Welcome to Pushing the Limits, the show that helps you reach your full potential with your host, Lisa Tamati, brought to you by lisatamati.com.
Lisa Tamati: Welcome back to Welcome back to Pushing the Limits. This week, I have Dr John Demartini. He is a world renowned speaker, teacher, educator, researcher, medical doctor. He's written I don't know how many books, countless, countless books. He's an incredible, incredible man who teaches literally thousands and thousands of people every year in his breakthrough experience. The information that you're going to get in this podcast could change your life. So I've given you a fair warning. He's an amazing, incredible man that, and I've talked to a lot of incredible people but this one is really next level, he started out as a big wave surfer in Hawaii, way back in the day. Even knew Laird Hamilton and people like that. Had learning disabilities and could hardly read or write, and yet managed to overcome all these things to become one of the greatest scholars that there is. He's read over 30,000 books. He has distilled the knowledge from people right through the ages, through leaders and philosophers and stoics and scientists. He's an expert in so many different areas. He teaches people in business, he teaches people how to overcome massive challenges in their life. So I really hope that you enjoy this episode. It is going to get uncomfortable in places because we’ll talk about really being accountable, really understanding our own physiology, and just so much more. An absolutely amazing interview. So I hope you enjoy it.
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Now over to the show with Dr John Demartini. Well, Hi everyone and welcome to Pushing The Limits. Today, I am super excited for my guest. My guest is an absolute superstar. Welcome to the show. Firstly and foremostly, thank you very much for taking the time out today. Dr John, I'm just really excited to have you. Whereabouts are you sitting in the world?
Dr John Dematini: I am in Houston, Texas. I'm in a hotel room in Houston, Texas, even though it shows that I've got a library.
Lisa: Yeah,I love that background. That is a fantastic background. Really great. Well, greetings to Texas and I hope that everything is going well over there for you. Today, I wanted to talk about you, your work, the breakthrough experience. Some of the learnings and the exciting mission that you've been on for now. For 47 years, I believe. Something crazy like that. So Dr John, can you just give us a little bit of a background on you and your life and what you do on a day to day basis? Big question.
Dr John: I'm an educator, a researcher, a writer. I do a lot of interviews and filming for documentaries. I've been spending 48 years now, over 48 years, on doing anything I can to help human beings maximise their potential, their awareness potential, and achieve whatever it is that they're inspired to achieve. So that could be raising a beautiful family to building a massive business to becoming fortunate or celebrity, doesn't matter. It's whatever it is that inspires them. I've been studying human behaviour and anything and everything I can get my hands on for the last 48 years to assist people in mastering a lot. That's what I love doing. I do it every day. I can't think of any else I'd rather be doing. So I just do it.
Lisa: It's a bit of a role model for me, Dr John, because I think what you have achieved in this time, the way you've distilled information, I mean, you've studied, last time I looked on one of your podcasts, that was over 30,000 books, probably more now. And you've distilled the information from great masters throughout history into practical things that humans today can actually benefit from. Is that a good assessment of what you basically have done?
Dr John: I'm writing right now a 1200 page textbook on philosophers and great minds through the ages. I summarise it. I love studying and learning anything I can from those people that have done extraordinary things, and then passing that on. So yes. Right now, I'm actually, I just finished, I’m just finishing up Albert Einstein, which is one of my heroes. I had a dream when I was young. When I saw that E = mc² drawn on that board, I wanted to find out where that board was. I went to Princeton, and met with Freeman Dyson, who took over his position at Princeton in 1955. Spent part of the day with him and we're talking on cosmology. I wrote my formula on that same board, exactly the same place, because that was a dream that I had since I was probably 18, 19.
Lisa: Wow, and you got to fulfill it and actually love it.
Dr John: Yeah. Took me a bit of time. So what? But yeah, I love anybody who's done something extraordinary on the planet in any field. I love devouring their journey and their thinking. That's every Nobel Prize winner I've gone through and every great philosopher and thinker and business leader and financially or spiritually, to try to find out and distill out what is the very essence that drives human beings? And what is it that allows them to do extraordinary things? So I wanted to do that with my life. Most of the people I get in front of want to feel like they want to make a massive difference. They want to make a difference in the world. They want to do something that’s deeply meaningful, inspiring. And so yeah, we're not 'put your head in the product glue and let the glue stick' and then pass it on.
Lisa: Instead of having to reinvent the world, why not? So Dr John, can you give us a little bit of history though, because you're obviously an incredible scholar,have an incredible mind. But as a child, you struggled with learning and with reading and writing.Can you give us a little, how the heck did you go from being this kid that struggled with all of that to where you are today? One of the greatest minds out there.
Dr John: Yeah, I definitely had some learning challenges. I had a speech challenge when I was a year and a half old to four, I had to wear buttons in my mouth and put strings in my mouth and practice using all kinds of muscles. Went to a speech pathologist. When I was in first grade. No matter what the teacher was trying to do, I just couldn't read. My teacher, and my parents would come to the school and said, 'You know, your son's not able to read. He's not going to be able to write effectively,' because I wrote kind of backwards. 'I don't think he's going to mountain and go very far in life, put him into sport.' Because I like to run. And I did sports there for a while. But then I went from baseball to surfing. I hitchhiked out to California and down Mexico and then made it over to Hawaii so I could ride big waves and I was doing big wave and stuff when I was a teenager. So I didn't have academics. I dropped out of school. I was a street kid from 13 to 18. But then right before 18 I nearly died. That's when I met Paul Bragg, who inspired me one night in a presentation. That night I got so inspired that I thought, 'Maybe I could overcome my learning problems by applying what this man just taught me. And maybe someday I could learn to read and write and speak properly.' That was such an inspiration, such a moment of inspiration that it changed the course of my life. I had to go back. And with the help of my mum, I went and got a dictionary out, started to read a dictionary and memorise 30 words a day until my vocabulary. I had to spell the word, pronounce the word, use it with a meaningful sentence, and develop a vocabulary. Eventually doing that 30 we would, we wouldn't go to bed. I didn't go to bed until I had 30 new words, really inculcated. My vocabulary grew. And I started to learn how to do the reading. It was not an easy project. But, man, once I got a hold of it, I never stopped.
Lisa: And once you started to read, you didn’t stop.
Dr John: I've never stopped. I've been a voluminous reader now. You know, 48 years.
Lisa: That’s just incredible.
Dr John: I can’t complain.
Lisa: So was it a dyslexia or learning disability? I just asked because my mum was a teacher of children with dyslexia and things like that. Was there specific ways that you were able to overcome the disability so to speak?
Dr John: Yeah, I just, sheer persistence and determination to want to read and learn. I remember, I took my first, I took a GED test, a general education high school equivalency test. And I guessed, literally guessed, I close my eyes. I said this little affirmation that Paul Bragg gave me that, 'I'm a genius, and I apply my wisdom.' And some miraculous thing made me pass that test. I didn't know how to read half the stuff that was on it. I just went with my intuition and guessed. And I tried to go to college, after taking that test and had the test. I failed. And I remember driving home crying because I had this idea that I was going to learn how to teach and become intelligent. Then when I got a 27, everybody else got 75 and above. I got a 27 and I thought, 'Well, there's no way it's going to work.' But then I sat there and I cried and my mum came home from shopping, and she saw me crying on the living room floor. She said, ‘Son, what happened? What's wrong?’ I said, ‘Mum, I failed the test. I guess I don't have what it takes.’ And I repeated what the first grade teacher said, 'I guess I'll never read or write or communicate effectively, or amount too much. I guess I'll go back to Hawaii and make surfboards and surf. Because I was pretty good at that.' And she said to me something that was a real mind bender. She put her hand on me and she said, ‘Son, whether you become a great teacher, philosopher and travel the world like your dream, whether return to Hawaii and ride giant waves like you've done, return to the streets and panhandle like you've done. I just want to let you know that your father and I are going to love you no matter what you do.’
Lisa: Wow, what a mum.
Dr John: That was an amazing moment. When she said that, my hand went into a fist of determination. And I said to myself, ‘I'm gonna match this thing called reading and studying and learning. I'm gonna match this thing called teaching and philosophy. And I'm going to do whatever it takes, I'm going to travel whatever distance, I'm gonna pay whatever price, to give my source of love across this planet.’ I got up and I hugged her. And I said to myself, ‘I'm not gonna let any human being on the face of the earth stop me, not even myself.’ I got out of my room. And that's when I decided with her help to do the dictionary. That was an amazing turning point.
Lisa: And I can feel it, the emotion and what a wonderful mum you had. I mean, what a perfect thing to say when someone's down.
Dr John: It was the most. If she hadn't said that, I might’ve come back to surfing. I might be a surfer today.
Lisa: Which would have been a good thing as well, probably because surfing is great.
Dr John: It didn’t make money in those days. I'm in the mid 60s and 70s, early 70s. But,, now, the guys I served with, Laird Hamilton and-
Lisa: Wow. He's a hero is amazing.
Dr John: Both Ben Aipa, Gerry Lopez, and these guys, those are the guys I served with. And so those guys went on to be incredible.
Lisa: I wasn't aware of that.
Dr John: I lived at the same beach park in Haleiwa, where Ehukai Beach Park is, near Pipeline, between Rocky Point and Pipeline. Laird Hamilton was dropped off by his mother there and lived there on the beach. I lived up on where the park bench was. We lived right there and I saw him on the beach each morning. He was seven, I was 16. He was going on seven, I was almost 17. We live there at the same place and Bill Hamilton saw him out there and grabbed him and took him in and trained them on surfing and found his mum and then married the mum. That's how I became. I hung out with those characters.
Lisa: Legends. You became a legend in this direction and they have become a legend in a different direction.
Dr John: Well, there's a book out called The High Surf by Tim Baker. That’s from Australia. He wrote a book on people that rode big waves. And he said, 'I'd like to put you in there.' I said, 'Well, I didn't go on to be the superstar in that area like these other guys.' He said, 'But I want you in there because you became a legend.
Lisa: Became a superstar.
Dr John: Yeah
Lisa: Do you think that there's, you know, I come from a surfing family. My brother's a big wave surfer in New Zealand. I've tried and failed miserably, stuck to running. I was better at it. But do you think there's a correlation between the mindset that you developed as a surfer? Because going in those big waves is scary. It's daunting. It's frightening. It's challenging. It's teaching you a lot. Is there a lot that you took from that for this journey that you've been on?
Dr John: Yeah, I didn't surf anything more than 40-foot waves. So I think that was about as good as about as big as you get back in the 70s. At 70s is when I was-
Lisa: Oh, just a mere 40, it’s okay.
Dr John: Well, 40-foot waves was the biggest thing out in outer reef pipeline was the big thing. They hadn't had tow-in surfing yet. That was just, that wasn't begun yet. So there was that idea, we had to catch those waves. That was not easy because they're too big to catch. you got to have big long boards, and you got to really paddle to get into those waves, and it's usually too late. But I think some of those, I used to surf 11 hours a day sometimes. When you're really, really committed to doing something, that's... Einstein said perseverance is the key to making things happen and if you just stay with something. So, if you're not inspired to do something, enough to put in the hours and put in the effort, and you don't have somebody that you can bounce ideas off of, kind of mentoring you, you probably are not going to excel as much. But I did that. And then I just converted that over into breeding 18 to 20 hours a day, feeding once I learned to read, so I just and I still voluminously read I mean, I read every single day.
Lisa: That is incredible. And so you've taken that big wave mindset a little bit over into something else. So obviously, everything you, do you do to the nth degree, we can probably agree on that one.
Dr John: I'm surfing the cosmic waves now. And in surfing big cosmic waves, radio waves that are big waves. I move from water waves into electromagnetic waves.
Lisa: Wow. Now, you run something called The Breakthrough Experience, which you've been doing now for 40 something years. This is a philosophy and a system and a program that really changes lives and has changed lives all over the planet. Can you tell us a little bit about what you've distilled from all this information that you have in your incredible mind? And what you teach in this course, and how this can actually help people? Today, right now listening to this?
Dr John: Well, the breakthrough experiences, sort of my attempt to do with what that gentleman did to me when I was 17. I've done it 1121 times into that course. I keep records, and I'm a metric freak. Every human being lives by a set of priorities, a set of values, things that are most important.
Lisa: Podcast life.
Dr John: Welcome to it. I thought that was off, but I didn't quite get it off. But whatever is highest on the person's values, priorities, whatever is truly deeply meaningful to them, the thing that is spontaneously inspiring for them to that they can't wait to get up the morning and do.If they identify that and structure their life by priority, delegating the lower priority things and getting on with doing that, they will build momentum, incremental momentum and start to excel and build what we could say is a legacy in the world. And so, the breakthrough experience is about accessing that state, and breaking through the limitations that we make up in our mind, transforming whatever experiences you have into 'on the way' not 'in the way.' So no matter what goes on in your life, you can use it to catalyse a transformation and movement towards what it is that you're committed to. And if you're not clear about it, we'll show you how to do it because many people subordinate to people around them. Cloud the clarity of what's really really inspiring from within them, and they let the herd instinct stop them from being heard.
I think that The Breakthrough Experiences is my attempt to do whatever I can, with all the tools that I've been blessed to gather to assist people in creating a life that is extraordinary, inspiring and amazing for them. And if I don't do whatever it takes in the program, I don't know when it's going to be. I've seen six year olds in there write books afterwards. I've seen nine year olds go on to get a deal with Disney for $2.2 million dollars. I've seen people in business break through plateaus. I’ve people have major issues with relationships break, too. I don't know what's gonna be. I've seen celebrities go to new levels. I've seen people that have health issues that heal. I mean, every imaginable thing, I’ve breaking through. I've seen it in that course. And it's the same principles applied now into different areas of life. In any other area of our life, if we don't empower, the world's going to overpower something. And I'm showing I want to show people how to not let anything on the outside world interfere with what's inside.
Lisa: And you talk about, it's on the way, the challenges that we have to look at the challenges that we have and ask how is this going to actually help me get wherever I am. And this is something that I've managed to do a couple of times in my life really well, other times not so good. But where I've taken a really massive challenge, I had my own listeners, I had a mum who had a massive aneurysm five years ago, and we were told she would never have any quality of life again, massive brain damage. We know that's not happening on my watch. I'm going to, there is somebody in something in the world that can help with her. And this became my mantra that I was going to get back or die trying. That was that total dedication that I brought to her because of love. When you love someone, you're able to mobilise for the last resources that you have. And that nearly bloody killed me as far as the whole effort that went on to it, and the cost and the emotional costs, and the physical and the health and all the rest of it. It took me three years to get it back to health, full health. She's now got a full driver's license back and a full independent life back and as my wonderful mum again. And that was coming from a state of being in a vegetative state, not much over a vegetative state at least. Hardly any higher function, no speech, no move, be able to move anything.
Dr John: That’s a book there. That's a book or a movie.
Lisa: It's the book.
Dr John: That's a book and a movie for sure.
Lisa: Exactly. And this is very powerful. Because I saw this and when you're in the darkness, everybody is telling you there is no hope, there is no chance. And these are medical professionals who have been to medical school, who have a hell of a lot more authority than you. You just go, ‘No, I am not accepting it because that alternative means death, basically, decline and death in being in an institution. And that is not what I'm going to answer. I'm going to find somebody who can help me’ and I did. I found hundreds of people, actually, and this is what tipped me into doing what I'm doing now, is finding world leading experts to give me the next piece of the puzzle for her and for the people now that are following me so that I can help empower people, not to be limited by the people who tell us we can't do something. It's because that means basically they don't have the answer. Not that there is no answer, is my understanding. And they were right. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. But I did it and my mum is alive and she's well, and that book. I really want to empower people with a story. I see that same like they're obviously your passion. What you went through with your learning problems when you were young and your mum standing beside you has actually propelled you into this lifelong journey that I find absolutely fascinating because that passion, and I can see that passion in you, is still very much alive 48 years later because you're doing what your priority is.
Dr John: I'm definitely doing what I love doing. It's interesting that your story reminded me of something that happened to me when I was 27. If you don't mind, I'd like to share this. So I graduated from my professional school. I had a bit of a reputation there of being kind of the taking the cream of the crop clients, patients that were turned down everywhere else. I just tackled it, see what we can do with it. And I got a family from Mexico, with a son that fell three stories off an apartment complex onto the ground on his head. He went into a coma, been in a coma for three and a half years. And the mother, they assumed he was dead a few times, but there was still a breath. There were still something. It wasn't a strong breath. You couldn't see it but you could put a mirror in front of you and get a little bit of breath out there. So he wasn't dead. And he had decerebrate rigidity. So his whole body was so rigid that when I saw him, you could lift up his feet and his whole body would rock. It was so stiff. His hands are like this. A classical decerebrate rigidity. And he had gone to, throughout different hospitals in Mexico, where he was from, and nobody checked them. They came to America, they went to the Medical Center in Houston, which is the largest Medical Center America. And they got rejected. No one would accept it. There's nothing we can do. They went out to the professional school that I'd gone to. And they said, ‘We can't do anything.’ But we know this interesting character. West Houston, if there's anybody that would try something this guy might try, who knows? And they sent him to my office. I remember when they came in, they carried him wrapped up in a white sheet, and laid him on the armrest of the chairs on my office. I looked out there and I saw this Mexican man and woman and seven or eight other kids in a family. I'm in this. At first, I didn't know what this was, this thing wrapped up in this sheet. They came down my hallway and I saw him going down the hallway. And like, ‘What on earth is this?’ Then they unveiled him in my exam room. And there was this 58 pound tube in his nose, coma case that was so stiff. It was ridiculous. I mean, he had gauze on his chin and his hand was rubbing on it and to protect the chin from having an ulcer. It had an odor to him in the head. It was just nothing. Just stare. He just sat there. But the mother and father said, ‘No, he's still alive. Please help.’ So I didn't really have much to do an exam with. So I got him, we took him in and did a film of his spine and his skull from the history. We found his foramen magnum, his skull was jammed down on a spinal cord and his spinal cord is up in his foramen magnum. This opening in the bottom of the skull. And I thought that night, when I was developing those films, and I looked at that I thought, 'I wonder what happened if I lifted that skull? If I've got that off? It could? Could something happen?' And I was scared because you just don't do that. He could die just instantly. I sent them over to this health food store to get him some liquid vitamins and minerals and amino acids to try to get nutrients in him because they're feeding him beans and rice with liquid. It was just crazy. So the next day came in. We had four doctors on a preceptorship visiting my office, one doctor that was working for me, one assistant, the seven or eight kids plus him and the mother and father in this little room. It was packed. And I said to him that I saw that on the film something that might have make him, help. I don't know, I can't guarantee it. But if we, if I did a particular manoeuvre, it might open up the brain function. And the little woman held on to her husband and she said, 'If he dies, he dies. If he lives, we rejoice. But please help us. We have nowhere else to go.'
Lisa: Yeah. Wow.
Dr John: She said that there was something that took over me, I can't describe it. It was like a very powerful feeling, like I had a power of a Mack truck in me. I don't know how to describe it. And I had this manoeuvre that we could do this, what they call the Chrane Condyle Lift, that can actually lift the skull up the spine. And I said to myself, if I'm not willing to have him die in my hands, I can't raise the dead with my hands as a little quote that I learned from an ancient healing philosopher. And I thought, 'Okay, we're, I'm going to take the risk, and just see what happens.' Because, I mean, I don't know what to do. I'm just gonna do it. Because I mean, they've got no place to go and I only took a rip. As I lifted that skull with this powerful movement. He came out of his coma. He came right out of the coma. He screamed, and this whining noise you couldn't. It was not coherent. It was just this whining sound.
The whole family went on their knees, they were Catholic. They just went to their knees and prayed. I was blown away. I saw the four doctors one of them ran down the hallway and vomited, couldn't handle it. The other just stared. And here's this boy squirming on the table. I walked out to let the family be with the child for a minute and just sat with one of my doctors. We sat there and just cried. Because we knew that the spinal cord expressed life in the body. But we didn't know what would happen if we took the spinal cord, it just scanned off. Theoretically, it could kill you. But there was some still life in the spinal cord. Anyway, this boy went on to gain 20 pounds up to 78 pounds. We took him off the tube, we got him to move, we had everybody in the family take a joint in his body and move his joints to remobilise him. Sometimes I think we probably tore some ligaments doing it. But we got mobility. And this boy came out of it. And I have a picture here with me of the boy actually graduating from high school.
Lisa: You’re kidding me? Why is this not an? What is not? Why have I never heard the story?
Dr John: I don’t get to share it too often. I didn't many years ago. I haven't practised in a long time. But all I know is that that was a moment that you just, it's probably like you had with your mum when you saw incremental progress.
Lisa: Yeah. Just grind.
Dr John: And I think that that's a metaphor. That's a metaphor. It doesn't matter where you've come from, doesn't matter what you're going through, doesn't matter what you've been through. What matters is you have something that you're striving for. And are you willing to do some incremental movement towards that? What else just said is, he's got a diagnosis. Diagnosis means through knowledge, supposedly, but it could also mean die to an agnosis. You don't know. Even the doctors don't know. But the reality is, he came out of the coma. And I had over the next few months, I had some amazing cases of a boy that was blind and couldn't walk, and all of a sudden see and walked again. I had a boy that was paralysed, quadriplegic, was able to walk. I mean, I had some amazing stuff happen. When you're willing to do what other people aren't willing to do, you're willing to experience when other people don't get to experience.
Lisa: Yep, it is just so powerful. And I'm just absolutely blown away from that story. Because, I mean, I know with my mum who was only in a coma for three weeks, and had stroke and so on, and in the specificity and the things that I've had to deal with. The whole vestibular system being completely offline, she has like a rag doll, having to read, programming her from being a baby, basically, to being an adult, within that three year period with a body that is now like 79 years old. And the doctors going like, your brain can't change that much. And in just going, I'm going to keep going. I'm only listening to people who tell me I can do something, I'm not listening to anybody who tells me I can't do something. And this is something that I've really integrated into my entire life like as an athlete, doing stupidly long ultramarathon distances. I was always told you can't do this, and you can't do that. It's impossible. And I was like, 'We'll see.' I'm going to throw everything in it. And that was my passion at the time have now retired from doing the stupid distances because I've got other missions on in life. But whatever it is, is always the big mission. And then everybody comes up against people who tell you, you can't do it. This is one of the biggest limiting things that I see.
Dr John: That's what Einstein said, greatness is automatically pounded by mediocre minds.
Dr John: I had a boy attend my breakthrough experience, who had a surfing accident and became arms and legs not working, He could move his neck. He got a little bit of function slowly into the hand that was about it, just a tiny bit. And I remember a man wheeling him in and having them kind of strapped to a wheelchair. I knew the father and I knew his brother. There were doctors who were colleagues of mine. And they brought him, they flew him literally from Los Angeles over to Texas to come to the breakthrough experience. I remember him looking straight down really depressed, suicidal, because he was a surfer and he was on his way to being a great surfer. If he couldn't surf, he didn't want to live kind of. I remember getting on my knees and looking up at him at this chair, and I said, 'It all determines inside you what you decide. I don't know what the limit you have in your body. I don't know what you can repair. I don't know what you can do. I don't want to say you can't. But all I know is that if you're going to, you're going to have to put everything into it. You're gonna have to have no turning back kind of attitude. There's got to be a relentless pursuit of your master plan to serve.'
His name is Jesse Billauer. He made a decision at the Breakthrough Experience that nothing was going to stop him from surfing again, nothing. He is really, in the room was absolutely applauding him. The before and after in that weekend was so astonishing that it was tear jerking. Well, about 17 years ago, 16 half years ago, I had the opportunity to get, I was living on the Gold Coast of Australia. I had many homes in New York and different places. But I had one in the Gold Coast of Australia in Aria, lived in the penthouse of Aria. And all of a sudden, I found in my entrance of my penthouse, which you only can get into with my key somebody from downstairs, put it in there like mail, a DVD video of a surfing movie, called Stepping Into Liquid. And when I pulled that up and put that in there, there was Jesse Billauer, surfing.
He found a way of using his head muscles, and designing a special vehicle, a transport system, a surfboard. He had to have somebody take them out into the water and push him. But once he got on a wave his head movements were able to ride and he was riding like 12 foot waves, which is 20 foot face waves. He was doing that. And he was an inspiration. He became friends with Superman who had quadriplegia and they became friends and he created a foundation to do something but he taught people how to go surfing as a quadriplegic. So when the wise big enough to house take care of themselves, you've proven that in your book. What little I've done in my life compared to some of these kind of stories is just astonishing what I see sometimes people do. I mean, mind blowing stuff that people, that determination to overcome that are absolute inspirations. Inspiration is a byproduct of pursuing something that's deeply inspiring and deeply meaningful, through a challenge that people believe is not possible. That's inspiration.
Lisa: That's how we grow as a human race. We have these amazing people that do incredible things. And these stories, I mean, these are stories that aren't even out there in the world, in a huge way. There are hundreds of these stories and thousands of these stories and miraculous stories. These are the things that we should be talking about. Because why are we not studying the outliers? Why are we not? When I look at my book, or my story, which I share publicly and not a single doctor that had anything to do with my mum ever asked me, 'Well, how did you do it?' Nobody is interested in why she has not taken the normal path as long gone. Nobody has asked me what did you do? People do. My audience want to know why. The people that follow me, etc. But nobody that was involved in that case. And I see that over and over again.
Dr John: It's forcing him to face their own, you might say, belief systems about what they've been taught. There's an educated awareness by the herd and then there's an innate yearning by the master. The master transcends the herd, if you will. You can be a sheep or a shepherd. The shepherd is the one that goes out and does things that the sheep are not willing to do. But then once they do it, they'll rally around it. They are there watching you to be the hero instead of becoming the hero.
Lisa: Wow. And why is it in the medical fraternity that there seems to be a very big herd mentality, like no one is scared to step outside of their norms, and they get slammed. I see this in academia and in science as well, where people who have brilliant ideas and hypotheses and studies and so on, they just get slammed because it's outside of the current paradigm.
Dr John: William James, one of the founders of modern psychology, said 'To be great…' And Emerson followed in suit, 'To be greatest, to be misunderstood.’ William James basically said that the majority of people fear rejection from the multitudes because that was survival. People that are into survival follow the multitude. People that are in thrival create a new paradigm. At first they're going to be ridiculed. They're going to be violently opposed to Schopenhauer and Gandhi said, but eventually becomes self-evident. And you're either following a culture or building one. The people that do that build a new culture. They build a new culture of idea. Emerson said in his essays on circles, 'We rise up and we create a new circle of possibility. And then that becomes the new norm until somebody comes up and breaks through that concentric sphere with another circle.' It's like the four minute mile. I had a gentleman on my program the other day who is striving to be the fastest runner in the world. He's got bronze and silver medals, but he hadn't got the fastest running. And he's not stopping. He's working sometimes eight to 13 hours a day on this project. I believe that the way he's so determined to do it, and how he works on it, and he doesn't need a coach telling him what to do. He just does it. He's inspired to do it. He'll be the fastest runner, he won't stop till he's the fastest runner in the world. And that’s determination, that to be great at that one thing, find that one thing that you really target like a magnifying glass, on that you become the greatest at that thing.
Mine was human development, human behaviour. I want to have the broadest and greatest width of information about that. That's my one thing. But each individual has something that they can excel in, if they just define it, and give themselves permission at it, and say, thank you but no thank you to the opinions. The opinions are the cheapest commodities on Earth that would circulate the most as a use value. There’s ton of those. But those opinions aren’t what matter. It's not you comparing yourself to other people, it's you comparing your daily actions to what's deeply meaningful to you, and the highest priority actions daily, that’s what it is.
Lisa: How do you, this is a problem that I face, get to a certain level of success and achievement, and then you start getting lots of offers and opportunities and so on, and you start to lose the focus. You get distracted from the things that are happening in this day and age where the internet and everything that ends up like I get the shiny object syndrome. And say, 'Oh, this is an extremely interesting area of study, and I should go down that path. And then I go down that path, and then I go down that path.' It is adding to the whole picture of a general education. as someone who studied as much as you have, you've obviously encompassed all of these areas. But I think what I'm asking is, how do you find out what your highest priority is? And how do you get a team around you, so that you're not limited? I think there's a lot of business people that are listening to this, me included in this, who has struggling to get past a certain ceiling because the area of genius is one thing that they love and excelling at, and you'd like to spend all of your time doing that. But you're stuck in the groundhog day of admin and technology in the stuff that you hate. And not busting through because financially, you can't delegate to people. You also got to find people that are a good fit for you who can do the jobs, and then also have the finances to be able to break through to that near next level. Can you talk to that about?
Dr John: Yes, absolutely. When I was 27 years old, I was just starting my practice. I was doing a little of everything, anything and everything, just to get the thing cranking. I had one assistant that I hired. But I realised I was doing way too many trivial things. And that'll burn you out after a while if you're doing stuff that's not really what your specialty is. I went to the bookstore and I got a book by Alec McKinsey called The Time Trap. I read this book. As I read it, I underlined it and extracted notes like I do. I decided to put together a little sheet for it. I'll share that because it was a goldmine. I made a list of every single thing that I do in a day, over a three month period, because each day I had sometimes different things to do. But I wrote down everything I might be doing in those three months in a day. I just wrote them all down. And I don't mean broad generalities like marketing or this type of thing or radiographs or whatever. I mean, the actual actions. The actual moment by moment actions I do in those categories. I made a list of those and it was a big list. And I looked at it. Then right next that list, every single thing I did from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed, everything — home, personal, professional. I wanted to know what my day looked. I want to be an honest, objective view of what am I actually doing with my day. Because if I want to create my life the way I want, I've got to take a look at what I'm actually doing because if I'm not doing things that give me the results, no wonder I'm not getting there.
I made that list, and right next to it, in column number two of six columns is how much does it produce per hour. Which is a measure of actually meeting somebody's need as a service and people willing to pay. How much is that produced per hour? And that was humbling because there are whole lot of stuff that I will do without pay. I was minoring in majors and majoring in minors. I was doing all kinds of stuff that was just cost, no return. I stopped and I looked at that, and that was humbling, and frustrating, and a bunch of stuff went through my mind. I mean, I just, but I had to be honest to myself, what does it actually produce? I extrapolate. If I spent two hours on it, what is it per hour? Cut it in half. If I spent 30 minutes, I’d double the number to get an idea what it is per hour. There's a lot of stuff that was not making anything and there was a few things that were making a lot.
The third column I wrote down, how much meaning does it have? How much is it that makes me inspired to get up and do it? I can't wait to do what people can't wait to get. Those are the things I want to target. So I looked at it on a one to ten scale, how much meaning it was. I made a list on a one to ten scale of every one of those items, how inspired am I to do that? And there's a lot of stuff on there that was not inspiring, that I didn't want to do. I thought, 'Hell. I went to ten years of college for this?' I made this list and I put this one to ten thing. And then I prioritised the tens down to the ones. I prioritise productivity down from the ones that made thousands of dollars an hour to nothing an hour. I just prioritise them. And then I looked. There were some that were overlapped, where the thing that was most meaningful and inspiring match where it’s most productive. I prioritise that based on the two together. And that was really eye opening. Then I went to the next one because I realised that if I don't delegate, I'm trapped. Then I put what does it cost? Every cost. Not just salary, but training costs, no hiring costs, parking costs, insurance costs, everything. What is the cost of somebody excelling at doing what it is I'm doing at a greater job than me? What would it cost? On every one of those items? The best I could do? I had to just guess on something, but I definitely did the best I could.
And then I prioritise that based on spread, how much it produced versus how much it cost. Then I put another column. How much time am I actually spending on average? The final column, I wrote down, what are my final priorities with all these variables? I did a very thorough prioritisation system there. I sliced those into ten layers. I put a job description, I put a job description on that bottom layer, and hired somebody to do that but bottom layer. It took me three people to get the right person because I had to learn about hiring. I didn't know how about, hiring. I finally got the first person there, and that was free. That allowed me to go up a notch. And then I hired the next layer. What I did is it allowed me to go and put more time into the thing to produce the most, which was actually sharing a message of what I was doing publicly, with speaking. Public speaking was my door opener. I just kept knocking out layers.In the next 18 months, my business tenfold in increase in income and business. I had 12 staff members and five doctors working for me in a 5000 square foot office from under 1000 square foot original office in 18 months. Because I said goodbye to anything that weighed me down. Anytime you do something that's lower on your values, and anytime something hone your value value yourself and the world values you when you value. It's waiting for you just to get authentic and live by the highest values, which is your ideological identity. The thing you really revolve around you. Mine was teaching, so I call myself a teacher, right? So whatever that highest value is, if you prioritise your day and fill your day with high priority actions that inspire you, it doesn't fill up with low party distractions that don't, because it's now you're allowing yourself to be authentic. And it doesn't cost to properly delegate if you get the right people, and you go on and do what produces more per hour, it doesn't cost it makes sense.
Lisa: That's the hard part, isn't it? As is growing.
Dr John: You do your responsibilities. Go do the thing that knocks down the doors and goes and does the deals and then go and let them do all the crazy work. Like when I was 27, that's the last time I ever wrote a check or did payroll or looked at bills. I never looked at that again. Because that's a $20 an hour job and I could make way more speaking and doing my doctrine. So I thought, 'I'm not doing anything that's going to devalue me ever again in my life.' I've never gone back. 38 years, I've never gone back.
Lisa: So systematise. This is a thing here, where I have a bit of a problem, a bit of a chaos, right?
Dr John: I'm an ignoramus when it comes to anything other than research, write, travel, and teach. I'm useless. I'm not. I do jokes and say when I'm having I want to make love with my girlfriend. I tell her. I put my arms around I said, 'If I was to organise and have Hugh Jackman or Brad Pitt take care of lovemaking for you on my behalf and things like that, would you still love me?' One time if she said, 'No, I will still love you more.' I'm joking. That’s a joke. But the point is that if you're not delegating lower priority things, you're trapped.
Lisa: And this is the dilemma, I think, of small businesses is giving that mix right and not taking on people before you can go to that next level.
Dr John: But you go. You go to the next level by taking them on if it's done properly.
Lisa: If it's done properly, because I've-
Dr John: You want to make sure. That's why I have a value determination process on my website to determine the values of people I hire because if they're not inspired to do what I need to delegate, that's not the right person.You gotta have the right people on the bus, this column says. I have to be clear about what I can produce if I go and do these other things. And me speaking it, and doing the doctoring on the highest priority patients was way more productive financially than me doing those other things. So once I got on to that, I put somebody in place just to book speeches, and just to make sure that I was scheduled and filled my day with schedules with patients, it was a updated day and night. I've never gone back to that. I only research, write, travel, teach. That's it.
Lisa: That's my dream. I'm gonna get there.
Dr John: I don't do it. What's interesting is I became financially independent doing that because of that. I learned that if I don't value myself, and I don't pay myself, other people aren't going to pay me. If they're waiting for you to value you add when you value you, the world values you. You pay yourself first, other people pay you first. It's a reflection, economically, there. And that's what allowed me to do it. Because financial independence isn't for debauchery and for the fun life, in my opinion. It's for making sure that you get to do what you love because you love it not because you have to do it.
Lisa: And having an impact on the world. But if you're stuck doing the admin and the technical, logical stuff, and the crap that goes along with the business. You're not impacting the world like you want to be impacting.
Dr John: Well, the individual that does the administration is impacting the world through the ripple effect by giving you the freedom to do it.
Dr John: If that's what they love doing. That’s not what I love doing. But there are people that love administration, they love that stuff and love behind the scenes, I love doing that. Finding those people. That's the key.
Lisa: Finding those people. I's given me a bit of encouragement because I've been in that sort of groundhog days I had to get through the ceiling and get to the next level of reach.
Dr John: I finally realised that the cost of hiring somebody is insignificant compared to the freedom that it provides if you do your priority.
Lisa: If you get your stuff right, and know what you…
Dr John: Because the energy, your energy goes up the second you're doing what you love doing. And that draws business to you.
Lisa: Absolutely. I mean, like doing what we're doing. Now, this is my happy place.
Dr John: We’re both in our element. This is why we're probably going to slow down. The point is, when you're doing something you love to do, when you're on fire, with kind of an enthusiasm, people come around to watch you burn. They want to see you on fire.
Lisa: I mean, they do, they do. And I've seen that in times in my life where I've been preparing for a big race or something, and I need sponsors. I just go out there. At the start, I didn't know how to do a sponsored proposal, I didn't know how to do any of that fancy stuff. I just went out there and told the story. And by sharing the story, people were like, 'I want to get on board with this. That's exciting.' People would come on in and and when you don't know, one of the things that I've found in life is the less you know, sometimes the more audacious you are. When you actually have too much knowledge sometimes about the implications of what you're doing is when you can actually limit yourself.
Dr John: Yeah. Because you get in the herd instinct running on all the limitations. When you're inspired by something and there's no turning back. Everybody deep inside wants to be like that. So when they see something like that they want to engage. But you want to invest in inspiration, not rescue desperation. That's a basic law. Invest in inspiration, not rescue desperation. Nobody wants to rescue desperation unless they're compassionately in desperation and they're feeling hurt themselves. But if you take somebody and you show them what's possible, when Elon Musk goes out there and he has three explosions in a month on the way to Mars, they don't make any. He doesn't give up, he just goes, 'We're going to build another one.' There's no, 'Okay. It's a billion dollars. Let's spin 5 billion if we have to, but we're going to Mars.' Setbacks are nothing more feedback. That's the person who's inspired.
Lisa: Yeah. And that perseverance. I’m thinking that. You know the title of my book there is Relentless for a reason because you have to be like, no matter what, in that journey, there were months without progress. There would be months when we would see absolute nothing. And that was with all day every day working on it then seeing nothing. People would come to me and they'd say, 'Why are you putting her through this torturous regime every day? Why don't you just leave her be? Make her comfortable.' I don't do comfortable. Comfortable is not part of my vocabulary. Comfortable is 'We're going to die.' We can be comfortable for an hour in the evening, while I'm watching Netflix. That's the rest of the day.
Dr John: That's what I say about breaks. I say my job is to make you feel comfortable being uncomfortable.
Lisa: That's comfortable being uncomfortable.
Dr John: I’m gonna make you comfortable being uncomfortable. Because unless you are outside your comfort zone, it's not gonna, there's no stretch. there's no stretch. Just like in bodybuilding, if you don't push yourself a little further. I started out doing this year. The last year I started out doing 25 push ups, I went to 50 push ups, went to 75 push ups, went 200 broke 100. And I just kept adding another one. Just doing, trying to go and get my push ups up.
Lisa: And on that point, how have you stayed looking still like a teenager? What is it that? Is this the knowledge that you have that you just don't seem to age for a while?
Dr John: I was 17 when I started, I'm almost 67 now. All I did is that, means I only added 5. 1-2-3-4-5. So every decade was just one number. So I've only added five, five numbers to my age, since I was 17. That's the way I look at it.
Lisa: Well it looks like that. Are there some secrets to that? What is it that keeps you looking in?
Dr John: I don't live to eat. I eat to live. I don't pig out, I don't binge. I don't eat junk, I make sure that I'm eating performance. If you have something deeply meaningful that you want to do on a daily basis, you refine your diet into something that gives you performance. That's that's it, and I drink a lot of water. I haven't had coffee my whole life. I don't, I haven't had alcohol in 48 plus years. I've got a pretty simple life.
Lisa: Pretty simple life.
Dr John: And I’m doing what I love every day, I love what I'm doing. And that makes a difference. You don't age as much. Your cytokines, your inflammatory responses are down. You don't have distress. You have your stress, you have armies, and you move forward when you're doing something you really love to do every day.
Lisa: Wow. So no stress, good diet, none of the bad stuff.
Dr John: I’ve delegated all my stress to other people. You know, Hugh Jackman, they got the stress. They're the ones that gonna have to go through all that gyration and make love. I'm joking. I delegate stress to other people who would love to take it.
Lisa: Yep. And that's, oh, man, there's just so much gold in that. So what are some of the stuff as that you do, you talk about in the breakthrough experience? Talk me through a little bit of the process that you get people to take and so in a way, how can help people can join the breakthrough?
Dr John: One of those is owning the traits of the greats. I always say at the level, the essence of the soul, which is the real authentic self, you might think. Nothing's missing in you. But the level of your senses, things appear to be missing in you. And sometimes we compare ourselves to others. We put them on pedestals, we put them in pits, we put them above us or below is greater or lesser than us. We don't have an equal sign. So there's no equanimity and equity in there. Well, and as long as we do, we're going to inject their values and try to live in their values, which is futile, or project our values and try to get them to live in our values, which is futile. And all that futility, energy is what drains people. When you actually start to do something that is authentic to you, and are more objective, filling your day with high priorities. Think about when you really got, really knocked it out of the ballpark, and you stuck to priorities in the day you come home, you're resilient, you can handle anything. But if you put out fire and just had nothing but low priority stuff during the day, and you felt like 'Man, I never got to what was important today. What a day.' You're a bear when you come home, and that runs your immune system down. So,owning the traits of the greats finding out what it is around you, the heroes and villains around you own them. So you're not thinking, 'Oh, I need to be like them, or they need to be like me.' Just own it all. Give yourself to realise that if you're admiring somebody it's because you're too humble to admit what you see in them inside you, it's not missing, it's there. You haven't seen it. Become aware of it in your own form in your own value system. Don't compare yourself to them. Compare your daily actions to what you value most and stick to priority.
Lisa: And so when you start to think that someone else, because we do this all the time. We're comparing ourselves, you meet someone on the street and you're like, 'Oh, they're better looking than me either. They're richer than me. This or that.' Doing that act actually diminishes what you feel.
Dr John: But they don’t have a better life than you. That's what's so funny. I've met a lot of celebrities, a lot of impacting people, probably three or four thousand of them now. They're just human beings. And we think, 'Oh, my God. They got this great glitzy life.' No, they don't. I know some celebrities that can go outside without the paparazzi. They have to go flying into an island to hide somewhere. They have challenges that you probably don't want. But the reality is, they're not better. They're just different. And that's the realisation. They have a different set of values. They have a different set of 'successes and failures.' And if you compare yourself to them, you're going to minimise yourself. But if you actually go and find out what you see in them inside you in your own form. Otherwise, you're going to do what Einstein said. You're going to be a cat trying to swim like a fish and beating yourself up or a fish trying to climb a tree like a cat beating yourself up. Honour that you're a cat. I'm a professional speaker, I honour that I don't try to waver from what I know I'm here for.
Lisa: Yes, I love that. It's like understanding your genetics. I teach genetics and epigenetics, and that's a part of it. Understanding who you are owning who you are, instead of trying to be someone that you're not. Looking at the bad and the good, and the ugly, it is what it is, and how do we make the best of us.
Dr John: No matter what, no matter how ugly you are in the world, there's somebody out there that is going to love to look at you. That’s what’s funny. I was in Antarctica, I live on a ship as you know. We sailed down to Antarctica. There were penguins along I mean, as far as you can see is penguins. And I've watched the penguins. There were some really gimpy looking penguins that weren't that attractive. But I found if I waited there and watch long enough, another gimpy penguin found them and they made it with them. It was lovely. And then there was this really flaring debonair penguin, right? There's that perfect tuxedo on. There's this beautiful penguin, there was a penguin for everybody. I could see all my friends and their personalities in these penguins. It was quite interesting. So it's in the eye of the beholder, beauty. The same thing, we tend to think, 'Well, they've got a better deal.' No, they don't, they have a different deal.
Lisa: They have a different deal. Yeah. It's about you finding your priority, living your best life, living your optimal performance, and not getting yourself in the way and not letting other people control.
Dr John: What that is. If you don't empower your own life, people overpower you. Rose Kennedy had a mission statement. I actually was given a book by a woman who was a patient that her father gave her the book and her father got that book from the Kennedy family. So this was handed down from the Kennedy family to a father to a daughter to me. And in there, I was going through this book, and it was on magnetism. It's amazing book. In there was a handwritten note by Rose Kennedy. It was our mission statement. And it said, 'I dedicate my life to raising a family of world leaders.' That's her mission.There's a mother. And I've had mothers come up to me and said, 'Well, is that enough?' And I go, I read that to them. Anytime I have a mother that's thinking, 'Oh, I should be a businesswoman. I should be this. I should be that.' They really, really want to raise kids. But they're comparing themselves, and think that's not enough. I read that to them. Because she created world leaders as a mother.
Lisa: And that’s a ripple effect, isn’t it? That's the ripple effect that…
Dr John: Because her heart was there. Her heart was a way to be a mother. And we sometimes go, 'Oh, well, they're doing this so I should be doing this.' Anytime you hear yourself saying I should, I ought to, I'm supposed to, I got to, I have to, I must, or I need to, you're living under the imperatives of other people that you've subordinated to. You're injecting values, which is clouding the clarity of your own mission. Giving yourself permission to get your mission back and saying thank you, but no, thank you to options, who you are, and give you no truth to who you are. That's what’s liberating. Being unborrowed visionary, not a borrowed visionary.
Lisa: One valuable bomb after the other I think and this conversation, and it's just so empowering. Because you as human beings, we have this imposter in the head that's telling us we're not good enough. We aren't this, we aren't that. And we also have the subconscious that's running the ship. So we downloaded a whole lot of stuff when we were young that we didn't. When did you choose your beliefs? When did you choose your value system? When did you choose that you are going to be limited in this way or that way? Was probably before you even were able to understand how the people get into that