In this episode, Adam Markel celebrates and reflects on the 150 episodes of The Conscious PIVOT. He discusses the idea of building resilience, fighting complacency, and the importance of rituals along the path towards a better self and higher performance. Resilience is critical to two desirable outcomes – longevity and performance. This is why resilience is not only desirable in today’s culture of work; it is a non-negotiable and sought-after skill. People who are resilient lead the way to growth. Join Adam as he reflects upon the success and energy of the last 150 episodes and shares his perspective on the importance of resilience to that success.
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150th Episode Celebration: A Testament to Resilience
I am sitting here all by my lonesome. I’m thrilled and feel blessed that I get to be able to share some thoughts on a milestone event in this show. It’s shocking to me that we’ve managed to get in 150 episodes since we started this journey. It has been a blast. I knew it was going to be fun. I was excited about it at the start. There’s a lot of energy around beginning it, but I didn’t know that I’d feel this jazzed up about it. In fact, I even feel more excited, more good about all the work that went into it, everything that’s in the process and all the things that come still. I didn’t know if I’d feel this great 150 episodes in. Sometimes, you’d do something 150 times, I don’t care what it is, but you can get a little tired of it and complacent. I talk about the cost of complacency in regard to how do you build high performing teams and where it is that we are settling on some level for the status quo. We’re settling for what’s comfortable, what’s easy and what’s the shortest distance between two points sometimes.
I talk about it a lot and yet, I’m the same as everybody else. I get complacent from time to time. I’m even marveling for myself at this moment how great I feel about every episode. We’ve already got booked in and lined up for the future for this show. It’s exciting and it’s a testament to resilience. Part of what I believe is important in our world is that we are developing greater resilience, skills, tools, and ways of creating resilience. That’s the thing with all the research that we’ve done as a company and the research that we’ve read and looked into from other people.
That’s including highly regarded people within pretty prestigious learning institutions, lots of them, Harvard and others. The conversation around resilience is often about how it is that we can maintain energy or maintain our capacity over time. How can you do that over lengths of time? Whereas lots of people will tend to fade at the end of a race. People fade toward the end of the race because they get tired, worn out and exhausted. Mental, emotional, physical exhaustion is a big issue in our world and in our businesses. How you stay at a high level of performance is a tangible thing. It is an important skill and tool to learn.
As I’m delivering this particular solocast. I’m feeling energized more even than when we began. In part, that’s because it’s been a joy to do it. I’m going to break it down a little bit for myself and for all of you. I’ve enjoyed the journey. There’s no question that enjoying or experiencing joy in what you’re doing on some level has an impact on whether or not you can do it for any length of time. I’ll go back to my days as a lifeguard at Jones Beach in Long Island, New York, on the South Shore of that Island. It was a rough job. We dealt with all kinds of crazy stuff on the beach. We have drug overdoses. People would have other things happen. There could be fights.
That’s just on the beach. That’s not taking into account that we had thousands of people in the water at any given point in time, on a Saturday or Sunday. A hundred thousand people on the beach and thousands of people in the water. When the waves were strong, when the rip currents were pulling or sucking, we would have to make rescues every hour. Sometimes by the dozens in a day, we’d make easily more than 100 rescues. These were serious rescues. Sometimes they were us being proactive. We’d get in the water when we knew people were getting moved offshore. We could see the look on their face with a little bit of panic and a little bit of uncertainty.
We would be proactive as well and get in the water when they weren’t able to do it themselves. We would swim sideways, swim parallel to the shore to get out of that rip current. We would get in there with buoys and sometimes other equipment like surfboards and move masses of people. Often, those times into the water where people are going down and they were panicking. You’d have to get people calm and get them on that life preserver. Sometimes you’d have to get your arms around them. It was a dangerous situation. I can tell you that we did that working day after day and year after year. I was there for seven years and we did it successfully.Sometimes, we settle for what's comfortable and easy, the shortest distance between two points. Click To Tweet
In fact, after the first summer that I was there where we had a tragedy, having lost somebody and somebody going down and we couldn’t find them, we created with the leadership of our captain and the other more senior lifeguards on the field a mantra that we lived with and that inspired us each and every day. For seven summers after that one day, that awful day in July, when I was nineteen years old, we never lost anybody again. That was a pretty impeccable track record. It was a testament to what I was saying about how it is that we can continue to do something for any length of time and not just do it and complete it, but to complete it at a very high level, a gold medal level of performance.
I imagine many of you in whatever it is you’re doing, whether it’s a part of your personal life and the rituals of personal activities or it’s in connection specifically with business or entrepreneurship, which is its own very specific category. It has been for a long time for sure. You have to have tremendous staying power. There’s so much unrest, things going on in our politics, in the US, North America, everywhere around the world. The political unrest is everywhere. There are physical things that are happening as we can see. Devastating things like these fires that have been burning in various places around the world and things happening in our climate and in our oceans.
Other things going on even with people getting ill, sick from flu, other viruses and the talk of pandemics. There’s a lot of stuff that is flying around literally and figuratively with all that disruption, to be able to continue to perform at a level that serves the world the way we are capable of serving the world, that takes some stuff. There was a movie called The Right Stuff. It was all about the Apollo astronauts, I believe. That’s a great term. What’s the right stuff? For us, that right stuff is all encapsulated in the word, resilience. We are privileged to travel and speak to groups, mostly corporate groups these days.
We do some personal development training as well. We train speakers by the dozens several times a year. In the corporate arena, we’re hired frequently to keynote conferences and speak to executives, managers, and C-Suite people about how do you create personal resilience in the midst of all that chaos. The stuff that is disrupting our peace of mind and the things that are constantly changing in the world, which I think is quite a natural phenomenon. That’s the nature of nature that everything is in constant change. How do you work within that? How do you create this level of the right stuff ongoingly?
Delivering Your Best Performance
It is a fascinating conversation and, in many ways, it is trying to imagine yourself delivering the best performance you can every day. If that’s all we were ever doing, that’s all I ever focused on was, “I’m going to deliver my best performance as a human, as a dad, as a husband, as a business owner, as a leader, as an author.” What my goal mental performance looks like. It is a powerful intention, mantra, and method or process to engage the day. That’s what it was for us at the beach. We didn’t deliver a bronze medal day in all the days that I was in the beach because it meant somebody might have perished. It was gold or go home. That was the concept.
We couldn’t be complacent. Coming back to that point, complacency kills. That’s part of the equation that we can’t settle for the status quo. We can’t settle for anything less than the right stuff. If we do, in certain contexts, like at the beach, people’s lives were on the line. How many people’s lives are on the line every day in ordinary life matters, in your life, in the business that you’re in, in your own pursuit of happiness or peace or being the best parent that you can be, best friend or son or daughter or human in the world? We need better performances. We need more gold medal performances from more people these days to combat or to offset some of the areas where we’re sliding sideways a little bit.
I’m a perennial optimist. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying there’s anything that isn’t happening, that isn’t required to happen. I firmly believe that to be true and yet, at the same time, I also don’t believe in settling for the status quo. We don’t respond more likely than not to react to disruption. We have the opportunity to self-disrupt. That’s a key component of creating resilience. It is the ability to self-disrupt your environment. As I’m sitting here and I’m thinking about this beautiful show that we’ve had for 150 episodes, that’s a length of time. It’s almost over two years. I’m not saying we’ve got a perfect score or a gold medal every performance or show, but that’s certainly what we’ve sought to do.
It’s driven me and our team to deliver something that we hope you have found to be wonderful. Maybe some more wonderful than others. This is a personal thing because not everybody will feel the same way about each show, each episode, each conversation. I firmly believe that you’re reading to this not random. It’s not by accident. There’s something that you’re drawn to and that’s something that’s in it for you. It is everything that I experienced. I know there’s always something in it for me. It’s totally intentional and it’s a question of sometimes connecting dots, finding and looking at it and asking that question, “What’s in it for me? What can I learn from the experience?”
I’ve felt great about the feedback that we’ve got from all of you and that you feel our love because more than anything, we want you to feel that we’re putting a lot of love into this show. We want a lot of love to be communicated through the show. We want to have this show among other things be a ripple, that there’s a little pebble that goes in a big pond. We know that it’s a big world and this is one pebble in that pond that we’ve seen some ripples already and felt it. It’s been beautiful and we hope that’s how you feel about it. If you do, we’d love to hear from you. You can leave us messages.
There are lots of ways to connect with our team, [email protected]. You can go to AdamMarkel.com/podcasts and leave a comment. You can go on and leave a review and, hopefully, you’ll subscribe. There are tons and tons of great shows. Our team asked me to maybe talk about some of my favorite episodes and all that kind of thing, but I feel like that I’m going to be dismissing some of the guests that would be insulted. How do I recap 150 shows? There are a few that I know for myself, as the show was unfolding, many times I have these experiences where I’m getting chicken skin and goosebumps.
We’re having conversations and I’m thinking to myself, “I needed to hear that.” I’m responding to someone and I go, “I needed to say that.” I loved my conversation with Reverend Michael Beckwith. We had a great conversation. I remember that one. Cynthia Kersey, who’s got this beautiful foundation, Unstoppable Foundation, which we’ve fortunately been able to contribute to and build a school in Kenya with her and her team. That was beautiful. We’ve had Sandra Joseph on the show. She’s an angel, a wonderful and beautiful person. We met at an organization. We’re both members called The Transformational Leadership Council. It is Jack Canfield’s group that he put together many years ago with some phenomenal people. It is a blessing and an honor to be a part of that and associated with it. If you don’t know Sandra Joseph, you can go back and look at that episode. She’s the longest-running lead on Broadway.Staying at a high level of performance is an important skill to learn. Click To Tweet
She was Christine, lead actress in a show you may have heard of called The Phantom of the Opera. That’s an interesting story about Sandra Joseph, in addition to us doing that episode. I still think about that and go, “We had quite a conversation that day.” I highly recommend checking that out. She and I both were on the same TEDx stage as well. We both delivered our TEDx Talk in South Lake Tahoe on September 8th, 2018. It was my son, Matthew’s, the birthday that day. She sang because you can’t have Sandra anywhere without getting her to sing. She’s got the voice, an angelic sound that comes out of her. That was remarkable. She’s incredible. There are many shows that I’ve loved. I know I had a great conversation with Dawa Phillips. We definitely vibe on the same level. We talked about meditation, mindfulness and creating stillness and peace. I love that conversation.
If you’re happening on this or if you’ve been reading for a while and you haven’t checked out some of the episodes at the beginning, it might be fun to even know the difference. I have not gone back and done that myself, check out early episodes and then check out more the recent ones, but I’m sure that the show has evolved. I know what we’ve done a little bit differently and it’s going to continue to evolve. We’re always being contacted by people that want to be guests on the show. We’re always looking for people that we think would be fantastic. If you’ve got ideas about that or you are somebody who would like to be considered to be interviewed, please let us know. We’re going to be bringing in the coming months some more business people onto the show, more CEOs and C-Suite people.
In fact, I learned that there is a new C-Suite position. That’s interesting that this is coming around the way it is, a chief resilience officer. I kid you not, in the tech startup world where they give chief cook and bottle washer and things like that, they make up titles. There’s no title that didn’t get made up at the beginning anyways. It’s all made up stuff, but a chief resilience officer is a powerful component of any business that wants to succeed long-term. The idea of being able to create longevity and performance at the same time is a big deal in our world. I was thrilled to see that. We’re going to bring on some of those people. We also have a lot of people that are public speakers themselves who want to either do some of the keynote speaking that we’ve been doing or want to get on a TEDx stage. We’re going to have some former and current keynote speakers and TEDx speakers on the show.
We feel like there’s a tremendous room for growth for us to have to continually evolve this conversation around The Conscious PIVOT. How it is that we are consciously making micro-changes each day, week, month, year of our lives so that we can continue to not only be around but be around and putting in those best gold medal performances as often as we possibly can. I don’t know that there’s any more complicated explanation that I need personally than to be able to wake up every day and make us an adjustment if I’m looking to create that best day. What’s my best day look like? How am I going to show up as that impeccable person personally and professionally? What does it take to do that? Sometimes it’s a small little change, a 1% change in what you’re doing. A five-degree change in the direction in the trajectory changes everything over time. You can’t change an input in science without the output. Also being affected, being changed, it’s the butterfly effect or the Law of Small Disruptive Differences.The idea of being able to create longevity and performance at the same time is a big deal. Click To Tweet
All of those things are impactful in terms of creating something better, something new and different, and not falling into the trap of complacency. It’s the trap of the status quo, of playing it safe, the trap of not wanting to make mistakes, playing the game of business and of life on defense as opposed to being out there on leading the bleeding edge and doing what is possible. As a result of living that full, exciting, not boring at all life, you can experience joy. That’s where I started the show, feeling the joy to be here, being with you, being in the seat, being in 150 episodes of something that we’ve had tremendous fun doing. We hope you can feel that and that you’ve loved it as well that you’re willing to share it with other people, with your family and friends. Most importantly, that you’re enjoying it as well. I look forward to reading your comments and have you be a part of this conversation, which is for us, evolving and is only getting better. We’ll see you soon. Thanks so much. Ciao.