In his early twenties Nate Dukes was a business owner chasing success while dealing with a secret drug addiction.
After constantly hitting rock bottom, hurting everyone close, stealing a car and going to jail, Nate went on a journey of changing his mindset and his decisions which helped him create his own comeback story.
He quickly found that there were other people, just like him, who were stuck believing the lie that they’d never change.
Through his book, onstage speaking, and personal coaching, Nate shares what he’s learned to help other people make their own comeback.
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
A everybody welcome to a another episode of The unshakable habits Podcast. I am your host, Stephen Box. And today I am joined by Nate Dukes from yield never change. Calm, please. Thanks for coming today, man.
Nate Dukes 1:03
Oh, listen, dude, Steven, I gotta tell you, man, I've listened to your podcast a lot. And I'll tell you my favorite part so far is that intro video? Well, it gets me juiced up, man, I'm ready. This is gonna be exciting. I'm super pumped to be here. Thank you.
Stephen Box 1:16
Yeah, I love it, man. That's why I like to play it at the beginning. I know people don't necessarily know the behind the scenes stuff. But I actually play those during the interview. I don't put it in in post production, because I like to hear it when it comes in. Because it gets me hyped out too. So
Nate Dukes 1:33
Stephen Box 1:36
So you get this really interesting story. in your early 20s, you were a business owner, which is, by most people's standards, pretty successful thing, because most people don't have their own business in their early 20s. Yeah. But you had a secret. And we're going to dive into that today. But before we do, I want to remind the audience about our unshakable habits framework, because this is what's going to allow the audience to take your story, and apply it to whatever their circumstances are, so that they can take the lessons that you learned and apply them to their life. So the first part of the framework is about having vision. Now visions are different than goals. Goals are always something that's about an outcome. And the truth is, we don't always have control over outcomes. visions are about behaviors, they're about the person, we want to become the person we want to be, that we do have control over, because we can choose what we do. And speaking of what we do, that's the second part of the framework, which is to start building or utilizing skills that we already have. Now, of course, you can't build new skills, and you can't learn to better utilize the ones you have, if you don't do something to build them, right. So that's where those repeatable or daily actions come in, they help to build those skills. So that's the framework that we want to look at this through. So as we're going through Nate's story today, we're going to look at those different elements, we'll kind of see where was his vision? What skills did he have to develop along the way? And what actions did he take to help him do that? sound good to you, Nate.
Nate Dukes 3:14
Dude, listen, this is going to be a great conversation, we think very similarly. And if this, if there's anybody out there, who is who's struggling with self confidence, or maybe you think that your life is too messy, to change, or maybe you know that there's more inside of you, but you don't know how to go to the next level, this is going to be an excellent conversation, because I really do believe that through what we have to say, can start to unlock some things inside of you, and really help you make some of those positive changes that can really do some amazing things for you.
Stephen Box 3:49
Well, that's it now we're just gonna hire you to be the new host. So you just asked me the questions the rest of the Yeah. I'm excited, man. So take me through your story, man. Take us back to that 20 year old Nate business owner,
Nate Dukes 4:10
this big secret that you had. Yeah, I understand. 20 year old Nate, we really have to look at who Nate was when he was growing up. And so we were the poor family. We didn't have a whole lot. My parents, they had some broken mindsets that were passed down to us and I listen, I can't I can't blame them for anything. They were really kids trying to raise kids and they were just trying to figure it out. And I'll tell you, man, my life, when I was a kid was full of chaos sometimes had some good moments. But I remember one Christmas, my mom coming up to us and saying, Hey guys, I just want you to know don't expect there to be a whole lot of presence underneath the Christmas tree this year. You know, as a kid, that's never anything that you want to hear. But there's this really great church that came along and they bought my mom presence for all of us kids, and it was great. We had an amazing experience, but we also knew that it didn't come from her. And so when I turned 18, I did what any kid knew how to do, I decided I wanted to escape the chaos of my childhood. And so I got into a massive amount of student loan debt. And I went away to college. And when I got to college, I thought that this was going to be a chance for me to really change the direction of my life and, but instead of really focusing on studying and becoming a better me, I found myself being drawn into the party scene. So that's when I was first introduced to alcohol. And then I was introduced to drugs and, and I tell you that these two things started to compete with each other. And I found myself it was it was harder to keep up with my studies. And so I started taking prescription add medication to to keep up and all of a sudden, I felt like Superman and I was hyper focused. And what started out as a weekend experience with drugs and alcohol, turned into a full blown drug addiction at age 1920 and 21. And so after four years of college, I managed to come nowhere close to getting a degree. And I actually had to move back in with my parents, which by the way, that's the real walk of shame. I don't know if anybody listening this noise or to walk of shame is, but moving back home with mom and dad, that was tough for me to swallow my pride, I had to do something that I didn't want to do. And, but I did it anyways, I ran out of money, and I had no clear direction. And so after that, through a series of events, I started my own marketing company, I had this drive, this entrepreneur that was in the side of I knew that I wanted more for my life. You hear these stories of these kids who drop out of college after four years, or they don't finish at all, and they start their own company and they become wildly successful. I just wanna be very clear, that is not my story. That didn't actually happen to me. I just did, okay. It was an average marketing company, I hardly knew what I was doing. I was really just trying to figure it out. I didn't have any mentors in my life, I didn't have a clear vision, I knew I just wanted to create something of significance. But what that did for me is that it actually opened a door for me, for a friend of mine who I used to bartend for, he asked me if I wanted to open up a bar and restaurant in downtown Youngstown, Ohio with him. And for me, this really touched on the entrepreneur that was on the inside of me. But it also touched on this, really this party lifestyle that I had fallen in love with. And we took what was a failing business and beginning and we turned it into something that was very successful over the course of two years. And so now I have access to more money than I had ever seen in my life. Now I want to be clear, this is not a crazy amount life changing amount of money. But being the poor kid growing up, you got to understand for me, this felt like the world I finally had a really nice car. I had a beautiful apartment in downtown with high rise ceilings, I was in social circles that I would have never had access to before. And I thought once I got all of this stuff, it would make me happy. I thought that I would finally be hole on the inside because there was something broken inside of me. And when I found out is that when I got everything that I thought I wanted, I still was miserable and I was still empty. And I couldn't figure out why that's when the drug addiction really started to ramp up and now I'm taking three four or five times the amount prescribed any human being and I am I'm finding myself gambling and going to casinos and now I'm starting to get addicted to that it's not even the money that I was chasing was it was almost the high of winning and losing and I'm finding myself going more and more and more and geez over the course of a year I ended up actually gambling all of my personal money away and even though my my personal accounts were low, the business bank accounts they were still full. And so I started moving around money in the business so I could take some off of the top and I guess at the time I thought to myself, well geez aren't the business owner anyways, isn't this my money? Well, here's the thing, you can't take business money and use it for personal investments. It's actually called embezzlement. And so here I am embezzling money from my own business. And I have a business partner associated with and we had about 20 employees who worked for us, and they worked really hard to be able to provide for their families. And I remember one pay day, my business partner came in and he said, Nate, it's time to cut the checks for everybody. And I just came clean to him in this moment. I said, Listen, if we write these checks, there's not going to be enough money in the accounts to cover them. And you could see the look on his face. He was confused, he was frustrated, he was upset. And then finally it all caught up to him. He realized that I had taken the payroll money the night before. And I gambled it all away. And he gave me an ultimatum at that point. He said that you can sign this business over to me free and clear and walk away from it. Or I'm gonna get lawyers involved and I'm gonna press charges. So at 26 years old, I walked away from it was my life's work at that. point I moved back in with my mom and dad another walk of shame. My identity was wrapped up in being a business owner. And when I didn't know, when I didn't have that anymore, I didn't know who I was. And I could hardly hold down a job, I would get a job as a local server somewhere. But I would resort to what I knew which was taken from the cash register. So I get, I get caught for that. And then I get fired. And this happened three different times. Finally, the last time that it happened, man, I was I was desperate and I was walking around my parents apartment complex at 3am. I just taken a handful of pills. And I was going up to different vehicles trying to see if any of them were unlocked to see if any, that I could find anything that I could take, or that I could sell anything I can get my hands on to feed the addiction that was running inside of me. And I ended up opening up the car door to a 1999 Buick lesabre, I opened up the center console and I pulled out the spare keys to this car. Apparently that's where you keep the spare keys to a 99 Buick lesabre. And I guess I thought to myself in that moment, maybe this is a chance to run away, maybe this is a chance to get away from all of my problems. Because up to this point, I've lost my vehicle, I didn't have a way to get around. And I knew that the life that I was living is not one that I wanted. And so I didn't wake up that day thinking myself Today's the day that I'm gonna steal a car. But when you find yourself in the wrong place, with the wrong headspace, you never know what is possible. And so there I was packing up five garbage bags of clothes, loading them up in the back of the stolen car, and I was going to head for Houston, Texas, I had a friend down there that said, Nate, if you find a way to get down here Help You Get on your feet. And so I made it halfway right outside of a small town. Right outside of Nashville, Tennessee, was a small town called Ashland city. And I pulled into a gas station because I'd been up for three days at this point, and I just wanted to get some sleep. And I was woken up at 9am to three really loud bangs. on the driver side window, a stranger's hand was reaching into the car, pulling me out, putting me in handcuffs and sat sitting me in the back of a cop car. And the weight of every decision that I had made sat on my chest like a ton of bricks. And this thought kept running through my head. It was the same thought that my business partner had told me is the same thought that people that I'd taken advantage of told me, but I have found that the loudest voices are oftentimes the ones that are in our own head. And it was this thought that kept saying you'll never change. This is who you are now. And so they took me to Cheatham county jail where I spent six months of my life. Um, it was a pod style facility. So I shared that pod with 16. Guys, there was eight bunk beds, there were three tables, there was two restrooms, there was one TV, but there were zero windows, the only chance that we got to get out was once a month, there was something called church service. Now, I was not interested in going to church, but I was interested in getting out of that pod. And so they took me down this long hallway. off the left hand side, there was a cinderblock room were 16 folding chairs were set up and we were some ugly dudes at this point, our beards were grown out our hair was a mess. And we're wearing orange, it's never a good color on any man. And we walked into this room and this really, really old guy walked in. And he started playing this really, really old guitar. And as he's tuning it up, he looks at us and says fellas, the only difference between me and you is that I never got caught for what I did. And he starts to sing the song Amazing Grace then goes Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost. But now I'm found I was blind. But now I see. And I looked around this room, man. And there was guys who had hurt people who had taken advantage of people with tears streaming down their face. And I just remember thinking to myself, man, if it is possible to change, I want to because this is not the life that I want to live anymore. And so when I got out of jail after six months, they gave me two years of felony probation, because you're not allowed to steal cars and drive them across the country. And they were they allowed me to transfer that probation back home to Ohio where my parents lived. So once again, I'm moving back in with mom and dad. And I really got obsessed with this idea of how do you create substantial change because I tried to make changes in the past. And it just didn't work. And so I got a hold of a john Maxwell book that said if you want your life to change, you've got to be the one that changes first. And I really took that to heart. And I got obsessed with personal development. I wanted to become the best version of myself. I went on this year long journey that said, How do I become the best me emotionally and mentally? How do I heal from some of the trauma that was done to me but also the trauma that I caused in other people's lives? How do I become the best version of me physically, I really got a hold of my health. How do I become the best version of me financially. I wanted to be really start to take back my finances because they had gotten way out of control. I didn't know what was going on. I also wanted How do I become the best father? Son? How do we become the best life partner? How do I become the best friend? I wanted to have my personal relationships do really well also, and I'll tell you, it took way longer than a year. And truth be told, I'm still working on that process, something that I'm still working out, I want to become the best version of me spiritually, how do I tap into my faith and, and I'll tell you, I was a messy person when I got out. But I'm so thankful that there were some people who are willing to get messy with me. And now several years removed from that process, my life looks very different than what it does. Now. I got married to the love of my life. Last year, her name is Jenna, she's absolutely amazing. We bought our first investment property. And we're actually looking to acquire a second one here very shortly, I sat on the board of a nonprofit for underprivileged youth. And for the last 18 months, I've been working on a project that I believe can help other people who feel stuck, or who feel broken or feel feel like their life is too messy to change. And it's this book that I've been writing called, you'll never change. And it came out June 1 on Amazon, and it went to number one in its category, which blew me away. And I've been on this podcast tour where I've gotten to meet so many incredible people and share my message. And I'll tell you these days, my life looks very different. Because I'm not just chasing success anymore. In fact, I'm not actually so much worried about success. But what I am worried about is fulfillment. And for me, fulfillment comes from How can I help other people achieve their dreams? How can I help other people achieve their goals. And it's so funny, when I help other people. Not only do I feel good, but it's almost as if my problems start to go away, and my life gets better, too. So I'm so thankful that I get to help other people start from the bottom, create their own comeback story and prove those negative voices in their lives wrong.
Stephen Box 17:11
While Matt you, you just gave us like, I think about 20 or 30 like nuggets in there. So I want to kind of go back and break some of those down. Absolutely. So first of all, I mean, congratulations on, you know, the transformation that you've gone through to be able to get your life to where it is now. Thank you, where you have the great relationship, you have the book, you have all these things going well for you. So you know, congratulations on coming full circle. And thank you so much. So I want to go all the way back to the beginning of your story. So I think sometimes we underestimate the impact that our childhood has on us. Yeah. Because what it does is it creates stories in our heads. It creates a mindset. And because we live with that mindset, most of our lives, it can be very difficult to recognize that it is in fact just a story. Yes, it is just a perception. It's not reality. It's not what you're stuck with. And I'm sure you did this when you were younger. I know I did when I was younger. I would say that's just the way I am. Hmm, come on. But there's no such thing is just the way you are. That's That's who you've chosen to be. And sometimes I think when people hear that it comes across as like a negative, like you've chosen to be this bad person. Hmm. The thing is, you didn't choose to be a bad person. your circumstances taught you certain skills. And when we talk about the unshakable framework, one thing that I don't try to hide from people is that you know what, this works both ways. You can create bad habits, too, right? So if your vision is, I don't want to be poor, I don't want to struggle like my family did. I'm going to look for ways to make that not happen. Correct. Now you start to develop skills, which seems like a good thing. On the surface, not being poor is a good goal to have, right? But when you have that vision, and you're chasing after that, especially when you're chasing after money, it can lead you down the wrong path and start getting around the wrong people. People who have different the wrong mindset. And now you're just feeding into that mindset you already had in the first place. And I think we heard some of that in your story. And that's how you got into the party scene. And that's how you got introduced to the drugs. And then things start to get justified, right? Yeah, everything is justified in the means of getting what you wanted, hey, I have this business on trying to be successful. Trying to study I'm trying to do all these things. But you know what? I don't want to give up my party lifestyle, but it's impacting work. How do I solve this? Oh, I know. I'll just take more drugs. Yeah.
Nate Dukes 20:15
Stephen Box 20:16
I mean, looking back on it, you're like, that sounds silly. Like, yeah. In that moment, I'm sure it made perfect sense to you. Because you were you the logic you're looking back on that with is totally different than the logic you were using when you made the decisions? Yeah. You know, even going to the story about the car. Like you said, You didn't wake up that morning. Like, you know what, I think I'm gonna steal a car today. Yeah, you actually woke up that day with a vision to change your life. Yeah. Even in the moment that you saw that car. There was probably like a part of you that was like, This is wrong. I shouldn't do this. Absolutely. But the desire to change your life that desire that opportunity to actually get out. That opportunity was greater in your mind. Yeah. Then the potential consequences. You didn't think that you're going to get caught? You thought, I'm going to make it to Houston, and I'm going to get on my feet.
Nate Dukes 21:12
Not even for a minute. I didn't even question it. I thought it was a for sure thing.
Stephen Box 21:17
Yeah. And I think there's so much power for people to kind of think in that. And one thing that you said, and I wanted to repeat this, because I wanted people to have a chance to let this kind of sink in is that moment you get that knock on that window. And you have the officer reaching into the car pulling you out, putting you in handcuffs. And you said, as you sat there in the back of the police car, you felt the weight of every decision at this the good ones, not just the bad ones, every decision you had ever made in your entire life. That's right, it felt them in that moment. And I wonder how many people out there listening right now have had that moment? I imagine a lot of them have, you know, most of them probably haven't had it in the back of a police car. But they've had that moment. Yeah, where you just feel like, this is it. My life is essentially over. I've there's no coming back from this. And you and that's where the name of your book came from was that moment where you're sitting there going, you'll never change. This is who you are. Yes. It was yet another story, you're telling yourself. It wasn't until you got yourself in front of a different person. And this isn't a super successful business owner. This isn't some multi trillionaire. This is just some old dude with a guitar. Right? literally what opened up the door to start changing your life. And I think that's so valuable, because a lot of times we overlook the blessings, we start chasing after the wrong people in the wrong things. So we don't start looking for what brings peace. So I love that you have that aspect, your story where it's like, Hey, you know what I went, I listened to this guy singing. And I looked around and I saw the impact you're having on other people. And in that moment, you got a new vision. Yeah. And that vision became Okay, you know what, I've talked about changing my life. I've talked about having the business and failing and going back home, and then you had the other business and you went to you know, you're skimming off the top, and then you get caught doing that. And then you lost that. So you'd hit rock bottom multiple times. Yeah. So I think people always think rock bottom is where we eventually find ourselves. But just because you've hit rock bottom doesn't mean you find yourself. That's right. We all need something to pick us up from Ramadhan. That's how you get to the next level. Yes, that's how you get the vision. So rock bottom, can you give us a vision sometimes, but if we don't take that next step, then it doesn't matter. So good. Now, something else and I like to draw parallels sometimes. So one of the parallels that I've kind of drawn as listening to your story is you talked about when you were at the restaurant. Mm hmm. Things are good. you're managing everything right? I mean, you've got your your your drug addiction. But the restaurant is making money you're successful. Yeah, like you said, you're not you're not over success, which is a whole nother conversation because a lot of times we judge other people, we Look at Oh, you know, as a business owner, he's doing it big. Like you said you weren't you weren't doing it big though. You need to beg home. Oh, nice. got this big restaurant is so successful. He's killing it. They didn't know you had a secret drug addiction. That's right, right. So the lesson there is don't judge yourself by other people, right? So you don't know what they got going on behind the scenes. Yes. But even as you were juggling all this stuff, and eventually started to catch up to you. And then all of a sudden, you ended up getting into gambling, and you lost all this payroll money. Yeah. What people I think sometimes will miss when they're creating habits. And this is why I like the idea of visions instead of goals. Because when we start focusing on a specific outcome, a goal,
we don't always do the best way to get there. Right? If we want to lose weight, sometimes we start starving ourselves instead of in our body. If you want to change if you want to improve your spiritual health, right? Sometimes you start following people that you think are great spiritual leaders, instead of actually going to the source material and getting your inspiration from that, right. Yes. And it's not to say that necessarily that those are going to be bad things. Although I don't recommend starving yourself ever. But it's not to say that, you know, the things that you're going to do necessarily bad, but they can be. Yeah. And so it's very important that you make decisions from a logical standpoint, and be able to reflect back on when you're just reacting and you're trying to push to achieve a certain vein. And it becomes by any means necessary. Yes. Those means normally don't work out what's unhealthy. Yeah, he Exactly. You end up getting into unhealthy situations. Yeah. So I think that kind of recaps like your your whole story. There's some of the main points, I wanted to kind of go back and hit for everybody there. So now you're in a situation. You've got the book, you've got the program. Yeah, man. So talk to me about once you get this new vision, right, so you're sitting there, you're listening to this guy's seeing Amazing Grace. Hmm. Now, it wasn't an overnight process. No, but we know what your vision was at that point. So let's talk about what some of the skills were. So what did I mean? Obviously, I'm gonna I'm gonna guess it the first kill you had to change was your mindset. Yes. Yeah, talk to me a little bit about that.
Nate Dukes 27:32
So the very first thing that I had to do is I had to actually tap into this idea that it was possible for me to change, because I was stuck believing this lie that said, You'll never change. And so as long as that's the story, right, the story that you're telling yourself, you'll continue to believe it. So if I wanted a new life, I just start telling myself a new story. And the new story that I was telling myself is that there was going to be a reason why I went through all of this, there was going to be a purpose and a passion that comes out of all of my pain. And so I started to really believe that I could change I started really vision, what could my life look like in five years and 10 years, because I knew what, five and 10 years of my life of making the wrong decisions look like? But what could my life look like have five or 10 years of making the right decisions. And I just didn't know that. And for me, that really got me excited. That got me inspired. I got instead of being pushed towards something, I was being pulled towards it. And it wasn't like I was actually felt like I was forcing it. But I wanted to wake up every day and experience what this life of making good positive changes in my life, could look like the very first step into making any kind of change for me was a belief system. And that belief said, you can change.
Stephen Box 28:53
Yeah, and I love that too. Because so often, I see people make this mistake when they're trying to go after something. We start thinking about all the things we need to cut out all the things we need to push away. And we don't really stop to think about what do we need to pull in? What do we need to get pulled toward? And that's really what you did you started thinking about this positive mindset. And I'm sure that you had doubts. I'm sure you heard those negative thoughts in your head that said, but Nate, you're criminal. Yeah, Nate, you're a drug addict. But you, you heard all those things in your head. And if you didn't have that strong conviction that was pulling you towards something better, you might have actually fell victim to those voices.
Nate Dukes 29:42
Yeah. And so this is where it became really important to mend the relationship that I had with myself. So the most important relationship in my life is the one that I have with God. But second to that is the relationship that I have with me. It's and this is gonna sound crazy. It's actually a little bit more important than the relationship. I have with my Life. And this is why. Because when things are good with me, when I'm good with me, I'm a better husband. When I'm good with me, I'm a better friend, I'm a better leader, I'm a better motivator, I'm a better I'm a better version of myself, for other people when I'm good with me. And so I had to do some reflection. You know, Tim Ferriss says that everything we want in life is on the other side of an uncomfortable conversation. So I'd have some uncomfortable conversations with myself, how to look at a past version of me and look at past Nate. And I had to look at all of the things that he had done wrong, all the people that he had hurt, the mistakes that he had made, the choices that he went left, when he should have gone right. And I looked at him, and I said, even though you are broken, and if you would have done things differently, we would have a different life. I looked at him, and I said, I still love you. And I forgive you. And I can't, I can't help but wonder what some of our lives would look like, if we took it easy on ourselves for just a moment and just said, I forgive the past version of me, because the truth is, is that there's nothing in the past for us, there's nothing so I don't want to live there anymore. I want to choose to live in the now. But in order to do that, I have to forgive the old me. In fact, if I don't choose to forgive the old me, the new me doesn't even stand a chance to exist. And so I started to fall in love with myself again. And this took a long time. It's like repairing any other broken relationship. It took time, effort and energy. And there was times that I didn't even believe it, I was telling myself, I love you, Nate, I don't even know if I fully understood it. I was telling myself, I forgive you. And I didn't really buy into it. But I kept saying it over and over and over again until I started to believe it. And I knew that I'm okay with who I was, because who I was, is not who I am. And then I looked at present Nate who I am now and I said, Listen, you made some changes in your life that nobody can see yet. You're a different person. And even though nobody believes in you, right now, I want you to know that I still believe in you. And I started to encourage myself and coach myself and build myself up because sometimes the only voice to lift you up is going to be your own voice. And so I really started to encourage me and then I looked at future Nate and I looked at him and I made a promise to him, I said, I am going to do whatever it takes to give you the life that you deserve. If I have to start from the bottom, I'll start from the bottom. If I have to get uncomfortable, if I have to get messy, if I have to build my life back brick, by brick, I will do whatever it takes. And I'm not going to give up this time, because giving up never got me anywhere that I wanted to go. And I made a promise to my future self that I would give him the life that he deserved. And then through all of that I really started to heal the relationship that I had. With me, I began to build trust and credibility with myself, let me put it like this. How I don't know if somebody has ever come up to you, and started to share maybe their dreams or their big ambitions with you. And while you're talking to them, you're just shaking your head like yeah, that sounds, that sounds great. But in the back of your head, you're going, that is never going to happen. That's just not going to happen. I just don't see it. It's because that person has no credibility built up with you. It's because they have no trust, you haven't done anything trustworthy. And so once I started to create credibility and trust with myself, now all of a sudden, I could start to create a vision, I start to dream again. Because I actually believed myself when I said things, and that was really the next step for me. I do I love the unshakable framework, because it's very, very relatable to the framework that I followed in my own life.
Stephen Box 33:49
Yet, to be honest with you, when I came up with the framework, and I use the word come up with very loosely because it's not really that I came up with it as much as it is that it was something that I recognized in my own life.
Nate Dukes 34:02
Yeah, well, I just want to I want to stop on that. This is not fresh revelation for anybody. We're not giving like brand new scientific breakthroughs. But I will tell you that maybe we are reminding you of something that you already know that's deep down inside of you. This is just a reminder that there is more inside of you that there's a different way of doing something and we just want to bring that to the surface as a reminder of what you already know.
Stephen Box 34:27
You know, I had a mentor a couple of years ago when I first started doing more speaking stuff. And she said, every presentation that she starts, he says the exact same thing. Today, some of you are going to be learning information for the very first time. Some of you are going to just be getting a confirmation of things that you already
Nate Dukes 34:55
know. So good. That's so good, man.
Stephen Box 34:58
Yeah, an egg. Close into exactly what you were just saying that it's like, yeah, we're not out here like dropping new information. Now, it might be new to somebody, maybe they've never heard this before. But we're not out here like, hey, yeah, look at us. We're so smart, weak.
Nate Dukes 35:15
I'm not that smart, bro. I'm not smart enough to come on this. But I am smart enough to recognize when I hear wisdom, I am smart enough to say that's something that I don't know. But I need to attach myself to, because if they have something that I want, I have to be willing to do what they did.
Stephen Box 35:33
Absolutely. So you touched on a couple of things there. So when we talk about the skills, so first was having to believe in yourself, yeah. The second skill that you talked about was starting to build trust in yourself. And then building credibility in yourself. Yeah, those might kind of sound like the same things to people, they might all they want to might want to put all those under mindset. But they're different things. Because believing in yourself is more mindset, right? But trusting yourself is consistently making good decisions and starting to believe that you're the kind of person who can't because here's reality, if we look back at your story, you didn't start off with the idea that I'm going to become a party person, he became you started off with the idea that I want to make my life better. Yes, you just have to get around people that that was their version of better and you adopted it right? So good. Then you said, You know what, I have this entrepreneurial spirit, I want to be a business owner. Now it took you a few tries to get some success going. But that was a matter of not knowing how to make the right decisions, not knowing how to get it in the right place, your vision, the behavior behaviors that you had, they were on the right track, you just were on the wrong path. So all these characteristics about young Nate, were good. He was just on the wrong path. He just had the wrong influences around him for those, but the characteristics were always there. So you had to then find a way to trust that you had to say you know what? He said, Nate, pass Nate. I still love you, man. Yeah, I know. I know you made some mistakes, but I know what your core you're good dude. Yeah, even when you stole that car, or you're trying to do is improve your life, right? You weren't. You weren't thinking about stealing somebodies card, you were thinking about improving your life. So at the core, you just had to start to trust yourself again. And I'm curious in terms of some of the actions like what did you do? Did you did you journal? Did you do daily affirmation? Yeah. Like, what? What were your actions that you use to build up the skills?
Nate Dukes 37:46
Yeah, so for me, I really got obsessed with doing hard things. Because hard things in my mind when I see them, and I hear them, my mind screams, don't do that. And when I fight through that, and I do the hard stuff, I actually get the results that I want. And so when I started to get positive results, I would look back and go, Oh, man, I'm so proud of you, you actually did the right thing. And so I would start to do hard stuff. In the beginning, it started off small like, while I was taking a shower, I would put on the cold water for the last minute of the shower. Just because my I was training my brain to do something difficult that I didn't want to do. At one point. And Dude, I got super deep into this, I got really obsessed. At one point, I started eating food with my opposite hand, just so that I could try and train my brain to do something new. I was listening to different podcasts, I was listening to different YouTube videos, which by the way, if you're watching this on YouTube, kudos to you, there is a wealth of knowledge on YouTube, I know it can become a dark black hole, and you can find yourself up late at night watching some crazy stuff. But if you start looking for the right things, you can teach yourself almost anything. And so YouTube was a wonderful tool for me. The the ability to have self taught and find self knowledge, it's out there, we just have to be willing to seek it. And so I started to do really, really hard things. And journaling was a part of it. Yes, affirmations were a part of it, cultivating gratitude was a huge part of it. And before you write this off is just like, here we go. Here's another gratitude list guy, just just hear me out. Gratitude reminds us that what we have is enough, but more importantly, that we are enough. And so I really got into a daily habit of finding things that I was grateful for. And for me, gratitude doesn't have to be anything crazy. It doesn't have to be anything over the top. Just the fact that I'm alive that I have a heart that beats that I've air in my lungs means that I have a purpose left in this life. And if I want if I wanted to if I wanted to try hard enough and if I was honest with myself There's always something to be thankful for. And you know, what's interesting about gratitude is that it's, it's, it's hard to be mad and grateful at the same time. It's hard to be resentful and grateful at the same time, and so I just choose to be grateful even when it's hard.
Stephen Box 40:16
Yeah, one thing that I will say for anyone who's ever tried doing gratitude journaling, and didn't feel that had an impact for them. You probably gave out too early. Yes. Yeah. Cuz, because here's the reality. It's uncomfortable for when you start you, I think everyone starts the same way. I am glad that I had food this morning. Yeah, I'm grateful for that extra 15 minutes of sleep, right? Yeah. So I think we all start small. And sometimes when we start really small like that, it can be difficult to see the value in it. And I'm a big, I'm a big fan of starting small. But if you keep doing it, at some point, you start to catch yourself and you start to realize the power of those little things. So good, we take for granted. And that's what the power of gratitude really does. It's not about making things better, is about making you appreciate them. Yes. It's that I'm making you realize that you know what, life's not so bad. Yes.
Nate Dukes 41:27
Don't sleep on the power of gratitude. It can change everything, can change everything for you. And it's not that your life will change. It's that you will change.
Stephen Box 41:37
I remember a conversation that I had many, many, many years ago, with a store manager that I had, I was an assistant store manager at the time working in retail. And that morning, I had an issue with my car, got a flat tire. And my card, you know, basically just broke down on me on the side of the road, and I had to get it towed. I was like three hours late for work. And at the time, I couldn't afford to miss three hours of work. So I'm stressed out I kind of work I'm you know, my whole day is just gone. My day is shot. I've missed three hours of work dinner dinner. And I remember my manager, his name was Bruce. He looked at me. He said, Steven, let me ask you this. Did you wake up today? I said, Yeah. He said, Did you did you take a breath? Did you put breath into your lungs? I said, Yeah. He said, Did you have food on your table this morning? I said, Yeah, why? What's your point? He said, Are you really going to let one bad thing dictate the rest of your day? Hmm. Because you have a choice. You can spend the rest of your shift, upset and pouting about your flat tire and thinking about how stressed you are and how you don't have the money to pay for it or whatever. Or you can change your mindset and you can go out there and you can sell enough today to pay for that new tire so good. And he just it blew me away. And I just remembered for the rest of that day, man like I feel kind of bad for those customers to be out. Yeah. Was I was hustling people that day, man. You need you need this and this. But yeah, it's it was just such a reminder, it wasn't just the reminder that I have these things. It was a reminder that dude, you've got like all this wonderful stuff. You have this beautiful wife at home, you've got a nice, you know, apartment that you're living in, you have a car that you can actually drive in. Once you get your tire fixed. You have all these things in your life. And you're letting one bad thing. make it seem like you have nothing. Hmm. And that, to me is the power of gratitude is once you start to appreciate those small things, you start to realize just how great your life really is. That's right.
Nate Dukes 44:07
Yeah, and so once I really started to build trust and credibility, and I understood the power of gratitude, now we have to talk about creating a vision for our future. And now I'll tell you, if you don't start to take control of your life, there will always be somebody who has a plan for it other than you. And if you want to fly on an airplane right now you can go to the airport and they will sell you a ticket. But you know, is it anywhere that you actually want to go and so I just want to encourage you I don't know if a there's some been some dormant dreams on the inside of you. Or maybe there's some things that you wanted to do but you didn't know how to make it happen. And you really soft to start to dream big. But we need to get very specific on what this vision is going to look like. And when you ask people what you what I start to talk to people a lot about this and this is some of the stuff that I do. I help coach people through this and I I asked him, I said, you know, what do you want your life to look like? And they usually give you generic answers, mostly because most of us have never thought about this before. They'll say things like, well, I just want to be happy. I just want my kids to be taken care of, I just want the bills to be paid. Well, there is inherently nothing wrong with that. It isn't specific enough. And so we need to get crystal clear. And I start to ask things like, what do you want your legacy to look like? What do you want people to say about you, when you leave a room? When you want to pass down to your kids? What do you want your interpersonal relationships to feel like you want them to be draining on you? Or do you want them to be life giving. And so we want to get very clear on what we want our future, our vision to look like to feel like to sound like we want to know exactly what we are moving towards. Because once we have a clear target, now we can start to reverse engineer it. And I love the second part of the unshakable framework. And you start talking about the skill sets or the decisions that we need to make and, and decisions Contrary to popular belief, matter, the things you do every single day have an impact, what we do can determine our destiny. And so we want to take control, we want to take back control of our decisions of our decision making, we're not just going to leave it up to chance, or this is how I've always done things, or this is what they did. So so this is what I'm gonna do No, no, no, we need to figure out what is it that makes sense to us to move towards our vision, instead of away from it. And then here's the hardest part, guys, and I wish there was a life hack for this, but I just haven't found one. Once you have a vision, and you start making the right decisions, you need to multiply all of that by time. And the hardest four letter word any of us are ever going to hear is wait. And maybe you have a vision for your life. Or maybe you're starting to make some right decisions and you're not seeing the change that you want. I'll tell you, the best thing you can do is start to give yourself some time because small decisions over a long period of time, can have massive results. So we want to give ourselves some time enough time to see real change.
Stephen Box 47:09
Man, you just nailed it right there. Because that time thing. That's especially in this day and age, we live in a microwave society. Yes, I want it right now. Right? Actually, it's funny that you bring that up, because I was just doing my small group for church yesterday. And one of the things that we were actually talking about is how sometimes you'll pray for something you'll pray for it. You'll pray for you'll pray for it. And you're like, Alright, God, I've been praying for this since Monday. It's Thursday. What's the holdup here? Right? Yeah, that's right. That's right. And, and it's not just it's not just a spiritual thing, because I don't want anybody to feel like I'm trying to, like necessarily push my beliefs on them here. But you can apply this to any thing in your life. Yeah. We expect, like instant results in the reason we expect instant results is simple. We want to get rid of the pain. I go back to because I just think it's such a great example of you in that car. You weren't sitting out to steal a car, you were setting out to change your life. Yeah. Because where you were in your life at that time, was so painful that you just wanted to get away from the pain. Yes. And you didn't think about the consequences of your actions, all you're thinking about was getting away from that pain. And that's why it's so hard to be patient. And it's a good example that when we're not patient, when we don't look for the right opportunities, might end up in the back of a police car, or might end up in a situation that we don't want to be in. Because we've made a bad decision in the spur of the moment, in the moment where our pain was so high.
Nate Dukes 49:05
Yeah. And I think it's important to remember that when you're making the right decisions about your life, oftentimes the right voices in our life can equal the right choices in our life. So I want to be aware of who am I letting into my life. And I explain it like this is that, you know, if your hands are full, it's hard for us to carry anything else. And so I'm not saying give up on people, I'm not saying cut people off. I'm just saying maybe we need to let go of some of the time that we spend with people and you know, the group of people I'm talking about when you get around them you become a different person. You say things that you don't want to say you act away, you don't want to act and and maybe we just let go have some of the time that we spend with them. And then once our hands are opened up, we're actually available to start to receive new people in our lives and they can help us create a new vision. And start making new choices and all of a sudden we have new results. And we want a different life. Well, now we're making different choices to create that different life. And so all I'm saying is that you are the sum total of the five people that you do life with. And so if I understand this principle to be true, that that I'm the average of the five people that I spend the most time with, I need to take some personal responsibility, and say, who what were the five last text messages that I send out? Are they life giving? Or are they life draining? If science will tell us that we'll make the average amount of money of the five people that we do life with? So man, I want to be very clear, like, do I like the way and the direction of other people in my life? Because if I don't, am I willing to maybe limit some of that time around them? And so I just want to encourage you. Some of you will, you're asking yourself this question, am I supposed to give up or walk away? And maybe this is actually the permission that you need to walk away from that toxic relationship, or that toxic friendship that has actually been pulling you away from the destiny, the dream and the purpose that's been placed on the inside of you?
Stephen Box 51:10
Yeah. And I would even maybe go one extra step here and say, You're not walking away from the toxic relationship. You're walking toward your better relationship?
Nate Dukes 51:23
So good. Such a better way to frame that. Absolutely. Because sometimes
Stephen Box 51:27
we feel like we're letting go with something. It's like, Oh, no, I'm losing. No, no, no, you're gaining so much. And that's really where the power is. And I love your your concept. And I'm gonna ask you to tell everyone about this here in a second with the you'll never change book and the program that you're working on. Because the idea that you've been on here is, you know, this, you're the son of these five people. Well, here's the thing. You're in someone's five, yes. What are you bringing to the table? Come on, it's making them better. Come on. Because when you talk about vision, guess what the greatest vision that you can have is, it's never about money, or time or vacations or material things. It's always and I've seen this over and over from every interview I've done. The best visions always have to do with the impact you have on other people you love and benefit from it. But it's it's really at the end of the day is about the benefit to other people. Yes. Faster, that servant mentality, right?
Nate Dukes 52:35
Well, that's where true fulfillment comes from. Success says What can I get for me and and I also will sometimes correlate success and happiness, if I have things that I'm happy if I don't have things, and I'm sad, well, that's such a, that's such a terrible way of looking at things because life is up. But it's also down sometimes, too. So what I'm actually searching for is fulfillment. It's that sense of peace or purpose that I'm actually moving in the direction that I was designed to move in. And that doesn't come from what can I get that comes from Who can I help get what they want? How can I no give? How can I contribute to something that is so much bigger than me?
Stephen Box 53:18
Love it, man. Love it. So real quick, tell us about the book. And the projects you've got going on with the you'll never change? Yeah, so
Nate Dukes 53:26
for the last several months, I've been going to different recovering rehab facilities. And I've been giving this book away for free, not because I have the financial means to do that. But because I've been partnering with different people who want to pay it forward. And so you should see these guys and girls, when I when I hand them a book, they're actually so surprised because I say, this isn't from me. But this is from somebody that's never met you before and that but they believe in you and they believe in your comeback story. And so if you'd like to participate and partner with me and buy a book for someone that you've never met before, you can go to you'll never change comm slash pay it forward and buy a book, buy five books, buy 10 books for somebody that you've never met and be a part of their comeback story. If you're interested in picking up the book, you can go to Amazon and you just type in you'll never change. Or you can type in my name Nate Dukes. It is a passion of mine to see other people create their own comeback story. So this isn't about me and how good I am and the things that I can do. Man, I'm just more interested in creating impact and watching what other people can do.
Stephen Box 54:38
I love that man. I love the fact that you basically have that as two things right? So people can go and then get the book for themselves. That way they can hear your story. They can see all these things. They can get this path, but they can also share with other people by God so you'll never change and they'll never you'll never change that calm you And that way they can actually buy copies and get this into the hands of other people to actually help them out. Absolutely, man. Yeah, I think that's a great strategy, man. And it's something that I think people don't necessarily realize. So I want to use the example went back into your story again to illustrate the power of this to people. your entire life changed. Because a guy walked into a room, picked up an old guitar. Yeah, and started singing a song. Come on. That's all it takes. It's it's someone believing in you because we talked about how you had to develop the mindset how you had to build a relationship with yourself. But at the end of the day, you needed somebody else. When you were at your lowest point to come to you and say, Nate, I believe in you. Yes. You can have better and when he was singing that song to you, he wasn't saying like, hey, Nate, I'm I'm the guru. I can help you I can, you know, I got the plan here, ABC and D. He was just saying, like, Hey, this is what this is way helped turn me around. This is what saved me. Yeah. And I'm sharing it with you. It might be for you. It might not be for you. But this is what saved me. And I'm sharing it with you. Absolutely. And that inspired you to take your own path. And that's what I love about your story, man.
Nate Dukes 56:28
Thank you so much did I'll tell you this has been such a great conversation. I've really really enjoyed this actually felt like this was a life coaching seminar for me, man, you like broke down my whole story and gave it to me in a completely different perspective. So I really appreciate our time together.
Stephen Box 56:42
Absolutely, man, and I enjoyed the conversation as well. I love the energy that you bring to it man is so many times that I see people when they're at that low point in their life. And they do feel that way. They feel like this is who I am. I'm stuck here forever. Yeah. And I just appreciate your willingness to kind of get down in the weeds there and show people like, this is where I was, this is how bad it was for me. Yeah. And you're not doing it in a but look at me now kind of way you're doing it in a like, Hey, I made the choices. And I started to build my life up. It didn't happen overnight. It was a slow process. But eventually I got to a point where I'm happy and I'm able to help other people. And I think that gives people hope, man.
Nate Dukes 57:32
Absolutely. I appreciate that. Man. Thank you so much.
Stephen Box 57:35
I definitely met and again, thank you for coming on the show today, man, really appreciate your willingness to be open with us and share your story and share this expertise that you've gained over the years. So outside of ordering the books, or for other people or for themselves. If someone would like to get in contact with you. What's the best way to do that?
Nate Dukes 57:56
You can find me on socials at who is Nate Dukes. That's Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.
Stephen Box 58:04
Awesome. So I just want to remind everyone that we do release new episodes every Tuesday, so make sure that whether you're here on YouTube at unshakeable habits, comm slash YouTube, you can go ahead and hit that subscribe button or hit the subscribe button on your favorite podcast app. Until next week, go out and be 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 Bye friends