PR 93 | Transformation

There are moments in life that can stun us. These are the moments that take us into new and deeper realizations about who we are. They are also the moments where we can chose to pivot. Ben Gioia is someone who has pivoted in life multiple times, learning enough to eventually shift the culture at a Fortune 100 company. Ben is now President of InfluenceWithAHeart.com. In this episode, Ben shares his journey of facing death four separate times, the profound impact it had, and how it opened his eyes to, among many things, the power of meditation. For Ben, the goal is not the experience of meditating; it is the transformation that happens over time. Ben tells us more of his journey and also shares how this has influenced his appreciation for the new paradigm for marketing and sales.

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Ben Gioia: Wake-Up Calls And Transformation

I’m so happy to be here with you. There are so many things to be grateful for. I’m grateful for my wife of almost 29 years. I just got a hit of love for her. I was away on a business trip speaking. The blessing of being a public speaker is that you get to be in front of so many people and have the opportunity to impact lives and to give expression to your voice. I feel incredibly blessed that I get to express my message to so many people and to be paid well to do that is a wonderful thing. The other side of it is that it keeps me on the road at times and I miss my beloved. I miss my family, I miss friends, and I miss routines. Just the daily things that sometimes we take for granted. I would love it if you would all join me in finding something to be grateful for. Maybe it’s something that you don’t express your gratitude for regularly. Maybe it’s something simple like at the moment I am at a desk that was gifted to me for my last birthday.

It’s one of these autonomous desks so it goes up and goes down. I love it because part of the day I’ll sit when I’m in consultation or I’m reviewing speaker reels and things like that. When I’m podcasting, sometimes I sit and sometimes I stand. Now, I’m standing and I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful for this opportunity to just take good care of my body. Standing in this position is good for my back. That is something I’m in appreciation for at the moment. What’s something that you are grateful for? What’s something that you’re ready to put your attention to so the things that we appreciate appreciate in value? They appreciate in our awareness and the attention that we give anything is so powerful. The value that we place on it when we give it greater attention is special. I’m appreciating right now this opportunity to be here with all of you. I’m appreciating the fact that I’ve got incredible guests to share with you. A gentleman that I’m going to read a little bit from his bio then we’re going to dig right in.

This guy is special and you’re going to enjoy our conversation. You’re going to learn a lot and it’s going to be a great experience for all of us. Ben Gioia is my guest. He’s a two-time bestselling author and an international speaker who’s positioned million-dollar thought leaders. He’s created a mindfulness video game. He inspires leadership to serve humanity. Ben is the President of InfluenceWithAHeart.com and his teachings are used by more than 20,000 leaders worldwide. Ben shifted a culture at a Fortune 100 company and launched one of the biggest magazines on Earth. He trains global business leaders at Stanford as well. Ben, it is a pleasure. Our paths have intersected over the last few years both in the training space and in the airport. It is an absolute blast to have you on the show, welcome.

Thank you so much, Adam. It’s a pleasure to be here. I do want to say when I got into this world of doing this on my own, you were the first person I saw on stage and I said, “I want to be like that guy.” I am so delighted and I’m honored to be here and complete the circle in this way and then open up the next circle.

I am so happy to see that inspiration was carried forward. Well done all around. Your bio is impressive. There’s a lot that you’ve done in the world and we’ll dig into some of the details relative to your personal pivots and business pivots. Before we do that, what’s something that’s not in the bio that you would love for people to know about you?

Gratitude is a form of prayer. Click To Tweet

I’m happy to be alive. I’m happy to be alive because my breath keeps coming which is a brilliant thing and that can stop at any point. I had some pretty dicey experiences at different points in my life that it was questionable if I was going to live through them. I’m happy to say that I survived all of those and I’m here now.

You can never be grateful enough. If there’s a well of gratitude, in my own experience, I haven’t even seen a glimpse of the bottom of that well. It is infinite how much gratitude we can put into that, that we can be aware of in ourselves and in the world. It pays such incredibly wonderful dividends just to hold a space of gratitude. It’s a prayer. I’m a very spiritual person. I don’t typically talk all that much about prayer on the show. Gratitude is a form of prayer.

I do as well and I make a big use of it. I had this funny experience of almost dying a few times in a row while I was in India. Not having enough insight at that point to understand the gift of life in the way I understand it now, not to understand just this absolute blessing that we have. It took years for me to process that whole experience and go, “I made it through that.” What you’re saying about the well of gratitude, I had dipped in the thimble at that point when I survived that. This is now twelve years later. Maybe I’m on a half-size bucket it feels like and I’m looking for the bigger vessel.

In looking at that analogy, the amount that we can carry with us, assuming that ocean of gratitude with thimbles, what you can take away with you. If you go with the bigger vessel, then you can carry away that much more of it which is magnificent. Share with us a little bit about your background because you’ve pivoted several times both personally and professionally. Our community loves to hear those stories of people who have lived very interesting lives and by that lives that had great highs, great lows. That variance between the two is a magnificent landscape to trek. I know trekking and the mountains are a part of your story so please lead us on that journey for just a little bit here.

I’m from New York originally and around the city. After college, I found my way into the magazine world. I loved being a part of that because it was creative. Then I traveled overseas for the first time to South Africa and I realized firsthand how much help the world needs or many people in the world need. I came back to the States with this very powerful fire inside to help and to make a positive impact. I moved out to California and got myself into the nonprofit world and I loved that. It was very enriching. The ALS Association, the Lou Gehrig’s Disease which is quite a ride to say the least. I came out of that experience and realized that I wasn’t crazy about the for-profit world as I had experienced it because of many of the challenges that capitalism and for-profit companies bring into the world and bring into people’s lives. I was also a little bit disillusioned with nonprofits because many have a great mission, but they don’t have the leverage to be able to make that big impact that they want to make. I want to strike out on my own in a big way, but before I did any of that I went to India for a while and that was what led me to the Himalayas.

PR 93 | Transformation

Transformation: It pays such incredibly wonderful dividends just to hold a space of gratitude.

 

Say more about that. I’ve never been to the Himalayas. I don’t know how many folks have been. I would think a fair amount, but my guess is that for a lot of people that it’s part of their bucket list as well to see that mountain range or to trek into those mountains.

I highly recommend both, regardless of the story that I’m about to tell. I found my way into the mountains of southern India. Within the space of 72 hours, I almost died four times. It was astounding and this was before I had any kind of gratitude practice, awareness practice, or spiritual practice. I was still in the land of atheism and agnosticism, one or the other. Just this thing after thing of first going up a mountain on a bus and the bus almost going off the cliff. The next day, I was walking with my guide and all of a sudden, we hear screaming and shouting over here in the trees. I can’t understand because it’s not in English. He turns to me and he says run. I said, “Run?” He says run and he runs down the path. I’m from New York so I’m thinking that it’s either police or bad people who are chasing us. I have no idea.

It turns out it was a forest fire and it hadn’t rained in four months in this part of India. Things were going up in smoke. I got through all of that. The next day we’re hiking, the guide stops me all of a sudden on the path and he points down and there’s this little tiny green snake there which is apparently incredibly deadly. Then the last part of it was we’re walking along and he’s in front of me and we hear noise in the bush over here. I see him turn to the side and lift up his walking stick as if he’s going to clobber something. I go running towards him because he’s the guy with the stick and look over and there’s a mountain lion right there. Fortunately, because I guess there are two of us and one of us looks very tall with the stick, the mountain lion takes off. I had nothing left at that point, I didn’t even have adrenaline. It was really amazing.

Was that a catalyst for you in some way to come face-to-face with your mortality in a place that’s foreign? I’m a native New Yorker. Walking down the streets in New York is dangerous on a good day at least back in my day. That could be a life-harrowing as an experience too but different. These are the things that you’re more accustomed to. You are in India for the first time, you’re in the mountains and here there are four ways you could have gotten taken out but you didn’t.

It was interesting because it did begin to open my eyes. I did not have a lot of experience of death in my family growing up like a lot of people didn’t die for a long time. The ones that did were very distant. This is probably my first real face-to-face experience with death in a profound and direct way for me. What was interesting was although there was this amazing lesson times four, I took a lot of the lesson but there was a lot that I didn’t take. For lack of awareness, lack of love for myself, lack of understanding that there’s a lot more out there than me, I went back home and fell back into my routine of work and party on the weekends. I just fell back into the old stuff and it took about two years and going back to India for me to finally find my way to another hole and then find my way to the door that let in the light to finally go, “Okay.” That door was meditation for me.

When something is changed, the essence of it is the same. Click To Tweet

I’ve come up with a title for your new book, Four Near-Death Experiences. It’s four times that you came face to face with death. I’m just playing with the thought here that in a way they are four wake-up calls. That would be the title and when you were saying that to me, I thought to myself, “You had four near-death experiences. It’s not like you got bitten by the snake and somebody suck the venom out. You ended up in the hospital for six months as some people do and somehow you miraculously survived.” This is profound as it’s coming out, not what I’m saying but your experience was profound because in a short period of time you had four looks at what death could have been like. The bus could have gone off the side of the mountain, the mountain lion could have eaten you. They happened so quickly and disappeared almost as quickly as they arrived. You could almost call them these little wake-up calls.

These are four glimpses, maybe that’s the title Four Glimpses of Death. These wake-up calls are pretty interesting because they were a catalyst for you. Two years or so later, it led you onto a different path. Is that a spiritual path? Is it a path that you wouldn’t necessarily associate with spirit? This is one of the interesting things and I’m going to get to the question for you, Ben. Meditation has, for some people, a direct link to spirituality. That’s why some people resist it or feel as though maybe somehow in meditation there’s some element of religion or some indoctrination that occurs. Some place where you lose control of your own free will perhaps or something like that. I’ve found that for me, I’m not a great meditator. When I think of it as meditation, I’m not terrific at it. I think of it as stillness practice but regardless of what you call it, please lead us to those four glimpses of death that you several years later began a reinvention of your own and a pivot into the space of meditation.

At the end of those two years post four glimpses, I was in a low place in my life, instructive place in my life. In my job, relationship, the whole deal, everything was ugly. I remember on my birthday, I looked up in the sky and raised my hands up in the air and I said, “I just want to be free.” I just want to get out of this, I don’t know what that is and what can I do. A couple of days later I realized I could go back to India. I went back to India and I did a volunteer project again in the Himalayas and I found my way to another area where there were a bunch of travelers and a bunch of meditators. I didn’t know that at the time there were meditators, but I would see these people walking around. I would see the looks in their eyes and there was this beautiful clarity and this depth and this love and it wasn’t like that cult look in the eye, but it was this profundity.

I kept saying and I was like, “I want that.” I asked somebody, “How did you get that? How did you do that?” They talked about this particular style of meditation called Vipassana which is a non-sectarian, the awareness of the body sensations and breath. That’s the whole practice. Completely stripped down. I said, “That’s interesting.” I would meet the next person, “How do you get that? Why do you look like that?” They would say, “Vipassana.” I asked somebody, “What does that mean?” In this particular tradition, you start out with a ten-day meditation in silence. It’s like meditation boot camp to the nth degree. Somebody said that to me and I said, “I’m not doing that. Are you kidding me?” I met more people and they kept saying “Vipassana,” and so I was like, “Fine, I’ll go.”

I’m a recovering Catholic as I think many people are or at least get the gist of that. I think Jesus is amazing. The teachings in their core are amazing and, like many things, they’ve been misused over time. This idea of this non-sectarian meditation approach is really resonant for me. I went and I showed up and I sat down. There was no religion, there’s no iconography. It’s the teachings of the Buddha. They specifically don’t call it Buddhism which is so beautiful. I show up and I’m sitting on the cushion every day and it is the single hardest thing that I’ve ever done. I am miserable and it turned out to be the single best thing that I had ever done. The single biggest pivot of anything ever for me.

PR 93 | Transformation

Transformation: There is so much more than we can see at any single moment 100% of the time.

 

When we were joking about the fifth glimpse of death, what was that like?

There’s this past life experience. I had heard of them. I certainly was familiar with the concept, they were not in my radar in any way. Somewhere around day five or day six of the meditation, I’m sitting there and all of a sudden, I have this image in my head and clearly, it’s an image from a past life of mine. I just know that’s what it is. There’s no doubt in my mind. There was no like, “Could this be this?” It was just like boom. I went, “Oh my God.” I have to say something very important here for people who don’t know so much about meditation. The practice of meditation is not with the goal of creating experiences. People have all sorts of experiences, spiritual, psychedelics, psychological, transformative healing, and all these things. The goal is not the experience. The goal is the transformation over time. That means for you and in the context of the practice that you’re doing. That made me go, “There’s so much more to this universe than I had even given an acknowledgment to.” I had an understanding of the universe from a scientific perspective. I knew there’s a lot going on, but this opened the door to so much more than we can see at any single moment 100% of the time.

What did you do with that? A lot of people reading this now may say, “I’d love to make ten days out of my hectic,” and I will use the dirty word around here anyway, we don’t love the word, “Busy.” We don’t use it very often, but I do think people say it a lot because they feel it. That hectic busyness of life to make ten days, to be silent, to be still, to be in meditation would be something a lot of people would be open to and yet still might say, “When I’m retired. I don’t know when but someday soon.” You did this. It’s incredible and it was painful, it sounds like in many ways. At the same time, you opened up this new awareness that didn’t exist beforehand. You were different. It was something new that didn’t exist previous to this. That to me is the definition of transformation. I don’t use that word lightly. Transformation is not mere change. When something is changed, the essence of it is the same. It’s not something new and different. It sounds like you underwent something that made you or created something new and different in your experience and that was a catalyst for what you started afterwards. Lead us from that point forward to a little bit of what that road was like afterwards.

The beautiful thing about that whole experience and the practice was it gave me tools to use, the actual meditation, something that I could make a part of my every day. With this basic goal of how do you be present with your experience without getting hooked on the pleasant or trying to push away the unpleasant. Just being there as life is unfolding. That was incredibly powerful. I went back to the ALS Association after that experience serendipitously and helped them through a big transformation organizationally that they were going through. At the end of that whole experience, the husband of my boss said, “I’m taking my business online.” He had already written his book and had been doing some speaking. He’s a very successful consultant and vice president of the Bank of America at some point. He said, “I’d like you to be my director of marketing and sales.” I said, “George, I would love that. Thank you. Is it okay that I have the background in neither marketing nor sales?” George says, “That’s okay, figure it out.”

That got me on the path and I started paying attention online to this whole new world of internet marketing and marketing and all these things. Before I started, I said, “Wherever this road takes me, I’m only going to work with people who I resonate with, who are doing good in the world, and whose values match mine in a profound way.” I put that right first and foremost and that worked well for me. I found my way to Eben Pagan, first of all, who is very helpful. Then Eben’s coach or the person who did his weekly coaching was someone named Lou D’Alo. I don’t know if you’ve ever come across Lou D’Alo, he’s very under the radar but he was the first embodiment of what I ended up creating as my first brand, Marketing with a Heart. Lou embodied that and taught me how to think as an entrepreneur, as a business person. Engage the things that I had to learn and how to discern among them. I called him my teacher at that time. I was very blessed to have that experience.

Be there in life’s unfolding. Click To Tweet

People are familiar with that phrase, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” I love the way you put that because you can look at it as a calling in. When we’re ready for growth, we call in a teacher. When we’re ready for a mentor, we call in a mentor. My dad wrote a book called, Doctor of Preparation years ago. That was one of these things. It’s so important that we are preparing ourselves. It’s the same way as if we were planting in a field, we’d prepare the soil. When we are going to plant the garden, we’d prepare the soil. We prepare the place where we’re going to plant something. Preparing the soil for our own growth is important.

When that preparation has been tended to. There are new things that show up. There’s new growth. There are new things that sprout out of the ground almost miraculously, it’s part of the universe’s laws. It’s nature. It shouldn’t surprise anybody that when we do those things something happens. Preparing ourselves, preparing our mind, preparing our physical, emotional, spiritual bodies even for growth is something I don’t know that everybody’s consciously doing. It sounds like this was a period of cultivation for you.

Big time and it was interesting too because leading me to the next pivot about five years into Marketing With a Heart, I woke up one day and I looked at it and I was like, “I love this thing because I’ve created it and it’s my baby and I don’t feel passion for it because I realize it doesn’t tell the whole story. It’s not who I want to be, it’s not how I want to impact the world.” What I did was I received some coaching. I did a lot of reflection and writing on my own, but I received some coaching and the pivotal piece of the coaching for me was to connect to my purpose in a big way. I always knew that I wanted to help people. I was able to articulate my purpose in a way that inspired and excite me just by saying it. It was also a fabulous filter for how I wanted to articulate my business, my brand which is Influence With a Heart.

You pivoted. In essence, you’d gotten the juice out of what you’d been learning to that point. It’s almost like being in a car and you’ve used up your tank of gas and now it’s time for a refill so you can go that much further. It’s not like the tank of gas that took you as far as it took you was wasted. A lot of people who are in there are more consciously aware of their evolutionary process which we call the pivot, they are conscious of that. They think that they’ve wasted time. The things that they’ve done, experiences that they’ve had, the time they spent in a job that they didn’t maybe end up loving as much as they thought they would, for example. That somehow that’s waste and it’s not. It is the alchemy of life that everything goes is used, nothing goes to waste. There’s nothing that doesn’t have the capacity to move us forward. To fill up the tank and use what we’ve taken from where we’ve left off, to fill the tank up and then move further is the process.

It’s wonderful that you were able to not so much say, “There’s a new thing I want to do that has nothing to do with the old thing. It’s a changing. It was a reinvention of that thing. It’s the next generation of it which is Influence. I knew when we met and we became reacquainted. I was on a trip going out to speak and we ran into each other at the San Diego airport. I knew there was a good reason for the meeting because I never think anything is random. Our company is called More Love Media. Our speaker program or the suite of speaker programs that we have are under the umbrella of The Heart of Enrollment. I knew when you were sharing with me where your brand had evolved into that, that there was that lovely Venn diagram of commonality.

PR 93 | Transformation

Transformation: It is the alchemy of life that everything that goes is used; nothing goes to waste.

 

Your pivot has continued. You’re an author, you’ve written books. You write on the process of influence and influence from a heart-centered place but rather than me sharing what’s the essence of your message, I’d love for you to share that. In the space of marketing and sales, we do have a lot of people that are still playing on an old paradigm. This paradigm of how to effectively communicate your message through your marketing and through your sales process. It’s relevant now that people have awareness of new ways of doing it which we would call a new paradigm. Share with us what’s your paradigm for marketing and sales these days?

I start with this idea of inspiring people to say yes. It’s good for them, it’s good for you, and it’s good for everybody you’re going to impact. Setting that intention, first and foremost, and then also understanding that “Yes” is not a singular action but it’s a series of interactions or outcomes. I like the analogy of a cascading waterfall. The water doesn’t go from top to bottom. It falls here, it pools over here, this comes out here. There’s this beautiful, natural gentle, very often progression. Maybe a couple of little bumpy parts but there’s a more or less gentle progression from top to bottom. I like that process of enrollment and getting people to say yes in a way that’s good for them and good for you. That’s my meta-process. In terms of individual components, I talk a lot about empathy, story, thought leadership, and mindfulness as my big four. Your empathy for the connection. Literally, it’s not just, “I understand who you are because I read your bio, but I get who you are because we can connect and resonate human to human, either because of a shared direct experience or the fact that we’re just humans and we’re sharing this reality with each other.”

One of the most beautiful things about that is the trust factor that comes with empathy, the connection that comes. In practical terms you ask people questions about them, then they share with you. You have marketing language. Very simple straightforward and massively powerful. The story part is the oldest form of communication. You can cultivate empathy very quickly by asking people to share their stories with you, sharing your story with them. Showing them that even though potentially you’re the person on the stage, the thought leader talking about the stuff that you are an absolutely accessible person still. That they know that you’re on the ground with them. That was one of the biggest things that stood out when I saw you seven years ago on stage. You may not remember this, but you did laser coaching with me at the end because you were laser coaching 500 people that day. Everybody’s waving a hand. I saw you saw me and you looked at me and the first thing you said was, “I got you.” A little bit later you came to me again.

When you were talking to me it’s like there was nobody else in the room. It was as if we were sitting down talking to each other. To be able to bring that presence and that connection into an environment like that is the way to go. It is one of the most powerful tools. It’s not that hard if you put the intention behind it and practice doing it. Drill it into your bones. Thought leadership, people still very much appreciate and resonate with the people who are those authorities that they know what they’re talking about. Not only know what they’re talking about, but they embody the transformation that they’re offering because then it’s legit. They get that it’s not just you’re selling me something. It’s I’m offering you an experience of transformation very similar to the experience of transformation that got me to this point onto this stage or whatever the case may be. The thing I said before about doing it in a way that shows that you’re accessible and you’re a real person even if you are the expert in the mix.

The exchange of stories and beautiful that embedded in that is this idea of being accessible and being a presence. A part of when we train speakers in this style and in the process that you just described, that being a presence, that representing presence versus pretense is a big piece of that. The veil that’s often between us and other people is a veil that we don’t even see in many ways. It’s invisible but it’s a separation. That’s one of the most powerful things that we can do in our own lives is to remove the veil. You have to be conscious that the veil exists and then simply to do things to close the gap between ourselves and other people, get rid of the veil and close the gap.

When the student is ready, the teacher appears. Click To Tweet

Then you said thought leadership which you also use the term embodiment. There’s this embodying of what it is that you’re sharing. It doesn’t mean that you don’t make mistakes. I want people to hear this. Thought leadership is not about being perfect, it’s not being a guru, it’s not about being flawless that you don’t make mistakes. It’s quite the opposite in fact. It’s about being congruent and that there’s this congruence between who you are when you’re in your teaching space, for example, and when you’re in your living space. When there’s a separation between those two things or at least there’s not an alignment between those two things, people are not as purpose-driven or as able to accelerate their purpose as they could be. They have something they clearly want to share with the world and there’s a lot of people who have messages they want to share. I don’t think people get into that space of either being an author or being a speaker a coach or trainer or any of those things because they want to somehow pull something over on people.

There are other ways to sell product and far easier products to sell than that product if their goal is to be a fraud. I know that that’s not the goal but where they struggle often is the fact that their deep sense of purpose does not match this embodiment principle that you brought up. They get up there and they talk about stuff and they pretend. The pretense that somehow they’re further along than they are. Even if they’ve achieved certain things that they don’t also still have the humility or the memory of their more humble moments in life. The times they’ve screwed up. Even in that present moment where it is that they’re not hitting the mark in every area that they’d like to. With embodiment, I guess the parenthetical for me in that would be humility. That’s three. The empathy, story, and thought leadership, and the fourth one.

The fourth one is mindfulness and it’s the foundation of it all. You will be more empathetic the more mindful you are if you’re paying attention to your thoughts and words and actions. You’re going to do better with them. There are some talk about when you are mindful of your body, paying attention to physical sensations or your breath, you’re working the part of the brain. The insula that supports empathy as well. Literally by being more mindful, you’re creating more empathy inside of the brain. That’s an amazing thing. For those of us who cannot quite get to the ten days of meditation yet, mindfulness is a great way to bring that embodied presence into every moment of every day or at least as many moments as possible throughout the day. I want to drop in a definition here too because people hear mindfulness and Google mindfulness and it’s such a buzzword. I like to tell people it’s just being present with what’s happening in the moment without judging it. Whether it’s your thoughts, or what you’re saying, the feeling in your body, the thing that you’re seeing happen in front of you. It doesn’t mean to sit there and passively accept what’s happening. You say, “This is the moment and now I’m going to make the choice with what to do next.”

I love the fact that you dropped in that definition as well. What a perfect segue into the place in the show where I ask our guests about their rituals, not religious connotation, not dogma but something that you do consciously as opposed to habits which often we do unconsciously. What are these things that you do consciously to create mindfulness for yourself? People might be thinking right now, “I’d love to be more mindful.” What does Ben do to be more mindful or more present with the moment to moment during the day?”

A range of things. I try to be thankful for a couple of things before I go to bed and be thankful for a couple of things when I wake up. I set the tone. Personally, my meditation practice in the morning and in the evening, that’s helpful for me. It’s pivotally helpful in my experience every day. Then the throughout the day stuff, there are two things that I find helpful. One is just reminding myself that my feet are touching the ground. What’s that feeling? Just connecting to that feeling. That’s an amazing way to be mindful any time. Standing there, being at the desk like whatever is happening you can connect to your feet. Another one that I like is something called a three breaths meditation. Any time you become aware that you’re in the present moment like, “I’m here where I’m doing the dishes. I’m here.” You just take three breaths and be with that experience. That also works for things like, “I’m pissed off right now” and I’m boiling on the inside. I’m just going to take three breaths with that and just be with that experience. Not push it away, not pull it closer, just look at it and let it be.

PR 93 | Transformation

Transformation: You will be more empathetic the more mindful you are.

 

I took three breaths just now. I hope as our audience is reading this, that you are taking those three breaths. What a beautiful moment to be present with each other. I appreciate your presence on the show, Ben. It’s a pleasure.

This has been a blast and beyond.

Our community loves this and I’m sure they’re going to get great value and have already gotten great value. I want to remind everybody too that this day was a blessing. Maybe you’re reading this and it’s been a great day already and maybe it hasn’t been. There’s a chance that some of you have dealt with some crap whether it was an email form or some other form but we all have our stuff and I’m no different. We all have our things and yet now was a blessing. I know it was a blessing because we all woke up. That is something that is a shared experience and as Ben said, there is no guarantee of that. We weren’t guaranteed that we would wake up this day. My question to all of you reading at the moment is are you willing to wake up again tomorrow. Is that your intention to wake up and my guess is that everybody is going, “Yes, absolutely. I want to wake up?” It’s metaphoric as well as rooted in the reality that we want to live another day. We also want to live a little better tomorrow than now. To me, that’s about consciousness. It’s not about how much money we might make tomorrow or what great opportunities might present themselves or whether we get our way or we don’t get our way.

It’s just a question of how much more aware can we be, how much more conscious and awake we can be. I do wish and pray in fact that we all get to wake up tomorrow and I hope that that that is going to be made true for you. That’s the first part. The second part of the waking ritual for tomorrow is that at that moment when you realized, “I got another day. It happened. I’m waking up again.” You can be grateful for that moment, for that breath. Lastly, at least in this very simple waking ritual. If you feel like it from the bed or when your feet hit the floor. I sometimes do it from the bed and sometimes as I’m putting my feet on the floor, I say these words three times. I say, “I love my life, I love my life, I love my life.” I hope and pray that you all do love your life and whether you do or don’t at the moment, that you are on that path to loving life and to being a lover of life. What a blessing this has been.

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I invite you all to leave a review on iTunes. We appreciate that feedback very much. We also love the comments that you leave on the websites. You can go to AdamMarkel.com/podcasts and leave a comment. If you haven’t subscribed to the podcast feel free to do so. We got some incredible interviews already in the canon, amazing ones that are being revealed on a weekly basis. Our Facebook page has just become a Facebook group and that group has become spectacularly rich with people like yourselves who are reinventing some aspect of their business, their personal life in many ways, are vulnerable or sharing great resources or in support of one another. It’s fantastic so you can go to Start My Pivot community on Facebook or you can go to PivotFB.com to get there, that’s the shortcut. It has been a blessing as I said and I wish you all the incredible rest of your day or your evening. I’ll just say ciao for now and Ben thanks again for joining us.

Thanks, Adam. It’s a pleasure and honor.

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About Ben Gioia

PR 93 | Transformation

Ben Gioia is 2x bestselling author and international speaker who’s positioned million dollar thought leaders, created a mindfulness video game, and inspires leadership that serves humanity. Ben is President of InfluenceWithAHeart.com and his teachings are used by more than 20,000 people worldwide. Ben shifted culture at a Fortune 100 company, launched one of the biggest magazines on Earth, and trains global business leaders at Stanford. Once upon a time, while trekking (and almost dying) in the mountains of South India, Ben received a gift: a fire inside to serve. So today he partners with entrepreneurs, leaders, consultants, and coaches to bring their vision, message, and impact to the world. Mindfulness and service are central to everything that Ben teaches, thanks to 100+ days of silent meditation, volunteering at a hospice for 3 years, and an award from The ALS Association for his program ‘Mindfulness For People With ALS and Their Caregivers’. INFLUENCE WITH A HEART, Ben’s second book, will show you how to be a better leader & communicator by using a unique mix of empathy, story, thought leadership, and mindfulness. His framework is proven, powerful, & practical… whether you’re face to face, online, onstage, or on the phone.