Sylvester McNutt III
Hi Everyone Sophia. Bush here welcomed a work in progress where I talked to people who inspire me about how they got to where they are, and where they think they're still going. I'm so excited to introduce you all to my friend. Sylvester mcnutt third today. Because, it's an inspirational conversation that will definitely leave feeling motivated and I. Don't know about all of you, but I have a hunch that that's something we could all use right. So. Let's author of care package free, your energy, and many other books he has an incredible podcast and spends his time helping people understand how healing can be the key to success. Recorded this episode back in the beginning of April, but everything he says is just as relevant now. He opens up about his past the impact of football on his life, and how a few teachers gave him opportunities that completely changed his trajectory. We also talk about the therapeutic benefits of writing and what it really takes to heal yourself enjoy. That's there my friend. How are you? I, I. So I'm load cited that you're here. I'm so glad we're finally going to have our conversation for the podcast. It's so nice to see your face albeit at a technological distance, but we are in different states, so I guess we would have had to do it this way. No matter what. I I really I I'm so excited for the audience to get to know you I think that there are plenty of people in my audience. Who who follow you. I I love to post your work and your writing and and that's really how you and I met I. I don't even know how it happened, but I. we found each other on the Internet. and I I've always been so. Taken aback by the things that I've read that you share you know you are. You are creator whose words often give me pause in a really beautiful way where I read something and I think Oh let me sit with that. or Or oh, that really? That causes such a feeling in me I want to sit with that and. I guess I just WanNa. Say thank you for sharing. Yourself with the world the way do. And I wasn't expecting to hear that. Thank you thank you very much appreciate it. I think the sharing. Maze. It's been a journey for sure but. I just feel like some not have to do. I just have so much. That happens inside of my head so many thoughts in so many observations in. I'm in a good habit of sharing and I think that it helps me. It helps me understand what's going on with with him. Own Self. But then through the of doing it is you know helped thousands of other people and. One thing. I never WANNA. Do is like I. Never WanNa tell people like this is how you need to take. This is how you need to be. You know because like I just believe in free will and free expression, but. I think we all need help at different points of our lives to figure out how we're processing. Things are how we're thinking about things I know or or maybe it's like hey, if I. IF I shift my perspective, maybe two percent of this situation I may be able to get a thousand more benefits out of it. You know and I think that's one of the things. I like drives. Me Is just to try to try to put out multiple perspectives just so people can can people arrive at their own conclusion, you know. That's it. That's it for me. That's like. So everyday thing for me, yeah! So I'm always curious, 'CAUSE I. I sit across from Viet through screener. You know on the couch and the office. Sit across from a lot of people whose perspectives to your point I really admire. And I'm always curious how they got this way. Because I've I've known you. For the last couple of years, but Were you? Were you like this when you were a little kid? You know I wonder who was silvester at like eight ten. I know you grew up in Chicago. Which makes me feel very nostalgic I I. I wonder where you introspective and curious and an. Into, writing then or or how how did? How did the journey begins? Back all right eight ten, so first of all our brains are like because this is the same question that I kind of gear people towards a my podcast because I'm so curious. I WanNa know like the Genesis. I WANNA. Know the starting point like you know. What were some the factors? So this is. This is just a great question to me. so eight ten I would have been in NORTHWEST SUBURBS OF CHICAGO! So I was living in Mount Prospect in Arlington Heights okay. and. That's right around the age where you start having a lot of a lot of questions, you know that's when you start asking questions like a Santa, Claus. Do I. Have to go to Church. Why do I have a bad time? You know you start you. Start asking those questions to your parents. you start liking girls in school, but you don't even know what that means. You know you have all this stuff going on. And what was going on news. My parents. were. Okay so my mom worked, she was an administrative assistant. She is a very like punctual. She pronounces everywhere. She does not. She didn't allow any of us to speak slaying. We had to be proper English. We couldn't say things like come on man, or you know what I mean like none of that it had. All the time one hundred percents precise words precise language. In that was rooted in her being an avid reader. I mean she would read every single day. Our I remember seeing her every single day. My Dad. He was United States military. So He's getting up at five am to get his workout in. He's punctual. He's we can't be if if the show starts at nine. We can't get. There are nine of one. We can't be late. It's it was a very I lived in a very like disciplined household. And it was also very disciplined from the intellectual side where my mom hit the readings, but my dad was really into cinema and film, so my dad when we will sit down, he will walk. We will watch films. We Watch Bruce Lee films, and he would and I know you could appreciate this. You know working working in TV and film like he would make me watch the scenes and he every time the the camera will cut. He knew all the cuts so he would tell me. Me What type of cut is that? You know when the audio like you do like a J.. Hook like what what type of audio that he would teach me everything about film. He would teach me about the the acting side of it in like how they were taught to hold emotions or to express emotions that they weren't even feeling. They had to portray it in my mom was on the other side, talking about the writing like the actual writing side in like she read Patricia Patterson. John Grisham she rea- to redesign novels. At eight to ten, I would pick these up and try to read them, but I couldn't. I couldn't I couldn't comprehend what was going on, but I would try and you will open our. Take our go to a page and I'll just give my mom the book and I'll say hey. Readers to me, you know she would just re like thirty pages to me out the book and I would just sit there, but I will close my eyes while she would read, and then I will visualize what she was reading. And, what ended up happening in I? Didn't realize this then, but just talking about it now made me realize it. What happened is I will see the words that she was saying. And then even when my dad was having me watch movies with him, I will be able to just see the words. I'll be able to predict how we're going to go. And it was like through those practices with them that I wanted to develop. the ability to to write. I started to develop like the love for so then what happened with me was as I got just a little bit older. I'm GonNa tell you a story here so. I was very introverted. A never I never really was extrovert as very very introverted before high school that change a little bit in high school, but before high school I was very interested, introverted, very very quiet very to myself. Very observant always had a lot of friends always play with other kids are the boys in a neighborhood? We always play sports football basketball soccer. We used to raise. We used to ride bikes. I used to play I used to have a bunch of friends, but I was always quiet. I was always quite. and. So in seventh grade. You, ride the bus home from school, but I'm living in the suburbs and it's very. Is is not a good environment. Bunch of kids on the buzz is you know they're just wild. and. I had a younger brother and sister so I'm a person that at a young age I realized I needed alone time. Needed alone time in order for me to be my Best Self Ryan. In so I have a younger brother and sister at the House I have mom and dad, so it's like if I'm home, everybody else's home, so there's no alone time there. If I'm at school with all, my classmates are smart enough to figure out. If I just walked home, I could be alone for about thirty minutes. So I just started walking to and from school and. I'm walking home by myself. And there's this girl hunting was Leeann and she walked up to me one day I walk right outside the school. She's like hey. I noticed that you walk home the same way I walk everyday, so we're GONNA walk together, and I was like yeah. No, no, no, we're not actually were not because she was a great older than me. I think I was seventh grade. She was eighth grade. I think I think that was a great in. Yeah, that was it and I was like no. We're not actually you're going to do what you've been doing and I'm going to continue on my way. I've never met her right. So, she goes. No, no, no, we're GONNA. Walk home together because we walked right by each other every single day seeing for weeks. So I was like okay. All right finally I was like I I do it. So I walk her home a couple of times, so basically it would be like a quarter mile to her house and they're Maas. My house was like a mile. So I walk home, then continue on. So finally one day. She's like. she's like. Hey, you need to walk me up to my door today. And a my would do that. I've never walked you up to your door. That doesn't was okay the point in doing that. She's like no come on. In a walk me to my door, and she's like giving me all these cues and these signals and I'm like oblivious. I have no idea what she's doing. And I. Think I was seventh grade. I was told I was twelve in seventh grade. Yeah, 'cause I started high school when I was still thirteen so I was I would have been right I think yes. I was twelve years old. In standing at her door, she's like okay I'm going in now. And I'm just like okay. Right, see you later, and she just grabs me and she just like puts me like a bear hug and she starts making out with me, so this is the first time ever kissed a girl. So I didn't know what I was doing I, feel her tongue in mind so I was just like Okay I. Guess I'm supposed to do that so i. just put my tongue. I'm just clueless. So. She goes in the house in. She lives like little like redbrick apartment. It was like it was a flat in. She goes in the House and I start walking home and I'm just thinking. I'm like wow! That was amazing like just kissed a girl for the first time. So I walk the rest of that seven point five miles, I walked with the biggest smile on my face. And I get home. And my mom is there and. My mom is a very. She's a very entertaining person to say the least. In she owes. What do you smiling about boy? She would always call me boy she knows. What are you smiling about boy? I'm like you know nothing novick deal. You know nothing. I feel I'm ready to to tell you. She's like no, no, no, what's what's going on? You never walk in like this. Why are you smiling going on? And I'm like you know. Well You know there's this girl. Yan I've been walking home with her. You know she kissed me. Behind the seven eleven with made out, she kissed me for some kiss a girl. My mom immediately is pissed. She's angry. Yes, she's angry. Her her exact words it his day. I'll never forget she goes. I didn't give you any permission to kiss girls. She goes. You need to leave the girls alone and you need to focus on your schoolwork. and. It was like that was one of the most defining moments of my life. Because here I am. Twelve years old, having my first sexual experience, and it's met with Shane. Is met with. Gil is met with rejection is met with. You're doing something wrong. And that was like it was such a painful thing for me to have something so powerful. Happen a girl kissing you especially. She's a year older than you. You know amongst guys. We are a young boy. That's like a big deal like an eighth grader to kiss you when you're in seventh grade. Like S A big deal, so I'm thinking. It was like this beautiful thing that happen and I share with my mom and she just like broke me down. And when she broke me down. I had all these like feelings that came about you know and I didn't understand it. I didn't know what shame was killed. The rejection the things that I have the awareness of now. I didn't know so. I just had all these feelings going on inside of me so now I. Don't WanNa Talk to Leeann because I feel like I, can't so I'm taking a different route home? You know so. It's just like all these emotions ahead, and I couldn't understand it, so I didn't have any extra money. My family, you know middle class family. We weren't poor with rich. They had enough for us to get by so I. DIDN'T WANNA ask for any money. But I knew I need to express what was going on and my family. My family, my immediate family did well. Most families do when we get with our extended family, we kinda. We don't tell the full truth. The full spectrum of was going Oh how's everything? Oh, yeah, everything's great. Yeah, the kids are good. You know that's that's what my mom and dad would do, but that wasn't the truth. That wasn't the truth of what was going on. On in this time period where they also started to Kinda, they started to become alcoholics. My Mom, her are poison would be MGD Miller genuine draft. She would drink a six pack every night on Dad. His was Jack Daniels. He which he would drink it on the rocks. I don't know how people do that, but he would. He would drink it on the rocks. So here I am. And I'm watching. What was like perfect like nuclear family? Where there was a lot of love, there were playing. We used to watch movies we. We used to do all types of stuff together, but it's like deteriorating right, and then there's all these elements that are coming in. You know with the shame and the guilt abuse physical abuse emotional abuse and it wasn't just on me. It was everyone was the whole environment you know was dad to mom, dad them to me and just like watching this environment like deteriorate. So my saving grace in what what really helped me here was that same seven eleven that I will walk by I went in there in a stolen notebook. You know have any money like I said so I just went in there. I found a little life. College ruled notebook. Something like this Put My book bag walked out. And I stole a notebook and. I know stealing is wrong, but also keeping those emotions only would have been even worse than me so I needed I needed some outlet. So what ended up happening was when I. got home at are still the notebook. Just open it up. And I just started writing ended up writing like twenty twenty five pages about you know my mom, my dad, what I was seeing what I was feeling what I was thinking and then I started writing about. Ways that they could, they could solve the way they were talking to each other. You know because I was listening to light their tone of voice, and how they were just talking, and like I was just trying to come up with certain ways like man. If my mom would just said, this or dad would just said this and so really. You know when people see me now and they see like an author of eight books. You know I've traveled in talk to people about these things really started from that twelve year old kid who was completely confused about kissing a girl like that's literally wear started from. So that's how I got started as a writer. Guys. I just discovered my new favorite subscription. It's called caused box and I need to tell you about it. 'cause box is a quarterly meaning. Four Times a year subscription box curated by women for women that is filled with all sorts of amazing products and brands, ethical sustainable and have a positive mission to give back and make the world better great right. 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And and you know that image of you listening to your mom read, and as a little boy, essentially becoming reader through her. I can't imagine. What it felt like to begin to lose that you become a big reader as you got older to kind of. Hold onto your love of books. In that way were or did that not happen until later? I was a big reader as a kid, I think. Now if I compare the amount that I read now, I think I read more than the average person. But I don't read as much as I could. Because I spend more of my time writing right, but if I wasn't writing as a profession, I will be a huge reader. Our I will read every day for an hour to every single day. As a kid, I was a huge huge. Read our read every single day I mean even a high school. You know you have this stuff that they want you to read but I would have my own books to the library. You get two weeks with a book, so I'll take a book. Read it in two weeks. Bring back, check out another one. You know even in high school, so I've always been a big reader I think yeah, that is because because of my mom. I mean even to this day. She still has her stack of books. She goes through. You know she's a hoarder. So you know I would not be I wouldn't be an author. If it wasn't for my mom's reading in my dad, he was a writer to use always write scripts, and that's the reason why he would have me. Sit Down and watch the movies with them because he wanted to eventually get a script on. I think my my love for writing just literally came from their hobbies. Very cool. It's interesting. Because when you talk about the way, your dad was breaking down movies with you I i. think about what an incredible education in storytelling that is for a kid. You know the way the scenes are cut in the way that actors are performing in the way that. Things look and feel and sound that's. That's kind of incredible. That's the stuff that makes me. Wish I'd gone to film school. You know! where! Where did sports come in for you? Because I know there's a there's a whole world of athleticism in your story. So then. When does all that begin so sports for me has always been a safe haven way to just kind of escape. What what I was what I was dealing with like I, said it started just in the neighborhood, just running races. You know you get a bunch of. Of Young boys together. They always want to figure out who's the strongest. WHO's the fastest? Who's the smartest as that's just? What young boys were doing and I know that I've always had like a group Guy Friends at every age. You know we moved a lot, but always wanted to make new guy friends in is just that that masculine the masculine competitiveness that I feel like it's such a big part of. Being socialized just as a boy to a man, so we would just you know. We didn't have the cellphones smartphones We'd be outside racing each other like all right. So we've raised. We see who can throw the football the furthest we throw baseball and it was just I mean that's just what we did you know and then like wwf came about the wrestling, so then we started wrestling like which that was not smart, but we started wrestling in the house, and doing all these wrestling moves in. It was just I mean it was just such a good way to just bond. You know just sport, so we ended up happening was. Always will watch in growing up in Chicago everyone's diehard Chicago bear fan diehard Chicago cubs. Chicago Blackhawks Cargo Bulls like we're diehard, is we? Are you know You know a lot of people these days you know you will argue politics in Chicago. We talk about sports. We argue sports. You know that's what we do, we should we talk about sports and. You know just growing up. You know every Sunday the family get together extended family people go to the bars obviously too young for that, but I was still seeing people go into the bars is tailgating pre-game watching the games watching football like I? Watch football every Sunday. So, of course, we had a super Nintendo and I'm playing or maybe it was a regular Nintendo I started playing this game called tecmo superbowl, and it was a football game, and it was just like the best game ever like the graphics are horrible, but it was amazing then. and My love for football came from. You know watching in family. Watch how they will get so excited. Just seeing people out in about rocking the bears, Jerry. WASHINGTON IT ON TV! I just I. It was just such a glamorous in your just like Oh. Man. I want to be one of those dudes and was was sealed it for me. Is Dad were at a park one time and it was just me and my dad. In we're flying kites and if you've have you ever flown a kite before. A long time though flying a kite is one of the most frustrating things. That you can do because if you don't get like the right I. Don't know `this drag or lift, I don't know the right turn, but if you don't get the right pocket of air under it, it doesn't go anywhere in my dad's like he's like a mad scientist. He would just he would just real it out. Nice and slow at patients in the kite, which is a bigger and bigger and bigger, and it'd be like a hundred feet in the air, and mine is ten feet on the ground, just flopping around and I'm just I would just get defeated, and I would just start crying. And so we're at this park in I'm crying finding My Dad's got his in the areas. He's looking up. And one of the football came flying at me and he just like bounced over to me, so I threw my kite and I picked up the ball, and then I threw it back to to to the guy, and they were like practicing football, and they had all their gear on their helmets on, and you know you're a little kid, and you're looking up to bigger kids so many high school kids. Or maybe even peewee kids, but you. You look at them in there like giants. And I just remember thinking like Oh. I WANNA be a giant, you know. And so I went and told my dad I'm like Hey I wanNA play football. Sign me up and there was that day that when I went to the park in my mom and dad were like no, you're not playing football sports. Dangerous people get hurt. People get concussions and I'll just say hey. I'm not going to get hurt. Just signed me up, you know. So, they wouldn't sign me up so fifth grade sixth grade. They wouldn't sign me so seventh grade. A. Mike Hey I'm bigger stronger personnel. Push still hundred push every day because my dad told me he was like. If you WANNA buy football. You need to be strong so I said okay. What do I need to do? He says you need to do. Push ups, you know. He says I'm I'm in the army. I do about five hundred a day. So can you do five hundred might well I? Don't know if I can do five hundred, so I just started doing them and I got up to one hundred pushups day as a seventh grader. So I went to my hey. I could do one hundred push ups. I WANNA play football, so he. He was drinking to this time. This was this was in the summer, so he goes all right. Let me see. Let me see your pushups so I. Get down! It takes me a little while, but I do one hundred push ups in front of him. They're like little baby pushups seventh-grader. and. He was like okay. I'll think about it so I went from like a no to think about it. So I left the House that day. I'll never forget this in my friend. His name was Adam macelroy Irish guy. And he played for the Arlington Cowboys. 'cause. We lived in Arlington Heights. Arlington cowboys was the Peewee League, so I'm over his house. His mom, his mom, his, his dad was a cop. His mom was there in. We're just talking about football. They're like Hey, are you gonNA play with us this year and I was like Yeah Yeah Yeah. My Dad said I could play this year which my dad didn't say I li-. Like my dad said I could play this year, so they had some type of registration later that night so I'm like thinking I can pay if I just stay with. Adam I'll be able to register for football so I. Literally stated his house to Whole Day. Also go back home, but I just stated this House to whole day we ended up going to the registration, and then we got registered. And you need a you need permission. So I told his mom I was like yeah. My Dad said I could play, so you could just sign for him. He's at work which he wasn't. is so his mom signed for me? I got registered for football. That way home told my parents I. Yes, I got registered for football, and then that was like. How'd you register you know so? He started doing the mid to work. I was like well. I'll be honest with you. I two six to forge your signature. He was pissed. He was he was pissed. Dow's pissed. But he kind sat there for a second, and he thought about it. He was decide okay. He's like. If you're willing to do all of that to play football, we're going. Allow you to play football. So, if you're if you're willing to do all of that, you can play. It was one of the best things I play. Seventh Grade Eighth Grade Plain high school than I walked onto my college football team at Northern Illinois University, then I ended up plan. Three years of arena football so got paid play football for three years, so it was one of I. Mean it was one of the best things that happened to my life for? Why would you say that? Is it? Is it the discipline of sports the physical activity? What what did you love so much about it? So in highschool also ran track, but I hated it occur, but football I loved football heart it is. You are constantly having your mind challenged every single day. You know people people see it on TV and they think is just pushing running. It's a game of science. It's XS and OS. It's A it's a game design. You know so. You have to have a certain level of awareness to be decent to be good. It's a game of knowing how to preserve your energy. It's a game of knowing. Angles like we have this drill copper suit drew pursuit Gerald on. Break it down for some who may not understand football essentially if I'm a defender and I'm on like the far left side in the play goes to my right. The pursuit Joe teaches you the exact angle. You take to be able to make a tackle. You know when you're looking at football and you see people get tackled so quick. It's not because. They're bigger faster stronger. It's because they understand the angle of where to be. And There's just so many bike analogies in like allegories that you can learn from football that just carry over into your real life, and it just makes you to me. It just makes you mentally strong. You know the things that I went through info. Some of those things I went through in football. I just feel like the average person will never went through in their life. Just like. If you talk to a person who's WHO's been in the army, you know been in the Marines, people who have have run marathons when you get to a level of physical exertion were now you're exertion becomes reliant solely upon what your mind tells you. Is I just feel like you gain so much control of yourself of your life in so much. Power on self understanding. And I feel like football tracked into. Give me that football game that for sure. That so interesting. And, and as we're talking about going through high school. What were you loving academically while while you are falling in love with sports? was there a subject that was your favorite or teacher? Who really stands out that you think about from High School Gym Class. Gym Classes. My favorites so my school was a really good school. I went to Palatine high school in every year. That was there they won the blue. Ribbon Excellence Award which essentially goes to one of the top one hundred high schools in the United States of America. What made us so great really wasn't our athletics. It was the academic program. It was a teacher. Is there it was the counselor's it was you know we had a choice? Your Freshman and Sophomore Year you do your regular. You know regular assignments, but then your junior senior. You actually have a choice of if you WanNa, go language, or if you WanNa go art in so what I chose was arts so I got to do class I have drama I got to do drawing a painting. I got to do poetry. I have to do a whole bunch of different classes in the arts. You know in so if you would win language you. Would you people who leave my high school? They leave knowing French obviously English than they leave with. Spanish is well because you French and Spanish for your junior and senior year, so you leave there with two languages so the summer of Sophomore Year. They asked me what you WanNa do, do you WANNA do? You know the language. Do you want to do? Arts like are while I'm artistic person the arts, so you get these acting classes, you speech classes drawing like my favorite teacher. Her name is misleading and she used to let me draw. I had her first period, and it was so cool because you can just come in. There is the only classical headphones so he could wear your headphones. Listen to music, and you just draw for an hour. Just draw. You have a professional art teacher there. She's teaching you and. As long as you tried your best, you pass, she's not. She's not gonNA. Knock your art because it doesn't fit into her. Perspective of what art is supposed to be? She was so open to everyone art. She'll give us the guidelines. You say. Hey, for example I remember. We had to do a perspective photo so perspective photo we see all the time is when you see like a train track or you see like a freeway street, you see maybe a buildings buildings on the right side in the kind of all leads so what's called a vanishing point? And I mean to this day. I've never forgotten that because she was such a good teacher. So literally you start those photos by drawing your vantage point the new jaw, your horizon, and then you build your city in built the sky and. Is. It was an amazing experience to be taking art class. You know so I remember her class, and then I had another teacher. WHO. I think his name was Mr Mill Milford Mr, Milford, in! I mean this was amazing because he was see the potential that people had, and he will never hold you back like if you, didn't he. was. You know how teachers will call you if you don't WanNa, raise your hand. Yeah, he was, he was never one of those teachers. He will only call you if you wanted to be called on in. If you didn't want to be called on, he will talk to you on the side and he would just say hey, what's going on? You know I didn't want to didn't want to embarrass you. Are you comfortable with talking by the end of everyone was participate in his class. He got the quietest people to participate because he was such a just like a such a a warm thing like your grandfather that has cookies for. He's got good stories like you're just such a warm person in. I remember when this song. Fit By fifty cent came out. It was called La wasted okay. I was in high school when fifty cent came out in like everyone's planning song. In walk in his class and he goes. Hey, have you heard the new fifty cent song and I was like fifty. WHO Like I didn't I had never heard of so like. My teacher introduced me to fifty cents. He's like he's like. Hey should put it on because I was in the class. I, he's like you should put it on. It's a new song, so he like put. It always is pretty good. And I'm just like what house my teacher who like seventy introducing me like rap music like this. Is You know so? It was so cool so. I think my teachers were in on hold on lasting about high school. I, had an administrator Mrs Schmitt. In a Messina's tour when it comes out 'cause she saved my life, she literally saved my life. My Freshman and sophomore year I was actually going to get expelled from school because I had behavioral issues. So the stuff I mentioned to you about what was going on in the home. It only got worse so high school. You know you're fourteen fifteen. Your Freshman Sophomore Year in and got worse. The abusing I ended up running away from home. It was really bad. It was really bad. I hated being at home. Ours are good I'm gonNA. Go place now. In I would just go to school in our just act out our act out our lash out, had behavior issues, I was fighting are fighting class I'll find. Any anywhere I had a chance to. You know that's how people people who have paying on them. That's how they behave. They WanNa get the pain. OFFER THEM IN, so they act out. You know in for me since since the emotion that I was getting a lot of was anger. Repeating the that I was getting because I wanted to get it off of me. and. I will get in trouble I think about it. I think about it like A. Like, a pressurized container. And when people are suffering. In households that are. Suffering really. It's like you add more and more pressure that container, and and when you think about like too much pressure, being in pipes like with. They burst. They rupture. They spring leaks the leak in the wall and there's mold growing in the wall like. We we can only contain so much, and so it doesn't surprise me, and it makes me feel so much for the little kid version of you. Like. All that pressure had to come out somewhere. And that's why you know for me. I had to healthy coping the coping mechanisms, which was football, the sports in writing you know if I didn't have those two things I have no idea how must be may have turned out, but it ahead to things were could express myself, so the problem in Massachusetts is that my freshman and sophomore year I actually was not plentiful ball had to play my junior senior year. The reason I was not able to play is because one of the time my parents divorced, which was the summer of freshman year. I was displaced so when school started at the last week of August first week of September I, didn't start school until November. Right because I was living with my grandmother. While my parents figure things out on the south side of Chicago, so I was living on the south side, Chicago and I wasn't going to school I went to school there, but you know you've been Chicago You had worked there CPS cargo. Public school system is not a good public school system, and for a person like mean who is you know I was. Inclined I did very good at school when I try and for person like me, who is like very academically inclined you put me in one of the worst one of the worst school systems in the country plus. Behavioral issues it was a it would have been a combination for a very bad situation, so rattle especially with me growing up in the suburbs. I told my grandmother I said I'm not going. I'm not going on. The stuff that they're teaching. I can learn right here. All I need to do is go to the library and I'll teach myself so my first four months of my high school I taught myself school. and. Then finally, my mother and father decided that it was best for me to move back to the suburbs with my dad to finish my education there. I have my friends there had been out there, so just made more sense. This is one of the top one hundred schools in the country. It makes sense to put your your kid there. So I moved back my freshman year in which is me and dad at this point so freshman year my brother and sister are now gone. Who I grew up with their with mom. I'm with Dan so that's part of the reason why soul? I was acting. The Way I was acting is also none of this was explained to me like there was never a compassionate conversation as a family like. Hey, we're GONNA SPLIT UP. It was this. Abrupt change abrupt change even in seventh grade. When we moved the way we moved was my mom picked me up from school, and we moved I had no idea. We're moving like. I never return home. I never got the save by so it was like traumatic experience over and over and over, and that's why I was acting out. So my sophomore year, the reason I couldn't play football sophomore years because I was ineligible because I missed half the year. So as acting now act now I go to Mrs Schmitt MA administrator I go to her office by this time I hit forty eight total suspension days between freshman. Sophomore year. And I had a meeting it was missing. December intended of the school. The principal of the school me and my mother in this I got a fight during finals in my sophomore year. Escape call me inward in autumn so. Mrs Smith the Superintendent Principal in. They said they said to me Silvester. We want to expel you from our school. You're. You're smart in your bright. You have potential, but your behavior is just unacceptable. It's completely unacceptable. You know you're fighting every twenty one days. You're fighting some more. You know the guy says. Why are you fighting? And, I think that's you know that's pretty important. Question to ask someone why. I think any any time, and I use a semi work today anytime that. We go through these spaces where our behavior is not optimal, or our emotions are just off the wall. I think the question of why the most important question, because it helps you interest, but helps you go within it helps you reassess, and he says why. And I said well. I'll tell you why in everything are just laid out? Told I told him that I hate not seeing my brother and sister says I I hate seeing. My parents argued because I used to love each other. Now they hate each other. You know I said I hate being in the school where I'm called the inward all the time by wikileaks I don't like it i. don't like being in the school in some of the black kids. Kids don't accept me because they say that I'll talk proper, so I'm not black. Enough I see I don't get it I. Don't get any of this, you know said just none of it makes sense to me I said. I don't like being in the school and you guys are teaching me things that don't make any sense at all like the school is i. feel like beneath me. You know and then I had I had. An issue with black history black history month. I have an issue with that. Wise, black history not American history. Why is black history only tall in February? Why are they not teaching US full black history? Why are they only talking to us about Martin? Luther King. There's other elements to black history in if black history so important, wiser, not a black present meaning, why are we not learning about what black people are doing in the present moment you know? And I asked him this as a as a high school student I'm asking these questions and I said I'm having issues with the curriculum. I'm having issues with my home I'm having issues with peers in. That's why I'm acting this way. I'm lashing out because of my world. and. They started crying. Everyone's just like crying. You know they're just like so. You know what do we do? How do we resolve this? And I was like well. I can tell you how to resolve it. Because I had a solution I said I've been wanting to play football. The whole time I've been here in the school, but you guys haven't allowed me to. You told me to play on the sophomore team, but I will be ineligible for games and I didn't think that was fair chose not to. I WANNA play football and I said I've been training my whole life to play. Football team has a losing record. We haven't won any games since I've been in highschool literally overnight every year. And as you said, it was like you know I, know, this is cocky to say but I can help us win some games. Put me on a football team. Put me in a position to make a difference and I'll make a difference. And They're like well. If you're going to be in football, you have to get good grades right now. You have CD's enough, so I said I have seized these because I don't care, I said. I'm one of the smartest people in the school. Put me on football team and I'll get as. So they kind of just chuckled, they're just like. Okay. So they already to expel me, but Mr Schmitt Mar administrator. She was like no. We're not spelling. We're keeping them. I see OSCE his I. See a light and we need to keep them. So they kept me. So I came back week later finished my finals. The next week I started training for football so I got up every single morning. This is all self imposed. I got up every single morning at five o'clock hour on three to five miles every every day. I read three or five miles every day. I do my hundred push ups I. Do pull ups. Do everything I can because I, wasn't lifting weights yet. So football, so you know in high school you know ends around. May or June football starts at the end of June. So at the end of June you get summer camp starts so go in there I, walked to the coach Varsity coach very first day. His name was bill page. And I say coastal page I gotTA. Tell you something. In goals was up and I go I know this is my first day on the program and you know I. See all these people like the wall of fame, and all these athletes who have came here. I'm just letting you know that I'm about to make a difference. and. He's like you're gonNA. Make a difference. I'M GONNA. Make a difference in this program in the school in thousands of people's lives, you'll see. And he goes well. That's Kinda cocky. Don't you think for someone who hasn't done anything? Now it's like now. I'm not talking about what I haven't done. I'm talking about the future for one about to do. You'll see. He just looked at me. Like who the hell is this? Do you know? So from there because I had football I just committed like I. Just I needed any any person who can hear this. Who's like going through some type of pain? You're going through some type of suffrage. What you're doing in life. You're clueless like you need direction like you gotta find something you can commit to. Something that you can commit to because when you commit. That's how you he'll. You know you have to find something that is worth your time. Maybe you can't do it every day, but often you know, and it doesn't have to pay you. It doesn't have to give you money, but just something you can commit to you know for me. I had journalists in football in from there with football. I got to get in the weight room and I got the train. Train I got to get around other people who had the same goal of Hillen themselves. You know maybe get into college or whatever, but we stay committed you know and it was the football. I swear to. Football saved my life. In the only reason I was able to play football in high schools because Schmidt because she believed me so I'm a fast four, because this is one of the best stories that have been able to tell this a long time. So my junior year, I play a little bit. We'll do okay. We win some games my senior year. I play a lot. We went a lot more games in. A big deal like I made a big impact on my school i. Won this award called? MSL On unsung. Hero, which was Award de goes to the UNSUNG person like you know I got a scholarship. That Smith created for me. It was called. The most improved student in the state so they they still have that in Illinois so every year. You can win this scholarship that she created for me. Wow, you, know ma junior and senior year straight as my junior senior year, perfect attendance, perfect attendance straight as And you know it's like a success story that got turned around because I had an opportunity that Miss Schmidt looked out for you know miss. Smith was like no I see his light I in him. and. To bring it full circle. You know travel around in. Do shows do talks in my last talk in? CHICAGO. which was this past summer mishmash she came. You know. I haven't seen her since high school, and so she came, and I got to give her a hug in just cried, and you know it was one of those things where. If. It wasn't for her I, wouldn't even I wouldn't even be here like she. She was like my saving grace when I was going through the worst in you know. She was just an administrator at a school. So that's why I was so grateful to be at that school, because if I wasn't at that school like I, just don't know if I would have been able to hit administrator like that. WHO CARE I? Guess she really cared. She really really cared. That's so cool. I I definitely have had some teachers like that in my life to people who? Saami. Before I knew how to see myself and I think it can be such an incredible. Gift to a kid. You mentioned that you you went to northern. Illinois University. Were you? What were you studying there? And you and you were playing football there as well right? Yes so I played I, walked onto the college football team. There originally major was English because I wanted to write books and stuff already knew I wanted to do this. I wanted to write. Those classes were hard. Those classes were hard. Because you're they make you study like I. Mean you're studying writers from the eighteen hundreds in your studying the way they used to write, and you're studying like Ladan. Just it was just it was honestly too much to to have the work load of football in college as well as is that so I switch community communications, which was actually smart for me. I. Feel like I got more out of that after that was better for me because I got to learn a lot about. Communication communication theory communication model how people actually communicate listening. You know I've got to learn about active. Listening to learn about a actually had a class about gender studies, so I got to learn how different genders learn how different genders listen in talk. It was just like communication was the best for me of state in English I don't even I don't even know if I would be the writer. I am now. Now I would have stayed with the English. I'm glad. I switched to communications because also got a lot of speech classes, and that helped me with going on the road and speaking public speaking in front of people and talking so I got a lot of speech classes in the speech. Classes were fun because we never really knew what we were doing. When we came in, so we come in in the professor. Was a okay today. You guys work at ESPN in. You're doing play by plays, or we will have sometimes. We have to narrate movies, so we will watch like silent movies from the forties in. We would narrate the characters you know, so. It was like that was one of the best classes in college. Wow! That's so cool and so. then. What's the time line because I know? You've played professional football for a bit after that? But. had. How do you go from that college? Doing coms and Footba into football, but then you become a writer. How how does it? How does it line up? Okay, so I was a writer. The whole time I keep my notebooks. I'm writing the whole I'm writing poems. I'm writing stories I'm right. Love letters from a girlfriend. The girl I dated in College. We dated for like five years three years. If you ask her, but five to me, you know because it took me longer to get over the her. She was done in three so. I'm writing love letters. I'm just I'm writing the whole time. Really just focusing on communication in sport, so we ended up, happening was I actually got dismissed from the university. I was academically dismissed by one. I mean by one little point of gray. It was it was a very hard class. It really it doesn't mean you know. got dismissed from the university that ended up dismissing me from the football program as you do have to. Be a student to fight football, right? So so I ended up just enrolling at the Community College, the the next semester, to finish Matsushita degree, and then go back to college, so I ended up doing that finished associates of art in I go back to the college, but when I go back to the college. By this time I had new coaches are the coaches who brought me in. They were gone so just getting back on the football program it just. It felt like it would have just been too much. so I just made peace with it I. Say you know I'm just going to be done with. football is going to be done with it I'll just be a student I like being a student at this college has some good friends. I had a girlfriend that I liked so it was good. And what ended up? Happening was just through the power of network. I got a phone call and someone was like. Hey, there's this arena team about fifty miles from you in a place called Rockford. Illinois a caught the rocker raptors in I know they're having a try out I. know the coach. You should just go, so I was like okay cool so. went to trial, they picked me up. They signed me. Right in there, so like I'm in college, but I'm playing arena football pro football. You make like three hundred and twenty bucks a gain. The Games are every Saturday. I believe so to me I'm like Oh. This is great I would be in my junior year of. College football, but I'm playing arena football making a little bit of money so. You know worked out so I. Did that my? For three years and What happened on the last year I was in billings Montana. In I got cut from team is my third team got cut from the team. My cousin Tar. She gave me forty dollars to get home on a greyhound, so I wrote the Greyhound from billings Montana Chicago. And Zach a twenty eight hour thirty hour ride. In it was tightening. No seats were small. My neck hurt my back. Hurt my butt hurt. But the whole time on the ride I'm just thinking like art. What are we to do because you know at this point I was done with college. I'm mentally doing with FOOTBA. It's time for me to kind of transition into like the next phase of my life. You know and. I got a job as a cook. Got A job. I was able to get a job as a cook. My Dad was a chef, so I always knew the culinary instinct was inside of me so i. just say man. I just need to get some type of job. So I went on like craigslist and I'm just looking for jobs. Ended up getting a job as a cook. And? I'm still writing, but is not a primary thing right now, just thinking about survival. You know I'm just trying to survive. So the year two thousand nine in we roll to summer two thousand ten. My best friend, he gets a job working at. Verizon. Any goes. Hey I'm working ever-rising. I'm doing. Sales are making these commission checks. I'm killing it. You GotTa get a job here. Saw Mike Okay. I'm a cook. I'm not killing anything like. Take our apply. Wherever's Sir? Whatever I need to do, so he's like okay. Here I'M GONNA. Send you the link for the job. Apply for the job. So. I'm living in Rockford Illinois Okay and he sends me a link for the job which is in Wheaton. Illinois carrying sixty miles away. Wow weeden. Okay, so, but hey I mean when you're making twenty bucks a day. In, your friend is telling you hey. I just made five. Thousand is a commission. You're like Oh. Yeah I, I have to apply. What's the worst happen? So I. Put together like the best resume. This is my writing. Skills really helped me so I put together the best resume. Put together, but at the time I'm only you know a fresh college student who play football? Really, that's really like my only professional experience. So, I just write it. The best that I could because resumes is really about how you frame it so as a writer on McMahon. I can do this so. They called me and. They call a guy named Jeremy Calls me and he goes. He has such a deep like raspy voice is a yeah. I'm looking to speak to us. Silvester mcnutt the third. Yeah, yeah. This is me. This is this is not professional voice on. Yeah, this is me. It's make. Oh yeah, this is, this is Jeremy Wallace. Calling from Verizon Wireless. So WE WANNA. We want to bring you in for an interview. So a mute the phone I just started screaming like. Yeah Yeah, okay I don't even have the job i. just got interview, so I'm on the phone. He's like Oh. Excuse me, are you there? Are you there? I'm here. I'm here yeah. I'll come in for an interview when you need me to come in these. How about tomorrow so I? Go in for the interview? In the manager was Jennifer Celeski in Jeremy Wallace. So I get in there and they are just too mean looking people. Jeremy's like six four big dude They're both Brunette both wearing black both were in their black names I mean they're just mean looking. They don't smile. They're just looking at me and. You know we do the whole interview and we get to the in go, so do you have anything else to say? And I say yeah, you know I'm GonNa be honest with you? You guys might interview some people who are probably more qualified than mean who have better resumes in me who are probably even better look into me. You're not trying to make them laugh. Probably even better looking than me, but. No one is gonNA come in here. is going to work as hard as I'm. GonNa work I'm going to dedicate myself to this job. Now all have going for me is a cook as a McCook and I'm barely making. But I go in there every day in burn myself just survive. If you. Give me an opportunity coming here. I'M GONNA be your number one salesperson. It may not happen right away, but I'm gonNA become that, so you won't waste. Take a chance on me. And they okay all right, so they sent me on my way like three days later hr. You know her name Shero. She's like okay. This is Cheryl Picker with Verizon Wireless, you know we want to extend offer to work variety and I just through the phone across the room. I'm Mike I'm just like screaming. This is like my first real job. The salary was twenty seven thousand dollars plus commission so I'm just like he s you know any felt like. To me, it felt like that moment in high school one I had to tell them look if you take a chance on me I'm GonNa, come through for you, you know. And I told those managers that you know. Hey, if you gotta take a chance on me I'M GONNA. Come through for you. I'm going to be your best salesperson. You just like you just gotTa. Take a chance on me. You know in. They did Jan Jeremy Hire me. I was their best salesperson knows me, and a guy named Michael George atop to sales, people for two years number wanted to for two years and You know if they would've never took a chance on me. I would never became a writer because I needed that job like verizon was a great company and work for because they got me in. They got me a leadership training. They wanted me to be a manager, so they got me a management training. They started teaching me. Yeah, they got me in this program called. Midwest Mobility and what it was was, it was sixty people in the mid West so Illinois Wisconsin. It was the sixty people who had the most potential. To become district managers down the road, which was a coveted position, so they're teach I. mean you're it's it's a you business acumen yet scheduling, you had managing conflicts, so I'm getting all this training and development on the job while being a top performer you know in just I'm so grateful that I was able to get this job. You know because now that's when I started like Saving Emergency Fund I started paying back my student loans I started to get financially. Okay, you know whereas your chef I wasn't making. Making enough to and I wasn't even a chef I was cooked, so I wasn't making enough to really do anything I was just surviving now I'm in a position where I'm actually I'm living on my own. I got a car. I'm saving little bit of money in. It was just I'm just so grateful for that opportunity. You know to be able to work there with them. so because you started to have a cushion and some space. Is that when you were working at that company? Is that when you? Were able to start thinking about your first book. Absolutely, that's the if I didn't work there I wouldn't been able. See One Corona Happen I. saw a lot of people tweeting. Always. You're going to be at home. You should just write a book while as a person who's written eight books. This is the worst time to write a book. You don't want in my opinion. You don't want to write a book when you're in survival mode when you're in desperation, Mo, that's that to me is just not worth the best inspiration. Creativity is gonNA come from and my edges. In my opinion, you know for me. I was able to pay my bills and half. Have a you know money for Sunday Funday type? Stuff things I had never done before. You know I was able to get brunch that. Comfort was what enabled me to start rewriting again. Because when I was in survival mode, I wasn't think you're only thinking about our as a. Coping Stink, you know, but when I. When I got the job, now are wasn't coping. It was just let me express freely, so you're creating from two different places. If you have I mean usually you're. You're an actress, so if you have to go for a job now at this point in your career, because you need a sandwich, or you're doing it because you're jean-louis, inspired by the role, or you're passionate about working with the director they're going to. Your performances are going to be drastically different. What you said just hits me so hard because real expression requires an energy of freedom in your body. Art Is free. Expression Art is flow, and and when you're in a state of anxiety or primal fear, it's really hard to flow. So that makes that makes a Lotta Sense I'm sure it comes as no surprise to all of you. 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What was it like to begin that process? What was it like to begin sharing because I know that you know you started getting? It's like one of my favorite stories that you started getting reactions to your writing and people were saying to you like Oh. What book is this from? Who wrote this and you're like? No I've wrote it. It's my. GOING TO BE IN MY book. What what was going on at the time? How did how did that kind of began? So just to summarize a job twenty ten to two thousand twelve out at Manga, Emma, job and top performer top one percent in company sales I was working in sales and. Sales in such an interesting. Every company have sales. You know it doesn't matter what you do. You have a sales component to your job. If you don't, you won't have a job, you won't you know if you're trying to put a movie out? You need people to sell it. You need people to market. You know In learning sales, I feel like is the number one thing that artists need to do? You need to learn how to sell yourself. You need to learn how to sell your product. Your merchandise whatever it is you need to learn sales and sales is psychology. It is the psychology of what triggers people to buy or not to buy to do or not to do. It is only psychology that is only what sales's so I got to work at the time when the IPHONE was first being launched now the iphone is one of the first at least in my lifetime. Is One of the first items that I could think of that went on quote viral other than that I can think of like the tickle me. elmo dolls back in the nineties. Like that was a viral product I. Phones were like a viral product. So I'm working during the viral product launches of the IPHONES and I'm selling the phones, so most people just do the job. They collect the money and go home, but I'm I'm literally. On my breaks I would take notes about the psychology of the people you know, and I would just be paying attention to everything and I'm taking all these notes at work. and. I started writing a book about how to be the most successful salesperson in what I was GonNa do was I was going to sell it like I was GonNa. Give it to my What's his name? His name is Chris Dietrich. He was the director of sales. I was GONNA. Give it to him to see if he could sell it inside the company. That was my goal. Hey, I'm top one percent of the company. I might as well tell everybody would I'm doing? It was working, so I started writing his book. I'M GONNA give it to my director, so he could sell it within the company. This was my mindset. So I'll just start working on the book. And then I'm at work, and like I would just I will find myself taking my phone because I was writing the book on my phone. So I'm writing in my notes at work I find myself going to the bathroom like ten eleven twelve. Breaks no actually use the bathroom that much I would just go in there and lock the door in pull out my phone and start working on my book. So when I get to this obsessive point where I'm working on my book, that's one. I noticed like a shift in my happiness at work. That's when my because I was super happy and my job. Then I started to not be happy. Because now my job is taken away from me. Work Book. So this shift happened. Where like I just started leaning towards my creativity. So the final Straw for me was my best friend, my brother, you know I was the best man at his wedding. The Godfather his children. He came over my house one day in the stack of notebooks that I told you I've been writing in my whole life saw them. No one ever saw them meet him roommates in college for four years and he never saw them. So, he saw these notebooks and he's like. Hey, what's what are these? Notebooks is for verizon. And you know my hey, hey, get away from their. Get away from. Don't don't don't don't look at that stuff. Put stuff down is a well. What is it and my man is? You know some stuff I've been working on, so it's literally my entire life work since I was twelve. It's every single notebook. I ever had kept them off, so he's looking in. He's just like and he's. stoic he's very STOIC. He's very calm and he's just like. Dude. This isn't credible like you wrote. All of this. Say Yeah, he's. This isn't credible. He's the. What are you doing at Verizon? What do you mean doing? Don't Verizon Up Kelly? He's like no, no, no, no, no! You're selling yourself short. Do you see this stuff? You have to put this out. You have to put this out. His name is William Goes. If you don't put your words out. You're doing yourself in the world a disservice. Wow, what a compliment! Yeah. He told me that he told me that. We're sitting in my apartment in Carol. Stream Illinois. When he told me that he said another thing. He said to me that night was he said? He, said all your life. You've given a hundred and eighty percent to your high school to Northern Illinois football to Verizon Egos. You've never given that much to yourself though. And he says what would happen if you just committed to yourself the way you commit to everybody else's ideas, everybody else's things will happen if you committed yourself. And I'm like I don't know he's like. I think you need to quit your job and you need to commit to yourself. And here I. Am like quit my job. What are you talking about Dude I was just a cook. They're paying thirty thousand salary plus commission. You want me to quit on begnaud myself. He goes, yes, he says this is incredible. You need to put these books out immediately. And when he said that that night he left in, he left, said among computer I'll just cry I just cry. I, just I was overwhelmed with emotion one because he never, he never was that expressive. He's not a very expressive person. So for him to be that passionate about something in like again to see my life before I, saw it, I just was like man like it was just overwhelming. In took me about a year and a half, but here's what I did I use my job because I knew. Jack told Jeremy I went to. I went to Jerry my manager and I said Hey. Man I think I'm gonNA quit to become an author. Any goes okay. That's cool, but I have some advice for you. And I said okay. He says. I don't want to discourage you. Because I know, you're capable of but. Being, an author might not work. So what you should do is you're killing it as sales, your top one percent as a sales rep. You need to become a manager. You need to have manager on your resume, so you can prove that you can duplicate this success as a manager because what happens if you go into your book stuff for a couple years, it doesn't work out where now you're gonNA. Come back. You're going to be in your thirties and you don't WanNa. Start over to entry level you. It'd be better for you to be a manager because you might have kids by then and like Jeremy, he he just had this incredible foresight. Mike Mike Yeah. You know you're right I'm, NOT GONNA I'm not gonNA quit because I was already mentally checked out so a reengaged recommitted to the job. And now my whole focus was I'm going to move to la I'm GONNA. Go out there you know. Be Right out there and I'm going to transfer my job to Los Angeles. So I applied I had I ended up having and it wasn't just la I just wanted somewhere warm because. Apocalyptic Winter of eleven destroy my energy. We had a blizzard out there. Yeah. It was it was awful so once that happened on my I need some more warmth ended up having to. In Fort Myers I believe it was Florida. I think it was like Bakersfield California, which is nowhere near La in. PHOENIX ARIZONA SO I did a couple of the interviews I got offered on all of them. I talked to one in Phoenix. Okay, that's that's a city like cities right now. So I took the one in Phoenix in that's how I got here to Phoenix end up doing the job for another year and a half by that final year and a half. I had my first book out. It was getting sales. and I quit my job and it was I was weighed ready to go all in. That was two thousand thirteen. That's so cool and one of the things I. Love About Your Story I and I think it's got to be so good for people at home. Who are listening is that you never gave up on dream, but you also went about achieving it in ways that were practical, and that had application to your life, and that would take care of you. You know I think that sometimes the Internet makes it look like everyone's an overnight success story, and like you can just go out there and be reckless, and it'll work, and none of it works like that and. I think it's amazing to think about how you can work towards something. That is your life's dream while you're also protecting your actual life are one hundred percent agree with you always see the advice from entrepreneurs online and they're just like. Oh, just quit your job and you know become a multimillionaire budges only using your phone. Look I mean maybe that happened for you. But. US is not going to happen that way so to me quitting your job is because I don't believe you should create a desperation. When you're creating out of desperation, it just like. What are you creating? What value are you actually creating? When you're under the mindset of I, WanNa create a business where I want to create a product. You have to get into to me. You have to get into the mindset of. How is this going to help customer? What value offering them? What benefits are they getting? How are they gonNa get the best experience? So when you think about a customer now? Your customer is your reader. So through your writing and all of your speaking, because as you mentioned, you know you travel around, you speak. Do these incredible engagements all over the place? Would you hear from people? What do you hear from your readers and your listeners the most? Yeah, I I mean first. Thing is just gratitude. People are just very grateful. You know that. I've just follow my own path. You know and then. People get a lot of things you know. I think I empower the creative person you know because I believe in art and I believe in creativity, not just believe that is a path to happiness, even if we're not doing it as a job, but we're just expressing ourselves where there's dancing singing, just playing just being creative painting things of that nature, God believe that that is one of the path to healing and happiness. Happiness so I think that you know you have that person who's just really empowered because through my work, they've been able to just captivate parts of their childhood that they loved even just things like in on a bike you know. I had a podcast about getting on a bicycle in. Someone sent me a message saying hey. I loved it I'm on my bike again. All because of you you know and. Then there's another part of my work where there was deep introspective part where it's focused on. Let me figure out what's going on inside of me. Let Me Self Hill or self navigate or self empower, and then there's another side of my work where like my mom and my dad were try to look at situations and see. Where those pain points are aware where we can learn or shift, while things are happening, and so I think that mostly people just have gratitude. When they talk to me, they're just. They're just grateful because I feel like my work, Kinda hit different different spaces depending on where you are. And I think especially getting comfortable. Talking about those pain points talking about ways that we need to look inward at those things. In order to metabolize them in order to digest those experiences in order to get those things out of our bodies. I'm always so grateful to the men that I know who are willing to have these conversations in the way that you are because men for so long have been cultured there only the only emotional outlet. They have his anger. And in order to shift society, we have to shift how we deal with pain so that we put less anger out into the world. And I think that that's something that's really. Really profound, so thank you for that. I've experienced that you know you asked me. What kind of some type of like the negative feedback got while I've gotten that from different guys before a golf man. What type know what is this? You know, but the thing is is like. If you. Don't say this to them because I just don't respond negatively, but I mean. If you do the whole story like one, I can fight, so it's like you know. I can fight I've I've done all the masking stuff? I've played all the football games like I've lifted weights I've been in weight room screaming with a bunch of guys like I've been in country fields want people stuff people doing? Doing the country, so it's like the stuff that we stereotypically think as masculine I've done all of that, so you're not going to discredit something like my writing or speaking, because you think it's not manly enough I. Don't I don't disagree. I don't agree with you guys like you're. You're wrong, you know. Oh, so you know you think that writing about an emotional thing or writing about emotions. Emotions is weak or you think that's a feminine thing I. Don't think so. You look at any any poet you know. Throughout the history of time, poets poets have all been men for the most part, and it's all been men talking about this love. He has for his woman or woman. He wants to get where they call them that. You know soft in the back then I don't think. Think so I. Don't think so at all, so it's like I. Think because of my background of being athlete in doing all those things that I. Just I don't allow the negativity to touch me whatsoever. I'll see it if it comes and it doesn't come much anymore. But when I first started, it came all. You need to be doing something tougher. This would work now. Everybody works out. Work out on the Internet. That's what everybody's doing i. have something different to offer and I would argue even tougher. It's much harder to be with your feelings and learn to communicate them than it is to distract yourself by going on a run or lifting heavy thing. You know and and I think that the the truth of the matter is that we can all overthink things when we get into our feelings. When we're trying to navigate a situation, we can all get stuck on the inner hamster wheel are. Are there ways that you? Are there tools developed to stop doing that. Within and where did those yeah? Where those kinds of things stem from d think. Y- I mean as a as an artist I think you probably can relate to this at different points in your story to is like I feel like overthinking something that artists do at some point or another. I think there is a path to getting through that so I've actually developed. Course called how to stop overthinking in. It's something that I talk about in my book for your energy, and with the for your energy thing. It. Really what you were just talking about just allowing yourself to be free, you know you can't create from from a place with your restricted. You think about Yoga for when you do yoga was the point of doing yoga is to breathe to become one with your breath. But we can attach different Staus Yoga will have You know different Asana 's. You have your different practices where you can hold like you have a Yin Yoga where you're holding it for five minutes like the point of doing that is to loosen up your body to free your body to free your spirit of free your energy to free yourself right. and. When you're able to free yourself, there's no overthinking. Because when you're free, you have confidence like freedom gives you confidence. Part of overthinking is because of a lack of confidence. Right like I don't know what to choose. I'm not confident in either choice, while if you free yourself and you allow yourself to have free thought. Allow your emotions to just flow freely. To answer will come to you in even if you pick wrong. That's okay because who has who hits at one hundred percent in life. You know nobody Michael Jordan won six championships. You've been fifty percent from the field. He missed half the shots. So you know you don't have to be right all the time, so my practice is I. I have a practice every morning a more I have a morning routine that I go through. And it's about a two hour routine pretty much the same stuff. I have a a hot face towel wash, wash my face every morning every single morning and will not do that I. Say affirmations to myself so this morning. This morning. Affirmations were Gift Sophia goes stories, Gift Sophie Augusta That was this morning, so it was me. You know trying to predict what I wanted to do like you know. Put myself in a space where I could do what I need to do for. This moment where we're creating you know, but it could be something as simple as. Simplify, your life today or just be good today all every single morning I. Tell Myself How I. WanNa feel you know then from there. I write out journal. I get out my journal in. Just Journal could be a quick to do list. It could be a along thaw it could be emotions could be a poem it could be lyric is just whatever comes to me. I just a little bit. And then depending on the day, I may go for wrong or for stretch just Kinda, wake my body up. Take my multivitamins literally like every morning. I do the same thing to reboot. You know my system. And one of the things I'll talk about. Course is the reason people overthink is because they're making too many decisions per day because we have such thing as decision fatigue, so if you can cultivate part of your day to be automatic to where there is no thinking to where there is no decisions, then your channel capacity for making decisions gets. The you have a longer duration of it. See I'm not making this. Let's get up at nine unless I go to sleep at night because of my morning routine, I'm not making decisions from nine tonight. I'm only making decisions from one tonight, because the majority of my day said also our meal prep, so every single morning I eat the same thing i. just meal prep on Sunday, so Mahmoud is done so i. don't have to think about what am I gonNA eat? Also what I do is I wear the same clothes? I have stuff that you know. If I if I'm going out or some you know you know we got those votes, but for the most part I wear black. T. Shirt. If I'm doing something where you I have a meeting, our collar. But pretty much the same thing, so the first four hours of my day. There's no thinking it's it's routine in. It's a routine allows me to heal. Cultivate my power as soon as I wake up I. Don't touch my own I, don't I? Don't do social media like if you look my social media posts go up at six in the morning, but I have a a scheduler. So what I do is I. Lo-. My social media posts the night before and then a post in the morning, so I'm not on social media when I wake up I. Don't see my phone till one o'clock in the afternoon. That's incredible. These Felix such major steps. Honestly to to. Even more than just taking care of ourselves to love ourselves better. I really really liked that. How do you think? Because you talk about your journaling practice and this is something that's been coming up a lot in conversation recently. I think so many of us are doing a lot of reflection right now and I know that myself included. There's so many people who want to start a journaling practice. It. Is there a kind of jumping off point that you recommend people. Yes, for sure who WanNa do that, so the very first thing is you have to still journal from seven eleven, okay? As far as informal skate, you don't steal the journal. You don't really want okay. No, please don't still please. That was just my childhood thing. Chasm yes, sarcasm, please. Still. That was a joke Look I think you gotta go into a freely. I think if you go into his saying. I'm going to control. What is going to be I. Think you don't allow yourself to be free. You know if you look at some of my old journals. When I was playing football, I will be drawn. Football plays our repeat drawn like star trek stuff, writing, and it would all be in this journal, and that's how your mind is. That's how your emotions are. Everything is flowing right. I saw a paper. The other day was saying that it was saying that on average was. It was saying that we have anywhere from sixty five thousand and eighty thousand dollars today. So. If that's true, you know you can't go into it. Saying Hey I'm going to control what I'm GONNA, write down! You have to just let it flow. You know your moods, your emotions just let it flow. You know if if I wrote right. No, I'm happy. I'm not I'm not hungry. I'm not hot like Mah motions. Ma where I feel right now is a very high vibrational. Talking with you talk about creativity in is diving in so many things so I'm feeling really good right now, so five journaled. It will be a very positive uplifting thing. But if I journal first thing in the morning, maybe before I, brush my teeth before wash buffets. You know it might not be that good. You know it might be. Something might be different, but. They're both okay. They're both acceptable, so if you're looking to get into a journal practice, just go into with the mindset of the purpose of me. journaling is for my own freedom. It's not for any desired outcome. And, then the last thing is, don't have. Of the length one-sentence might be all you do. Hell there has been times in my journal where I have just written one word, so it may be one word, it may be one sentence. It may flow in it. You may have this long poem at the Odyssey. Don't have any expectation on the outcome. I love that the purpose of my journaling for my own freedom. Is there two more questions for you? and. Thank you so much for your time. Is there a piece of writing. A phrase or a little paragraph or something just based on to your point, this kind of energetic space that we found ourselves in that you'd want to share with people at home listening. Care Package Book, this is. My Best Book Has Been My care package book people really. Really loved this book. So, on page, two thirty four. There's this quote that says a lot can happen in a year. And it's. When I remember writing in, it says. A lot can happen in a year. People die you outgrow old friends and get tired of me jobs. NEW CAREERS COM. New Friends find your soul. But no matter what you grow. You. Lose your mind a little bit. Most importantly, you get a little wiser. Your. Circle gives smaller because you get stricter with your energy and time. And if you're really lucky. You'll find love and Saudi yourself. Inside of friends and family. In, just maybe the universe will bless you with a lover who laughs at your lane jokes. And yet that's one of my favorite ones. Lock having a year. That feels very apropos right now. I'm my friend. My favorite thing to ask everyone who comes on this podcast. Because, it is called work in progress. I'm curious when you hear. The phrase whether it's something personal or professional. What feels like a work in progress in your life right now? Give both, can they go? He s please. Let's go professional. I in I can end on personal so professional. This year been. So you go from space where you're working at your corporation, you're moving into entrepreneurship. You've been in entrepreneurship for seven eight years. What happens, is you. Do you end up doing too much? You end up over working in the working fifty sixty hours you're. Not having balanced. and. It's a good thing and I. I believe in duality. It's a good thing because there is a reward. For committing yourself to that type of work to that often to that frequency. But it's not a good thing because like I said you don't have the balance right in so this year coming into this year, my whole goal was to teach myself how to balance. So I was able to hire new people so hire new employees expand Montaigne. I was able to get some of the things off my plate that I'm not good at Mike Email and things like that. I'm not good at e mail responded. I'm really not good at that. Like mom ridden butter, creating in those I gotta spend time creating. In what was happening is my business was growing so much. That I was spending time there will be day. There will be weeks where I wasn't writing at all. Because all I'm doing. is you know editing videos or doing email Sedna podcast travel like? Lebron James it best. You GotTa, keep the main thing the main thing. The main thing for me is writing books so I had to kind of reverse engineer. You Norma. How was set up so I could get some balance in my life because I believe in balance, a believing in our body in our bodies, homeo- spaces. You know our bodies consistently looking for ballots. So Corona actually helped me with that balance. Because Corona has taken some things off my plate. From a business perspective that I didn't have that, I probably wouldn't have done. And it's helped me. Get a new balance so when when? We go to quote unquote normal. There are certain things that I'm GONNA to have to have a healthy bound with say no I can't do this because it's going to disrupt my balance that I've learned through the corona virus so I'm I'm very? Very grateful for where I am personally professional, she say on because I finally have balanced. I'm able to work work hard work. Smart in working smart is more important than working hard. That's what I've realized is so much more importance to work smart in a finally realized I need to work smart, not heart I needed to card at different times in my life, the moving forward. I WANNA work smart efficient. Would it make sure I have routine? I WANNA. Make sure I'm optimizing my time. And then also I need my personal time. The reason ema, personal time and the reason I'm a work in progress in the personal space, because I'm a new father, are so my son. His name is Mason in. Being, a father is something that I don't know what I'm doing. I have no clue whatsoever, so it's completely new space where every day I'm learning and I'm trying to figure out like I made him cry the other day. Because I was mocking him, he was like screaming. He's like yeah, yeah, so I like I tried to do it back to him I. Started crying and so I felt so bad because I feel like I made him cries, apologize to him, and I'm like Hey, man, I'm sorry. I was just mocking. You thought it was fun you know. And then he started laughing at me now you know he forgave me. So being father is something where it's like, I don't know what I'm doing. You know in some trying to figure it out. I'm trying to help the mother because she's amazing, she she's don't everything to make sure survives. And it's just. It's crazy. Experience. Go from like! Not like even a year ago, like the like the quote says like a year ago I didn't have a kid. Now have a kid in. It's like your mind shifts to like a new space in like four four. In the morning yesterday I woke up because I heard him scream in the middle of the night, so I woke up, and I'm like investigating I'm thinking. Somebody's in the house. Somebody's kidnapping him. He was just hungry. You know so far. I yeah, just adjusting to being a new father, and that is another reason why I wanted to balance. You know I didn't want to be someone who? Is overworking when you know kid at home. 'cause fatherhood is very important to me. That's one of the things that I WANNA do great. You Know I. Want my next book to do great. I want fatherhood to be great. You Know I. Want my course to do great. I want my life to be great. I Want I. Want to just have complete abundance in all pillars of my life. You know and I need that balance to do that. I, can't. I can't be overbalanced. I've gotTa make sure everything is getting enough of me. Thefts inspiring. Certainly something I know I'm working on is figuring out how to. Reduce a little bit. So that it's only the really really good stuff that remains, you know it's Har-. It's hard especially when you. When what you do impact so many other people May Get rid of this while now, this person's not gonNA. EAT, or they're not gonNA. Make the money that they're making off me. It's like that's the hard thing is when you're when you kind of become like a little quote, unquote empire and you have people who are dependent on your success is hard to. Think of Oh i. don't need to grow especially. We both work in business where they say you need growth. You need new customers. You need expanding where it's like well. Do I really. Say It's it's tough. It's a tough thing to figure out. On where we go. Where we go. This show is executive produced by me. Sophia Bush and Sims Arna. Our supervising producer is Alison Bresnik, our associate producer Kate Lee. Our editor is Josh. Wendish and our music was written by Jack. Garrett and produced by Mark Foster. The show is brought to you by cloud, ten and brilliant, Adamy powered by some cast sh.