After many years of trials and self-discovery, Kawan Karadaghi stumbled into fitness and journeyed his way to becoming a master trainer. He wouldn’t be where he is without mentors and business partners. He now owns and helps operate three gyms and expanding. Kawan also serves as a guide to help others find their strengths through problem solving and continuous improvement. He also hosts a podcast called ValueVerse to talk about the stories of mastery, growth and success.
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After many years of trials and self-discovery, Kawan Karadaghi stumbled into fitness and journeyed his way into becoming a master trainer. He wouldn’t be where he is without mentors and business partners. He now owns and helps operate three gyms and expanding. Kawan also serves as a guide to help others find their strengths by problem solving and continuous improvement. He also hosts a podcast called ValueVerse to talk about the stories of mastery, growth and success.
The right habits puts you in control of your health, relationships, mindset, and more. But most people lack the tools to stick with those habits long enough to see results that is about to change. Welcome to the unshakable habits podcast with your host habit change specialist and speaker Stephen Box. Join us each week as experts share their stories, experiences and insights can give you the tools to build unshakable habits so you can live life on your terms. It's time to take your habits from unsustainable to unshakable.
Stephen Box: 0:48
Hey, welcome everybody to the unshakable habits Podcast. I am your host, Stephen Box, and today I am joined by Kwan and Carrie doggy Kwan. Thanks for joining me today, man.
Kawan Karadaghi: 1:01
Steven, thanks for having me on. I love the title and the message.
Stephen Box: 1:05
Appreciate a man thanks for being here. So you have a very interesting story, you went from a guy who was partying, and by your own admission, pretty lazy, hated working out, things like that, to now all of a sudden, you're a guy who co owns several gyms, and you have your own podcast, talking to people about habits. So we're gonna dive into how that kind of transformation actually happens. But before we do, we want to remind the audience of our own shakable framework, because that is how they're gonna take your story today and be able to apply it back to their own lives. So phase one, or part one of the framework is that you have to have a vision. Now a lot of people they set goals. And the reason why I'm not a big fan of goals, is because goals are usually tied to an outcome and Kwan, you know, this, most of the time, we don't have a lot of control over the outcomes, right? So a vision allows us to think about the person we want to be what kind of behaviors does that person have? What is their mindset? What is their attitude, what kind of thoughts go through their heads, and those are things we can control. The way we control those is the second part of the framework, we have to develop or better utilize certain skills. And of course, in order to attain or better utilize the skills that we have, we have to take the third part which is to have repeatable or daily actions that build those skills up. So as we go through your story today, we'll be looking for those three aspects. Sound good?
Kawan Karadaghi: 2:55
Stephen Box: 2:56
Cool. So take me back to Kwan who was out there partying and hated working out what what was life like for you then?
Kawan Karadaghi: 3:09
See, that's a great question. I you know, growing up I didn't really there was no inclination for any type of, you know, improvement or working out or exercise was the last thing on my mind. I you know, sought out thrill in basically, you know, escaping or being in this little mini adventures that would live for the weekends and that's kind of who I was, you know, and that's um it was funny because when I did it, I still wasn't happy doing it. And I remember feeling you know, a lot of pain from from doing that from from not, you know, doing the things that I want to do because I knew that there was something that I was pulled towards doing better in my life and you know, it's a pain has a funny thing, a way of making you stop and think and I think that's one of the things that led me to more of a growth phase was was listening to that. So you know, just just very directionless, very aimless lazy, and didn't really have much going for myself outside of my family and friends that believed in me. So, you know, I just, I just was that guy, you know, I partied. And that's kind of all I wanted to do. And I realized at some point that I had to, I had to change some of those things so that I could actually, you know, not be a failure.
Stephen Box: 4:47
So you said something there that I think a lot of people can relate to you, you live for the weekend. And that's something that I think so many people, especially when we're talking about health that it's just it's a repeatable thing where during the week a lot of us actually do pretty well you know we move quite a bit you know we eat better I mean obviously not everybody but I think a lot of people can relate to that but then on the weekend man the wheels just fall off right great so kind of take us into what the mindset is with that when you were going through that what was that experience like for you Why was the weekend so important to you?
Kawan Karadaghi: 5:34
You know, I think it gave me the opportunity to basically become someone else you know the escape kind of what I was or where I was you know obviously being social a social creature by nature I it gave me the opportunity to Matt Are you know, build relationships with others and sort of you know, go on little mini adventures during the weekend there and experience life out of the monotony of everything so that's kind of what that was and you know, weekends weren't the only time that I did that it was during the week as well and it just something that I that I enjoyed doing because it allowed me to you know, on a physiological or psychological level it was more you know, chasing those things that make you feel good right getting getting the dopamine and getting some of that good stuff flowing there by going out and and having fun so I changed my value system into the things that I thought were important I realized that those things were something that I was chasing that just didn't have an end there was never going to stop you know those things that you want out there that you think bring you joy are short term and that's that's the important thing that that I realized was that it was just a never ending tunnel that I would I would never see the end of and you have to ask yourself at the end of that is what do you want at the end of that What are you willing to depart with
Stephen Box: 7:19
you know, one thing that you mentioned there was or when you were first telling your story was how you kind of felt like a failure and part of this you know going out and partying and trying to be this different person as you said was trying to get away from that failure to be somebody else was there a moment that you kind of had that reflective time of realizing that your life wasn't where you wanted it to be that you felt like a failure
Kawan Karadaghi: 7:51
oh yeah all the time. There was times where you know there was just a lot of different emotions that I felt towards being you know, frustrated you know, angry with myself disappointed and you know, suffering through some some mild depressive states every once in a while and it's a lot to think on, you know, for those listening but those were things that there were so hard to see past because it becomes a part of you. And it's sort of overtakes who you are and that's what you think your identity is. So it's important to look outside of that and say that's not who I am you know, this is the things that I'm doing in myself and I have the ability to sort of change these things if I don't like them and that's that's something that it took me a while to get to but but taking ownership and of that was the first sort of glimmer of light to see myself outside of this of this box right was to say that it's up to me you know, to if it's if it's up to be it's up to me to do these things. So I felt it all the time. And I just knew because I wasn't acting in accordance to who I either was or wanted to become. And that that's the important thing you have to pay attention to a lot of people shy away from that. And those are all signals you know, it's just life for the universe trying to tell you something.
Stephen Box: 9:25
Yeah, I love that man. Because you kind of hit the nail on the head. There are a lot of us do have these is almost like two people inside of us, right? Where there is the person who wants to go out, they want to have fun, they want to do all these things. But at the same time, there's that other party that that you can kind of hear knocking on the door a little bit going, Hey, I want to come out I want to I want to be successful, I want to do things I want to help people I want to grow. I want to do all this stuff in life. And you're keep me from doing it with all this other stuff you're doing right? Right. So I think this kind of gets into a little bit of your vision. And where you started to form this vision app, because you already had this internal sense of the person you wanted to become. So your vision sounds like it maybe was a little bit naturally in You, you, you could already kind of feel it. Was there a particular instance maybe a particular person or a certain circumstance, then really was that wake up moment for you to help you to realize what this vision was?
Kawan Karadaghi: 10:31
Yeah, that's a great question. I had several, you know, people or mentors that took an interest in me in the beginning. And I am who I am, because of them, and, obviously, my own doing as well. But the, you know, they, they had a big part in that. So there was a shock, Wilson was his name, he was one of the first guys you know, outside of my family who kind of saw something in me a little gift of, you know, some entertainment in there. And that's when I originally pursued a career in an acting, which obviously, didn't pan out, you've seen me in the big screen there. But, uh, so you know, that, that led me to more of finding myself out a little more, and exploring what that identity was, you know, then I met, you know, a wonderful guy who, who, you know, took an interest in me outside in acting classes, and we decided to move to the west coast as friends there to see kind of what that was like. And, you know, they those two guys were were highly influential, and helped me, you know, find kind of what those next steps look like, right. And that vision started from there, when I when I started, you know, going for a run one day that, that just floored me, right, it was one of the toughest things that I've ever done. And I felt, you know, so so much pain from it, because I just wasn't in shape at all. And I'm sure you probably relate to that a lot of people really that that haven't worked out before, that, you know, you do something and you say me, I never want to do that again, because you you just aren't good at it, you don't feel you know, great about yourself. So those are kind of the first couple steps. And then when I when I started getting real serious about it, that's when I kind of saw what that vision looked like I had always had small, you know, visions when I was younger, of, you know, becoming stronger, becoming a little bit better in my life and the things that I was doing. I was fascinated by martial arts and, and, you know, just becoming this this better version of oneself, which I think is everyone's story in life as we're we're we're always striving to be someone better. And for me that that's kind of what stuck there. And that was where the the iterations or the beginnings of it. And then that's when I kind of had a vision of just having just higher standards. and wanting to become someone worth becoming in the in that realm of fitness. So I kind of saw the body and physique that I wanted there where there was a lot of that was involved. So seeing that helps, because it makes it tangible. So my message there for everyone is literally have someone that you want to look like, as funny as that sounds, because that gives you and your mind, a target a goal, something in your head that you want to see, you know, it doesn't have to be necessarily a goal that you want to get to. But there's it's like, it's like a painting that you, you visualize constantly. And when I looked in the mirror, and I didn't see what I wanted to see, it drove me further into into acquiring it. And then I asked myself, what does that person do to become who he is or to maintain who he is? And I said, well, that person does this. That person does these things, right? And that's what you have to you have to do the things that that successful person is doing in your mind right in your life. And having that vision for me is what else that I put somebody in my mind that I wanted to be and look like. And I strove to look like that. It was just as simple as that I visualized it and it was something that I just I saw in my in my mind and that's what i what i you know, strove to go for every day.
Stephen Box: 14:53
Yeah, I love the fact that you really kind of hit on a couple of things are sort of one You had to take a step, right? And I think sometimes we get so caught up, and is it the right step? You said yourself, your very first step was trying to get into acting. And you weren't successful with that. But yet, here you are today successful. So your first step was not necessarily the right first step, in terms of where you're gonna end up at anyways, but what people will have to think about here is, and I've seen this story play out over and over again, you take a step, whether it's the right direction or not, a lot of times, it leads you to where you need to be, it's almost as if everything kind of conspires together to start working in your favor when you just take action. Because had you not taken that step, you probably don't meet those two mentors in your life, right? Because you met them by taking that first step, if you don't meet them, then you don't take some of the next steps. So it's funny how sometimes the things that we think we should be doing, are what's going to actually lead us to success. Sometimes it's just taking a leap of faith, so to speak, and seeing what happens. So you know, depending on what someone's belief system is here, will kind of dictate how they believe that happens. But regardless of what your belief system is, I think we can all agree that when we take action, life rewards us.
Kawan Karadaghi: 16:37
That's right. And on the other side of that, is beautiful possibilities. And I think a lot of it is you know, sometimes being, you know, comfortable with where you are, and not wanting to change that. And that's, that's a scary thing. Because why would you, right? There's nothing wrong, everything's okay. You're living life, right? It's about wondering, and realizing the possibilities, I painted myself a masterpiece picture in my mind of what that would look like. And in attaining that, I saw nothing but good coming from it. So I said, why not do this? You know, and and that's kind of what led me to it, it was leading into it. And you're absolutely right, it's taking that those first couple of steps and, and going forward. And it might not be the right step. And that's, that's all right, you'll learn from that experience, too. And that's sort of what how you find your vehicle, if you will, how you find your, your, the little instrument in you there.
Stephen Box: 17:46
Yeah, so so if someone is out there listening to this, and they've been sitting on the fence, they know they need to do something, they don't know what to do. They're scared to take the first step, just take it, you'll get where you need to go. Don't worry about if it's the right step right now.
Kawan Karadaghi: 18:04
That's right, exactly.
Stephen Box: 18:08
So you also touched on this idea that you started looking at other people and you said, You know what, I want to have a physique like that I want to have that kind of body. And I want to point out because I think if people just hear that part, they might kind of get caught up on this idea about comparing themselves to other people and I have to try to look a certain way. So first, I'm going to point out that you did not at any point specify that I had to be a certain body type right? So you know, make sure that people understand that you're not saying that you have to necessarily go look like Bruce Lee or you have to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger or whatever, right? It's it's look like the person you want to look like. And then the other thing that you pointed out there was and this to me was the really powerful part is not just did you have something you can model after to try to work toward but you also had that moment of acknowledgement of you know, what, if I want to look like that, I have to figure out what behaviors get me there. I have to actually figure out what those are and that became a part of your vision.
Kawan Karadaghi: 19:17
That's exactly right. It was the end to touch on on the previous topic too was lean into the things that pull or excite you and and you find some sort of intrigue in it, you know, so that you're taking the right steps towards that and that reveals your personality later on. You know, the the vision there exactly. I saw someone that I wanted to look like or in my mind, I was like, Okay, I told myself you're not exactly going to be like it was a reality to it. You know, and the beautiful part or the reality to it as well as your muscles are your muscles. You know what I mean there, you can shape and create them. Your body is your body, it will become what you create from it, because that's who you are and what's what you've been given. So it's very important not to compare yourself to what others are. Because that takes away your uniqueness that takes away what you have the potential to build, always, always remember that it's easy to look at people and say, Well, I don't look like that. And my message there is all the better because then you can look your best for who you are, right? So when I looked at people, there are people that are wanting to you know, emulate, I basically, you know, I put myself in my mind, I said, Okay, if that's the successful version of hawan, in this field, what a successful co Juan do, what does this person do? That keeps them there? Or that he does, and then My mind went racing, because it was like, Oh, he does this, he probably sleeps at this time. And your imagination can run wild with it. Yeah. So I was like, okay, so I kind of figured out I wrote down some of those things that that were there that were truths. And I said, this is what this person does in order to be successful, right? And I said, well, then then that's what I'm going to do. And and I just repeated those things. Now the important part of finding that what I did innately that I had no idea what I was doing was finding the 8020 rule of that what's that important those important things those two activities that will get you there the most effective way? And for me, it was it was like ingrained in my mind that protein intake was was super important to build muscle right? Obviously, you lost so much weight you've probably heard that you're sleeping probably recite that in your sleep and, and yeah, there's some truth to it with science and everything changing now, but then I said, Okay, you have to do that you have to eat the right amount of protein to grow muscle. That's number one. Number two, successful go on doesn't skip gym workouts. That doesn't happen. If there's something on the schedule, and you have to and you want to become this person, you better like put some work in because right now in this beginning phase, you have a lot of catching up to do and you got a lot of equity to put in, you got to get that put that work in to get that credibility right now there's no time that to mess around. So I had to put in a little bit of overtime, because I was in my late 20s. And I said, you know and there's never a wrong time just for those listening. But I realized kind of all the time that I had wasted if that makes sense. And that's when I was like alright, I owe this to myself to put a little more overtime into to catch up. And that's just what I did. Man, I repeated those things. As simple as it sounds until I effectively reached my goal. I re strategize along the way by reassessing where I was with my strength. With my the way I looked, and I just constantly course corrected until I got there.
Stephen Box: 23:10
You mentioned that there is no such thing as too late. I'll tell people, I was almost in my mid 30s. Before I had my 80 pound weight loss. I've had clients and I'm sure you have as well who were in their 40s or 50s or 60s. So it's not a matter of how much time have you wasted. It's just a matter of Hey, wherever you are in life is time to stop wasting time.
Kawan Karadaghi: 23:36
That's right, man, he nailed it. It's, I was on the bus in LA and I didn't have a car I didn't. I walked and biked everywhere I went, which helped because I got more shape I guess. But I was on a bus man, I was 2627 years old. And I remember thinking to myself, well, it's too late. You're not going to be a professional bodybuilder. So you may as well stop working out because not really going to go anywhere. And I thought, wow, you know, that's a I may not be a professional bodybuilder. Yeah, that's true. But time is going to go on. So I may as well do something with that time, right? The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. And the next best time is today. As the saying goes.
Stephen Box: 24:24
Yeah, I love that because it goes back to what we were saying earlier about goal setting versus having a vision. If you had just set a goal to become a professional bodybuilder, you might have been more prone to just give up. Because you would have like, yeah, this isn't gonna happen. You know, six months into your training, you're not super ripped or your muscles aren't huge. Like you're not stage ready. You're like, this isn't going to happen. But because your vision was for more than that because you want it to be helped Because you wanted to be successful and you saw being healthy as part of being successful you were able to stick with it
Kawan Karadaghi: 25:07
that's right man it's the I think that that bodybuilder analogy with a goal is 100% are spot on you know we we attain we try to attain a level of status with it and I think that's where you get kind of messed up along the way you know you got to do it for other reasons which are important to you and that's that's what it was for me you got you just got to have your heart in it you got to have something in you or are you that that wants it and because of whatever that is for you, you know, for me, it was not doing things halfway anymore and making this commitment to myself because I owed it to myself and it was something that I wanted to master I committed to that that level I said, I want to get great at this and I want to be this person. And that's that's what it was.
Stephen Box: 26:08
Felipe let's talk about the second part of the framework here because we've talked quite a bit about your vision. Let's talk about some of the skills a lot of people especially when it comes to health and fitness, this is what they imagined I'm gonna wake up one day at five o'clock I have right now I get out of bed at eight nine o'clock but I'm gonna get out of bed at like five o'clock in the morning right I'm going to fix this super healthy nutritious breakfast I'm going to go for a five mile run I'm gonna you know I'm going to come back I'm going to down a protein shake and I'm going to you know fix my prepared salad or whatever for lunch and I'm going to go and have that and then after work I'm going to go hit the gym for two hours and I'm going to be in bed by 7pm right like that's what that's what people imagine life is going to be like I mean that's how it was for you right i mean that's absolutely probably the way that it happened for you right? Not Not
Kawan Karadaghi: 27:08
at all No, not not at all. No, I basically I had the complete opposite of that you know and that's not to say that that didn't happen and it usually happens by the way on January 1 every every year so and that's not to knock a resolution but you know listen you know I'll say this time and time again every day is a resolution you know you have the opportunity every morning and the next five minutes to make that change it's really in the next five minutes that's it and it's you know, you'll hear this a lot in different circles but it's really the little things there's no it's not that the grandiose or the big gigantic goal or these these these standards or rules that you have for yourself in the way you think things got to be it's it just doesn't work that way you're a new habit or any type of thing that you want to bring on takes time and you got to be patient with it but the one thing you need to do is to constantly put in the small efforts a daily and there's nothing more important than that it can be the smallest thing out there but those little things add up and I mean that it's it's the little changes that that add to the big changes later on to the big you know, results later on. So you know, I always tell I always told personal train clients, you know, friends, family members nowadays, is to always go small, in your, in your expectations of what you have for yourself. And that sounds like oh, you know, that's not really ambitious, what do you mean by that it means you have great ambitions and but you need to have small expectations and realities or or action steps to get to that. And it's the little step by step that gets you to the to the top of that mountain there. You can't jump to the top, it doesn't work that way you got to you got to do something sustainable that you're gonna stick with and be able to do a daily and a lot of that depends on your environment. A lot of that depends on you know the people you're around, but break it down to its smallest doable component. And stick with that until you until you develop that at a good stage of one week to four weeks. And then look at increasing that week over week. That's that's the key and you just got it you gotta simplify it to its smallest achievable thing and then you feel that as though it's doable.
Stephen Box: 29:58
Yeah, I like The fact that you, you pointed this out, because you use the analogy to have this idea of, you're kind of climbing a mountain reaching a certain peak, right. And I like to use this analogy of magic, you're going to go and climb Everest, well, you're not Superman, you're not going to leap to the top of the mountain in a single bound, right. So if you're going to go climb Everest, you can't just go to you know, your local sporting goods store and buy a heavy jacket and show up one day and climb the mountain, right? It takes a lot of planning a lot of execution, you have to go buy all the right equipment, you have to have a plan, you have to have your supplies, you have to have all these things. And then you start and then along the way, there are places that people stop, you know, there's a path that other people have already kind of carved out to say, look, here's how you get there. And that's not even to speak of the physical commitment of getting in shape to even be able to handle that climb, right? So it's not just the simple thing, it's his little tiny steps, right? Because if you don't sit down and plan, what equipment you're going to need, if you don't take out the time to go to the store and buy the equipment. If you don't pack the equipment in your bag, you don't take those little tiny steps that seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things. You never even get to the point that you can start climbing the mountain.
Kawan Karadaghi: 31:32
Oh, yeah. And when I say small, I mean, you know, so small that it's just becomes like, you know, a little bit laughable. it for me, it was a, I had every excuse in the book, you know, well, I got I gotta get through, walk into the closet and get the shoes out from you know, the closet. It's just gonna it's how am I? That's too hard to do. And so I said, All right, well, why don't you walk into the room first? You know, let's do that. And then I did that. And then it was like, Okay, look at that. Can you look at the closet? I can look okay. Alright, I don't want to look at it again. Okay, that's all right. Let's grab, you know, let's let's take one step forward, and then see, we'll come back tomorrow, or maybe, oh, well, I guess I could do that. And just, you know, just play around with that. And then I know, I'll put the shoes by the door. So I can see him now. And now. That was it was easier now because they were right there. And then now was about putting him on. Right? So Well, I can't I got so much stuff to do. I can't work out for it for two hours or one hour, I was like, why is it gonna be an hour? Why don't you just do 10 minutes or five minutes. And I was like, I know that that's, that's doable. And that's what I did. And I eased into that. And I just repeated that until, until it just stuck with me. And then that's what I gradually increased it. Because it becomes habitual, it becomes part of your life at that point. And then that's the important thing to remember there. And then also, you know, learning in the process of it, you know, understanding that other people go through this too, you're not the only one. And having, you know, an accountability partner, I always say, you know, I always recommend to everybody is get a friend or just just hire a trainer, and just, you know, a personal trainer or coach and anything you do, it will it will help you tremendously, you know, and you'll bypass years and years of, of pain of trial and error, and you'll just fast track through it.
Stephen Box: 33:38
Yeah, I mean having that that mentor or that friend or that expert who can help you is so valuable. It helps you stay on track. It helps you save time. And I think a lot of people, they are hesitant to do that because they have this mentality of I know what I should do, right? But I'm just not doing it. Well, the doing it is the important part. Because a lot of us know what to do. Most of the time when you hire a coach. You're not really hiring a coach to tell you what to do. You're hiring a coach to help you learn how to do it and how to do it properly.
Kawan Karadaghi: 34:18
Hmm, exactly. And there's so many great things that come with it, it's the appointment time you know the accountability. You know, and a friend or workout partner can help the only issue is sometimes they they either move or you know something happens or they they stop so social you know, proofing It is a great way to do it and that's with a friend or a trainer but if you're if you're out there alone and you know it's it's not a big deal I had I had that too and I had a friend I worked out with when he moved back I was on my own and but by that time I had to have it built down it was already ingrained and I was doing it so You know, do that in the beginning until it becomes that part of your your behavior and then you can eventually go on your own and do it and but learning that is the most important thing along the way, is saying, How can I do that and never stop learning through it. You know, that's, that's the most important thing. It's a continuous learning process. And the more and more you educate yourself in the beginning, the more that will pay off. A funny thing I did is all I do is read Men's Health magazine, Stephen. And till this day, I still read them. It just they provide me with things and knowledge and insight and education that pays off. And that's a, that's what you want to do. Just Just get, you know, educated for yourself to learn what what's going on behind the scenes there with it.
Stephen Box: 35:48
Yeah, one thing that you that you talked about in that story with the shoes that I think people really need to make sure that they heard is this idea that in your head, you're having these conversations, and it was, well, you know, why are you even bothering you can't work out for an hour, you can't work out for two hours, you're not going to get any results from five minutes, right? Those are the conversations are going on in your head. And you had to change that language, you had to change those thoughts and be like, but if I do five minutes, I'm starting to build my character, I'm starting to build that person that I set that vision for that person who does work out. If I do five minutes a day, and I do five minutes tomorrow and I do six minutes on Wednesday, you know, kind of thing, then eventually I will be the person who does have time to work out for an hour because it becomes a priority. But you had that recognition that if he tried to start there, it was never gonna happen.
Kawan Karadaghi: 36:51
Yeah, exactly. No, it was a it was not only never going to happen, it was unsustainable, because your mind doesn't work that way, you know, it doesn't see the value in it yet. The value proposition in your mind is hasn't been switched. You don't see it, because it's the payoffs not there yet doesn't show up yet. That's that's one issue with that is when you start in the beginning, you don't see the results right away. And you think, well, this isn't working. I'm out of here. And that's the you know, that's the furthest from the truth because it is but you're just not seeing it yet until you know that that momentum becomes your best friend. But the it has to be sustainable, it has to be something you can you can always do. which is which is the most important thing and realizing the benefit of the long term gain, right? So for me, I always told myself, Well, you're going to feel better after. And that's the care that I dangled, you know, I told myself, I was gonna feel better. And I said, Well, I liked I like that. And you're gonna get you know, look better, right? And you can say you worked out today. So I validated in those senses, I knew the way my ego my mind worked. And I use those tools to essentially work with it, in achieving it. So because it was like for me with the importance of, first of all, I said that I was going to do it. Second of all, you know, I'm going to look and feel better. Third of all, it's a you know, it's nothing but benefits. So I changed the value proposition in my mind to see it as doing it was going to be a little more beneficial than not because of those things. And that helped me kind of realize that and that's what led me to say, Okay, well, I you know, once I got to that five minute or 10 minute mark, I said man is feels great, I'm going to do 20 or I'm going to do 30 minutes, because I was already there. I had gotten in. And then that was it was up to me at that point, it gives you that sense of freedom to do more. So you just want to start so that way you have the possibility to go longer if you want. It's up to
Stephen Box: 39:10
you. Yeah, I love that man. I think that's really great message that you're driving home there. One thing that I want to kind of quickly discuss here is those skills kind of going back to that because we haven't really uncovered what those were just yet. So you talked about how you realize that certain things like the protein that you that you need to do, those were your focuses. But there are skills involved in this. And I think a lot of times where we may get ourselves into trouble is just assuming that if we take some action that everything's going to work out and yes, we want you to start taking action. We want you just to do something, anything as a way to get your mindset going. But ultimately you got to start developing the right skills because we both know people who have done something for years, and they still don't have results because they're not doing the right things. So talk to us about Kwan what skills Did you need to develop in order to start living this healthy lifestyle
Kawan Karadaghi: 40:20
so a lot of the skills that I had to understand and develop in that span before becoming a personal trainer was really taking on an apprenticeship of you know, learning right so a lot of intake of information from from reputable sources is what I went to. So I gathered information from from you know, reputable magazines, articles online and influential people in the gym or you know, people that had kind of efficacy or you know, reputation and credibility and doing it. So that way you know, I had always that learner mentality, I was always always hungry for knowledge and learning and then gathering that information and by and large looking at all of it and saying, Okay, if this many people say it's true, it's true. So so that was the first step. The second kind of step was you know, the heart of the work ethic that that was something that had to be there you have to commit to that to say, I got to work at this and it there's nothing that can replace that you know, you got to be able to put the time in Once you're at that level of commitment to say, I'm going to work hard at this goal and and or you know, whatever that is that you have for that day. And being conscientious of that and saying you know you can want the physique of your life and and and you know, desire as much as you want but you can't bypass that the work part and sometimes hard work doesn't guarantee that you'll get there but it's a necessary component. So in conjunction with that, you know, being a learner you know, we're learning your work ethic having work ethic is having also systems in place you know, and that could be little things like having a you know, your your workout clothes laid out on the floor for the night before that way you wake up, it's right there, you just got to get changed all your your meals made, so that there was no chance of not eating properly. I had a stopwatch and I was a hard gainer so I had to eat every two hours or every three hours in order to put on size which a lot of people don't do and they wonder you know why they don't put on you know that size and or muscle or wherever you eat it's weight loss you got it you got to eat right and and work out right so having systems in place so that there was no margin for error to fail, you know, so my stopwatch, every time I finished digging, I would hit it. And then in two hours or I would look at it constantly to remind myself that it was time to eat again. And that way, you know, there was there was just no way to miss it. I knew what time it was I knew I had to eat and I had meal ready. The fourth thing is you know discipline you got to have a level of that to be able to embody these these other ones. Yeah, tell yourself look, you know, there's been there was days I worked at restaurants, you know, six, you know, 810 hour shifts, six days a week and you're on your feet constantly there were there were barely any breaks. And I was super tired, right? But I couldn't skip the workout because that would be a day that was gone now there was times I was too fatigued, then yeah, I would listen to my body. So I didn't get injured, there's a fine line there. But having the discipline and telling yourself, you know, I don't want to do it. It's not going to be fun. But you know, I'm just going to get in and do something rather than nothing. And that way I'll feel better and you know, I'll get closer to where I want to be. And and those four kind of are things that that were repeatable. The fifth one thing I will say is one of the most important you got to do things that that are fun to, it can't just be a wall, it's got to be this rigid thing and it's got to be this way. If you're not feeling something that particular day, it's okay to not do or do something that's similar or that you will it will get you a similar result or something that's you know, like minded and other approach and do that and have fun with it. Because if it's not, you're going to, you're not going to stick with it. So so make it fun at the same time, if that makes sense.
Stephen Box: 45:08
Yeah, I mean, absolutely. So just to kind of recap, because you actually gave us both the skills and some of the actions they're all at once I want to separate it out a little bit for people. So some of the skills that you develop were, you had to actually develop your discipline, right? You had to develop things like meal prep, and you had to develop the skills of knowing what foods to eat, you had to develop knowledge of exercise and how to actually do the exercises, you had to develop the skill of knowing how to listen to your body to be able to figure out the difference between Am I just being lazy? Or am I actually really going to potentially hurt myself? If I go do too much? What days? Do I skip the gym? versus which days? Do I maybe just dial back my workout? Those are all skills that you had to develop over time. You didn't have to have them perfect when you started, you just had to develop them? And then how did you develop those skills? Well, you know, you, one of the skills you had to develop was eating frequently in order to put on some weight. And so you took on that daily action of setting that timer. So you always knew and you had to eat. I'm sure one of your actions was you probably had certain times or certain days that you made sure you had food ready, because realistically speaking, you're not eating every two to three hours, if you have to cook every meal right before you eat it, right? There's some meal prep that probably has to go into that. That's right. You know, so you took those actions of going to the gym every day of setting that timer of learning, reading those magazines, learning the exercises, gathering information, those are the actions that you took in order to develop the skills.
Kawan Karadaghi: 46:52
That's right, you know, having those that ability to go and take the necessary steps to developing them. A lot of it was trial and error. I had to learn and relearn and unlearn things. And, you know, that's why having someone that that knows what they're doing, and truly just listening to what he or she has to say, will save you a lot of that. So I always tell I always tell my clients, I went through everything, so you don't you don't have to. And, you know, I had a lot of, you know, injuries that I had to learn from, and of course, correct along the way. And but that helped all of my clients because I knew how to help them avoid any of those any of those pain points that were coming up. I could foresee them.
Stephen Box: 47:41
Yeah, it's funny, I tell clients all the time, that if I'm being completely honest, we're both guessing on a lot of the stuff is trial and error, even for the coach. The difference is I have a lot of past failures, I have a lot of mistakes that I've made a lot of things that have worked for me over the years that I've discovered and things that I've been able to help other people with, that I can draw upon. So I'm making educated guesses. You're just making guesses, right? So that's, that's the difference when you're working with someone who has that experience is they don't necessarily have all the answers up front. But they do have a system in place, they do have something to help guide their decisions to actually save you all that time.
Kawan Karadaghi: 48:30
That's right. And and you know, because of that expertise and just experience, right, so that's exactly
Stephen Box: 48:40
why I really appreciate you coming on today, man sharing your story with us talking to us about how that vision came to be for you the skills that you developed along the way and some of those actions that you take, and I think you really gave people especially on the mindset piece, a lot of things that they can use today, to go home, you know, I've actually used the example before of if someone doesn't like working out, just start with small stuff, like have your shoes sitting there to look at put your shoes on, maybe get in the car and drive to the gym, don't even go inside just sit in the parking lot, right? Just whatever it takes to build yourself up. So the fact that you came out and shared the best exactly what you did with the shoes that you're like, you know what, I don't want to go in the closet. So I'm just going to avoid the closet by taking the shoes out of here, right? And I'm just gonna have them there. I'm just gonna eliminate the obstacle. So the fact you shared that story I love because it really helps people to see, yes, these things when you say them, they sound silly, they sound insignificant, but if you do them over time, you really will be successful.
Kawan Karadaghi: 49:49
That's right, and nothing could be more truer than that. It's just the adding daily of that, that that compounds and leads to that big change at the end there. It's just it's just the daily You know accumulated interest that that leads to that yeah
Stephen Box: 50:04
yeah and from now on when I tell the strike and Blake and if you don't believe me go listen to my interview quanta he'll even tell you
Kawan Karadaghi: 50:11
oh yeah I could talk about this all day as I love love the conversation
Stephen Box: 50:16
well man before we wrap up tell us just a little bit about what you do now I know you're a personal trainer you also co own three gyms So tell us a little bit about that and then also tell us about value verse
Kawan Karadaghi: 50:30
Yeah, thanks man. So basically you know starting off as a personal trainer I reached you know, Master Trainer level which was just a lot of hours that he had to put in and going TO to co own the gyms there we started off with one so Anytime Fitness is the is the gym franchise and my business partners and I co own three of them currently expanding to fortune five. And you know, it's really about just the tight knit community and building goals and results in the gym and having that that you know, personal feel to it. So, you know, check it out, and definitely you know, it's a welcoming environment. So that's kind of what we're up to now and it's it's being in the world of business it's always changing and it's it's a it's a wonderful thing to be a part of, to see people grow and pass on the thing that we all experienced as fitness people their value verse is the podcast that I'm on now which value and verse just basically means beneficial words that you can hear. So focuses on you know, storytelling and then struggles of life and work and you know, going into providing takeaways from that and what people can learn and it's on on all platforms and you can also find me on Instagram at value verse
Stephen Box: 52:01
awesome man, really appreciate you sharing that. One thing that I want to point out here to people real quick is everything we just talked about in terms of your health journey, we could take that exact same framework that we used, and we could do a whole nother episode just on the process that you went through to become an entrepreneur all the things you've had to do to grow since then and what people would see if we did that is there would be tremendous overlap. Maybe the skills are a little bit different the actions are different but in terms of the process in terms of getting the mindset right in terms of taking the small steps developing the skills all that is the exact same process that you use to get healthy is what you use to become a successful business owner.
Kawan Karadaghi: 52:57
That's so you know, remarkable that you kind of took it apart like that cuz I never thought about it that way but that's exactly it it's that recipe isn't it? It's it's the you know, the the the algorithm of what you apply to it that sets things in motion and it's true a lot there was a lot of overlap and being open minded being a learner and learning another you know, Language of Business and you know, working with with teams and which was what clients taught me is working with individuals and that's that's right. You can you can take those principles and then translate them to other areas of your life and you're absolutely nailed it. it's it's a it's all there's a lot of overlap in it when i when i go back and think on that.
Stephen Box: 53:47
And just real quickly, you already told us how to find the podcast on Instagram, someone wants to connect with you, what are their other options?
Kawan Karadaghi: 53:58
So yeah, you can kind of meet on the on the web there as well which is www dot the value verse calm. And I'm very active on on Instagram. So that's probably the best place to get in touch with me and you'll see all the little snippets and things that that are on there to help out and add value.
Stephen Box: 54:21
Alright, we'll appreciate it again, man. Again, huge thanks to Juan for joining us today and sharing his insights and his knowledge. This is Stephen Box reminding you that you are not designed to be average. So go out and become unshakable.
Thanks for listening to the unshakable habits podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, and you'd like to help support the podcast, please share it with others post about it on social media or leave a rating and review. Do you catch all the latest please subscribe at unshakable habits comm slash YouTube or on your favorite podcast app. You can learn more about unshakable habits at unshakable habits.com Until next week, be unshakable, my friends