are structured. And so when people ask me about education right now, I think that looking at the situation that we're in, and what COVID-19 has taught us, and looking at the latest data, here in the United States, affirming that 94% of the people who've died, who were found to have COVID-19, 94% of them had an average of 2.5 chronic diseases. It is a major risk factor, and susceptibility to infectious diseases, and all manner of other things, but we are not addressing this core issue that makes us susceptible as human beings, as a society, but I promise you that attention is going to shift, it has to, or we're not going to make it. It has to shift, and I'm standing up for that, and I know that you are too.
And the way to go about this right now, more than ever, is if you look at what's happening, conventional education versus this emerging, rapidly growing... It's one of the fastest-growing fields in the entire United States, and it's the field of health coaching. The field of health coaching has grown by 38% in the last few years alone, and the field is expected to grow another 21% by 2022. And in that time span, the health coaching market is expected to grow by at least 1.7 billion, just in the next couple of years, a billion with the B, to do something to actually add value and change the conditions that our society is seeing, and that field is growing. And I still am very much on my practicality, is this really what's needed? The most recent data shows that approximately 60% of Americans want to have a health coach. If those survey numbers are extended out and even remotely accurate, that's about a 197 million people who'd love to have a health coach.
That's a lot of people. We need more people doing this work, and being of service, and helping the greatest issue facing our world today. And it's tied in, it's not just helping this health crisis, but the hidden health crisis of people getting up every day and spending half of their waking hours doing things that they do not enjoy doing, doing things that suck the life force out of them, what if you can do something that brings you joy, that you're passionate about, and help to solve this great health issue, that we need to solve right now, as a human family?
And over the years, and having access to all these incredible people, and building these incredible relationships, and seeing the different types of education, seeing the gaps in them, and the different systems, and certifications, and degrees, it really became very clear that not only do we need an exceptional training in nutrition, that's Captain Obvious, so you should be learning from the best people in that, but also the tools and how do you actually translate that knowledge into helping another person, because those are skill sets that can be taught, we need both of those, but here's the other ingredient that it's unbelievable how widely it's overlooked. And I would have so many healthcare practitioners that I've worked with over the years, physicians, and nurses, and even health coaches, who go through other programs, other certification programs, who are coming into my office and working with me for various reasons, and sharing with me that they're struggling on the business side because even though they got this education, no one taught them how to be successful, no one taught them how to create a sustainable business where their life structures are taken care of so that they can give their gift and do the thing that they got into it for, which was to help other people.
We need all of those things. And that's why I was... Again, this is like getting out of my comfort zone and doing all these different things. It was actually when Sleep Smarter first came out. I was doing a book tour. I was in Arizona, was doing a television show, a book signing. I went, dropped by an event, and that's where I met the founder of ITN, Institute of Transformational Nutrition. And I started to dig into their course work and also their students. And looking at the students that were coming out of there and their level of success, it was blowing my freaking mind. And so, I got involved, and I started to do the course work as well, because I wanted to go through and make sure that this resonates, that it actually... These are valuable tools and insights when it comes to the education piece, but what knocked my socks off was the training and coaching and actually being able to communicate with other people and the business side, and the access to people who are the best in the world in their respective things that you get to learn from. Because it's not just about the health coaching in a one-on-one context, because I told you I want you to create multiple streams of income.
Helping people in a one-on-one context is incredibly important and valuable, but I want you to be able to have something else from that. So, whether it is starting your own podcast and being able to monetize that, whether it's writing a book. Maybe you have a book in you, or you've always wanted to write a book. Maybe it's speaking on stages. Maybe it's having a social media platform that is just incredibly impactful and valuable and you're monetizing that. There are so many different ways, so many different opportunities, creating your own courses and programs that you can have multiple streams of income from an education like this. And so, number one, this is the time to do it. We have to put all the excuses to the side, if you're passionate about health and wellness, even if you are working in a different type of field in health and wellness. Getting this education could be game-changing and offering another service to your client base, but just a couple of the reasons that ITN is so exceptional, and I truly do see it. It's like the Ivy League of health coaching schools, but you get personal support. You get a personal mentor. You get live coaching labs. That in and of itself is worth thousands of dollars that you get included in your education.
Business building labs, the student community is phenomenal. I've never seen anything better than this. And also, the support and the team and faculty and the alumni support. And you've got... Dave Asprey is a household name, Bulletproof Coffee, all those things, these are the type of people who are on the faculty there that you get access to learn from. Like, as far as... Maybe you want to come up, have your own product. Wouldn't you like to get some insights from him, right? So the alumni support is exceptional. Again, this is one of the things that really sets it in a league of its own, is that you get access to learn from the very best people in the world in their respective spaces of health and wellness. So whether it's with being an author, whether it's with speaking, whether it's with product creation, you get to learn from the best people, and it's absolutely priceless. And right now, and this is for a limited time when you enroll in ITN and you get your certification as a health coach, you also get access to a specialist certification as well.
They have certified immune coach, certified hormone coach, certified weight loss coach, certified mental wellness coach. How valuable is that today? These specialist courses and these are all in line with all the... This teaches you the regulations to operate within this space in conjunction with conventional medicine as well because we're not stepping on any toes. You have to learn how to do this stuff in the right way so that you are staying within the bounds of what we can do. But the thing is, the work that you do is truly effective, things that actually truly help to target the underlying causes of so many issues. But to become a specialist, to have that specialist certification as well, that's a $2500 value, you get for free when you register to become a certified health coach through ITN, you get a specialist course for free. Incredibly valuable. I really want you to take advantage of this.
Go to themodelhealthshow.com/NextLevelCoach, themodelhealthshow.com/NextLevelCoach, together as one word, and in addition to your incredible course work, you also get so many different bonuses like a step-by-step guide on how to set up your business quickly and easily, literally walking you through, step-by-step on how to set these things up. I didn't get that. So many steps and missteps and failing forward to figure this stuff out when we truly... It's learning... Standing on the shoulders of giants. Learning from people who've done it before. Success leaves clues. All these things that sound nice, but truly getting the step-by-step guide. Also getting a template on exactly how to get your first, at least 10-plus clients. Step-by-step guides on how to do those things. If you want to have things going through your website and create an awesome website, I actually have these ideas of, "If you build it, they will come," but that's not how stuff works, especially today, learning how to get traffic to your website and to convert into getting clients and being able to provide your services, whether or not you want to write an e-book or have courses available or to teach classes, whatever the case might be.
So, these are just some of the bonuses. It's all going to be there for you at themodelhealthshow.com/NextLevelCoach. But I also want to share something else with you, because again, I want to make sure this today is the day that everything changes for you. We need good people out here who are working to change the conditions of health and wellness in our country. It is a must. You are needed, and this is the time to actually take action to make it happen. So, I want to do something very special, and I probably... I don't know if I'll ever do this again, but for those students who sign up for their certification to become a certified health coach right now, I'm going to give you access, I'm going to do a private group session, a master class on book writing, publishing and marketing, that you can take part of and/or I'm going to do a master class on building a powerful podcasting platform. Alright?
So I'm going to do two masterclasses. You're going to be able to take one or both, and when you register to get your certification, you're going to have access to be able to choose one or both of these bonus sessions with me, so it's going to be a live master class and Q&A session, that you're going to have access to. And I'm going to be doing those within the upcoming weeks. So when you're listening to this, take action. Go to themodelhealthshow.com/NextLevelCoach, and ITN has made this so simple. You can get access... And this education is worth tens of thousands of dollars, but they've made it so affordable and even put it into monthly payment that you can actually make monthly payments to get your education and you can start making money now. You don't have to wait until your coursework is completed. And they give you the template and the support to help you to do that. So you would start making income and doing things that you really enjoy doing. Alright?
For just a couple hundred dollars a month, you can get this education, get the certification, you can start to be around some of the most successful people in the health space and learn from them directly. And as I mentioned earlier, you know, as a big part of what makes us successful is our return on relationships. So, this is the time to take action. But again, this isn't just about exposure, this is about standing in the belief that you can do this, that you can have this. Letting go of our limiting beliefs, allowing yourself to say yes, and to do something that you're passionate about. If you're passionate about health and wellness, you need to be a part of this. You need to be a part of this movement. So many incredible people, you are needed, it's one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, and for good reason. There is a statement that has stuck with me since the first time that I heard it, that there's nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.
There's nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come. And right now, there's a demand for a shift in the way that we work, there's a demand for a shift in the way that we take care of ourselves and the way that we take care of our families and our communities. And this is how to be a part of that change. So, I want you to see it. You have to envision it. What does your life look like a year from now? How do you feel? What kind of work are you doing a year from now? You have to see it. Because having a vision isn't like a map, having a vision is more like a compass. It continues to direct your thoughts, your feelings and your decisions, even when you seem to get off track, back to the destination that you visualize, you have to see it. What type of work are you doing? Are you writing? Are you speaking? Are you doing television appearances, radio appearances? Do you have your own popular podcast? Are you teaching amazing classes, do you have a book on the bookshelf? You have to see it, you have to see it.
What does your income look like? What are you making? What does your bank account look like? What are you making each year? You have to determine what that is, you have to claim it, you have to see it, get rid of the limiting beliefs. What does it look like? How do you feel? Physically, mentally, what emotions are you feeling? Are you happy, excited, feeling peaceful, feeling in empowered? You have to see it. Michael Beckwith shared that you don't describe what you see, you see what you describe. So, now is the time to begin to describe the life that you choose to have moving forward. What do your relationships look like? We have to be clear on our intention and start to create that new vision for our life starting today.
Another powerful quote that I love is from Terence McKenna, it says that nature loves courage. You make the commitment, and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. The first step is having the courage to say yes, to step up, to create the life that you were here to live. And I'm so grateful for you hanging out with me today and hope that I added some values, some insight, and some inspiration, and also an action step. Because again, this is a limited time, and I want to be able to provide these masterclasses because I want to see more of us win. We have to do this together, all of us, we have to work together to change this, this is the time in human history, we are writing what the history books are going to say decades from now for our children, our grandchildren, and generations beyond. We have to change the system, the system of education, and the system of health. And it's up to us to do it. I appreciate you so much for tuning in today. Again, head over to the themodelhealthshow.com/NextLevelCoach, and we've got some epic powerhouse episodes coming your way very soon. 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 the themodelhealthshow.com. 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.
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