As a part of their first of four interviews with Mark Fournier, ManOpause founders Mike Essrig and Larry Pollack asked the ‘life-mastery’ coach about leading a ‘limitless’ life and his fantastic program “Life Mastery”. Here is a summary of their talk:
Part 1: Leading a Limitless Life
How Did You Get to Where You Are?
Well, for starters, it wasn’t ‘easy’. But let’s face it; life is difficult for everyone. None of us got to where we are without our share of difficulties.
Life is going to be difficult, no matter what we do! The question is, will it be exciting and fulfilling, or will it be painful and devastating? Will we view it through the eyes of a ‘victim’, or will we embrace each challenge and turn it into an advantage?
After delving deeply into human consciousness, psychology, and the mind, I realized that virtually our entire life experience is all up in our heads. And, as cliche as it may sound, most of the challenges we face in life are usually just ‘speed bumps’ or, better still, exciting opportunities. As a result, I have developed an ‘opportunity mindset’.
Usually, when something happens, we have a ‘victim’ mindset that says, ‘oh, that’s a problem’, ‘that’s bad’, ‘that’s not okay because that’s not what I wanted’, and then we get to suffer more than we might have as a result of that victim mindset. We don’t feel bad because of what happened; we feel bad because of our mindset.
However, I’ve replaced my victim mindset with an opportunity mindset. Now, when challenges hit the ‘filter’ in MY mind – instead of responding like a ‘victim’ – I find myself saying, ‘Oh, cool’, ‘So, where’s the silver lining?’, ‘How can I use this to my advantage?’, ‘How can I take advantage of this?’
It’s classic Musk; Elon Musk has an opportunity mindset. And you can instill one too!
‘Seeing It in a Different Way’, Is That What You Mean When You Say ‘You Live in Your Mind?’
YES! And that is what I mean by replacing a victim mindset with an opportunity mindset.
I teach ‘creative problem solving’ to C-suite executives and entrepreneurs. I tell them that when ‘problem-solving,’ the two most powerful questions you can ask are ‘What’s great about this?’ which assumes there IS something excellent about it, and the other question, ‘How can I (then, fill in the blank)?
For example, ‘HOW can I fit this round peg into that square hole (like they did in the movie Apollo 13)?’ Not ‘CAN I fix this?’, or ‘CAN I find a way out?’ ‘But HOW can I?’
Again, that form of question assumes that there IS a way. So, once you ask these two questions, your subconscious mind takes over, and your brain begins looking for the answer to your question, even while you’re sleeping.
We are incapable of experiencing the world around us ‘as it is’ (in its objective and tangible form). We can only experience it based on our ‘subjective interpretations.’ Ultimately, we live in the mind because that’s where we experience it. Nothing around you means anything until you interpret it in your MIND.
What Advice Are You Giving People to Kind of Keep a ‘Positive’ Notion in Their Heads?
You do it partly by deciding what to ‘focus’ on. I’ve created something for my Life Mastery course called “The Cycle of Reality,” which breaks down how we create our reality and how we create it in our minds.
The first step in “The Cycle of Reality” is ‘focus’. What you focus on will determine the rest of your self-talk, stories, beliefs, and so on, which will create either a positive or a negative feedback loop. The loop will depend on whether your focus is positive or negative. It’s all based on what you’ve chosen to focus on.
So, when I’m coaching someone, I begin by asking, what is it you want? What do you want your life to look like? What are the possibilities?
I then have them focus on their answers to these questions, and their life builds in the direction they are focusing on. This is where the “Limitless Mindset” sets in.
Are We Too Old To Have That Kind of Mindset and Is It for the Younger Generation?
Remember who you’re asking, The Limitless Coach. I’m 65, and I plan to be kicking butt for another 40 years, maybe longer. After all, there are all sorts of new cool things in the works that could extend our lives, so why not plan for them?
Every age has its own unique set of advantages. I specialize in two very different age groups. One of these two groups is baby boomers because I’m 65, so obviously, I relate to boomers (and the older Gen Xers).
However, suddenly Gen-Z and Millennials have jumped into the mix. Now, I’ve ended up with a massive following in that age group because they’re hungry and want more. The boomers are more concerned with keeping life from getting too horrible any sooner than it has to. On the other hand, the younger group wants to know how far they can go.
Interestingly, I’ve found that when boomers begin to see how much potential they have left, they start dreaming again. This is especially true when we help prove to them that ANYTHING we can conceive and believe we can achieve, including a long, fulfilling life!
I’m sure you’ve heard that cliche before, but I love clichés. We tend to roll our eyes at them, but think about it, it’s a cliché because it’s so true that it has endured for thousands of years!
If you do nothing but live according to the most popular clichés on earth, you’ll have a pretty incredible life. And one of the best cliches of all is, ‘Anything we can conceive and believe, we can achieve.’
Think about it; for starters, ‘anything we can conceive’ – all right, what is a human capable of ‘conceiving’?
Look around the room you’re in; everything in that room, somebody ‘conceived’. So, I believe it’s reasonable to say that there’s nothing we can’t conceive. The mind is limitless in its capacity to conceive.
The next part of the quote is ‘anything we can believe,’ and the truth is we can ‘believe’ almost anything. People believe in all sorts of wild things!
So how do we go about creating our beliefs? You look for evidence that they’re true. That’s why it’s so important to get this idea that ‘we live in the mind’. If these two things occur in your mind, you are a limitless being because your mind is the one thing you have total control over.
Since there’s nothing you can’t conceive or believe in your mind, by definition, then there’s nothing you can’t ACHIEVE… first in your mind, and then in the physical world!
Can I Access the Unused Part of My Brain if I Think Appropriately?
As you said, we hear stories about people getting a head injury and then being able to speak fluent french. Or, a two-year-old playing the guitar exceptionally without any lessons or guidance.
You are talking about what, in some cases, is called the Idiot Savant syndrome, where some individuals have remarkable unexplained abilities. But, does it have to come with the idiot component? Is it possible to just have the savant side?
And the answer is ‘Yes!’ Think of it like this, does the savant element need to be as profound as being able to do a Jimi Hendrix riff at the age of 3 without lessons, or could it be that ‘genius’ is also subjective?
By asking the question, ‘what’s my area of genius?’ Not, ‘do I have one?’ It assumes that you HAVE an area of ‘genius’ and all YOU need to do is FIND it. Let ‘genius’ be that thing that makes you special and unique.
For some, your genius may simply be the ability to comfort others. You may have a super high EQ, so your ability to actively listen in a way that causes others to feel heard, appreciated, or loved could be priceless, at least to them.
If people can see their greatness and possibilities through you, that’s a genius too. It could just be this tiny little thing about you that everybody loves, like having a great sense of humor or excellent taste, and you can build on that, and you can build a whole life around that one unique attribute.
Please Tell Us About Your Coaching and Courses
For starters, everything I do is based on universally accepted principles and proven science. I’m not a ‘woo-woo’ guy experimenting on my audience and clients with the latest ‘too good to be true’ fad.
Also, when it comes to my one-on-one coaching, I’m never coaching more than ten people at any given time because I climb so profoundly inside their heads that if it’s more than ten people, I lose something. I begin to forget the subtleties of our mission and accomplishments.
Since my cutoff point for coaching clients is ten people, I have also developed courses and curricula to reach a much larger audience. In many cases, I coach a client one-on-one then he turns around and takes his top leaders through my Life Mastery course.
Then they turn around and do the same thing with their top people and so on. That way, I reach far more people.
Plus, there is no better way for my clients to master what I teach them than by turning around and teaching it to other people. It’s also a great way to surround themselves with empowered and enlightened leaders. Also, I offer them live group coaching weekly, so even their teams have direct access to me.
My MOONSHOT (we will discuss Moonshots in future interviews) is to ‘END ABUSE on a global scale during my lifetime.’ Naturally, that sounds like an insane mission. Still, as you will learn when we talk about Moonshots, THAT’S the whole idea of a Moonshot: to aim for something so far beyond your reach that pursuing it alone turns you into something MORE than you could have ever become otherwise.
Ultimately, I’d like to reach 20% of the planet with the insights I’m teaching. If that many people are genuinely empowered, enlightened, and living compassionate lives, we could save humankind and the world in which we live. This is because ‘enlightened beings’ don’t commit abuse, and ‘empowered beings’ don’t allow others to do so in their presence. Besides, it’s a well-known statistic that 20% of people determine nearly 100% of the outcome in almost every scenario.
As for adding a few more insights regarding ‘Living a Limitless Life’, I can say that once you understand what it is to be ‘limitless’ and why that is possible for you (as a direct result of your ‘limitless mind’), a whole universe of possibilities will open up for you!
You will see your obstacles and challenges differently, as well as your goals and aspirations. It will be almost impossible for anything or anyone to discourage you. As a result, you will stay the course (and with greater conviction than ever), paradoxically generating far more significant results in everything you do.
So right now, the most important thing you can do is start looking at those who have accomplished the so-called ‘impossible’, study them, and look for proof that we, as human beings, are indeed genuinely limitless. When you believe in this ‘fact’, your power will grow exponentially! Remember, “Anything we can conceive and believe, we can achieve!”
And for those of you who may be interested in my one-on-one coaching, I can share a few details about how it works. If nothing else, it will provide an example of what one-on-one coaching can look like:
My clients sign up for a year, and we meet weekly for 75 minutes. They take a balance test and find out what’s missing from their lives and what areas they need to focus on to get balance in their lives. And then, we figure out their greatest aspirations and challenges, and we go after each one.
All the while, I’m just using these challenges as a platform to teach them more important principles. It’s mostly about giving them tools that they will eventually master by spending each week applying them to their lives. Naturally, this helps them overcome challenges and achieve goals, but it’s much more significant because they eventually stop seeing challenges as problems, and their goals become much bigger.
By the end of the year, they look back at who they used to be and say, ‘I don’t know that guy. I no longer recognize him. I’m much happier, more fulfilled, and more in control of my life than I ever dreamed possible’. That’s a wrap on this interview! Manopause’s next interview with Mark Fournier, ‘Aging Magnificently’, will inspire and inform you regarding ways to make the most of your years, regardless of how many you’ve lived.
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