Live an Incredibly Full Life – Martin Salama
Miriam: [00:00:00] Hey friends, I am excited to have Martin Selma with me. He is from Brooklyn. He has a really interesting story. He is a life coach. As you know, I’m a business coach, and so we are gonna have so much fun talking about things that will help you grow, whether it’s in your life or in your business.
You have an interesting story, so I would love to start with wherever you wanna start with the things that impacted your story, and then we’re just gonna go from there.
And thanks for being on my show.
[00:00:32] Martin’s Defining Life Moments
Martin: Thank you, Miriam. Thank you for having me. You know, people have what I call defining moments in their lives. They don’t know exactly at that moment that that’s what’s gonna define them, but you could look back and say, you know, that was a moment.
And for me, I was 10 years old and I was walking home from school with one of my four older sisters, and there was a school bus stopped in front of my house and we didn’t understand what was going. And as we got closer, my mother came [00:01:00] running out of my house carrying my five-year-old brother Michael, in her arms.
She jumped into the car and drove away. And my sister and I are looking at each other, what is going on here? And the bus driver says, your brother got off the bus. And when he was in front of the bus, he dropped something and I didn’t, I don’t, we found out later, this is what happened. He dropped something, the bus driver didn’t see him and he drove and as he drove, he hit him.
And four days later, my brother, you know, died from the injuries that he suffered that day. Yeah. And it was the most tragic day of my life, even till. Even until now, 50 years later, it’s almost 50 years ago that it happened. And it’s something I think about almost every day in, in my life because at that moment, you know, when I finally started to sink in at as a 10 year old, the thoughts going through my head were, were all over the place, but they were like, [00:02:00] I’m the only boy now.
A Different Life
It’s my job. My parents are devastated by this. I’m devastated. My sisters are devastated. But it’s my job as the only boy to carry on the name to carry on the, the, the traditions, the legends, the whatever, the traditions, you know, the, the, the name. And it’s my job to make sure that my parents never feel sadness like that again.
So in my head I said I gotta take care of my parents. I. That’s what I started to do. Looking back 40 years later, I finally realized that at that moment I became a people pleaser because I was trying to please my parents and it, it grew from there for me to then start to be a people pleaser for everyone.
Few years later, or 10, 12 years, 13 years later, whatever was I got, You know, I was 23, 24 years old when I got married and I was pleasing my parents and I was trying to please my wife and here I am trying to please everybody, spending all these place, [00:03:00] not realizing that every time something was coming up I was rationalizing that what I was doing was for the greater good.
Only to realize many years later as I wasn’t pleasing anyone. So I was a people pleaser, pleasing. No one. They might have been, you know temporary pleasing.
But in the long run, not only was I not pleasing anyone, I was not pleasing myself. My heart and my head were always in misalignment.
So now let’s move forward to 2008. I’m in my late forties by. And I’d been working on a project with my wife for about five years to build a multimillion dollar health and tennis club in New Jersey.
If you remember before that in 2005, 2006, seven, the banks were giving money away.
September, 2008. We all know what happened. Bernie Madoff subprime loans, the financial world crashed, and [00:04:00] when that crashed, I crashed. I lost every penny I had in my life. The money I borrowed, the money I got from investors, my house was foreclosed on.
And in New Jersey, because of the way things happened, we, the house stayed for a few years, but it was still foreclosed on. The cars were repossessed. That’s how bad it was. Wow. And I’m like, how am I gonna get through this? And it took me about a year to pick myself off the floor after that and be able to say, okay, what am I gonna do now?
And I thought about it and I said, I’ve been a businessman my whole life. I never loved business, but I did love getting involved in community organizations and being a leader there and as a leader. I realized what I was doing was I was coaching those around me to get the most out of them, out of their potential and show them that they had the potential that they could do more than they think they can.
I realized I was a life coach without [00:05:00] even being a life coach. So I decided, okay, I’m gonna go into coaching. , and about two months before I started, it was my 24th wedding. Ann. And my wife says, I’m done. I want a divorce.
I’m, I was devastated. It was the kick in the pants, the punch in the gut that I needed. And I think God was sending me a message to be the higher universe, whatever you want to call it, saying, okay, you’re gonna go to the life coaching, you gotta fix yourself first, and since you’re down, let’s, let’s really get you down so that you realize how, how much you gotta do
Miriam: Wow, this is like project rebuild.
[00:05:39] Life as a People Pleaser
Martin: Exactly. Exactly. But you know what I found out is because I was a people pleaser, or a few things else came into play. Number one, I took everything personally. Number two, I was a control freak. And number three, I had a very short temper to the point I, we’d react to everything overreact and even be kind of like a nuclear reactor [00:06:00] because as a people pleaser in my mind, now that I’m looking back, If everything wasn’t going the way I thought it should be, it was my fault.
I was taking the responsibility. It was, I was taking it personally. The world was on my shoulders, and so I had to be a control freak. And if it wasn’t, then I had to freak out and make sure that it was, and the person that was on the other side had to know that they weren’t gonna get away from me until they saw my point of view and agreed with me
So now I start going through life coaching and they go, you know, you need to read a few books. They gave us a syllabus of books to read. Read two or three of these. And one of them was called the Four Agreements. Mm, yes. I know. Four agreements. I do. Yeah. All four of them were eyeopening. But for me, the one that stood out just a little more was the second agreement.
Don’t Take Everything Personally
Don’t take anything personally. Cause I was taking everything personally, and I guess I was already open to hear what things were being said, cuz I looked at that and I was like, [00:07:00] What an idea. I don’t have to take things personally. It’s not all on my shoulders, and it was as if he told me a secret that everybody had been telling me my whole life, but I wasn’t ready to hear until that moment.
Yeah. Let me stop you for a second because I wanna hear more, but oh my gosh. I also wanna ask some questions. So the first question I wanna ask is in, in that case where you don’t have to take things personally, there is a real difference between this intellectual knowing that happens in your head mm-hmm.
and then that 12 inches between your head and your heart, where your, you, your soul believes it. Excuse me. And I just think so many people Take things personally. You’re not the only one. Your reasons might be, you know, unique to you, but that is a very common thing. And how would you coach someone through that space of, I know [00:08:00] I shouldn’t feel this way, but Right, right.
[00:08:03] L.I.F.E Code
Martin: So, you know, let go back a minute. I, I didn’t say that. I’m, I’m known as the architect of the Warrior’s Life Code and Life stands for live incredibly full every. Yes. Okay. So obviously from my story you could tell that that’s not how I lived the first almost 50 years of my life. , right?
Miriam: Yeah. Well, you had some hard knocks.
I mean, can, can we agree at the moment your brother died? It’s almost like your childhood died too. Yeah. Yeah. You had to become this adult all of a sudden. And so yeah. I love that you can take responsibility for the, maybe the maladaptive ways you responded, but also you had some hard stuff come your way.
Martin: I did. I did. I, you know, thank you for, for acknowledging that, but I have to say, you know, my parents never put pressure. Okay. It was not on them. It was self-imposed pressure. Sure. And looking at some of the things my parents [00:09:00] did afterwards. My mother, for example, I’ve got to say this, I, I don’t say this very often, but I should say it more often, but it, she was devastated for a long time.
This was her baby. Yeah. And when she finally started to come out of her shell and come out of that deep hole she was in, she said, I need to find other, This is the seventies. Okay. These things, these things didn’t really happen. Mm-hmm. , I need to find other women who I can connect with who can say I know how you feel.
Yeah. And there’s only one type of woman that can say that. And that’s other women who lost children. Yeah. So she started a bereavement group in our community for other women. And at the beginning they had a counselor.
Who would help counsel through them. Help them counsel through their gr their anguish.
Yeah. And what happened is, over time I come from a Jewish [00:10:00] community and part of the Jewish tradition is when someone dies, you have a week of where there’s mourning and people come to visit you. It’s called a week of Shiva. Mm-hmm. . My mother would go during those weeks to the mothers of the children who, who, who they lost and say, I’m here.
I know how you feel when you are ready. You have a group of women to help you. Do you know how many women have come up to me over the years and hugged me and thanked me for my mother? Wow. Wow. Good on her. Yeah. So I wanted to say that mostly because I, I did have a. And what was happening was really more self, mostly self-imposed.
We never talked about my, my brother after that for many, many years. Cause my parents felt like they didn’t how to handle it. This was the seventies . You know? It’s just what happens. Yeah. You know? Yeah. I mean, this is before therapy was even a thing. I mean, [00:11:00] all we had back then was like psychoanalysis, which is not the psycho.
Right. And my father’s from the old country. He’s from Egypt. Where you didn’t talk about your feelings. No. . No. Oh my. Yes. I wanna pause on your mom for a second and say, you know, She took the deepest despair of her life and she turned it into something of value for other people. Yeah.
[00:11:25] Your Gift to the World
Miriam: And I, I just know that there are people out there listening who have had terrible, terrible things happen.
Mm-hmm. and, you know, we all have this choice of do we let it destroy us or do we let it turn into. Our gift to the world.
Exactly. And, and it’s an an extremely strange concept to wrap your brain around how can the thing that was the most devastating thing to me become the thing that I, that I gift the world with?
Martin: But that’s what she did. Yeah, she really did. And, and yeah, she’s a beautiful soul.
Miriam: But jumping back into your [00:12:00] story mm-hmm. The situation where everything e I mean, it’s like God and the universe kicked out every leg of the table that was propping you up. Yeah. And it, it gave you this incredible opportunity to remake yourself or to be destroyed and kind of go into that space of poor me. Why does everyone hate me? Why I just can’t catch a break. I just am, you know, why am I being kicked when I’m down? Yep. What is it that allowed your brain to fight for air and say, I, I can do better and be better cuz not everybody does it.
Martin: Yeah. You know, that’s a good question.
I have to say, what happened was,
it’s, it’s funny because after this happened, you know, my family’s getting involved, my four sisters and their husbands are getting involved and they’re saying, you know, you gotta seek some therapy. [00:13:00] Right. And figure out what’s going on and maybe get on some medication.
Going to Therapy
So I went to therapist and I went to psychiatrist, and I was on Wellbutrin for a while because I was depressed. Yeah. And then here’s the, here’s the, here’s the juxtaposition. You know, the, the irony of it. So I have no money, right? So I stopped paying for my health. I. Because I didn’t have the money to pay for it.
Of course. And I was too proud to go to my family and say, you know, pay this bill. Yeah. They were helping us, but I, I, I didn’t have the energy to say that to them. So as a result, I couldn’t afford to buy my medication anymore. Oh my gosh. Yeah. So I look in the mirror and I’m still regular the, as well, and I’m talking to the therapist and I go, you know, and he’s killing me for, for letting this.
I go, okay, well I gotta figure this out. And I, I go deep within myself and I go, why am [00:14:00] I depressed? Is it physiological or is it psychological? Which is really another way of saying, is it a situational depression? Yeah. And I recognize that that’s what it was, and that the medication was just masking. What was going on within my own head.
Now the medication is important for many people. For sure. Yeah. Who are physi who need it physiologically. Yeah. But for me, I didn’t need it. I just needed to recognize that I didn’t need it. . Yeah.
Miriam: And you needed to make some changes. Yeah, I mean, honestly, I, I agree with you. I mean, I don’t know if you know this, but I also am a therapist and Oh wow.
I see people who are depressed in a variety of ways, and there are some who are physiologically depressed, and there are some who are situationally depressed, and the ones who are situationally depressed need to change their situation, and then they stop being depressed. Exactly.
Martin: So here I am explaining it to a therapist,[00:15:00]
I love it. You were explaining it to my audience, so we’re all good. So yeah. So once I recognized that, I said, okay, now it’s in my hands. Yeah. And that’s when I started to say, what am I gonna do with my life now? . Yeah, it took me that year. Yeah. I do therapy and I say it all the time. Therapy is very, very important.
And I’m not saying that cause I’m on with you. No, no. Yeah. As a coach, I learned, and I think this is a great way to look at it cuz people say, what’s the difference between therapy and coaching? I go, therapists take you from dysfunctional to functional coaches take you from functional to optimal. Yeah.
Ooh, I love that Definition. Yeah, it’s great because you know what I can’t do? I can’t get someone that’s dysfunctional to functional number one. I don’t have the training, but number two, that’s not my field. My field is to ask the questions and show the people they’ve got the answers. I’m just gonna help them figure it [00:16:00] out. Yeah.
The Arc of Life
Miriam: Yeah. Okay. So you’ve lost everything and you’ve now gone to a therapist and you have taken Wellbutrin and gone off Wellbutrin, and your life is starting to kind of put back together again, and you started getting some coaching and all of these different things. And I think people have to be. I’m gonna go with at least in their forties or their fifties, to be able to look back and see the arc of their life.
When you’re in your twenties and thirties, everything feels like now. Yeah. And there’s such a difference between the family of origin you grew up in and then whatever you’re doing in college or in your first jobs and whatnot, you just don’t have the same perspective. But no, now you’re in this latter part of your life and you’re getting coaching that is.
I’m gonna use the word like, it’s, it’s pushing on some of your previous mindsets. Yeah. Talk to me about us, talk to us about like [00:17:00] mindsets that you would say you had before that were holding you back, and then as you began to shift them, you saw your life opening up in ways you really didn’t imagine.
[00:17:12] Your Life Mindset
Martin: I, I’m loving this conversation because you’re hitting things that people. Talk with me about, and it’s interesting because it’s true. I mean, it really is the mindset. But, and, and I look back at my life now, and in two days from today from one hour we’re recording, I’ll be 60. Okay. So I, and I joke that I’ve hit the, hit the, the, the midpoint of my life.
I have another 60 to go. You know? That’s good. That’s optimistic. Yeah. It’s, but growing up I always had this.
This mindset of my father’s never proud of me, I could never do right. And that I’m not worth it.
I started to peel away the layers of the onion, as it were, to recognize these things that I talked about that were holding me back.[00:18:00]
Mm-hmm. . And a huge thing of me was, yeah, but I can’t mm-hmm. . Yeah. But mm-hmm. , I never, 99% of the time, now I don’t use the word I can’t. Yeah. Good for you. It’s poison, man.
It is. Instead I say, how can I?, oh yeah. Right. Or for example, I was talking with somebody yesterday and they go, well, if I say something like, somebody wants to go out for dinner, you said, I, I, I can’t afford it.
Making It Work
So instead of doing that, it’s really about being with the other person, even if it’s a friend. Mm-hmm. . So instead of saying, I can’t. Why I go to Whole Foods. They have a food area where you could just totally sit down and be with each other and just get what you could get and say, how about we do this instead?
Mm-hmm. . And now you’re taking the, the focus away. I can’t afford it to how can we make it work? And then you build on that in different ways. So for me, it was making that mind shift.
And what happened was when I went through [00:19:00] coaching school and I came out the other side, I said, I’m gonna become a divorce recovery coach.
Makes sense. Right? Cause I absolutely, totally makes sense. And I was doing that for a few years and then I looked in the mirror one day and I was the heaviest I ever was in my life because I stopped being coached by others. I was just coaching and I wasn’t taking my own coaching. And I said, I gotta change this.
It was another time for me to do some, some soul searching. Mm-hmm. . So I said, I’m working a dead end job. I leave the house at seven, I get home at seven. When am I gonna, what am I, how am I gonna change this with exercise? And a friend of mine posted on Facebook, Hey, I’ve got a 30 minute video workout you can do.
[00:19:40] How Can You Change?
Martin: I’m like, oh, how can I change it? I can wake up a little earlier, take more than 30 minutes cause I have to work out for 30 minutes. Take shower, whatever. Sure. Get up an hour earlier and do what I need to do to get myself endorphins started. Kick in. Yeah. And after nine months, I lost 65 pounds. [00:20:00] Wow. But I also gained a lot of more self-worth, self-esteem and self-awareness.
And what happened was
Miriam: yeah. But if I can also say you did more than just that because you didn’t say, I am this way with a period. You said I am this way. How can I change? You also said I’m worth investing in.
You also said How do I pay attention to future Me? Mm-hmm. instead of present day. Me. I mean, just that tiny example. There were a whole bunch of things that you did that were. Shifts a shift here, a shift there. And I, somebody years ago, I don’t know if I read this or it’s a common example, but if you are on one end of the country, we’ll take your end.
If you’re in New York and you are flying west and you just turn the plane’s nose 15 inches, it’s [00:21:00] gonna be the difference between landing in LA or landing in Seattle. And That’s right. You know, that difference doesn’t make any. In, in New York, but by the time you have a little bit of time, it makes a huge difference.
Trajectory makes a huge difference.
Martin: Yes. So, you know, and I mentioned something earlier, I want to go back to it, is that when I was a people pleaser, I would rationalize a lot. . Mm-hmm. . And I realized going through coaching and the self-awareness that, that I was using the word rationalize as a way of, of you know, like kind of like justifying what I was doing.
Yeah. And I realized the word rationalizes really two words. And I’ve trademarked this. It’s rational lies.
Miriam: Oh my gosh. That’s great. Good for you.
Martin: For I that it’s rational to do something that goes against my core. Because I’m trying to please others or I’m trying to make the situation work.
Miriam: Sure. So can you give a specific [00:22:00] example?
Martin: Sure. How about on a very basic level? Okay. Mm-hmm. , you look in the mirror, you say, I gotta start exercising. I gotta start working out. I gotta start eating better.
Now you wake up in the morning and you go, Ugh, I’m just too tired to exercise. I’ll do it tomorrow. That’s I rationalize right there. Mm-hmm. , you’re saying I’m too tired because, you know, deep down inside you don’t wanna do it. Right. But if you want what you want, if you really look in the mirror and you think, I don’t look good, I don’t feel good.
Cause it’s not only about looks, it’s also about feeling. . Mm-hmm. . Then you’ll say, how can I get this to happen? And I’m gonna get myself out of bed and I’m gonna find a, I gotta say those first two, three weeks of doing those videos, I was following the mo, following the moderator on the video.
The guy one that’s doing it in the moderate pace. I was breathing heavy through the whole thing, . I even vomited a few times, like, wow, I can’t do this. Cause I was so outta shape. Yeah, but I was like, [00:23:00] I’ve got to push through, and I built up my stamina. I built up my endurance, and I got it because I said to myself, am I telling myself a rational lie?
Am I giving myself an excuse not to do what I need to do? Mm-hmm. , because an excuse is just a, a reason that you say is an excuse. In disguise. Yeah, so the reason I bring it up is because also with that comes self-aware versus self-conscious, and I recently took my course and made it into a card deck.
[00:23:34] Worrier to Warrior
Martin: Okay. Yeah. The warrior to warrior card deck. So in there I talk about rationalize. and I talk about self-aware versus self-conscious. Mm-hmm. , and it’s just a little way of getting to get an understanding of what I do on a, on a small picture before you get into the bigger picture.
Miriam: Sure. No, I love the card deck because I’m on, there’ll be in the show notes how to, you know, find you and find that.
Mm-hmm. , when you have something concrete, I’m always [00:24:00] asking people if they have, Site if they know an action they need to take, all right, where are we gonna put this? Write it on a sticky note. Write it on your mirror. I don’t care. You know, put it on your phone, but you gotta put it somewhere because our brains have the ability to have this moment of insight and you go, oh.
And it’s like you can see this space you could enter into, and then it also has the ability to like just pull you back into homeostasis and hey, let’s just stay the same. Right. Right. So something I wanna comment on. Yeah, I was gonna say, something I wanna comment on in your example with the weight thing is that initially, I don’t know what was motivating you.
You might have thought you were gonna die, or you might have hated the way you looked in the mirror or something, but at a certain point in time, and nobody knows when this happened. Some part of your identity [00:25:00] shifted into something like, I’m a person who’s fit, or I’m a person who keeps my word to myself.
Like there was an identity shift that happened and I wanted to ask you what that was from this.
Martin: So I was walking home from synagogue with one of my friends, so I got to my house and I turned to walk up my stairs.
And I tripped.
And I go flying into the wall, ah, scrape up and, and I hurt my arm and I’m scraped up and everything. My friend comes running back and goes, Martin, are you okay? It sounded like an earthquake. . He meant nothing by it. Yeah, he was just, but I looked at it, I was like, I got it to the shower. I go, It sound like an earthquake because I fell so hard that the, that the, the earth moved.
Cause I’m so freaking heavy. .
Creating Life Habits
Miriam: Oh my gosh. There is a wake up moment. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. So that was the motivation
Martin: I think God, Yeah, I get the [00:26:00] message. I get it. . as I’m pleading the blood off my arm that I could barely pick up . Oh man. I bet you were sore the next couple days. Oh, man. That first week of exercise, I couldn’t even think of a bur because going down on the two hands was not happening.
Oh, yeah, yeah. Hmm.
Miriam: Over time, as that became habit, what changed in your brain about how you thought about. .
Martin: Well, the endorphins started kicking it. Yeah, for sure. You know, and I liked that the way I was starting to feel. I liked that when I got on the scale, the numbers were going down. Yeah. So I said, well, I’m single.
I’m living in this house all by myself. Every once in a while, my my kids will come in, but I’m not really doing anything at night other than sitting on the couch watching tv. So I’d work out in the. I’d have my dead end job. And as I drove home, my friend would say, well, what are you gonna do now when you get home?
[00:27:00] I said, you know what? I might exercise. He’s like, what? Didn’t you exercise in the morning? I’m like, yeah, but I liked the way it felt, . So I started building on that. So I would get home, I would eat cleanly. I would exercise either one or the other and whatever. And then I would pull out a good book with positive things.
[00:27:22] Life is Good, Keep Going
Martin: Like the four agreements, like the Mastery of Love, or The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy or something. And I would start reading it and saying, you know what? This can work and that can work. And I started to change the way I looked at everything and one day I was doing something.
I’m a D H D I know I am. I’ve been, I, I know. Because I, I went and I got checked, you know, about 10 years ago, and I started doing guided meditations. Could you imagine a guy like me in my fifties sitting still for [00:28:00] 10 minutes with a D h D doing guided meditation? Hmm. So I’m doing this. And I’m like, most of the time it’s going to mind as when is this gonna be over?
I’m like, I don’t get it. I can’t get my brain to relax, but nothing, I don’t know how people meditate. And one day I had this download of information saying, I love my life. I love everything that’s going on right now and I wanna share it with the world. And I stopped. I finished, I went through the full 10 minutes.
And I started writing for two hours. My stream of consciousness just wrote, wrote, wrote, wrote, wrote. And out of that came life live. Mm-hmm. incredibly full every day. And I said, this is the way I’m gonna start living. And I started dating. More because I was willing to date I before I said, who wants to date a 50 plus year old fat guy?
Checking Off the Boxes
You know, that was my mindset. There are people out there that are okay with the way they’re, and I’m not talking about them, right? It’s [00:29:00] all about me, right? I had no self-esteem in myself. Now I started to build my self-worth, my self-esteem, and as I’m going out on these dates, I’m taking the things I learned from coaching, like what are my values?
Cuz I never knew what values were before. I thought I did. Talking to the women to find out what their values were. Yeah. So I was kind of interviewing them. Yeah. And they didn’t know they were being interviewed. And I wasn’t doing it in that way of like in a clinical way.
No, you were just making conversation.
Miriam: But once you’ve been through coaching, you make conversation differently, , because you just, and,
Martin: and these women are not checking off the boxes. . I’m like, okay, Monday today not working. Then I get a call from a friend of mine who was my matchmaker in my community, we have such a small community. You get calls from this woman who says, I’m here to help you find.
If that’s what you want. I’m like, all right, cool. So she matched me up a few times. She calls me up one day. She says, Martin, [00:30:00] you have to take out this woman. I’m like, well, who is she? She starts explaining me about her, what she is, what she does. I’m like, well, if she wants to go out with me, come in
Being In Sync
So we start going out and she’s checking off every single box. Wow. Our values were so in sync that after a month I turned to her, I said, I gotta tell you something, Sarita, her name is Sarita. I gotta tell you something. And I don’t need to hear it from you. The old me would’ve needed, needed. The recognition needed to know.
I said, I just want you to know I’m falling in love with you because I love who you are and I love that you see me as I am and not looking to change me. I didn’t say anything about her loving me. Two weeks later, she came back and said she loved me too, and we got married about four and a half years. Wow.
[00:30:53] Business of Values
Miriam: Congratulations. That’s so fun. Thank you. Tell me a little bit about like this [00:31:00] business of values. You know how you said, I thought I knew what my values were, but I really didn’t. I think there’s a lot of people out there like that. Yeah. Whether you’re in business or not. And in this space of relationship It’s, it’s hugely important.
I mean, incredibly every relationship important, not just your romantic relationships. Yes. Your friendship relationships. And your relationships with business. The whole nine yards. So let’s, let’s go there cuz this sounds like a fun topic. Yeah.
Know Your Life Values
Martin: So, When I went through coaching, I think it was that, that first weekend they hand you a sheet of paper and that on it, or list of values, there’s maybe a hundred on there.
Wow. And they go, go through them and circle your top 10 that you see on this list. I’m like, okay, I’m circling the top 10. They go, okay, now bring it down to five. How? Five. Alright, five Now. Put them [00:32:00] in in priority order. Yeah. What are the most important values? Cause these are the things that make you tick.
Yes. That gets you going, that you’re passionate about. So for me, it came out to family communication and honesty. Hmm. . Those were my three top values. Yeah. And I realized that going through this, I didn’t even even have to ask my ex-wife, who was still my wife at the time, what her values were, but I knew that.
Maybe family was there, but communication definitely was not there. And the honesty between us was gone for a long time. Sure. And I’m not saying she’s not honest or whatever. No, no. We have a great relationship now. Yeah. We have a very good relationship. And that had to do with me taking responsibility for my life and saying to her one day, I know you’ve got a lot on your plate with with our daughter.
Don’t think it’s not recognized. And she was like, what? [00:33:00] Hmm. It took me a long, long time to get there. Sure, sure.
I start off my day with that every day with my, my main affirmation is I live incredibly full every day. Mm-hmm. , which encompasses the things that I love about myself and about the people around me. Hmm.
Miriam: That’s good. That is really good. And that is actually quite a change from being a people pleaser.
Old vs New
Help me understand an example of like, this would happen in a day and the old you, the people pleasing, you would’ve handled it this way. And the new you who is like having this internal integrity would handle it This. Okay. Help us see the, the one, that context.
Martin: I never thought about it until you asked that question just now.
So I was in a very codependent relationship with my wife. Okay. And I’ll take my, I’ll take my side of the blame for being in a codependent relationship. So we had one of my daughters, when she was younger, my wife would tell her, you know, it’s [00:34:00] time to eat. And she goes, I don’t want to eat. And she’d say, make her eat.
You have to start eating, you’ve got to, well, I was trying to please my wife. Yeah. Right. And the craziest thing happened and, and I didn’t realize it until years later, but I do recognize at that moment, but, and it was me being codependent to my wife and in the mastery of love from Dongo Ruiz, he talks about every relationship should be 50 50.
[00:34:28] Giving the Full Amount
Martin: Mm-hmm. . And that doesn’t mean you’re not giving a hundred percent. It means you’re both giving the full. . So I realized looking back that in my relationship with my life, often I would, she would say, I love you. I’d say I love you more. Which was the truth. I was giving more to the relationship than she was.
I would be the one that every morning, you know how you get up for the, the mother gets up for the kid with the kids, gets ’em ready for the bus, gets ’em on the school bus. That was me. Mm-hmm. , my wife never slept well, and I played into it. I enabled her and she would sleep in every. [00:35:00] I would get up, put the kids scream for the bus to wait for my kids to get on it and all that stuff.
Yeah. Yeah. But so now my father gets ill, and he’s in the hospital for six weeks and I’m traveling back and forth and my wife is traveling back and forth on New Jersey to New York, and we’re not over my daughter to eat. In that six weeks, she gained 12 pounds. Mm. Because there was nobody there to tell her, you have to eat.
Cause in her mind as a psychiatrist, as a therapist, you know, it was a control issue. Mm-hmm. . And the more we told her to eat, the more she shut herself down to not eat. Yeah. So when we weren’t around, she said, I’m hungry, I’m gonna eat.
Miriam: Yeah. Fascinating. Fascinating. Yeah. Yeah. It is very interesting when people see behavior that they’re doing to please someone else and it creates this disharmony either within themselves or, I mean, it just creates a mess.
It was all over, the mess was all over the place. Yeah. [00:36:00] If you had a do-over in that situation where your wife said, make her eat, what would the present day version of you.
Martin: The present day with her version, her say is she’ll eat when she’s ready. Yeah. And if she doesn’t eat, she’s not gonna die. Yeah. And it’s not about you making her eat.
It’s about right within herself, her making herself eat. Right. And that’s taking into not even taking into account what I would’ve said to her, it it with my coaching. Part of me might have said to her, it’s a control issue. You’re letting her, you’re giving her the control. When you tell her what. You know, it wouldn’t have been anywhere near that, but that’s really what it’s about.
Right, right, right. Yeah.
Miriam: Where would you say people need to start to optimize their mindset? What’s the step?
[00:36:47] Optimize Your Mindset
Martin: Well, first thing is, first thing is it’s admitting to yourself that there are things that are dis harmonious within you. Mm-hmm. , right. You know, I can [00:37:00] tell my ex person, this person, that person, whatever it is, you need to change, you know?
But until you want it, it don’t matter. That’s right. You know, in a Brooklyn vernacular, it don’t matter. , you know, , it just doesn’t matter. . Yeah. But when you finally, you get to that, it could be you hit your low point. It could be you hit rock bottom. I hope not. Yeah. But it could be. I, I talk about this a lot because I learned how to change.
Reactions to res to responses. I went from reacting to responding and it’s part of my course and I go through it and it and it. And it could be that you just recognize that you’re going into confrontations instead of conversations. Hmm. Maybe people are avoiding being around you because they don’t feel like getting into a confrontation with you cause you are always right.
Mm-hmm. or you think you’re always right. And how does the world not see what I. . Yeah. So that could be it. [00:38:00] You could just look for those little signs. Do you feel stress all the time? Why? Why do you feel stressed? I gotta say 95% of my day, I, I don’t feel stressed. Maybe even more than that. Yeah. Because if something’s coming my way, I’m going, why is this affecting me and why will I allow it to affect me?
Now I, I’ll be honest, and you as a therapist can tell, can attempt attest to this? It didn’t happen overnight.
Miriam: No, no. All of this happens incrementally. I don’t know. When you were saying, you know, you have to become aware. I was thinking of the competence gradients, where you have unconscious incompetence.
Mm-hmm. , you don’t. That you stink at this. You like you don’t know that you’re broken in this area. You don’t know that you don’t know what you’re doing. Yeah. . Exactly. Then it moves into conscious incompetence where it’s like, oh my gosh, I’m broken in this area. I gotta do something. Then you [00:39:00] move into conscious competence, which means I can do it, but boy, I gotta think about it.
And that takes quite a while. And then you move into unconscious competence. You don’t even have to think about it. Like not true. My, my guess is 90% of the time you don’t even have to think about controlling your emotion and not blowing up you. You have practiced and practiced and practiced. Yeah. And your neurophysiology is like, Hey, let’s think about this before we get emotional.
Yeah, exactly What I do in a layman’s term, I go, it’s muscle memory. You’re building the muscle memory of that brain. Of that emotion. Yes, yes, yes. Oh my gosh. Martin, this has been such a fun conversation. I feel like we need to come to an end to honor your time in mind, but maybe we could do this again sometime.
I would love it. I would.
[00:39:48] Where to Find Martin
Martin: So why don’t you tell people where they can find you and your classes? I love that you have some digital classes, so people all around the world can, you know, utilize those and your cards and [00:40:00] yeah, tell people where they can find you.
Connectwithmartin.com. Oh, that’s awesome. If you go to connectwithmartin.com, it’s easy to remember. Yeah. On there you can find my cards. You can find different things that are, I’m giving away.
I’m always changing what’s up there. For example, right now, like if this comes out in the next month or so, let’s say 2022, at the beginning of 2023, you’ll find things like a coloring book for adults and a coloring book for kids on the word warrior and how it’s the seven. To having an abundant mindset.
Love it and I break down the word warrior. It’s free. Yeah.
Miriam: I love it. Well, all of that will be in the show notes.
This has been so much fun. When we were talking beforehand, I mentioned that we do a gift in your name to one of four charities. You chose Mercy Ships. They are a hospital ship that provides free surgeries for people on the continent of Africa. They go country by country this year. They’re outside of Senegal and so we’ll do that today and we just wanted to profile them.
This has [00:41:00] been a delightful conversation. Thanks so much. Thank you.
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