How to be 30% Happier in 30 Days
Love & Relationships
Freedom and Fulfillment
Travel and Adventure
Passion and Purpose
Health & Well Being
How to be 30% Happier in 30 Days
Rob’s entire life has been about following his passions. At the young age of 22, he started his own film production company and before long he was working around the world for TV networks and Fortune 500 clients, making the kind of films and TV shows that inspired him and his audience. Rob was living his passion and purpose and getting well paid to go sailing in Tahiti, film colorful religious festivals in Thailand or go helicopter skiing with camera in hand. It was a dream career come true.
Then there was a turning point in Rob’s life, and this shifted the landscape of his world. Rob and his wife Dee were lost in a winter blizzard for 5 days and given up for dead. After this near-death survival experience that was national news and resulted in a call from the President of the United States, they started asking questions about what really their purpose in life was ~ like what many people are asking now in the pandemic.
As a result of overcoming this adversity – Rob began his search for the source of human happiness. They decided to sell their home and buy a sailboat, which morphed into the adventure of spending the next 17 years sailing around the world studying human happiness.
Rob has shared his life with both billionaires and barefoot villagers in 100 countries. Today he teaches people a recipe for happiness and fulfillment.
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Welcome to the Heart Soul Wisdom podcast, a journey of self discovery and transformation. Moira Sutton and her amazing guests share real life stories, tools and strategies to inspire and empower you to create and live your best life. Come along on the journey and finally blast through any fears, obstacles and challenges that have held you back in the past so you can live your life with the joy, passion and happiness that you desire. Now, here's your host Create the Life you Love, empowerment life coach, Moira Sutton
Welcome to season three, Episode 49,, How to Be 30% Happier in 30 Days with our very special guest, entrepreneur and adventurer Rob Dubin. Rob's entire life has been about following his passions. At the young age of 22 He started his own film production company, and before long he was working around the world for TV networks and fortune 500 clients, making the kind of films and TV shows that inspired him and his audience. Rob was living his passion, purpose and getting well paid to go sailing in Tahiti, film colorful religious festivals in Thailand, or go helicopter skiing with camera in hand. It was a dream career come true. Then there was a turning point in Rob's life, and this shifted the landscape of his world. Rob his wife Dee were lost in a winter blizzard for five days and they were given up for dead after this near death survival experience. That was national news, and resulted in a call from the President of the United States. They started asking questions about what really was their purpose in life. And like many people today who are asking this in the pandemic, as a result of overcoming this adversity, Rob began his search for the source of human happiness. They decided to sell their home and buy a sailboat, which morphed into the adventure of spending the next 17 years sailing around the world studying human happiness. Rob has shared his life with both billionaires and barefoot villagers in 100 countries. Today he teaches people a recipe for happiness and fulfillment. So without further ado, I would like to introduce you to Rob Dubin. welcome, Rob.
Well, thank you so much for having me.
This is gonna be fun. I always have fun anyway, that's important to me. It's my passion to do this. It's part of my life purpose. And having fun is core as I know, you know all about fun and adventure.
I think fun is really the purpose of life.
Yeah, yeah. And it doesn't mean we don't have any struggles or, you know, obstacles in the way or challenges. It just means, you know, for me, it's always about that shifting your mindset, shifting your perception, as we're going to dive into about when you what you learned from Tony Robbins who knows all about that. So I'd like to start with this moment when your life took this totally new direction after these five days being lost in the winter Blizzard, you and Dee being given up for dead and then how the national news resulted in a call from the President of the United States. Wow. So let's start there.
Well, we were filmmakers and did a lot of travel all over the world and loved what we did. And I had gone from high school right into making films. So I'd really created the life that I wanted to create. And I was living that life. And we were off on a cross country, a backcountry ski trip, which we did frequently. We would ski into huts that are you know, five or eight miles back into the wilderness and spend two or three days there. And of course, the web - this was quite a while ago, and the internet didn't exist and weather reporting was not like it is today. Part way into the hut, the weather changed dramatically. It turned into this whiteout Blizzard, we couldn't see but a couple of feet in front of us. And there was a small group of us and we missed the hut we were headed for. And then the group got split up. A couple of people got a little difficult and and so we ended up anyway lost in the wilderness for five days. And normally, in Colorado, when these kinds of things happen, people maybe survive a night or two at the most and in the end, it was turned into the one of the worst winter storms in Colorado in Colorado's history. And because the storm was so bad, there were avalanches all over the state and it threatened the water supply for the town of Aspen and trapped people in their cars all over the mountains. And so the news media was focused on this intense storm in Colorado And then they heard about this human interest story of these lost skiers. So the story went viral and around the country, people watch day after day hoping we'd get out alive, including my parents, of course. And so they were watching the television when the coroner said they were calling off.., the sheriff said they were calling off the search, and they would recover our frozen bodies in the springtime. And we ended up getting out of the wilderness that later at the end of that same day. And the first call we got was from the President of the United States. And it turned into this media circus in the next couple days. I was on the Today Show two days in a row. And Good Morning America and CBS this morning, and all these other shows, and Oprah called and anyway, so we were kind of you know, had our 15 minutes of fame. And that was a bit of a roller coaster ride. But about the third day that we were back, my wife was had gotten very bad frost by it and she was in the hospital. And her feet were completely frozen and coal black and hard as a rock. And her fingers look like you could snap them off like pretzel sticks; they were solidly black and very hard to the touch. And the third day in the hospital, the doctors pulled me aside and told me they were going to have to amputate both of her feet at the arch of the foot. And they would wait a few days for that surgery to be over. And then they were going to have to amputate all her fingers.
Wow, that would be very scary.
And yes, it was and I went home that night just sort of in shock. And I I walked in the door and I saw her shoes by the door. And she only has like a size four and a half foot anyway. So her feet are tiny to begin with. And I saw her shoes by the door there. And I just collapsed on the floor and my legs went out from under me and I kind of spent the night in a fetal position on the floor. Just wondering what kind of life we would have ahead of us. We were both so active in all kinds of sports. We traveled all the time. And I just wondered what our life would be like if my wife had no feet and no fingers. And I sort of spent a sleepless night there curled up on the floor in a fetal position feeling as powerless as I had ever felt in my entire life. This, this fate was about to happen to her in the next few days. And I could do nothing about it. But I woke up completely transformed. And in a matter of hours, I went from feeling the most powerless I had ever been in my life to feeling as powerful as I had ever been. And I raced over to the hospital in the morning before the doctors could tell her what the diagnosis was. And I told her she was going to have a complete recovery. And we started focusing on our future of all the kinds of things we were going to do when she was recovered and fully and we could go off to do with the kind of life we had led previously. And we just focused completely on that very compelling future. And about an hour later, the doctors came in to talk about the surgery and we refused to sign the paperwork, authorizing the surgery. And we were kind of at a standoff with the doctors that went on for a while she was in the hospital for 12 days, or excuse me 21 days in the hospital. And then months and months at home with the nurse coming in twice a day. But eventually, nine months, 10 months, 11 months later she was she had healed her feet completely to the you know, surprise of the doctors in the medical community. And so that took almost a full year for her recovery. But a year later, we were down in Cancun, Mexico at a Tony Robbins event. And she was dancing in the sand with two feet and 10 fingers and nine and a half toes.
Wow. What what happened in that time when you you know you're on the floor and you collapsed? And then you will come up with this total transformation. Do you think that was an angelic thing? Was that a spiritual thing that happened for you? Because I've heard stories? Oh,
I don't know. I mean, I'm not a religious person. And I'm mildly spiritual. And I don't think it was either of those things at all. I think it was me deciding the kind of life we wanted to have. And I and that's what ultimately led me to what we'll talk about in a little bit. But finding happiness and finding fulfillment in life. I think we all have a mistaken idea of how that happens. We have this feeling that when I get the new job when I get the new promotion or you know, when I find the right partner, when we have kids or whatever it is, when XYZ happens, then I will be happy. And that's really not the way happiness works. I mean, yes, when you get the new job or the new whatever, you'll be happy for a short period of time, but that's really not the source of real happiness. And in fact, happiness is a decision we make When we make the decision to be happy and to have a fulfilling life, we then tap into more creativity, more resilience more, we're better communicators. So we do all kinds of things in our brain, when we decide to be happy, that then allows us to get the promotion to get the new job to get the new partner, whatever it is. And so that's the decision that I made, somewhere between lying on the floor and getting up off of the floor, is that I decided to be in control of our future as much as we possibly could. And to focus; I didn't say when her feet recover, we're going to be happy, I said, we're going to be happy, and then her feet will recover. And that's what happened.
Wow! So this part of decision, as I know, making decisions, and then we have choice in every moment, right, we have choice points, making that decision, I would think that you've had also a lot of, oh a lot of faith, a lot of the person you were. Perseverance. You know, in that uncertainty, which I know you also talked about uncertainty. But to make the decision and then take this inspired action and you know, get the results you want. Even if you don't know exactly what that is.
Exactly. We all that there's a term that psychologists use called locus of control, and locus just means location. And we all have a belief on what our location of control locus of control for our life is. And it's either internal or external. And I'll give you an example of that; I was in Phoenix, Arizona, once working with a company there, and one of their employee's car broke down. So she was commuting with me daily, in my my car to her work. And the streets in Phoenix are big, wide streets, because it's out in the middle of the desert. And they've got lots of space, and they're kind of high speed, four lane roads everywhere. And we were driving back and forth every day on this road. And she, when I was driving, she said, "Wow, you're so lucky, all of the lights just seem to turn green right when you get to them." And I looked at her kind of mystified, I didn't really know how to respond. And then I said, Well, I know that if I drive when there's not a lot of traffic after rush hour, and I can go whatever speed I want. And if I go 42 miles an hour, the lights are all timed, and they'll all be green. And she had been driving the same road day after day and never understood why the lights were always red for her. And so her Locus of Control was external, it was something outside of herself that she couldn't control. And I believed it was something I could control. So I exerted that control. And it wasn't just the lights on that road, my life has had a whole lot more green lights than her life has had. Because I realized I can control it what you know, as much as I can I work towards what I can control. And at minimum, I control how I think about things. So if people can move their locus of control from an external to an internal, they can affect a whole lot of things about their life.
That's great information. Let's expand on that. You know, you talk about it's a person's responsibility to follow their dreams and own it. But with what you're saying right now internal to external, how does somebody who their internal is fear, anxiety, belief systems are "I can't, I can't have that, because, as you say, XYZ", how do they transform that internal there to create the external results that they want?
Well, I actually teach a framework for happiness, which is a kind of a nine step framework. There's four traits of happiness. And then there's daily habits that you can practice of happiness. But the first one is I refer to there's an acronym I use called LIVEHAPPY, L I V E H A P P Y and the L is the first one is learned optimism. And it's about seeing the glass is half full or half empty. And what our brain does for us is answer questions. And so if I asked my brain, why do I always fail at everything? Why does nobody love me? Why is the stoplight going to be red? When I get there? Why am I procrastinating? Why do I never get the job I wanted?, my brain will come up with an answer for every one of those questions. And if I asked my brain, how, where have I succeeded in the past that is similar to this project? What can I do to make the stoplights green when I get there who loves me and supports me in my life? You know what's great thing has happened this week. So if I asked my brain those questions, it's going to come up with an answer for those each one of those questions too. So you can see that if you ask yourself that second group of empowering questions, you're going to come up with empowering answers. So really, that's The start of that process. And then the second letter of live, the I, is invent your new story. And we all have stories in our past of where our life has not gone the way we wanted it to go. And you can ask yourself a better question about that specific story. So you mentioned to your listeners that my wife and I sold our home and we moved on to a sailboat. So we moved from a 2800 square foot home onto a 40 foot sailboat. And there's not a lot of storage space on a sailboat so we couldn't take with us anything from our life that wasn't from our past life that wasn't going to help us sail better or be safer on the boat, if it had to be something that we could use to sail or navigate or somehow make our new life on the boat viable. Otherwise, we just didn't have room on the boat for it. And so we got rid of a lot of stuff. And that getting rid of a lot of stuff is a perfect metaphor for life. Because we're all carrying stuff that's not going to help us get to where we want to go next. And so if you're carrying some old stories about, you know, you got fired from a job, or you failed at something in sixth grade, or your mom was mean to you, or you had a bad breakup. If you carry that story with you, it's not going to help you get to who you want to become next. So I teach people a format to ask new empowering questions. What did you learn from that thing, I mean, our trials are what make us who we are. So you know, they're not all bad. They're bad when we're going through them. But they probably gave you some strength or insight or it minimum, you learn something from it, you know, so, I mean, you know, you got in a car accident, but then you met the nurse, when you were in the hospital and you got married, or minimum, you learn some lesson from the car accident, drive safely. Don't text while you drive, whatever it is. So figure out your stories that you tell yourself that are empowering to you that are hurting you and change the ending to that story with something you learn from it, and then go forward.
I have one of my future books coming out of my trilogy is "What is the gift in this?" So I totally agree with that, that, once we're in it, we don't always see it. That there's a gift and every challenge obstacle that we have in our life, there is a gift. And it's going deeper to find that wisdom, find that gem.
Absolutely. And the way you do that is the same as that first step of learning optimism. You ask yourself more empowering questions.
Now you've had business struggles in your own life, and you took early retirement and even started a scholarship program for so far 29 kids through college and that. Tell us about that. What were the strategies? What did you learn from your business struggles? Did you come through that by doing this process? And as you created this process,
I would say that first thing I learned in the film business, you know, I was a director and a camera man and I had my own production company. So I might have, you know, 20 crew people working for me when we're on the set. But then when we're going to editing those people, they're all freelancers and they go work for somebody else. So when I started my business at a very young age, and I was directing films, these these crews, I never had to give any thought to motivating them because they were freelancers, they came showed up at 9am on the days, I needed them ready to work, and they worked really hard. And then when the job was done, they went to work for somebody else. And then when I had a full time staff, I treated them the same way. And I was a terrible boss, because I didn't realize I needed to motivate and you know, be concerned about the lives of my employees. They were not freelancers anymore. They were my staff. And so I eventually had enough pain from, you know, the revolving door of our office that I realized, taking care of my people was my main job. And so I went from being a terrible boss to being a much better boss and our revolving door went to zero. Nobody left our company after that. Everybody loved working there. So that was kind of a business struggle that I've carried forward with me that idea of making sure that others around me are succeeding as much as I possibly can.
That's that's wonderful advice. I love that. Again, as a filmmaker, and you know, you've worked with top executives from these numerous fortune 500 companies, and successful entrepreneurs, and you have involvement in filming the America's Cup and high end yacht races. Was this part of the decision that you and Dee decided to sell everything and live on a boat? What what was that? Isn't that, what did that look like if we came into the room, and we were a spider on the wall, and you both made that big decision?
Well, we had had a sort of a 10 year plan to do that. But when her feet were frozen, and we were in the hospital focusing on a compelling future, that was the future we had in mind, and we move that 10 year plan up to a two year plan. And it was kind of much like what so many people have done in, in the pandemic, is they've asked themselves questions about, am I living the life I want to live? And I mean, we loved making films, we, you know, we had a great job; we traveled all over the world. And we were doing what we want. But we thought it can always be better. And so we had this compelling idea. And just before we left, we were because we were in the sailing world. And we were making films were very involved with filming the America's Cup, and the high end yacht races. And so we were a lot with lots of multi, multi millionaires and billionaires who can afford to do those kinds of yacht races and do the America's Cup. And we noticed that some of them were happy, and some were not happy. And they had, you know, the pinnacle of career success that people dream of. And yet, they weren't all happy. And then, a few years later, we were off making ourselves happy everyday living on our sailboat. And we were sharing our lives with barefoot villagers in third world countries. And some of that group were happy, and some were not happy. And one of my friends that we sailed with was, had been a psychiatrist in West Palm Beach, Florida, where the mansions are lined up side by side; they're all multimillionaires there. And he said his career as a psychiatrist had been treating the ravages of wealth. And so these three different experiences of seeing the billionaires that were happy and unhappy, and the Barefoot villagers that were happy and unhappy, made me focus on what made people happy and fulfilled and successful in their lives. And we were extremely successful at making ourselves happy all the time. And we did that for many, many years. And eventually, we decided that just making ourselves happy, was not enough. It was great. But we needed more. And we came upon the concept of contribution, which is part of the framework that I teach for happiness, we all have to eventually if you want to make yourself happy, long term, you need to contribute to others, be part of something that's much bigger than yourself. And we were in Indonesia. And so I had been feeling this quite quite a while. And we always, wherever we traveled, we gave we carried things to give away, you know, school supplies for the kids in these third world countries. And either tools or batteries, or fish hooks for the men and oftentimes sewing supplies for the women. So we were always giving of ourselves. But those were kind of band aids because a few years later, they were a few months later, they would need all the same things again. And we got to Indonesia, and this young woman met us on the beach there and offered to be our guide, so she could practice her English. And we spent a few days with her. And she was just the most inspiring young woman. Her parents made all of about $200 a month. But luckily, she had gotten a scholarship to the teaching college and was studying to be a teacher and to teach English. And we were so impressed with her. And we realized there must be so many other young women like her that couldn't get an education that we're so deserving of one. And so we decided to start a scholarship. And in a matter of a week, we met with the president of the university and got him to waive all the entrance requirements for anybody that we would sponsor. And then we went around the town and we met with the headmasters of several of the high schools. And we set up a criteria both based on financial need and academic ability. And then we went around to the sailing community people like us that are just itinerant sailors passing through. They may only be in this town for a day, a week or whatever. And then they're sailing on. But we knew they would all feel the same as we did wanting to contribute. And so we put together a scholarship program. We didn't know how it was going to go. But we put it together that first year and it's been I think 14 years now. And we've sent 29 kids through five years of college.
Well, you're like Oprah, that starting schools for people that is wonderful and also for people like you're saying when you after you have your basic needs met and we know this with you know, again, the Tony Robbins teaching that once you have your basic needs and all the rest of it, contribution is the kind of the last one once your needs are met that contribution is so important in the world.
So with Let's go to that because you were really inspired in the teachings of Tony Robbins, you say impacted every area of your life, your emotional well being relationship health, physical health, financial health. Tell us about your story meeting, Tony. And just that transformation for you in your life.
Well, I was actually I was going through quite a bit of business struggles. This is early on when I had in that period I mentioned earlier when we our office was a revolving door, and I was kind of a bad boss. And I was just sort of struggling because I had, it was at a different realm to have full time employees than when I had had a large contingent of freelance workers. And my brother's a very capable entrepreneur. And he said, Hey, I want to want you to join me at this Tony Robbins seminar, I'd never heard of Tony Robbins, this was quite a number of years ago. And so my brother, thankfully, sent me a ticket, and we went there. And it was life changing for me. So almost immediately, I tried some of the things that Tony teaches in NLP and some other things. And they had immediate results for me. So I was very impressed with his techniques, not just his motivational skills, but the techniques that he was teaching that you can apply to your life. And so that's the way I saw it. And one of the things Tony mentioned that he is working with some sports stars, and people like that, who would, you know, their golf game or basketball game had gone in the tank, and he would work with them for a day, and then they would suddenly be back on top. And I knew some people that I mentioned that were involved in the America's Cup, so I thought it would be really good if Tony could speak with them. And I sent them some copies of Tony's book, and I suggested that they hire him to do a program with them. And one of the things Tony teaches is, if you create value for other people, you will succeed. And that's been the you know, the basically the whole point of his career. He went from being a broke kid in a broken home to being worth half a billion dollars, because he has provided so much value for so many people. So I just decided to do the same thing. I contacted the people from the America's Cup; I didn't know them very well. But I just said, Hey, this guy is really good. He works with sports stars, I think he would be an advantage to you to listen to him. And then they said, Okay, see how much see if he'll do it. So then I contacted Tony, Tony's office and his staff. And I took me a lot to even get through to see if he would do it, and then how much he would charge which even then was an astronomical amount of money. It was like a year salary for me what he charged for the day. And I thought, well, there's no way they're going to spend that much money. But I told them, and they said, sure set it up. So I set it up. And that was it. I just put the two of them together. And the day after the program, Tony's assistant called me and he said, Well, you weren't at the program. And I said, No, I'm not part of their team. I just thought that, you know, you guys could benefit each other. And he said, Well, you worked really hard to put all that together and you didn't get anything out of it. And I said, Well, I'd love to go to some of Tony's other seminars. So he said, Okay, you're in, and you'll be Tony's guests. So that was an example. I didn't. When I set it up, I didn't get anything out of it for me, I just was providing value to these other - we provided value to Tony I got him a day's gig for a lot of money. And I provided value to the America's Cup team. And ultimately it came back to me later on when Tony's assistant that will come be Tony's guest. And then later on, I just started, did more things like that for Tony. And then many years later, my wife and I, when we were sailing around the world, we stopped at his resort in Fiji and visited with him. And while I was there, he asked me to go speak - he had a group of his top level trainers there - and he asked me if I would go speak to them and tell him a couple stories, this story about my wife's feet. And also the story of us being able to retire and sail around the world. And I told him those stories. And then his wife said that was wonderful and asked me to be their guest again at another program. And she said, Gee, you're really a good speaker, you should do that more often. So Tony's wife Sage was the spark for me to just recently start a speaking career. Many years later. Wow. Well, I realized I forgot one little part of the earlier story. I was able to get a hold of Tony when my wife was in the hospital and we were struggling with this idea of telling the doctors we weren't going to authorize the surgery. And I was able to get a hold of Tony. And he called her in the hospital and talked with her and helped her focus on how to think about it. So he had a huge part to play in, in her recovering her feet. So needless to say, I owe him a giant debt of gratitude.
Well, that's even a deeper part of that story, for sure. Now, I think that's who Tony is. And Sage and they come from the heart.
Absolutely. That's who Tony is, with, you know, you, if you spend any time with him, you see that immediately.
And I love the part about value. If we if we come from a place each day, even if we're going through our own struggles, or whatever dialogue story we're telling others are telling ourselves to just shift how can you help another being, you know, what can you do? I've said it before on the show, we moved to Nova Scotia, it's coming up to seven months now. We love it here. The people that community I always call it a little bit of Brigadoon. That's where I feel like we've, we've landed, and we bought our home, you know, just video. We we've never been to Nova Scotia before we came here for a lot of different reasons. And we just landed in this beautiful location. And the people here are so sincere and caring and giving. No we had a flood, can we help you? Can we bring food over? What can we do? And they're not just saying it, they they're really coming to say, what can we do for you, which has value to help us if we needed the help. So it's a beautiful place to come. Now, Tony Robbins, his quote is we can change our lives, we can do have and be exactly what we wish. Now, what would your, again, your wisdom, gem be, if you were going to tell someone who comes from that inner state again. Because I have listeners that are going through those that they think that's impossible, can't do that, to, I am possible and build their confidence in their courage to really create that life that they really, truly desire and want.
Well, I certainly have proven it for myself. And I've always had that thought that. I mean, I guess I grew up, as we started the conversation, saying I grew up believing that life was really about having fun. And I have literally one goal. And one rule, my rule. My goal is Life is about having fun, and being happy. And my one rule is you can't hurt anybody else as you go toward your own happiness. And I've kind of lived by those two things. And I still do. I mean, I told you, I went skiing this morning, and I'm back here now for our podcast. And I still try and live by that goal is to make every day so fun and unique and special. And as long as I'm not stepping on anybody else's toes or hurting anyone along the way, then I'm I'm doing the right thing.
What would your advice be for people who are saying now in their life that I'm going to go for my goal, I'm going to go do that. But I'm going to put a but in there, which is really an negate, that they have other responsibilities, family responsibility, elderly parents, other things that they have in their life that they're committed to, but they can't see that light at the end of the tunnel, because they're first of all they're getting in their own way. But what's your advice for them that they want that, but they have this real responsibility in their life to be grandchildren, it could be seniors, that kind of area?
Well, I would say I guess there's two parts of that the number one reason excuse me, the number one reason people don't go after their goals, is they're worried what other people are going to think about them. And that actually is more of a hindrance than taking care of the parents or the grandchildren or the kids or whoever else. It's more, they give up on their goal immediately, because they're worried what other people think about them. And when I go back to that framework that I teach of the the live the V of his value yourself. And I can tell you a little story about how I came to that spot in my life. Most of my insights I learned when I was out sailing or in that sort of realm. But probably the most important part of my life, lesson I learned in my life. I learned when I was in fourth grade. And if you if your viewers have a photo of me that you're using in the podcast, you'll they'll notice that I'm completely bald. But since I'm in my 60s, that's not too surprising. But what you wouldn't know is that I actually started going bald when I was in kindergarten. And by the time I was in fourth grade, I was getting teased unmercifully by the bullies in the school. And in those days, we didn't have any of the anti bullying campaigns we have now and you were just sort of supposed to take it. And one day in fourth grade these two 6th graders were picking on me and calling me baldy and everything. And I was on the playground and I just kind of lost it. I got tunnel vision. I heard about this roaring in my ears. And I ran at these two kids that were much bigger than me two of them with my little 10 year old fist wind milling as hard as I could swing them. And a few minutes later, when the playground monitor the gym teacher who monitored the playground, picked me up off of the kids, both of them were lying on the ground with bloody noses and holding their stomachs and black eyes. And I didn't have a mark on me. And so I beat up these two kids that were much older than me. And I became everybody's hero, because of course, they were the school bullies. And nobody liked them. So I immediately got some positive feedback for standing up to the bullies. But the more important thing happened the next day, somebody said to me, and I don't even know who it was, I don't know if it was my parents, or a teacher, or another kid. But somebody said to me, you don't even like those kids. Why do you care what they think of you? You don't even like those kids? Why do you care what they think of you. And literally from that day on in, when I was 10 years old, I realized that my sense of self worth comes from me. And I don't, what other people think of me is none of my business. I don't seek others approval for what I do or don't do, I'm happy to bend over backwards to help somebody else. But I don't do it so that they'll like me, I'll do it so that I like who I am myself better. And so that's number one is if you can do things, not be ruled by others opinions of you, it opens up a gigantic portion of your life to go after your own dreams.
That's a great, because I was gonna talk to you about you know, people like self worth and, and not be really judgmental of yourself, even, you know. We might start there and start having a little dialogue going on. And it's just a maybe a habit that we don't even know we're doing it or complaining all the time or whatever. But self worth comes from, that's doing the the inner work, you know, and also loving yourself and appreciating yourself along with appreciating other things in your life and gratitude. We know that that's all important.
Absolutely. And you know, that's where I think, for instance, my wife and I have been married 40 years this year. And I think you can't, I think when you bring in a whole authentic you to the party, then you can find a whole authentic other person. And that's when you can create the kind of relationship that we have. And, you know, people say one of the most common questions we would get after we sailed around the world and talked about is people ask, how did the two of you get along, in such a small space, you know, 24/7, and for us, it's bliss, it's not work. I hear people say, you know, relationships and marriage takes work; I shrug my shoulders, I say, I guess it does for some people, but for us, it never has. Because we were both fully authentic human beings, who loved ourselves and respected ourselves. And that's what we brought to the, to the party to the to the partnership.
I would say that there's there's other people struggling more than that, that you both, you know, have that. I also I'm married 30 years, and I'm more in love with Cliff than the day I married him. And we've gone through our ups and downs and valleys and, you know, having money not having money. I've been an entrepreneur for over 30 years. And but for us, it was communication that we always spoke and created the space of respect and to listen. And so communication was huge.
Absolutely, we would say the same thing. I mean, you know, we have a bunch of route, there's actually there's a PDF that's on my website, you can maybe put it in the show notes later, that our relationship secrets, things that have worked for us. I'm not a marriage counselor by any stretch of the imagination. But we got that question so many times from so many people that we put together things that have worked for us that to allow us to be business partners for 12 years, and then live on the boat for all those years. And, and so anyway, that's available on my website, as a PDF people can download.
Thank you, I will put that below in the show notes, that'd be very good. So you have this happiness framework, and we're talking about happiness and fulfillment and also contribution meaning in our lives. And, you know, our the title of today was How to Be 30% Happier in 30 Days. So is that what you see? 30% happier with people that start your your program or start working with you with all your strategies and they they now incorporate this; is that the timeframe that it sort of clicks in for them?
Well, so I the framework that I teach is as I said, it's the acronym is live happy. So it's L I V E and those four things are the traits of happiness. And that's what we briefly talked about optimism, reinventing your own story, valuing yourself and the the last one is exerted emotional control. so that you're in control of your emotions. So those are kind of traits that you find in happy people. And they take a little bit of work to become traits of your own. the second part of the second word is H A P P Y. And those are habits of happiness. And so the habits are much easier to adapt. And if you practice - I take people through a process to come up with their dream life, which we talked about a minute earlier. And if you practice some of these habits for 30 days, they will become habits for you. And I'll just leave people with the easiest one to do is a practice of gratitude, a daily gratitude. And all you have to do is toward the end of each day, write down five things, excuse me, write down six things that you're happy for. And they can be simple things; I'm happy that my kids did well, in a test in school, I'm happy that my boss recognize my work, you know, I'm happy I got a good parking spot close to the front door, whatever it is, could be small things. But write down six things that you're happy for. But you have to take five minutes to do this. So it may only take you a minute to think of six things. But you have to spend the other four minutes thinking about why those things make you happy, how they make you feel happy. So just reflect on it for five minutes. And if you do that every day for 30 days, and write them down, it'll probably become a habit that you want to continue doing. Because it will make you happier every day of your life from now on. And I don't write them down much anymore myself, although I, sometimes I have a friend, we do a 30 day gratitude exchange, and we'll send each other the texts of each of us will say what we're happy for. But I spend most of my day; I mean, you earlier talked about people feeling anxiety and worry, and that. Those are emotions that I almost never feel. I feel love and gratitude, or probably take up 90% of my waking hours, I feel those two emotions all the time, all day long, every day. So anyway, that's one simple thing people can do. If you do it for 30 days, it'll probably become a habit that you want to continue.
Like, right now I've started juicing this green drink that has all these minerals and things; you can't get it from food. And it's become now something I really enjoy to have first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. And then when I go to have a coffee in the morning, it's delayed. So when I have my coffee, now, I have so much gratitude just to sit with the coffee, not just wake up, get a coffee, go to the office, you know, slug it down. So now it's this new habit that I'm already, I'm only I think in two weeks, and I absolutely look forward to the green drink in the morning.
That's a perfect example of that. And the other thing, you've also done something else with now how you feel about your coffee, because I teach people to, one of the things I teach in my course is how to come up with an easier list of how to be happy. I what has to happen for you to be happy is get a new job, buy a bigger house, get the Porsche, you know, have a villa in the south of France have a private airplane, if that's how you're what it's going to take for you to be happy, it's going to be pretty hard for you to be happy. You're probably not going to get all of those things in your life. But all of us can come up with a second list of happiness. And they can be simple things like, I know every person listening to this podcast has a favorite song that makes them feel happy. What if you could just take a three minute happiness break in the middle of your day, and not multitask, not listen to the song while you do six other things. Take three minutes and just close your eyes, put on your favorite song on your phone and listen to it. Would that make you happy for three minutes out of the day. Just like your coffee does when you forget to eat later in the morning. So that's an example I encourage people come up with a more relaxed list of what would make them happy. You know, your kids smiles at you, your kid had a good day at school, you're you know, you spend two minutes with your spouse. When you both get home just relating to each other. We little simple things but if you have another list of happiness that isn't the job and the villa in the south of France and tied to some successful thing, you can make yourself happy every day part of every day.
That's true. I know I showed you just briefly at the beginning of the podcast, my new egg chair which is my meditation chair and I'm looking at it right now. It makes me happy just looking at it and I meditated there today and it's just such a beautiful space to be in. It's just like a little cocoon.
Absolutely. And you know that's part of the the early state I mean that A year from now, it may not make you feel as great as it does today. But it makes you happy now. And it helps you access that happiness, which is you know what life is all about, as I said,
and it's an energy zone what I create there too, because this, this office is a sunroom before, but it's my office, all windows. So we have a little workout area, keyboard, guitar, then here for taping the show. So it's a really great room to be. Now, Rob, do you, do you and Dee, do you ever miss being on the boat? Or was that part of your journey and you've fulfilled that and now you're happy doing? Being very active now still in your life?
Yeah, we love the boat when we get it. We did it for 17 years. You know, a lot of people do what we do, but very few stay out that long. And when we finished circumnavigating, so we sailed all the way around the world, we got back to our starting point. And we felt like we had done the boat thing. What we did miss was the incredible camaraderie of people that we knew. Because unlike when you're say, like, there are people that do RV's, for instance, and they travel around the country in RV's, and we've also done that, but the RV world is different, because you're all going in different directions. The sailing world, everybody is following the same path. For the most part, you're going downwind, you're stopping at the same islands and same places to re-provision. So we have friends that we sailed with, off and on for 17 years. Sometimes we would go two years without seeing each other. And then we would find each other, you know, 20,000 miles away on the other side of the world, and we'd be together for a month or two. So we miss some of the people, but we're very good about staying in touch with them. And we don't miss the sailing so much. For us, it was not so much about the sailing as a sport. It was more about the places we could go and the people we would meet that sort of thing.
Cliff and I when we met 30 years ago, we did make the decision to sell everything and we went lived on a boat. We were only gone up to about eight months. So we didn't do 17 years. But the eight months we never forget every day of that experience. And you know, and then coming back to Canada, but the people and he dove for conch and fish. We were the healthiest back then than we were ever in our lives. And so I hear what you're saying with the people and everything.
Yeah, absolutely. It's such an incredible life. I mean, we did the same thing. I would get lobster for lunch every single day if you want, or snapper or spear fish for grouper or whatever. Oh, yeah, it's an incredible life in that way. And we found our life on the boat kind of had three phases. The first phase I would we I sort of refer to as the don't die phase, where we were focused on learning how to do everything, be safe, not put our boat onto the reef, not, you know, get in a terrible storm. And it was very inwardly focused. And, you know, you know that the boat is a complex machine, you have to learn how to fix and maintain everything. So the first part of our sailing years was this me phase very inwardly focused. And then the next part was the sort of outwardly the mutual benefit phase where we would as I said, give fish hooks to the men we met or, or carry school supplies for the children. And that was a two way street. We did things for them, but they invited us into their lives, and it opened lots of doors. And so we were helping them they were showing us their lives and and it was mutually beneficial. And that was phase lasted for quite a few years, I would say. And then that last phase was where we felt very much that we needed to contribute to others. And that was that phase that started when we started the scholarship and did things like that where we really made it much more about what we could bring to the places we visited.
Mm hmm. That sounds just just wonderful. Again, one of the reasons we moved down here to Nova Scotia was to be on water because we're not selling right now. But again, it's still in our it's still in our vision to be sailing. We're not sure how that's going to unfold. I watch a couple, Riley and Elayna. They're from Australia, and I've been watching them for just over five years. And they've moved from a sailboat to a cat. And it just brings me back to that place every day or even yesterday, the clothes I was wearing. I add an anchor back to the boat. I'm in their feet most of the time and even in the winter. And I have these anchors in my Happy Places. Always anchored into that sailing outdoor Caribbean Bahamas.
Oh, that's beautiful. Yes, it's all of that is so special. We realize how lucky we were to be able to do that. But also realize that we made it happen by doing some of the things we talked about earlier and creating a compelling future. I actually work with people on what I call dream harvesting. So, you know, we talked about the the number one reason people don't go after their dreams is that they worry about what other people are going to think. The second reason is fear often. And then the third is they don't, as you said, you know, they have to take care of the parents or the kids or whatever. And one way of solving that third problem. Third question is to again back to asking better questions. So, Tony Robbins teaches a set of problem solving questions. So for instance, you might ask yourself, What's great about this problem? Or could be great about it? In other words, what am I going to learn? What's going to be better when I do solve it? So acknowledge that there's a problem confronting you? How can I go stale sailing, and still take care of my aging parents or something like that? So ask better questions there. What's great about this problem, or what could be great about it? The next one is what am I no longer willing to do? You might say, Well, I'm no longer willing to worry about other people's feelings, or what they think of me or what my neighbors are going to judge me on. So what am I no longer willing to do? What am I willing to do to solve the problem? So I'm worried I'm willing to work later, do extra hours or learn how to speak Spanish or learn how to fix a sailboat? So what am I? What could be great about the problem? What am I no longer willing to do? What am I willing to do?
How can I solve the problem and enjoy the process. So there's - and people can Google these, they don't need to remember now; Google 'Tony Robbins problem solving questions' - but those can help you get through a lot of those kinds of issues of little roadblocks in your way of getting the life you want. And then the other thing is breaking through fear. And I teach an entire process, as I said, called Dream Harvesting, where sit down, people can sit down and write down every dream and wish they want to do or be or everything they want to have in their life. Take 15 minutes and just write as fast as you can. Don't censor yourself in any way. If you want to be king of the world and have your own private Learjet, write that down; don't censor yourself. Write everything down. And then you can break it down into goals that you want to accomplish immediately; some goals or be 1 - 3 years, and then any goal that's three years or farther down the road, and you can split them out that way. If you have career goals and personal goals, you can also split those out. And then I work with people to take just their top goal, whichever they want to work on, and take about 10 minutes and make the goal completely visible to your mind. And what it would be like after you've accomplished it. So let's use the example of say, you want to take your family to Italy. So picture yourself sitting on the terrace on the Amalfi Coast, and you're with your family and you're ready to order lunch there. And you can hear the sounds of the other people around you speaking Italian and you can see the sunlight glinting off of the Mediterranean down below and pastel houses all around and, and the waiter comes to your table and he puts down that pesto sauce that they only make in that part of the Amalfi Coast and, and you can taste the pesto. So you do all of that and you make it you use your five senses. What does it look like and sound like and feel like and smell like and tastes like when you've accomplished your goal. And that helps you create leverage in your own mind that the goal can be real. And then you do things to set down a timeline. Well, what are the steps I have to do? Well, go right now and Google Italy. Figure out where you might want to go; then you research the cost of an airplane flight or whatever it is, but make some action steps and take action on those steps. And that's sort of the start of getting your dreams. And then the the next step is to break through fear because for most of us, if we have a goal, there might be some fear between us and accomplishing the goal. And, of course, when we set off to sail around the world, as most people can imagine, encountering a storm at sea can be a pretty fearful experience. So how do you deal with fear? And I have a process I can share with people on how to break through fear that might be preventing them from achieving their dream life. And what I do is I break the fear down into little tiny individual chunks of fear. So most people would say to me, Oh, I would love to sail around the world like you did, but I'd be afraid. Well, what specifically are you afraid of? Well, are you afraid of getting lost? Okay. I'm afraid of getting lost. So you've identified the fear. What's the solution for that fear? I know I can carry two or three extra GPS's. So you've broken down the fear into a smaller chunk. Maybe I'm afraid of the boat sinking. Okay, that's a small chunk. What can you do about a solution for the boat sinking? Well, you can carry extra bilge pumps, you can have a really stout boat. So now you've broken your fear down into being lost, and the boat sinking, and you've come up with a solution for each one. Just keep doing that, get real specific about your fears, and come up with a solution for each fear. And when you do that, it all becomes much, much more manageable. And then the last step is, you just need to take action. Courage isn't the absence of fear, courage is feeling the fear, and going forward anyway. And the more you do that, you expand your comfort zone, because the magic all lies outside your comfort zone. Every time you go for a little bit of making your comfort zone a little bit bigger, it's like you've built up a muscle. And so now you're you can handle a little more challenge and a little bigger fear. And once you do that, then you're able to say.... you know, we didn't start off saying we're gonna sail around the world. We said, we're going to go to the Bahamas, which is 50 miles from Florida. And then we got a little braver and we went to the Caribbean. So you build up your muscle for breaking outside of your comfort zone. And then you can tackle bigger and bigger things, and you can make your dream life come true.
That's wonderful. I also share Rob, for fear their acronym, from false evidence appearing real, which is a book I used to give to my clients over 30 years ago, my my coaching clients, and the people I worked with to feeling excited and ready. And you know, when fear shows up, it's the next step, you have to take action. And I say, take inspired action to then see the next step. Like you said, you went to Florida, then you made the next step to the Caribbean, and then they just anyway, you ended up being sailing around the world. So it's taking that step. Rob, as we come to the end of this beautiful, heartfelt conversation, what's on the horizon for you and Dee in 2022. and beyond?
Well, my, when we came back from sailing, my wife started a nonprofit here to help seniors stay in their homes. So in our small community, seniors can sign up for the services and then volunteers in the community, you know, we'll take them grocery shopping, or do a doctor's appointment or whatever. So she's been working on that non stop for the last eight years. And just yesterday, she resigned from the board, because now it's in good hands and other people are taking it over. So I think she's gonna take a little break. And I've done just the opposite. I've been enjoying my life and all the sports things I do. And when I started here, I was speaking off and on about life fulfillment and happiness and those sorts of things. But when I've seen this great resignation, that's hit sort of the whole world, but certainly in the United States hard, because so many people during the pandemic started asking themselves, am I happy with my life? And if not, why not? And so they started, you know, leaving their jobs. And so I now am talking with corporations about I'm going in and teaching their people this recipe for happiness. Because we all think happiness happens when you you know, you get the white picket fence and the perfect kids and the in the new job. And it doesn't work that way. Happiness comes first. So I'm working now with more and more people in corporations to teach them these these recipes and framework for happiness so they can live happier, more fulfilling lives.
That's very exciting.
It is very exciting. I'm so anyway, so my wife is sort of going into retirement and I'm, I'm going into my encore career here in my late 60s.
Yes, I don't think either of you will really retire. That word personally doesn't resonate with me, but just go to the next step of the journey for me.
Absolutely. That's the way we see it.
Yeah. I'd like to say to the listeners of if you'd like to hear more real life stories like Rob's today, which inspire empower you to live your best life, which is what this whole podcast is about. I would like to invite you to join our Create the Life you Love community. The links will be below the show and also for Rob's gift on relationships and his PDF. We will put that in there for you too. And Rob, thank you today for sharing from your heart and soul, your wisdom on how to be 30% Happier in 30 days The Happiness Journey. Namaste.
Thank you so much for having me.
Thank you for listening to the Heart Soul Wisdom podcast with Moira Sutton. I hope you enjoyed today's episode. Please join our community at moirasutton.com and continue the discussion on our Facebook page Create the Life You Love. You will be part of a global movement connecting with other heart centered people who are consciously creating the life they love on their own terms. Together we can raise our consciousness for the greater good of humanity and for our planet.