In this episode, I interview Mike Merriam, author of “Closer Than You Think.” He talks about how his life changed when he was misdiagnosed with lung cancer. He shares how he felt at that point and how his mindset changed. He also talks about his book, which is about asking yourself the right questions, something that we don’t typically ask our kids to do.
Mike was born in 1977 in a small town in Upstate New York. In his early twenties, he moved to the New York City area, where he became involved in the mortgage banking business. He battled cold calls, increasingly severe regulations and, eventually, the near collapse of his industry as a whole.
He married his best friend in 2005 and they have 2 beautiful boys together. He went on to achieve great personal and financial success in his career, yet at the pinnacle of this success found himself completely unfulfilled and disengaged.
After analyzing these feelings and speaking with many others that had felt the same way, he realized he needed to consult with some of the best minds in personal development. He read hundreds of books, attended seminars and hired the world’s top coaches. On this journey of personal evolution, he discovered the secret to unlocking the life of his dreams.
After some time, he realized that he had an obligation to share what he discovered with the rest of the world. He truly believes that we are not only entirely capable of achieving great success, but true happiness, joy, and fulfillment along with it.
(03:00) When you hear the word successful, who’s the first person that comes to mind and why?
(06:40) Mike’s background
(08:00) What did you take away from that upbringing? Did you learn anything specific from your mom and dad that you use today? Anything you do as far as the way you’re a parent or a husband today?
(09:40) It occurred to me as you’re describing your childhood how you were mediocre, do you think that actually gives you a competitive advantage in what you’re doing today?… Do you think that gives you the ability to differentiate yourself and your perspective?
(12:50) You had some stuff happen to you in 2014 that was just unbelievable. Can you talk us through that inflection point?
The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
(17:35) The shift, to me, is always interesting. You had multiple things happening at that point… What are the key things that allow you to move from that, to be able to respond in that productive manner, that you were able to respond and turn your life into something greater?
Are you going to be the hero of your own story or are you going to wallow in a victim’s mentality?
(20:00) Let’s dive into what you learned that led to this framework that you put together. Why don’t you tell us what you thought you could build upon from that experience and what you’ve done?
Living in alignment with your values is the ultimate success.
What would an amazing, fulfilling, radical future look like?
(25:00) This positive core, the goal is yourself. The goal is a development of self-confidence and self-interest that eventually gets you moving a process forward. Is that the right way to approach what you’ve built here?
See your goals not as a distant shore but as a guiding star.
What you learn on your journey is going to determine your destination.
(26:48) What sort of psychology, neuroscience have you steeped in this philosophy?
Research shows that when people experience positive emotions, their capabilities are significantly improved, that they’re able to accomplish much more.
(29:35) As part of the book, you mentioned these 6 fundamental questions. Can you dive into these questions that the audience can ask themselves?
What are your core values, and why?
What are your unique strengths?
What are your highest priorities and motivations?
What might a truly fulfilling life look like?
Why would it look like that?
How might you actually go about designing and living this radically fulfilling life?
(31:30) What would you say your strengths are?
(32:35) If you were in the audience right now… I’m always thinking about small wins, one small step that they can take in the right direction to build momentum in a positive way. What would you say to the audience in doing that in this framework?
Do something that scares you.
(36:35) Is there one or two book that you can point to that has most impacted you, and why?
(37:48) What about documentaries? Do you watch them? And if you do, do you have a favorite?
Sharp, directed by Nick Conedera
(39:01) If you could have dinner with one person you admire, past or present, who would it be and why?