Philip McKernan works with entrepreneurs and business leaders all over the world. When people are seeking clarity about their future or want to move through roadblocks, seen and unseen, they call Philip. As a speaker he has inspired and challenged the Canadian Olympic Team and The Pentagon to name a couple.
What separates Philip from a lot of coaches, speakers and gurus is originality. He brings new conversations to the table and spends an obscene amount of time thinking and challenging the status quo, instead of simply repackaging business & life hacking strategies. Today, Philip talks about pursuing people’s truths, delving into the core to understand problems and focusing on how important self worth is.
Key Points From This Episode:
- Philip tells us what set him on the course to doing what he does today.
- Find out when Philip realized he was not living the life he was meant to, at the core.
- Hear Philip’s thoughts on fear and the things that hold people back from living in alignment.
- Learn why Philip believes no one can ever fail at doing what they are destined to do.
- Philip talks to us about low self-worth and how it impacts people.
- Philip shares his number one question in helping people recognize and understand their own behaviors towards others.
- Understand why Philip focuses on the origin of a problem rather than on the outcome.
- Find out how Philip uncovered his gift.
- Learn how Philip gets himself out of his comfort zone to take action in new areas.
- Hear why Philip feels strongly about people doing things on earth not only for themselves.
- Find out who had the most profound impact on Philip’s life.
- Understand why Philip believes it’s necessary for being to go through their pain.
- Hear about significant events in Philip’s life that led him to who he is, and where he is.
- Find out what’s next for Philip McKernan.
- And much more!
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
Philip McKernan — http://philipmckernan.com/
Philip’s Twitter – @PhilipMcKernan
Philip’s Vlog – http://philipmckernan.com/vlog/
Philip’s Book, Rich on Paper Poor On Life – https://www.amazon.com/Rich-Paper-Poor-Life-Meaning/dp/1492758094/
Philip’s Book – Dead man walking: A journey from mindset to soul set – https://www.amazon.com/DEAD-MAN-WALKING-Journey-Mindset-ebook/dp/B009KA3CTM/
Cole Hatter – http://colehatter.com/
Cole’s event in San Diego, Thrive – http://attendthrive.com/
Jayson Gaignard –http://www.jaysongaignard.com/
Philip’s Retreat, Brave Soul – http://philipmckernan.com/product/bravesoul/
Philip’s Film, Give and Grow – http://giveandgrow.com/
“PM: Ultimately, everybody that's had a serious wake-up call, if they choose to act in an aligned way and authentic way as a result of it, all they simply do — All they simply do, if I can wrap it up in one sentence is they simply give themselves permission to do the shit they've always wanted to do all their life. That's it.”
[0:00:23.2] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to The Fail on Podcast where we explore the hardships and obstacles today’s industry leaders face on their journey to the top of their fields through careful insight and thoughtful conversation. By embracing failure, we’ll show you how to build momentum without being consumed by the result. Now, please welcome your host, Rob Nunnery.
[0:00:50.2] RN: Hey there, and welcome to the podcast that believes if you want to create the life of your dreams, then embracing failure by taking urgent and bold action is the only way. Today we’re sitting down with Phil McKernan. We’re here in the Bahamas on the island of Eleuthera. Just a little bit more about Philip, he's an inspirational speaker, writer, and filmmaker. He's worked with celebrities, very well-known entrepreneurs, Olympic and pro athletes, and even high-ranking government officials.
We’ll be chatting about how to gain clarity around what you are actually on this planet to do. How living in unaligned life will leave you with nothing but regret, and how it absolutely impossible to fail if you are actually pursuing your true gifts and calling, and obviously much much more. First is stay up-to-date on all the Fail On Podcast interviews and key takeaways from each guest. Go to failon.com and sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of the page.
[0:1:50.6] RN: Hey there, and welcome to the Fail on Podcast. I am really excited for a couple reasons today. One is — I don’t know. This might be the first podcast beachside in Eleuthera, in the Bahamas. I’m sitting here with Mr. Philip McKernan. He's an inspirational speaker, writer, and filmmaker. He's got one of the biggest hearts of anybody that I know. He told me the fail stuff. No, but he was really able to help me get through a tough transitional period in my life that actually led me to start Fail On. So for that, thank you Philip, and it's an absolute honor to have you on the Fail on Podcast. Welcome.
[0:02:21.7] PM: Thank you. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
[0:02:23.5] RN: You have got it. For some context in the setting, we’re staring off into this beautiful, crystal clear, the picturesque view that you would imagine when sitting in the Bahamas, and we've got piña coladas. We’re partying today.
Just to get back into it. Having worked with celebrities, billionaires, Olympic athletes, high-ranking government officials, what set you on the course to be doing what you're doing today and what is it that you actually do?
[0:02:49.1] PM: I think at some level I believe as corny and this clichés as it sounds, I do believe at some level I was put on this earth to do what I do now and I think I did everything in my power to not see it, to complicate my life, to head down avenues and paths that actually were almost bringing me in the opposite direction of who I was. I think I failed and floundered and meandered my way through so much of my life. I mean I'm 44 years old now. By the way when I say this, I’m not trying to imply that I’m at some perfect destination even though right now it's hard to argue that one in a physical context.
I think I spend probably most of my life trying to be anything but me, like anybody but Philip McKernan, and I think probably the most powerful thing I did was I actually just stopped and it wasn't a moment or a day, but it was a period of my life where I stopped and I allowed the pain and the realization that I was lost and I wasn't happy grip me and consume me to some extent. A lot of people today, and I was one of them, which I was staying so busy and I was running and running and running, and of course I was running from something I did know what that was. For me, it was just the realization that who I am and who I'm trying to be and who I’ve become is not a reflection of who I am at the core.
I stopped, and number one is I had to recognize the pain of that. Number two is start to consider the cost of that if I didn’t do anything about it. Then number three, in no particular order, was actually delving in and saying, “Okay. Forget about what's next. Forget about living in the now. Who the fuck am I? Who is Philip McKernan at the core? Am I the story I’ve been telling myself? Am I the byproduct of this surface story, like my name is Philip and I grew up here, and I have two older brothers and whatever, or is there something deeper? The reality was there’s something way deeper. When I started to uncover that, then I started to show up using that and allowing that to be a part of myself in a way that was never there before.
[0:04:42.2] RN: We’re probably — I don’t know. Maybe a few hundred yards from the airport and we got a plane landing right now. If you hear a little background noise, that's an airplane landing not far from here, and if you hear another clink or some ice, that's Mr. Philip drinking his piña colada. Don’t mind us.
[0:04:58.9] PM: Are we trying to piss people off? We’re trying to actually inspire them here.
[0:05:02.7] RN: Maybe a little bit of both.
What you said there was interesting in terms of knowing in your core that you were living the life that you are meant to and you weren't being who you are at the core. Tell me more about that moment. How were you able recognize that? Was it a gut feeling? Was it something intellectual, or what?
[0:05:23.3] PM: I'd love to tell you it was more proactive, and I think there was a bit of proactiveness in it and I am. Typically, unfortunately, in the world that we live in today, men and women have to almost find that they’re reacting to that place. In other words, they hit a place of lowness. They hit a place of depression. It manifests itself physically, mentally, emotionally. In other words, they hit a wall.
I have this idea of writing a book. I'm just about to give it away for the first time ever publicly, but this idea of writing a book called Wake-up Call and the idea of this book is inspired with the question you just asked. For somebody who says, “What is that? It sounds interesting. What is it?” I said, “It would be basically interviewing people who’ve had a type of wake-up call and some type of physical, mental, or emotional sledgehammer or wall, and who they were before, what happened? As they move through it, what did they do as a result?
For example, I would interview people who’ve had a serious physical ailment that one could argue was brought on by ultimately a lifetime of misalignment. Somebody has some mental or emotional kind of breakdown, which again is brought on by a series of misalignments or longevity of misalignment in the life, like doing shit that they weren’t meant to do, and then what they do.
Here's the very basic so no one ever has to write by the book by the way if it does go live. All of your audience can just basically, “Here's the beginning, middle, and end all wrapped up in one thing,” is ultimately everybody that's had a serious wake-up call, if they choose to act in an aligned way and authentic way as a result of is, all they simply do — All they simply do. If I can wrap it up in one sentence, is they simply give themselves permission to do the shit they've always wanted to do all their life. That's it.
I've interviewed enough people to know that there is — I’m simplifying it for obvious reasons, but there is some commonality, like if somebody says, “I have nothing to lose at that point, so I decided to open up the pizza parlor,” or “Nothing to lose, so I end up writing the book.” “I had nothing to lose, and I told her I loved her and asked her to marry me,” and whatever it was. Ultimately, I think, sometimes — And it's unfortunate that we have to waste — You asked me what do I actually do now.
I suppose in a way, I'm trying to wake people up. I’m trying to wake people up to the realities in which they exist in and letting them know and give them permission and assisting them to get clear on, number one; that it doesn’t need to be that way, and sometimes we settle for ordinary where it doesn’t need to be. It can be more extraordinary. It can be whatever. I help guide people in a coaching mentoring capacity to make those decisions and transition into a place of more alignments, so they love what they do, they love who they are, and they love who they’re with.
[0:07:46.2] RN: What do you think is holding most people back from living in alignment?
[0:07:50.6] PM: I think there’s a few things. I think people use fear, and I think fear plays a part for sure. The most common one I’ve found is people almost feel undeserving. They don't feel that they deserve. They’ll talk a great, they'll have the vision boards, they'll write their mantras, they’ll write their vision statement, they'll create their goals and dreams and the aspirations in writing or, and as I said, in a vision board of some sort or whatever. Often, deep down, they don't really feel that either, one; it's available to them. Two; is they’re good enough to deserve that. For various different reasons; stories, lack of belief, self-worth is a huge huge challenge in the world today. Some might call it confidence, but self-worth is a foundational thing that I can't speak for you Rob.
As a kid, no one ever took me by the hand guided me to understand what my self-worth meter was and how to reconcile it and how to maybe shift it. When I shift my self-worth and I started to believe I deserve more, I'm worth more, and therefore what I do is I invite and I go after things in my life that represent that. To me, self-worth is a huge one.
Sometimes people are just genuinely scared of actually achieving something that really is part of who they are because they rather run the risk in failing doing something that's not aligned than run the risk of actually uncovering what they're here to do, because, fuck, if you fail doing what you're here to do, there's nothing left. There’s nothing left.To me, actually, really, sometimes people are really afraid of how powerful they could be.
[0:09:14.7] RN: That brings an interesting question. Can you fail at what you're here to be doing?
[0:09:20.2] PM: Never. Never been asked that question, an extraordinary question, and I don't believe it's even remotely possible, because what you're here to do is literally what you're here in this earth to do. It might be singular but it can evolve into something. For example, I’d love to tell you I woke up someday, I realized I was misaligned — aligned my life to do what I do now, and I will literally — As you said before we went on air, I'll be doing this to the day I die. How I do it will pivot and shift and change, it will be a book, it will be a movie, it will be a documentary, it will be a podcast, whatever it's going to be. I don't know. What I’m here to do will never change from this day forth.
Yet my dad pulled me aside one day, and I've never shared this publicly before, and said, “What you doing? You’re pissing your live away. You keep jumping from thing to thing to thing.” I said, “ I don't see is as that. I see it as I’m experimenting. I see that I'm not willing to settle when I know in my heart that this is not aligned. I try something else.” Would I love to nail it in day one? Of course, I would. The other option was to settle for something I wasn't happy with.
Going back to your question, I absolutely believe in my heart that it's not possible to fail when you fully align yourself to what you're destined to do, your calling, your life’s purpose — Whatever you want to call that. I just don't think you can fail because it's such — Unfortunately, the answer to this question for a lot of us is we meet very few, if any. Do you ever meet somebody that’s just doing what they're meant to do? Whether it’s cleaning the toilet, sweeping the — Raking the beach, sailing a boat, speaking on a stage, and you just look at them and they're not trying to persuade you. They’re not too slick. They’re just — You just know that they’re aligned. Albeit for this moment in their life, and they can't fail. Even a really good artist’s worst fucking painting, it’s just majestic.
[0:11:00.3] RN: Sure. I guess that makes — That simplifies it, right? For most people that don't know what they should be here for, if you can't fail at what you're meant to do, your whole mission should be finding what you're here there, right?
[0:11:11.9] PM: Absolutely.
[0:11:13.1] RN: I think we’ve talked about this in the past. For me —
[0:11:16.7] PM: Can I interrupt? One thing — My apologies to do this.
[0:11:17.6] RN: Yeah, absolutely. No. Go ahead.
[0:11:19.1] PM: Here's one of the challenges. What you said makes — For me, makes total sense. In fact — But if I had heard that 10 years before, I probably would have, “God! Yeah, I feel like I'm sitting at the bottom of the mountain,” and Rob is really describing Mount Everest, and it's this insurmountable thing, and I'm not that fit and I don't have oxygen and I’m in my Speedo's and, trust me, you don't want to see me in my Speedo’s, but I don't have the right equipment. I don't the right thing. It's not the right timing. I’m not fit enough. I don't of the right team, et cetera, and I’m looking at this Mt. Everest and the reality is that it doesn't need to be Mt. Everest. I think that people put this massive emphasis on finding this purpose and they feel it’s something like — And it’s typically at the end of your nose.
Here's one of the biggest challenges is — I just use this example for the first time the other day, most people don't want to see or don't want to acknowledge their progression. For example, if I get a bulb, like a daffodil bulb and I bury it in the ground, or you give it to somebody and they bury it in the ground. Okay, good for you. Good job.
The first thing often people say as, “Yeah, but there’s nothing. I can’t see anything.” “Yeah, but it's under there. You buried it. You did that.” “Yeah, but I can't see anything.” Then I phone them and I called them over to my house and I say, “Hey, look. Look the greenness that burst through the soil, and life, and progression,” and whatever you want to call that, using this in the context of your life.
They say, “Look. Look. Look at the greenness. Look at the progression. Look at the life that you’re help bring into this world.” They go, “Yeah, but where's the flower? Where’s the yellow flower for that?” Then then eventually I bring them over to the yellow flower and they go, “Yeah, but it’s going to wither up and die.” They’re almost determined not to see their progression. They’re almost determined not to see their growth.
What that does is when you can’t see the first 5%, the next 10% has no right showing up, won't show up for you because you don't appreciate the first five. I’m not just talking about straight gratitude here. I'm talking about recognizing the courage that we all have inherently within us, honoring it bit by bit. If you can’t see it, then you’d say, “Oh, I don't have the courage. I don't have the wisdom. I don't — whatever, and I compare myself to the next people.” That's hugely detrimental when you're pursuing something, like purpose, or your gift, or passionate, or whatever you want to call it.
[0:13:16.6] RN: You talked a little bit about self-worth earlier. Why is it that so many people have such low self-worth? Is it the way parents are raising children nowadays? What is that?
[0:13:26.3] PM: Oh man! I think it's a number of things. I think number one is, as I said, going back is the formal educational system is too busy shoving all sorts of shit into your face that, number one, you’ll never use, and number two is you’ll never use it, so you don’t actually need it arguably. It does not really teach you about the foundational stuff, like self-worth.
When I speak in schools and I work with young people, my first go-to is self-worth. I don't ask them off the bat, because sometimes they don't understand the concept of it necessarily in its true essence. I think it's not brought up in life. Two is how can you value yourself when you're too busy wearing masks? How can you value yourself when you’re too busy trying to live a life to please your parents, to please society? How can you really value and love who you are when you’ve become so divided in your soul because what you want intellectually and what you want in your soul are different things?
I just think we've become very disconnected from ourselves, or in some cases we’ve just never discovered who we are and therefore it leads us to this huge massive human identity crisis that’s going on in the world. If you want to understand what you're on this earth to do, I give you one challenge, one invitation, is just get to know who you are. You understand who you are intellectually and emotionally, not just intellectually and emotionally.
What you're here to do? Who you are? What is an extension of you? How you can impact the world? What your legacy ultimately is going to be? What you gift is? All of those things are a byproduct of understanding who you are personally.
[0:14:54.7] RN: What's the best way that you found to go about that? Because I know for me — This is me being pretty vulnerable, is that a lot of times in social settings I'll find myself shifting to somebody else's personality and their likes and interest once because it will help me connect with them and that will make me be less different than them, so they’ll accept me more, right?
[0:15:14.7] PM: Yup.
[0:15:15.2] RN: When I do that, it takes me away from who I am as a person and it takes away from what I value. What would you say to somebody that has a similar issue?
[0:15:24.2] PM: First of all, thank you for being not just aware of it, but thanks from the courage to share it in in this type of setting, because ultimately you're embarking on a journey of inspiring people through the lens of a podcast, one medium that you're using. Most people out there in the world where they’re in that position, they don't see that being vulnerable, sharing philosophies and vulnerabilities, go together. For you, today, thank you for doing that.
I remember years ago, my dad encouraging me and putting me under pressure not intentionally, but unintentionally, to read newspapers. One of my many challenges is dyslexia, so reading was just not an option for me, and even today it's incredibly slow. When I asked him, I said, “Why do you think I should do it?” He said, “You need to relate to people.”
My dad is an uneducated man, in a formal sense,so he used to read the newspaper all the time. If he went into a public setting or a business setting and someone talked about that the All Blacks playing rugby, or they talked about the Blue Jays winning the whatever, he could relate at some level, and it was his gateway of connecting with people.
I get the theory behind that. I get the mechanics behind that, and I adopted that in my own way even though I wasn’t into newspapers. I pretend to know something about something. Just quite frankly, not just today, know about it. I couldn't have given a shit about it.
Now it's a case if I sit down with someone for a drink and he’d go, “What do you think the Blue Jays win the other day?” I said, “Listen. I think baseball’s stupid fucking game.” I may not be quite as direct, too rude or obnoxious, but, “I don't follow. No interest. Saw game. Hands down, I don’t even believe it should be a sport,” for example, if I know them pretty well, and they’ll go, “Shit! That’s pretty interesting.” It didn’t mean I liked that answer, but at least I let them know where I stand. If I cannot connect with somebody in an authentic way, like through my truth, do I really want to connect with them? The answer to that question is no.
I think first and foremost is recognizing and understanding it. The biggest thing is most people's question would be; how do you help someone change from, let’s just say, diluting who they are, wearing a mask, albeit temporarily or in a longer space, to change that behavior, so when they walk into a public setting they don't feel that they compromise, dilute who they are to fit. How would you help somebody pivot and change? That’s the wrong question. That’s the second/third question. My number one question is; where did you start doing it? Why did you start doing it? Where did it show up? so you start to understand its origin.
People are so forward-facing today, Rob, in the world, so you’ve got two camps, you’ve got the living in the now camp, typically, and you’ve got the future camp. Future goal setting, this, this, and this, living in the future, manifesting the future, trying to find the next secret even though there’s no such thing as a secret. Then you’ve got these other people who are saying, trying to live in the now. Is living in the now perfect? No, it's not fucking perfect, because if my now is shit, I don't want to live in it, okay? I certainly don't want to live in it for long periods of time.
If you can understand where did this come from, a number things happen. Number one is you get a really wonderful intellectual perspective. You get an emotional perspective, and dare I say it, maybe we can start to engage with the C-word, the big C-word that society talks a lot about, but we very seldom internalize it. The word I'm talking about is compassion. That when we start to look at our past, rather than judging yourselves as a bad father, a bad mother, bad this, bad that, or bad anything, we realize actually the reason we are who we are today is because of our personal narrative.
When you go back in the past and understand, “Hey, when I was eight, I remember doing this. I was trying to fit in. I was trying to talk to my dad who is very distant, and I tried to talk to him about a subject that didn't matter to me, and I hate it, but it was the only way I could connect to him.” Really what it is, it shows you an insight into a small boy who is doing his best at the age of eight to connect with his father and then internalize that and said, “Hey, I can only connect with humans when I pretend to be not myself.” Am I making any sense here?
[0:19:13.5] RN: 100%, yeah.
[0:19:14.4] PM: That's just an insight. The point is that — And I build — This is not an advertising for my work. I’d never come on to a podcast and trying to — I built an experience that brings people back into their past for this very purpose so they can understand intellectually and emotionally who they are and then they can pivot that story, they can influence, not control, and rewrite into the future with absolute understanding, intellectually, emotionally, how they've been built who they are. Therefore, it doesn't need to haunt their future.
[0:19:42.2] RN: We even has this brief conversation before we got online where you asked me if I get nervous before I come on a podcast, and I said no, and especially in person like in this kind of setting, because it feels like we’re having a conversation. Whereas if it’s just an audio only Skype type of interview, I get a bit more nervous because I can't read the person, I can't see them. It’s a bit harder to build rapport over the phone only.
I said no. I don’t really get nervous in this setting, but over the phone, a little bit. If i’m talking to groups of people in person, I get extremely nervous to where my voice is quivering, my hands are shaking. I told you what that stem from was from a college class I had where I did a presentation and it was terrifying for me. I was up there in front of the class talking to them, hands shaking, voice quivering, it maybe felt like half an hour, but I was probably up there for five minutes. It's just funny, and you said it, it’s like, “Why do we hold on to these negative stories we tell ourselves and we don't even acknowledge the positive things that we’ve done?”
[0:20:38.9] PM: Totally. Even though on that situation, I said if you continue to track that backwards, find the origin, the outcome was the college situation, but what happened before that? For example, and you just gave me — There’s an example that just came up there a minute ago. I was speaking to somebody whose confidence has — They’re very much in the public domain and the confidence has been, I wouldn’t say shattered, but deeply severed over the last while. They gave me an example of this, and I said, “Give me an example.” They said, “They had to do a public talk. They did the talk in front of 600 or 700 people and the body language, the beginning, the middle, and the end was a fucking disaster, basically. Let’s just fast-track the story.
I said, “Okay. Great.” I hear you focusing on the outcome, like there was a disaster and therefore it was your fault and you weren't the right guy and you shouldn’t have been on that stage. It was a shitty talk. Ultimately , it represents how you deeply feel about yourself to some extent.
I said, “Let’s just go beyond — What happened just before the talk?” He said, “I got up there.” I said, “No. No. What happened just before that?” Turns out that about 30 to 40 minutes before he literally gets on the stage, he was influenced by a so-called — I'm doing quote unquote here with my fingers, “well-known speaker” to pivot his story, to pivot his talk 30 minutes beforehand. In the words, this gentleman didn't just give his advice, he basically influenced this man to really rewrite his talk before he got up, so it was out of alignment with who this man is.
If you keep tracking it back to its origin, what you’ll find is sometimes the trigger, the memory remembers the college situation because it was — It amplified the problem. It amplified the situation. You got embarrassed in front of your peers. It really amplified it.
However, most likely, the core existed well before that. The core of the issue existed. If you can get back to the core, what you can do is you can just start at not fully dissolve, but start to dissolve the significance of it and realized that it's not just about groups and you can almost rewire and tell yourself a slightly different story.
[0:22:38.5] RN: Are you telling yourself the true story? Just a different story, or are you suggesting that you actually rewrite it and kind of tell yourself stuff that’s not necessarily true?
[0:22:38.5] PM: No no no, but you’re really clear. You never — Sorry. There’s people out there who believe that if you just rewrite the story, tell yourself a different story, repeat it 1000 times, write it 1000 times, it will change the story. I think that's complete horse shit. I do not believe in that methodology. I think it's fundamentally flawed. I think it's inauthentic. I think eventually it will come back to haunt you eventually down the line, and it will come back way more dramatic. You only tell yourself the truth.
Sometimes the story we tell ourselves isn’t necessarily always the reality. Let me give you an example of one that just comes to mind. One of my close friend, called Shane, from Ireland, and one of the things the Shane didn't want to do is he didn't want to have kids. I remember we went — I don’t know. How, over lunch, we did a deeper dive in this and I said, “Shane, I hear what you’re saying and you're telling me all the so-called right stuff, like, “Oh, you want your freedom,” and all these kind of stuff, which I think is unfortunate that people think that if you have kids you lose your freedom. I don't think it's that case at all, personally.
I said, “I hear that, but I just don’t feel it from you.” He said, “Yeah, it was also my dad's influence.” I said, “What do you mean?” He goes, “My dad really regrets, to some extent, having us. He loves, but he regrets it because it really prevented him from becoming an entrepreneur.” I went, “He told you that?” He goes, “Yeah, pretty much.” I said, “Did he tell you that?” He goes, “Yeah.” He said, “This is exactly what he said, he said — And I asked him one day, “Would you like to have been an entrepreneur? Would you like to have gone out on your own?” He goes, “Yeah, but then I had you guys.” I said, “Okay, Shane. That's a slightly different variation or what you told me. I'm just curious where is the truth.” He goes, “Well, that's what my perception of it.” “I think you should have a conversation with him.”
He went and talked to his dad, and his dad nearly died. His dad nearly died when he heard Shane's interpretation of what he said. He said, “Number one is, I can’t remember the conversation. Number two; if I even gave you this sense that you, my two children, who I love to bits,” or three, I think they ended up having three, “had any influence in a negative —” He said, “Over my life. If I didn't do this or didn’t do that, that’s my choice. It was never because of you guys.”
Shane, actually — It was like someone lift this black veil off his face. Somebody gave him this 10,000 hours of therapy in one and it didn't fully make his decision to have a child, or not but it freed him to make an authentic decision as opposed to being led by something he was telling himself was true. He now has two children. I would say — I would hazard a guess that if he’s sitting here today, he would say that — And he wouldn't send them back. He wouldn't send them back.
[0:25:19.5] RN: That's an interesting — It’s an interesting take. Just in terms of how you got started in this — And that what you're doing today; inspiring people, helping them uncover their gift, their true story. I guess, how did you uncover that gift for yourself, because I think a lot of people out there struggle with finding out why they are on this planet? How are you able to navigate that and find out why you're here?
[0:25:45.0] PM: It’s interesting. It’s an interesting question. How did you uncover that for yourself? To some extent, I didn't, which may not be the answer anybody wants. To me, and I think it's still uncovering, and I think the thing about me, the one thing I will say, if you scour the Internet, you rarely ever hear me say I’m very good at something, but I'm very good at taking action in the absence of clarity. I have a saying or a quotes that I live by, “In the absence of clarity, take action.” When you're unsure about something, you execute.
I don't mean the minute you’re unsure, you execute. I’m saying you sit with it yes, your pros and cons, you can sit with it, whatever. Just this over-analyzing, is so paralyzing and so exhausting quite frankly.
[0:26:23.5] RN: There's so much stuff out there that makes you do that stuff.
[0:26:26.3] PM: Totally.
[0:26:26.8] RN: Like, “Do these exercises and you'll find out your passion, or your purpose.”
[0:26:30.0] PM: No. To me, I think it's experimenting. In mean, for you, I said this the other night over a drink or over dinner is like I just really admire the fact that you're putting yourself out there and you might say things like, “Well, it’s other people’s stories, or I’m interviewing.” No. You're putting yourself out there.
I would say to you or anybody else, this could just be a steppingstone. This could be it. This could be it. You might do podcasting for the rest your life, but you are doing something. The challenge and the frustration becomes when you meet people who are not sure who they are, they’re not sure what they want to do. They just stay paralyzed and don't want to do anything, and they’re victimized by their own individual story that they’re so hell-bent and holding on to.
How I discovered it? I think getting back to this wonderful concept of pain. Pain is a wonderful ally. None of us want to experience it, but when we do, it typically tells us something. It typically tells us that the coral that you just touched again, one of the guys got badly stung, is dangerous. It’s bad for you. Don't go near it. Pain, when you inauthentically pursue something and it blows up in your face, there's a message in that. When you get your heartbroken when someone stabs you in the back and you are courageous enough to say, “Is that person just a bad person? Did they do something bad to me, or did I just not want to see the red flags beforehand?”
There are these incredible gaps in life to find out that actually you had a bigger part to play and take responsibility without blame. For me, I think, to be fair, I've taken action and I’ve done things, and I was in the coffee business for five years, I was in the wine business for five years, the vitamin business for five years, I went into real estate. I wrote a book despite being dyslexic. It scared the shit out of me. I’ve experimented with my own life. My life's been like a lab in a sense.
I think through — I'd love to say it was through more proactive and knowing and being clear and being a visionary and being super smart. I think actually —
[0:28:18.8] RN: We all know that’s not the case.
[0:28:20.0] PM: No. That’s absolutely not the case. I think more through process of elimination. Here's the thing, Rob, I think deep down I’ve always known this is what I'm here to do. I've always been, the signposts always there, always there. As a kid, I was the guy that people came to when they were unclear. When I was a kind of teenager, people would confide in me. When I was, later in my life, you know, people who had challenges would come and chat to me. I think the signposts were always there. I just never want to see them
[0:28:47.7] RN: For context, you’ve always felt this. You’ve always kind of known, but when did you actually started it professionally? I'd start doing this professionally — I started coaching — This is, again, this experimenting thing. I had a job i didn't believe I was good enough to do. I didn't believe I had the qualification to do. I didn’t have the academic backgrounds, because I have no academic background whatsoever.
What I did do, and almost no one knows about this, I’d meet somebody in a pub once a week for six weeks for an hour and I would coach them. They would pay me something and I’d give that money to charity. I did this on the side. The problem today is I had somebody sitting in front me one day and I said — I heard him, he talked about playing the guitar. I said, “Oh, you’re a musician.” He goes, “No.” “I thought you played an instrument?” “Yeah, but I had never been paid it.” I went, “Oh, so now you have to get paid in order to be something.”
We've really fucked up the lens in which we honor our talents, our gifts, or give ourselves joy. We believe we cannot be something unless it's monetizable. My view is if you're drawn in your soul needs to be nurtured through music or through something, if you just lean in touch it, lean in and allow it to touch you, it will naturally navigate you to the next step and the next step and the — When I was sitting those pubs, if someone said to me, “McKernan, you’re going to be standing on stage and speaking in different parts the world and you're going to be working with Olympic athletes, millionaires, people with money, people with no money, everybody in between, couples, leaders in business, mainly entrepreneurs. You’re going to be helping them get clear on who they are, what their identity is, what their gift is, how to impact the world and what their legacy is.” I would have said, “What drugs are you on? By the way, I'm so miserable right now, give me some as well.”
I think it can unfold, but you’ve got to do something. You got to get up and give something a go, and if you do 5000 podcasts or two podcasts, you’ve done it. Check, “Now, what's next?
[0:30:34.8] RN: I think that's powerful. Your comment on leaning in to the fear and taking action really embodies what we believe here. With the fail on mantra, it’s if you're not growing, you're not failing, and if you're not growing, you’re not trying, you’re not failing. How do you get yourself outside of your comfort zone to take action in new areas, or do you?
[0:30:55.7] PM: Yeah, I do. I think when I speak on stage, there’s probably nowhere more vulnerable for me is when I'm on stage where I have never yet once done the same keynote speech in my life, which is exhausting as a pain the butt, but it keeps me sharp. I don't mean that I always nailed a keynote and —
[0:31:14.3] RN: You go unprepared?
[0:31:15.7] PM: I do. Less and less as years go on, I do. For example — You interviewed Cole Hatter?
[0:31:20.9] RN: Not yet. No.
[0:31:22.0] PM: Yeah. You’re talking to him.
[0:31:22.4] RN: I’m going to, yeah.
[0:31:23.2] PM: Cole asked me to speak at his event in San Diego; Thrive, and I remember I literally spent days by preparing a keynote that I thought would land further audience, and the night before I sat with 10 of the audience members and was just listening to them and I just could not deliver the keynote, so I decided not just to change the keynote. I literally got up on stage and said, “I want to go back to the people I talked to last night and ask a couple questions.”
Then I went to the floor and I said, “Anybody got a question?” About, say, 9 or 10 people put the hands up. I said, “Great. Everyone come up to the front here.” Actually, in fact — No. Everyone on the stage. Never done this before. Everyone on stage. I just spent the entire hour going one-to-one with people in the audience. The entire keynote was on the wall. People knew, because I had to flick through to the very last leg. I want to show them some of these. You see? I’m not bullshitting. I did actually have actually have a keynote.
To me, there is no greater sense of vulnerability than putting yourself on a stage in front of, in that case, 600 people and throwing descriptors controlled safe slideshow out the window and going live. The reason I did it was not to impress. I did because I was there to serve. If I could implore every one of your listeners to get one thing, or to at least sit with one thing, or come back to one thing, is whatever you pursue— My wish and my hope is that it's in some way aligned to who you are. It's not a steppingstone to something else in the mechanical way.
In other words, “I’m going to do this to make myself enough money so in 10 years then I can do I want to.” I believe that is fundamentally flawed. I have tried that myself. I have witnessed people tried — Half of my clients evolve from that space. It is fundamentally flawed, because if you dishonor yourself and do something that’s not a reflection of your soul for 10 years, think about the confidence erosion. Think about how it erodes your soul. Do something that at least has some alignment.
If there’s one invitation, is like, “Whatever you do, don't make it about you.” Whatever it is you do in this earth, do not make it about you. People go, “What the hell does that mean?” I'd love to tell you, it was a moment, it was a particular type of espresso coffee initially, or whatever it was.
[0:33:27.7] RN: Piña colada?
[0:33:28.1] PM: Piña colada. I wouldn’t mind another one of these, except the barman is just so God damn slow. He’s one of our friends or guests, so we can give him a hard time. It was just this pivot in my life. I just said, “Hang on a second, I’m not here for me. I’m here — I’m just a vessel, a container, a pain in the ass.” Trust me, I can be a ruthless pain the ass when it comes to pursuing people's truth. I get a lot of flag for that, but I'm also extremely compassionate, but I’m actually not here for me. I'm here because I've been put on this earth, and I’m not religious at all, to help other people get clear on who they are and what they're on this planet to do. When I can see a tiny bit of my fingerprint in their journey, tiny — Wow! It’s worth more than any check I've ever received in my life.
[0:34:12.9] RN: Jacqueline and I, my wife, we were talking about this actually, not specifically about this but we're just chatting about you actually and we’re like, “I wonder if it's hard for him,” because you see people, you read people, you feel what they feel in a way, right. We’re like, “I wonder if he did —” Because here on vacation, essentially. Obviously, there's some business being done and stuff, but we’re just wondering, “Is he able to turn that off ever to really just be, or is it always something that's with him?”
[0:34:43.3] PM: No. I’ve been asked that question different ways Never that that way. I think the answer to your questions is no, and I've become — To me — Let's just assume for a moment I have a gift, okay? I think we all do. A gift to something that we should pursue but not something that we should necessarily overly advertise. I’m not going to be running to the front my websites saying, “Hey, my gift is this.” The gift to something that typically is noticed by other people and people say I do have a gift in terms of getting, seeing people for who they are really helping them extract that truth.
I think I’ve spent so much of my life suppressing that gift, and now there is no god damn way I’m going to turn it off. I'm not even going to hit pause. However, it doesn't mean I'm analyzing people when they pick up the right fork with their left hand and all that kind of shit. I’m not into body language. I don't necessarily believe it. I think it’s too mechanical and I don't think it's quite as simple as that.
I think I intensify it when I need to. A great example is I have a trainer I go to once a week in Boulder. He said to me — We were chatting one day, and it was very casual. I’ll never forget, I walked in and he said, “What do you do?” We’re just chatting. I didn't go on about speaking on stage and whatever, and I came in the following week and I was just like, “How are you doing?” It was just — He was looking at me differently and I wonder, “Great. How are you doing?” He goes, “Yeah. Wow! Cool!”
I said, “Yeah, well what?” I said, “I’m not that attractive.” I said, “What are you talking about?” He goes, “Saw you on the internet.” “Whoa! The intensity?” It’s like, “You here and you there?” It’s like, “What?” Like, “Wow! Wow!” I was just thinking, “I just want to workout buddy.” I’m not saying that — What I say is he saw me in a different, like an intensity, so I can turn it on I go really deep. However, in this environment, I tend to not turn it off. I just don't amplify it.
[0:36:23.8] RN: Got it. That's interesting. If you had to pinpoint one person — This might be difficult to do. Who's had the most profound impact on your life and why?
[0:36:34.8] PM: It's easy for me to do that. It's difficult maybe to maybe to confine it to one person. I love — That’s part of my loyalty and my heart wants to say my mom and dad, and of course they have in their own particular way.
If I can actually — I just met my dad. I think my parents brought us up. I never remember the conversation, but I remember them giving us this incredible gift of never ever ever ever treating or seeing or feeling another human being that is better than you. Equally, they also brought us up to never believe we were better than any other human being. I hope that in our own way, myself and my two brothers, honor that as we pursue this world. What that broaden up me — It’s not to say that I haven’t on occasions put people on pedestals, I have, but it's been more temporary.
I think one of the saddest things in the world today is this incessant need as humans, is to put people on a pedestal to look up to people in a way that actually all it does is place us down. I'm not talking about not respecting people, but I'm talking about not putting people on pedestals. I have to thank and acknowledgment parents for that, but I think the person that most people wouldn't necessarily expect me to say is it was a teacher in a school, because I was ridiculed left, right, and center, called lazy, called useless. One teacher took pride and I remember one day confronted me looked at me and go, “Why do you even come to school? Why are you even here?” The same teacher told me another day that, “I mount nothing in the classroom, and therefore I’m going to mount nothing in the classroom of life outside of this school.”
One teacher put his arm around me and not in a physical sense, but on an emotional sense, and it gave me a sacred space to experiment to be. He believed in me when I didn't believe in me, and his name is Trevor Garrett. I did something recently that apparently really moved the audience emotionally and that wasn't necessarily my intent. I did it because I wanted to do it.
I was in Zürich speaking in Switzerland in December and I decided to have the technology in the room. I didn’t know that until I saw somebody make a phone call from stage the day before. I told the story about how Trevor saw something in me that I couldn't see in myself and how he believed in me when everyone else didn't. Almost everybody else in my life at that point didn't, including myself by the way.
I said I've spoken to him once in 25 years and today we’re going to talk to him live from the stage. He knew the call was coming, he didn't know the context, didn’t know anything. I rang him on the spot and, of course, I thought I'd be prepared for the call, because I decided to do this the night before and I was in an absolute and utter mess, and I thanked him in a way that I'd never thanked him before, I mean really thanked him from the bottom my heart.
I would encourage anybody listening to this that, two things, number one is; have you thanked that person that really saw something or believed in you when you didn't, and if you think you have, dig deep and say, “Did you thank them in the way that you really needed to thank them, in a way that almost they needed to be thanked, or was it just some more surface level thing? Secondly is; can you be that person at some level in your life? Most people listen to this, and I'm not speaking for everybody else. Most people would probably all identify at least one person, but that struggle to identify that they could be that person for somebody else and I would encourage you to challenge that, and that's where value comes in, is if you can support one person to believe in themselves when they don't, put your arm around them when they need it the most. Who knows who they're going to be? Who knows the impact they’re going to make? Who knows how huge that move from you is going to make in their lives moving forward?
[0:39:49.7] RN: So simple too, right?
[0:39:51.6] PM: The big stuff is the simple stuff. The problem is we want to complicate the living shit out of this. People don’t want simple answers from me. I spend copious amounts, days, months, years of my life simplifying what I believe has been made way fucking too complex.
[0:40:06.9] RN: Lifting somebody up, telling them — Giving them a compliment. Those are the small things, the simple things that kids remember as adults, right?
[0:40:15.6] PM: Totally.
[0:40:16.1] RN: Isn’t that amazing that something so small as just saying something nice can stick with somebody for their whole life.
[0:40:23.5] PM: If I just fast-forward that story. I rang him in December and I hadn’t seen him, but I’d seen him once in 25 years. I went back to Dublin, in Ireland, from where I’m originally from, and I did a screening. We did launch a documentary late last year, and I did a screening at Dublin and I reached out to him on Facebook and didn't know for sure, but it turns out he turned up with his partner's girlfriend. He was in the audience in this theater in Dublin, this small theater. Maybe — I don’t know. 100 people in the room or whatever, and it was very weird for me doing a screening in my hometown.
Before I started, I said, “First of all, this is a film that I and our team have made,” but I said it's been influenced by people in this room. I said, “To name a few, Trevor Garrett.” I mentioned his name, and it contextualized his impact to me.
The next minute, he stands up from the audience, walks up to the front of the room, and I didn’t know if he’s going to hit me, or speak, or whatever, and he just walked up, put his arms around me. It's interesting, he didn't hug me. He didn't embrace me. He held me, and he held me like he held me in school. This time it was a physical embrace. The last time it was an emotional spiritual embrace. He created this space for me. The two of us just stood there hugging each other. When he parted and I parted, I was a total mass, so I had to turn on the film straight away because I was just — It was like quite a moment. For most people, we wait till that person dies, or we never hunt them down, or find them to thank them.
My evolution — He’s been watching me, Facebook, and twitter, or whatever, meeting me, watches me, and my evolution has been as important for him as it is for me because he knows he's played a part in that. Yeah, it's simple but not always easy to remember, to acknowledge these things along the way.
[0:41:58.8] RN: Did he member you as a student? Is that something — Obviously, it had a big impact on your end, right? At the same time, that time in history, when he was teaching you, did it stick with him throughout all of these years as well?
[0:42:12.0] PM: Yeah, I'd love to say.
[0:42:13.0] RN: Because he teaches a lot of students, right? There’s a lot of kids.
[0:42:15.6] PM: This is a part of me who kind of wants to say, “No. No. I’m sure he didn’t,” or whatever. When we spoke on stage — I didn’t want this to be about me. I said the reason to thank him was to make it about him and also then bring it back to the audience, but he insisted on interrupting me and said, “Philip, but I have to say something,” and he said, “I’ve been watching your journey and there’s always been something special in you.” The answer to your question, he did for sure remember me. Whether it was the same thing he recognized in 50 students, or one, I don't know.
I'd like to think that what he recognized and felt was available in all of us. I do believe that. My coaching method is not one where I feel that I have a 10-step system to live the perfect life, and I think that's one of the frustrating things for people who live very mechanically in their head. They go, “Show me your system and I'll decide whether I want to investment in this or not.”
To me, my view, and I don’t think I’d ever change this, is that you know everything you need to know. You are the person inside who you need to be. Your purpose, your gift, it's already there. However, it needs to be dusted off. It needs to be uncovered, not found. Uncovered. Uncovering is about pairing back what’s already there.
When you talk about finding passion, it could be out in the ocean, it could be on that yacht in the distance, and it could be under the ground in front of us, we need a metal detector to find it in this big massive secret box, and it's on a scroll what you're here to do for the rest your life. To me, it's already within you and there’s something beautiful about recognizing that. Equally frustrating, because if it’s there, it's so close and it can torment you more. It can torment the living shit out of you. Could you just imagine for a moment that actually my gift is already here and that actually it’s probably an inch below the surface and not 10 miles as it sometimes feels?
[0:43:58.9] RN: That brings me to a great point. Talking about tormenting, we talked months ago on the phone actually. It is about my current situation or my situation at that time. There's almost no worse feeling in the world than being in that transitional period. I talked to Jayson Gaignard about it a lot too. He has so much empathy for people that are in that transitional period because he knows how painful it is for people and he's been there as well.
With that being so painful, you had to say one directive or one action item. I know you don't subscribe to courses or 10-step systems, but if you had to just — If you had somebody come to you hurting, wanting to figure out where they're going or who they are, what's one directive that you could give to them that they could actually take action on?
[0:44:38.6] PM: Maybe I'm some sadistic, sick —
[0:44:41.4] RN: I don’t know where we’re going with this.
[0:44:41.4] PM: Maybe they’ve got a thorn sticking on their side. Let’s just use a physical analogy, and that represents the pain. There’s a part of me, and this might sound so weird, but there’s almost part of me that wants to get them to take the thorn and push it in even further. The deeper the pain, the deeper you go within, the more pain that you experience, often the higher you will fly as a result of it. If someone cries, what is our typical go to? Our typical go to as with a child is, “It’s okay. You don’t need to — Shhh. Shhh. Shhh.” I do it myself, okay?
In a group environment there are occasions where when we’re sitting around in our — It’s an immersive experience. Naturally people, we’re talking about deep stuff, tears come. The instant reaction is for somebody in the group to jump up, grab a Kleenex and run to the person to wipe away their tears. Is it because their compassionate? They feel for them? Is it because there’s something going on for them internally? It's always the individual witnessing the pain. They want the tears to stop, because it's stirring them in a way that they don't like.
To me, I don't want to see people in pain. I get absolutely no joy at all. However, however, there is a huge spiritual component and reality to the fact that sometimes we need to experience the pain. As humans, we run from pain. We do not experience pain. Busy people are a classic example of this. I mean super-uber busy people that are filling the space in every inch of their life, and they’ll say they’re trying to be productive. They’re not being productive. They’re not willing to stop and address the pain points they have in their lives, whether it’s out of alignment. Whether they're not happy, whether they’re doing something they don't enjoy, but ultimately it varies different types of misalignment.
To some extent, we need to be in that pain, and sometimes we move too fast. How many people do you know? How many people do I know? I know a lot that have said, “Oh my God! I was such in a bad place two months ago. It's great. I went to a therapist. It’s all deal with. Everything’s fantastic, and you know I’ve dealt with that. You go, “What was it?” “No. I don’t even want to talk — There’s no point talking about it. I’ve dealt with it.”
Guaranteed, they’ve skinned the surface. They haven't landed within — They haven’t transcended deep enough to really embrace it, and they think they've left it in the box behind them, and how unwise and dangerous that is as a strategy.
As much as I'd love to Band-Aid them up and give them a solution and a three-step process, or roadmap, or advice, or some sort of beautiful multivitamin that allows them to relax and see the clarity and sort of beauty? Sometimes I’d say, “You know what? You're in pain right now. You need to be. You need to be,” because this temporary, which is very small in the context of our lifetimes. This temporary two months, six months, 12 months of pain, is nothing than the pain of living an un-lived life over 90 or a hundred years, nothing. That to me is minimal. It's a blip. It’s a blink of an eye.
I went through a lot of pain. What I'd love to wish back, “Could I be who I am today without the pain?” No. It’s not possible. I think the pain has made me as good as I am. I think the pain has allowed me to show up the way I do, and the pain has allowed me to have such compassion and a degree of ruthlessness all at the same time so I can help people see and go beyond who they ever imagined they could be on this earth.
[0:47:53.0] RN: Along that note, along your journey, the struggle to get where you are and to get the clarity that you have now, what's one thing that's happened along that journey that makes you say, “Man! I really would not be where I am today if that had not happened.”
[0:48:06.7] PM: What's one type of pain that’s —
[0:48:08.3] RN: One moment, or period in time, or thing that happened to you that really led you in the course that you're.
[0:48:15.4] PM: Oh, so many. So many. It’s just so many. I think one of the things that people assume is that the reason I do what I do is because I have the luxury financially of doing it. I went for two years and did not earn a single dollar. We got down to a point where there is $200 in the bank account. We were living in Canada. I went back to Ireland for Christmas and we had no right financially doing it, but we were just so disconnected. We just longed to be around people we loved.
We got home. My wife looked at me across the kitchen table and she said, “I’m not going back to Canada.” I said, “Why?” She goes, “It’s not working.” She said, “We’ve got $200 the bank account and this is just — It’s just not working. I was in real estate at that time. Even though I was coaching on the side, I was telling myself that I needed to build a wealth. I needed to build the financial resources because I didn't see that there was no value and passion and I didn't see that you could do both.
I was telling myself a story that intellectually makes so much sense, but it does not align with who I am as a person. I member in that moment, like I was devastated in so many levels, because it was the first time I was faced with having to admit that what we're doing is failing miserably. I was also caught up on that male thing, whether it's a male thing or not. I don't know. Is that I let my wife down. I haven't provided. I've messed up here, and that pride and ego was just all slaughtered in one swoop.
My wife intended none of it, but her truth just led me to face mine, and I literally looked at her and I said, “Okay. I’m doing this coaching thing. I have to.” In other words, I got to such a low point and it’s turning — I remember that lowness was followed by this email that I sent out, and this man emailed us back, and he just come back and he said — I don't know why I’m excusing my language at this point to think I’ve already dropped a few F-bombs. I said, “Okay. I'm done. I'm doing this. I'm doing the coaching thing,” and some guy wrote back within — It felt like minutes, maybe it was days, and he said, “About fucking time.”
Back, this is what he means. He said, “I've been waiting for you to do this.” He said, “For the day I met you, I knew you are on this planet to coach. I've been waiting for you to coach. I've been hinting at it. I'm in.” I said, “But you don’t know how much it’s going to cost.” He said, “I don't care.”
I'd love to tell you that from that point, it was a floodgate of clients, there wasn’t. It felt very very slowly from that point, very organically.
[0:50:31.0] RN: Was there a peace that came with that?
[0:50:33.2] PM: Oh, beyond peace. I don't if there’s a word that goes way beyond peace. It was just — It had this incredible balance between a sadness, a failure, a cathartic experience, a peace, and euphoria all mixed into this incredible concoction and dabbled with a bit of ice, which is probably the massive fear. It was amazing and freeing.
One thing we do, Robin, in society is that we spend way too much time trying to figure what to do and how to act and getting it right, and to me one of the invitations that I encourage my clients to consider and try to remind myself as much as possible is just to do something really simple but not easy, and that his act upon what you know as opposed to what you do not. Just take this in a very simple level.
If I'm living in Las Vegas and I know I don't like it. My number one reason for not leaving is, “Rob, I get it. I know I don't like it, Rob. I know I don't, but I don’t know where to go.” Has a friend of mine lives in Portland, he doesn't like it. It’s too rainy. Has another friend that lives in Austin. He says, “Too hot.” Another friend lives in New York, and, “It’s too busy.” Act upon what you know. It doesn’t matter where you live in the world. If you are living somewhere that's not serving you, if you go to places that’s worse.
We’re so concerned about making a worser decision, as my boy would say. To me, it’s like act upon what you know as opposed to what you do not. What you're doing is an essence is what you're saying as you're honoring yourself, you're saying that, “I am worth more than staying somewhere that doesn't nurture my soul.”
But here's one of the core reasons we don't do that. If you don't value who you are, if your self-worth is not, why would you? Why would you? Why would you? That's where it comes back to self-worth. The problem self-worth is most people don't believe they have a self-worth. There are particularly busy entrepreneurs, and it's not cool thing to admit. They mix up confidence and self-worth. They might say, “No. My self-worth is fine. I’m really good at my business.” I got, “No. No. No. That's confidence in your business, that's not self-worth. You could be really good at what you do but not like who you are.”
Most people I know, successful, wealthy, or otherwise, don't really like who they are the core, and they walk through this earth creating distractions, validating, and justifying to themselves that their external circumstances rationalize and justify that they do love themselves. They have this really healthy balance in reality. They don't address the core issue that is going on.
[0:52:52.0] RN: I know you’ve mentioned earlier that you take groups of people on retreats. You mentioned the film, Give and Grow, that you created. What's next on the horizon for you? What do you have that you’re really excited about moving for in the business?
[0:53:05.3] PM: I think my work has evolved in a sense that I coached — Historically coached people to be a better version of themselves. Just to simplifying, though I don’t like that term. To me, I’m not trying coach people to be something that they’re not. I’m trying to coach people to make sure they’re everything that they are, and that shows up everywhere in their life.
I think what's further evolved for me is the excitement I get from coaching people who have a desire to impact the world. What I love doing is helping them get in touch with how powerful they are, and how clear they are, and how beautiful they are. That being a catalyst, just a spark that helps them believe that they — “I’m a Trevor Garrett. I turned into my very—” I've never said this, “I’m turning into my hero,” and I'm believing in them when they don't believe in themselves.
When I take a step back and I get to play a very tiny role in a much bigger picture who somebody goes on to make a bigger impact in society, whether it's in their — Because, again, impact's is intimidating for people, because they think impact is changing the world like Gandhi or [inaudible 0:54:07.6], and that I don't believe that. It can be, but impact can just be how you impact your own personal life, and as a result of that, ripple effect people around you, your loved ones.
If you impact your home, and you could change a generational behavior or pattern that’s been there forever, my God, think about the impact you’ve made in the world. I'm sick and tired of hearing mother’s, “What do you do?” “I’m just a stay-at-home mom.” So you’re just a stay-at-home mom. You just brought life into this world. Something that no man can ever do in isolation or on their own, and you have to nurture and develop this vessel. It’s extraordinary.
I'm working more people that who want to make an impact. Who feel they’re destined for more but just can't quite uncover what that is, and that's very special. The next retreat I have coming up is Brave Soul, which is if I was an artist and I had to paint a canvas that represented who I was at the core, it would be that experience. I think it’s the greatest thing that I've ever developed in terms of helping people understand who they are and what they’re on this earth to do.
In essence, I think if I have to simplify the work, I've created this environment to do the work that I needed when I was going through my journey not to eliminate the pain but to fast-track peoples journey if you like. Yeah, just the continuation of that one last talk is an exciting project for me, that film Give and Grow. Yeah. Overall, I'm pretty happy where I’m at.
[0:55:21.1] RN: More films in the pipeline, or what are your thoughts in that?
[0:55:23.5] PM: Not yet. No. I mean we've put a lot of energy in working into the film. I just do things once to see what it looks like and feels like and then I kind of take a step back, create some space and to see if it emerges again. I could see myself taking another film. Wake Up Call might turn out to be a film if someone doesn't take the idea from this podcast.
[0:55:43.6] RN: It’s cool to see that you’re still testing, experimenting, even though you know who you are and you know where you're going. It never ends.
[0:55:50.3] PM: What I think, I do know who I am to a certain extent. I think the mistake is people I meet, people sometimes, “Oh, no. I’m really clear. I know who I am. I’ve got huge awareness.” I would like to think that I know myself probably 80%, 70% more than I did and I hope I never close that gap because if I sit back and think, “I know myself to the greatest extent,” I think I'm settling.
Where I'm going? I'd love to tell you I know where I’m going. All I know is I feel in my heart I have a sense of knowing. Not I know it all, which is a complacency, and knowing that where I am in the path right now is where I need to be. I become better at recognizing when I'm off, when I feel off, and how I know that on a very basic level is when I'm not sleeping well at night, when I feel unease in my body. I know that I'm not I'm not on track, and all it requires sometimes is a small little tweak or pivot here and there. I think actually this is what comes up for me, I become really really really friendly and at peace. I have a wonderful relationship with the unknown.
[0:56:52.5] RN: I’d love to stop it there, because that’s well said and it’s a good way to end it. Thank you so much for taking time on our beautiful vacation, and until next time.
[0:57:01.7] PM: Thanks. Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it.
[0:57:03.6] RN: You got it. Thanks, Philip.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
[0:57:007.6] RN: You can find Philip at philipmckernan.com. He’s @philipmckernan on Twitter as well. Of course, that spelling and the links and resources Philip and I discussed including more information on his coaching, his event, and retreats, it will all be found at the page created specifically for this episode. You'll find it all at failon.com/007.
As I continue to build out this project with the simple goal of getting people to take action through embracing failure, if you could do one thing to support my cause, I’d sincerely appreciate it. By submitting a rating and review, this will help the podcast become visible to more people. If you feel it deserves a five-star rating and you leave a review, I'll be sure to mention you by name in an upcoming episode just as a small way to say thank. To rate and review the podcast just visit Failonon.com/iTunes or Failon.com/stitcher. Until next time.
[0:58:01.1] ANNOUNCER: That’s all for this episode of The Fail On Podcast. For more resources, show notes and action items to help you find success in your failures, sign up for our mailing list at failon.com.
For more actionable inspiration, we’ll catch you next time right here on The Fail On Podcast.