I have a small confession; I never finished college.
Jon Berghoff, on the other hand, was already a professor at one of the most prestigious business schools in the world, teaching executives, before the age of 30.
Today Jon brings his expertise to a conversation with the brilliant, Julie Reisler, author of the new book Get A PhD In You: A Course in Miraculous Self Discovery. Once an emotional overeater, lacking self-confidence, and underestimating her true potential, Julie now has a master’s degree in coaching and more than twelve certifications around health and well-being.
Julie joins the Achieve Your Goals podcast to discuss how she broke free from an unhappy life and the tips and strategies that will allow you (and/or someone you love) to create the life you truly love!
In this powerful conversation, Julie shares the proven techniques and principles that she’s used to help companies, universities, governments, and teams of all sizes, get unstuck and take things to the next level.
Are you ready to rewrite a much better version of your story? If so, this conversation will definitely empower you to finally take the next step towards designing your best life yet!
- [02:30] What YOU can do to intentionally design the life of your dreams.
- [04:00] How she went from an out of control eater who felt unhappy, unfulfilled and “not enough” to uncovering the best version of herself!
- [10:00] Guess what? You’re not the only one with problems! Jon reminds us that even the most successful people on the planet are a little messed up 😉
- [11:15] The moments that led to her new book Get A PhD In You: A Course in Miraculous Self Discovery.
- [19:20] When you look in the mirror what do you see? Find out if you’re focusing on the things that are negatively impacting your life and what you can do to ensure your thoughts are congruent with your goals.
- [30:10] Learn how to uncover your true strengths, so you can live life with more energy, purpose and passion.
- [37:06] What story are you telling yourself and is it serving you? Find out how changing the narrative could completely transform the way you live your life.
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[00:00:31] Jon: Achieve Your Goals podcast listeners, Jon Berghoff here. I’m with Julie Reisler. Julie Reisler, author of Get a PhD in YOU: A Course in Miraculous Self-Discovery. I also know Julie is one of our Quantum Leap Mastermind members and I have a feeling that this conversation that you’re going to listen in on is going to be a treat. So, it’s time to rock and roll. Hey ho, let’s go.
[00:00:55] Jon: So, Julie, how are you doing?
[00:00:56] Julie: I’m doing great. I’m thrilled to be here. I’m psyched to just kind of dive right in. I love talking. I love talking with you.
[00:01:02] Jon: All right. Good. Hey, where are you by the way? Because if someone’s watching this on the live stream, I see there’s a background of these beautiful pillows. So, tell me about these pillows. Is this in your home, in office?
[00:01:14] Julie: Yes.
[00:01:14] Jon: Is there anything special about these pillows? They just look great.
[00:01:17] Julie: Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. Actually, it’s a great question. So, I’m in the Baltimore-DC area. That’s kind of like the macro where I am but I’m actually in my loft. So, in my bedroom in our house, we have an upstairs loft and I call it my creative getaway. It’s where I wrote my book. It’s where I get all my creative inspiration. The pillows behind me have butterflies which really for me I’m very visual and I love metaphors so the idea of transformation and pushing myself out of the cocoon, I try to do that every day in some way starting with the Miracle Morning and really taking on life, pushing those edges and boundaries. So, I also have a pillow. This is gratitude and be your best self, be beautiful and so this is why – my husband is like, “Julie, you could just live here.” It’s just my creative zone. I love it.
[00:02:05] Jon: Yeah. I can totally relate to that because as you’re describing that, I’m sitting here and I’m looking at our office and every single thing that’s on the wall has like a really deep meaning. So, that gets me fired up to hear the thought that you’ve put into creating an inspiring space. I love that. So, tell me a little bit about this title, life designer. Tell me about being a life designer. What does that mean for you?
[00:02:36] Julie: Yeah. It’s a very thought out description I use for myself. I did the whole Master’s degree in coaching and I have a lot of certifications in health and well-being, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. There a lot of coaches out there and it’s a great term. However, what I realize in the work that I do is that it’s more expansive than just coaching and guiding. I feel like my purpose and passion here is to first and foremost for myself but also with everybody else that I can work with is to help design your best life. And so, life designer, what I love about it is that it encompasses a whole person so it’s all aspects, mind, body, spirit of who you are and the idea is designing it. You have the power to create it. It’s an active word versus having it being done for you. You actually get to go in, that we can get into this much more, but really re-create. If there’s something you don’t like then look at that story and change it. If there’s something that you’ve always wished for, well let’s look at how to design that or access that. So, to me, I love the idea of this overarching you are the driver in the car and you get to decide how you’re going to design your life. So, I use it to cover everything I do which is teaching and coaching and guiding and mentoring and all kinds of different things.
[00:03:50] Jon: Yeah. So, I want to talk a lot about that. I’m super intrigued the idea of intentionally designing a life is something that I believe in and I know Hal does. So, I want to talk a lot about that. But first, I’d love to know who is Julie Reisler and how did you become somebody who is teaching life design. What’s your story that got you to a place where your teaching this?
[00:04:16] Julie: So, how much time do we have?
[00:04:18] Jon: There’s no end to this. There’s no end.
[00:04:20] Julie: Oh Lord. I’m like okay there’s the brief version, the medium. I’m going to try to – I’m going to do this as succinctly as possible.
[00:04:26] Jon: They probably sent you like a meeting invite and I’ve literally never looked at. It doesn’t matter.
[00:04:31] Julie: Okay. I got you.
[00:04:32] Jon: Great.
[00:04:33] Julie: I’m going to do this like as succinctly as I can because the thought that came up first for me is I was the kid, I had a poster in my room when I was eight that said, “I am me and I am okay,” and it had all these like, you know, the Saturday Night Live skit with Stuart Smalley if you remember the looking in the mirror and, “I’m good enough and, gosh darn it, people love me.” So, my mom is kind of like a Stuart Smalley literally. So, I grew up, would have the things happen in my life like I struggled a lot with food and eating and I’ll get into that and she would come into my room and literally make me have myself look in the mirror and say, “Julie, I love you. I’m strong enough. I’m smart enough,” you know, literally Stuart Smalley. “If anyone, I might be dating myself,” but it’s a funny skit. And I grew up with these influential thought leaders like Jim Morrone and Louise Hay. They were all about really learning to love and honor who you are. And so, I was very lucky. I had like that soil so to speak. My mom is super positive.
What I would say to you is I am an experiential learner and most of my learning and what I teach today has come from a lot of breakdowns, a lot of breakdowns. And on the outside and this is what’s interesting I find with anybody who especially doesn’t look like there are any issues, I live in a nice area, great parents, I did really well in school but inside I struggled with not feeling good enough, self-worth, self-confidence. I was a dancer and I always felt like the only reason they put me in the middle is because I couldn’t help myself and smile but I was like the largest one there and I struggled with body image and then using foods to cope with emotions and overeating and then over exercising. It was just a crazy cycle. And then I would say the whole world of dating that I was a late bloomer there and so I had a lot of just some negative stories and it was an inward. While outside it looked great, inside I felt like not so great. And so, I would say for me the breakdown was around, the portal for me started when I realize I was really out of control with how I was actually eating. I couldn’t stop eating these bag of M&Ms. I could go on but they were tie dyed, really super cool. I don’t know where you can find this, I believe in Costco.
[00:06:45] Jon: I mean, they’re so small. If I just eat one more, it can’t be a problem.
[00:06:48] Julie: Right. Like after 40 Dixie cups, I was like, “Holy crap. Something’s not right here,” like I cannot stop. I was like I’m an addict. I feel like I’m shooting up and I couldn’t stop eating them and honestly, that was my lowest of low to be completely. Frankly, I’m all about like sharing it and being real. I did not want to live anymore. This was in my early 20s. I was really married and I felt like I was in a job that was good but not what I wanted to do and I had, thank God, this woman who’s like an angel. My life is like, “Julie, you need some support.” Got my butt into a support group and that is what started this journey for me.
I mean I was involved for many, many years and we’re talking thousands of hours of meetings and journaling and meeting with people that were trusted guided sponsors and mentors and I feel like what happens, I start to excavate the real me. And so, what happens I started to deal with those feelings. Food kind of went to the side and then the next thing I knew is, “Oh my God, I’ve all these things that I want to do in my life and who I really am and I want to express myself,” and that led to just more personal development, transformational programs and courses and to the point where people like you – my obsession is really uncovering my best self and doing that daily and then sharing that and hopefully helping others to do that. So, it led to a lot of other programs and courses and eventually I did a Master’s degree in coaching with 12 other – I say I’m certified, I mean certified. There are so many certifications. It’s like too much.
[00:08:17] Jon: That is so funny.
[00:08:18] Julie: So, that came organically from, frankly, breakdowns. I say breakdowns and breakups leading to breakthroughs and today is not just even about coaching. It’s really seeing other’s highest potential and helping them to design their life in that space from the place of what are your strengths, what is working. So, anyhow, that is a long-winded answer.
[00:08:38] Jon: Yeah. That’s okay. We here at Achieve Your Goals podcast we don’t have any rules for answers and what I…
[00:08:45] Julie: Thank God.
[00:08:46] Jon: Yeah. I mean Hal started this. There are no rules around.
[00:08:50] Julie: Perfect.
[00:08:51] Jon: It’s a totally irrelevant tangent but one of the fun things about taking over this podcast is that I know Hal well enough that I knew what he did to prepare for his episodes and part of what I think led to his success is how authentic he is. And the beauty of him choosing to just be himself and not stress or worry is that most of his preparation he could fit on half of the Post-it notes. So, taking over, he set a really low bar in terms of creating stress and prepping for these but I think the world they just want authenticity. They don’t give a crap if I have nine points I want to make.
What I enjoy about your story is I find for me the more I meet successful individuals like you have, and we can get into this, I mean, you have a really successful career before getting into coaching. And I respect that because coaching is obviously there’s no barrier to anybody raising their hands saying they’re a coach and you’re even joking about that. But you really have a legitimate career background that gives you a certain experience that I’m sure has helped you as well. But the part about your story that I resonate with is I find that more I need successful people like yourself and people who’ve done far more than I’ve ever imagined doing, I noticed that it’s almost like everybody is a little bit messed up. Everybody has some sort of challenge that they’ve dealt with and that they’re permanently dealing with. Like for myself, I think about this, I go run these big events and there’s a part of me that kind of wishes people could be in my head and realize that as much as everything looks like it’s all going great, my experience is the same human experience as the one you described in that I think more and more people live with but they often put people who are successful on a pedestal.
[00:10:52] Jon: And because of that, they themselves don’t become successful because they think, “Well, that person is not dealing with all the stuff I’m dealing with,” so they actually remove responsibility which what I’m hearing is that that’s something that you really value is helping people to realize like you could be in control of this. So, just tell me more about so what led to the book and what’s the essence of the book, A Course in Miraculous Self-Discovery? What’s that all about?
[00:11:19] Julie: Yeah. So, much good stuff here. I love it. I love the no rules. So, the real deal about this is that it was about 15 years since like we’re talking intensive personal development. I always say that for $20,000 of therapy and every coach and personal development program, you too can get like really clear who you are and then I had a first marriage. We’re very amicably not together. I have two beautiful children. I’m remarried. Every area I could kind of redo, I’ve redone. And for about a year when I was working for a Fortune 500 company for about 11 years and had a lot of responsibility, liked it a lot but was feeling like, “Yeah. This is good but it’s not – I don’t want good and fine. I want like living passion and purpose.” And it was right after I left and left like they were like, “Can you please stay and do X, Y, and Z?” and I left and just trust that that would appear. So, I left and I heard this voice right after I left, say, “Julie, you’re supposed to write a book,” like this inner knowing which might sound a little woo-woo but literally I kept hearing it that I write a book, I write a book.
And finally, it was about a year of hearing that that actually I – and I’m a linear thinker and I just couldn’t get my thoughts down in a linear way and I met with a friend who just written her book and she’s like, “Here, Julie,” on a napkin in Starbucks she wrote a circle with spokes and little circles. It looked like a sign and she’s like, “This is what you do,” which mind mapping. I went home that night. I could actually pull that out and show to you. It’s hilarious. I went home that night and in ten minutes had my entire – what you see here a chapter is the name of the book, the whole thing literally the outline wrote itself and I felt this feeling of like I am just supposed to – I can’t explain it other than there is a strong urge to share what I’ve gone through because I wanted to write all the different things and processes and supportive systems that have helped me to really uncover my highest self, who I am and the essence of who I think we all have, that we all have these gifts that if you’re not waking up to it or being proactive about it, you can miss it.
[00:13:20] Julie: And to me, that would be the biggest shame is to go through life and not be your best self. So, I actually hand wrote my book. I did it in a very right brain way. I created bubbles in every page like crazy looks like clouds. This is my process and I would go in the morning, every morning early, light a candle up here right where I am. I don’t need to sit on the couch. I sit on the floor and I would just think about people I would be coaching or talking to myself ten years ago and I took each section like what do I really want to say? What is it that made that miraculous discovery for myself? The one thing I’ll say is that for me this is kind of been a guiding post. When I was in the troughs of really a lot of self-loathing and, I mean, different than how it appears today. I made this kind of contract with you call it God, creator, divine, whatever you call it, I just made this kind of proverbial contract, “Please help me to get through this point and I promise I will go back and help as many people in the world I can,” and it makes me want to cry even saying that.
I mean, I just feel like that is my mission is to help anyone that’s feeling, you know, stuck or not on all four cylinders or like there’s something missing or maybe wherever you are in that spectrum or maybe things are great and you just feel like, “You know what, it could be better than this,” like I’m not a girl that stands for fine. So, this is the blueprint that I use and it’s funny. I didn’t even realize like it didn’t come to me first like I’m going to write a book and market it. It was more I want to share what has changed my life and I’ll tell you, there’s a lot of books out there and there’s a lot of amazing books out there. I use a lot of awesome books like Miracle Morning out there and I just kept saying, “Whatever I have to say there’s got to be people that can get something from it, even if it’s one person that helps many more then it’s worth it.”
[00:15:09] Jon: Yeah. So, you and I have mutual friends who publish a lot of books recently. And one of my biggest personal curiosities is what are some interesting reactions that you’ve gotten from people who’ve read your book? I mean, you just published it so they’re probably going to pour in more and more but I’d be curious. Any cool reactions? And before you answer that, I need to make sure I say this. If you’re watching this conversation through the live stream, you can see the book. I’m holding it up right now and one of the things about this book, I mean, we have a library in our office here. It’s probably got north of 1,000 books and I don’t know if any of them if a single book that I own has such a unique interior design to the book so I’m curious about that as well.
And the other thing that I noticed, so if you’re listening and you have any aspiration to write a book ever in the future of your life, you need to buy this one so that you can see what it looks like to do something that’s different because that’s one of the challenges in today’s world like, frankly, anybody can write a book. Anybody can get a book published so you got to be different. You can’t just be better and this is purely different and I think that’s really cool. So, I do want to go back into some of the lessons in the book. Like I saw this chapter earlier about words and how important the words are we use. I’m a huge fan of that concept. I think that the consequences of our word choices are far greater than we often sometimes give credit. But any reactions to the book that have been really cool or interesting or surprising?
[00:16:43] Julie: Yeah. So, I got a couple and there’s one that stands out that actually like gives me chills when I think about it. So, there was someone I know who I worked with in the past and I’ve seen her at a party and something said to me, you know, it’s always an awkward like I don’t want to be like, “Hey, buy my book,” but something said to me, I like to share it and say, “Listen, if this is something you’re dealing with, you might be interested. If not…” I always assume people will be attracted to it who wants to be but she – and I said to her, “I think I just have this feeling it might be something that you would resonate with.” And this is pretty unbelievable. She contacted me about three weeks later and she said, “Julie, I just want you to know I got your book and I read it,” and I have not told anybody this but she did not know her birth mother and she is now looking into working with an investigator to find her birth mother. She worked through the, I am like got chills, I mean, working through the chapter on fear and then really getting that this is very important to her.
And so, I mean, I didn’t know this. I don’t know her very well but who someone that I worked with a little bit and she’s like, “I am on a quest to find my birth mother and I’m going to find her,” and it’s going to change my life. She’s like, “I got that from reading and working.” My book is interactive. It’s not just a reader. She’s like, “I actually worked through your book.” That was one of the more profound ones. It’s just an amazing feeling because I wrote this from a place of like, “Please let it be of service. Let it make a difference.” I’ve been in a lot of pain before and come out of it and know it’s possible. That’s kind of the place I’m coming from and I’ve had a woman that I just connected to who got it and she also circles with food issues and she’s like, “Julie, for the first time, I’m starting to actually love who I see in the mirror.” And you know, I believe as we shift the belief of ourselves we can, I mean, it starts with you but then that’s who you are in the world and that’s how you had positivity and love and good things. So, she had that response.
[00:18:35] Julie: I had a really – one of my friends that I wrote about, one of my mentors, she was like, “I read through it,” but she’s like, “I really read it. I took a day off and I read it.” She’s like, “It’s actually really freaking good. I loved it like I had so much fun. I’m recommending to all my friends,” and I’m like. “Thank you. That’s awesome. I’m glad you really liked it.” But the woman who’s finding her mom, I mean, that’s one of the stories that and I keep getting more and more. I’ve had a couple of people who dealt with the addiction that had been – I have it on audio too that have told me a guy I went to high school with found me and he’s like, “This book is a life-changer for me,” and that was an awesome feeling because I know that world as well.
[00:19:14] Jon: Wow. Julie, that’s awesome. Congrats. You got to feel great. When you think about what you teach in this book and it’s so visible, I’ve read pieces of it and it’s so visible just looking through the rest of the book that there is a lot in here. The whole thing is a workbook that people can take action on. What are maybe a couple of your favorite concepts that you brought into this book? Like when you immediately jump to the first two or three ideas that for you, you think can have the biggest impact on a reader, what are some of the ideas that jumped out for you?
[00:19:48] Julie: Yeah. So, one of the first ones and it’s interesting because often this can be an uncomfortable one and actually at our Quantum Leap Mastermind, remember, Hal did a little piece on this but it’s really that reflection in the mirror of how you see yourself. So, chapter number two where you look at the connecting with yourself in the mirror. Many people have written about this. I kind of put my own. This is what I do personally and I think it’s an excellent place to start because it gives you a sense, look, we look in the mirror all the time because we’re driving, we’re looking in the mirror to drive, we’re catching ourselves in a window, I mean, especially female probably do that more and what is your autonomic response when you see yourself? And this is something we don’t usually pause to say. But in working with a lot of clients, I can tell you that that’s a great place to look because if you see yourself in the mirror and you’re constantly barraging yourself with negative crap or words that are not kind that you wouldn’t say to anybody, that is an indication that you got something. Something’s going on in the relationship of you with you.
And I just believe the only person I’ll ever be able to change is me which is good news. There’s a lot I can change and I do, and that relationship is crucial because who are you living with the rest of your life? Yourself. We know communication is mainly nonverbal. If you’re not honoring and loving and feeling that worth in yourself, that’s going to be communicated in all that you do. So, I feel like a place to start is literally that connection process in the mirror or in your phone, camera or whatever you want to use but starting to get how do you see yourself, and when I say see, I don’t just mean the visual. I mean also how are…
[00:21:21] Jon: Physically then.
[00:21:22] Julie: Physically, exactly. And how do you see, are you seeing the great traits and qualities and gifts that you have? Are you noticing even for – I’ve had a woman I worked with, a couple of women actually. It’s been very, very challenging for them. They had a lot of trouble with this and we went into very basic things that are not so basic like, “Hello. Do you ever appreciate that you have eyes? Those eyes have been, since day one, have been seeing the world and internalizing. Can you honor and reflect and appreciate that? Can you appreciate that the mouth you have allows you to chew and swallow and eat and speak?” So, these are things that are often easier to tap into versus the physicality of I think you’re wonderful, beautiful. So, I think that’s the first place.
[00:22:04] Jon: All right. So, here’s a question I have for you. Let’s say I look at myself in the mirror and it’s a mixed bag. It’s like well you get this going but you got these problems over here. What can I do to change what I think when I look at myself in the mirror?
[00:22:19] Julie: Yes. Great question and so I am a very big believer. So, it’s our words but it’s also not just the word you’re saying. It’s how you feel when you say that. And so, if you are saying, “I am a powerful, kind, generous creator,” or saying things that you don’t fully believe, that is important to look at that and I would say the first place to start is to say things that you do feel you believe and resonate with. So, sometimes it could be, “I am just looking at myself and I’m just really thankful that I’m healthy today or I have such abundance in my life like I have a car that I love.” I mean, it could be anything but if you’re not resonating with it like to say look in the mirror and say like, “I am a smart, powerful person.” I don’t feel smart or powerful that day. That’s like putting lipstick on a pig, a little bit. So, you want your words to resonate and I teach this and will be writing about it next is you want it to resonate with your body, your sensations in your body, your emotional system.
So, if that’s hard to do then find something, find anything that you can appreciate in yourself. It can be external, physicality or internal attributes. I love how loving I am as a mother. That’s a great one – or a father. I am a really loving mother. I am a really caring friend. The more you say these things to yourself, there’s a lot of research around what we say to ourselves. We digest that. You look at the fight and flight response. That’s a whole other topic but these things we say to ourselves really make a difference. Yes.
[00:23:55] Jon: There are two things that I’m reminded of. I think it was probably 15, 16 years ago when someone gave me the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz where he talks about impeccability of our word.
[00:24:07] Julie: Yes.
[00:24:08] Jon: And what I’m hearing you say is even when we’re thinking about ourselves and what I can relate to is if I had something in my life that I claim as important like a value like I value some type of contribution through my work or through my world but if I’m doing things that are actually undercutting that value, it’s not like either or. It’s probably I’m doing a bunch of things that are moving me in that direction and I’m probably doing some things that aren’t. I can totally get what you’re saying that when I look in the mirror, I might not even know why but I might feel incongruent with who I am claiming I want to be as a person but it’s like how these things I’m doing either when no one’s looking or when they are looking but they just don’t realize I could be making a different choice. It reminds me of just being impeccable even with ourselves at what we’re saying. I love your idea of starting by getting clear on, well, what do I agree with? How can I be congruent?
And that reminded me of in the year 2000 I went to a three-day Tony Robbins event that they don’t put on anymore. It was called Influence Mastery so they now sell it as like a tape series but you’ll love this. So, they taught us all sorts of NLP techniques and ways to reprogram our brain through different like patterning things. And it was crazy and it was cool and I actually credit some of those things to me being the number one rep in our company that year. And I’ll never forget in the seminar, one of the things they had us do is they asked for a volunteer. There’s only 20 of us. They asked for a volunteer, someone who had like a disempowering belief about themselves or their life. And it was one of my buddies who he said, “I’ve got a belief and it’s that I just don’t have enough time. I just don’t have enough time.” So, they bring him up to the front of the room. They sit him in a chair. Now I’m sure that as I’m explaining this I’m like totally not giving justice to the power of the activity and I’m probably going to describe something that is nowhere near what actually happened but what’s anyone going to do? You weren’t there, right?
[00:26:22] Julie: It sounds good though.
[00:26:23] Jon: Yeah. It sounds great. But my recollection, my hallucination was they put him up in the chair and let’s say his name was Sean so the guy leading the event his name was Pete Trubé, who I ended up, I was 17 years old, I ended up hiring him for $500 a month as a sales coach as a 17-year-old. And he taught me a lot. He taught me a lot about asking questions, new questions. I’ll never forget one of the questions he asked me on a coaching call and I’m like, “Pete, I’m going into this big sales contest,” and the first thing he says, “Well, what do you think?” Because he knew that we both knew who Tony Robbins was and he goes, “Well, what would Tony Robbins do differently than how you’re approaching this?” And I’m like, “Oh my gosh, he would be thinking way different about this.”
So, Pete starts like in a respectful, loving, stern parent way like getting on Sean and so he says to Sean. He goes, “Sean, what I want you to do is I want you to say to us, sitting in the room, I want you to say these words, ‘I have enough time.’” And the rule was that Sean was not allowed to be done with this exercise until the entire room agreed that he was congruent with the words coming out of his mouth. Now to make the long story longer, if you can imagine, so Sean starts off and he gives his best effort like, “I have enough time,” right, and you could just see it in his body.
[00:27:44] Julie: Like made up.
[00:27:45] Jon: You know, and we’re like, “Sorry, Sean. Try it again.” So, he does it again and again and again and he sat there for probably five minutes which you have to realize that feels like an eternity and it’s like five more minutes. And finally, Pete was like, “Sean, I want you to go inside of yourself and find a place inside of yourself where you realize that it is true that you have enough time and that you realize that you and every other human on this planet are given the same number of hours. And so, at the end of the day whether or not you have enough time comes entirely down to your belief,” and he gives Sean this like motivational speech and we’re all sitting there like, “Oh my gosh, what’s going to come out of Sean?” So, Sean gets out of the chair. He gets out of the chair and he screams at the top of his lungs. He goes, “I have enough time,” and the whole place erupted and for all I know, he became masterful at time management from that moment on for the rest of his life. But the moral of the story was about, I mean, they forced Sean in a respectful safe environment to push himself until he really was congruent with the belief that he needed to have and I’ll never forget that.
[00:28:56] Julie: That’s awesome. Now he has his own time management system. No, I’m kidding.
[00:29:00] Jon: Probably. Time management for people who never made it to that three-day seminar.
[00:29:04] Julie: Right. That’s awesome.
[00:29:07] Jon: It was certainly cool.
[00:29:08] Julie: I love that story. That word is really the word that I think when I’m speaking that was missing for me is the congruency and that is exactly – and I love that you guys can feel it because we communicate constantly. We’re communicating not by just words but you guys can feel when he was congruent and when he was not, mainly not until he was. And so, yeah, it’s a huge aspect of doing this work. And so just having these lovely affirmations or having these things you say to yourself and also the thing is it could be that you have an inkling of it but it’s practicing it. It’s practicing. You got to be, I mean, I’m a big like daily action, daily practice.
The way that I wrote this book and live my life, it is not from just like sitting on my butt. While sometimes for me sitting on my butt, I don’t watch TV but that would be a good thing for me because I don’t do it a lot and this is done to calm my monkey mind sometimes but it’s daily actions. It’s daily actions around areas that matter and to me, this is one of the most important, most priceless aspects is your belief about yourself. And then, of course, it’s your belief about others but it starts with you because we live in ourselves, you know, who I live with?
[00:30:12] Jon: Julie, I’d love to hear your opinion or your perspective on how we can get more connected with what our strengths are. And this is a topic that I’m really interested in because so my background is in business management and leading teams and organizations and Peter Drucker is known for giving birth to this movement that I know you called this out in your book and you have some exercises. So, I really want your opinion on, share with us, how do people get better connected with their strengths?
And one of the things Peter Drucker used to say was that the job of a leader is to focus on the strengths of the system so much so that the weakness has become irrelevant. And now in the last 10 years, millions of people have taken the VIA StrengthsFinder assessment to figure out their character strengths and there’s data that says if someone’s using their strengths at work they’re twice as likely to be engaged which has a direct translation to their performance. So, there’s all this evidence in this conversation but I love to hear from you like why does this matter that we connect to our strengths and how do we do it in a real way?
[00:31:19] Julie: That’s a good question. It’s funny. I was coaching a few people this morning actually through it’s a government contract and we were just talking about this, the difference in energy that you feel when you are using your strengths versus when you’re not. And I like to look at it frankly starting with energy. We know that we are made of energy, we have a certain amount of energy. If you ever felt I would say this to anyone unless just like for myself or anyone that that feeling when you are using your natural strengths, for me, I usually come away with my body feeling more energized, lit up like these are some of the things that you’re looking for. So, I call it like a treasure hunt. You want to go on a treasure hunt and look, comb throughout your life because sometimes if you’re in a job or situation where you haven’t been using your strengths for a while, sometimes it can feel like they’re lost, they’re gone, they’re not there. I don’t believe that. I just believe they might be a little bit underused. Maybe you’re a little bit asleep to them.
But the question really is like so what lights me up? What gives me energy? What makes me feel purposeful? Where have I felt in my flow like being used, being of service, making a difference? What comes naturally to me? I love these questions because they get the answer. You can feel, I can feel in people and myself even in your facial reaction, in your body reaction there’s a rise of energy. Something is shifting when you start looking at talents and strengths from this place. And so, the clue is really both what you’ve done in the past that gave you that feeling and looking to see when you think about that. I have that question, what would get you up in the middle of the night at 3 AM and have you do that thing for free? I always think about like if you want to know what you love and your passion about and what’s the strength, I have a couple of those things. I would get up at three in the morning and do that for free. I can tell you right now there’s probably not a lot but there are quite a few things I would do. And that’s a good example under those are strengths, of the chances under those experiences.
[00:33:19] Julie: So, just some of those questions but I do that a lot in the book because, look, I think the goal is we want to be living our most authentic, passionate, purposeful, I mean, there’s nothing more I love than to feel I’m making a difference and I’m being used at a higher level, higher like I said I would say from that place of being used to be of service to other people and have that energy and vitality. It’s also like the best anti-aging…
[00:33:47] Jon: There we go.
[00:33:48] Julie: …remedy. I’m serious.
[00:33:49] Jon: You just sold three books right there. Three books flying off the shelf.
[00:33:52] Julie: I know. It’s true though. Like when I was not living that way, I look at pictures, I look older then than I do now. It’s crazy and I’m thinking I’ve nothing against doing different antiaging things but for me, I like to age naturally but full of vitality because I’m living a life that’s purposeful and passionate and using my strengths. And it’s an anti-aging elixir. It just is. You have more energy. You can see it. There is that quote by the age 40 you have the face that you deserve.
[00:34:21] Jon: That’s so great. I love that. I really like your point about how it might just be that we have strengths that have been underused or we just haven’t used them in a while. I think that’s such a great reminder. I think about someone who leads others and what a big deal that is that they need to make sure that they’re staying conscious of, okay, are these people handling tasks that fit their strengths or don’t fit their strengths? So, she won’t mind me saying this. She’s 5 feet away from me. Laura, I’m going to talk about you. So, Laura is here late at night. She’s like the most committed, dedicated, hard-working, smart, funny. She brings every – you know her well. She brings everything in our office.
[00:35:01] Julie: She’s badass.
[00:35:02] Jon: She is a badass. And last night so she’s working all day on this workbook for us and so this is a good example of me failing to be aware of something that I should just be aware of. She’s made workbooks in the past. She does a great job on them. I don’t think she would personally say, “That’s my highest strength.” I think her highest strengths are in relationship building but she’s good at it. We can all have things we do that we can be good at but it’s not our highest strength. Well, it’s late last night and our Internet goes out and I got to get back on the Internet and I’m like, “Laura, what’s our passcode for the Internet?” And she goes, “It’s 867.” “So, is it 867 or 876?” “Oh yeah, 876.” And then she goes, “It’s ACB,” and we were both like, “Holy shit, you’re like legitimately dyslexic.” And then I made a joke, I’m like, “Well good thing you’re not doing something as important as designing a workbook where all your focus is getting the numbers and letters in the right order.” So, I shared that endearingly, as lovingly and that we all have things we’re not good at and that was just a classic moment for me. It’s like how funny that she’s doing a great job and yet she has a part of herself that clearly would say, “Hey, in the long run maybe she shouldn’t become our vice president of workbooks.” So…
[00:36:21] Julie: Right. Not the best fit.
[00:36:23] Jon: Yeah. But again, she does a great job. But that’s a great example too where that’s like a microscopic insight into an alignment of strength where like I could imagine, hey, it’s fine for her to do that case-by-case but if I wasn’t aware that that’s like not a perfect alignment and I just walked in one day and said, “You’re going to do workbooks all day long every day,” because she spends a fraction of her time doing that, I would not realize it as a manager and one day she would have no energy coming to work.
[00:36:53] Julie: Yes. Exactly.
[00:36:54] Jon: So, that’s such a great reminder. Hey, you talked in the book about stories and how we have our own story and I’m a huge fan of stories in that I believe that because, again, my work is with teams and organizations and large systems of people. I believe that everything is guided by a collective story which is everyone’s individual story and a lot of it is unconscious and you help people to understand individually how they might have stories about themselves or their world. Talk about that. Why is that important and how do we change our story? How do we even figure out if we have a shitty story that’s not a good one and how do we change it?
[00:37:33] Julie: Right. And this is one of my favorite topics. All of them are my favorite topics but this is like I love this because in my own self like so I use myself I have a lot of stories and when you really start to see that these are stories, there’s no actual truth and truth means the witness test like is it real? Like can you actually smell it, taste it, touch it? Is there any way to define that that’s true? And I realize that a lot of the stories, so stories meaning things that we heard people say to us, maybe a teacher. My math teacher said to me, “Julie,” I’m not that great with numbers. That was true but he called me out on not doing a good job on my homework and I made it mean that I am a horrible student or I’m not smart and I live my life like that’s true. Or I had a teacher, this is a true story, dancing teacher who told me that I was too large to be a ballerina and that I was really like a nice girl, had a great smile but I wasn’t built like a dancer and I should just stop. And that I want to tell you I stopped dancing for 15 years and I love to dance. I actually teach bar on the side now ironically which is kind of my like, “Hey, I like dancing I don’t care if I’m taller, bigger. I’m doing it.” This was one of the stories I saw for me.
I had a story honestly and being really real here, in eighth grade, there was a boy I liked, JP, and he – I was trying to be sly. I got my guy friends to see what he thought and I did it all covertly and my friend Josh was like, “Oh yeah. He thinks Laura’s cute, think she’s cute. Oh yeah. He said you’re nasty.” And let me tell you something. That was a story for a very long time that I’m not, you know, guys don’t like me and I mean I changed that story. I changed the story around dancing but what happened is those words, the words that were said, I believe them. Somewhere in my conscious and subconscious said, “Yup.” And then what happens is we operate so those stories were true and it could be anything that you hear that you tell yourself or someone says to you or that you made up oftentimes.
[00:39:30] Julie: And the crazy thing is like I stopped dancing for 15 years, one of my favorite things to do, and I don’t want to be a professional dancer but I get a lot of energy and joy from any kind of dancing. I feel very connected, something greater when I do. I believe that story and so I really walk people through how do you uncover those things that you’re believing that aren’t serving you? I mean, look, there’s a story that serves you. My dad always like have this beautiful thing that he would say to me. He’s like, “Julie, you’re joyful and like you attract joy.” Like okay even if I didn’t, that’s a good one like I’m keeping that’s story. I’m joyful. I attract joy.
So, sometimes the stories you can keep them and sometimes you can take them and flip them on their head. I actually did a program where we rewrote them and that was part of what inspired me and I today journal every morning and often I will write my story as I want it to be and it keeps evolving. So, I am aware we have them. We all have them. Are you living with that story driving you or are you going to unpack the story and repack it and drive it? And so, really, I tried to share how to get what it is, what is that story that you don’t even know you’re living by and how do you if don’t like it, it’s not serving, forget, toss it. Don’t live by someone else’s words. That’s not okay.
[00:40:50] Jon: Yeah. I’ve dealt with this personally recently where the work that we’re doing at Flourishing Leadership Institute there’s a lot of demand for what we’re doing which someone might hear that and say, “Oh, poor you. Lots of demand,” but it can be a real problem when everything you’re doing you’ve never done before and for me at least. Let me rephrase that. Everything we’re doing we’ve never done. We use a methodology that’s the basis but we’re brought into this really complex projects and so there is no formula. So, we have to invent every time a new solution for these big clients.
And I found this for myself recently, it’s exactly what you’re talking about that if I wasn’t careful, the stories that went on in my head like the word I like to use our stories are really fragile. Or another way for me that I’ve been thinking about it is that I am always at a tipping point and I am always on the fence. And if I don’t pay attention, the unconscious story and this is the part of my brain that has been around the longest is the one that causes fear. And I noticed that if I don’t consciously do something then what happens is I’ll start telling these stories but they’re very quiet so I don’t always – like I’ll have a feeling with it. The feeling will be anxiety and then I have to realize, “Wait a minute. What’s the story that’s creating that anxiety?” And the story is, all of a sudden, I realize, “Oh, well what led to that anxiety is I’m actually imagining.” I’ve actually had this happen a lot like we run events. It’s almost like a tradition around here. At some point before every big event, I have a nightmare about that event. In that nightmare like I’ve had nightmares about events where it’s like in my dream I get up on stage. There are 500 people there which is a common thing for us and it’s like, “Oh, we don’t have anything ready for these 500 people.”
[00:42:49] Jon: And every time that happens, what I realize it’s a signal to me that, okay, I’ve been letting that story run for so long that it’s really freaking me out and I realized all I have to do, all I have to do is be conscious enough to ask myself, “Well what do I want?” Like what story do I want to live out? And whether or not I’m actually able to succeed with each of these clients, it has far more to do with what story do I tell myself leading up to the client engagement than anything else. Like next week I have a TED talk I’m giving in seven days.
[00:43:32] Julie: That’s awesome.
[00:43:33] Jon: Yeah. It’s cool. I mean, the truth though is I started working on the talk yesterday and I’m totally glad to hear it. Even Laura is laughing. She’s like, “You call that working on it?” But the truth is seven days from now I certainly have little voices in my head that say and I could argue I’ve been working on it my whole life. It’s just deciding the – right?
[00:43:55] Julie: Yes.
[00:43:56] Jon: And so that’s actually how I changed my story. I go, “Okay. I haven’t put the words onto a map yet or onto paper but I have to remind myself that everything that I need is within me and I have to tell myself the story.” And so, our team will hear me say this at regular intervals. I will at random just stop and go, “Hey you guys, this talk is going to be incredible,” and they may or may not realize it but I’m saying that out loud for several reasons. One is because when I say it out loud, it drives home the belief. And the other is when I say it out loud, it drives home the belief I believe that that is going to cause me to now make the decisions that are going to make it incredible. So, I’m just sharing. It’s something I’ve experienced a lot personally in that my story is fragile like it easily can go the wrong direction and I can easily send it in the right direction but I have to be aware or I have to have your book or something to help me.
[00:44:56] Julie: Well, I love it. Yeah. So, I resonate I’m very similar in how I do talks because I like it to be really organic and authentic and I think part of the reason, the premise of this book is that what you said is like you have everything you need within you. We all do but I love the idea of that your story being fragile. I like to think of it as sacred. And then early in the book, I really talk about having teams. I believe you don’t do life alone. I actually have a team of people. I have my cheerleader. I have my accountability partner. I have somebody. I mean every single day I talk to this friend. We’ve already talked twice this morning early and I manage my story daily with her and she listens for when I’m telling a story that is not serving my greatest good. She’d be like, “Julie, you just went on and that is not the story you want to tell.” I’m like, “Right. I could feel that.” And then I say it out loud like what you were saying. So, getting someone to help you write it out, I mean, there are all kinds of ways to do it but I guess the main point is for me it’s an action type of you said it, having that focus and attention. I mean it just otherwise becomes you live out unconsciously from a place of our original brain which is all about fear and flight. And I just personally because I’m not a reptile, you know.
[00:46:11] Jon: Well as far as we know.
[00:46:13] Julie: Right. I’m not like I am human and I want to use like the top of my brain that we’re so gifted to have. So, I’m okay putting some work in every day because I’d rather drive my story every day and be cognizant of it and have an evolving amazing life where I’m designing and getting to have new stories. And I’ll say there are sometimes where I’m like I’m living from it all like you said the fear, the nightmares. I still have that. I mean, are you kidding me? We’re human. It doesn’t go away. It’s just the more you practice it, like anything, it’s like going to the gym, the more I practice it, it’s become natural. I look and say, “Okay, how else can I redefine this? Where has that worked that well before? Let me draw on that. Let me get the energy from that. Or how do I want to envision this? Or how do I like this story to play out?” And those are different questions than, “Oh crap. I’m not prepared and I suck,” and all those things that we say to ourselves sometimes.
[00:47:06] Jon: Yeah. I think that is so important. It’s such a great reminder for all of us. Julie, I’d like to wrap us up with one more question for you.
[00:47:17] Julie: Sure.
[00:47:18] Jon: And that question is, is there anything else?
[00:47:23] Julie: Well, thank you. That’s a good question. So, I just say I want to thank you. This has been awesome. Obviously, I could keep talking and talking. I won’t. But I am putting together right now a companion journal that’s going to go along with the book because it’s going to teach a little bit more about journaling and it has both the structured side, the non-structured. I wanted even more space to write. I just think there’s that process of getting our thoughts out on paper. We know from research, there’s something about that. Then when it stays in your head, that’s one thing. Getting it out is so important. So, I am working on that as well as my first online course to help people really move from it’s called Hungry for More and that’s coming up. It’s not ready yet but I’m working on it. And I’m just thrilled to be part of the community and be here with you and anyway that I can be of service or help, I mean, I’m always I love talking to people and connecting and anyone wants to connect about what they’re working on in their stories, it’s my passion and purpose.
[00:48:23] Jon: How do you want people to find you or reach you if they listen to this and they want to connect? What’s the best way or place or website?
[00:48:30] Julie: My website is my name. I’ll spell it really quick because it’s kind of funky. It’s JulieReisler.com. It’s probably the best way. Yeah.
[00:48:44] Jon: Awesome. Julie, author of Get a PhD in YOU, Quantum Leap Mastermind member, extraordinary human being, most likely, not a lizard.
[00:48:55] Julie: I was going to say of all the things I said, antiaging and lizard, that’s the takeaway.
[00:49:02] Jon: This was totally awesome. Thank you for being with me today.
[00:49:05] Julie: You are awesome and I want to thank you and Hal who graciously endorsed my book before we even really knew each other and I am very honored and grateful to be part of this amazing community of just I feel like everybody in this world is about making a difference in the world and I am in alignment with that. And I just I am so honored, honestly honored and touched and moved and inspired to be part of this for real.
[00:49:27] Jon: Awesome. Take care.
[00:49:29] Julie: Thank you.
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