What does the ultimate successful life look like for you? There is manifesting power in asking such questions, yet, says this week’s guests, we are not asking them enough. This year has been a universal pivot of the grandest scale. So now is the perfect opportunity to go inward, ask questions and reveal truths about ourselves and our destiny in this world. Powerhouse speaker- and author-couple, Mark Victor Hansen and Crystal Dwyer Hansen join Adam Markel to discuss these truths which are elegantly encased in their new book, Ask!: The Bridge from Your Dreams to Your Destiny. Both wildly successful individuals in their fields, Mark and Crystal achieved a purpose-driven and inspired life by doing the inner work and asking the right questions. Listen in to this beautiful, transformational conversation as they share their incredible pivot stories and insights on adversity, resilience and destiny.

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Asking Questions: The Key To Creating A Life By Design With Mark Victor Hansen And Crystal Dwyer Hansen

I’m sitting here breathing into this moment. I’ve had a lot going on already and I felt myself a bit up in my head. You might know what that’s like to be busy with things, trying to keep up, anticipate, or predict, if we could only do that, what’s going to come next. If I had any hair left to pull out, it would certainly be gone if it wasn’t already. What I do when I feel that way, I take a nice deep breath. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a meditator or somebody that’s done any personal development work at any point in time, or it’s not a thing that you’re familiar with.

I wasn’t familiar with any of that. I grew up in New York, I was a lawyer for eighteen years, and run companies. If I was going to give advice to anybody about how it is that you create a better life, it would be to take more deep and conscious breaths. I’ll do that for myself. I’ll put my one hand on my heart and I’ll put the other one on my belly. Sink back into how I know to breathe when I’m not thinking. I feel good taking that deep conscious breath and I feel great because I have some guests on the show that are old friends.

We haven’t seen each other in quite a number of years. We’re all looking at each other and going, “You guys look good.” Everybody is holding up well under the circumstances. It’s a blessing to have them with us. You guys are going to love them. They are epic leaders in the world that have done ridiculous, amazingly, remarkable things, yet they’re like all of us taking one breath at a time. I’m going to read a bit of their bio, invite them in to share some things, and then we’re going to have what I already know is going to be a beautiful transformational conversation.

Mark Victor Hansen is best known as the co-author for the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series and brand setting world records and book sales with over 500 million books sold. That is astonishing and remarkable. Crystal Dwyer Hansen is a business strategist, successful entrepreneur, speaker and author in the US and China. Crystal also is known as the Celebrity Coach. She’s a Certified Life Coach, Wellness and Nutrition Expert whose personal coaching, speaking, CD and video programs, books, and articles have helped people all over the world. I will say this, together, they are a wonderful example of what great marriage and partnership looks like. That’s the most important thing I can say personally about them because they have five amazing children and they’re living a purpose-driven inspired life. Welcome to the show. It’s a pleasure to have you.

Thank you for that great compliment. We agree and we’ve also got even more important than five kids and our blended marriage because we’ve got six grandkids that we are in adoration of, love Grampy and Mimi, and spend a lot of time with us everywhere.

I’ll footnote to this. Randi and I have four kids. Our oldest is 28 and she’s married. We don’t have grandkids yet. There’s a puppy. Even when the puppy came into the picture, we’re like, “What are we going to get called?” There is a debate going on as to what’s going to be the acceptable term to describe moving into grandparenthood. I’m not settled on mine yet but Randi is Gigi.

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Ask!: The Bridge from Your Dreams to Your Destiny

I remember we sat around the table when the kids got married. We had that serious discussion. They named it to me and I loved it. They met at Mimi’s so we’re like, “Why not Mimi?” It was perfect.

I read a bit of the bio for both of you guys. What’s not written there that you would love for people to know about you?

We’ve got this latest book out that is rocking for us and it’s in a most absurd time. We didn’t know that we were writing a book that was going to be idyllic for this time and it’s called Ask! The Bridge from Your Dreams to Your Destiny. What happens is people that are in the first time to pivot, they’ve got to reinvent, reorient, and redirect themselves. We can argue the percentage, but whether it’s 30% or 50%, it’s a large percentage.

We’ve got to rethink it. No one would have a better book. I don’t think that ours to say, “Here are all the questions you could possibly ask.” Socrates was one of our heroes. When I was in grad school, I wanted to become a Socratic scholar, the body brought in lies and all that good stuff. He said, “The unexamined life isn’t worth living.” The truth is we are in consciousness full-time asking it’s the trip of trips, the journey of journeys, and it’s the only place to get illumination, insight, answers, and solutions.

I got beat up with the Socratic Method in law school. I still have scars from people in the name of Socrates that abused the heck out of us as law students. I love the expression, “All learning is remembering.” That’s attributed to Socrates as well. What’s cool about that is a lot of the things that we’re called to speak about aren’t necessarily things that have never been said before or things that are somehow discovering like 5G or something.

There are things that we need to be reminded of, but yet the reminder is important because we’re not living according to certain tried and true principles, our lives can go sideways quickly. Crystal, I’d ask you to start with a pivot story, but I’m curious, what’s your take on what’s happening in the world? That’s a big broad question, but do you feel like your gut telling you? When you check in with your own intuition on this, is this going to be something we look back on five years from now and say, “A strange blessing but a blessing nonetheless?”

A lot of blessings are coming out of it out of them. What I don’t like about it is the politicization of these things which always happens in an election year. I wish everybody could take the politics out of it and be real. None of us have ever been faced with this crisis before. We had an easy go of life and never had to face. We’ve faced personal crises and challenges, but this is something that had such a global impact. It turned the world upside down and it causes you to dig deep within yourself. For that reason, it’s been a great time for all of us to say, “The direction I was going wasn’t exactly what I wanted anyway or maybe I needed this time to look at myself and say, am I being the best I can be?” It’s been a great opportunity in that sense, don’t you? I will talk about a pivot in my life as well.

I don’t recall how long you guys are together, but Randi and I are going to celebrate our anniversary. We know each other since we were in college. It’s a long time. We were saying before we started the show, we’re empty nesters now. To have the combination of being empty nesters which we love. Without any guilt, it was one of a happy day when we were like, “All the little birdies have flown, it’s good.” To be in this situation of quarantine for so long in California, we were being diligent about not getting out in public. It could put a lot of pressure on a relationship. The whole empty-nesting thing. When it happened, we have this place on a little island, we went away after our oldest daughter got married, and we spent a month together.

It’s the first month we’d spent alone since before we had kids. There’s a long hiatus gap to go, “Do we still want to spend that much time together?” We had it sussed out and go, “This will screw it up.” Thankfully, it was a great time for us to even become reacquainted, as you were saying, but it’s been a challenge for a lot of people to be home. Mark, you’ve traveled the world, you’ve put a lot of miles on as I have. There were times when Randi would look at me and she’d say, “Don’t you have a trip planned? I don’t see anything on your calendar. Shouldn’t you even be going someplace?” Mark, you’re a guy who’s gone out and slayed the dragons. To be home, has that been tough for you?

First of all, I’m indefatigably in love with this glorious, beautiful, wholesome woman that is deep soul. It was interesting that you started the whole program with a deep breath and breathing with holding your hand, your heart, and your stomach. It’s interesting that we are grounded, the whole thing of bringing up all the chakras but ours. When I got divorced, it was painful and expensive but I wrote 267 things I needed in my ideal woman that we have to have exactly the same values, she had to have her own money and her own business. We had to be totally monogamous and all that. One of them was, if we could live the two of us on the island, we would never run out of conversation which comes back to asking.

We are in consciousness full-time, asking. It is the only place to get illumination, insight, answers, and solutions. Share on X

The point is we never run out of talking to each other. We are endless and we are together 24/7. Once we got married, whether I was going to a talk in New Zealand, Australia, China, or wherever, we’d been to 80 countries, she was always there. You’re right, I’ve traveled 6 million miles. I’ve got frequent miles and all of that. We’ve traveled zero in an airplane. I’m sorry to say it but the next level, we’re trying to help out the airline business. Two levels is in one of our other serial entrepreneurial activities. The fact of the matter is the airlines are in deep doo-doo for a while and you’d agree.

Thomas Malone wrote a book called The Future Of Work back in 2000 or 2001 where he was talking about what it might look like if we all worked decentralized, hierarchies and working remotely was the thing. Twenty years later, we’re here.

I’ve been surprised at how well we can carry on because businesses that can be done in an office with people conferring and that sort of thing. That works well. It worked better than we all thought it would. The tragic and scary thing is these businesses that are hanging on by their fingernails that cannot operate that way. I feel like there’s been a bit of insensitivity when people are shaming about staying home, staying well, and be considerate. If I own a barbershop or gym that I took my last $200,000 and invested it into this beautiful gym, the only way I can do business is for people to come to my beautiful business that I put all this money.

It’s not the same. We need to be a little sensitive when we say be considerate, stay safe, stay home. The hairdresser who’s a single mom who owns her own shop and her kids need to eat. The government did the best they could but not all the money came through all the time. The truth of it is you can only hang on so long in a small business like that. You can’t go many months. You might hang on 1 or 2 months but to think of the fact because it’s not just, “That business went out of business.”

That person is probably going to lose all of their wealth because everything they had they put into that business, that barbershop, hair salon, little gym, or spa. We need to be sensitive to that. If there is a way to open up and support with masks and with safety, then I believe that we need to think that through. We can’t all hide in our houses forever. I don’t mean to get on my soapbox but I have a heart as an entrepreneur to a small business person. We have friends and family to who this means a lot to.

It’s devastating. It’s not a thing that we can solve in conversation in this moment but what we can do is talk about how you deal with that level of adversity. This is a segue into asking you about some of the pivots that you guys have undergone. I know that the old cliché is about how you turn around failures. People have heard them and that old expression of everything happens for a reason. People call BS on a lot of the time. It’s not a complete statement to say everything happens for a reason. You have to also include that that reason is there to serve.

At least in my case, when I’ve had great adversity, I’ve found over time that it enabled me to serve in some way in a way I wasn’t able to do before. If you could take us into the belly of the beast at some point. You describe an entrepreneur. Anybody who’s an entrepreneur knows that it is on a great day, it’s devastatingly difficult to be an entrepreneur. That’s on the best of days and on the worst days, you’d like to walk the narrow line. What’s it been like for you at some point? How did you navigate it? If people hear that from you, they get that next day to go, “I can keep going for another day.”

For me, Adam, I’ll go first and then Mark can go back because we were talking about it. One of the most challenging times for me was when I was numb. I was one of those kids who found high school to be very easy. I would stand up and teach my English class sometimes. I didn’t see that’s difficult so I accelerated my curriculum. I graduated at age of sixteen and married my boyfriend who was five years older. It was not a great plan. I wasn’t a genius. I wanted to get on with life. I thought, “This is too slow. Let’s get moving,” so we got married.

I was always in a rush to find the next adventure and what I was to conquer. Two and a half years later, I’m in the city by myself, divorced, baby on my hip, no family or friends, because it’s a new city. Honestly, I had no idea how I was going to support myself because we didn’t have a lot of money. We parted ways. I applied for food stamps. That’s the only thing I could think of. I was young and had this baby. I remember going to the grocery store for the first time and getting ready to turn over those food stamps for my groceries.

All of a sudden, I had this epiphany that was powerful. Suddenly, this light was shining on my head and this question came to my mind. First of all, “How did I get here?” Followed by a second question that was, “Are you doing everything you can to get out of this or are you taking the easy way out?” Right when that question hit my mind, I knew the answer. I knew I wasn’t doing everything I could to get out of it. This all happened in a split second. As I was turning those food stamps over, I was saying to myself, “This will not be my future.”

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Asking Questions: Life experience is created from the inside out. If you don’t like what you’re getting, the place you need to go to recreate it is inside and we do that with our imagination.


I had conviction and I was a little fierce when I hand it out to the cashier. In fact, I don’t think I even finished the food stamps. I went home and thought, “What do I do now?” I didn’t have any answers. All I had were questions. I started asking myself, “Where can I go to work tomorrow? How can I make money tomorrow? What is out there that I’m qualified to do?” I’d heard about temporary service agencies on the radio, Kelly Services.

I applied and I filled out the application. They would call me and give me the selection of jobs to do. I started filling in at attorneys’ offices, setting up booths at malls, doing sales at conventions, and things like that. I started learning a lot about myself. I learned that I was good at business and sales and I love people. That was the thing I love being out there with people. I loved being in that world. I decided to put myself through real estate school. In the meantime, someone had approached me and said, “You should do some modeling.”

I also approached the biggest modeling agency in my city and asked them if they would sign me. They did, fortunately. I ended up doing some television commercials which went national so I had residuals coming in. A year and a half from the time I was turning those food stamps over for my groceries, I was working for the biggest home builder in our valley. I became the number one salesperson for our company and I was making good residuals. I was getting benefits because I had to join Screen Actors Guild when you make enough money with the residuals. It was such a huge pivot that I often thought back on it. It was like these roads could have diverged into a completely different destination.

It’s almost two different lives.

I realized that and that’s my blessing. I tend to have a high level of awareness of what I’m doing. I can look at it. I’m thankful that I was able to ask the questions because it was the questions that got me out of it. Asking those tough questions to myself even more importantly, answering the questions honestly. Was I doing the best that I could? No. I knew I wasn’t. You have to be able to have that level of discipline and self-toughness with yourself and say, “Is this working? Why isn’t it working? Am I doing my best? Am I looking at this honestly, whether it’s a relationship career or whatever it is? The questions are powerful because sometimes, all we have are questions. We don’t have a lot of answers. Taking that time with yourself to ask those questions is powerful. That’s why we wrote this book when we realized the power that asking questions had in our own lives.

I don’t know if you feel this way but I have a theory. You guys can debunk it or you think the same way. You can’t have a question without an answer. It’s cause and effect. In the natural order of things, it’s impossible to ask a question and not, at some point, receive an answer. The only asterisk to that is you don’t know when you’re going to get the answer. If you ask the question, what am I here for? Is there a God? Any number of questions you can ask anything. Some questions, I truly believe when it’s time for you to receive the answer you will. I also believe there’s no situation in which you will not be answered. Mark, that’s a good lead into either your pivot story or if you want to tap into that idea of the cause and effect with questions and answers.

I can do both at once if you don’t mind. I love you’re interviewing us and our friendship and that you got our back. First of all, I agree with what you said because you can’t ask the question without knowing it. When I was in graduate school with the smartest guy in the planet, Buckminster Fuller, I walked down the street and he said, “You’ll never ask yourself like, ‘What kind of tree is that?’” Three days later, somebody said, “That’s the most beautiful walnut tree I’ve ever seen.” I remember that it was distinct in my mind. Here’s Einstein’s best student, the Leonardo da Vinci of our time, 2,000 major inventions, geodesic domes, and then pivoting to that. I traveled with Bucky around the world for seven years trying to understand how you make the world work for 100% of humanity.

I thought, “I’ll duplicate his dome in New York City.” I bought the Wall Street Record Club, Botanical Gardens, The Aviary, trouble of building a 1974 out of plastic. We had an oil embargo which the Arabs said, “We can write checks so big, your banks will bankrupt.” I couldn’t get anything. I went bankrupt fast, $2 million in one day. It was my day to learn how to pivot. For six months, I’m hanging out, sleeping in a sleeping bag in front of another guy’s room. If you ask yourself deeply the question and the best time to ask a question, it’s called a thought command. You say 400 times, what is my destiny? Our book is about ask the bridge from your dreams to your destiny because you ask God, what is your destiny for me?

I intuitively did that in 1974. I’m supposed to be a speaker and I thought, “What do I want to do? I want to talk to people that care about things that matter, that make a life-changing difference and transformational stuff.” I get out of my three roommates. I’m living in Hicksville Long Island, New York. I come from nowhere and you’d call us a hick. That’s why they named it. I got three roommates and I say, “Do any of you guys know anyone that’s not a lawyer, a doctor, a celebrity, a famous person who’s preferably young that’s speaking?” The guys said, “Here’s my ticket. You go to the real estate meeting and you’ve got to hear this guy.” I went and I heard Chip Collins.

I raced my little beat-up old Volkswagen after bankruptcy courts. I went to Long Island, New York. He mesmerized the audience for three hours. At the end of which I asked, because we say in our book you’ve got to ask yourself, I asked myself, “What do I want to do?” I’d be a speaker and a trainer. Number two, ask others and then ask God. I went up and I said, “May I take you to lunch?” He said, “I like a free lunch.” I said, “Teach me how to do the business.” He was a few years older than I am. He said, “If you stay on real estate, I’ll teach you how to do it in life insurance and at the bottom of the script for motivation, you’ll never finish it.”

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By the way, I should tell you, Mark, you’re not going to make it. 1 out of 1,000 people make it. More arrows are coming after you than anywhere. I decided to do it. He told me what to do. I called up people every day. I did four seminars, only Tony Robbins as you know who’s exceedingly well. I did 1,000 talks a year for the first three years in the business. When Tony and I are talking, I’d do them as early as 6:00 in the morning, 10:00, 2:00, 8:00 or 9:00 at night. In between times, I was selling seminars. I’ve got nothing else I could do. You get good, fast sculpting. Suddenly, what happened was people said, “That story is great.” My mother was a sublime storyteller.

I wanted to know where you got it from. Now we’ve got that answer.

Mommy was the best. She’d go to vacation, we’d come back, I’d be sitting, she’d be on the phone telling people I thought she went somewhere I didn’t go. She was as good as Mark Twain. They said, “Do you have it in a book?” The first book I did, this is our critic book, it was Stand Up, Speak Out and Win. I was earning about $75,000 a year as speaker. Now, I got a book and I’m selling for $10. I sold 20,000 copies from the platform, a little life insurance meeting of 6 people, 20 people, 50 people, 100 people. I tripled my income. I made over $200,000. I thought I’d died and gone. I didn’t say this is a National Bestseller, World Bestseller, or New York Times Bestseller.

I did my best. The point is, each one of us was going to get slammed and what we’re teaching in our book, Ask! is adversity has hidden in its advantage and opportunity. What Crystal was saying to you, it’s time for all of us to pivot, reinvent ourselves, re-innovate, and come up with something brand new that you’ve always wanted to do prior in your heart and soul. If you ask yourself, “What is God’s destiny?” What is my destiny if you’re not into God? It will emerge in the preface of this question.

We have a sign on the property. It’s an old, cool metal sign. This has been rusty. It says, “Imagine.” In part, what we’re talking about is the ability to imagine but to re-imagine because we’ve imagined our life into existence already. We’ve imagined exactly what we are and what we have. That’s how it got to be the way it is. To create something from here whether it’s different or better, however we judge that, I don’t know that that’s necessary, but we’re re-imagining. That’s what the process is. Does the book that you guys have come together to create a book about how it is we reimagine our lives and our destinies?

As a transformational life coach and clinical hypnotherapist, that’s exactly what I teach. It seems that life is always coming at us so we’re ducking, dodging, and try to keep the balls up in the air. The reality is your life experience is created from the inside out. If you don’t like what you’re getting, when you look at your life, if you don’t like it, the place you need to go to recreate it is inside and we do that with our imagination. We have this section in the book called Prepare To Be A Good Asker. Those elements are number one, belief.

You have to believe that your answer is out there for you somewhere. Life requires faith and trust. If you give up all your faith and trust, nothing is going to happen because our faith and our belief is a great activator. You can prove this out in quantum physics if you want. It’s where religion needs science, I believe. Belief is the first one. You have to believe you deserve an answer. You deserve the best and you have to believe that your answer is out there somewhere for you. The second one is imagination. We need to be able to sit in that place where Mark and I say start with the end in mind. What is it that you would want if you were having ultimate success? That’s a great question for people. If you were in your ultimate successful life, what does that look like?

Start from that and then start to answer the questions backward. Who would I be talking to every day? How would I be spending my time in this perfect ultimate successful life that I’m living? What would my relationships feel like, be like? How would I be treating these people? Who are these people? All of those things that we can ask ourselves to work backward from our ultimate successful life. It’s so important to do that because it becomes the architecture for your life. People don’t realize that your life was created randomly if you haven’t taken the time with yourself. It’s quiet time is a reflective time. Time with your own imagination to design your life deliberately. Life will happen to you if you don’t design it deliberately. That requires using this beautiful thing called imagination.

Think about imagination. We’re the only animals that can imagine what we want. All other animals are instinctive. They go by instincts. It’s encoded instincts. Human beings get to create a masterpiece whatever you want. We have that creative mind which is why it said that we’re created in God’s image. God is the ultimate creator. If everything is expanding even the universe, they’d say it’s unfathomable, but our universe is continually expanding. It’s infinite. If we’re part of that universe, why can’t we continue to grow? It’s our own spirit jabbing us going, “I want you to grow.” When you’re not feeling good about yourself or if something feels wrong, it’s your spirit going, “I need to grow.”

It’s a divine discontent. What you said is important too that planning the imagination phase. That is no different than thinking about building a home. You would never order the wood and the other supplies and say, “Bring me 6,000 nails and get started.” It would be foolish but yet we live our lives in many ways on default versus the design process that you’re describing because you would hire an architect. You want to build a home, you get a plan drawn up, you find plans, and you follow the plans.

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Asking Questions; Asking opens the conversation and reveals the truth. When we’re stuck, we’ve got to reveal what is hidden.


You certainly wouldn’t clear the land and start constructing something. That wouldn’t turn out looking like a shack, I suppose, that might not withstand the elements. I want to go back to something Mark that you said about Bucky Fuller or Buckminster Fuller for folks who don’t know his work. I can say a futurist, philosopher, genius, and all those things. Not one word to describe what this man brought to the world. I’m curious and this is a tough question. I’m giving you a moment to gather yourself here. What do you think Bucky Fuller would suggest, recommend, offer to the world in this moment given what’s going on? He was a genuine thinker. I don’t know that anybody could answer that but you knew him and spent time with him. If I was going to ask anybody, it’s fair to ask you.

I will do the best I can on behalf of Bucky. The biggest work he like to do is comprehensivist because he had all those degrees. Fifteen doctors to the Harvard Med and masterful in how to make the world work for 100% humanity. He’d say a breakdown like this because in World War I, he was an admiral trained by and helped write stuff. I get goosebumps telling you Winston Churchill. Most people don’t know that deep stuff about Bucky. He’d tell me, “You’ve got to rewrite stuff fifteen times. You’ve got to have a comprehensive plan. You’ve got to have a 50-year plan.”

All this is intrinsic to what you asked. For most Americans, long-range planning is, “What am I going to do after lunch?” You’ve got to figure it out where are you going to be 5 years, 10 years or 50 years from now? I planned to live to be 127. For the first time, the thing is broken. Let’s fix it. This time, let’s have comprehensive health. Let’s have comprehensive cleanup of all the water. Here’s what Bucky would say. First, we’ve got to have the energy.

You had been in the energy business, so we can do clean green, sustainable energy. We own a company called Natural Power Concepts, Inc. It’s pop-up windows that would go 360 and it would be perfect in Martha’s Vineyard because you got seven prevailing winds. I happened to know your neighborhoods. The point is you got to have wind during the night. The wind comes up at 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM and then you’ve got a sun during the day. You have wind, you have water. Water, other than air, is the next thing you need the most.

You’ve got water to have food. Food to have abundance then you take care of humanity. It doesn’t get rid of the wackadoos. We’re going to have those. The bottom line is they’re 4 trillion, half of our 8 billion people if we agree about the demographics which as a demographer are not taken care of. The first is to take care of everyone. Because of technology and things like the cell phone, we can’t take care of everyone. One of our daughters is a Special Ed teacher. They need to be hands-on, face-to-face, eyeball-to-eyeball with the kids.

A lot of stuff we could learn electronically. We talked before the show start, our kids are still in university. Those costs should be almost nada. Only one guy has done it right here at Arizona State University with 120,000 kids electronically. You got Starbucks paying only 40% of 100%. Even that is, from my point of view, exorbitant. I’m being a little pushy here. For the first time, everyone deserves water, food, energy, education. When I was with Bucky, I wrote down my life goals which is what I’m going to ask everybody here to do.

I said, “Let’s feed on humanity expeditiously. Let’s have a world run electrical network. Now I think different. We believe to have localized energy called energy units. Ours is called a wind charger which integrates wind, solar and hydro. We’re in the coolest times ever if people get off their ass, start thinking, being innovative, and you’re saying, “You’re being a little caustic.” I’m saying, “You’re doing consciousness. We’ve got to expand the consciousness, expand the possibility, not contract it.”

We have a multi-variable problem. The problem is not COVID. The problem is four problems instead of one problem. We’ve got to comprehensively look at it and we’d have visionary leadership that does it naturally. Bucky said, “How do we comprehensively use Crystal’s work design to make it work for everybody? For the first time, we can do that.” By the way, I’m on my soapbox. That has never been available before, Adam.

The time is now for sure. Bucky Fuller talked about trim tabs. I remember that and reading about this concept of how small things can have such a massive impact over time. The procession, the ripple effect of things, the butterfly effect, and these tiny little things. In times of pandemic change, the change we’d never seen. I’ve never seen in my lifetime. I don’t think most of us have. We have to be resilient. That’s our theory. We think, what’s that small thing that we can all do? What’s that little trim tab that we can all take advantage of? It’s to be personally and individually resilient. Resilient as an organization. For those that are running companies, small or large, you create resilient organizations. That’s how our species has got this far.

We have everything that could have been fucked up at some point and has been. From the beginning of time, any mistake you could conceive in those, nobody could’ve conceived have been made. What’s different about now? There’s nothing. Other than the fact that as a species, we’ve learned to adapt, we’ve been resilient, agile, able to move forward and because of that lives have got better. The lives of our kids and our grandkids, you have those beautiful grandbabies of yours, and there will be great-grandbabies before long. The only thing I know like I know my own name is life will be better for them. That may be me being, “Here is the glass half full. That’s fine, so be it.” Resilience is an important topic. Two questions, you may divide them up if you want. What is your workable definition of resilience? What’s something that you do on a ritual basis to produce that resilience within yourself and your companies?

Every big change presents a brand new beginning and opportunity. Share on X

Resilience to me is never giving up. When we’re challenged sometimes, especially with something like this, we tend to get scared. We go into our primitive brain mode. Since things are different, we don’t know what to do with it. Everything’s changed so much and change makes us uncomfortable as human beings. We have to understand that’s our primitive brain going off because the change is so great. It feels like things are over and ending. We get fatalistic. People are depressed or losing hope, but we need to remind ourselves that every single ending is a new beginning. You need to keep telling yourself that. Every big change presents a brand-new beginning and opportunity. If it’s a reality, if you look through history, think of the wars that people have gone through.

We haven’t gone through these things where everyone thought life was over. World War II, Hitler, all of these things, the world was ending. Humanity comes back and it was a new beginning. We became better than ever. We grew, the whole world economy grew, everything got better. Every huge change is an ending. Life as we knew it, it’s a new beginning. That’s important to hold onto. Our ritual every morning is to do this hour of prayer and meditation. That’s so important to our health and wellbeing. We know it because we get sucked into the drama too.

We’re humans, all of us are. When you’re hearing all this bad news and you have to stay home, we feel stifled, desperate, or we’re out of control because we control our life before and now that control has been taken away. We have to take the time every morning, we ask each other the questions, we start with asking because asking opens the conversation and reveals the truth. In fact, there is no mechanism like asking that has the ability to reveal what is hidden. When we’re stuck, we’ve got to reveal what is hidden.

Asking is an important part of that process but revealing the things that we need to focus on and the truth that there are a lot of opportunities out there. It’s all those truths come out when you start asking the right questions. The prayer and meditation are all about creating that architecture through your imagination. You’re asking God for help getting the universe involved because we’re not alone. What troubles people sometimes is we think everything is about us, we all get into an ego state but the asking God part is important because it pulls back the camera lens and we go, “I’m a part of this bigger universe. What’s my piece in it?” If I was going to be my best in my part of this universe, what’s my role in this kingdom?

Equally, what’s not mine to do? That can be frustrating in itself to think that what you’re doing isn’t enough for somehow you need to be doing more, where those questions are powerful. Mark, do you have a favorite question? I want to repeat what you said as well. The idea that you asked to reveal what is hidden. That is something I’m going to sit with. I’m going to ruminate on that because it’s in a walk-in and let that what our daughter would say marinade. There’s something rich in understanding the truth that there’s a lot that’s hidden from us. I don’t care how confident a person is. Humility is an important thing to me. The idea that there’s so much we don’t know is a powerful tool to wake things up and gain new awarenesses. Mark, do you have a particular question you go back to again and again?

I’ll do that, but humility means to be teachable in the original Aramaic part of the language. What asking does is it pushes back all that stuff. Gradually, we have a daunting illumination. How’s that? That’s what I think.

That’s a Moses moment then because you think about all the great stuff in the Bible.

I figured out how to part the Red Sea, how to punch a hole in the rock, how to marry a black woman. He pulled off some cool stuff and had the guts. We forget his brother Ramesses and say, “I want you to release whatever number of Jewish people.” I’ve heard the number 670,000 and 2 million. I’ll assume 2 million. However many servants you had, if I told you you’re not going to have them tomorrow, it would surprise the hell out of you if you were Ramsey. Back to the question, we think we’ve written a book that is transformational that’s unique, and it’s inevitable that everyone is going to read it. Here’s what we’ve discovered. Our goal is to do 100 podcasts before Christmas and sell a million books.

We’re asking everyone to get a copy of the book at Amazon and join AskTheBookClub.com, which is free. Once a month, you get to talk with Crystal or Mark and get to ask anything you want. Those start in August 2020. I don’t know if you’ve been on Scott Carson’s great podcast. We’ve been on it twice because it’s powerful. Anyhow, when he asked us, he said, “Everybody out there, buy ten of the books and give them to the people that are depressed, despondent, disconsolate, and don’t think there’s a future so they know how to think through their stuff.” I went, “You said you had to do that.” I’m glad to quote Scott. It’s important. That’s what happened with Chicken Soup why we sold 500,000 books. It’s because people said, “You need this.”

There’s nothing better than when somebody takes your book, picks it up, and puts it in someone’s hand. That’s the thing but it’s a start. I’m going to go back to this one thing. Do you have a question that you go back to again and again in your life? Is there one revealing statement?

PR Mark | Asking Questions

Asking Questions: Each of us is a human Guinea pig. We’re on trial to test ourselves, to see our mettle.


How do I contribute more in my today than my yesterday’s? It’s out of the Christian model, Jesus at the Last Supper and the boy say, “How do you become great?” He said, “The greatest amongst you is the servant of all.” It’s always the quantity of service Napoleon Hill taught us plus the quantity with a positive mental attitude that equals unlimited greatness or compensation. I’ve always taught money in all seven money books I’ve written. I’ve been keen on coming out of poverty because my parents were Danish immigrants. Hitler was taken over in Germany and my Uncle Sam was head of military police fourteen years older and created the black ban.

We took all the Jews into Denmark that he could invite me. He went up to his little brother, my Daddy Paul, and said, “Paul, here’s $100,000. Here’s a passport. You’ve got to leave. Hitler has got $100,000 hit on all of us. You’re gone.” I despise socialism. I’m not even hate it, I despise it. I am a flaming capitalist. I’m trying to teach capitalism to everyone. In capitalism, it’s where you contribute and you control the money. I don’t want the state controlling it under socialism and communism. The only thing that makes sense is if we have capitalism in the positive, honest, conscious capitalism to use. Check on your term in this show.

It’s perfect. It goes back to what we said about things that happen that can be devastating. We don’t know what we’re supposed to do with them but what you’ve done is answer the question, which is that they allow us to serve.

We’re friends with Dr. Muhammad Yunus, the guy who came in and he helped 100 million people around the world get out of poverty. If you don’t know his work, he says, “Business people do great at their business but then they ought to have a second business that is a giving business.” I wrote The Miracle Of Tithing, the miracle of giving books. The fact of the matter is that what happened is one guy can make a difference. Somebody listens the show can decide, “I’m going to start asking myself questions like Dr. Yunus did. I’m going to take Bangladesh out of poverty in the world. I’m going to create something that helps a lot of people.”

In 2019, his great country which almost a billion people in Bangladesh next to India, for people don’t know their geography, he got 200,000 people graduate medical school that never would have got to go if he didn’t exist. You go, “That’s wonderful but can I do something?” The answer is each one of us is a human guinea pig. Bucky said, “Each of us is a human guinea pig.” We’re on trial to test ourselves, to see our mettle. How much stuff have you got in you to test? We’re all having our mettle tested. I’m thankful, you’re willing to ask tough questions.

The question that I’m going to ask to point it at myself and answer the question about what question. The thing that changed things for me years ago or thereabouts was I started to wake up in the morning with a different question. In fact, the waking ritual is important. You guys shared how it is that you begin the day as we end this episode, which I’d love to keep going for hours. We’ll maybe come up with a part two. That will be great. To find out more about how it is that you can join that community, become a part of something bigger. Everything you guys get involved in.

That’s my experience of you. It has this beautiful procession as Bucky would say, this beautiful ripple effect in the world. Anything we can do to support that, we’re happy and honored to do that. The question that I ask in the morning is different than the one that I used to. I don’t know if you can relate to this. I put my feet on the floor and the first thoughts and feelings I would have about the day were dread. I was a lawyer. I made plenty of money. I’m a real living example that money doesn’t make you happy.

I had a lot to be grateful for at the time with a beautiful relationship, great wife, four healthy kids, and yet I was waking up in the morning and the first feeling, if I put a word to it, it’s a little bit dicey. I put my feet on the floor and I would audibly say shit. It didn’t feel like my life to begin with. I’m a freedom guy. Whenever I feel my freedom is somehow being taken away, I’m losing my mind and my shit. That went on for years and no amount of money and success could change that. Later on, I had this pivot, epiphany I suppose, and started that whole process with a different question. I did a TED Talk years ago where I reveal the question.

The question is, “What if I decided to love my life?” Here’s the key, no matter what. The world that we’ve inherited, created, and we’re all living in is a world where there’s a lot of no matter whats. I have a son-in-law who’s in internet business and he’s crushing it. His business is up 4x from where it was before the pandemic. We know other people who’ve lost their lives and people who’ve lost their businesses, dear friends, in numerous businesses. The health and wellness space is in many ways, unless you’re in the supplement business, is being devastated. If you own a gym, you’re bankrupt. 24 Hour Fitness is gone. Can you imagine if Jack LaLanne was around, what would he be talking about?

There’s these variety of things that are happening. The only thing that I know is a constant. We either get to choose to love our lives, ourselves, and others unconditionally, meaning no matter what or we don’t. What I love about both of you is that you are lovers of life. It doesn’t matter whether it’s solar, wind, books, whatever it is, you guys are living enthusiastic, loving lives, spreading something that is hopefully contagious. If everybody was to pick up your model and allow their mettle to be tested, allow themselves to be guided, and all those wonderful things when you ask great questions and get great answers, our world is going to be better for sure. Thank you for being on the show. I enjoyed reconnecting with both of you.

Thank you, Adam. We’ve enjoyed it.

You know what to do. Leave us a review on iTunes or wherever you’d like. We’d love to get your comments and find out how we can serve you better. Ciao for now.


Important Links


About Mark (Victor) and Crystal Hansen

PR Mark | Asking QuestionsMark Victor Hansen is probably best known as the co-author for the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series and brand, setting world records in book sales, with over 500 millions books sold. Mark also worked his way into a worldwide spotlight as a sought-after keynote speaker, and entrepreneurial marketing maven, creating a stream of successful people who have created massive success for themselves through Mark’s unique teachings and wisdom. With his endearing charismatic style, Mark captures his audience’s attention as well as their hearts. Having spoken to over 6000 audiences world-wide with his one-of-a-kind technique and masterful authority of his work, time and again he continues to receive high accolades from his audiences as one of the most dynamic and compelling speakers and leaders of our time.

His credentials include a lifetime of entrepreneurial success, alternative energy pursuits, in addition to an extensive academic background. Many of Mark’s ideas about the comprehensive XL Cover Article_Page_1success of all humanity came from his years of undergraduate study with the famous Buckminster Fuller, one of Albert Einstein’s greatest students.

His credentials include a lifetime of entrepreneurial success, alternative energy pursuits, in addition to an extensive academic background. Many of Mark’s ideas about the comprehensive XL Cover Article_Page_1success of all humanity came from his years of undergraduate study with the famous Buckminster Fuller, one of Albert Einstein’s greatest students.

He is also a prolific writer with many popular books such as the Power of Focus, The Aladdin Factor, Dare to Win, One Minute Millionaire which has inspired and helped thousands of people the world over to become millionaires. Mark has also made a profound influence through his extensive library of audio programs, video programs and enriching articles in the areas of big thinking, sales achievement, publishing success and personal and professional development.

Mark’s energy and exuberance travels still further through mediums such as television (Oprah, CNN and The Today Show), print (TIME, US News & World Report, USA Today, The New York Times and Entrepreneur) and countless radio and newspaper interviews as he assures people everywhere that “with the right principles and mentors, you can easily create the life of your dreams.”

Mark is dedicated to helping young people become financially literate, and to turn their entrepreneurial dreams into business achievements. He wrote The Richest Kids in America to teach entrepreneurial leadership and financial literacy to kids around the world and loves speaking to young people about their futures.

Mark finds his greatest joy now, in his soul-mate relationship with his wife, best friend, and partner, Crystal Dwyer Hansen. He says a true soul mate relationship allows you to express all that you were meant to be, at your best. Crystal and Mark tour the world together speaking and inspiring audiences. They enjoy spending cherished time with their combined 5 children and 6 precious grand-children and try to include them whenever possible, into their travels around the world.

Mark serves as of the Chairman of a suite of companies called the Hansen Family Companies, co-chairman of Metamorphosis Energy, and is the co-owner and co-founder of Natural Power Concepts.

Mark Victor Hansen is an enthusiastic crusader of what’s possible and is driven to “make the world work for 100 percent of humanity.”

Crystal Dwyer Hansen is an international speaker, researcher, corporate consultant, author, and entrepreneur. Her expertise is in the field of human potential. Through her years spent as a Transformational Life Coach, and Wellness/Nutrition Expert, she has seen people experience profound and lasting transformation in relationships, career, health & wellness, by tapping into their own inner resources. Having personally guided people from seemingly impossible states of depression, anxiety, and hopelessness—to triumph, freedom, and happiness, is what drives Crystal’s conviction that all people have unlimited potential for greatness if they only understand how to access those resources.

Crystal’s research in the fields of neuroscience, epigenetics, and quantum physics provides the scientific knowledge she uses to help people use their minds proactively and evolve their consciousness to move themselves out of misery and into a fulfilled and happy life.

Crystal has a warm, engaging, charismatic style that endears the audience and opens everyone up to the wonder of life. Crystal’s personal coaching, speaking, CD and video programs, books, and articles have helped people all over the world. She is a Member of the International Coaching

Federation, a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, the founder of Crystal Vision Life, Ltd, (crystalvisionlife.com) and Skinny Life™ a wellness company (skinnylife.com). Her book Skinny Life- The Secret to Being Physically, Emotionally, and Spiritually Fit, is available Barnes & Noble.com and Amazon.com. She travels the world with her husband, best-selling author and entrepreneur Mark Victor Hansen, speaking, inspiring, and teaching leadership. Crystal and Mark are releasing a new co-written book called ASK! The Bridge from Your Dreams to Your Destiny in Spring of 2020. They are both passionate about the health of our planet and the need to create comprehensively sustainable energy and water solutions. Together they are owners of Natural Power Concepts, a Hawaii based company focused on cleaning up the planet through natural energy devices, and Metamorphosis Energy, a renewable energy development company. They live happily in beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona.