Where do I get so much energy? What has worked for me to make millions of dollars working online from the comfort of my own home where originally filmed the video inspiring this post on Steem? Will you read this post or watch the video because the answers are fully available for each of us today?
Getting out of my own way
This is what I've learned, the number one thing that's surprising.
If you want to accomplish anything in life, if you want to be successful, make millions, have a big reputation online or even have an amazing person to date, a family that loves you, if you want to get a promotion, whatever it is in life, I've noticed one incredibly common theme that I don't often hear talked about.
While most of us think that other people or the system is in our way, while most of us think that, “You know what, if this boss would just lay off me? Or if this traffic would just get out of my way. If I was a different race or different gender, or if I was from somewhere else, everything would be so much easier for me.”
The surprising truth I've found is that if I get out of my own way, things tend to work out really well for me.
“Jerry, what's work to give you so much energy?"
"How have you made all these millions online?"
"Why do you have all these followers?”
The secret is that I actively seek help on a daily basis getting out of my own way. Now, this is really obvious lots of times when you look at other people. When you look at someone who is drinking themselves to death, you can easily look and say, "Well, if he would just stop getting drunk, his business might go somewhere or his family might like him again."
It's often really easy to diagnose how other people get in their own way. What can be really difficult is to diagnose how we get in our own way. The trick is first to see that knowing how to do things doesn't equal to success.
For example, knowing how to diet does not equal being able to be healthy. I bet that you know the secrets to healthy eating. I bet that you could tell me 15, 20 or 100 tips for healthy eating: “Have this in the morning, don't have this…”
How are you looking?
How's your body looking right now?
For most of my adult life that question would have pissed me off.
What do you mean?
You just called me fat?
For most of my life I knew that there was a healthy way to eat. I tried to diet and to eat healthier, and I tried to do better, but that didn't equal results because I kept getting in my own way. If you try to eat healthy and you end up sabotaging it, that's an example of you getting in your own way.
I had a personal trainer who said that I was thinking that I could just work my way out into looking good and feeling good. She explained that it doesn't work that way because 80% of how you look and feel is your diet.
Yet she struggled to look and feel how she wanted to because even though she knew that 80% of her diet was impacting, and then 20% of it was exercise and working out, even though she knew what to do, she was struggling to apply the tips she knew how to do and was teaching me how to do.
That's a perfect example in our lives because we very often know what to do but we can't apply it, and you can't apply things if you get in your own way. If you are blocking yourself, then nothing else the world gives you is going to help.
You see, when I get in my own way, it doesn't matter how many good opportunities I have. I'll find a way to screw them up. It doesn't matter what I've learned or what I know how to do, I'll find a way to forget it. I'll find a way to mess it up.
So the surprising thing that's worked for me is to really focus on what gets in the way of me applying what I know.
What gets in the way of me being a better person?
How am I getting in my own way?
The more you diagnose how you get in your own way, the more you can get help getting out of it. If you can't see how you're in your own way, then there's no motivation to get out of it.
As long as I think I got this, as long as I think I'm not getting in my own way, then how am I supposed to do any better?
For me personally, one of my biggest struggles throughout my adult life was alcohol, drinking. It was a struggle and you might think, “Well, you're just a weak person if you can't handle a couple of drinks. You should be able to drink and get drunk occasionally. You shouldn't have to then get drunk every day or be out of control.”
I find also that the more we judge and condemn other people for being in their own way, the less likely we are to be loving and understanding when we honestly see, “Damn, I'm getting in my own way right now. I'm sabotaging myself right now. I'm ruining all of my own best efforts and intentions.”
For me, I consistently struggled with alcohol and I still do to this day. That's why I go to Alcoholics Anonymous every day because when I don't go there, when I don't work on helping other people get out of their own way, guess what?
I'll forget that for me having to drink is not a good idea, not even one drink, not even a sip is a good idea for me because thousands of times, I've drunk away great opportunities. I had jobs that I worked really hard to get, then after getting drunk, “I have this job, I don't care about it.”
That's the same thing for girlfriends, I worked really hard to get them, and then, “I don't care about her anymore.” As long as I drank alcohol it did not matter whether I tried to go on a diet, or whether I tried to do better in my business, every single thing I would do would be squandered. Everything was wasted and I drank for the first three years or so having my business, and my business went nowhere. Every good opportunity I had, I found a way to mess it up.
I’d get a great client, then I’d get drunk and send them a stupid email. I'd get a great client, then have a horrible hangover and ignore their emails for several days until they'd move on. I would be thinking just about getting drunk and was so excited that every client email was just a mere annoyance. I managed to squander every good opportunity as long as I drank.
What has made the biggest difference in my life is seeing that I can't get out of my own way, I can't stop screwing myself over.
Now, that's a humbling realization to see that I will continue to get in my own way all the time, and the only way I can hope to get out of it is to get help from other people and to be helpful to other people.
Do you remember the example I just mentioned before about how easy it is to look at someone?
You certainly could've looked at me and said, "You know what Jerry, if you put that bottle of vodka down, you could probably go somewhere with your life."
You instantly could've looked at me if you’d have just came along, looked at my life and said, "All right, what you need to do is stop drinking, stop playing video games and start spending more time with your family, start eating healthy and start doing some regular exercise every day." You could've instantly walked into my life and diagnose exactly all of my areas for improvement.
Now, why is that so hard doing it on ourselves?
Why is it so hard when we actually look at ourselves in the mirror?
Why is it so hard to do that same thing with ourselves?
You could walk down the block, not even know some of your neighbors, you could walk into their house and you could tell them every way that they could improve their lives.
Now, sure, maybe a couple of your suggestions might not work, but I bet that most of your suggestions would work.
You can look at them and say, "Look, you're fat, you're mad about life. I'll tell you what to do. You start eating healthy. You start taking a walk every day. How about you start calling your mom or your son on a regular basis? How about you start showing up in church, or go into AA, or whatever it is?"
I bet you can walk in and give almost anyone you know suggestions to improve their life.
So why is this is so hard to do that for yourself?
Because the trick is that it's really hard to actually do anything on yourself.
There are all these self-help books I read. There are all these different videos I watch, all these classes I take, and they are based on this self-made idea that “I can just improve myself.”
The truth is, I get motivated to improve myself by seeing how my actions impact others. I'm very grateful now because I look way better than I used to. I look as good as I did when I was 21 years old if not better, even though I'm 32 now.
I feel better than I've ever felt even as a child. I feel the best I've ever felt today. I couldn't do that by just saying, “I want to get in shape,” because that doesn't work. I didn't want to get sober just because of myself. I realized that I didn't want the people I loved in my life to deal with the consequences of my alcoholism, it wasn't right for them. I realized that if I kept drinking, I was going to die.
Then, it wasn't right for my mother, after my dad died, to look at losing her son. It wasn't right for my wife to look at losing her husband. It wasn't right to look at my brother after he just lost his father, then also lose his brother to drinking himself to death.
See, that's what motivates me to do better and that's the same thing with my body. I tried diet after diet, and that stuff doesn't work as long as it's selfish.
If I'm saying, “I want to have a nice beach body so that when people check me out at the beach, I'm hot.”
That doesn't work for me because as soon as this external motivation goes away, as soon as it’s wintertime, I might as well fork down extra ice cream.
I might as well enjoy two dinners and two desserts, why not?
What motivated me to do something about my diet was seeing that I would scream myself over with my diet.
The last time I had a meal full of all meat, just like five different kinds of meat, and then tons of added oils and salts, fat and animal products, I felt really depressed right afterwards.
The motivation then came in thinking “Well, my dad died and his dad died, and his dad died. They all left their wives to fend for themselves. All of them could've done better with things like eating or smoking.”
I looked at this realizing I was doing the same thing with the way I was eating, how fat I was, the way I was poising my body with all the stuff I ate.
Even with me being sober, my wife was looking at losing me the same as Mom lost my dad, the same as Grandma lost Grandpa.
My wife was looking at losing me to cancer, to heart disease 10 or 20 plus years because of how I treated my body with my alcoholism and stressful lifestyle of most of the last 15 years of my life.
That motivated me to eat better
Realizing that today, I eat whole plant foods as the main thing I eat.
Let's see what's in my refrigerator: pineapples, four pounds of fruit and vegetables, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and spinach.
I'm going to eat a whole spinach tub today, it is already in a smoothie.
I grind that up every single day.
Let me show you what I have on the counter over here: bananas, peaches, and a lot of beans. I'm trying to have some hummus as well.
I eat this way because I want to have a chance to live as long as my wife, to not have to die 20 years before she does like Grandpa.
My mom is now three years on her own after dad died. My mom was in her 50's when my dad died. My mom could easily live 40 more years without Dad.
That's what motivates me to eat healthy today.
According to the data I've seen in the book named "How Not to Die," which was recommended by my doctor after I was humbled in realizing that it didn't even matter if I wanted to eat healthy, because I didn't honestly know how to eat healthy and I needed to find some serious motivation, both inside and outside.
I was getting in my own way with eating for a long time. Sitting there eating things that made me feel bad, and then I'd be depressed and I'd go make a scene or cause a problem, or be nasty to a friend or a family member.
Do you know how many bad moods I avoid today because I eat better?
I very rarely feel tired because the way I eat gives me nearly infinite energy. I'm all hyped up right now because I just had a pound or two of fruits and vegetables, first thing in the morning.
I don't need any energy drink.
Fruits and vegetables have a ton of natural energy in them.
You see, I got motivated to do better by honestly realizing I was in my own way and I couldn't get out of it. The motivation came seeing how it impacts other people.
Now when stuff happens to me, taking better care of my body gives me the ability to not be right on edge all the time.
When I'm fat and depressed from the way I'm eating, I get angry and irritable, nasty with other people, and then other people don't want to be around me as much, and they give that back to me.
It's just one of those feedback or loops, it just feeds itself over and over again. Because I am fat and depressed, and I've been nasty to my family members, I'm looking for a way to escape, then I'm over hunting the freezer for the ice cream. Then, I'm over grabbing some popcorn after that.
The more I get in my own way, the harder it becomes to get out of my own way.
A lot of us get so stuck in being in our own way that it's tempting to just blame everyone and everything else.
When I used to get all liquored up, you'd hear me complaining at everyone else online.
"Well, this company's doing this, this politician's doing that. This government's doing this," and you didn't hear me saying, “Look, I'm drinking myself to death right now. I'm fat right now, I'm sick right now.”
If you could translate through all the stuff I was saying, that's what you might have heard. You might have heard as well that I needed help.
One of my friends told me, "Man, you need to get God," and I laughed at him. I scoffed and I figured he was a moron for telling me that I needed to get God.
"How's God going to help me with problems I don't have?"
He was right, because shortly after I realized that I was so in, so deep. I was in so much pain, I had a hangover. I was throwing up blood one day.
The last time I drank, I threw up blood and I was scared for my life realizing that this was going to kill me. I realized that I couldn't stop either.
That's the thing that really makes the difference.
You realize that you want to eat better and you can't do it.
You realize that you want to stop taking your medication or you want to stop abusing the substance, and you can't do it.
You want to stop screaming at your husband or wife, or partner, you want to stop being a parent that's way over or under whatever your goal is, and you can't do it.
You realize that you honestly really want to do better, you look at the evidence and it suggests that you can't do better. You're already doing the best you know how to do.
Asking for help
I had a humbling realization about this with my wife because you fix one thing and it makes room to fix something else. I had a realization one day that I wanted to be a better husband and I didn't even know how, which when you've been married several years, is a humbling realization.
I started asking for help.
I asked people who've been married and they gave me tools. They gave me books to read, they gave me prayers to say. They gave me ways of thinking and they gave me perspective.
When you're in your own way, you can't fix it yourself. If you could fix it yourself, you already would've fixed it yourself.
In some countries of the world, at 5'11 tall and 173 pounds or so, you might still think that I'm fat, like all Americans are fat, but I'm a lot less fat than I used to be. I used to weigh 50 to 70 more pounds than I do right now and I couldn't fix that. I couldn't fix it by trying to diet. I couldn't fix it by just trying to force and use my willpower. I had to get a lot of help. I had to go to the doctor.
Thankfully, my uncle recommended the book "How Not to Die," then I got to ask and get a whole bunch of help for actually applying eating the way I do now.
I’ve asked my wife and she has given me a ton of help and suggestions. She's cooked a ton of different foods for me. She gave me the suggestion to make a smoothie.
I said, “I want to eat vegetables. I want to eat broccoli and carrots every day, but I don't like how they taste.”
She said, “Fruits are so sweet? Why don't you put them in a smoothie and just blend them up together?”
Now I eat about five pounds of carrots every week.
Even though I'm not big on the taste of carrots, I eat five pounds of them raw every week in my smoothie. I eat about a pound and a half or so of broccoli or cauliflower every week. I eat about the same amount of Brussels sprouts, although this week I doubled up on the broccoli and cauliflower.
That's what happens when you get help.
If you're looking at your life and you're honestly realizing, “You know what, I'm not getting where I want to go,” that you’ve set dreams and goals, and it seems like you're not getting any closer, sometimes you may need help putting things in proper perspective.
Even though I have an absolutely wonderful life today, I see a therapist. I go to AA meetings every day. I talk about my problems.
Because one of the biggest ways I still get in my own way is my perspective.
I have one thought come to my head that I don't like.
I still have a thought come through my head every now, and then that I don't want to live anymore. Then, I air that thought out. My wife says, "You know what, you don't have to have those thoughts. I don't think like that."
I talk to a counselor and even though I rate all the stuff really high for how I am doing during the week on a scale from one to six — all six with maybe a five in one area — he helps me see that my life is really good today.
It's easy to forget that because most of us are always trying to struggle, we want to overcome stuff, we want things to be challenging.
So, my life is so good today that one of the biggest ways I still get in my own way is when I lose sight of how good my life is, when I lose sight of all the problems that at one point seemed insurmountable.
My finances at one point were $500,000 of debt between all my family debts and our house. Our house is worth about $160,000 and some of that was a mortgage.
It was mostly student loan debts, but I had also a bunch of credit card and personal loans in my business. $500,000 in debt at one point seemed insurmountable, and it is now down to less than half of that in less than two or so years from when it was. It has been cut in half in just two years.
I had problems with my business like trying to get followers online, things that seemed impossible, and that are my reality today. I think it's ridiculous that I've got two and a half million followers online. It's absurd because it wasn't that long at all, I was just trying to get started, and I couldn't get hardly anyone to follow me or care about what I was doing.
Once you stop getting in your own way, you start looking at what you can do for other people.
What can you do for other people?
When I am looking around at things, I can do anything I want this morning. I ask, “What is it I can do that will help you the very most? What video can I make that will have the highest impact in your life today? What video can I make that will help you make the biggest leap forward and that will relieve the most pain and suffering in your life?”
When I realize that I sabotage my own efforts, I get motivated to go help other people because it's really easy to see into other people's problems and to see solutions.
I need to be and I am on the giving and receiving end of that every day. I hear people at Alcoholics Anonymous everyday share things to me that are extremely easy and simple solutions.
People frequently ask me what I do when I'm stressed out. What do I do when I'm stressed out? I have my whole life planned out for stress relief.
I get a massage every week, walking the dogs helps me relax at night, I listen to audio books, I read. I spend time with my family. I spend time with my daughter. I make my smoothie, I do ordinary chores like vacuuming, washing dishes, going to the grocery store. All that stuff helps me to de-stress.
I don't poison my body with things like alcohol or drugs, or foods that make me feel down, which then leads to more stress on my body. I try to relax a little bit. I trust whatever feels right.
You see, lots of the problems that other people are struggling with in Alcoholics Anonymous, I struggled with them a lot before, too. I have tons of solutions that work in my life today. Being in the giving end and receiving end of that today helps me to have the life that I have today.
I have an absolutely amazing life today that I'm extremely grateful for.
That's why I show up here and do this because I would deny you nothing I have.
I would love for you to have all of your dreams come true. I would love for you to have the exact world and universe you want to have. I want everything to be beautiful in your life and I bet everything already is beautiful in your life. If you're having a hard time seeing it, I want you to be able to see it.
I'm grateful today that I see the beauty in my life today.
My wife and I thought we were going to Disney this morning and we had a bit of a challenge with it because my wife planned out everything, I was really excited to go and we were going with her family, but it rained. We woke up late and it just seemed like the right thing to do was just to stay home and relax today. Sometimes changing plans is a little challenging and it brings up things from the past.
My wife and I had a discussion about our feelings and there were some crying and some frustration, and yet we got through that just a few minutes. It didn't ruin our whole day, and we won't have that resentment about it for months or years in the future.
We feel our feelings, and then we move on. We get to have a beautiful day afterwards instead of spending all day pissed off about it, or instead of her going off with her family and acting like everything's fine, and me getting drunk trying to act like everything's fine. Everything really is fine, which is amazing.
If you want to be popular and have people follow you online, one of the bottom line things is to love other people. When I show up and I'm not loving other people, it's really hard for me to make a good video and that puts a lot of pressure on me.
If I'm in a bad mood, you can tell as soon as the video starts. I've made videos in a bad mood and the comments always reflect that: “You seem angry today,” even when I couldn’t hardly tell I was angry.
I hope this is helpful for you because this world needs your gifts. The gifts that you have to offer, whatever they are, the world needs you to be able to fully apply your gifts today. If you look at the state of things, it promotes a feeling of despair, of hopelessness. It seems like things are so bad that nothing can possibly be done about it. If you look at the environment, all these issues, how we’re destroying the planet et cetera, there's so much despair with that.
It becomes hopeless until you look at, “What if you, what if we are empowered to fully give our gifts to this world? What if you and I are able to fully share the love, the gifts, the abilities, the skills we have with this world?”
That's what I hope to share and communicate with you here.
The only way I can do that is to lead by example, which I guess involves me walking around with this Canon camera and this little tripod that I'm holding to do a selfie in my living room, and just talking about this here with you today.
This is Day 161 of what I call Happier People Podcast, my vision goal to create happier people.
I love you, I hope you have a wonderful day today.
If this has been helpful, would you please leave a like and take a leap of faith with me, and actually practice these things in life today.
Thank you, I hope to see you again soon.
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Jerry Banfield with edits by @gmichelbkk