Episode 27

Question Everything with Mike Patterson

Published on: 30th March, 2022

Mike Patterson is a business consultant based in the United Arab Emirates who has so far helped over 50,000 people achieve their dreams. A keen researcher who has never believed in conforming, Mike has spent the last 20 years studying facts and figures in search of the truth. In this highly informative interview, Mike talks about:

  • the difference between laws and rules
  • why it’s important to set goals and to plan for the future 
  • how the system has been designed to dumb people down
  • why we need to question everything and do our own research
  • the impact of our diet on the positivity of our thoughts
  • reframing ‘failure’ as feedback and ‘problems’ as challenges
  • the difference between activities and results

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Music: Pablito's Way by Paolo Pavan

Transcript
Maribel:

So, I'm very grateful, Mike, that you decided to be here today and have a conversation with us. I'm really looking forward to that. I have appreciated in the last couple of weeks to get to know you and hear your interesting point of view of things. We have today with us Mike Patterson. Mike, would you care to please tell us what it is that you do? And what are some of the things that you have done that are audacious?

Mike:

What is it that I do? I work with businesses making more than $500,000 a year and I help them scale, basically. Most businesses don't seem to know what they're doing, so I help them put different revenue-generating structures in place that basically makes them recession or economy proof. It doesn't matter what the economy does, they've got so much money coming in from so many different avenues that they don't really care. So I'd say that's what I do. But when you say audacious, I've got really, what would I say, conservative in my later years, compared to how I was as a kid. Kids have no fear. Up until the age of about 23, nobody's gonna die. We are immortal. They use helicopter pilots for… these guys are absolutely crazy and they start getting a little bit of sense after the age of 23. So I did a lot of stuff that, maybe I just didn't think. I'm not quite sure if they’re audacious or not. We just didn't think about stuff. Because we're gonna live forever.

Maribel:

You mean, that's the expectation or what we think in our youth. And what about later, after 23? What are the things, I mean we don't need to call it audacious, we could call it in a different way. What have you done that is aligned with your values and the things that are important to you, that allow you to be whole, to present yourself and live an aligned life?

Mike:

I tend to look at things from a different point of view than most people. Most people are very surface, they accept what they’re told. I don't watch TV, don't read newspapers, don't listen to radio, I haven't done for 20 odd years. But whenever something comes up, I do do research on it. And I'm pretty good at research. Not quite sure what to do with all the data I get afterwards, but I'm pretty good at research anyway. I love learning new stuff. I've studied all sorts of stuff. I've studied water, I've studied food, a lot of different subjects that people don't even think about, that we just accept because our system teaches us that we should conform. And I don't believe in conforming. Never have. Even as a kid, everybody did something, I’d do something different.

Maribel:

That's exactly what I'm trying to find out. Then, let's call it non-conforming. What have you done that is not following the rules?

Mike:

You know there's a difference between laws and rules, yes?

Maribel:

No, tell me.

Mike:

Okay, laws are immutable. Laws like gravity. If I live in, say, the Amazon forest, never seen a white man, never heard of gravity. If I climbed to the top of a tree and I jumped, will I fly?

Maribel:

Probably not. Definitely not.

Mike:

Definitely not, right? Because it's a law of gravity. There's lots of different laws. Rules can be bent or broken, laws cannot. So I obey laws. But rules I believe are put in place to control and I don't believe we should be controlled. I don't believe we are here to conform. I believe we are put on this earth to be the best we can be, and most people settle for being a lot less than they could be because they settled for… remember we talked about this theory I have called Default Theory?

Maribel:

Yes, I remember. Can you tell our listeners what that is?

Mike:

I’ve come up with this theory, I call it Default Theory. Let me explain. I've spent 20-odd years studying 3-4 hours a day. That adds up to somewhere in the region of 14-15,000 hours of study. Over 10,000 hours of audio books. I've flown around the world, I've walked on fire, I've broken arrows with my throat. So this is a target arrow. If you put it in your throat, lean forward against something immutable and it breaks.

Maribel:

Are you for real? Oh my goodness!

Mike:

It's easy. Years ago I took my kids when they were 16 to the XL Centre in London with Anthony Robbins and they walked on fire. And when I congratulated one of my twins, she said, “What's the big deal? It's simple. All you got to do is set your mind.” So if walking on fire is easy, what else is easy? But anyway, default settings. Everything we want is up here. Everybody wants to be happy, healthy, wealthy, have good relationships. But we never actually state what up here is. I don't believe that there are people who get up in the morning and say “You know what? I want to have a really bad relationship with my partner, I want to be sick, I want to be poor and I want to be really terrible at what I do at work.” Probably not. I don’t know, there’s some very strange people out there, so you never know. But because we never actually define what up here is, we end up being average or mediocre. If you don't set it as a goal to have a really good relationship with your family, with your partner and define what that looks like, you end up having an average or mediocre relationship. If you don't set as a goal to be really good at what you do, you'll end up being average or mediocre. Most people do not have a health plan. So absence of a health plan means by default they have a sickness plan. They are planning to be sick, because they're not planning to be healthy. Lots of people watch their weight. Who cares? Your weight’s not important. Nobody gives a toss. It's totally immaterial. What matters is your fat percentage. I read somewhere years ago that we’re allowed a certain percentage of fat. One kg above that maximum percentage can cut between three months and three years of your life. Who cares about weight? You could be the exact perfect weight and 50% fat. That’s not good. I went to the gym for 14 years and I would work out back to back exercises. I would cycle for 45 minutes and I would burn 6-700 calories. I would go and do body balance, which was a mixture of Tai Chi, yoga and pilates. And at 60 years of age, I got a certificate and I was teaching body balance. And then I would go and do abs for 30 minutes. But I do two back to back. I do them one after the other — 45 minutes body balance, 15 minutes to get changed, then an hour straight on abs.

Maribel:

So that's your health plan.

Mike:

It wasn't a health plan. So, you’ve got to know your fat percentage. For every 25kg you need to drink one litre of water and the structure of the water matters. The chemical composition of the water is H2O. That never changes. But nobody in the world can explain water. It's the only element that exists as a liquid, a solid and a gas. Nothing else does that, naturally. Water is the only element when you freeze it it gets bigger. Everything else in the world gets smaller. It also gets lighter. Everything else in the world gets heavier. Nobody knows why. But in 1995 or Masaru Emoto, a Japanese scientist started taking samples of water from all over Japan and flash froze them at cryo minus 25. He took them out of cryo, still at freezer environment minus five and put them under a microscope. Depending what words were written on the container depends on what crystals you got. Peace, love, harmony, joy, Mother Teresa — beautiful special crystals. I hate you, you fool, I will kill you, Hitler — actually destroys the structure of the water. He played music to the water. Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky — beautiful special crystals. Heavy metal destroyed the structure of the water. Water has memory. It communicates. Everything is energy. He had people around a table directing thoughts at water — the structure of the water changed. In another room, a jug of water there, the structure of that water changed as well. Jules University did an experiment a few years ago. Astronauts up by the moon, they said think specific thoughts. They picked up those thoughts here on Earth 250,000 miles away. Don't ask me how, all I know is what they did. Don't ask me how they do stuff, all I do is read the research. So what we know is that our thoughts travel a minimum of 250,000 miles and affect everybody at a cellular level. What you read, what you think, what you say, affects you at a cellular level. We are about 70% water. So water is one of the most important things. I saw a video a little while ago on schoolkids in a school and they had two plants. On one was, “Go praise the plant. Oh you're beautiful. You're so lovely. You're gorgeous.” Wow, this thing's growing crazy. On the other one, a couple of metres away, “You're ugly. You're useless.” You know what? It was dying. We just don't think about what we say, what we think, what we do. So back to default settings. David Bach in his book The Automatic Millionaire says there are six states people end up in by the time they retire. There’s dead broke, really easy. Spend everything you make, get into debt, when you retire you’ll be dead broke. That's a lot of people nowadays. You can be poor or penniless, that’s also very easy. Spend everything you make, don’t get into debt, money comes in, money goes out. When you retire, you'll be dead broke. You can have enough money to get by. ‘Getting by’ means you don't need assistance but your idea of fun is walking your poodle around the block. If that's your idea of fun when you retire, then you need to save and invest between 1-5% of everything that comes in. You can be rich — meaningless term because it's got to be aligned with something else — but for the purpose of this conversation, rich, you need to save and invest 5-10% of everything that comes in. You can be wealthy, save and invest 10-20% of everything that comes in. And you can be super wealthy, save and invest 20-30%. Because most people do not have a wealth plan, by default they are planning to be poor. As they say, failing to plan is planning to fail. And because of inflation, every day that you keep money in the bank, you're losing money. Did I ask you what inflation was before?

Maribel:

You haven't, but you can ask me now.

Mike:

Okay, what's inflation, Maribel?

Maribel:

Oh man, I'm doing an MBA! I kind of understand inflation, but I'm open to hearing how you explain it.

Mike:

Let me hear your explanation first.

Maribel:

Okay. Inflation is… this is embarrassing, Mike. So it's the percentage each year that money loses its value.

Mike:

Loses its purchasing power, but most people think it’s prices rising. It isn't. Every time the government prints more money, the money you have becomes worth less and eventually it will become totally worthless. There's something called the Law of 72. It’s just a very quick calculation to see how things take to double or half. So if you’ve got money in a bank and you're getting 2% interest per year, twos into 72 is 36. Your money will double in 36 years. If inflation is running steady at 4%, your cost of living will double every 18 years. So let's say you put 100k in a bank today, in 36 years you've got 200k at 2% interest and if inflation is running at 4% per annum, your purchasing power after 36 years will be 50k, half of what you put in 36 years earlier. Every single day that you have money in the bank, you're losing money because of inflation. You buy a house, the bank tells you it's an asset. You’re right, it’s an asset. It's just not your asset, it's their asset. Because if you stop paying they take your property. Thomas Stanley and William Danko, American professors, spent 20 years studying 11,000 millionaires over 20 years. Each millionaire filled in 250 questions. That is 2,750,000 questions were analyzed over a 20 year period. And they came up with calculations to see how well they were doing financially. So to be what they called an average accumulator of wealth, you take your age multiply it by your yearly income and divide by 10. So let's say someone's 40 years of age, they make 100k a year. So 40 by 100 is 4 million divided by 10. They should have 400,000 saved, invested, put away. To be a low accumulator of wealth it’s half of that. So they would have 200k or less. And to be a super accumulator of wealth, they would have double that, which was 800k. So they came up with formulas to see how well you’re doing financially. Oh, by the way, I spent a couple of years studying wealth as well.

Maribel:

I can see that!

Mike:

And I listened to audiobooks and attended seminars and read all sorts of stuff. But everything I do, I can put on one page. So most people don't have a health plan so they have a sick plan. And health insurance, by the way, is betting that you are going to be so sick, you will not be able to afford the payments.

Maribel:

So what you're saying is all these things we do is just conforming to rules because we don't know any better?

Mike:

Well, in 1902 there was a conversation between my two favourite guys, Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller. And what Carnegie said was, “If we are to maintain our elite status in the world, we need to start educating the population.” In 1903 Rockefeller instigated the GEB, the General Education Board. What he wrote when he formed the GEB, and this is word perfect by the way, he said “I do not want a nation of thinkers. I want a nation of workers.” Two things were taken out of the education system in 1903 and made what I call the schoolastic system. Schoolastic system now doesn't work. What they teach us — go to school, study hard, get good grades, leave school, get a job, work hard, save money, you’ll be successful — by government statistics, 96% failure rate. 118 years, 96% failure rate. The two things they took out of the education system was goal-setting, knowing what you want in life, and second was financial education. Schools are not allowed to teach financial education. Not they can't teach, they just aren't allowed to.

Maribel:

Goal-setting? I'm surprised. Indeed that’s something super important.

Mike:

Yes, but school doesn't teach us how to think, it teaches us to memorise answers to pass exams. And they've done lots of tests. They've taken students who pass the exams, top 90%, whatever. Gave them the same exam 30 days later, they all failed because the answers go into short term memory. Pre five year olds — 98% very high self esteem, 98% are very creative. Twenty years later, coming out of high school, 98% very low self esteem, 98% non creative. All the statistics are out there. People are just not looking. We are taught there's 197 countries in the world or something — 109 of them are in Dubai. I talk to a lot of people. I talk to a lot more people now than I used to because online. And everybody I talk to agrees about the education system. I ask people, okay, what do you use today that you learned in school? Oh, 20%, 30%, 50%, 60%. Okay, such as? Maths. Okay, what's 3x19? What’s 25x25? Er, calculator. Okay, good. It didn’t teach you how to do maths, it taught you how to use a calculator. We have our values by the time we’re four. We know how to interact socially by the age of seven. A million words in the English language, the average person gets by on 4000 and that's dropping. The average person reads at the Grade 7 level, 12 years of age. So if ever you write something and your nephew of 12 doesn’t understand it, back to the drawing board because most people aren't going to. And that includes university graduates. In 2016, Harvard Brain Institute did a study on attention spans. In 2016 the average human had an attention span of 12 seconds. In 2019 they did again — 8 seconds. A goldfish has an attention span of 9 seconds.

Maribel:

Are you making comparisons here?

Mike:

I am, yes, because you got to compare it, otherwise it’s meaningless. So now the average person has an attention span less than a goldfish. Personally, I find that frightening.

Maribel:

Indeed. Absolutely.

Mike:

It is, but that’s the world we live in.

Maribel:

Helen, ask this guy a question.

Helen:

I'm enthralled listening to this! Mike, I want to say that what you're saying completely resonates with me because I've also been doing quite a bit of research in the past two years as the world has been changing. And I found out myself, I didn't know the difference between laws and rules before. What you were saying about water, I'm familiar with the work of the Japanese scientist that you were talking about.

Mike:

Masaru Emoto.

Helen:

Yeah. And when I watched the documentary that was written about water, I just thought it was absolutely fascinating. I hadn't even thought about that, that water needs to retain… it has memory and it needs to retain everything and that we're putting that in our body. But putting water through straight metal pipes to come into our house is actually removing all of the goodness of the water. So what we're feeding physically to ourselves is not good. But also what you're saying about what we're feeding ourselves spiritually, the fact that thoughts can travel 250,000 miles, and that we're all consciousness around ourselves. And what we're putting into our body in terms of the education system, or rather what the education system is taking out of it, particularly the financial education definitely, and the goal setting. And what we are trying to do here in this AudaciousNess podcast is to address some of those issues where people have been conditioned to believe that this is the way, to have been put in these boxes, this is the way you live, these are the rules you follow. And we're trying to get people to think outside of that. But a lot of it is — and we've had conversations like this with guests before — peeling back the layers of conditioning that have been placed upon us through the education and obviously through the elites…

Mike:

It's not education, it’s a schoolastic system. Stop calling it the education system. It is not an education system — it’s not there to educate you. The purpose of the schoolastic system is to produce employees and on that, it’s got a 99% success rate.

Helen:

So you're calling it schoolastic. Okay, that's an interesting way, because I just called it education because that's all I know it as. But you're right, I don't think it is education at all.

Mike:

No, it isn’t. Never has been. Well, not for the last 118 years, anyway.

Helen:

So what is your advice to people who want to break out of this straitjacket that we've been placed into in our society? How do we do that against such powerful forces?

Mike:

Question everything. We are told there's a pie. It’s this big and your slice of the pie is this much. And if you want more you're being greedy, you're taking from somebody else. I challenge you — go to a busy street on the weekend, go to a shopping mall, whatever. Grab a coffee, sit down and find me two people wearing exactly the same thing. Even in the Middle East where the men wear kandoras and the ladies wear abayas, you will not find two people wearing exactly the same thing. You won't find the same shoes, you won't find the same haircut, you won't find the same beard, moustaches. So if there wasn't enough, we'd all be wearing the same grey smock. And we’re not. So we're not taught to think about it. We are conditioned to conform, and accept what we’ve been told to do. We haven't been taught to think.

Helen:

Exactly. So if that has been imposed on us, how do we get out of that?

Mike:

It’s not just imposed, okay? Just to sidetrack a little bit here. I'll pull things together later. You know what fluoride is?

Helen:

Yes.

Mike:

Okay, tell me. What’s fluoride?

Helen:

It's a poison that they put into the water.

Mike:

Right. In the 40s, what they found is where fluoride naturally occurs in the water there were less dental problems. Fluoride itself, where it doesn't naturally occur, is a byproduct of aluminium smelting and fertiliser production. And you're right, it's a poison. Prior to this discovery, manufacturers were paying to have this poison disposed of. When this news came out, they started selling this to the governments to put in the water. And it does a number of things; it causes cancer, causes brain tumours and reduces IQ. So there's something somewhere — the great dumbing down. So for 70 odd years they've been intentionally dumbing people down. The whole system does not want people capable of critical thinking. What they want are people capable of holding down a job but not bright enough to ask what the heck's going on? They don't want people questioning what's going on. George Carlin said, ‘obedient robots’. That's it. You know only 2% of people are capable of working without supervision? On average, only 2% of the world are capable of working without supervision, which is why a lot of people who start businesses implode, because they can’t work on their own. And they may be really successful in corporate, but what works in entrepreneurship is the exact opposite of what works in corporate. It’s the exact opposite — whatever in corporate, forget it, it’s taught you nothing. So how do we get round it? We got to get people to start thinking. And I think it was either Ford or Edison said thinking is the hardest work in the world and most people would rather die than think. So how do we get people to start thinking when they’ve been conditioned not to think? I have no idea.

Helen:

It's the million dollar question, isn't it?

Mike:

I started working when I was 10. At around 50, 20-odd years ago, I suddenly realised that in Qatar, I used to work 18 hour days, six days a week, 108 hour weeks.

Maribel:

Wow!

Mike:

I did that for 10 months solid. In the military I did a 99-hour stint with three hours sleep. I slept for 16 hours and I did another 99 hours with three hours sleep. People tell me they work hard — 60, 70 — I said, Well it’s above 100 come, and talk to me. Prior to that, I'm not really interested. So we’re just not taught to plan. We're not taught to think, we're not taught to plan ahead. You have kids? Teach them how to set goals. And goals have to be five things. New Year's resolutions aren't resolutions, they’re just a wish list. Goals should be written down, personal, present, positive — I'm not sure how to say this without using a negative. So the brain doesn't understand a negative, it doesn't register a negative. So you're going shopping, you look in the fridge, you need eggs. What do we say? Don't forget eggs. Okay, forget eggs. Go out, buy everything, come back, no eggs. What’s wrong with my brain? There’s nothing wrong with your brain! Because the word ‘don’t’ is not registered, what the brain hears is, ‘Forget eggs.’ Okay, forget eggs.

Maribel:

‘Remember to bring eggs!’

Mike:

Remember to get eggs, right? It's the same, you tell your nephew, your kid, ‘Take this from here to there. Be careful, it’s fragile. Don't drop it.’ And they go and drop it. Why do you give them a hard time? You told them to drop it.

Maribel:

You put it in their mind that they should drop it.

Mike:

Right, they’re just obeying your instructions. Now, you go crazy and start giving them a hard time. The phraseology, the words that we use are really important. And we don't think about it. We don't question stuff. We see things on the news, “Everybody says this…” Okay, I really don't give a toss. Let me see where I can find out what the heck's going on. So I'll go and do research.

Maribel:

So what I’m understanding, Mike, critical thinking is the most important issue and then, specifically what we could do if we are helping younger people or young adults become adults is to teach them to think and question things and not just say, Oh, I saw it on social media or I read that and it must be true.

Mike:

Well, when you've got people who are committing suicide because people unfriended them on Facebook, there’s something seriously wrong with society. There's something seriously wrong somewhere, with the way we're doing things and what we're accepting. So, question everything. You know the story of the seven monkeys in a room with the ladder and bananas?

Helen:

I think I’ve heard of this one where they trained the monkeys to go up the ladder to get the reward. Is that not the one?

Mike:

Researchers put seven monkeys in a room. In the middle of the room was a ladder. At the top of the ladder was a bunch of bananas. So monkeys, bananas, a little bit of synergy here. The monkeys start climbing the ladder. As soon as any monkey starts climbing the ladder, all the monkeys are sprayed with ice cold water. All of them, not just the one who’s climbing. So eventually, none of the monkeys will climb the ladder. So what they do is they take out a monkey, bring in a new one. New one sees the ladder, sees the bananas, starts climbing. All the other monkeys mob it. Every time it starts to climb the ladder, old monkeys mob it. So eventually this monkey stops wanting to climb. They take another monkey out, replace it with a new one. New monkey, ladder, banana, starts climbing. All the other monkeys, including the one that's never been sprayed with cold water, mob it to stop it climbing. Eventually this one stops climbing. They take another one out. So the process is repeated. After a certain period of time, you now have seven monkeys in a room, none of which have been sprayed with ice cold water, but also none of which will climb the ladder. This is how processes and policies in businesses or are made and conformed. At some time there was a reason for doing things, but now because of advances in technology, the way we do things, all sorts of stuff, we should be saying, “Why are we doing this? Is this the best way to do it? Is there a better way?” But we don't think about it, we don't challenge, we don't like to be, “Well, what if I'm wrong?” Wrong question, guys. What if you’re right? You know acid and alkaline, by the way?

Maribel:

The level of acidity is it can go from one to nine and if it's basic or alkaline then it's a nine and acid is one and it has lots of H, hydrogen.

Mike:

Well, maybe in Portugal or Germany or wherever…

Maribel:

Are you saying I was wrong?

Helen:

I think it’s 14. And 7 is neutral.

Mike:

Yes, zero to 14, acid-alkaline. Zero to seven is acidic. Our bodies are 7.365, a little bit alkaline. If you keep your body alkaline, you don't get sick. Last time I was sick overnight in hospital was 1955. I don't do sick, okay? It is so critical — one pH up or down, you're dead. So, seven to six, it's 10 times more acidic. Six to five 100, five to four is 1000. Coffee is five. So a cup of coffee is 100 times more acidic than your body, so for every cup of coffee you need 17 cups of water to undo the damage it does your body. Soft drinks are 2.3 — 100,000 times more acidic than your body. Vinegar is four, which means it's 1000 times or whatever. Sports drinks are 3.9. So, sports drinks are worse for your body than vinegar.

Maribel:

Oh my goodness, Just plain water is better.

Mike:

Things like marijuana, cocaine are banned. White sugar is six times more addictive than cocaine. Why is it not banned?

Maribel:

It's everywhere in the food industry.

Mike:

It is. And aspartame is worse for you, so diet drinks, because of the aspartame in it, it's more dangerous for you than the normal drinks. Aspartame is 200 times more sweet than sugar. And if you have too much aspartame, you will start showing the symptoms of MS, multiple sclerosis. So you can go to the doctor, he could examine you, tell you you’ve got MS. But all you really need to do is cut out your soft drinks. There’s all sorts of stuff out there that people don't look at.

Helen:

I'm not even going to ask you about electromagnetic frequency. Let's not go there.

Mike:

Okay, let’s not go there. Everything is energy and everything’s connected.

Helen:

Yes, exactly. But I think you're right about the energy and keeping yourself healthy, because that's a big part. We're talking about trying to reach audacious goals and do audacious things, the audacious things that the world needs, and if you're not taking care of your body and your mind, then there's no way that you can, what you said before, reach your potential. We all have the ability to reach our potential but we're dumbed down and we're kept in this place that we have to follow the rules and we're conditioned to do this, that and the other, that we don't reach our potential. We don't even strive to get there.

Mike:

We never even say what our potential is. Do you know what percentage of people will try something new before they quit?

Helen:

I don't know. Has there been a study done on this?

Mike:

Of course there has.

Maribel:

And of course Mike knows.

Mike:

It's less than one.

Helen:

Who quit before they start?

Mike:

Correct. Go back to acid-alkaline. If your body's acidic, 75% of your thinking is negative.

Helen:

Oh really?

Mike:

Right, that's why I was trying to tie that in. Because we seem to think negatively by default, we'll have a good idea, then we'll think of all the reasons why it won't work, so consequently we won’t even start. And we ‘try’ stuff. And what is it, Yoda from Star Wars? — “There's no try, there's only do.” When you ‘try’ stuff your mindset is, “I don't think this is going to work. So I'm not going to give 100%. So I can have a go at it a couple of times and then I can quit.”

Helen:

That's a good piece of advice as well — remove the word ‘try’ from your vocabulary. Don't try to do it, do it.

Mike:

Right. There's a couple of words. One is failure. You have a plan, you carry it out, you don't get the results you expected, you get feedback. It's not failure, but the school teaches us that it's wrong to fail. And people come out of school so afraid of failing they won't even try. So, you have a plan, you carry it out, you don't get the results you expected, you get feedback. Either your plan was wrong or the way you carried it out was wrong. Just change it. You know Edison, how many experiments for the light bulb?

Helen:

They say a thousand, or 999 or something like that, was it? And then he finally got it.

Mike:

No. Next? Maribel?

Maribel:

From your face, I thought, “Okay, Helen, that was wrong.”

Helen:

A hundred thousand? A million?

Maribel:

I don't know. 500,000? Is it possible?

Mike:

Okay, after 5000 experiments he's interviewed by newspaper reporters who say, “Look, Mr. Edison” (it wasn't Edison, he had a team of people, it wasn't him doing all the experiments), “you’ve failed 5000 times to find the answer to the incandescent lightbulb.” The world was lit by gas lamps and candles by then. “Why don’t you quit?” He said, “I haven't failed, I have successfully found 5000 ways the lightbulb does not work.” He and his team went on to find another 6000 ways the light bulb did not work. After 11,000 experiments, he lit up a whole city block, 100 bulbs for eight hours. Interviewed again, he said, “I had to succeed, I was running out of finding ways it did not work.” So you do something, you don’t get the results you expected. Great! I've just found another way that doesn't work. But the challenge is, humans don't learn. We keep doing the same thing. Chinese definition of insanity: keep doing the same thing, expecting a different result. Ain't gonna happen, guys. It's like I run at the wall. Okay, so I want to get out the door but I'm running at the wall. Sorry, I'm walking towards the wall. Well, that didn’t work, let me walk a little bit faster. No, that didn’t work so let me run at the wall. Guys, you're never going to get through the wall unless you're driving a tank. Stop running at the wall. Just change it a little bit.

Maribel:

What are the other…? I was just wondering because you said five words. And the first one is failing.

Mike:

A couple of words. Failing — there’s no such thing as failing, there’s just feedback. Problems. The Chinese say everybody has 64 problems. As you get rid of one, along comes another one. The challenge is, don't get 65. I often ask people, “Do you wish you had less problems? Or no problems? Well, there's a place not that far from where I live and there's people there who don't have any problems. Would you like to stay there?” Some people say Yes and some people ask, where is it? It’s the cemetery. The only people who don't have problems is well, they’re dead! That's it. Jim Rohn used to say don't ask for less problems, wish for more solutions. So when you say ‘problem’ the mind goes, “Really? Another one? I've got enough.” So look at them as challenges. So the mindset is different. A problem is how can we get away from it? Challenge is how can we overcome it? So your mindset’s really different. The other thing is, I'm not particularly religious so I don't want to go into the religious thing. Let's say, assuming there's a higher power. The higher power doesn't care if you're rich or poor, happy, sad, whatever. The higher power is interested in your character. Your character is built under pressure. So challenges are sent to us to help us to grow. Brian Tracy says problems come not to obstruct but to instruct. When we have a goal, something we want to achieve, the world is going to do two things. One, it’s going to check to see if we're serious. So they're going to put an obstacle in the way and if you quit, the world says Maribel wasn't serious. She was just playing around. Okay, so Maribel’s not serious. But Maribel’s a little bit serious, she will go over, under it, round it, through it, whatever it takes, and on the way she will learn a lesson. She will gain knowledge that she needs to know to move on to the next step. And the world goes, “Hmm, Maribel’s a little bit serious.” And a little while later they say, “Let's check how Maribel’s doing. Let's give her another problem, challenge, obstacle.” And Maribel’s still focused on the goal and she will go over it, round it, through it, whatever it takes, and learn the lesson on the way because there is a knowledge she needs to move forward. And, the world’s just checking guys. It's not trying to screw you. It's not trying to trip you up. There's something in there you need to learn to be able to move forward. If you don't learn it the first time around, it will come back bigger. And every time you don't learn the lesson, it comes back bigger. The world’s say, “You need to learn this. Okay, you ain't learning? We're gonna keep giving you this until you learn.” And people keep burrowing their head into the sand, saying, “No, not me. Not my fault.” Does that make sense?

Helen:

It does, and you said you're not religious but that sounds like a very spiritual way, I would say, of looking at the world.

Mike:

I've been told I'm spiritual. The first person who said it, I said I'm not religious. He said I didn't say religious, I said spiritual. Okay, I suppose there's a difference.

Maribel:

Helen, do you have any other questions or shall we move on to the last one?

Helen:

I think we could go on for hours but I think we should move on.

Maribel:

Alright. So Mike, I'm going to ask you the final question that we ask to all of our guests here on the show. The word AudaciousNess, which is the name of our podcast, the audacious part relates to having the audacity to come up with a goal in the first place, and the word ‘ness’ is used to describe a spit of land, which juts out into the sea. So it's kind of like solid ground surrounded by constant tumultuous motion of water. So for us, audaciousness means having a solid grounding on which to practice your audacity. So the question is, while you are pursuing all your goals, living your life and becoming your potential, where do you get the solid grounding to continue while everything else is in motion? How do you stay grounded in your vision, despite what everything life throws at you?

Mike:

The foundation is values. The foundation of everything is your values. I grew up with my parents’ values 70-odd years ago. We learn our values by the time we’re four. So my values, I would say, integrity, doing the right thing in an honourable way, that's what I believe. Respect, treat everybody with respect. Be honest and upfront, knowledgeable and helpful. So whatever I do, I'm always trying to help people. So these are the foundations and I know what I'm in the process of achieving — I almost said trying there! — what I want, why I want it. I have a certain amount of knowledge that, if I don't share it, in the not too distant future it's going to be lost. I read a book a little while ago, actually I didn't get past the first page, but the first page has three numbers. First number was 168. That's the number of hours in a week. Second number was 480, the number of minutes in an eight hour day. And the third number was 960. It’s the approximate number of months you're going to live. It probably needs to be extended a little bit, but I counted up the number of months I’ve already lived and took it away from 1960. Oh my God, if I'm going to live to about 80 years of age, which I’m not but let's just say 80 years of age, I've got seven Christmases left, seven Easters, seven birthdays. That's it. I’ve got seven more Marches and I'm done. It really puts things into perspective. So there's a number of things I want to accomplish before I shuffle off this mortal coil. So I love what I do, I love helping people. I’m on a goal to help 100,000 people change their lives. Last time I counted there was about 50,000, but I know it's more than that because I’ve had people come up to me and say, “Oh, that stuff you shared with me I've shared with my family and my relatives and whatever.” So I have no idea how to keep count. And that was my goal — that I positively impact at least 100,000 people.

Helen:

I think you've impacted two people here, Mike. And that is a very audacious goal, I have to say. I've thoroughly enjoyed listening to you. I could listen to you for hours.

Maribel:

Yes. And when you help others and impact others it's exponential because some people will be listening to our conversation in the podcast and they will learn from that and they will tell others, so you will never know. It's not gonna be 100 people it's gonna be more.

Mike:

Right, but people need to take action. A lot of people focus on activities. Say if you want to promote the business, you say, “Okay, I'm going to phone 10 people a day, send 10 emails, meet 10, whatever.” What's the results you want to get? You measure the activities but you focus on the results. “I want to get one new person into my business this week.” Okay, good. Do whatever is necessary to get one new person into your business. Measure what it takes and then see what worked and what didn't work. But don't focus on activities. Focus on the results you want to get. I was working with a couple of guys from life insurance and they had people to make cold calls. And I said okay, you ask them to make 15 calls a day, 20, whatever and they said, Yes. Okay, waste of time, money, effort. What's the result you want to get? Well, the result is three meetings a day, five days a week. I said, Okay, so tell them I want three meetings a day, five days a week. If you do it in 15 calls or 1500, I don't care. But all they’re doing is wasting money. Did you make your 20 calls today. Yes. Did we get any meetings? No. Okay, good. What's the point? Guys, we'll just take money and flush it down the toilet. Focus on results, not on measured activities, but say, “This is what I want to achieve.” And do whatever is necessary to achieve it.

Helen:

A good point. Very good piece of advice. Thank you.

Maribel:

Thank you so much for having agreed to have this conversation with us, Mike. It was amazing.

Mike:

My pleasure.

Helen:

Thank you.

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About the Podcast

AudaciousNess
A solid grounding on which to practice your audacity.
AudaciousNess showcases individuals who have set themselves bold, audacious goals and have worked to achieve them. Our purpose is to inspire people to act with the courage to create a positive impact in the world.

Through interviewing 'regular people' about their audacious goals, we highlight the fact that role models are everywhere. Each and every one of us can have an impact in some way. Our goal is to enable a courageous community that honours their genius and lives their calling.

The name 'AudaciousNess' has two components: audacious, meaning 'bold', and ness, meaning 'a strip of land projecting into a body of water'. We believe having a solid grounding on which to practice your audacity is crucial, or, in the words of the great philosopher king Marcus Aurelius (Meditations, 4.49):

"Be like the promontory against which the waves continually break, but it stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it."

About your hosts

Maribel Ortega

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I help women find their worth and be confident so that they can use their voice, speak up, take new opportunities and ultimately lead fulfilled lives.

Helen Strong

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I run an eco-friendly, vegan B&B in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. This is just one of the many audacious goals I've pursued in my lifetime.