Episode Summary

In this episode of Unshakable Habits, Mike O'Connor shares valuable insights on how to achieve your goals and find your purpose in life.

 If you've ever felt stuck or unsure about your future, this episode is for you!

Mike discusses the importance of self-assessment and reflection in achieving long-term goals. 

He shares his own struggles with finding purpose and highlights the need for discomfort and gut checks to recalibrate one's mission and vision.

To make things more practical, Mike suggests some deep dive exercises to help listeners determine their current position and desired destination, allowing them to gain a sense of purpose and navigate obstacles more easily.

You also learn practical strategies to reduce anxiety before important events like job interviews. As well as how changing your environment and creating new triggers support your desired habits

Host Stephen Box also provides practical tips for habit-building, mindful practices, and self-improvement techniques. Together, they offer guidance on creating an unshakable foundation for personal growth and embracing the journey of self-discovery.

Join Stephen and Mike in this inspiring episode as they explore the power of reinventing one's identity, embracing personal evolution, and charting a course towards a more purposeful and fulfilling life.

10 Questions to ask you yourself from this episode

  1. How can connecting your real self to the position you're applying for impact the success of an interview?
  2. What are some effective practices to reduce anxiety before an interview? How do they compare to hours of research?
  3. How can changing your environment and triggers help in building new habits?
  4. What are some strategies for incorporating self-improvement and self-reflection into our daily routines?
  5. Mike emphasized the importance of setting goals and regularly assessing progress. How do you currently approach goal-setting? How can you improve this process?
  6. What are some accountability measures you could put in place to support your personal growth journey?
  7. How can biases, such as first impression bias and halo effect, be used to your advantage in professional interactions?
  8. How can impostor syndrome affect how we show up in interviews or professional settings? How have you experienced this in your own life?
  9. What are some strategies for overcoming personal and professional struggles during challenging times, like the COVID-19 pandemic?
  10. How do you currently align your personal values with the organizations you work with? What steps could you take to strengthen this alignment?

Quotes We Loved

  • “When you start with things that are high impact and low complexity, it's really helpful because you're almost sort of doing this, 80/20 analysis” - Mike O'Connor

  • "Once people get habituated to doing it, if they see that positive benefit, they have that positive feedback loop that you can really start to layer on more stuff." - Mike O'Connor

  • "The most brilliant people I've ever seen and worked with, the most accomplished people, everybody has biases. It's really hard to step outside that. You're never going to work outside the boundary of those biases, but you can learn to work with them." - Mike O'Connor

  • "What I wanted to do was have somebody do a really deep dive into their values, into the version of themselves that they want to be. Then start to reverse engineer from that to look at your practices, to look at your actual habits, to do deep time audits, and social media audits, and all these other sort of fairly extensive things and really sort of hold that up against the brand of yourself." - Mike O'Connor

Guest Bio & Links

Mike O'Connor is the owner of The Actualized Self, a company that specializes in career and personal performance.

Mike is a former director of career discovery at Williams College, a prestigious institution where he competed with other top schools to recruit the best and brightest students.

During his time there, O'Connor noticed that many of these students were only a few steps away from achieving their full potential, but were hindered by a deep sense of impostor syndrome and shaken confidence.

Inspired by conversations with his psychologist wife and their observations of friends and clients, O'Connor set out to help individuals recalibrate their self-worth and raise their personal standards.

He embarked on a journey of deep introspection and research, combining his own experiences with the coursework he led at various universities, as well as studies on social sciences and behavior.

O'Connor developed a methodology that involved delving into personal values and envisioning the ideal version of oneself, then reverse engineering practices and habits to align with this desired self-image.

Through activities such as time and social media audits, he encouraged individuals to examine their habits and compare them to their desired brand of themselves.

Ultimately, O'Connor aimed to provide people with a new operating system and a sense of accountability, allowing them to make significant changes in their lives and reach their full potential.

With his unique approach, he hopes to help others overcome anxiety, improve performance, and find happiness and contentment in their personal and professional lives.

Read Transcript

Stephen Box: [00:00:00] Hey guys. Welcome to the Unshakable Habits podcast, where we help men to prioritize your physical and mental wellbeing. I'm your host, national Board Certified Health and Wellness coach, Stephen Box, and this week I have with me Mike O'Connor from the Actualized Self, a company that specializes in career and personal performance.

And Mike is someone who has a background working at a university, recruiting some of the top talent in the world, and he has this really unique approach. Something that I don't think I talk enough about on the podcast, and that's why I wanted to have Mike on where he has a program called 15 Days to A Better You.

Now, for those of you who've been listening for a while, 15 days to a better, you may sound completely contradictory to what I normally talk about. Because you guys here, we talk a lot about small steps, small habits, [00:01:00] sustainability, all that kind of stuff. And the thing is, Mike talks about that too. And what my conversation with Mike highlighted for me was the need to talk more about this because I think a lot of people, when they hear small habits, when they hear small steps, when they hear those kind of things, what they think automatically is, slow results.

Couldn't even think there for a second. but they think slow results. And that's not necessarily true because the reality is you can sometimes get faster results by taking smaller steps. But it's about taking the right steps. And that's really where the conversation between me and Mike goes this week is on how to take the right steps.

And we're not just gonna talk about this at a high level. We get really practical with giving you a lot of tips for how to track things, how to implement these things into your life. And Mike, as a bonus, even throws in some conversation, for those of you might be out there in the job market on how [00:02:00] to stand out in the interview process.

So for those of you looking for new employment, you might find that part particularly exciting. But even if you're not looking for a job right now, there is going to be a ton of value for you. In this episode, I hope you guys enjoy it and we'll see you back in 60 seconds.

Podcast Into/Outro: Are you ready to break free from your old habits and create a better life for yourself and those around you?

If so, welcome to Unshakable Habits, the podcast dedicated to helping men be better husbands, fathers, and leaders by prioritizing their physical and mental wellbeing. Each week we'll look at health from a 360 degree perspective with inspiring stories and practical strategies for building Unshakable habits that'll transform your life.

Join Stephen Box, a board certified health and wellness coach, and let's change the world together. One habit at a time.[00:03:00]

Stephen Box: Allow me to introduce you to Mike O'Connor, who is the founder of the Actualized Self, or self Ala is Self ala. Yeah. You you got it. Yeah. I I will, should look at my notes, right?

Mike O'Connor: Yeah. Yeah. Thanks for having me, Stephen. It's great to be with you. Yeah,

Stephen Box: man. I appreciate you being here today, so, so talk to me a little bit, Mike, about this idea, of the 15 Days to A Better You.

Mike O'Connor: Yeah. Well thanks, thanks again and it's great. It's great to be with you today. what, what one of the things I noticed when I was working at, I was the director of Career Discovery at Williams College and really great school. We competed with Ivy League, schools for, for our students and just we're really fortunate to like, recruit a lot of the best and brightest.

There were so many students that I worked with [00:04:00] that were just one or two steps away of really sort of stepping into themselves, right? They were feeling this sort of deep sense of imposter syndrome. Their, their confidence was shaken for, for different reasons. And my wife, who's a psychologist, and I would have these like longer conversations around clients and friends and different people that we have in our, in our life that were just short of really sort of like finding that happiness or that contentment or whatever it was to sort of really sort of get to the next level or that we're dealing with real anxiety, and that weren't able to sort of perform in an interview setting or, or whatever it is.

So what I wanted to really sort of create is how do we sort of recalibrate somebody's floor? I think we all talk about potential a lot, right? And we all talk about, wow, my ceiling's here, or, or you know, if this person could, whatever, could they, you know, could they a gvax or, or y. And all of us, I think, have this incredible, incredible potential [00:05:00] and that's great, right?

But how do we really sort of LA raise that floor? So what, what I wanted to do was have somebody do a really sort of deep dive into their values, into the, the version of themselves that they want to be. And then start to kind of reverse engineer from that to look at your practices, to look at your actual habits, to look at do deep time audits and social media audits and all these other sort of fairly extensive things and really sort of hold that up against the brand of yourself.

And how did the two really sort of juxtapose with each other? So that's when I sort of went on this journey of mapping together things that I've done, through the coursework that I led at, at different schools. and through a lot of sort of research on social sciences and behaviors and James Clear kind of stuff, to really create something that, would hopefully let people sort of walk away with a new operating system and new way of doing things and have a little bit more accountability.

That cool?

Stephen Box: So, so the thing I love about this is, [00:06:00] you know, I know you focus really a lot on career and personal development and you know, I think for a lot of guys out there, we tend to focus on just like one area at a time, right? So it's like, if I'm focused on my career advancement, then everything else kind of falls to the wayside, right?

My health falls to the wayside, my relationship suffer, right? Everything else kind of falls off except for my career stuff. And then at some point, you know, I'm going like, oh man, I gotta take care of my health. But then other things start to fall off because I'm focused on health, right? Oh man, now my marriage is in trouble.

I gotta focus on my marriage. And now our career suffer and our health suffers, right? So it's like, For a lot of guys, it's, it's really hard to figure out like, how do I balance all this? How do I take all of this in? And, you know, what I love about this framework that you're talking about here is it can be applied to career and personal development, but it can also be applied to your health.

It can be applied to your marriage, it can be applied to your [00:07:00] relationship with your kids if you, if you have kids, right? So the concepts what we're talking about are universal, right? It's just the specific application of how we're, how we're applying

Mike O'Connor: them. That's, that's really well said. I, I think one thing that we do is males, and, and you and I talked about this briefly before, was we, we solve for X right?

In, in our life. And I think we've, we've sort of evolved to some degree to really like, think about the food source and how am I gonna sort of, how am I gonna make sure I'm providing for family? Or if there's this problem or there's this challenge or there's this goal. I'm gonna think about the stuff that I need to do to get there and then go do it.

We can focus really well on one thing, but to your point, we do that at the expense of so many other things. And when we do that, when we get out of balance with ourselves, then we know we have this sort of trickle down effect, right? It's like you don't sleep well one night and you're not eating as well the next day, right?

You're not eating as well. You're [00:08:00] gonna feel a little bit more sluggish, and then that really important call that you have. All of a sudden you just don't show up as your best self cause you're just not focused. Right? So what I wanted to do was sort of create something, I take some different social scientists and people that are sort of like working on these different systems for doing that and sort of weave them together in a way for us to sort of look at most like a diagnostic, like a dashboard of like, you know, how's my health?

How's my financial health? What am I doing in my career? What are these different aspects that I have? And then what are the gauges that I have? And when you, when you do that deep analysis and audit and then you sort of compare that to how you're really showing up, you can really sort of then do the thing that I think males do well, which is solvex.

Stephen Box: Yeah. And, and I think you just kind of hit on something super important here, right? It's this idea of, you know, imagine that you're going on a trip and you know where you wanna go, right? You know what you wanna do when you get there and everything else that's. That's [00:09:00] that thing you were talking about, about, you know, establishing your values, figuring out what's important to you, right?

I mean, that's, if you don't know where you're going, then there's no address to putting the G p s, right? So we have to get clear on where we're going first. But at the same time, I think for a lot of guys it is, we start with goals, right? But we don't really know why we're setting that goal. We have, we've missed the vision part of it, right?

So maybe we know we want to go across the country, but we're not sure exactly what city we're gonna end up in or what we're gonna do when we get there, or why we want to go there. We just know that that's where we're gonna go and you know, so you need that, that vision part. But at the same time, I think even if we've gotten that part, even if we understand all those things, another common mistake I see is that we don't take the time to take the assessment of where we are now.

And that's the equivalent of. If your GPS doesn't have a signal and it doesn't know where you are, it doesn't matter if you put in a destination, it doesn't know how to start getting you [00:10:00] there because they can't see where you are now. So if you can't see where you are right now,

Mike O'Connor: you're, you're lost.

That's a really great point, right? It's like you can, you can have that long-term vision, you can have those different, but if you don't have an honest assessment of where you're sort of sitting or a way to really sort of like assess that or test that, then you're, I think, I wouldn't say dead in the water, right?

But you're gonna, you're gonna really sort of tread and struggle a, a bit. And I think there's this sort of like reflective component of looking in a little bit more inward and asking those uncomfortable questions and those kind of things that I think as males we're not necessarily as good at. And this is something that I've found myself sort of struggling with, quite a bit in life too.

And for me it's almost this like, I need this sort of like, Go through some level of like pain or discomfort and just sort of like have this sort of gut feeling about like, what am I doing? Right? Like rather than, I think in over time I've learned to sort of close the gap of like, what are the [00:11:00] questions that I can ask earlier to sort of sort so I'm not there or what's the sort of gut checks that I can do to really sort of self-assess about, okay, here's the thing that you're in right now, here's the thing that you're struggling with, and then really sort of recalibrate on, on mission and vision.

And you know, I, I think when, when people think about what's my mission, vision or what am I sort of doing long term, there's, I don't think we talk enough about as men that like that's something that can change, right? Your vision at 20 years old shouldn't be what your vision is at 30. You have a completely different frame of reference.

Right? And, and that's gonna change very much when you're 40, right? Or 50. And, and that's a good thing and that's a healthy thing. And that's, that's a, you know, that's you evolving and sort of stepping into yourself and being a very different person. So by doing this sort of deep dive exercise, is that really sort of figuring out this orienting who, where am I right now, to your [00:12:00] point, and where do I want to go?

You have the gps, right? And, and you have the systems and that pain and discomfort and all of those roadblocks and obstacles and all of that stuff. We know we're gonna hit my, becomes a lot easier to sort of get through because you have a purpose behind it. Yep.

Stephen Box: Yeah. And I, I love the fact that you brought this up because I think this is something that a lot of us struggled with, over the years.

I know even me personally, I, I actually used to take a sense of pride in being able to say, you know, I'm the same person that I've always been. I, I haven't changed who I am, because some point, I, I had this wake up call and I went, wait, and that's not a good thing, right? Like, I, I shouldn't still be the same person I was when I was 20.

That's, that's, that's horrible, right? Like, it's good that maybe some of my foundational beliefs, some of my principles are still in place, right? I mean, hopefully I've done a good job of creating [00:13:00] solid principles in my life that are still the same, but hopefully I'm a better communicator. Hopefully I have better control of my emotions.

Hopefully I'm in better shape physically. Hopefully I'm a better partner to, to my wife. Hopefully I'm a better, you know, leader. You know, all these different things. Hopefully I've developed skills and I'm not the same person anymore.

Mike O'Connor: Completely. Yeah. I, I think what happens when you, when you do that, and when you do that sort of systematic audit and, and you think about yourself in a different capacity, you really create that.

It's kind of like you're, you're sort of stepping up the staircase, right? You're creating a new floor for yourself, and then you're looking at where you want to go next and, and sort of starting this sort of like, you know, I don't like the word manifest, right? But you're starting to sort of speak that in exist a little bit and you're, and you're using the thing that I think males do well, which is, okay, here's where I want to go.

Here's the parameters I need to control for, here's the step [00:14:00] that I really need to, to, to go and do that. And I've done, I've done the same thing at different points, right? Like, oh, I'm, you know, I'm, I'm so similar, or I'm the, I'm the same kind of person. And I think there's, there's values that people, I think, naturally have from upbringing and that are inherent to them, that aren't necessarily fixed, but, but evolve.

But, but there's some, some patterns that I think to stay the same. But you're absolutely right. Like you wanna level up on the person that you are and, and really sort of fit that to the, the life that you currently have and wanna have. Yeah.

Stephen Box: Yeah. The thing I, I think is so important for people to kind of see here is it's recognizing your strengths, but also recognizing your weaknesses.

Right? And, and as you said, for a lot of men out there, problem solving is a strength, right? I mean, that is something that just generally speaking is a commentary for a lot of guys, right? We are very good at problem solving, but the [00:15:00] issue is that we aren't necessarily all great at seeing the big picture.

And so the problems that we're solving are so small in the grand scheme of things, right? They might feel big in the moment. But they're smaller in the grand scheme of things. And then we don't understand why we keep solving problems so things don't get better.

Mike O'Connor: Yeah, that's really well said. and it's, and it's hard sometimes, right?

To see this sort of bigger picture about what is, what is the thing that I'm really sort of trying to control for and do that, that really sort of gets me to, to where I, I want to go. And one thing that I'm guilty of is like, I'm a big to-do list person and like I'm, I'm constantly sort of like writing down what I need to do and then just like, I'm good at just focusing there, right?

And I get that little like dopamine stack every time I cross the thing off the list or what know, like whatever it is. But what I've had to do with my system, and I, and I have this in the course cuz I just find it pretty helpful. But I found the student from White Combinator that [00:16:00] essentially took your, the test that you have, but then it puts them in a a three column spreadsheet where it just like, okay, test impact and then complexity and.

When you start to really sort of control for what's the impact of this specific thing and what's the complexity of it when you start with things that are high impact and low complexity. You know, I'm, I'm hesitant to use the word game changer, but it's, it's really helpful, because you're almost sort of doing this like daily 80 20 analysis and you're doing of the things that you talked about earlier, Stephen, which is like, you're, you're, you're tapping into really sort of where you are and where you want to go and, and it forces you to really sort of really think of, is this really sort of useful?

and is this something that I want to do? Like I have this instinct that just like go all the time and to sort of just try to head, head down, charge into the next problem and try to knock down whatever is in front of me, through my male d n a. And that's not always the best thing. Sometimes she needs to like, to think and [00:17:00] recalibrate a little bit and be like, okay, like rather than playing lead bocker right now, Maybe step back and see the, the broader field.

And, and for me, the, the simple task of like that orient and principle, it's like, okay, we've got, we've got your task. Great. You know how to do that really well, but what's the impact and what's the complexity and how are you really using your time to get what you need to be done? Helping me step back a bit.

Stephen Box: Yeah. And, and I love, like I was looking over, your, your course here, right? And the thing I love and just looking at your curriculum is, first of all, you start like, even before day one, right? Just like on the getting started section, one of the things that you have on there is like showing up every day.

And, and I love that because I think that is something that a lot of people struggle with, right? It's, I have time for this today, so I'm gonna focus on this today. But then tomorrow when [00:18:00] seven other things come up that I wanna prioritize, I'm gonna let this go. And you cannot achieve anything in life until it becomes a regular part of your routine.


Mike O'Connor: Yeah. That's like, that's so, so well said. And like, what I've had to do for myself over time and, and what I've tried to sort of like, build in for people, and you, you talk about habits a lot is, is sort of just helping people habituate the new normal. And for me, like I'm a, I'm a big systems person that if you, if, if I can just sort of slowly over time evolve my system to just be like, here are the five things that are non-negotiable that I'm doing every single day.

And, and you know, I've, I, I've tried to really sort of embed this into, into the chorus about like, you're gonna get in the habit of really sort of doing this and being consistent with it. But if you, if I, for instance, for me, it's just like, okay, every single day I [00:19:00] have to do writing. And that's a non-negotiable.

I have to do it. And I have specific sort of KPIs that are sort of set out for that and different places that it needs to go, but it needs to sort of happen and the blocks. And if I don't do that, then I'm not gonna sort of reward myself with, you know, with the different things that I have that, but like, you have to build these, these to checklists and then you have to build in, I think, some positive reinforcing mechanisms to reward yourself for the good things that you're already doing.

and that looks very different for everybody. And, and you and I were having this really great conversation beforehand about, when we're most productive and how that works. But, you know, you, you have to have systems to really sort of keep yourself. Focused because the reality is like life is just gonna get in the way.

You're gonna have things pop up and a lot of them are gonna be completely outside of your control. So what the new baseline was, the new floor you create for yourself to know, here's my daily non-negotiables, and if I do these, it's gonna get me towards sex. Yeah.

Stephen Box: And, and, and one thing that [00:20:00] how I just wanna kind of point out to people here, and, and I would love to hear your thoughts on this as well, is don't try to change everything at once.

Right. It's, it's impossible. Like you can't, you know, do this whole like thing where like, Hey, you know what, suddenly I'm gonna start waking up two hours earlier than normal. I'm going to, you know, do a workout first thing in the morning. I'm gonna start, you know, fixing breakfast at home when you normally stop to get something to eat.

And you know, then when I get to work, I'm gonna do this, this, and this. Right? And all of a sudden you're trying to make seven changes and it's, you might pull it off for a couple of days, right? But it's not sustainable.

Mike O'Connor: No, no. It's, you know, James Clear talks about this in his book, right? Atomic Habits, which is, I, I think one of those books I just find myself, you know, encouraging people to read more and more.

but he talks about habits stacking, right? And yeah, and the triggers associated with that. And you're exactly right, like the w with the people I know that are sort of [00:21:00] having, that are feeling that they're stuck or whatever, right? And they're just, they're not feeling great about, you know, their, their life trajectory, whatever the, the three things I tell them sort of to do, and I don't have them sort of do it all at once, but I'm like, okay, you're feeling stressed or feeling anxious when you get to work in the morning.

Spend five minutes, you have five extra minutes. Great. Spend five minutes just jotting everything down and just do a complete brain dump of everything that you're doing. All right? And just sort of releasing that about getting your monkey mind on paper. Just letting it go is great. Okay? Once you've done that, What we're gonna do is we're gonna start, we're gonna start to note things that you're grateful for.

Again, we're not talking big changes, we're talking five minutes of, of brain dumping. Then you're gonna spend maybe even three to four minutes just writing the few things that you're grateful for, whatever comes to mind. Yep. VOing yourself. That's a big amount, right? Great. You do that and you have those two pieces, and it's just like, okay, let's, let's put in a little bit of like breathing technique, right?

Or like a, a simple, you know, I know meditation has different connotations, but like [00:22:00] some type of mindfulness, maybe just sitting quietly for a little bit, maybe it's a longer walk or whatever, right? But like, you start to sort of like layer in these behaviors and once people get habituated to doing the, they see that positive benefit, they have that positive feedback loop, then you can really start the layer on more stuff.

and, and I, but you're exactly right. If you try to sort of like force dive everything sort of into, you know, it's the thing all at once, it becomes really, really tricky. You know, another real thing that I really like, that I've just personally found helpful is, but when you change your environment or you make like small tweaks to, to that, and you have different triggers, yeah.

That can really sort of help, help quite a, quite a bit too. And, like a really sort of small example, but I've got, in my office here, I've got like all sorts of different exercise equipment that I leave strategically in different places that like, as I'm sort of going through the day, it's just really easy for me to, or I'd almost say it's actually harder to just sort of see the thing and be like, [00:23:00] okay, well I can do a little bit right now.

yes. But as you start to build these things in organically to your, you know, to your life, you, rather than trying to make the big change, you, you start to see this, ramp effect over time.

Stephen Box: Yeah. So one thing you just, touched on there is this idea of, trigger workouts, right? Which is something that I teach and.

It's this idea that you just put things literally like you just said in your environment where when you see them, it triggers that thought of, Hey, you know, I got two minutes right now, let me knock out a couple curls or a couple squats, or whatever. Right? maybe you got a kettlebell sitting next to you and you just pick it up and do a couple of, you know, squats or some kettlebell swings or something, right?

It's, it doesn't have to be big. It doesn't have to be a huge workout. It's just kind of that mental model. But one thing that I've actually seen happen with people, and this goes back to our earlier points you made, is after a while you become blind to that object, [00:24:00] right? It's just in there, but you start to ignore it unless you have a system in place that forces you to use it, right?

And that's, that's where these things, like, I think a lot of times we get, you know, messed up. We hear these ideas are like, that sounds like a great idea. And it works for a week, and then it stops working. And it's because we never put a system around it.

Mike O'Connor: Yeah, yeah. That makes, that makes a ton of sense. And like for me, I have to constantly sort of switch up what my system is.

and I'm, I'm a big systems guy. Like, like you, right? So it's like I, but I have to constantly sort of reinvent that because to your point, I just start to ignore it at some point. Right? So the new thing I have, just because it sort of works with the current schedule, it's just like I need to either A, go to the gym, b complete this, like it's, for me, it's like this simple diagnostic of e every day's 30 sets, right?

It just needs to be 30 sets of something. and that can be pushups, [00:25:00] squats, blah, blah, blah, right? Whatever. Right. But it's like, it's 30 sets. Or it's like a three mile run. And then there's different calibrations there. Like I did one mile and I did 20 cents. Great. Right. yes. But I had to really sort of invent that around my current life.

And I know that at some point this system or this sort of diagnostic I have, like, I won't like as much, so I'll have to sort of like reinvent something else to sort of form fit what I have in my life. But that's, it's, it's a really good point you made of like over time the trigger becomes less, like you just don't have the same conditions or response that you would if you sort of, when you had it initially.

So you have to reinvent how you're sort of using your environment, your system to really, you know, reach your goals.

Stephen Box: Yeah. You, you just kind of hit on this and, and I love, cuz this is actually one of the things that I teach that's a little bit different from what most of is out there. Right. Even looking like James Clear, you know, a lot of the stuff that he teaches in his book is very rigid.

It's like, you do this, you [00:26:00] do this, it's step A, step B, step C. Right? And I think it's easy to fall into that trap when you're writing a book, right? Because in a book, people expect you to give them the exact steps to take. And so it's very easy to fall into that trap. But to me, your systems have to be flexible.

If they are not flexible, they will fail because every single system has a pressure point at which it will break.

Mike O'Connor: Yeah. I couldn't agree more. you know, and kind of to the point that we were both making earlier, like, fins are gonna pop up, right? You're gonna have a loved one die. you're gonna, you're gonna absolutely have days that.

For whatever reason, you can't get to the gym, right? Or, you know, you can't hit this sort of this daily goal that you have for X Or if you're taking the course, you might have like legitimate life circumstances. Like, okay, I have to, I have to put an hour and 10 minutes into this today. Like, I'm not gonna have that.

And, and I think [00:27:00] the, the thing that I, that I sort of like always sort of fall back on for me, it's just like, it's not gonna happen two days in a row, right? That I, yeah, I might, I might miss the gym or I might miss a workout or, you know, something might happen with one of my daughters that I need to sort of go do X and this client meeting sort of in the way of this or, or whatever.

But I'm not gonna miss that second day. And that's just the rule and the thing that I've had for myself to sort of just have the, the fallback from, from what I know is gonna happen. But you're right, the systems have to be, they have to have a degree of flexibility with them. because over time, you know, you're just gonna have things pop up and you're gonna just become less.

the word like I rigid to sort of the, the thing that's not gonna sort of be as effective. So if you're not reinventing the system, you have to have some degree of like, flexibility in, I think.

Stephen Box: Yeah, and, and I think this idea of, of reinventing your systems and, and making these changes, which you've touched on in a couple [00:28:00] different ways, already is important to recognize that it's not just a matter of you get bored or that circumstances around you change, but internally we change, right?

As we grow, our systems need to grow with us.

Mike O'Connor: Yeah. They, they have to, they have to really sort of evolve and, you know, the, the version of you like five years ago is very different than the version of you shelf that you, that you are now. and, and one of the other reasons that I sort of really sort of landed on this course and.

I, I was on this track professionally to be a college president, and feeling, feeling pretty, pretty good about that. where I got very long story short, I got promoted in a couple roles, stepped into a dean role and then sort of stepped into, essentially sort of a role in a president's office where I got sort of see behind that mechanisms and works with this incredible woman leader, really, really bright and such a great mentor and all of these different types of things.[00:29:00]

And I was on this track for like a very long time, and planning my day and my life and, and the content I was consuming and all these other things and be like, okay, where are the, where are the big gaps that we have in this industry? And one of the things that I can bring that are, that are competitive an advantage that I value that do all these different types of things.

But what happened for me personally was I was just, I hit this point where, kind of to the point that we were where book making earlier. My, my values just weren't mapping to the places that I was in, working in, or the industries that I wanted sort of be in. And, and I really value autonomy and, and being able to create and add value in ways that sort of makes sense for me.

Whereas, not that that's not allowed at all in terms of the industry, but it, for me, it was just not jiving with the long term vision of what I needed, what I was actually sort of doing in my professional life. So I knew, I was just like, okay, you've been teaching this for a long time and you felt a lot of [00:30:00] students really sort of recalibrate, find things that are up needed to them.

You have to do this for yourself and if you're not doing it for yourself and you're not really li living with this integrity, you know that that's just gonna eat at you and it's gonna really sort of bother you. So yeah, I had to really sort of reinvent a lot of pieces of identity and. As much as I was sort of like, I think tried to be detached amigo and all the different types of things, there was a really core piece of my identity that was so, that was connected to my job, and I knew that I had to really sort of rethink who this was and who I wanted to be and do it in a way that sort of served the broader values that I have of how I wanna sort of serve and help people.

but it's, it's tough. It's, it's definitely, I think, it's a humbling experience to go through and, not easy to really sort of rethink and honestly assess where you are, where you want to go, and then reverse engineer the steps that you're actually taking to, to see if those are fitting or [00:31:00] not.

Could be a, I think a humbling process and a, yeah, I think humbling is probably the best word.

Stephen Box: Yeah. I, I think it, it takes a lot, right? And that's why, you know, I encourage people, you know, Take a course like yours or get coaching with somebody like me, because what that person can help you do, what that other person can help you do, is they can ask the questions, right?

They can help you start to get the answers to these things. They can help you. We talked about this a little bit before we, started recording this idea that, you know, you get really focused in on one specific thing and you can't see the bigger picture. You can't see everything around you, right? And so going through a course like yours or getting coaching is really like, imagine that you're in a museum and you're staring at a picture and you are so locked in on this picture that you can't see all the other art around you.

And what this outside [00:32:00] help does is it helps you to take a step back and realize there's an entire wall with pictures.

Mike O'Connor: one, one exercise that I love that just something you said just trigger triggered it in my mind.

but I, I found this like so useful and I started doing it in a, in a few classes that I taught. it's called What's My Superpower, right? And there's something about having, not you self-assessing necessarily, but the power of asking other people to tell you what is the thing that I'm really uniquely good at.

And there's something about other people's feedback on that process that just puts a few lights off for you. It just says like, huh, okay. Because the thing that you, that just come easy to you that are natural, you undervalue those relative to other people where it's like the mentors, the friends, the people that really know you, the work colleague that you worked really closely on, they lean on that superpower.

And, and when you ask them for that help, they're happy to give it and sort of tell you, [00:33:00] but it's. It does something where it's like, you, you see that and then like you start to really connect that with like, okay, well what does the world need? Right? Or, or what, how is this really sort of applied to, to, you know, different industries or this, this, you know, this entrepreneurial idea I have.

And when you start to kind of connect those dots, it's really sort of freeing and unlocking for the person that you could potentially be, because you're just sort of seeing yourself in a completely different context, than, you know, than you, you might, and in undervalued and I think skills that are really sort of unique.

Stephen Box: Yeah. There's actually a, excuse me, a book that I love, it's called Insight. It's by, Tasha Urich, hopefully I pronouncing her name correctly. and, and it's, it's called Insight, why We're Not Self as self-aware as we think. Right. And she kind of touches on a lot of this stuff. We're like, We so severely un [00:34:00] undervalue our own skills while completely overestimating our ability to do so.

Mike O'Connor: It's fascinating. Yeah. I, so I, I not, I did a lot of like, with, with interviewing and, like the, the school I worked at, we had one of the most robust employer networks of any small cool school in the country. So we had like 150, 160 companies that were actually coming onto campus every year and, and actively recruiting.

So, in the basement of the building that I was in, it was, it was kind of cool to meet all different types of employers from all different types of industries. They're just walking around. You have these informal conversations with them, and what I learned is like the, you know, the best employers and, you know, we, we all know the names and the, the biggest companies and the, the places that recruit most students, the.

The amazing skilled interviewers that they had, despite the fact that they had these like very well thought out [00:35:00] questions that mapped very specifically to the types of person that they were seeking that fed into their funnels in terms of like, who they're recruiting, blah, blah, blah. Like all that was thought through.

But human biases still played such a role in terms of like how they were showing up in the interviews and even the best places, the best people, the best interviewers, and the most sort of like the, the humble, like incredible sort of people. They were, everybody has biases, right? and little tiny things that you have, like first impressions are forming in like all of seven seconds, right?

And, and similarly enough, like the biases that you have around yourself. Right. And, and like, and how you're showing up to like a, to professional interaction like that and like the imposter syndrome that you are feeling that like sometimes is kind of coming through, right? Because you're undervaluing to the point you made and around that book you're undervaluing the, the things that you have.

Yeah. And [00:36:00] undervalued your ability to really sort of assess it. But it's, it's fascinating the role of that biases play, in, in this sort of space because the most brilliant people I've ever seen and worked with, the most accomplished people, everybody has biases and, and it's really hard to really sort of step outside that.

and you're never gonna sort of like work outside the boundary of those, those biases. But you can learn to sort of work with them and and I think to some degree be, be more self-aware. Yeah. Yeah. You,

Stephen Box: you've, we've mentioned a couple times the importance of, of setting those values and kind of understanding, and I wanted to kind of create this tie in because you just kind of brought up a very good point that happens, right?

With people go to do interviews and there's that, that nervousness that, you know, fear of what if I'm not good enough, and what if they see that? Right? So we work extra hard to make a great first impression. And so, you know, you go and, [00:37:00] and you dress the part and you try to say the right words and you try to answer questions in the way that you've been taught.

It's the best way to answer questions. But the thing is, if those things you're doing are not in align with who you are, you're going to feel like an imposter.

Mike O'Connor: Yeah. Incredibly well said. you, you're exactly right, and I think like good interviewing is. I think connecting the real to like what the person wants to hear.

Right. because I, like, I, I think we could also to be asked, there is a performative aspect of it, right. And it is, it is straight competition, like, for sure. Right. But you know, the first question that you're gonna get in any kind of interview is some variation of why are you interested in this position?

I can be asked in all sorts of different ways. Right. But if you're not able to talk about the, you, the real you mm-hmm. And sort of map that to the them, and if you're not able to Correct. Create that connection, the interview's dead in the water. [00:38:00] Right, right away. And, and that's a hard thing to do. it's, and it's like, and it takes a good amount of practice in different pieces.

And, just to sort of back up to what you were saying around sort of the anxiety and all that, that pre, pre stuff, one thing I work with my clients and, I, I find this just to be a really sort of helpful practice, is. Everybody knows you need to do a bunch of research. And, I've got some simple frameworks that people can use to really sort of tap into like what they should be looking at.

But a simple, a simple framework of exercise, quick exercise, just getting that heart rate high, followed by some type of mindfulness, followed by, sounds funny, but a power pose, to get your, your testosterone and your, your, your dopamine surgery and all that goes in a good direction lowering cortisol.

And then, like a, a pump up song, like a, a song that puts you in a good elevated mood. That rubric right there, I, I pulled that from Josh White Skin who wrote this really incredible book and he does some great performance coaching. But that simple thing of like, okay,[00:39:00] channel that stress, you know, get, get that heart rate pumping.

Do some mindfulness to just quiet. Get your thinking clear. Yeah. And then, you know, get your, get, do the power poles, get your cortisol and, and everything sort of going in a good direction followed by that song to put you in a good mood set does so much more like that like little simple thing does like as much as hours of research.

Like, and it, and it puts you in just a good position and it quiets your mind a little bit and you still wanna do like all of that other stuff, don't get me wrong, but like that 20 minutes like has so much r o i relative to like hours of extra research that people do. and it just helps you show up and like just be present and be there and, yeah.

I love finding like little things like that that just help people sort of like perform and be themselves better and be a little bit more comfortable.

Stephen Box: Yeah. I, I like the, the idea too of, you know, we talked about the importance of, of [00:40:00] showing up as you Right. Which is to me, If you take the time to really understand these values and who you are as a person when you're doing that research, ideally you're seeing things that this company stands for that align with your values.

Otherwise, I'm not sure why you want this job. Right? so hopefully there's an alignment there. And so now when you are sitting down to talk with this person, they ask that question of Why do you want this position? You're now able to speak confidently about your values, what's important to you, and tie that back to the company.

And if you just do that, you're already giving yourself a buffer for mistakes that you might make later in the interview. Right? Just because it's, because like you said, that first impression is fixed so fast that just talking about that and getting that person to be like, wow, this guy's really in alignment with what we [00:41:00] want.

They will miss other mistakes that you make later on because they've already convinced themselves that you're the right person. That's so well

Mike O'Connor: said. And it's so true. It's so, so true, right? Because person, it's this, it's like these biases that we talked about before, right? first impression bias is a huge one.

Like Halo, a fact is another one, right? Where if the person's really good at one, they're good at other things. but those biases like work to your advantage to some degree. I think people are afraid to say that, but it's true, right? So if you're able to sort of map that, and another thing that just I think shows that you're a really high value target, you know, or high value person if, if you really spend the time to ask very, very thoughtful questions.

Questions that get at the, the, the soul of the organization or, or things that sort of get to the, the deeper understanding of. Of, mission culture values, like whatever, like if you're, if you're, if you're doing the research on the podcast that, that the c e o has done and you're taking notes and you're sort of [00:42:00] using that to sort of inform thoughtful questions, or if you're going a little bit deeper with, you know, finding content that's out there on, company values or how they're showing up in the community, or like all these different things that map to who they say they're, it shows that you're really sort of like, not just intellectually curious, but you're really thoughtful, right?

And you're, and you're being really sort of intentional about how does this map to who I am? And it puts that value pro proposition on them to really sort of have to sort of tell you who they are. yes. But yeah, but those, those things are all hard to do if you're trying to just like perform and be the person that you think they are, that they want to be.

And when, when somebody's sort of been, and I've been on the other side of this where I've done, HR kind consulting work. It's like when you're. Looking at and assessing like a wide number of people. it's hard to remember all the spec specificity or whatever, but you remember how they made you feel, right?

And you can, you can suss out the people that don't really sort of seem to map to the [00:43:00] vision that you have for, you know, for the organization, whatever. So to your point, right, like, you, you want to put the thought into like, how does this really sort of fit for me and what's that bridge?

Stephen Box: Yeah. I, I mean, it's kind of like somebody's listening to this interview right now and we've hit on so many different things and so many different ways that if I were to sit down right after this interview, finishes and say, okay, tell me five points that Mike made today, you would struggle to make, to write down those five points, right?

I mean, unless you were taking notes and you're like cheating on it, right? Glancing notes, but just like off the top of your head, you would struggle to give me those five points. But what you would do is that one that really hit hard for you, right? That one that really stuck to you. You'd be able to tell me that one.

Like instantaneously, and that's the one that was the most important for you. Now, the other ones might be valuable. You might write 'em down, you might implement them at some point, but that [00:44:00] one that was stuck with you, that's the one. Right. And, and that's kinda what you're saying here is that it's, it's not really just about like remembering everything or getting every detail perfect.

It's about the feeling and feelings come from what, what

Mike O'Connor: we value. Yeah. That's really well said. I, I, I almost sort of look and you just made me realize, or, or think about this in a, in a, in a different way, right? It's almost like a, a sort of a mental model, right? That you're, that you're sort of building on the fly about, you know, like who, who am I in terms of like my identity for this organization, right?

And. And that's going to change to some degree. But the core you is, is you. Right? So you're trying to sort of figure out like, what's this unique bridge or sort of unique thing or the aspects of my like, you know, hyper uniqueness that really sort of ran and connect me better to this sort of place it place itself.

but yeah, that was an interesting connection that you just made for me [00:45:00] cause I hadn't really exactly thought of it like

Stephen Box: that before. Yeah. For, for me, everything starts with the mindset. and, and honestly, I'm, I'm actually, I'm, I'm happy that I gave you that insight, but I'm, I'm actually a little surprised because, and look into your course, one of the things that I really love is, I mean, I already kind of gave you like the, you know, the one about showing up every day.

But I think people would expect, okay, I'm only gonna get 15 days to do this. So we're, we're gonna jump right into the deep end. You're gonna start giving me, you know, like, actions to go take things I'm supposed to go do every day. And from what I can tell, just in looking at the curriculum, you don't really give someone that first like solid, like go do this specific physical thing until about day 12, right?

Everything up to day 12 is all about setting your values, getting your mindset right? It's about taking an assessment of where [00:46:00] you are. It's all about getting all the pieces in place, right? It's like the old, I don't know if it's real, quote or not, but I've, it's always been attributed to, Abraham, Abraham Lincoln about, you know, if I had to chopt down a tree, that's been the first two hours sharpening the ax, right?

And, and that's what you're doing here. You're helping people to spend those first 11 days sharpening the ax. So that day 12, when you start chopping the tree, that bad boy's coming down fast. Yeah, that's

Mike O'Connor: really well said. No, you, you're exactly right. You're doing a really sort of deep diagnostic. The first part of it is you're really sort of looking at, okay, who's the person I wanna sort of be?

What are those values? How am I sort of showing up in the world? But then there's a lot of audits, right? Where you're essentially sort of looking at like, okay, here's the brand that, here's the me, here's the brand that I wanna start to put out in the world that's organic and true and all of those different things.

But then I'm really sort of looking at like, how am I, how am I sort of doing it? What are the audits? Like? How am I showing up? But I'm doing a deep dive on, on these different, these metrics that I [00:47:00] have and like, am I sort of going towards the goals that I say I, I wanna have or not? And you're really doing that.

But then what you're doing sort of as you're sort of doing this sort of deeper di diagnostic is you're starting to one, sort of get in the habit of self-improvement and you're building that into, that you're doing this, this meditation, or some, some type of mindfulness, I shouldn't say just meditation.

Combined with, with some journaling and some real sort of task batching and, and, and trying to get better at your, your daily sort of 80 20 analysis. But then you're really starting, starting to think of what are the things that I can do that I can build into my routine that have outsized roi? How am I starting to hold myself accountable?

Right? And as you do that, and you go through it, you're gonna then get prompts after the course ends two weeks later, Hey, where are you at with these types of things? What have you been doing? who is the, who's your accountability buddy? Or like, who's the person that you're checking in to make sure that's happening?

Maybe that's me. [00:48:00] Maybe that's somebody else. But you are building in something and you're trying this operating system and the first version, 1.0 isn't gonna be perfect, right? And we know that, and it never is, but it's gonna be better and it's gonna be better than what you're currently doing. And the hope is, That by recalibrating where your floor is and really sort of looking at that and seeing the positive end of recalibrating that floor, you're gonna then sort of like 30 days later reassess again and make this a, a continual sort of practice.


Stephen Box: Yeah. I think, you know, and this is going back to what I said in the introduction, right? Where this at, at the surface might seem different than what I normally teach, right? This idea of like, you're gonna do this in 15 days, but you know, I'm hope, I'm hoping that now people see that it's not about you're gonna completely change everything and fix everything and have life be perfect in 15 days.

It's taking [00:49:00] that 15 days and using it as a launchpad for the next 60 days, 90 days, whatever, and being able to implement those things and make those changes. But those 15 days are. What's going to give you the foundation you need to be successful in those changes.

Mike O'Connor: Exactly. Exactly. You know, and we're, we're trying to sort of get people up to, to some degree of base camp, right.

but you're gonna sort of, you're gonna hike these foothills and you're gonna do things that are, that are hard and challenging, really sort of make you think so that you can sort of like look at and sort of reassess the bigger mountain mats that's in front of you. but you're exactly right, right?

I mean, 15 days is a short period of time. It is, is it enough time to, it is enough time to sort of recalibrate and sort of pull together a mission vision and start to pilot things. But in terms of long term, 15 days is a drop in the bucket, right? So trying to reset your floor and then sort of think bigger [00:50:00] picture about where you want to go and who you want to be and start going in

Stephen Box: that direction.

Yeah. And, and I think something that people miss out on so often is it's really about that mental clarity, right? It's about. Having an understanding of what you actually want to do, because how often do we struggle to accomplish something for no other reason than we're just not sure how

Mike O'Connor: to start. Yeah, that's really well said.

and yeah, that, that, that direction and then that clarity in all of these different pieces, you know, I kind of going back to the point that we made before about men, those are, I think those are tough, right? Yeah. And, and I think it's, I, I don't know that I know I, I certainly wasn't raised to sort of like, think about myself and think about like, What do I want or what do I sort of need or whatever.

It's like I'm putting, I'm, I'm thinking about my family. I'm thinking like, how am I providing for them and what am I doing and how am I sort of doing the different things to [00:51:00] sort of help them be their best self, right? So I think there's, there's pieces of it that are uncomfortable and weird and, and just different, but there is this, I think this sort of gut check reality that we all have.

like when things aren't, you know, even if you're not the most, sort of inward looking person, and I know that I've, I've had to really sort of grow a lot of that, but there's this gut check piece about things just don't feel right sometimes. or, or, you know, I, I, I'm doing all of these kind of things and it just doesn't, there's just something in my gut that's telling me this is like, this is something wrong.

yes. And that's really like the, the, I, I kind of created this thing to sort of solve challenges of, of people that I know and work with that. That we're sort of having it, but I also did it for myself, right. About, you know, what's, what's, what are the things that help me sort of level up to get to where I want to go?

and, and force me to really sort of like, look at the thing that I don't necessarily wanna look at. And, and stare those in the face. Because as soon as you [00:52:00] confront them, you know, again, we can kind of solve Forex a little bit more. but we need to know what those, what those pieces are, and to the points that you've made a number of times.

It's like they're so interconnected and holistic that if, if we're not doing them, if we're not sort of serving ourselves, then we're not gonna show up for the people around us as best as we can.

Stephen Box: Yeah. And, and I think, you know, something that you just kind of highlighted there that I wanna point out is, It's not about what we do, right?

It's about the interconnectivity. you know, I've seen so many guys, you know, who have, have come to me and had that realization of my entire existence to this point, as an adult, has been about my job. It's about my job title. It's about the amount of money I bring in. And they've convinced themselves that the things that they're doing chasing after these things, finale is hours at work [00:53:00] dedicating themselves to, to their job is all in the name of being a great provider, right?

That's what they see themselves as. And they've missed the point that their, their spouse, their kids don't really care about the money. They want to spend time with them, they want them in their life. And, you know, the. Going through a lot of this stuff that Mike is, is talking about, is gonna start to help you to realize what's actually important, right?

Like what actually matters to you. And it's not to say that you can't make money, it's not to say that work shouldn't be important to you or anything like that. That's not what we're saying. But it's a matter of, it's gonna help you to find that balance to actually help you start to show up as a better version of you so that your family, the people who depend on you, the people that you're providing for, can also show up as zen besa as their best selves.


Mike O'Connor: Yeah. That's, that's really well said. I, I'm [00:54:00] almost cautious to say anything more because you, I think you, you nailed it. You nailed it right there. it's, it's about being the best version of, of yourself and sort of showing up in ways that I think supports and augments, you know, the, the good around us and the good that we, we wanna be, And that's, again, I think it's, I think it's incredibly challenging, work and I, I wanna sort of acknowledge and own that cuz I think as men, you know, are not always the most sort of self-reflective or in we're looking or, or whatever.

but the, the more that we can sort of just see the bigger sort of holistic patterns is sort of interconnectivity of some of these different pieces in the broader context of how these inform, how we show up as a father and how we're sort of helping, you know, helping be a better spouse. How we're helping our communities, how we're helping lead, how we're doing all those different things.

You know, then we start to kind of see just how critical and, and important they're, and you know, I I, you could, you could tell anybody or I could tell anybody, like, if you're not doing the things to level yourself up,[00:55:00] you know, you're, you're, you're not just stopping yourself. You're actually stagnating the growth of other people around you, right?

And, and the people that really sort of depend on you or that spend a lot of time with you. If you're not being your best self or the sort of best version of what or whatever it is, then there's a, there's a real sort of trickle down of how that's helping them sort of show up in, in their lives. Right. So I, I hope this has been helpful.

I'm, I'm more than happy to talk to anybody, about any of these topics because, I think as somebody that's sort of gone through and gone through the journey themself and, and has sort of had to recalibrate and really refine, what, what brings joy and where can I add value in all those different types of things, I'm, I'm hoping it's, I can, I can really help serve other people in that as well.

Stephen Box: Yeah. yeah, we, we didn't get a chance to really touch on a much, and we're, we're kind of like hitting up on time here, but, you know, I would just kind of share with people, you know, in our previous conversation, you, you told me that [00:56:00] this course for you actually came about because, you know, Like most of us.

2020, your life was in turmoil, right? both because what was going on in the world and a lot of things that you had gone on personally, and this really came about as something that you had to do to help you get right, like right. You had to find what was important to you. You had to figure out how to become your best self.

A and now you, you know, similar to my story now have this passion where like you've seen the changes this's made for you and you wanna share that with other people. You wanna give other people those tools.

Mike O'Connor: Yeah. No ex exactly right. I mean, I think, just sort of cover it briefly, but I think yeah, March of 2020, just like everybody, right?

you know, I, I was in this, you know, I think, I think a big job where I had a lot of people at every level organization relying on me,to sort of do, to do more. And I'm, you know, I'm trapped inside a house for one year plus with two small [00:57:00] kids. and working insane amounts of time. My wife's also sort of working and serving and just like we talked about before with, with regards to that sort of broader diagnostic, I saw things just not working the way I wanted to.

Right? Like my marriage was strained, my relationship with my kids was strained. people at work are, are sort of, are feeling sort of strained and I'm doing all these different things and, and trying to sort of like hold up everybody as, as best I can. And I think I did a really good job all things considered, but internally I was struggling, right and compounded over time.

by the time we actually got our kids into daycare, which was a year plus later, so it was 13 months of all of us being in a really sort of confined space. And all these sort of crazy stress stresses and triggers and the things that are sort of happening. I just noticed all of the things about myself were like, were kind of deteriorating.

And I, and I felt like there was this shrinking part of me about the things that I loved and all of that, [00:58:00] like that little, there was still a light there, but man was a damn right. It just wasn't, I just wasn't as happy. And, you know, it wasn't until I went out, I, I had a trip with friends to, to Colorado in May, and it really just sort of reignited like the things that I sort of loved.

And, and that was like, that was so much later and I, and I, I started outta this sort of path of creating something that, that I, I hope will sort of bring, bring a lot of value to, to people. But, Yeah, I, I think everybody's sort of probably gone through their own versions of that. and as somebody that's sort of like, come out the other side of it and has been able to sort of recalibrate and find so much, you know, keep, keep moving, keep going.

and I would, I would love to help and work with you to just help, help you connect to that theme that is bigger than you, that gives you purpose and really find what that is. As simple as it sounds like, I find that like a, having a, a simple mission vision, just a, a two sentence, [00:59:00] you personal mission statement helps so much in terms of sort of seeing bigger picture, contextualizing problems, working through challenges, and, and using it as a filter to decide is this something that I wanna do or not?

so it's been a, it's been a real sort of big, big thing for me and, and wanna help more people find.

Stephen Box: Awesome. I love it, man. so again, I want to thank Mike for, for coming on today, sharing so many insights, so much wisdom with us. appreciate it. In the show notes, there will be two links. one is to a free, guide that Mike has for you, and then the other one is going to be to his course.

so definitely encourage you guys to check that out, especially if you feel like there's just something missing. It's like something doesn't quite feel right, but you can't figure out what it is. this is gonna be a great course for you to help start taking those steps to figure out what that is and to correct it.

but as always, guys wanna remind you that none of us are born Unshakable or we can [01:00:00] all become Unshakable.

Podcast Into/Outro: Thank you for listening to the Unshakable Habits podcast with Coach Stephen Box. Be sure to hit the subscribe button and help us spread the word by sharing the podcast with other men. If you are ready to create Unshakable habits, you can learn more and connect with us at UnshakableHabits.com.

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