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TMHS 500: 10 Breakthrough Lessons That Will Transform Your Life
“This I know for sure: who you’re meant to be, evolves from where you are right now. So learning to appreciate your lessons, mistakes, and setbacks as stepping stones to the future is a clear sign you’re moving in the right direction.” – Oprah Winfrey
One of our main purposes in life is to grow, learn, and evolve. Every single experience, whether good or bad, is packaged with life lessons to help us move on to the next level. With hindsight, the ability to appreciate these lessons can often be an invaluable gift.
Today we’re celebrating 500 episodes of The Model Health Show by reviewing ten powerful and transformative life lessons I’ve learned throughout the life of the show. We’re diving into topics like the power of authenticity, taking charge of your education, channeling your vision and purpose, and so much more.
I hope you’ll walk away from this episode feeling empowered, inspired, and confident in your ability to affect change, tune into your own greatness, and set authentic, healthy priorities. Thank you for being a listening ear for the past 500 episodes, and I hope you’ll join me in celebrating this special milestone!
In this episode you’ll discover:
- Why it’s so empowering to be authentic.
- The problem with negativity and distraction in our culture.
- What it means to invest in your own greatness.
- How to take the initiative over your own education.
- What you need to know about cognitive biases.
- Why we need to allow ourselves permission to be wrong.
- The role the government plays in poor health outcomes.
- How we can create change and inspire healthier communities.
- The importance of prioritizing knowledge over information.
- What you need to understand about your own strength and resiliency.
- A valuable lesson I learned from an injury last year.
- The three most valuable assets you possess.
- Why taking care of our health enables us to reach our potential.
- What ROR means.
- The value of investing in strong relationships.
- How to identify your vision and make it a reality.
- The power of the human mind.
Items mentioned in this episode include:
Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!
SHAWN STEVENSON: You are now listening to the Model Health Show with Shawn Stevenson. For more, visit themodelhealthshow.com. 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, thank you so much for joining me for this special 500th episode celebration of The Model Health Show. Now, just to keep it 100, I'm not very good at celebrating accomplishments, I'm a much more growth mindset-driven person, so I'm always looking at what's next, what's next? How can I grow? How can we improve? And so taking the time to really embrace this moment is something very special, and the way that I was able to leverage my psychology to do this is to think about you and how I can add value to your life with some of the biggest lessons that I've learned over the course of doing these 500 episodes of the show. Now, most people do not see what goes into making a show like this, and I'm very honored to say that the Model Health Show has been the number one health podcast in the United States, many, many times over, and that does not happen by accident.
And there's a big part there, and it's that super version of vitamin C, which is care that's often overlooked, so caring a lot, really focusing on the research and the dissemination of it and making people to feel empowered at the end of the day, so that you can take these things and to add value to your life and to that to the lives of others, in a time we really, really need this more than ever, and so most episodes, this might be 20 hours in research and recording and post-production, and so you add up, you start doing the math and you see 20 hours, 500 episodes, we're talking about 10,000 hours. Shout out to Malcolm Gladwell. Shout out to Malcolm Gladwell, that's the investment here, and it's been such an honor and such a great opportunity for growth and development, and I've seen so many incredible things take place over the course of these years since we started the show. And again, what I wanted to do was to share 10 of the biggest lessons that I've learned over the course of these 500 episodes. And for a long time, we're doing one show a week, so showing up every single week, no matter what, come what may, no matter what's going on in my life, in the world, getting prepared and showing up to deliver the very best that I can possible to make sure, that when you click play, you walk away feeling empowered, educated on whatever that particular subject matter is, and also practicality, what can I actually do with what I learned?
And when I said yes to doing this and kicking this off, and this really leads into the number one lesson that I learned over the course of doing these 500 episodes, number one is to do it your way. Do it your way, you've got to give yourself permission to be fully and authentically yourself because that is what the world needs right now more than ever, you are not designed to be a copy of someone else, you are designed to be you, and the truth is... Literally, we talked about this on a recent episode, your brain is completely unique to any other brain that's ever existed in human history because your experiences and your thoughts are creating your brain, it's a complete... It's a one-of-one. It's a one-of-one. There is none that have come before it, and none to come, you are once in a lifetime miracle, and so putting yourself into a box and thinking about what other people are going to think about you and how you don't fit into this particular thing or you don't check this particular box, it's a prison that we put ourselves in, because the reality is, people, respect realness, you've probably heard the statement, Real recognize real. That's true more than ever, because we got up our antennas right now for the garbage, for the BS that's out there, we're inundated with all that.
And so when you can connect with something real, when you're being fully and authentically yourself and you're demonstrating that care and that love, that's coming at a premium today, and the cream will rise to the top. So do it your way. For me, and I hope that you can glean some inspiration for this, when I decided to do this show, I was looking at how can we fill a need here, because there was some science-based podcasts, some education-based podcasts, but they were sometimes drier than sandpaper, nipple pasties. It didn't feel good. Or they were on the other side, we're supposed to be about education, but they're just chopping it up, just talking about all this random stuff, but not giving you something that you can walk away with, something to implement. So practicality as well. And so I wanted to take these two domains of making things fun and entertaining and marry that with education and empowerment, so to blend these together, and the thing is, we don't just do these things on accident, we do them because it's who we are. I did it this way because it's who I am. In creating a show like this, there wasn't anybody got looked like I look, there wasn't anybody who dictates and speaks the way that I speak, who puts words together, who puts bars together the way that I do, and that could have dissuaded me from saying yes to this because I'm not like these other people.
Coming from academia and being in that space where I'm doing clinical work and research, even though I have those skills, I'm not the button to the top guy, I'm not that guy. I don't dress that way, I don't talk that way. And that's okay. As a matter of fact, it's beautiful, because what I'm doing is I'm redefining what a scientist looks like, I'm redefining how cool science can be, I'm redefining what success looks like because where I'm from, not many people make it out. I've lost so many people. Truly. Drug overdose, jail, murder. I come from that. And so to demonstrate how success can look, to come from these circumstances that are very volatile and achieve a level of success in a very unique way, not through athletics, not through getting a record deal or whatever the case might be, these very cookie-cutter things that we see, there are people who are expressing success in a myriad of ways, coming from all kinds of circumstances, and so I can create a platform where I can show what that looks like, and so I'm very proud of that and wanted to, again, create a situation in a sphere, where we can make this the norm, we can make empowerment the norm, we can make health and wellness the norm. These are things that we should be taught in our conventional education, but that's just not the case. And I'm on a mission to change that and I know that you are part of that mission, and I appreciate you so much for that. So number one, biggest lesson learned over the course of these 500 episodes, do it your way, I'm doubling down on that, I'm doubling down on it, because that is the secret sauce truly to any great venture of success... Do it your way. Nobody can do it like you do it. Nobody's going to think like you think, talk like you talk, present themselves like you present yourself because you are you, you are unique, and allow yourself to be that. Again, give yourself permission to be you, to be fully and authentically yourself, because truly that one thing unlocks a superpower, that one thing, being authentically yourself opens up the flood gates for opportunity, but we've got to get past that fear, we've got to get past that worry about what other people think. Now, this isn't to do things without acknowledging the environment and the feedback that the things are working... Of course, we want to pull that feedback in, but our tendency is to look towards what's negative... We're actually proactively looking for the problem and what's wrong oftentimes, and we can talk about the kind of primitive programming there with the brain...
And the amygdala, the limbic system, just kind of constantly scanning and looking for potential threats, because the way that we evolved, life was not as cushy as it is today, and this is just recent decades where things have been a little bit more... Kind of predictable. We come from thousands upon to thousands upon thousands of years of a lot of unpredictability and a lot of threats, imminent threats, and so that hard wiring is still there, so it can really gum us up, but we can supersede it. That's the power of the human mind and how powerful we are, we can think bigger than that fear, we can start to tune our minds into what's right about us and what's right about the situation, what's right about the feedback that we're getting and how to encourage ourselves to do more of that, to go further, to create more, to express ourselves more. And again, it's really easy to find ourselves falling into conformity, and that is really a poison, it's a poison for success, it's a poison for not just success because even when I'm saying success, I'm not talking about a monetary side, which that's a part of it, potentially, I'm talking about a successful life and feeling fulfillment. That's what it's really all about.
So number one here, number one lesson that I learned over the course of these 500 episodes, do it your way. Number two, lesson of... Again, these are 10 of the biggest lessons that I've learned over the course of these 500 episodes. Number two is distraction steals, empowerment heals. Distraction steals empowerment heals. Right now in our society, we have a massive proclivity towards distraction, we have a massive proclivity towards negativity and paying attention to what's wrong and fear, there's a big fire burning that's really cultivating this imminent fear, and also distraction and also being distracted by fear, and so the reality is, for most folks today, they would much rather watch a dumpster fire than a sunset, that would get their attention far more than something beautiful because we tend to take what's beautiful and consistent for granted, and the momentary fear, the momentary distraction, it's like little snacks.
It's like little Scooby Snacks for the brain. So it's just like these little Scooby Snacks that we go towards and we miss out on what's real and sustainable. So distraction steals, empowerment is, it's a big lesson that I learned, and the reason that this is such a big lesson for me is seeing the fact that there are people who are out here creating very powerful, transformative, easily accessible programs, whether it's through the podcast medium, whether it's through courses, whether it's through books, whatever the case might be, solutions to the biggest problems in people's lives, and that can be readily available, oftentimes for free, for free, and yet instead of pushing play on that or accessing that, they're caught up watching Cardi B.
And no disrespect to Cardi, shout out to Cardi B, but getting so tied up into the reality show, getting so caught up into the gossip, getting so tied up into what other people are doing, watching their greatness, distracting ourselves from our own greatness. That's the problem. And I'm saying this, every one of these lessons because I experienced them firsthand, for me, it was when I was in Ferguson, Missouri, in my one-bedroom apartment in Ferguson, on the couch you have ever seen in your life? I carried it by myself, so it's not even a couch. If you can carry a couch by yourself, it's not actually a couch, it's like a cooch, I don't know. But I'm sitting on this couch doing my college homework, watching the Cardinals baseball game, and I literally... I maybe missed two games the entire year, watching them on television, I went to a few games as well, it's baseball, I haven't even shout out to the Cardinals.
But this is like 100 games that were hard, and at some point... And I was also designing programs for clients and things like that as I'm watching the game... The game is still running, and at one point I realized that I am watching them be great, I'm spending hours watching them be great, when I could be putting that time and energy into myself, investing in myself and my own greatness, not to say that we can't admire and appreciate the greatness that other people express, whether it is on the baseball diamond or whether it is in music or art, whatever, we can absolutely invest in those things and have a good time, but for me, at that season of my life when I was just teaming with potential, that was just bottled up, I needed to have that revelation moment where I realized again, I'm watching them be excellent, I'm watching them share their gift with the world, what am I doing? What am I going to do to express the gift that's just bubbling up in me, and so I literally shut it down, shut the cable off, that was it, and I got to work. And it doesn't mean that I also didn't have joy and that I didn't watch the baseball game or that I didn't go to games, it's just that that became a smaller part of my life where it was just something that was such a regular part of my experience.
And so, Distraction steals, empowerment heals. And so what does this mean on the other side, empowerment heals, is that when we plug ourselves into the investing in ourself, in our growth, in our own greatness, it starts to fix things in our lives that we didn't even know were wrong. It's very difficult to explain this unless you've been through it, which many people listening, I know that you have experienced this, that when you're focusing on improving yourself, it's not just one thing that improves, so many different areas of our lives improve. You might just focus on improving your health and suddenly your relationships improve or you realize that your standards for your relationships improve and relationships that were negative and that we're draining you and that were taking advantage of you, those things no longer fit, or maybe you're investing in your career and learning how to be the best possible version of yourself within this particular thing that you're passionate about, and within that, you might have a greater sense of purpose, a greater spiritual connection that's tied to that, that you weren't even expecting because now you're in your purpose, your dharma, and you're connected to that.
And so you're just unlocking these other doors, and I'm thinking about the matrix, matrix reloaded part two. I really liked it, I like that one. I thought it was great, but going up to these doors and it opens, it's like one particular place of reality, and then the door closes and it opens again, it's somewhere different. There's so many different doors of reality right here in this one reality, so many different versions of what life can look like, and sometimes we have a new life that is expressed at some point, we are very different, we think differently than we've ever thought before, we react and respond differently to the world around us than we ever have before, we have an awakening, but it's never just one awakening, it's a continuous process, and so that empowerment heals, the distraction steals. Right now, if you've seen social dilemma, for example, and also the episode that we did with Adam Alter and his absolutely essential work around the subject, and we'll put his interview for you in the show notes because the movie social dilemma is really leaning into... And using as a launchpad, Adam Alter's work around this subject as well, with how these social media giants, which these are multi, multi, multi, multi-billion dollar entities, which is great, make your money, have a good time, all that, but they are proactively...
They have some of the smartest people in the world, all of these different scientists who are working their behinds off to make sure they can keep you on your phone as much as possible. That's their job. That is their number one goal. And most people have no idea that this is happening. They just think that they just have... They're just picking up their phone for a... Just check, right? That's what we call it, it's is a Just check, I'll just check it real quick. I'll just check my phone real quick, I'll just check Instagram real quick. I'll just check Twitter real quick, I'll just check my email real quick, I'll just check. Just check. Just check. Just check. But it's not an accident, it's like a little slot machine, it's like a little Las Vegas room in your brain, and every time you pick up your phone, you're putting a coin in and you're pulling the handle trying to see if you hit that jackpot. Did I get some more likes? Did somebody share it? I wonder who's checking me out, and it's not to say that you can't do those things, but for many of us in our society today, we've started to lose interest in who really matters, and who's really...
Whose attention really matters and adds value to our lives, our close friends and family, and replace that with the opinions and concerns about strangers who are acknowledging and checking you out and following, what are up to. Why would we do that? Again, not to say that the one is inherently bad, it's not that it's bad, it's just where is our attention? Is it distracting us from what matters? Is it distracting us from our greatness? Is it distracting us from creation? Is it distracting us from our health? Because very rarely do you get sucked into the internet black hole because that's what it really is. It pulls us into this other dimension, it's like some Alice in wonderland stuff. You leave, you're not here in the environment anymore, you're in your phone, you're in that universe. Right.
It's rare that you go into that universe of scrolling and this thing, that thing for 45 minutes an hour and you come out feeling like, "I feel amazing. That was awesome. I feel amazing," I feel so much physically and mentally better having gone down the Internet rabbit hole. Not to say that you can't, especially if you're tuning in to something that's empowering and sitting with it. But if you're jumping around, again, our minds are not wired up that way. It's training our minds to be more distracted, distraction steals, empowerment heals. So proactively plugging ourselves into that empowerment. That's what it's about, using this technology and not allowing it to use us, that's the rub because it's not that the technology is good or bad, it's how people are using it.
So that's number two here, of these 10 lessons that I've learned over the course of the 500 episodes of the Model Health Show, I understand this at a bigger level than ever. And so I understand what I'm up against in a sense. And it's a friendly competition with me and the Real House Wives, it's a friendly competition. But, and this again, it's not to say that they can't win and do their thing, but I want to make sure that people are empowered. I want to make sure that people feel good. I want to make sure that people are healthy. I want to make sure that people are subscribing to the no drama channel as well, and not just the drama. Because there's so much of that. The drama's force-fed us. The empowerment, not so much. And so coming to grips with that, that's why this is so important, that's why this work is so important. That's why you're important because you're a representation of what's real. And none of this, again, just to reiterate, none of this is about being perfect. We're all going to tune into the distraction. We're going to get pulled into this and that. But we want to make it the exception and not the rule. Stay empowered, stay plugged into things that remind us of who we are and what we're capable of. That's what it is.
Alright, we're going to move on to number three here on the 10 biggest lessons that I've learned over the course of these 500 episodes of The Model Health Show. Number three is education is your responsibility, it's your responsibility. And it's within your power. I really understand that more than ever, and just to paraphrase the quote that's attributed to Mark Twain, which is to never let school get in the way of your education. Alright, never let school get in the way of your education. Right now, our system of education, if you getting it, for us is looking at the results, looking at the out-picturing for our society going through our conventional education system, what are the outcomes? Are people more depressed or less depressed? Are people more healthy or less healthy? Are people more fulfilled or less fulfilled? Because at the end of the day, what's the point if we're not achieving those things, life liberty, the pursuit of happiness. Why we even got to pursue it by the way? We could just be happy.
But we got all these mental prerequisites. We've got to make it through this conventional cookie-cutter education system that is not actually training people on things that are most valuable in the real world. There is no Success 101 class. I would have took it, I would have taken it. If there was a success one-on-one class, sign me up. They didn't exist, it didn't exist. I'm throwing to the fire, I'm taking all of these... This biology class, nutritional science class, they're not teaching me how to actually have a successful career in the field, that doesn't come with the deal. It's really a lot of random stuff and you're supposed to know this, you got to have this many credits over here, in science this many credits, in English, whatever.
What about practical application? What about dealing with anxiety? What about learning how to fuel my body? What about communication with other humans? There's communication class but oftentimes, honestly, if we being honest, unless you've got a stellar teacher who's lived this and is not talking about a theory, it's not actually... You're not getting the deep ingrain in that connection to how to actually better communicate with other people. And how to receive. Because the communication isn't just what's coming out of your mouth to them, it's what you're hearing. And this goes back to, I first heard this statement from Wayne Dyer and is from St. Francis of Assisi, "seek first to understand and then to be understood."
If we had that template, taught to us, there would not be so much infighting and ignorance. But today most people, they just want to spew out their thing and not really receive and pick up the other side of a story. And so this is where we get into teams. Now, this is this team against this team. It's very polarized today. And people aren't really hearing each other, they're just basing their stuff on... We'll get to this another big lesson in a moment. Things that are not often grounded in reality, just to maintain their sense of separatism from this other group. And so education is your responsibility and it's within your power today more than ever. And this is what's so cool, is that right at our fingertips, right in our phone, we can learn from the best people in the world in the respective subject matter that we're interested in. The top people in real estate, you can literally pick up your phone and for free, access their information, hear their stories, hear their insights, hear their principles. Whether it's health and wellness, whether it's specifics like neuroscience, whether it's specifics like nutrition. For free. But are we using it?
That's the thing, because that being that the education is free for me, it's another psychological barrier, we got to make it through. Because I paid a lot for my university education, it's too much. And again, to extract maybe what I learned from the university, maybe 1% I might use in the real world, maybe 1%, but not to say that the Collegiate Education doesn't have its value. Because I've learned things like self-management, for example, relationship building, there was some of that in there. But these are things that don't require you to have $100,000 of debt to be able to learn those things. The system is not... I struggle to say that it's broken because it's been operating this way for quite some time, and it's very good at doing what it's doing. Which is having a lot of people in our society who're struggling to access fulfillment, who're struggling to access mental health and well-being, who're struggling to access their potential. Because our system defines people by being able to have this rote memorization and to follow this cookie-cutter Framework, defines how intelligent they are by that. And it's never about how smart you are, it's about how you are smart.
I'll say that again. It's never about how smart you are, it's how you are smart, there are people who are absolute geniuses when it comes to design when it comes to art when it comes to writing, and they might be absolute trash when it comes to math, for example. It might just be like their Kryptonite. And yet they're led to believe, in some instances, they might even get held back. And people aren't appreciating their gift, the normal structure of education isn't appreciating how gifted they are in writing, for example, or the expression of art and their beauty and their talent. Truly, there are more people whose names we don't know who would have superseded some of the genius that we see today in music and art, in writing, in engineering, because they were led to believe that they were not smart. In the system that we currently have, that doesn't acknowledge, oftentimes, the gifts that we truly have. Our system isn't about accessing your gift and helping you to cultivate it and bring it forward. It's about learn these cookie-cutter things, hope you make your way out, get into a good school. And Goodluck. Hello, world.
So I just wanted to point that out, this is something that I've really learned more than ever right now because our education is our responsibility. Once you realize how important it is to learn and to grow, you get to decide to be a continuous student. I know for me, my wife, I remember when she graduated college, she had the ribbon Cum laude, she was Cum laude, and she was looking at me, and she was like... She literally said these words, she was like, "I'm never going to read another book again," Say, wow that's strong words. For her, she's done with that. She was done with the education system, let me just kind of figure out life now. And that's wrong. We should never feel like that, we should be inspired to be lifetime students. And to be a student of life. Because everything is a teacher. So again, education is your responsibility and it's within your power more than ever right now. Do not let school get in the way of your education. Do not let this world get in the way of your education. You get to decide what you learn, what you plug into, and feed that amazing brain of yours.
Alright, we're going to move on to number four. Number four of my biggest lessons over the course of 500 episodes of The Model Health Show. Number four is principles over prejudice. Principles over prejudice. Our tendency today, and I can't say more than ever because it's been a thread throughout humanity, throughout history if you just take a little sneak peek at history, we tend to out-picture these things as a society until something happens, a breakthrough moment happens. And what I mean by this is that we tend to operate almost exclusively through our lens of reality and nothing else. We often don't acknowledge that there are other ways outside of what we know. And so we have this whole category of different cognitive biases, and this is a normal thing, we all just naturally... We see the world through our eyes. We experience the world through our eyes and our experience, we can't live through somebody else's experience. And quote putting yourself in someone else's shoes, it's an idea, it's a perspective that we can try to examine. But in reality, we're living, moving, and having our being in the world through our own experience. Because of that, we can get caught up in a little bit of a trap door thinking that this is the only way to be, this is only way to think, this is the only solution is a solution that I believe to be real.
And so today, more than ever, unfortunately, science is being viewed like it's definite, that this particular discovery or this particular hypothesis is the end all be all. And right now there's a lot of different hypotheses that are driving a lot of the decisions that are being made as a culture. And what you do when you have a hypothesis, and it could be based off of an observational study, for example, or a comparative study, but then you take that hypothesis and you put it up against more rigorous testing in the form of something like a randomized controlled trial or even a crossover study as well. And you see what is the out-picturing of that thing when put under scrutiny when we actually examine what happens when we implement this one specific thing, what is the implication, what's The out-picturing of the results? What results take place when we actually examine this thing? That's not being done. Alright, there is so much like willy-nilly, this sounds good, we've got a little bit of data over here, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and it's being misconstrued as being science. And I'm saying that because it's also being propped up as the definitive answer, that is the problem, that's the problem.
Because science is never definitive. What happens with Science routinely, literally everyday beliefs that we have in science change, some of these beliefs could be decades-long, could be centuries-long. They change, and the people that go to bat, who have the discovery, they always take a tremendous amount of arrows. Sometimes they actually live this reality, their life is over before their beliefs are accepted as true. What they stood for in the scientific world in the scientific domain. Because there tends to be a lot of... Again, very strong cognitive biases when we have so much invested in being one way and viewing things in one way, and someone comes along and they possibly shatter that reality, and you might go on and made a lot of decisions in your life, or even invested years of your life, believing things are one way and now you find out it's another way. What we tend to do is reject that, we fight against it. And it's normal, it's okay. But we've got to work on being aware that those things happen. And how do we do that? I think that one of the greatest gifts that we can give ourselves is working on a willingness to be wrong. But with that, because that can even sound harsh and it sounds hard to do, it sounds like people don't do that, it wouldn't be something that comes easily.
I even frame it as a curiosity instead of just willingness to be wrong, a willingness to discover something different, or a new way of looking at something. I love it. I love it. I think it's amazing. And I also have to be aware, again, principles over prejudice our prejudices are our biases. And most people today are operating from their prejudice, from their biases when it comes to their belief about science and human health. That's where they're operating from. And I have them too, I'm aware of my biases. And I feel that my bias I put them under scrutiny. I've purposefully put them under scrutiny and looked at them from different dimensions. And I understand that just about every belief that I carry and the same for all of us under certain circumstances, they're going to be null and void. They're going to be wrong. Because nothing is definite. And I'm saying this to say, for example, my biases towards what humans have done the longest to get us to this point, how do we develop such a complex... Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku said the human brain is the most complicated object in the known universe.
What did we do to get to a place where we have the most complicated object in the known universe, this powerful brain of ours? And so what are the practices... What our genes expect of us to have healthy expression. And what inputs or influences can cause our genetic expression or our cell replication to be skewed or to be damaged or to be mutated in negative ways, what are those things? So this is my bias, is I'm looking at the things that, from a scientific perspective and going under scrutiny, what are the things that our genes expect of us? Our genes expect us to move. If we're not proactively moving, there are sets of genetic programs, again, we're talking about epigenetics that are expressing and other things are getting silenced based on whether or not we're moving. And so when we get into a culture which today we are the most sedentary culture in the history of humanity, in the history of humanity, most sedentary culture and wondering why we're experiencing so much disease. It's a part of the equation, our genes expect us to move, what happens when we don't? We get to see it first-hand. It isn't just my observational model, I go and I look at, "Okay, what a randomized controlled trial say? What are these different meta-analysis?" Looking at all the different pieces, and also understanding that...
Now, here's the crazy part. This is going to sound crazy. I have to be open for that idea, even to be wrong. What if this, I know it sounds good... What if being the most sedentary person in the history of humanity, what if it unlocks some amazing mutation where we tap into the cosmos or something. And we can download free movies and stuff from our brain or whatever. It's crazy, I know it sounds crazy. But what if... What if... What if we tapped into an internal fire stick and we get all this free data just right from our brain being as sedentary as possible? Not likely. Not likely. However, I have to keep my mind open to under what circumstances can being sedentary actually be helpful? And there are also acute circumstances, for example, maybe it's a healing that needs to take place by us not doing something, you know, maybe there's instances where that is a part of the flavor. But when I get into like, this is the truth, the only truth, so help me, God.
This is it! That's when you know that it's not science anymore. It's not science, science is never definitive, science is constantly evolving. Science is inclusive, science is looking at things through multiple perspectives to the best of our ability, science is having the audacity to say, This person might have the polar opposite belief, what does their data look like, let's actually analyze their data and then analyze our data and we have a data analysis party and see what comes of it. We don't have that today. That's not it. And this leads into number five here, one of my biggest lessons learned over the course of these 500 episodes, principles over politics, principles over politics. We don't have that today because of politics has imbued itself into science, into the scientific domain. It's not that the best idea is running the show, it's that the politically driven idea that's being really used as propaganda is what's driving our decisions. It's not based on what science really is in its essence, because there's so many negative things being done in our society right now, to our people, to our families, to our communities. It's not being checked. And for me, I'm not about just making this stuff up, I'm just not.
I'm about being logical, that's another ingredient or quality of beauty of science is that it's logical. Just logic. Okay, right now in the United States, we got about... Just north of 330 million citizens, right? It's a nice number. Over 242 million of those citizens are clinically obese or overweight right now... That's a little bit of a problem. I don't have to make it up. Something is wrong, something is happening here. Because not only that, within that obesity epidemic which about 400,000 people die in the United States every year with complications connected to obesity, which those complications tie insulin resistance and diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's, autoimmune diseases. The list goes on and on and on. Obesity isn't a prerequisite for these, but they're intertwined oftentimes. We have epidemics of everything, heart disease. This past year 2020, almost 700,000 people died from heart disease and you don't hear a damn thing about it because it's not sexy, it's not sexy.
Business as usual, it's not normal. 630,000 people die on average every year from heart disease, it just continues to grow, and all we're doing is managing symptoms, we're not helping to address the issue. Right now, we've got about 60% of our citizens have some degree of heart disease. We're a ticking time bomb. For me, it's just being logical, something is wrong, something's wrong here, something's not adding up, with the systems that govern our health, with the education around our health, why are things so bad? If the thing you're saying is what we're supposed to do. Why is it so bad if the school lunch program is fortified to create healthy children? I come from the school lunch program, I got the free lunch ticket, I got the free lunch. I had chronic asthma, my little brother had chronic asthma, my little sister had eczema, my mother and father obese. I had a degenerative, advanced Aging disease at the age of 20, my spine was just deteriorating because of the education that I was getting around food, what I was exposed to around food. My family wasn't doing anything particularly abnormal. I remember my mom was getting a low fat, she did the diet, get diet, and I'm not going to do the Pepsi, get the Diet Pepsi, trying to watch my figure. Alright, that's fake. It's not even real. Where the hell does Pepsi come from? Have you ever seen a Pepsi fountain?
Well, that's like... I know there's like a Pepsi fountain, like a soda fountain in one of those like, a kid gets rich movies, a Richie Rich type scenario or whatever... Yes, you might have seen a Pepsi fountain or a soda fountain. Yes. Okay, but you get my point. It is so far removed from what's real and what's natural... What do you think's going to happen? And our government is investing in these companies providing subsidies. Billions of dollars in subsidies to grow that corn that's used for the high fructose corn syrup coming through in those sodas, billions of dollars every year. And I document this in my latest book, Eat Smarter, hopefully you've read Eat Smarter, if you didn't, what are you doing?
Make sure you have a copy to Eat Smarter, and there was a study that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA, shout out to JAMA, best acronym of any medical journal, Pajama, jammy jam, JAMA? But this was published in JAMA Journal of the American Medical Association, and they sought out to find what happens when people are consuming these government-subsidized foods, the people who are consuming the highest amount of these government-subsidized foods. Again, the US government has invested billions upon billions of dollars in these cash crops that are largely used for processed foods, that are largely showing up to the drive-through window, whether it's labeled heart-healthy or not, it's labeled heart-healthy on the serial... All of these things being considered, whether with their marketing, with this framework or not, here's what happened. After compiling the data, they found that the people who had the highest consumption of government-subsidized foods had almost a 40% greater incidents of being obese, not overweight, obese. Clinically, obese. Our government is literally feeding the problem, so for me, I'm just being logical, something's happening here, we're having more cancer, more diabetes, more heart disease, more Alzheimer's, more liver disease, kidney... What's going on? Just being logical.
But our problem is we turn to and we're putting our faith in the science of the people who are making us sick, principles over politics. We have to have our awareness of a consistent set of principles that revolve around human health, that have to sustain themselves, when up against political scrutiny, that have to sustain themselves, when up against prejudice and cognitive biases, so those principles being... Humans are... Tissues are literally made from the food that we eat, our immune cells are made from the food that we eat, our heart cells are made from the food that we eat, our brain cells are made from the food that we eat, the air that we breathe and the water that we drink. Your toenails are made from the food that you eat. You might have a little hammertoe, a little fungi whatever, it's made from food. Even the fungus, the fungus among us, has to eat, alright, so whatever we're putting into our body is feeding, creating our human tissues, but also feeding the fungi and the bacteria, and even the viruses... We have trillions of virus particles in and on our bodies as well.
It's a symbiotic relationship that we've developed over the span of humanity, human evolution... Well, you don't hear that. And so what we're doing is inherently affecting the interaction of all of these things that are living in and on our body, the trillions upon trillions upon trillions of microbes. Principles over politics, what is going to make the best tissues of all those things that I've described. We got a pretty good beat on that. Alright.
Real foods coming from nature that our ancestors have thrived on, hunter-gatherer civilizations that we can still look at today and look at their health outcomes, and look at their blood work and all those things compared to the average person here in the Western world. It's not even comparable. We've got so many examples of how this stuff works, so we get to decide what we make our bodies out of. What we literally are making ourselves out of, it matters. And if this isn't being taught in medical schools, like to a massive degree, because it's literally making the tissue that the cardiologist is learning how to interact with to treating patients, their heart is made from food, we're talking about the immunologist, your immune cells are made from food, they are getting an in-depth, well-thought-out multiple perspective education on these things instead of a two-week seminar, we're missing the point, the very foundation of what health is in our society and healthcare.
This is like a three-little pig scenario, what are you making it out of? What are you making your house out of, because life right now huffing and puffing and blowing people's house down because they're not made out of real sustainable things? Real food. So principles over politics, these principles have to withstand the scrutiny, whether it is ethical or unusual of politics, so staying true to these principles, what do our genes expect from us, what are the ingredients that create human health? We have such a focus on disease, and that's the problem, we're not talking about what are the ingredients that make people healthy? So another one of my biggest lessons on the past 500 episodes, is to continue to acknowledge and put principles over politics. Number six is excellence is unconventional. Excellence is unconventional. In our society right now, there is a lack of deep work of deep thought, we're so inundated with data, there's so much information we're swimming in it, we're in the information age but we're starving from knowledge. There's a difference between information and knowledge. We might have a plethora of different ideas that might be exposed to or might be skimming, but how often are you actually sitting with an idea and thinking about that thing and looking at it from multiple perspectives?
Again, one of the things that helped humanity to get to this place, it's being able to process and think things through, run thought experiments, for example, like Einstein, humans have been doing that throughout our evolution, but today we're so inundated with data and distractions that what's coming from that, from being inundated with data and not real deep thought and a focus on excellence, what we have now is a whole lot of mediocrity and a whole lot of less than mediocre, and this is why excellence is unconventional, but this is what makes it beautiful, and this is what makes it stand out. So your dedication to excellence, whatever it is that you find is your dharma and your path, whether it's something just in your life personally, whether it's excellence within your own personal health, your own spiritual connection, your own psychology, excellence within your relationship, excellence within your work, excellence within... Your writing, whatever it might be for you. Excellence today is unconventional. And that's a good thing, it's a good thing, because being unconventional right now, eventually, again, throughout human history, that strange unconventional thing that actually works tends to catch on eventually.
It might take time, but it tends to catch on, we need people to be unconventional, to think differently, to express themselves differently, to present excellence, in their work and their demonstration, and those are the things that usually change society eventually, so stay true to that, even though excellence is unconventional, stay true to it. Right now more than ever, with that mediocrity, with that very superficial conformity as well, you need to stand to be a voice and not an echo, be a voice, and not an echo, be a light in this time and not a shadow, don't be a shadow of yourself or a shadow... Reflection of the conformity that's going on in society. We need to be more. Because what's conventional is a skim and not to think deeply, what conventional is to be distracted, what's conventional is to be an imitator, what's conventional is to follow the cookie-cutter path that's laid out by society that again, just look at the results. It's all we got to do. Look at the results. We can do better, we can do better. And it's up to us.
Now we're going to move on to number seven of our list of 10 biggest lessons that I've learned over the course of the 500 episodes of The Model Health Show. And number seven is that we can prevail even in the toughest circumstances, in fact, the toughest circumstances often get you face-to-face with how strong and capable you actually are. This is probably my biggest lesson, and I'm saying that because it's also pretty fresh for me. A little over a year ago, after turning in my book and I'll do a master class in this episode to be able to provide value, more context around this, but I turn my book in and two days later, I suffered a devastating injury and I was in so much pain, I had this amount of pain... Unless you experience it, it's really difficult to describe, and it wouldn't turn off even... Everything has its place, pharmaceutical drugs has its place, nothing could touch it.
It was so torturous that every 30 minutes I would just wake up in pain, I would moan just all night, it was just... In a nightmare. But I knew the circumstance and I knew that I could recover from it, but I had to be patient, and I had to be careful about the decisions that I was making within that/ Everything is still an option, whether it's fill in the blank solution. But I knew that there was a way to get well. And so again, we'll do a master class on this because I think it's going to provide a tremendous amount of value, and sometimes you have to get face-to-face with these things to rekindle that spirit. When you feel good, you don't even know.
You take it for granted, oftentimes. When people get serious about their health, it tends to be when something bad happens, when something really devastating takes place, that's when it spurs us on and it helps us to remember how important health is because when you feel healthy, there are so many different things that can become a priority or an object in our lives, but when we're unhealthy, the one priority is to get back to health, it takes over everything else, and so we can prevail in even the toughest circumstances because within that pain, I still showed up, I did things that I had no idea that I even had the capacity to do. And I had a speaking event about a week and a half after this devastating issue happened, and I committed to this, it was a pretty big deal for the people who put the event together. And it was down in San Diego. So me, I just moved to LA also when this happened, and so I had to jump on a quick flight or I couldn't even... On the flight, I literally... I got the front seat because I couldn't even sit down, I had to kneel in the front of the plane there and back, and fortunately, I know this sounds crazy, maybe the...
I don't know the air Marshall, Wesley Snipes might be on the plane like, What's he doing? Kneeling. And the flight attendant so happened to just have a very similar injury to mine going there and back, which I don't think is... It's a really interesting coincidence, but for me, it's like a synchronicity, and I went there and I executed, I literally had to lay on the floor... I was still just teaming with pain, but I got on that stage and I did a little semi-circle, and I just kind of stayed in my lane, and I'll share this story more in-depth, but I did... I went down there, I executed, I did the main Keynote, and also taught two workshops after, and nobody would have known how much pain I was in, it's crazy, and I wouldn't have known that I would have been able to do it, but I really... It was my mindset just get me on the stage, I just got to get on the stage, and I was able to do that, but then... Wow, the way back was the biggest... That was the worst moment of my life, coming back, the flight, and then the car ride from LAX, Oh my God. My wife drove and I just had to just find a position I could tolerate in the car on the way back and...
And even if you look at some of the episodes of the Model Health Show, the video, if you see the video episodes around late January/February of 2020, I'm in the chair, but I'm literally holding myself up by one arm because I can't even completely sit down because I got a... Basically, just to give a little tidbit of what it is, it was a nerve block, and again, I'm such... I'm obsessed with the nervous system and the brain and all these things, and that nerve and that pain communication... Wow. When something gets blocked, it sets off all alarms, like a total body fire alarm, but I persevered through that situation, I do not recommend it. So I want to make sure people stay healthy and also understand that crazy things can happen because for me it was really a very crazy scenario of how it all took place, but also every single thing that happens with our health, there's always an emotional component, and there's often a series of preview events, the coming attractions, but the question is, are we paying attention to those things? And it creates this little gumbo of problems if we're not aware.
But please understand for you, and this is a message that I picked up, but also I want to reiterate for you... You have no idea how strong you are. You have no idea what you're capable of. Probably the greatest moments of you demonstrating your strength is when you were faced with the biggest obstacles in your life and you made it through, you are here, you're here now, and these circumstances, the things that we try to do our best to avoid and to stay away from struggles and problems, for me, this is why I'm such a big proponent of challenging ourselves proactively on a regular basis, to build ourselves up physically and mentally so that we can handle these things because it's really training for the main event of life. And so two things that really helped me to get well, in parallel and also, there was somebody who was, in my life, this producer of this really popular program, their injury looking at their scan was identical to mine and seeing what happened with me versus what happened with them, and the amount of time... Even though it took quite some time... It was a long time of rehab and all the things that I was doing, but for me to understand first hand, and hearing this also from the physicians that I was working with, my state of physical health going into it, if I wasn't as healthy as I was, forget about it. It's one of the things that, from their perspective, saved me and also my mindset, my mind.
Once I got my mind together, once I was able to start to think externally of the circumstance and get out of the, Why me? And the, Why did this happen? And all these different things and start to think about the potential here, the value, the growth, and what I can do, once I can get control... But it wasn't... For me, it wasn't as much of a rustle, I didn't have to tame the wild beast like I would have if this happened 20 years ago, for example, so it's working on your mind, working on your body so that you can stay ready for whatever life throws your way. Because I saw first-hand what can take place and how powerful we are, so again, last time I'll state this, we can prevail even through the toughest circumstances, and oftentimes it's the circumstances when you get face-to-face with those trying times when you actually get to demonstrate and see how strong you really are. We don't want to run from the fear, we want to move towards it.
But you could do it bit by bit, by bit. Challenge your mind, put yourself in challenging circumstances, where you have to think differently, grow your mind... There's a statement that's really popular, I've seen a lot of memes going around on this one that if you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room. That's a good one, that's a good one. So putting yourself in circumstances where people stretch you and they stretch your thinking as well. Challenge your mind, challenge your thinking, get around people who empower you, who hold you accountable, train your body, train your exposures, a lot of folks today have really tied in with the benefits of cryotherapy and the benefits of heat exposure, but the crazy thing is, many of our ancestors have utilized these strategies for thousands and thousands of years to create more resilience. So whatever we can do to challenge ourselves, body, mind, and spirit, because we are stronger than we know.
These last three, the final three from the past 500 shows and years of work with the Model Health Show, these three things have been cemented for me as far as our most valuable assets, and these are in no particular order, but number eight here on the list but these three particular things, the most valuable asset that we have is our health, it's been cemented for me more than ever, and having this recent experience, it really helped me to identify and to cultivate even more compassion because so many people are hurting right now in various degrees, whether it's mental health, whether it's physical health, there's a lot of suffering taking place, and if you understand some of the basic tenets of quantum physics and how our realities are really tied together, the furthest thing in the known universe to us here, it's all connected, it's all connected.
And we are connected, especially in that closer proximity. Wow, we're connected so that suffering, if it's happening anywhere, it's happening everywhere, so having this resurgence of energy and dedication to helping to heal these circumstances to provide empowerment and solutions for people that actually work, because truly the most valuable asset that we have is our health. That's number one, our health is what enables us to be the expression and reach our potential, and it's not to say that when we're not well, when we're not healthy, that we can't create and do amazing things, we absolutely can, we're incredibly resilient, but it's harder, it's much, much, much, much harder when we don't feel well, to perform at our best, so the health is the most valuable asset that we have, truly... This is why we do this work. This is why I do the work that I do. Number nine here. One of the other most valuable assets that we have is our relationships. It's not ROI, it's ROR, return on relationship, it's the most valuable thing as far as our success, our happiness... The list goes on and on. I wouldn't have subscribed to this when I first got started because I have this tendency towards his lone wolf vibe, and wolves run in packs, by the way, lifetime mates, all that good stuff.
Forget that! Lone wolf. It's because it sounds cool, alright, but truly, we have this tendency today because of the way that our culture is constructed, to isolate ourselves, to take the burden on ourselves and only ourselves, when in reality we evolved in tribes, we evolved in community, and we evolved working together and so working through my own stuff to open myself up, to work with other people, to trust, to become fans of people, that's another big part of the Model Health Show, is that I'm a fan of these amazing experts that I bring forward. I'm a fan, I'm a student, really admiring the books that they've written, or their speeches, their lectures, whatever the case might be, how they present themselves in the world and how they operate, because many of these folks are people who are in my life that have been an inspiration, but also who I work together with as well, and helping to transform various areas of health and wellness in our country, so cultivating that spirit and holding up and lifting up the importance of our relationships and having standards. Keep your standards high and your squats low, standards high, squats low. That's what we want to do. People who respect and admire even your standards and appreciate your standards, they'll make room for you, they'll be pulled into your life, but we have to make room sometimes.
And there's a statement that, The Universe abhors a vacuum, and that it's unnatural to have this empty space, it's going to be filled with something, so this speaks to us making room, how can we bring in the relationships that we really want, if we are filling them with things that are not advantageous, that are not supportive of our greatness, and having that appreciation and that mutual respect.
Sometimes we need to make room. And so investing in our relationships, investing in ourselves and growing ourselves, so we can be the type of person that can appreciate these great relationships that can invest ourselves in these are great relationships, and to be able to pay it forward and to give... Because the people that I'm a fan of, it's not that I'm wanting to get something from them, I'm wanting to give... I'm wanting to uplift, I'm wanting to share them with the rest of the world, and so building yourself up to a place where you can be in a position for you to give and pay it forward. So that's number nine, this belief has been cemented more than anything else besides number one, your health is your greatest asset, your relationships are on the greatest assets as well, and number 10 here on these 10 biggest lessons in 500 episodes of The Model Health Show, number 10 is one of the other most valuable assets is your vision. I can't stress this enough, because me being here with you today really demonstrates the power of an idea, really demonstrates the power of thinking external of circumstances and envisioning something beyond what is seen in reality, because the truth is if we look at our advances...
If we look at the structure of our communities, if we look at the structure of our books and the internet and all the things that we're supposed to, these all come from the minds of people. This is how powerful our ideas are. And so right now, I want to request for you to take some time and think about what you really want, and to take some time envisioning and imagining using that powerful gift that you have in that imagination and imagine the world that you want to live in. Imagine what our world could be despite our circumstances, what is the vision for reality that we all could have where health is the norm, where compassion and support and mutual respect is the norm, paint that vision for your life on the microscale and for our world on the microscale, we need it more than ever, because for me, again, cementing this idea in 500 episodes, I would not be here with you had I not had a vision of something more than the circumstances that I come from. It's that powerful. I had to see it first. If you see it in your mind, you can go there, in reality, you can go there with your body. The circumstances... Our minds are so powerful, human beings are so powerful.
We look at the Phantom DNA experiment, for example. And then putting a strand of human DNA into a vacuum that's supposed to be filled with empty space, but you can never really get rid of these packets of light, these photons, and seeing that the photons are attracted and conforming to the human DNA when it's put into the vacuum, but then removing the DNA, the human DNA from the vacuum, the scientists thought that the photons would just go back to their scattered unorganized random displacement, but they didn't. These packets of light that make up our reality, every single thing in our reality is made of these photons. They stay conformed to the human DNA, it made a temporary... There could be permanent impression upon life itself, the stuff that our universe is made of, it made an imprint, that's us, we're made of that. We're made of that stuff and we're making an imprint on our reality and it's based on first and foremost, our vision, it's based on the power of our incredible minds.
So I appreciate you so much for taking the time to invest in your health and your own well-being and listen, I truly do feel that this is just getting started, I didn't even know till recently that this was episode 500 that we would be celebrating right now, because I'm just so in love with this process, and I just feel like this reminds me of the statement from Tim Grover, this is a legendary coach and trainer to some of our greatest athletes that we've seen Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Michael Jordan, the list goes on and on, and him sharing the fact that sometimes you're on a journey and you make it to the top of the mountain, and then you realize that it's actually the beginning of the journey, now, for some of us, we can have a feeling of surprise or a feeling of disappointment, but the truth is if we can embrace that, embrace that moment that this is always happening, it's always a process of informing, we're never going to reach a certain pinnacle and then that's it.
Life goes on. There's always more. There's always another level. And for me right now, this is where everything begins. I appreciate you so much for tuning in to the show, if you got a lot of value out of this, please share it out with your friends and family on social media, thank you so much for sharing in this very special celebration, 500 episodes, and I would love... Tag me on Instagram, I'm @shawnmodel. And if you want to give me a shout out or celebration for episode 500, I really, really appreciate that, and I appreciate you, and there's something special about you that brought you here to this moment to be a part of this, and so I see you, I appreciate you. And I want to remind you of how powerful you are to effect change, not just in your own life, but in the world around you. I appreciate you so much for tuning in to the show. Take care, have an amazing day and I'll talk with you soon. And for more after the show, make sure to head over to themodelhealthshow.com. That's where you can find all of the show notes, you could 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 the show is awesome, and I appreciate that so much and take care, I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.
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