Youth motivational speaker and Amazon bestselling author Jeff Yalden is a big believer in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy [CBT] because he can attest to its positive results in his own life. Yalden has long been transparent about his own struggles with mental illness and dealing with major depression, bipolar II disorder and PTSD. He has been through major spinal cord fusion and recently became free of diabetes as a result of a lifestyle change following gastric sleeve surgery. “I’m down 85 pounds and I’m feeling great,” he said, adding that he still goes through the peaks and valleys in life, just like everybody else. In this episode of The BOOM Podcast, Yalden drills down on the topic of success – and specifically the question of how to measure success. One of the takeaways from his counseling was that he was really dependent on being a numbers guy – calculating his success based on a spreadsheet: Was he losing a pound a week or two pounds a week or saving ten percent of his income – issues that everybody struggles with at times. “If I would fail or not come close in one category, then it was like I just let go of everything else,” he said. His therapist went to work with him on lessening his dependence on playing the numbers game with his progress. The proving ground for the elimination of numbers-based tracking is at his fitness boot camp at iSi Elite Training in Garden City, South Carolina – not far from his home in Murrells Inlet. He simplified his approach by taking a much less rigid view of his progress there. “My goal is to work out – to show up, to just be committed to doing my best – and to be consistent. That specifically was by goal back in January,” he said. Many people in the gym wear a heart rate monitor, including Jeff. After every workout, he receives an email with his ranking for the day. To be blunt, Yalden works his ass off at iSi – sometimes burning up to 1000 calories per hour class and easily twice as much as anybody else – but he noticed that he is always in last place. “I gave it that 10 percent – I pushed a little bit harder today. I was sweating like crazy, my heart rate was up and I felt great. I still came in last place.” But when he got home and saw the results, the realization hit him: Who cares? “I am not competing and I think this is one of the messages that I want to share with you: Are you measuring your success in life in comparison to somebody else? Are you measuring your success by who lives in a bigger home – who drives a nicer car – who makes more money – who’s got a bigger boat?” Are you measuring your success by who goes on a nicer vacation? Are you measuring your success based on who is a better parent? “When you get caught up in that game and you get caught up in that cycle of keeping up with the Joneses, it’s hard to break out of it.” We discover newfound freedom when we realize that we’re not competing against anybody else in our journey and that everybody’s journey is different. “I came in last place today. I came in last place every day, but I am not competing against anybody. I am competing against being my healthiest. Competing against being a better person today than I was yesterday,” he said. According to Yalden, sometimes we stress ourselves out by trying to be who we may never be – or by trying to be somebody that we are not. Listen – sometimes we stress ourselves out – with trying to be who we may never be. Sometimes we stress ourselves out with trying to be somebody that we are not. No matter what age we are, it’s really important to get to know who you are and to become comfortable with who you are not. “I am not one of the top fitness competitors in my gym,” he said. “That’s OK. I don’t need to be. My goal is to show up every day, be consistent, do the best I can – and to cheer, support and encourage other people in their workouts.” Because he pushed a bit harder in today’s workout, Yalden said he got an epic feeling of fulfillment and joy – and plenty of energy to tackle his day. Coming in last on a graph made absolutely no difference. He cited good friend and fellow author Richie Contartesi and his theory about the three percent. “You grind every day. You give it your best – you get up early – you really push towards those goals – you are part of that three percent. Anybody can be part of that three percent. You make less excuses and you get the job done. That’s kind of like the BOOM.” As Yalden wrote about in his Amazon bestseller, BOOM! One Word to Instantly Inspire Action, Deliver Rewards, and Positively Affect Your Life Every Day, the BOOM is a factor and an effect. The BOOM factor would be getting up in the morning and going to work out even if you don’t feel like it – and the BOOM effect would be the rewarding feeling of having done it and given it your best. “BOOM! One word changes everything,” he said. How do you measure success every day? Are you measuring it by comparing yourself to others or are you measuring your success based on the plan you are exercising every day? “Set a plan. Make sure the plan is clear. Take action. Let’s not complicate the big picture. Let’s simplify it – and I think you will be greatly successful.” To find out more about Jeff Yalden, go HERE. Subscribe to The BOOM Podcast HERE. LISTEN to this episode of The BOOM Podcast. GRAB your copy of BOOM! JOIN the BOOM Nation Facebook group and share your BOOM moments.
Many know Michael Oher from his football career – he now plays offensive tackle for the Carolina Panthers – and from the Oscar-winning film, The Blind Side. At 6’ 4” and 315 pounds, he’s hard to miss. For Oher, it all started at Ole Miss – The University of Mississippi – and its legendary NCAA Division I football program. When Richie Contartesi walked on to the practice field at Ole Miss, he was 5’7” and tipped the scales at 155 pounds. By an awesome twist of fate, he was given one chance – and one chance only – to prove himself. In classic “feel-the-fear-and-do-it-anyway” fashion, Contartesi made the team and became an Ole Miss Rebel – eventually garnering a full SEC scholarship to the University of Mississippi. In the ensuing years, Contartesi became an in-demand public speaker, with a focus on kicking off and closing conferences. He is also the bestselling author of In Spite of the Odds: A True Inspirational Journey from Walk-on to Full Scholarship at Ole Miss. Reader Pat Canuso had this to say about the book in an Amazon review: “Reading In Spite of the Odds was like watching the movie Rudy, but with a machine gun.” Youth motivational speaker and Amazon bestselling author Jeff Yalden hosted Contartesi in the third episode of his BOOM Podcast. “Richie and I have a relationship that goes back a couple of years now, and I knew from the beginning that he was going to do some epically awesome stuff,” Yalden said, adding that he helped Contartesi get into the speaking market and mentored him from the very beginning. Contartesi grew up in Palm Beach, Fl., where there was a lot of competition for Division 1 and Division II scholarships. And he was already at a perceived disadvantage because of his size. But he said he was lucky enough to attend a new high school in his sophomore year. “There was not as much competition, [and that] gave me the opportunity to touch the field as a sophomore. I got to learn a lot early on,” Contartesi said. By the time he was a junior, he said he could play because he knew what was expected – and he was able to outsmart some of what he called the talent just from experience. But he hit a major snag in his senior year. A broken ankle sidelined him, and the colleges that were looking at him about potential scholarships fell by the wayside. Contartesi shared his story on the BOOM Podcast – how he had a chance to play at Jacksonville University, a non-scholarship school – but redshirted his first year. The next year didn’t go well either, after a change in coaching staff. “He took a look at my size without really getting a chance to see me play, and basically just cut me from the team,” he said. He had a decision to make: Hang up his cleats and quit, or continue to follow his dream of playing Division I football. He resolved to keep going, putting together a spreadsheet of 119 Division I schools, including phone numbers and the names of the head coaches. Contartesi picked up the phone and started dialing. Most conversations didn’t last more than 30 seconds, especially when he got to the height and weight question. But he kept grinding. A silver lining appeared when he found out that a man by the name of Kyle Strongin was interning with the Ole Miss football program. Strongin, who eventually became director of football operations at the University of Mississippi, went on to work for the San Francisco 49ers and is now coordinator of football operations with the University of Tennessee. Contartesi said he built a relationship with Strongin when he was 12 years old, and Strongin also coached Contartesi’s football team in high school. “He saw my character, leadership and playing style. Because of the relationship I built with him, I called him and said, ‘Hey man – can I play football at Ole Miss and can you help me get in?’” Strongin told him that if there was one person that he would help get in, it would be Contartesi. This was three weeks before school started and way past the admissions deadline. “He was able to get me in academically, and was going to give me one shot – one try,” he said. In this episode of The BOOM Podcast, Yalden and Contartesi talk about the importance of overcoming fear and self-doubt, while holding fast to perseverance – pursuing an important goal with bulldog tenacity. Contartesi mentioned studies that show only three percent of Americans write down their goals, and uncovered an interesting correlation. “When I was playing [youth] football, my coach said to me that only three percent of high school football players play Division I football,” he said. “When I was studying about goals and the fact that only three percent write them down – the same three percent get whatever they want in life. They live a lifestyle by design, and do what they want to do every single day.” Powerful stuff. “I wasn’t the given size. I wasn’t the most talented. I wasn’t the fastest, but I pushed myself into the top three percent by always putting myself in the position to be successful – by getting there early and leaving late – working with coaches, being in the film room every day – being in the weight room as much as I could, and doing everything I could that was humanly possible every day. It wasn’t given to me, because I didn’t have all of those other gifts.” In this episode of The BOOM podcast, you will discover Contartesi’s empowering views on healthy competition and how to find the fire within yourself, and more. Yalden and Contartesi work together in the youth speaking market and speak often on leadership, character and resilience, but they have a great relationship and help each other out – the exact opposite of cutthroat tactics and self-preservation. For them, it’s all about service. “Healthy competition is when you are secure with who you are – and you want to see other people grow and succeed as well. I think that’s awesome,” Yalden said. Contartesi’s daily routine involves affirmations, personal development study and a few minutes of meditation and regular workouts. He utilizes a vision board and a goals spreadsheet, taking the main specific goals and writing them down on a Post-It note every day. He also uses a task management app called Todoist. Yalden mentioned that Contartesi’s routine was like a customized version of the principles laid out in Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning. Contartesi is currently implementing the principles laid out in the Dale Carnegie classic, How to Win Friends & Influence People. Both Yalden and Contartesi are huge proponents of self-discipline, and Contartesi laid out his three-point plan to bring the BOOM and make a huge impact in a person’s life.
- Build Relationships/Find a Mentor
- Overcome Fear
- Be Persistent