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In episode #884 of my podcast Muscle for Life (, I speak with scientist and researcher @billcampbellphd about flexible dieting.

Specifically, Dr. Campbell and I talk about . . .

– Results of the IIFYM vs. rigid dieting study out of his lab

– What actually causes weight regain after a diet

– The effect of processed food on hunger and weight loss (and a simple tip to eat more unprocessed foods)

– And more!

To give this episode (#884) a listen, look up my podcast (Muscle for Life), or go here:

In this podcast, I’m once again chatting with Alex Banayan, but this time, I fielded questions from my followers over on Instagram all about mindset, success, and achieving your dreams.

In case you missed my first chat with Alex and you’re not familiar with him, his book The Third Door, which is all about his 7-year journey to interview some of the most successful people in the world, has made him the youngest bestselling business author in American history, and the book is a number one international bestseller. 

He’s been named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list and Business Insider’s “Most Powerful People Under 30,” and been featured in Fortune, CNBC, Businessweek, The Washington Post, MSNBC, Fox News, and NBC News.

In this discussion, Alex and I talk about . . .

  • How to deal with friends and family who are dismissive and negative about your goals and dreams
  • The best way to deal with imposter syndrome (and why you shouldn’t worry about it)
  • Why honesty and integrity matter more than you think
  • His 30-day clarity challenge, which is a tool to gain awareness so you can plan where you’re going. (A description of the challenge is also linked in the show notes.)
  • When quitting and giving up on a goal might be appropriate
  • And more . . .

So if you want to hear some of our thoughts on chasing your dreams and how to develop the mindset necessary for success, don’t miss this interview! And if you enjoyed the discussion, don’t forget to check out my first interview with Alex.


0:00 – Legion VIP One-on-One Coaching:

5:59 – How do you deal with friends and family that are not supportive of your goals?  

17:03 – What about people that are always pessimistic? 

40:00 – How do you deal with imposter syndrome? 

55:46- Why does humanization matter? 

1:00:02 – What are your thoughts on giving up on a goal? 

1:11:00 – Where can people find you and your work?

Mentioned on the Show:

Legion VIP One-on-One Coaching

The Third Door

Alex Banayan’s website

Alex’s Instagram

30-Day Clarity Challenge

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!


Mike: Hello, hello, and welcome to another episode of Muscle for Life. I’m Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today to hear me chat once again with Alex Benign. And this time I fielded questions from my followers over on Instagram at Muscle for Life Fitness, follow me all about mindset, success and achieving your dreams.

And I took a, a handful of the questions that I thought were more interesting and invited Alex to come back on the show and discuss them. And in case you missed my first interview with Alex, and you are not familiar with him, he wrote a book called The Third Door, which is all about his seven year journey to interview some of the most successful people in the world.

And that book became a big bestseller. In fact, it made him the youngest bestselling business author in American History. Sounds, uh, a bit grand eloquent, but it’s true. And the book is a bestseller all around the world. And Alex has been named to Forbes’s 30 Under 30 List Business Insiders, most Powerful People Under 30.

He’s been featured in Fortune, cn, BBC Business Week, the Washington Post, m sn B msnbc, Fox News, and NBC News. And in this discussion, Alex and I talk about how to deal with friends and family who are dismissive and who are negative about your goals and dreams, how to deal with imposter syndrome and why you really shouldn’t worry about it.

Why honesty and integrity matter a lot more than many people think. Alex shares something that he refers to as his 30 Day Clarity challenge, which is a tool that he uses to gain awareness so he can plan where he’s going and understand why. And finally Alex and I talk about when to quit, when giving up on a goal might be appropriate.

Before we get into it, do you want to transform your body but you just can’t seem to break out of the rut? Have you read books and articles, watched videos, listened to podcasts, but still just aren’t sure exactly how to put all the pieces together for you? Or maybe you know what to do, but you’re still struggling to stay motivated and on track and do the things that you know you should do well, if you are nodding your head, I understand getting into great shape is pretty straightforward when you know what to do.

But it’s not easy. It takes time, it takes effort, it takes grit, and that’s why I created my v i P one-on-one coaching service. We take people by the hand and we give them everything they need to build their best body ever. We give them a custom diet plan, training plan, supplementation plan. If they want supplements.

You don’t have to take supplements. We coach them on how to do every exercise correctly. We give them emotional encouragement and support, accountability, and the rest of it, and we are pretty good at it too. We have worked with thousands of men and women of all ages and abilities and lifestyles and help them build a body they can be proud of.

And guess what? We can probably do the same for you. Our service is not for everyone, but if you want to find out if it’s for you, if there’s a fit, head over to buy That’s B u i p. And book your free consultation call now. Hey, Alex, welcome back to my podcast. Thanks for taking the time to do this.

Thanks for being flexible, giving me an extra 15 minutes to jam my salad down as quickly as I 

Alex: could. I’m excited to see you again, man. It’s gonna be a lot of fun. 

Mike: Yeah. Yeah. So, um, for, for people listening a little bit of context, so this is, this is the second interview. This is the second discussion actually, period that I’ve, that I’ve had with Alex.

If you, I guess you can’t count the little offline banter, but, um, and, and in our first interview we talked about his book, which you can see if you’re watching in the back there, the third door and what that means. And a lot of it is, I, I guess to use a, a term that I don’t like and, and I wouldn’t, uh, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t affix to in duct tape to your forehead, but, but it’s kinda like the hustle mentality.

Again, I don’t like the term, but it’s figuring out how to make things happen. How to, how to. Think outside the box, um, how to be resourceful and, and how that relates to achieving dreams. And Alex and I had a, had a fun time and had a, uh, a meeting of mine, so to speak, and I got a, a lot of good feedback on that.

So here we are to do a follow up round two. I love a good round two. Exactly. So, um, for people listening, I, I wouldn’t say that you need to go listen to the first to, to enjoy this one, but certainly if you like this one, if you just stick to this one, then I would go back and I would recommend the first, uh, because I think you’ll like that as well.

And so for this one, what I did is I, I put up a, an Instagram story and said, Hey, I’m gonna be doing another podcast with Alex about achieving dreams, about what kind of mindset is needed for success. Left it kind of broad and, and just ask people to give me some questions to, to give to Alex, to hear him talk about mostly him.

Uh, I, I’ll be a good interviewer and I’ve, I’ve had to get better over the years. Uh, mostly, mostly shutting up and, um, so that’s what we’re here to do, Alex. Great. 

Alex: I’m excited to do it. And, uh, I’m excited. Your audience, uh, got to be part of this, uh, and pose their own questions. It’ll be a lot of fun. Yeah. 

Mike: Um, and, and I chose questions too that I have, these are things I’ve been asked about fairly frequently, so I, I think they’re gonna have pretty broad appeals.

So why don’t we start with, let’s start with this one. This is, this is certainly one that, uh, it applies to fitness, it applies to many things, and that is dealing with friends or family, or just people in our lives who are not supportive of us, who criticize us, maybe even a, in a kind of a backhanded way, or who simply don’t believe in us and make it clear that they don’t really believe in us or have no interest in.

Mm-hmm. Our goals. And I, I’ve heard, again, I’ve heard this from many people over the years, specifically with fitness, where somebody starts getting into better shape and instead of getting even just a little bit of encouragement from people close to them, they, they get discouraged, they get criticized, they get, you know, make little jokes now how they’ve, cuz they’ve changed their diet.

Oh, now they’re one of those people, one of the Tupperware uh, people Sure. Or one of the, the calorie counter people, you know. And, um, and that of course then happens in, in every, in every area of life, any goal that, that someone is trying to achieve, they often are dealing with people who are either, uh, explicitly trying to get in the way or are accidentally getting in the way.

Alex: Yeah. I’ll give you right off the top first sentence, what the straight up answer is, and then I’ll give you the reason why it’s so painful and such a big problem. It’s two different things right off the bat, just after 10 years of studying the world’s most successful people and also going on my own journey as well, the answer here, you know, what do you do when you’re dealing with family, friends, coworkers, colleagues, um, peers who don’t support you, for lack of a better word, just shit on your dreams, shit on your goals.

Fitness goals, personal goals. Relationship goals. Uh, career goals. Financial goals. Yeah, financial goals. Um, and I’ll tell you what’s even worse than them shitting on you. Them pretending they’re not shitting on you and telling you logically why it won’t work. That’s even worse. That’s true. It’s a lot better.


Mike: that’s the in, that’s the third door. That’s the insidious, that’s the knife in the back. It’s, it’s 

Alex: a lot better if they just straight up say, well, I hate you and I’m gonna shit on you. I 

Mike: just don’t like seeing you do 

Alex: well. So, right. But instead it doesn’t come out like that. Do you know what it comes out like?

Listen, I love you. Listen, I care about you. But that’s how it starts. And right off the bat, I’ll just tell you the headline here, the headline answer. It’s not about you. It’s not about you. When someone is treating you like an emotional dumpster, where they are just shitting and pouring out their negativity, their toxicity, their anger, their resentment, their uh, pessimism, it’s not about you.

Now there’s a big difference between you go to 12, really admire and all in their own way. I’ll point out, hey, maybe this, maybe the way you’re doing your squats. If you talk to 12 trainers and they all say your squat form is wrong, that’s not a personal attack. That’s, uh, maybe a consensus of feedback. Um, but what we are talking about, which we do know is.

When you do have a big dream and someone, and many times it’s one of the people closest to you tells you why what you’re doing is a bad idea and God forbid that you are, uh, think too highly of yourself or you, um, think you are, uh, you know, you’re so special that you can just go after things like this and you don’t understand the way the world works.

Now, I’ll give you a little context, you know, to my, uh, very personal expertise on this. You know, as you know, when I was 18, you know, I was lying on my dorm room bed staring up at the ceiling, going through this, what I wanna do with my life crisis. And, you know, those of you who listened to the first podcast we did together, you know, that, you know, I’m the son of Persian Jewish immigrants.

I came outta the womb with md, stamped on my behind, and was sent on my way. And by the time I got to college, I was a pre-med of pre-meds. But very quickly I began wondering, you know, Whether I was on my path or whether I was on a path that somebody else placed me on. So I had this crazy idea at 18 of, all right, let me just go interview all these people who I look up to, whether it was for business, bill Gates, music Lady Gaga, science, Jane Goodall, Maya Angelou, Quincy Jones, Steve Wazniak, Larry King, Jess, gaba, pit Bull.

And I sort of made this ridiculous list as an 18 year old. And I said, all right, I’ll go track these people down and go learn how they launch their careers and try to uncover the mindset of success. Um, and you know, we talked about in the first one, I used the prices, right? I hacked it, won a sailboat, sold the sailboat, and used that money to fund the journey.

Um, but what we didn’t talk about in that first episode is how many people heard the exact pitch from me as an 18 year old? And some said it was one of the best ideas they’ve ever heard, and some said it was one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard. And some even made those attacks very personal. Some said, Alex, you are a genius.

And some says, Alex, you are an idiot. You know, they rarely, uh, and you know, they rarely poke holes in the idea, and they, some people like to really go and make it personal, uh, on both sets of the spectrum. And what there’s a form of, uh, almost emotional torture. And I use that word very seriously when people who you either depend on, feel a sense of belonging with or look up to tell you that what you, you earn for whatever that is, whether it’s a fitness goal or a career goal, something you’re yearning for from the inside is a horrible idea and it won’t work.

And you’re dumb, stupid, entitled, arrogant to even want to pursue it. And I’ll tell you why it’s so painful. From our basic, you know, evolutionary standpoint, the number one most dangerous thing for an early, early human to do, but also a current human to do was leave the tribe. It human beings are not the strongest or the fastest animals out on the Savannah, but when we stayed in a group and worked together, we could take down a, you know, an elephant.

We can take down a lion as a group, but you know, you gotta be a special, kind of crazy to go after a lion with your bare hands all by yourself. So, reproduction, eating, safety, all work better when we stay in the tribe, but that’s an evolutionary situation. The reality is, All righty, you’re going after your dreams right now.

You wanna write a book, start a podcast, um, you know, drop 50 pounds, gain 20 pounds, whatever your goal is. When people, and I’ll tell you, and I’m sure you’ve experienced this in your own life too, when people are shitting on you, it’s because there’s a part of themselves they hate. There’s a moment, and, and by the way, they’re almost never self-aware of this.

They’re never gonna disclaimer you and say, Hey, the reason I’m shooting on you is because I don’t like how my body looks, and it makes me feel bad. You know, that you are trying to improve it, or, I actually never follow my dreams, so it hurts me to see you try to do something that I never had the courage to do, or.

Sometimes it’s not even a personal thing since it’s just unprocessed fear. You know, I came from immigrant parents. Uh, my parents and grandparents came from Iran to America 40 years ago. Um, and I was born here in California and I. It was like World War III in my house when I thought about dropping outta school to go right the third door.

And it’s taken me many years to realize my grandparents literally fled a revolution so I could come here and have a safe, predictable life. So God forbid their, you know, grandson who they sacrificed everything for. My parents took two mortgage on the house to help pay for my school, God forbid. And he wants to throw it all away to go, you know, talk to Bill Gates for an hour and write about in a book.

This is become a starving artist. Yeah. This is their worst nightmare. They, you know, they’ve sacrificed for decades. So I could have a safe, predictable life as a doctor, um, and have a family of my own and everything be nice and simple. And of course, that wasn’t what my heart, you know, yearned for. And when you look at the third door analogy, you know, there’s the first door, the main entrance where the line curves are on the block where 99% of people wait around hoping to get in.

And then there’s a second door in the V I P entrance where the billionaires and celebrities go through, and for some reason, school and society have this way of making us feel like those are only two ways in. You either wait your turn or you’re born into it. But what I learned and what you know, you’ve seen many times in your career is there’s always, always the third door.

And if the door where you jump out of line, run down the alley, bang on the door a hundred times, crack open the window, go through the kitchen, there’s always a way in. So not only is that, you know, the title and the thesis of the book, it also is the answer to your original question, which is if you are standing in line for the first door, if you’re imagining that visual.

And in that line are all your friends, all your coworkers, all your, um, even family members are all in that line for the first door. And let’s say, Mike, you are crazy enough to say, do you know what? I leave in myself enough, and maybe I don’t even believe in myself enough, but I just want a life of fulfillment.

I’m gonna leave this line and go run down an alley and cross my fingers and hope it works. Uh, the people who are standing in the line that you just, uh, you know, even though it wasn’t your time to sort of ditched, it takes some people with a lot of self-love and a lot of compassion for themselves to, to see you going after your dream is not an indictment on them.

And the people who give a really harsh reaction are people who, you know, God bless them, uh, are struggling inside whether they know it or not. And again, we’re not talking about constructive feedback of, Hey Alex, I actually think your book could be better if it was written as a narrative as opposed to a q and a.

No, we’re saying you are an entitled piece of shit for thinking you are good enough to go do this. Oh, you think you’re such a hotshot? Those and those kind of responses, which I got. Um, we’re talking about those. So that’s a really important question because it applies to anyone who’s setting off to start something new.

And what 

Mike: about people who are just always pessimistic even, and maybe they are specific where, uh, the you, you have this strong ad hominem type of reaction. Um, and then I’m just thinking of people I’ve come across in. Uh, in my travels, and I’ve had maybe a little bit of that. Not much, maybe just because I don’t know exactly why, actually, my, certainly my personality, um, I’m not a confrontational person, but I’m not afraid of confrontation and I just would never let anybody treat me like there’s, that’s just not me.

You know what I mean? Yeah. That they’re, they’re gonna get deleted real fast no matter who they are. I mean, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t care who it is, anybody. It could be my mom if she were to start treating me like that. That’s it. I’m not talking to my mom anymore. And that’s the end of it. Um, for no good reason.

Whatever. I mean, add the, add the asterisks. Right. And my mom is listening. I didn’t pick you specifically. I’m just giving an example of how extremely I feel about that. Right. Um, 

Alex: however, no, it’s about standing up for your own dignity. I think that’s what you’re getting at, right? That that’s you, you protect your own dignity, ferociously.

Mike: But I’m completely open though, to your point, to constructive criticism. In fact, I seek it out. I mean, one example is since the beginning of me as a, as a fitness guy, right? So I published this book in 2012, and I would read every Amazon review. I still read quite a few. I still, I mean, I have some people who help now in sorting things, but I still get that feedback.

But I would read every Amazon review, and I actually was more interested in the one star reviews. A lot of them were kind of incoherent. There wasn’t much value there. But in a lot of the two and three star reviews, I’ve got a lot of good ideas in how I could improve that book. And now I’m, I’m about to release the fourth edition.

I’ve released like, you know, things that, um, I didn’t think it warranted like a third edition, but it was more than a second edition, so it was like, it would’ve been a 2.1 or 2.2. So I’ve done a lot of iterations on the book, and I would say probably at least half of the good ideas came from other people.

Yeah. And came from constructive criticism. So I don’t take, at personally at all, I don’t even get upset when people attack me personally. I just, uh, if I can’t get any value out of the criticism, I just dismiss it. Um, so what I have dealt with though is, is people who, to use, anybody who’s familiar with the, the, the thinking hats, Deb Bono, that kind of, uh, analogy, right?

People who are always wearing their black hat, which is the. Finding out, pointing out holes and thinking of ways that things might not work and potential problems. And it, it is very, has been very hard for these people to do anything but that. And so if you have these people in your vicinity and you can’t just ignore them completely or, or even if you don’t want to hear their opinion, you might have to hear their opinion and, and it might be couched as constructive criticism, but again, it’s just always poking holes.

What are your thoughts on that? 

Alex: You know, I can resonate with that a lot. Something I do not often, but when it does get tough, as I try to remember that no one is born that way. I can’t imagine what someone goes through in their childhood or in their adulthood that. They look out into our world, which is imperfect and has a lot of issues and um, is in constant need of repair.

But when they see it a hundred percent, um, through a lens of negativity and pessimism, that’s someone who’s been through stuff that I can’t even imagine. And the flip side of that is it gives me a moment of gratitude, of wow, even with all the hard things I’ve been through, I’ve had, uh, a mom and friends and I grew up in a safe enough environment where I can naturally be optimistic.

Um, so there’s gratitude there. Um, so just doing that helps take the edge off for me cuz I can, I can get real pissed just like you, I can get real pissed when, um, when I’m sort of surrounded by that. And the hard part is when that person has some form of authority over you. It’s your boss, it’s your vp, it’s your.

Um, you know, it’s your professor, it’s someone who, god forbid, actually is choosing how can impact your life. That’s really tough. Um, true. Yeah. Sort of where you sort of make some value judgements of okay, you know, let’s say it’s your boss. All right, can the compassion help? Like, take the edge off to the point that it’s doable?

And if not, all right, you think about going somewhere else. Um, you think about either moving to a different team or moving to a different company. Um, again, it doesn’t have to be tomorrow, but you know, over the next six months. Um, and you can sort of tell, you know, I’ve always a believer that one conversation is never that detrimental to say like, Hey, this has been my experience.

I might be totally off or misreading it. Um, is there something I’m missing? Can you help me better understand? Um, cuz what I’m looking for is, yeah, maybe this is 

Mike: how I feel makes it a little bit more 

Alex: powerful. Yeah. I think you can, you can, you know, you can take the, uh, intensely off a conversation by, by just starting off saying, I’m probably wrong and I’m seeing this incorrectly.

This is how I’ve been experiencing it. Can you help me better understand, by the way I say that I wish I practiced that more. I wish I practiced that more. Um, but that 

Mike: is, I’m not, I’m not even gonna pretend like, like I use, it’s a good one. It’s good. I don’t, I don’t use it very often. Not that I, 

Alex: not that I, I, you know, when it comes to relationships, friendships, romantic relationships, family relationships, that is the normal situation, which is yes, what you’re feeling is right.

The reason you’re feeling it is probably rock. You think your spouse is hiding something from you. No. They might just be really nervous about this deadline at work and they’re so nervous about it. And so, um, Scared about it. They didn’t even bring it up to you. So you don’t even know, but you just see their face cringe whenever you walk into the room.

You think they’re having an affair? No. Or whenever their phone beeps, they cringing. You think you know it’s an affair. No, it’s actually they’re slack telling, you know, they’re boss hitting them up at 9:00 PM about the deadline. Um, so just even framing that, framing it that way helps a lot too. There is a point though, and I get that I can’t imagine the types of situations people are in, particularly the financial constraints.

Um, it’s easier said than done. There is a point when you are an adult, you’re in your late twenties, you’re in your thirties, you’re in your forties, you’re in your fifties, and you just gotta say, this isn’t the group for me. This isn’t the relationship for me. This isn’t the line for me. This isn’t the tribe for me.

Um, If you have to contort yourself to the point where you, um, just have to lie, people, please, um, pretend everything’s good just to survive. Maybe it’s time for you to find another group. And 

Mike: maybe, and I totally agree, and, uh, maybe a, maybe a, a step there in the middle that, that should just be mentioned.

Is, and, and this is, I, I’ve had this conversation with people, particularly with fitness. There is a, there is a point where I think it’s appropriate to tell people who are naysaying all the time to, to ask them politely to stop basically. And, and with fitness again, how it usually manifests is, um, a person’s trying to stick to their diet.

They’re trying to stick to their exercise routine, and then people in their circle are trying to get them to go out and eat. Food that’s not, it’s not quote unquote bad to eat, but you’re not gonna, it’s, you can’t, oh, you’re 

Alex: no fun. Oh, that kinda stuff. Oh, you take things too seriously. 

Mike: Oh, you’re eating another salad.

Salad. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. Oh, you’re, you know, you’re going to the cheese. Come on. It’s, 

Alex: it’s the Super Bowl. You’ve 

Mike: already worked out three times this week. You don’t have to go today. And, yeah. Or, or, or what. We always used to do this, you know, all that kind of stuff. And, and what 

Alex: ends up happening when you are on the receiving end, like I am on that.

And it sounds like you are like that. And people who do go after goals are on the receiving end. There can be a, because you wanna be not confrontational and nice, you bottle it up and in your head, you just tell ’em to fuck off in your head, but out loud you say, oh, it’s all good. And you just give us fake smile.

And then the 10th time, the 11th time, the 13th time they say it, You just go ape shit and you actually just sabotage the relationship. So you do have a side of the street where, um, I saw a great, you know, meme once that said, getting mad at a friend for not giving you, not treating you the way you want, is like getting mad at a waiter for not giving you the food you never ordered.

Hmm. We have this, especially with the people close to us, best friends, significant others. We have this inner child that wants them to read our minds the way a mother could read our minds when we were infants saying, oh, Alex wants food. Alex needs his diaper changed. There’s this like craving that, oh, if you love me enough, you’ll know exactly what I need without me having to say it.

And then when those needs are met, because congratulations, we’re human beings and we can’t read mines, resentment comes and then resentment piles up, and then there’s a blow up. So having compassion for yourself and saying, wow, my needs aren’t met, but I actually am an adult and I have the abilities, I have the skills to say, Hey, the way you sort of laughed at me when I told you my progress on my diet, um, I’m sure you may be meant it as a joke, but this is a sensitive topic for me cuz it’s really vulnerable.

Um, I know I sort of sound like a little wimp right now asking, but can you like, not laugh? Um, because I actually need support and you’ll find out to call your friend right there. Yeah. Yeah. You’ll find out if they, if they say, uh, you’re a, you’re, you’re acting like a little bitch. Yeah. All right. That’s, you know, you’ve learned something’s, you’ve learned something.

And you know, most people go, oh dude, I literally had no idea. I was, I thought Exactly. I thought it was being funny. I thought you thought it was funny, easy done. I won’t do it again. 

Mike: And, and, and there are people out there who. Or, um, oh, what, what’s the, what’s the, the word? I’m sure there’s some technical term for this and, and I’m particularly sensitive to, to these types cause I’ve dealt with them enough and I know how destructive they can be.

And they are the people who, like you, like you had mentioned earlier on, they’re, they’re always gonna say that, that the advice they’re about to give you is because they love you. And it’s, it’s in their, in your, your best essence. My 

Alex: God. That is the most painful. And they would be 

Mike: the one, they would be the one to make a joke about your diet and then you are, you would be, uh, You would honestly open up a little bit to them and say what you just said, and then they would be the one to say, oh, oh, I’m so sorry.

I had no, I was just joking. And then, and then, then there’ll be some other little jab. They’re always making jabs, but it, but they never own up to it. It, it’s, it, there, there’s, I think it’s, there’s, there’s, there’s like a, maybe, maybe what underlies it is a, is a, is a, some sort of fear. But there’s just that, that type of person and, and there are a lot of them out there in my experience.

And those are some of the worst people I think, to have in your circles. Oh dude, I’ll make 

Alex: it even worse. Get rid of people. I’ll make it even 

Mike: worse. I get, I get rid of those types of people 

Alex: fast. Yeah. They’ll make, they’ll, they’ll say, you’re being too sensitive. Mm. Yep. Toughen up. It’s, yeah. Or light lighten up.

Why do you take everything? Have sense of humor, so seriously. Mm-hmm. Like maybe you should go to therapy because you’re so sensitive. Like it’s just a joke. And then you go, I really. I really just don’t wanna do it. I just wanna create that boundary and they go, listen man, you’re being too sensitive. And all of our friends agree with it.

Every, they love to like loop in every, they love to loop in other, look, I don’t wanna go into details, but everyone agrees with it. And I’m actually, I think it’s gonna affect your relationship and your work too. If you don’t, if you don’t stop being so sensitive, she’s like, shut the fuck up. You know? Yep.

Um, they like, they know a lot of people have an instinct. And again, uh, I don’t want this to be a, a people bashing party, although it feels good a little right now. Uh, 

Mike: I mean, picking, picking your people is a, a very important part of, uh, uh, living a good 

Alex: life. Yeah. And what can be tricky is someone can be a, a good person, quote unquote, when you’re, you know, hanging out with them at the gym a couple times a week, but then you like go out to dinner with them and then you invite them to your birthday party and then you travel with them and you spend a week with them.

And then you might see this part, you know, as you turn up the heat on a relationship. And it’s, same is true with dating. The same is true with a business partner. I’ve seen a lot of times where a business partner looks perfect during brainstorming sessions once a week, and then once you like go, you know, hard on the paint and something bad happens to the business, they become the most negative person of all time.

Yep. So get cut yourself some slack that you can’t perfectly predict. No one has a perfect radar. You sort of just have to turn up the heat a little, a little at a time and get a new read on the person and, and give them feedback on how it’s affect you. 

Mike: Yeah. And they’re also, I, I’ve at least, uh, Developed a little personal list of, of red flags for 

Alex: me.

Right. He said A personal list of people I don’t talk to. Oh 

Mike: yeah, there’s that too. Uh, but, but, but some red flags just, just in meeting people at the gym, you know, real superficial social type of stuff. Like for example, if somebody likes to gossip, that’s a red flag to me. Cause that tends to be these types of people.

And if they’re gonna talk about other people behind their backs, they’re probably gonna do the same thing to you. And again, it’s a type of person if they freely admit to, or even if I find out about obvious dishonesties, like for example, if they cheat on their girlfriend or boyfriend or wife or Yeah, that’s an husband.

An easy one or, or, or if they show open interest. So, so there, there’s a, a guy in the gym, he’s a nice enough guy. I like chatting with him, but red flag to me is he’s married and he’s very interested in other women and he jokes about, I don’t know what he does in his private life. He hasn’t, he, he says that he’s not having an affair, but he’s very interested in some of these other girls in the gym and talking about what he would do to them and that, you know, that kind of stuff that, that’s red flag stuff to me.

Alex: Yeah. You know, it’s, it’s tricky and it’s difficult and, you know, integrity has this way of, um, it’s very rare that someone, you know, cheats on their spouse and runs their business with perfect integrity, integrity. It’s possible, but it’s very rare. There actually was this study a long time ago of business executives that showed the first sign that a business was about to collapse is the EO had an affair interest.

And that was one of like the highest correlations to the business in the next five to 10 years with collapse somehow. 

Mike: Interesting. I know that there were just, just a quick little, you might, you might have heard this story. Oh, what, what were their names? I think, I think it was Fesh Fe back. They, they made a bunch of money.

They were big in, um, The, the stock market world, I think it was short selling. It was some time ago, right? There was a time when they might even been on the, on Forbes cover or something, but I know one of their things was exactly this. They would look into, uh, who the people at the top of the businesses were and they, I don’t think they did anything illegal, at least that I know of, but almost like private investigation type stuff to find out what these people were up to behind the scenes.

And if I’m remembering correctly, this is one of the things they would look for. They would look for executives who are having affairs and just doing other things that would indicate that, um, they are, they’re also trying to cut corners of their business. And they would help. They made a lot of money.

They made a lot of money shorting companies based on that, plus other criteria. But I know that was one of ‘

Alex: em. Yeah. And you know, again, there’s a huge difference, and again, I’m not married so I don’t, I don’t know what it’s like to be in that kind of pressure cooker at times. Um, but you know, there’s a big difference between.

Um, really thoughtfully through marriage counseling, you know, deciding to end the marriage and then you start dating someone out, you know? Right. Again, I’m not saying, you know, monogamy is the only thing, but there, what we are talking about I think is having the courage to do right by others and to stay true to your word.

Um, even when it’s painful. Cuz you know the stakes are high in a marriage and if you can’t do it there, it’s a lot easier to cheat in a business. Correct. Correct. It’s a lot easier to take some tax write offs when you’re the boss and no one’s looking over your shoulder. So, you know, in a marriage, something over your shoulder every day, you know, in a business you can in your head think you’re getting away with things that, trust me, you’re not gonna get away with it in the long run.

Mike: Especially if you’re cheating on your taxes. Y you never win with the irs. They eventually get their money. No. If 

Alex: you’re, if you’re successful enough, they’re gonna come and double check. 

Mike: Exactly. And, and these days, I mean, you only have to be moderately successful to get double checked. So, uh, yeah. I That’s an area of another, of another.

Yeah. But I, I think this is a really important that’s explicitly No-go for me personally. 

Alex: Yeah. I just think this is a super important topic, um, that I appreciate, that you agree with, which is that the quality of your character is not just determining whether or religiously you go to heaven or not. It affects our lives here on earth.

It affects the quality of our relationship, the qualities of our friendships, the qualities of our business, and most importantly, the ability for us to surround ourselves by people we like and admire and our ability to pursue our goals. Um, because I’ll tell you something that most people don’t know.

Until it happens to them, which is when you, and by the way, I’ve, you know, in high school I used to cheat all the time on tests. I had no idea that my levels of anxiety and fear and not being able to sleep at night was completely from that. I just thought I was in an anxious kit as soon as I switched over, you know, years later to sort of, you know, being on the straight and narrow and having my integrity in check, I had no idea that my quality of sleep was through the roof.

Yeah. It might be e you might think that you might be achieving your goals better if you cut a corner or go faster, but there’s a great line from the comedian Gary Shandling that says, you know, nice people, you know, nice guys finished first. And if you don’t know that, you don’t know where the finish line is.

Mike: Hmm. Yeah. That’s a good quote. I like that. And that’s, that’s very true in business and, and how you view. Your customers, do you view them simply as people to extract money from? Mm-hmm. Or do you view them as, uh, as Jay a Abraham would say as clients, as people to prote protect people, to serve people, to help not just buy things, but why are they buying these things?

Right. A person Yeah. Doesn’t just buy a drill. They buy holes. Even, even if it’s that simple, even if you’re just selling drills, ultimately though, they’re buying it for more than the reason to just have a cool drill. Um, and, and so that, that mentality has, is something that has served me really well in my business.

And it, it’s one of the reasons why, uh, my, I guess my personal brand, so to speak, and then Legion as a business, and then I have some publishing as well, why a lot of that has done well is because I’ve, I’ve really. Made it a point to keep people’s best interests in mind, and that doesn’t, and and that means that sometimes, I mean, I’ve, I have probably, obviously it’s over 200,000 emails sent and received now in my inbox.

There’s spam in there and stuff, but there’s a lot, a lot of communication. And since the beginning I always. Had just had a point of, cuz I, I myself had interacted with some different fitness professionals, simple questions and I didn’t get good answers. Or I was told to just basically buy something, like buy some of their time or buy sign up for their coaching.

And so that was something that in the beginning I was like, I’m gonna just answer people’s questions. I’m, and I’m not gonna ask them to do anything actually. I’m just gonna answer their questions. That alone has generated, and I’ve kept that in. And that’s been, now, that’s part of the ethos, I guess you could say, of like customer experience with Legion is if people have, we, all of our people on our customer service team, uh, they’re all personal certified personal trainers.

And if, uh, we make it clear that anyone, anyone really, but if our customers wanna reach out to us with any questions, diet, exercise, supplementation, uh, we’ll, we’ll give you a. Good answers. We’ll be able to point you probably to articles and podcasts that can give you even more information if you want that.

And, um, we’re not just gonna try to sell you stuff. Right. And that alone has generated so much goodwill because unfortunately it’s not the norm. I think there is that, there’s a growing movement of that mentality in, in business, but it’s still not the norm. Yeah, 

Alex: I, I agree completely. 

Mike: Hey there, if you are hearing this, you are still listening, which is awesome.

Thank you. And if you are enjoying this podcast, or if you just like my podcast in general and you are getting at least something out of it, would you mind sharing it with a friend or a loved one, or a not so loved one even who might want to learn something new? Word of mouth helps really bigly in growing the show.

So if you think of someone who might like this episode or another one, please do tell them about it. Let’s talk about imposter syndrome. Okay? Something I just get, people would ask me just, do you deal with imposter syndrome? How do you deal with imposter syndrome? 

Alex: I was just talking about this yesterday with someone where, I won’t mention the name of the person, but they said like, uh, a very big, you know, self-help author, um, was asked about imposter syndrome and the person was telling me they were listening to this interview and the, the author was like, imposter syndrome bullshit.

Cut outta your life, focus on providing value in, it’ll go away. And I just wanted to like, roll my eyes and be like, if it’s bullshit, why do 80% of the people I talk to feel it? So it’s not bullshit. Um, it’s clearly, you know, just like anxiety isn’t bullshit. If you’re feeling it, it’s something you’re feeling, it’s part of your reality.

Um, and it, it’s like 

Mike: telling somebody who’s depressed to cheer up. Come 

Alex: on guy, just cheer up there. There’s a great Jerry Seinfeld joke where you, the sun is shiny. Come on. Jerry Seinfeld said if he was a psychologist or a psychiatrist and someone like came to a, a session with him, it would take about 30 seconds.

They would sit down and he would just look at them and say, snap out of it next.

And I think there’s a lot of self-help off there who sort of take that approach. Literally they go, its bullshit that they go, they go, well, that’s, that’s the thesis of my next book, right? Let, let me just spin this out in two 50,000 words, work harder, hustle harder, come on, it’s bullshit. You know who, who cares?

Work harder. And yeah, those things sort of work on social media if you push it hard enough, but. And 

Mike: some people seem to be wired like 

Alex: that and that, that’s another thing to, to give some compassion to, you know, those, you know, I said 80% of the people I meet deal with a lot of anxiety, deal with imposter syndrome.

There are some people who are just different. I’m not like that, but there’s some people who like, like to wake up and do an ice bath at 5:00 AM and you know, yeah. Just bulldozing, scream at themselves in the mirror. Yeah. I’m not that guy. I’m a jacuzzi. Take a nap in the middle of the day. Terrified to go up and talk to this person kind of guy.

Um, now what I’ll say about imposter syndrome, if you are listening to this and you feel it, um, whether at work or even in your relationships, wherever it shows up, the key to the imposter syndrome is understanding that the name imposter syndrome is actually doing you an injustice. Because it’s describing a real sensation, but it’s labeled incorrectly.

It’s not imposter syndrome. You are not, you are not an imposter. If you got this promotion and you feel overwhelmed, it’s not that you are having imposter syndrome. The feeling you’re feeling is your fear of not being enough. And once you realize that, that fear is within every single human being, and I mean it, every single human being deals with that fear of, am I not enough?

Am I not worthy enough? Am I not capable enough? It takes the edge off and it provides some relief, and then you can. You know, if you really wanna spend time with your imposter room, you can ask it questions. Um, you can ask it. You know, where has this feeling of not being being enough come from? Oh, maybe it’s come from, like we talked about earlier in this podcast, the fucking 50 people I grew up with who told me I would amount to nothing.

Oh shit, I just got a promotion. All of a sudden their voices are coming back from the grave, even though I haven’t seen them in 10 years. All of the bullies in high school who told me I was a dwe, you know, are echoing in my head. You know, what I’ve realized is that we get all these implicit messages from our society, from our families, from our friend groups, and then we, you know, enter the workforce as adults, and we just assume that we’re a blank slate, but we’re not.

We carry all of these messages from our childhoods, from our adolescents right, with us without knowing. So the reason imposter syndrome is so prevalent. Sadly cuz what we were talking about earlier, people with negativity, people who shit on you is also very prevalent. And if you can have some compassion for yourself and say, okay, the reason I’m feeling this is number one, I’m doing something new, I’m actually growing.

Cuz if you weren’t growing, you wouldn’t have it. If you were just filling a, a salt shaker every day at work, you wouldn’t have imposter syndrome, you would have boredom syndrome, right? You’re actually growing, you’re doing something new and there’s still parts of whether it’s your childhood or your adolescence or even your current day that are weighing you down either cuz you haven’t really processed those.

And you know, therapy is really helpful. Um, support groups are really helpful for that. Journaling is really helpful for that. But just having some understanding that what you’re going through is normal and it’s not, it’s not a defect, it’s not a syndrome. It’s a natural part of the human experience that when you do grow a party that wonders, maybe I’m not cut out for this, people have imposter syndrome the day of their wedding.

Am I ca you know, I’ve actually heard a lot of this. I’ve had a lot of friends who have had newborns in imposter syndrome comes in that first week. I have a lot of friends who’ve gotten, uh, you know, their firstborn kid and saying, I can’t believe they let me leave the hospital with the, with a human being.

If I drop it all, I can’t even, I can’t even take care of myself. I’m just, it’s so normal. And what’s funny is that’s the normalized, you know, imposter syndrome as a parent in our society is normal. And people laugh about it and it’s not a big deal. But all of a sudden when it comes up at work or in our careers, we take it as a sign that maybe we actually aren’t cut out for it.

But the truth is, and when I interviewed Maya Angelou, you know, the renowned poet for the third door, one thing she said is trust yourself. Trust yourself that every person who you admire, every artist, every author, every podcast or every entrepreneur, everyone you have admired at one point or at many points in their career, felt the exact same feeling you are feeling.

So acknowledge yourself and commend yourself for having the courage to try. 

Mike: That makes a lot of sense. And you know, something else that I’ll add to that, that has, uh, has helped me is to ask myself honestly, if I am pretending to be something that I’m not, or if I am, uh, just, just being bluntly honest 

Alex: with myself.

I love that because 

Mike: that, that’ll make it bad if, if you are actually kind of doing it and you don’t want to face it. I mean, I’ve experienced that myself. And so I try to keep myself in check. I mean, I’m not a, um, at least my perception of myself is I’m not a, I’m not a very egotistical person, but, um, I have experienced that.

A lot of people that I’ve gotten to know through my work, see, I don’t, it’s like I, I get the feeling that they think I’m a lot better than I actually am. You know what I mean? And, and cuz I, I don’t focus, I’m just my personality. I always want to get better. I’m always focused on what, maybe more in terms of what’s not their weaknesses, what I want to happen next, how I want to get to the next level.

And, um, so that, that maybe in in some ways keeps me kind of grounded because I really don’t sit and reflect on. All the things that are so cool about Mike and, uh, I’m, I’m just really focused on perform. We can 

Alex: save that for round three of the podcast episodes. 

Mike: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That one will be, uh, the least listened to in the history of the podcast.

Alex: I’ll have fun with it though. 

Mike: I’ve had that kind of, it’s an interesting, again, where, uh, I feel like, you know, I, I don’t put myself on a pedestal. Some, some people I feel like do and, and I’m grateful for that. Um, but I’ve also just tried to make sure that I’m not puffing myself up, so to speak. Like, I’ll tell people, you know, I don’t want people to think that I’m a scientist.

I’m not a scientist, I’m not a formally trained scientist. I am an informally trained, maybe scientifically minded investigator of things. And most of those things are how to lose fat and build muscle, and I don’t know everything, uh, but I do know how to get results. I do know a lot of things that work and, you know, to have more of that mentality.

As opposed to thinking about myself, maybe the way that that many people even listening might think about me. You know? 

Alex: Yeah. There’s a great imposter syndrome story that I think about whenever I think of the phrase imposter syndrome. And it’s the story, um, of how Larry King sort of faces imposter syndrome head on at his first job.

And you know, I’m sure most of the people listening know Larry King is, you know, by far one of the most successful broadcasters in American history. What people don’t know is that when he was on the radio for the first time in his life, his biggest dream when he was a kid, cuz when he was a kid, it was a long time ago, there wasn’t even tv really.

Radio was the big medium and his biggest dream was to be on radio and. You know, even though he was so talented, he, you know, couldn’t get a job. So he ended up, you know, finding out that in, he was in New York, he founded in Miami. There were lots of openings. So he took a train down to Miami. He didn’t know anyone.

He gets to Miami, he just starts knocking on doors of different radio stations. Most say no, one of them says that they might have an opening in a few weeks, but they’re not sure. And later says, I’ll sweep your floors, let me be in the building, and if there’s an opening, let me know. But if not, I’ll just continue sweeping the floors.

Like, this is Larry King, the greatest broadcaster in American history. You know, starting out sweeping floors. Right? And 


Mike: as well be Michael Jordan starting out sweeping floors. Right. 

Alex: You know, so sure enough, about three weeks in. One of the producers says, Larry, our, you know, our radio host, uh, just quit and isn’t coming back on Monday.

It was a Friday. Uh, you’re starting Monday morning. Larry has zero experience, but this is his biggest dream. So sure enough, Monday morning comes around and Larry sits in the chair behind the radio booth and it’s like a swivel chair. And he is like, the chair is like s he keeps spinning in the chair. He’s so nervous.

And Larry was born to the name Larry Zeiger, that was his birth name. And the producer said, what’s, you know, what’s your, what’s your radio name? And he said, uh, Larry Zeiger. And he said, no, no, no. That’s not a radio name. Give us a radio name. And uh, Larry was looking at a newspaper that said, King’s, uh, wine and liquor sale.

You know, it was an advertisement. And he goes, uh, king. And the guy goes, uh, Larry King. Yeah, that sounds like a radio name. Go ahead. And he goes, ladies and gentlemen, our new host, Larry King, and Larry freezes on a scale of one to 10, his imposter syndrome is at a 12. Yeah. He is completely paralyzed and the producer is like looking at him just fucking wanting to yell, like, say something.

It’s it’s radio communicate. And Larry is just sputtering. And all of a sudden, you know, the producer like is about to like, you know, strangle him. And Larry just leans into the microphone and says, ladies and gentlemen, I just need to apologize. Today is my first day on radio and I am terrified. Please bear with me as I learn how to do this.

And all of a sudden, like all of the phone dials start. Cause that was back when people would call into radio stations and the entire, like, you know, listenership said, we’ve never loved a guy so much right off the bat. Hmm. And the reason I love that story, it’s so many of us, myself included, when we feel this imposter syndrome, whether it’s at work, at the gym, in a relationship, have an instinct to cover it up.

I know I do a lot, God forbid someone finds out that I feel I’m not cut out for this. But what that story showed is that Larry, you know, he didn’t even have time to think through it. It was sort of like this last ditch effort before he, his entire career was over. He was literally trying to save his job at this point that he just got.

Yes, exactly. He was about, he was about to have a 32nd career as a broadcaster. He just sort of did this last ditch effort, which was telling the truth. And again, whether it’s at your job, in your relationship, you know, in your fitness community, telling the truth about what you’re struggling with has a way of making others feel connected to you.

Yeah. It’s disarming because the, no one hates someone who admits they’re in a vulnerable position. No one wants to beat up on someone who’s already suffering. And if you can tell the truth, not in a place of a victim mentality, but in a place of just like, I’m trying my best and I am, I’m struggling here.

People wanna help and people want to 

Mike: cheer you on. Great story. And, um, and great point. I think that that is, so I, I’ve, I’ve written and spoken a little bit about. The, I think we spoke about this in the first, the kind of fake vulnerability, uh, where, where it’s just, where it’s just, it’s insincere and it’s, it’s almost just a marketing ploy.

Um, but this point of acknowledging that we all have challenges, some of our challenges, some we share challenges, some challenges we don’t share. But it is comforting to know that, that, uh, we all have our things, we all have our challenges, and I don’t know why that is. I’ve thought about that. It’s kind of a strange human quirk.

Why is that comforting? Even for, I think about it for myself. It’s not, I genuinely like to see other people do well. I like to see the only people I don’t like to see do well are people I genuinely dislike. I’ll be honest about that. I don’t feel envy per se. I’m not a very envious kind of person. Um, but.

If I really don’t like somebody, I’m not gonna say I’m happy that they’re doing well. I might not care. But generally speaking, I like to see people do well. And so why is it comforting to know that Larry King? Like, when I hear that story, it just makes me feel good, but it’s not because I wanted, uh, it’s, it doesn’t make me feel good.

Cuz, cuz Oh, Larry had a hard time that makes me feel good or, you know, just makes me feel better about myself because I’m so insecure. I think, 

Alex: I think it’s, psychology is interesting. I think it’s humanizing. Yeah. 

Mike: And well, why does that matter? Maybe it’s just that, that point of connection we have to, you can’t 

Alex: get with, cause I think we all struggle more than we like to admit.

Yeah. Maybe one of the things that I’ve been surprised by is that when people read the third door, one of the first things they say when they’re, you know, telling me about the book, they say, It felt, uh, it’s funny to hear to say it aloud, but they said it felt so good to see how honest you were about how many times you’re rejected, how much you struggled to make this happen.

And while that wasn’t my intention, I wasn’t trying to, you know, win affection, I will show the truth about what it takes to achieve a dream. And I personally am just not of the Forbes C N B C mentality of showing Bill Gates on a private jet and saying this is success. When I, you know, wrote about Bill Gates and interviewed him in the book, it’s, you know, the moment I focused on is when he was making his first cold call and he was so nervous to pick up the phone, he changed his voice and changed his name and pretended he was his friend cuz he was so afraid of saying his real name.

That makes me go, oh, I fucking love the guy. You know, that’s the kinda shit I would do too, you know? Yeah, yeah. And, There’s something about knowing that these people who, you know, whether we admire them or we don’t, um, whether we like their accomplishments or we don’t, but just knowing that, oh, they’re a human being just like me.

Yeah. They, yeah. And then they win, they lose. Just like, 

Mike: and there they are though. Let’s take somebody, whether it’s Bill Gates or, or any of the people you interviewed who, uh, won bigley to, to use a real word by the way, that’s in the dictionary. And, and so maybe, maybe it connects back to our own ambitions and our own hopes for ourselves that we all deal with un uh, some level of, of uncertainty with.

And so, hey, if these other humans, actual humans were able to push through this stuff, and Yeah. Oh, they went through, they, they were feeling like that too. And there they are now at the top of their profession. Even if, even if we don’t necessarily want to. Achieve the, the type of financial success or career success that Bill Gates has achieved.

Like, I don’t care personally, whether I become a billionaire or not, I don’t feel, I don’t wanna work as hard as you would need to work just on making money. It wouldn’t be, it wouldn’t be very satisfying for me. Um, but regardless, it, it maybe is, uh, it just gives us a reason to believe in 

Alex: ourselves. Yeah.

That’s it. And again, it also provides some relief. Yeah. Um, there’s a great line that says, the problem with social media is that we are comparing our behind the scenes to someone else’s highlight reel. Mm-hmm. You know, the problem with social media is we’re comparing our behind the scenes of someone else’s highlight reel.

And life is already hard. It’s much harder when you think everyone else is. Having a grand old time and you’re the only one struggling, it’s only hard for you. It’s only hard for you, and there’s something relieving about hearing. Oh my God. Larry King was so nervous that he couldn’t speak on his first day at his job.

Oh my God. Bill Gates was so terrified of making a cold call that he had to change his name and change his voice on his first cold call. Oh, I’m not, I’m not as fucked up as I thought I was. Yeah, I’m, and it’s possible for me too, if they were able to, you know, overcome things. You know, there’s something so powerful about hearing a story of someone who, you know, was in jail 30 times with addictions and lost other friends, and lost other family, and, you know, was able to turn their life around and has a loving family and a wonderful business, and a wonderful career and wonderful health.

It makes you go, wow. If you know, my core belief is that you can give someone all the best tools and tactics in the world, and they can still feel stuck. But if you change what someone believes is possible, they’ll never be the same. And that’s what these stories do. What 

Mike: about quitting? What about giving up on a goal?

Because sometimes that is the appropriate action, even if it’s to stop pursuing the goal as it is formulated and reformulate a similar goal or, uh, to pursue something else altogether. 


Alex: I’m in a weird way, even though I wrote a book about persistence and perseverance, I am a weird advocate when it comes to healthy quitting because there’s two sides of achieving a goal.

One is the dogged pursuit of your dream. The other is all the things you had to quit in order to achieve it. You know, 

Mike: on my way, I just, I just tweeted about this this morning. Exactly, exactly This point, something to consider is all the stuff you’re gonna have to give up when you decide to do one thing.


Alex: I, I, it wasn’t my desire, but I had to quit school to focus on the book. I had to quit being a pre-med. I had to quit going a, you know, fraternity part. Oh, whatever. All the things that were sort of fun for me at that time. I quit. And all the things that were also I thought were my goals. I quit. And 

Mike: those, a lot of those things you had to quit Pleasurable things to pursue 

Alex: pain.

Yeah, it was not, it was not always fun. Like, um, yeah. And sometimes I quit logical, like, again, being a doctor was much more logical than going out to interview people and hope the book works. Um, so there is a sense of healthy quitting that’s essential to achieving a dream. Um, and we’ve talked about in this podcast a lot about healthy quitting with relationships.

Now the flip side again too though, is the magic of not giving up. And, and that’s right. When you’re on your deathbed, you remember the moments where you were hanging on by a string and you kept it going. I know people who have some of the most beautiful marriages, and I asked them, was it always smooth, salient?

They said, no. There were times where we were 99% sure it was over. And you go, wow. And you see their grandkids playing in their house and you go, wow. Thank God you kept it going. Right. And of course, the big question is how do you know? How do you know, how 

Mike: do you know whether it’s just, uh, the sunk cost fallacy and you’re just throwing more bad money or more money after bad money, I guess as the saying goes.

Or there’s the little meme you’ve probably seen of, it was like the guy digging the tunnel. Yep. With the diamonds, you have to give up and all, you know what 

Alex: I mean? Or are you that guy? Is it, is it lava that’s waiting for you or is it diamonds? I’ve done both, bro. I’ve done both. Um, if there are any listeners who are looking for some clarity in their life, cuz I definitely know at this point in my life I’m craving more clarity too.

There is a tool I’ve invented from my 10 years of research that does help and I call this tool the 30 Day Clarity Challenge. And if any listeners right now are, you know, if you’re on the treadmill, if you’re in the car right now, this is something that might be helpful to like either pause or maybe in our show notes.

We can save this, you know, this time standing cause this is good to write down. Um, it’s called a 30 Day Clarity Challenge. And anybody who’s craving more clarity to help make a big decision, to help figure out their next path, to help figure out how to find the motivation to continue their current path, this helps.

It’s really simple and it costs about a dollar to do. And all I have to do is you go take your dollar and you go to a local pharmacy and go buy a brand new notebook. Some of them are 80 cents, you know, go buy a brand new notebook and it’s important, it’s a new notebook and not something that you already have written in.

And on the cover of that notebook write, you know, 30 day clarity challenge. And what you’re gonna do is for the next 29 days, you’re gonna do the exact same thing every day. You’re gonna carve out 15 minutes in your schedule, preferably towards the end of the day, maybe, right? If you have a nighttime workout, maybe after your nighttime workout, if it’s before dinner.

But find a time that you can sort of commit to. And for 15 minutes, you’re gonna answer the same three questions in your journal every day. And these are three questions ready? Number one, what filled me with enthusiasm today? Number two, what drained me of energy today? Number three, what did I learn about myself today?

And you’re gonna do that for 29 days. And then the 30th day is gonna be different. The 30th day, you carve out an hour and that’s your graduation ceremony. And on the 30th day, you’re gonna go somewhere festive, your favorite restaurant, a beautiful park somewhere that feels good, and dress up look nice.

And you’re gonna take your journal and you’re gonna read through the 29 entries. And for your 30th entry, you’re gonna write down somewhat similar answers, but a little different. The questions are gonna be what filled me with enthusiasm this month? What drained me of energy month? What did I learn about myself this month?

And for the first 29 days, I want your answers to be more like a free flowing journal entry for the 30th day. I want you to write your answers like a headline in one or two crisp sentences. So that single page becomes like your graduation diploma from your 30 day challenge. And. Mike, I feel very confident that your listeners, since they have a fitness background, will actually do very well in the third day challenge because a secret to the third day challenge is stamina in consistency.

And when I’m talking to other groups, maybe at a corporation, I have to try to explain this, but I know your listeners are gonna understand this very easily. Results come from consistency. It’s called the 30 day challenge, not the six day challenge. If after six days you look in the mirror and you say, why do I still have fat around my belly?

Yeah. No shit. It’s been six days. 

Mike: Right? Come back in 60 

Alex: days. How about that? Exactly. So the 30 days is sort of the minimum to start seeing results. And I’ve done this exercise with people at Google and Nike and I B M and Disney, and the results are very different, but they all lead to the same thing, which is more clarity.

This helps dig up clues to help you figure out where you are so you can better decide where you’re going. And that’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. 

Mike: And I’m assuming this is something that, um, you’ve not only done just once. I’m 

Alex: doing it this month right now, actually. And it’s good to have a buddy, so I’m doing it with my mom every night.

We text each other just like I, we just finished day nine, so we text each other. Just finished day nine. Like, it’s, it’s fun to do with a buddy. And what is that 

Mike: looking like for you right now? Oh, 

Alex: bro. I got some big epiphanies the past couple nights already. Um, but my mom hasn’t, my mom’s like, ah, day nine.

Still hasn’t gotten an epiphany yet. I was like, cool. Just keep it up again. Just like working out. Can feel redundant, can feel boring, can feel, um, like what’s the point of this? I’m not seeing any results. But it’s that consistency that actually leads to breakthroughs at the end. 

Mike: And you know, I, I, I haven’t gone through that formal process, but I’ve, I’ve done that informally, uh, many times over the last 10 years or so, building businesses.

And I’ve learned, I’ve learned some things about myself that I suppose are not surprising. Like, for example, um, I, I’m kind of in some ways a reluctant entrepreneur. Uh, I suppose in that I find a lot of building a business and running a business, particularly running a business. Boring. I’m okay at it, but it’s just boring.

It’s not challenging, it’s not intellectually stimulating. I like marketing because it’s creative. Um, but, but even that is, um, I, I, if it’s not, if it’s not challenging enough, I just get bored with it. So Can I write copy that sells? Sure. Is it, is it a lot of fun? Not really. It, it’s more fun to write a, another fitness book or I have other book ideas like that activity is more fun to me.

Right. And so, um, and this is something I’ve been paying more attention to recently is this point of, all right, well I’m at a point now where, um, there, there’s, there’s about 55 of us and I have a lot of great people working with me, and things are going quite well. I, I, I don’t have to continue doing the things that just drain me of energy.

Yep. And sure I can grind and I can do things and I can just make myself do it and I can, and I’m good at that. I can do that indefinitely. Really, actually, I, I’m just not somebody who gives up on things because I don’t like it. Right. But, uh, there’s this point of. The quality of life though. And then also being able to give more time to things that I do get enthused about, which also are the things that actually contribute the most to the business and to, to my work in general and contribute the most to my, my clients, so to speak.

My, the people who follow me. And so, yeah, I’m just kind of rambling, but, um, it, it resonates with me because I think it’s important to do. Uh, otherwise it’s very easy to just get stuck on the hamster wheel, especially, especially if it’s working. Yeah. And I’m speaking personally where I could just keep doing what I’m doing and, uh, you know, just take Legion is January’s up.

Almost 70% over last January, so sure. I could just say, just don’t fuck it up, Mike. How about that? Just keep going. Who cares whether you like doing half of the things that you do or not? Just do them anyway. And there’s an argument for that, but I think you can make a better argument for being more reflective and, um, taking, it’s really just taking that extra time to reflect and then the extra effort to set things up better so I can do as little, uh, spend as little time on things that just drain me and as much time as I can on things that make me feel more alive.

Alex: Yeah, the recipe I’ve learned is that clarity leads to awareness. Awareness leads to growth. So if you cultivate as much clarity as possible and naturally leads to awareness, which naturally leads to growth in new directions. 

Mike: Well put. Well, uh, I, I have, I have more things, but maybe we should save, we should save, uh, that for, for a part three cuz we’re already over an hour and I, I like to try to keep these around on three.

The mic 

Alex: compliment our stay. Two. Let’s, let’s, uh, let’s go to Instagram for that one. Yeah. Please answer. What’s your favorite thing about Mike? 

Mike: Yeah. Yeah. And then, uh, and then I can talk about how much of an imposter I feel. Is that a, is that a five? Yeah. That’s a good follow. And here’s why. Here’s why. Uh, but no, I, this was, this was fun, uh, as, as I expected.

Thanks again for, for taking the time to do it. And let’s just wrap up with where people can find you and your work, and if you wanna let them know about any upcoming projects or anything interesting. If they want to engage further with, I mean, that you, you’ll, you have your book, but then if there’s anything else, 

Alex: I appreciate that.

Yeah. You know where people can find me. Um, my handles are all the same, whether it’s. You know, Instagram or Twitter, it’s just at Alex Benign. Um, and the book, if you liked, you know what Mike and I were talking about, um, the book was seven years of, you know, pouring my Soul into it. Um, and the book is The Third Door.

It’s wherever you like your book. So Amazon, Barnes and Noble, if you like audio books. I read the audiobook. Um, nice. Lots of very enthusiastic stories. Um, so, and if you end up, you know, getting the book because of this, you know, let me know on Instagram so I can say thank you. Uh, Mike. I’m just super, super grateful to be here, man.

Mike: Yeah,  thanks again. And, uh, I look forward to, to the next one. We should, we should line up another, would love to. Well, I hope you liked this episode. I hope you found it helpful, and if you did subscribe to the show because it makes sure that you don’t miss new episodes. And it also helps me because it increases the rankings of the show a little bit, which of course then makes it a little bit more easily found by other people who may like it just as much as you.

And if you didn’t like something about this episode or about the show in general, or if you have, uh, ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share, shoot me an email, mike muscle for, muscle f o r, and let me know what I could do better or just, uh, what your thoughts are about maybe what you’d like to see me do in the future.

I read everything myself. I’m always looking for new ideas and constructive feedback. So thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.

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