On today’s show, host Tony Lister walks a socially dangerous line.The fine line between acknowledging the reality of this illness and the tragedies people have experienced and the fear of the unknown that is far scarier than most realities. Tony teaches high stakes negotiations, and leaving the other party in the dark to face their own fears of the unknown is far more effective than giving them the facts. In this episode, he is traveling home from a trip on a near-empty plane and shares some in-the-moment thoughts about how the world has changed and what we can do in our individual lives to manage the new world.
I always imagined what would it be like to have my own airplane and hangar that I could come to until I actually experienced that happening. I'm on a flight coming home. My state has called for some stupid word to go home and lock down. I'm going to try and do my best in this show not to make this about my personal views of what's happening, but more about a conversation of how can we dynamically reinvent ourselves. The strangest thing is to come off of an airplane and have no one else on the airplane or to walk through this terminal. I was here before and this place was loaded to the gills with people.
This restaurant was completely full and now it's closed. I was in Salt Lake City airport and it was full of people that you could hardly get through the walkway. I was at the Los Angeles airport, it was so busy and full. It's unbelievable how busy it was. I was in Istanbul Turkey airport, if you ever have the chance to see the airport. The architecture in Istanbul is unbelievable, but the airport itself is this magnificent building and it was loaded with people from every part of the world. Flying on Turkish Air,which has more destinations to places in the world than any other airline. I was in Nepal for a week on a spiritual adventure retreat. I was in an orphanage.
I was all over the world and then all of a sudden in no time, our entire world has changed. I want to talk about that a little bit because most of the episodes that you're reading were during the fall. As a result of living the space that I'm teaching here, a whole bunch of opportunities opened up for me and I became very busy. I ended up in a space of not launching because many things opened up. It's interesting to be in space. I've spent time with people. This one guy was in the place of selling his business for $6 million and in his own words, he's like, “I’ve got more money than I can spend.” He's going to spend the next period of the time of his life traveling and trying to decide what to do.
People with extreme resources to people like my wonderful yoga instructor who all of her private clients canceled and the yoga studio closed. She doesn't know how to pay her $400 rent that's coming due. One of my clients' friends has got 300 employees and he's in this scramble to try to figure out what to do with cashflow as a whole bunch of his clients has backed out. Vendors don't know what they're doing and supply chains are broken and to observe how different human beings are experiencing this. I'm a student of humanity. I like to sit and watch how people respond and how they react to things, but to put the sit and watch this worldwide experience and how we're all handling it depending on what our circumstances are.
I know for me, I had an emergency trip that I needed to take because I'm not just in reinvention mode. My entire business got shut down by the government. The hotels where we had events booked with the rules and social distancing and all these things came and shut our business down. It's not like an adjustment. It's not like we're going to sit down for a couple of weeks in quarantine. It is a complete reinvention of the entire business model of what I and my business partners do. I don't know what this is for you, but I want it to do this particular episode to talk about this important skill.
It's interesting because I had this on the list of topics I wanted to teach here on this show. It’s the idea of dynamically reinventing yourself. This ability to quickly adapt, which is interesting. If you've read the first three episodes, you'll know that several months ago my family had a reinvention. That business ran out of my parents' living room and kitchen for several months. As they got the business off the ground and eventually got some office space and moved in, they have gotten nothing to takeoff and do well. My family had this dynamic reinvention and I know that along the way, I would see different people and the businesses would adjust.
This gentleman that I was spending time with was going to sell his company, his fiancé, he came home one day and she had left. She went to a foreign country and stopped talking to him. He had this startling experience that he was missing some cues in that relationship. She was not expressing what was going on in her world, but it was like this dynamic reinvention in his personal life. I was thinking of this on a micro-level. It’s like one family might have to reinvent themselves and create a new business or one person might have to reinvent themselves and create a new relationship. Whatever circumstance, we find ourselves in jobs change, promotions happen or don't happen, but to have the entire planet in timeout and sent to their rooms.
I don't know which is worse, the element of my dislike of the social distancing that's being pushed or the shaming that they're getting us to do to each other. It's fascinating to me how somehow, we have agreed to shame the shit out of each other if we're not adhering to whatever these different things or the way each person thinks or the rapidly changing social agreement around this. It is fascinating to me how we're all jumping onboard with this. I worked with a woman who lives in a part of the world where women aren't allowed to show their faces. There were some changes happening in that particular culture where she lived in. There were women who were starting to come out in public. There were men who were doing some shaming.
I was having dinner with her talking about this revolution that was happening in her culture. She said that the part that was the most destructive was that they were enrolling women to do the shaming because the women weren't listening to the men shaming them anymore. They didn't want to hear it. I don’t want to get into the politics of this because as you can tell, I have some strong feelings about this. I wanted to insert this episode right now because now, more than ever, we have to learn how to dynamically reinvent ourselves quickly. What does this mean and for you? I don't know how this is going to affect you. I had a call one time with the person that owns the podcast hosting company that I use for my show. He said his business is booming and it's picking up because of social distancing. His business is doing well.
My business partners and I saw people in disarray and fear, so we decided to create what we called The Legendary 21-Day Challenge, which is this online 21-day live interactive course. We thought maybe we'd get a couple of hundred people that would join in. It was so popular that we've had 750 people join it in the first week. It's a free course. It’s not like it's a moneymaker for us. Some businesses are having a lot of activity and a lot of flourishing around them and other businesses. My grandpa started a travel agency many years ago and the family member still runs it and they've had to close. It's not clear what's going to happen in the travel industry. The airline industry is struggling.
My dear friends that run these wonderful restaurants in this little town where I live, they're trying to live off of this takeout food stuff. There are many of us that are radically affected by this and there are some of us that are sitting back and we're bored because we've been sent home. We have to sit around. It's going to affect all of us indifferent ways. This is a crazy game of musical chairs where we've been going around and someone turned the lights off and pretty soon, they'll turn the lights back on and some of the chairs are going to be gone. Some of the businesses are not going to come back.
There just aren't enough resources to restart things fast enough for things to be what they were. Everything has changed and none of us know. I’m doing this episode in a space of complete unknown because none of us know what's going to happen. I wanted to capture this message right now. It could be that everything pops back on and things come back to normal and the stimulus and the virus are able to be contained on some level. Life goes back to a semblance of normalcy and there are a few pockets of businesses that suffer or it could be some major depression, but that'snot even the point of this.
What I want to drill home for you is now more than ever. It's weird to me. I was reading the first few episodes of this blog while I was on this flight and I was talking about in the coming days, the things are going to change quickly in the marketplace. In the future, we're going to have to adapt more quickly and technology changes things. I never imagined everything was going to get thrown up in the air all at the same time and no one would know where the pieces would land. None of us could have. This idea of dynamically reinventing ourselves on many layers means that in the work that you do, you have to adapt quickly.
You have to learn to become flexible and you have to learn how to not demand that things show up the way that they have shown up. Because if you get stuck in that rigidity, then you get crushed by the changes. We have to shift how we're showing up. We have to shift how we're approaching things. Whether we like it or not, there are laws and social rules that are happening. There are real illnesses and people are dying, businesses are changing, adapting and closing. Markets have come down. The stock market has crashed. There are all these different things that are happening.
We on an individual level have to learn how to do things in new ways that we haven't done them before. This brings massive uncertainty and massive stress. The problem is it brings this level of tension and anxiety that over time it wears us down. I talk about in one of the episodes further in the line about this time I was in a major earthquake and I lived in on the coast of Northern Chile. I was maybe four blocks from the ocean and it was a big earthquake. It was 7.8 on the Richter scale. It lasted for almost three minutes and in the middle of the night, we had to run for our lives. I ended up getting in the back of this truck. I don't even know who was driving or whose it was.
I jumped in and we tear off for the desert in the middle of the night. I turned to the people. There were fifteen people crammed in the back of this truck and I'm like, “A donde vamos?” Because I didn't know where we were going and it means, “Where are we going?” Everyone turns all at the same time and says, “El tsunami.” I was like, “I know what a tsunami is.That's the giant tidal wave that follows an earthquake.” I could see the ocean and I could walk to it in a few minutes, but that shock was not the part that was damaging. My nervous system still freaks out when I hear a sound like an earthquake. It was the aftershocks that happened day-after-day over the next month until I moved out of that town and it wore me down. It rattled me. It broke my sensitivities to life. It robbed me of my joy and that's the danger of this situation.
Dynamically reinventing ourselves is scary.It’s not knowing what's coming next brings this uncertainty, tension, fear and it wears down our nerve endings. It wears down our body's ability to adapt and we become hypersensitive. I was reading this study about this. The nerve endings in our body have this coating around them that keeps them from being stimulated all the time. In a situation where there's repeated stress, there's too much cortisol in the system where there's ongoing tension, that covering wears down and then our nerves become easily overstimulated, hypersensitive. For me when I was walking down the street and there'd be a little tiny earthquake,the telephone wires would shift a little bit. I would immediately go back to complete absolute terror of what it was like to be in the dark and have the place shaking and waiting to fall. I’m waiting for the building to collapse and for me to die and the sense of falling in the dark and never hitting the bottom. I would be taken back to that over and over until I was a basket case. It took me easily a year to feel normal again.
There’s this danger in this process. It's one thing to have to adapt, to learn new skills and to try something we haven't tried before to do things that have scared us in the past. Those are all scary things, but to have it all at the same time when there's this massive phobia of this virus, which hasn't killed very many people. I don't want to downplay the deaths because those are families that have lost people. The damage to our economy is going to cause a tremendous amount of suffering and disruption to our lives. It will disrupt a lot more lives than the families that lost a family member. I don't want to be insensitive at this.
I have family members that are at high risk for this. I'm not under any illusion that I won't mourn at some point because of this from a direct loss. We're going through this all at the same time. This freak-out. This idea of dynamically reinventing yourself has several layers. There's the layer of how you show up and skill development. There's a layer of changes in your daily schedule and changes in society. In my bag, I have toilet paper. My wife called my business partner and said, “Promise when he leaves that you'll have him take a roll of toilet paper from the place where you are staying,” because we're out and we have six people in our house. There's no toilet paper in the stores. It's like this strange social behavior.
Dynamically reinventing ourselves means that we might need to adapt what we expect in terms of finances. We might have changes. Some people are going to make more money, some people are going to lose things. Some people lost money in the markets. Some people have complete disruptions. Dynamically reinventing ourselves means that there's a new social agreement that we have to accept to a certain degree, but I think the hardest part for me when I've gone through a reinvention and I want you to contemplate this, there are two layers. The first is the layer of stress, that unknown,tight gut, tension and uncertainty. It's hard and it wears me down day-after-day like, “How am I going to do this? What's going to happen to that?” That part becomes this grinding, draining beat down of an experience.
The other that was one of the hardest for me and we'll see how this one goes from me this time. It was, who am I if I no longer have these things that gave me a sense of me? Who am I if I don't have that money I once had? When I went through and lost my business, the identity and my public speaking business closed years ago? I went from being in demand and people wanting to hear what I had to say to no one listening to me and asking what I thought. It was like this identity question, “Who am I if I don't have my way of making livelihood or if I'm not able to provide the way that it provided? Who am I if I have to leave the housing that I was in? Who am I if I don't have the vehicle that I had? Who am I if I lose the freedom or the mobility that I had?”
I had some magnificent world trips in thel ast couple of months. I've done two events in Costa Rica and then I did this incredible event in Nepal. I had this experience of sleeping in an orphanage in the Himalayas. An orphan shared his bed and I slept on his bed, while he slept on the floor. I've had some beautiful stretching, humbling, exhilarating experiences and I felt the world was such a small place. The whole world was accessible if I was willing to hand over my credit card and sit inside an airplane seat for long enough. It took me 55 hours to get home from Nepal. If I was willing to sit in that suffering for long enough, the world was accessible and then all of a sudden it wasn't.
When I get in my car, I'm going to travel back into my state and I'm anticipating getting pulled over because no one's allowed to be out. I'm going to have to talk my way through explaining I was out of the state when the order happened and I'm going home. It’s weird. The whole thing is crazy, but the hardest part for me was by far this question of, “Who am I?” I felt like a loser. I felt like the things that haunted me when I was young of, “Will I measure up? Will I amount to anything? Am I valuable? Am I cool? Am I popular?”
These young things that happened in grade school and I didn't have the right kind of jeans. I thought if I could get some Levi's jeans, I would be cool. I started delivering papers at eleven years old at 5:30 in the morning so I could buy Levi's jeans. I thought it was going to fill something in me. The same thing haunted me when I was in my twenties. I thought if I could buy this BMW or sports car of some kind, then I would finally be cool. Having to adapt, having to cycle through some of my possessions. Sell my houses, my cars, my toys, losing my good credit and getting sued. All these different things that challenged this core story of, “Who am I? Am I important or whatever it was I was trying to accomplish with all that work that I was doing?”
This is a tough situation. There are the fears that come up of going. I have five children and there's this conversation in me of dynamic reinvention of going, “How am I going to provide for these children?” There's the stress on relationships. How does this uncertainty affect the ability to connect? How does this affect the opportunities for my kids and the future? How does it affect my neighbors, my friends, and my family members? What will they do when so many of us are displaced all at the same time? What do we do? I ask this question with so much compassion having lived it on my own little scale and having watched other people live it and now we'rein the shakeup where there's going to be a lot of changes.
I don't know what they mean. Some of them will be positive and some of them will be negative. Some of us will become deeply connected to ourselves. Maybe some of us become less attached to our material possessions to try to prove something about ourselves, which I think it's a good thing. Some of us will become more compassionate, caring and aware. We'regoing to help and we're going to serve. Some of us are going to adjust what we throw our lives into, what we trade our life for. Some people are going tosuffer and some people are going to die and it’s crazy. A little part of me was like, “You're going to plug this idea of the flow state,” but it's not a plug.
A couple of days into this happening, I got online and I started making videos where I would lead a breathing exercise every morning at 8:00 on Facebook and people started joining in. The reason I led it is because the process I used to shift out of complete insanity,complete utter uncertainty, tension, nervousness and chaos was through breathing. The breathing exercises that I could get back to a place of calm. I could go sit in nature, I could hear my intuition and I would know what to do next. I don’t know. I'm just one person that figured out how to live a certain way and it worked.
It worked to do this process that I teach.You can get the mini-course. I don't want to try to use up all the space in this episode of saying, “Here's how you do the breathing. Here are the rituals that would get you into this peak state.” Get the free course and I'll talk you through those. When you do those things, what I've experienced and what thousands of people that I've taught how to do this have experienced is that they start to manifest more luck. They start to manifest synchronicity. They start to have more calm and they start to like themselves. They start to accept themselves. They start to have a greater sense of power to create the things they want to create in their lives.
I have this question on my mind. I'm going to say it out loud, “Does it still work? Can you still manifest luck and synchronicity when the world's upside down? Can you still manifest greater connection when everybody's freaking out and there's this mandated social distancing? Can you still manifest synchronicities? Can you still manifest a dream that you want to experience?” I happen to think that it still works and I will be honest in saying I've been freaking out sometimes. I know that if I stay in freak out, then I tend to manifest actions and choices that lead to more freak out, being afraid and lost. I don't know where this is going to land for me in my business. I don't know if it's going to wipe out all the assets that I have, but I'm not afraid of that the way I once was. It's uncomfortable.I hope that I can dynamically adapt in a way that this becomes profitable, that I figured out a way to serve on a level that generates profits and I can live that lifestyle that I want to live.
We're still on lockdown. Who knows? None of us do. I believe that there's a truth to the stuff that I've been teaching and I'm going to teach you. I'm jumping the gun in the episode sequence.There's a bunch of stuff I'm about to teach you and I know I've already done those episodes. In my mind, you already know that information. You're going to get that information. Come along for the ride. I've witnessed this for many years and I've seen it with many people. We've been doing this 21-day challenge on Facebook and about 750 people have joined it. People are talking about incredible miracles they're experiencing. The connection they're experiencing,health and calmness. They're experiencing joy in the midst of this chaos because they're learning how to calm their nervous system. It's this concept I call Radical Leadership. It's about taking charge of your inner world first,taking back your inner state and your emotions.
It's done through these different exercises of movement, breathing, stepping out of the chaos, breaking the cycle of the spiraling thoughts and getting back into nature and doing these different things. There's this curiosity in me, “Will this still work when the lights come back on? Can this work for you?” That's why I'm launching this.That's why I'm creating this. I saw many people that were in terror, suffering and we're freaking out and I've been through this a few times in my life. I know that these tools have worked to help calm my nervous system and to keep me from spiraling through the fears. I have my moments and I know how to shake out of it and to come back to a place of calm. What's been fascinating for me as we've been creating this course online, sharing, serving and interacting with many beautiful people is that when we have a focus of what we're creating rather than going, “What the hell is going on? What are we going to do?”
When we shift out of that into creation,we can approach each day with this gratitude. We can approach each day with calmness. We can approach this day with a purpose and we navigate this. We figure it out. We dynamically reinvent. Your willingness to dynamically reinvent your identity of who you are with your stuff or without your stuff. Who you are with the relationships or without the relationships. Who you are if your body looks this way or doesn't look that way. Who you are and your role in society and the house that you live in, the car that you drive, the job that you have and don't have. Your willingness to quickly reinvent your skills. To quickly reinvent how you process you and your inner world in this stress and create new rituals so that this doesn't own you, so you don't become a victim of this spiral.
Your ability to do that quickly is your ability to create the life that you're living. I am honored that you joined me for this ride. I have so much love coming from you of this uncertainty, chaos,the fear and the insanity of this experience. I'm honored to have you along to be able to teach you these tools as you move forward. I wanted to capture this at the moment because it was such a crazy experience that we're having as humans on the planet. I'm grateful to be able to share these tools that have been a gift in the chaos of my life. I hope that you use them to create a little oasis,a little calm in the storm. I look forward to talking to you in the next episode. In the meantime, create yourself a fantastic day.