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- Whether it's challenge, whether it's victory, today's an opportunity for me to polish. - Johnny, thank you for letting me come visit you, my friend. - Thank you so much. - Hey, we're talking about believing in yourself, which you said is the key component, which you say is the key component to getting through adversity. So I want to work off the assumption that the Thriver who's watching this episode has decided not to stumble upon it but they've decided to watch this because maybe they're struggling with believing in themselves. Maybe they fell they don't have what it takes to start the business, to advance in their career, to grow their company, to lead the office. They just feel like they're struggling with the belief in themselves. What advice do you give to somebody who's struggling with believing in themselves? - As a human being, we're given so many opportunities. These opportunities are all around us. When someone else makes you aware makes you aware... of an inadequacy, a shortfall, a standard that you don't meet up to, this psychologically can have an effect on where your state of mind is in a particular time. So going back to my swimming career, my mother and I used to get into conflicts all the time. I would be psyched up, ready to go, and do my best, best, best performance. And my mother on the way to the event would always bring up the stuff that I wasn't doing. - On the way to the event? - [Johnny] On the way to the event. - So you're emotionally at a point where you're trying to get yourself psyched up to do your best. - [Johnny] Right. - You've been practicing. You want to go out there and be mentally focused, and then on the way, your mom brings up stuff. - Yeah. So she was a great teacher. - On how not to do it? What? - Later, when I looked back, I started to understand that if there wasn't anybody that believed in you, as long as you knew why you wanted to do what you were doing, and you were true to that, that would be the most important thing you could do. Because it wasn't about anybody else. So if you can bypass that circuit, and so many people have these circuits running, and I don't believe that's intent. I believe it's programmed from some place. - [Clay] Really? - Yeah. She was hammered by her father. Every time she was going to do something important, he broke her down. People call it sabotage, people call it whatever. So she was doing what she knew how to do. She didn't know how to put her arms around me and say, "You're going to do amazing. "You are amazing, "no matter if you don't do amazing, you're amazing." She didn't have that ability. So that was one of the building blocks for me to start owning myself. - So if I'm watching this right now, and I'm saying maybe my mom was that way, maybe my mom is that way. Maybe my brother was that way. Maybe my dad's that way. Maybe I talk to myself in a negative tone. Maybe the things I say to myself are so bad that if I were to say those kind of things to other people, they wouldn't like me very much. What if I just have that bad self-talk going on? What's the action step? What does someone need to begin doing to get themselves out of that just mental rut? - You got to separate from it. And that's why I love philosophy. Because philosophically there's always a story or there's a place of calmness before the storm. I'm nine years old, my dad gives me a birthday present. I mean nine-year-olds get what, Clay? - Usually some sort of a toy. My kids, we try to get them sort of, something that they're probably gonna break quickly, but you know what I mean, some sort of toy. My son probably a truck or a car, something. - So my dad gives me a block of wood. - A block of wood? - A block of wood. - Okay. - How do you think I felt opening up a gift that's about that big at nine years old? - I think first you might think it's kind of a joke, and then after that, you'd start to feel kind of like, "Why didn't he get me a good gift," and then probably get, I don't know, sad or frustrated? - Yeah, and baffled and confused. He comes up to me and he says, "You can turn that into anything you want. "You can shape it, "you can carve it, "you can turn it into anything." I mean Rubik's Cube is a block of wood. Statues come from blocks of wood. Most stuff comes from a block of wood. The foundation of the house comes from a block of wood. But I didn't understand it, and I resented him then. But I gave gratitude later. See I think it's the lessons from our mentors that we may not understand at the time, but have incredible effect and impact later. And the one thing that he gave me was that, "Johnny, you can make anything "out of something "if you believe in it badly enough."
[MUSIC PLAYING] -And you were nine when you got the block of wood? JOHNNY G: I was nine, freaked me out. -When did you get it? When you get it? When you go ahh, that's what the wood is? Did it take you a few years? Did you get it later on in life? JOHNNY G: Maybe about 10 years ago, after he died. -Really? -Yeah. -You finally just saw the profundity or the profoundness of that. -And maybe those are the toughest lessons. That it's-- life passes. And we don't get to jump into that opportunity. It just passes, and the opportunity passes. And we don't get it. And we had this incredible life opportunity, and it just, (SNAP) it goes. -Do you feel like on a daily basis that it's important that people schedule time? Block off time? Make time to build up their belief in themselves? What things can people do on a daily basis? If someone goes, you know what, I believe you, Johnny G. I'm going to start believing in myself. And they've never done it before. JOHNNY G: Right. -What do you need to do to turn into a habit, where it's not just a belief you have for a couple days? -You know when we were talking about like you need a path? You need something to look at? INTERVIEWER: Yeah. -So you can get there? INTERVIEWER: Yeah. -When you green, you grow. When you're ripe, you rot. So it's like go back to the beginning, and polish, polish, polish, polish. Polish yourself. That's it. You have to take time to polish yourself. Because you never get this level of being everything you can be. There's much potential with every day, with every moment, with each insight. So if you can understand this on a daily basis, that's a mantra. That's an acknowledgement. That's waking up in the morning and saying, yeah, I'm lucky to be here because today's another day. Whether it's adversity, whether it's challenge, whether it's victory, today's an opportunity for me to polish for tomorrow. -How much time do you devote every day to really-- taking time to polish, taking time to invest in yourself, and taking time to really build up that belief in yourself? When do you do it? -That's why we call this place the Dojo. INTERVIEWER: The Dojo? -The Dojo is a place of learning. And every day in this place of learning, whether I'm listening to the fountain, whether I'm sitting with a guitar in my hands, whether I'm writing an e-mail, whether I'm just sitting still. It's like a daily practice. From the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep, it's a mindful practice every single day. And the more time I devote to it, the more time I realize that I need to devote to it. -Now, so Johnny, how would you describe the mantra to somebody who's not familiar with the term or the phrase? -Mantra, because it's got a strange name, the association with that is a religious thing. It's scary. It's uncertain term. I say a mantra. Does that mean I have to be Indian or do yoga? Does that mean I have to be religious? A mantra is a statement, a statement that you can believe in yourself. INTERVIEWER: OK. JOHNNY G: My mantra, I believe in myself. My mantra for a Hindu or a Buddhist, nam myoho renge kyo. For a Catholic maybe our father or hail Mary. That's sort of more of a religious connotation. INTERVIEWER: Yeah. -Would I think of a mantra, I think of it as a positive statement. Love, love, the more you practice love, the more loving you'll be. That's sort of a practice. It's a reinforced practice. So you reinforce the thinking. You keep reinforcing it, and you keep pressing it in. -And so the difference between maybe just having a idea, or a quick kind of change of opinion, and for it to become a belief, is really when you back it by a mantra and you just-- the repetition of it over and over and over. Eventually it becomes a belief, once you know if, you live it, you do it. -It becomes a pillar. It becomes, yes, it's absolutely. It becomes a pebble. A support. It becomes a launching pad. It's part of the infrastructure. It's the brick and the mortar. -As you look around the world though, and we live in a world where South Africa's had its challenges. America's had its challenges. Every country's had its challenges. JOHNNY G: Yes. -And I think everybody, everybody-- I had to use the word everybody because it's such a general term. But everybody's going to have some big adversities in their life. We're all going to have it. You've been robbed. You've been mugged. You've had a heart disease. You've had-- we can go on and on, all the things that you've dealt with. Everyone's had adversity. But without belief, we can't get through that adversity is your core belief. JOHNNY G: That's right. It's said, a wise man once said, we get old. We get sick. We suffer. And we die. As human beings. INTERVIEWER: Oh man. -That's like basically what happens. INTERVIEWER: We don't want to put that on a shirt. -Yeah, but in between that, we've got the opportunity to love, to be happy, to try, to have family, to love, and get these incredible treasures out of life. -Well I'm excited to talk to you about believing in people as well. Because I know you-- it's really big for you too. We all have adversity. In order to get through it, we have to have a belief. And I'm excited to get your thoughts oh how to believe in other people. Because I think that's even the next level. So I'm excited to interview you about that here, coming up as well, my friend. Thank you for blowing my mind. -Thank you. -Thank you.
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