16 Nov, 2021#166 I Am Blind But You Can See With Jurgen Donaldson
When people come together, that’s when the magic happens. Conversations really do change lives.
Meet Jurgen Donaldson. Having lost his eyesight in September 2019, his outlook on life has changed significantly and now he’s a proud advocate of creating change for the visually impaired.
“You inspired me to ask more questions, you inspired me to be more curious, to just be a better human being. What I love about you and what you’re doing is you’re now looking to help others.” – Pete Cohen
We need to start with that element of re-education.
Tell the community that you are there, and you hear them. Communities and disabled people in general often just feel ignored. We need to acknowledge their experience and be willing to listen and create a more inclusive space accessible for them.
“I want to create more opportunity for blind people to get the chances they deserve.
My vision is to be able to educate the realities and the fact that a lot of blind people are way more technologically savvy than the average person.” – Jurgen Donaldson
In this episode, listen as they discuss:
- Struggles/discrimination they encounter
- What the community can do to help them
Send us a message and tell us what is your biggest takeaway about this episode.
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About Pete Cohen:
Pete Cohen is one of the world’s leading life coaches and keynote speakers. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world have been motivated and inspired by Pete’s presentations. He has professionally impacted the lives of thousands of people worldwide, including business executives, professional athletes, and everyday people. Pete focuses on the importance of closing the gap in our lives between where we are and where we want to be, both personally and professionally.
It’s then all about coaching you to remove the obstacles that are in your way and helping you install the habits of success.
Pete is the author of 19 published books, several of which have been best-sellers across the world, including Shut the Duck Up, Habit Busting, Life DIY, and Sort Your Life Out. He has also presented his own show on TV called The Coach and was the resident Life Coach on GMTV for 12 years. His new book Inspirators – Leading The Way In Leadership is available for free here –
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Pete Cohen 0:04
Happy beautiful day it's Pete Cohen, it's the Mi365 podcast. Today I'm interviewing the awesome Mark Whittle, coach, entrepreneur, great guy. It is all about inspiring people to reach their full potential. This is going to be an inspirational interview, I'll see you after the theme tune.
Pete Cohen 0:55
We are live Mark, thank you so much for joining me. How are you?
Mark Whittle 1:00
I'm doing well. Friday in a good week. So thanks for having me on, man, for the chat.
Pete Cohen 1:06
Pleasure we met like I've met so many of my new best friends through this thing called Clubhouse out. Have you got it. Let's talk about first. How did you come across clubhouse?
Mark Whittle 1:16
It's a good question. I can't quite remember somebody introduced me to it. And I was, I got on it like first week in January by, like most people I saw, what can you swear on this podcast but
Pete Cohen 1:27
Mark Whittle 1:29
I was like, what the fuck is this I have no idea what I'm doing and there's always like conversations going on I didn't have a clue. So, I just didn't go back on it again for like a couple of weeks and then I went on Alex chisels podcast to talk about probably similar stuff we'll talk about today. And at the end we had a chat and he was like you have to get on top house is the next thing for audio and all this stuff and I just was like, kind of skeptical but then yeah we did a couple of rooms together and then I did my first room a while back and yeah it's just been, it's been pretty amazing yeah just, he basically encouraged me to go on.
Pete Cohen 2:00
Yeah, Alex is a great guy, I've known him for a long time, I was a bit like us like seriously, I just ignored people sending me things that I don't need my mind was going it's got another tick tock, I can't I can't be bothered with any of that but you know what I was hugely wrong because you know clubhouse is here to stay and it's, it's fantastic ways and what have you, what have you enjoyed the most out of it.
Mark Whittle 2:24
It's been great on a developmental level, you know, I did public speaking anyway but because there's a year where I can host my events anymore. I haven't had a chance to really speak about a lot of the stuff I wanted to talk about and it was very cathartic to especially like the rooms I'm doing some of them in mental health focus on performance focus but very cathartic to speak about the stuff that I've probably bottled up for the last 12 months, so I thought that that's been really good on a personal level, business wise it's just been great, you know, meeting people like yourself. Having people like Jamie Carragher on the, on the panels and Johan Djourou as an Arsenal fan that was fun. The other night popping up and just all athletes all over the world who are coming into the rooms and, and they always offer a really interesting perspective on things I find so as I'm sure you'd agree with what you do so. Yeah, I think about the network inside of there, meeting people you'd never speak with. You never know where it's gonna go it's excited you're on there you don't know who's going to pop in the room and if it's something that resonates with you, you can bring them up and stuff so.
Pete Cohen 3:21
I think that's one of the most exciting things is you actually just don't know like today oh, I've been doing a room every morning at five o'clock, which is obviously a ridiculous time of day for most people but the people that pop in that you end up getting to know is just just just incredible, and money to talk to you about possible because it's funny I'm a Liverpool fan. I worked with Arsenal, you know, I've worked with, as you know, anyway, that's another story. But for those of us that don't know who you are, Mark tell us who you are and where you are and a little bit about what you do.
Mark Whittle 3:51
Oh who am I is I asked myself. if I went more sort of surface level. I was an athlete I played, I played football, my whole life that was my first love, and I played pretty high level, consistently, I played in Northampton Academy for a long period and get contracts when I'm trying to left for six months ago contracts that we know where I stood then and decided to go to university and pay for the University team and while I was there, there were people who came to the university to talk about opportunities to play abroad. So I've got a scholarship to play, I'm doing a very short version here just to keep it, keep it tight but I got a scholarship offered to play. After my university is in I spent two years studying a Masters and getting my MBA and playing soccer in America, suddenly got injured. So the idea of prolonging my career over there was stunted, moved back to London, played non league or national league that article it now for another season but carrying this same on the injury. So the reason why I say that is when who I am i Sport has shaped me like so much. My parents were very athletic, my dad was a rugby player, my mom was an aerobics instructor. So, yeah, very competitive, aggressive at times and extroverted, and yet lots of dislike. I suppose sport in a way as a way to express yourself so yeah that's sort of it then when I finished playing sport I went into the city got a job working there I worked for Johnson and Johnson for three years, selling medical devices in, in the city and so like some of the biggest trusts NHS Trusts the medical and private hospitals, and, and that lend itself to my competitive nature and all that sort of stuff and then I went into the tech world where for Salesforce. And then I felt incredibly unfulfilled with the city life of chasing money and, you know, doing the things that we're conditioned to think are our success and. And that led me down the path that I'm on now so I'm the founder of a performance and wellness brand called Take Flight. And it started as a podcast three and a half years ago. I just looked at people who seem to have it together. Looks like they were successful and happy which not always is the case so I started asking these people if I could interview them. I'd spent the best part of 10 years interviewing CEOs of banks or NHS Trusts or whatever to try and uncover and need to sell them a product and I thought why don't I use that interviewing skill to uncover stuff to make me happy, and I'm sure that other people are going to resonate with my struggles and hopefully make others happy as well. So yeah I just did that. And it was well received as a unique thing to be doing at the time to have a podcast unless you're a celebrity or well known person, so we can talk about those, how those challenges have changed over time but yeah I did that 10 episodes and got to number one in the UK and and just grew from there 110 episodes in now I've been number 120 plus times in the UK and all around the world and I also coach people off the back of that I do coaching with athletes and CEOs to help them. A perform better but also find purpose in what they're doing, because the journey, as you know as well is full of ups and downs so when people are in a longer period, help them to reconnect with what the purpose was my sight in the first place, I guess, other than that, a speaker and a writer as well.
Pete Cohen 7:21
Well first off, congratulations on your success on your podcast, you know, it takes a lot, you know, I love my podcast, I never got to number one, I've got to number six, that I just love, I love talking, and I love listening and I love interviewing. But let me ask you a philosophical question I'm sure before, so why do you do what you do.
Mark Whittle 7:45
Well, I think there's there's a few reasons why when I was very young I, I recognized my need for validation in people. So I started to learn ways to connect and get on with one another. Now I see that I'm aware of, that I was like a survival thing in our youth which I think we all have. They gave me a skill to be able to connect with lots of different people. So, yeah, that means that I can speak with Sir Clive Woodward who came on the podcast, you know, I don't want to be unfair but I think 50 Plus, in average. But then I can also connect with think off the top my head like an ad my left and American Coach, who's got a convenient background, or someone like Isaac Chamberlain who's a, you know, a world champion boxer from Brixton, so I think that I had a sense of that firstly I think it was a skill that I could apply to it. And I think when you have a skill you naturally are going to enjoy some benefit, if you're going to, but then I think the, I also enjoyed it because the learning was huge. I told you I studied in traditional education to Masters level. But I've learned way more from the podcast, you know, from speaking with these people who have achieved fantastic thing and you learn almost like a lifetime of wisdom in it in an hour's chat. If you are listening, which sometimes is hard but there's so much stuff you'd like to retain. So I think yeah, first thing is that I enjoy it and the second thing is that when I was on my journey of chasing money I realized after a period that there's a ceiling to the enjoyment of like monetary things or material things and actually, and you know you hear this a lot now but it's so true that contribution is the thing that's much more satisfying so when you see someone achieve something or, or, you help someone, achieve something. It's just so so rewarding. I think that pays back again and again and again, rather than just having money for yourself or watching your bank grow or buying another pair of trainers, which was a pattern I was in for a while so yeah
Pete Cohen 9:50
For Jordan trainers.
Mark Whittle 9:53
I've only got one pair of Jordans you know I find that I work quite a bit. I've got like 10 and a half 11 size feet so when I wear them I feel like I can hit the ground sometimes so now like the Baker Maxon got kind of better Yeezys and there's one more like the netted ones. Yeah, yeah,
Pete Cohen 10:08
I've got size 12 feet so believe you may be five or 10. If I point the Jordans, I look like seriously, Coco the clown. Yeah, I mean it's amazing that you've, you kind of have performed so well with your podcast for me it sounds like you've just got massive natural curiosity, and you want to learn and you want to understand and I think something amazing happens. Isn't it where you have that curiosity. And you you spend time with people, and they can almost feel your curiosity, and then they start talking about stuff that perhaps they wouldn't normally, you know, they wouldn't normally share. But let's, let's talk about the first foot we obviously met today for the first time and as in seeing each other on Zoom, and then the first thing I saw immediately was a picture of my absolute heroes so those of you that are listening.
Mark Whittle 10:57
Not me, not me.
Pete Cohen 10:58
Yeah well I mean, you obviously are my new hero, but you've got a picture of Michael Jordan behind you, which is a fantastic pitcher so tell me what is it about Jordan that made you be so interested in him and you know have a picture of him on your wall, because I mean, we could put any picture on our wall but why would we want to put someone like him. What does he represent to you?
Mark Whittle 11:22
Well, I think, again, when you look back at your youth. There are heroes that you had growing up and especially when you've got that sort of naivety at that young age, you. These people have such grown in size in your life. So when I was growing up that era, it was you know, the Michael Jordan's over the UK for me that was like a theory on return these types of people who are just these kind of godly figures. So I always admired MJ in that perspective you know as far as what you achieved as an athlete. But then as I've grown up and I've, I've started to get into the personal development and grow myself and create my business which is Take Flight. As I sat down and thought about who represents that who epitomizes take flight. There was nobody who I can even imagine. Who's ever existed, who, who represented that more than, more than Michael Jordan so you know Facebook like literally, physically taking flight, he was the closest thing
Pete Cohen 12:16
Absolutely remember those adverts with him on one of the adverts from the late 80s Where Yeah, it's basically shoes a bit smoke comes out of his shoes and he jumps up, if I only just got that I already just made the connection between because I knew the name of your business take flight. In Jordan and I think I might have met my match in you, in terms of how much Michael Jordan has positively impacted and influenced probably pretty much everything I've done since I was about 21 or 22. But yeah but what so what is it about him that you really kind of resonate that inspires you apart from the fact that the man can fly.
Mark Whittle 12:55
Well again if we come back to this kind of metaphor take flight means literally taking flight and for me that was to leave the city job I didn't enjoy it. Literally take a leap of faith leave something and pursue something that you care about. And obviously he did that. As far as somebody who is dedicated and committed to the cause people argued that he was too dedicated right, he was completely obsessed and I don't think that's a bad thing by the way I'm obsessed. Obsessed with what I do. But I think he did it even to sacrifice not only his own family, his own things for himself but his teammates as well you know it's sacrifice friendships and how they felt and their feelings and emotions. To do that, not necessarily saying that that's what I would ever do. But I recognize. That's how much he wanted it. In order to perform in order to have this legacy I was watching the film Troy. Yeah, what film by the way, but like how how everything they do back then you know they wanted to leave a legacy they want their name to be remembered and Achilles is the name you know his name but he wanted to be remembered and as we went into battle there was a truce king. And I just think there's something special about that, you know, not the ego side of wanting to be remembered, but just being so committed and dedicated to the cause, you're prepared to do anything. So yeah, I think there's that side of it and you know just like, again, drawing on this drawing on this metaphor, like the other side of it is so flight is like the best example of enlightenment, you know birds are enlightened being, fly. And I think, you know, he was the closest thing to physically an enlightened person because of the thing that he could just naturally do but the hard work that went into it and yeah just like if I think of someone who's going to motivate me or inspire me more importantly then if that's gonna be it.
Pete Cohen 14:46
I'm making a few notes as we go here because you know when I do a podcast I've never really know exactly where it's going to go, but it seems to kind of on something happens out of a conversation and for me what's happening out of this conversation is, from your experience more it's your life experience, all of the interviews what you think are some of the key elements of success and fulfillment and what I love is about, you've got to take flight rather you've got to kind of leave where you are to jump forwards towards something else that's in front of you. You've got to kind of be obsessed about it. If you want to do something truly great, especially if it's about leaving a mark and then being committed. For me, Jordan. I just remember being at university I did a sport science degree and I remember on Channel Four there was, there was basketball when I wasn't even interested in basketball, you know I was thinking, what's the point of basketball for me it was all about, like you football love cricket, you know, basketball, but I just remember watching Jordan and thinking Hang on a second, there's something not right about this person and in fact the game I watched. He had a temperature he wasn't very well, and he's still scored like 50 points and I just remember thinking, Who is this guy, and I started talking about him and then start being more and more curious, and followed his career. And for me, he represents. It's hard actually to define it and put it into words. He became, I became obsessed with him so to the point where I'd collect shirts and I'd always work out wearing Jordan clothing, because I was to think, You know that thing like Be Like Mike which was a song. So what else do you think it was about him and then look, it will be great to explore some of the other people you've interviewed and some of the key things that you've learned along the way from interviewing people like Sir Clive Woodward. What else do you think, kind of Jordan represents in terms of what he has inspired you to do, apart from. Name your business Take Flight. What else?
Mark Whittle 16:40
Well, one part of the story that I loved about Jordan specifically. And just, you know, as a side note, there's so many people inspired me for the tape flight. Now, here's, here's a big part of it was wiping on the wall, there's, there's a ton of others but yeah just to talk about him specifically I think one of the, the biggest thing that I loved about his story was that he didn't make it in his college team, or even in his high school team you know he wasn't a first choice period in his life and I think that that is something that's really really important. From for myself as an athlete when I played, I certainly lent on my talent. And, you know, you hear these people when you put all your emphasis on the talent. You know they're not going to go very far. I often wonder maybe you know what is that why was I entitled did I think that I shouldn't be in teams. But I love that part of his story right cuz he bounced back and he became the best player has ever graced the planet. So, yeah, you know there's there's elements as part of it right, the flu game you mentioned it there like, recognizing that you're not probably 100% Still going out and being the best player in the world, and winning that playoff. It was that playoff game has now gone up against yet. There's so many stories. Yeah, yeah, there's,
Pete Cohen 17:54
I can't remember anyway,
Mark Whittle 17:55
I was one of the Yeah, it might be. Yeah, but there's there's so many stories of like whether it's a setback or a challenge. One thing I would say though like it probably goes, not necessarily against him, but his kind of came across a little bit in the last darts, his, his, his almost like reluctance to see a negative in what he did for other people. They don't know whether you,
Pete Cohen 18:20
you know, I saw that as well, you know, and I think that, you know, like nobody's perfect, right. And everyone has flaws. I love the quote that he said you know, everyone knows him for that quote have I failed over and over and that's why I succeed but I'm sure you've heard it when he said, every time you go out, he knew there was someone there who'd never seen him before and never see him again, and that was the person he was playing for that really inspired me in terms of this isn't about you, you know, this is about what you can do for others, which then is a bit of a dichotomy because then it is what it is about you, about you and what you're doing for others. And that's, you know that there's so many. There's so many times I remember that, you know,
Mark Whittle 19:03
I suppose. As everyone's dichotomy isn't as like that fine line or that balance between, you know, the contribution we spoke about earlier, but also of course we want to be successful, ourselves too. So, there's I suppose with the work that we do as well as like that balance between well yes I am doing it for other people but of course I'm doing it for myself too. And being able to, I guess get awareness of like when you're tapping into which
Pete Cohen 19:24
I think that's such a powerful thing to recognize because people tell me, I'm sure you hear this as well when people say something like, oh thank you very much, you know, you've really helped me and I'm saying, Please don't take it the wrong way, I'm not doing this for you. I'm doing this for me. You know I want to be a part of your success, whether you recognize it or not I, I'm enjoying doing this, Otherwise I might not do it but yeah that's a very good point. So, I mean we could just talk about Jordan. I'm sure there are other people that you said and I'm thinking we're gonna call this podcast something about taking flight, you know, because I think we all like the idea of taking flight, you know, to be able to rise up above our past and see the world with a fresh pair of eyes and see the future. Let's talk about who else has inspired you to be who you are today. So Jordan is one of those people. This can be anyone anyone. They don't have to be famous but who else has kind of inspired you in your life that has given you the direction and the purpose that you have right now.
Mark Whittle 20:23
My mum and dad. Oh absolutely, I mean I think that's a pretty standard one that everyone would say that obviously they shape who you are and the philosophy that you live by. My dad's a coach as well. He was a rugby player at Wigan, for a period, and my whole family is connected there you know my, my cousins, the assistant coach there now. So, we've got a heavy rugby league influence in my family, which is so as I was Shan Shan is the footballer in the family. So I think that was huge. And then they also, I was very fortunate to travel a lot as a kid, so my parents took us all over the world, and that's again why I had the insurance for American school because I was fortunate enough to go over there. From a young age. We go to Orlando, a lot, you know, in the end we ended up going further afield to California and this was basically we'll go to Orlando. Orlando and watch the Orlando Magic, you know, Shaquille O'Neal, Penny Hardaway, all these amazing NBA players. Wow. And, and it wasn't just America we went to other places as well because my dad was at that time, very successfully in media sales, he was the idea behind truly advertising. So, you know his Commission's paid for us to go on holiday essentially so I think when you're exposed to lots of different cultures from a young age, again, you kind of see what's possible what was available to, whereas when you're sheltered in one town your whole childhood you, you don't know what else is out there again another quote is, you can't be what you can't see. So if you're not showing up. From a young age, where were you know, how can you how can you create his imagination to be whoever you want so yeah say my parents for my upbringing. Other, other inspirations.
Pete Cohen 22:29
Why are you thinking about that I'll just tell you, I'm sure will pop into your head so I'm like a very fortunate my dad always said, some. It's not what you know, it's who, so I'm probably like you, I just know so many people because if I meet someone, there's part of me that goes, I've got to get to know you, I've got to get to know who you are, what you're about, even though I love to talk I've got this obsession with a need to know you and then my mom is going for a massive my mum's literally probably got weeks to live. I mean it's pretty my dad's not here anymore. But you know his memory lives on my mom, who is not in a good way I'm going to see her today. You know, she always told me, there's an answer to everything. In fact, she didn't even tell me that she just showed that, because as a child I struggled with dyslexia and in school I wasn't I wasn't very good. She really did what ever she could to make sure that we didn't suffer and mites example I think you and I have fortunate, the fact that we were given upbringings, where we got a chance to see and experience things which other people don't and I think that's also why we need to be the change that the world needs to see and inspire people to look at the world differently, I don't know whether you feel the same thing like this duty to pass on what has been given to you from all the people that have poured into you. We need to pull that into others. Do you see that, do you feel that exactly. Yeah,
Mark Whittle 23:56
I felt that when you were saying I was up Yeah, absolutely, it was. It's important to share the wisdom that I've grown up and been fortunate enough to learn for sure. It was also, it's one of the biggest almost enlightening moments I had was when I was, I was incredibly unfulfilled while I was in the city and I was stressing once nonstop about this deal that was coming in, we're gonna be one of the biggest deals I'll close with a big commission check and worrying about it every day, every night I got a bit of thinking about it, and then I closed it. And I never thought about it again. And then, and it's crazy right we worry about this, and they take over our life and then we never think about again. And the money came in my car and I got off the tube and wargame one morning, and if you come out of one particular side of the mortgage exit there's, there's like a couple months of a line of homeless people. And I remember walking it up, not feeling any better about myself that I've had this big commission check paid in my car and just seeing these people there, and that was the that was when it dawned on me responsibility for the first time, because like that money could change. These 10 people's lives, for example. And I just suddenly felt really guilty, actually. And that was one of the big defining moments of changing our situation, and I think again interested I'm thinking about as I'm speaking but again it became not about me. It was, it was about suddenly seeing other people who are worse often, and almost feeling guilty and certainly feeling responsible for doing more with that other than just, you know, worrying about the interest rate on my account or whatever that is that we worry about so yeah and I totally agree.
Pete Cohen 25:28
I used to that I no more like very well used to Margate not more like more legs where my brother lives, I used to work at the Barbican. When I left university. My first job was at was Holmes place which is now a virgin, gym, but that was a big wake up call for me because I saw a lot of people this was in the 90s Right, so a lot of my clients were like, coming up while to at the maroon boys had white powder here and I was thinking what the hell are they did what is that it was obviously it was snorting because they were traders they were working every hour God sends, but I remember the people down a lot of the guys that work downstairs were from Ghana and I've never met anyone from Ghana before these guys was so grounded and so rooted in a sense of helping and supporting each others. And it was just completely two different worlds a world of how can I help you with another world of how much can I make, how much can I take and I think we all kind of not all of us, but I think a lot of us wake up to the world like you did. And I have as well there's must be more to life than the accumulation of things, you know, and that's what you see I think with a lot of sports people that there's, there's a humbleness and they do actually want to give back. They said we have to go through something to almost learn that, you know,
Mark Whittle 26:43
Yeah eventually they want to give back, you know, it's like all of us we have to get to that, not necessarily into the top but you get somewhere. It's not the hero's journey, you get somewhere that thing teaches you that lesson and then you're like, okay.
Pete Cohen 26:55
So so. So tell me how did you sorry to interrupt you, how did you come across the Hero's Journey, because I wrote a book all about all about that.
Mark Whittle 27:02
Pete Cohen 27:02
Yeah Joseph Campbell, how did you come across that?
Mark Whittle 27:06
I just when I, so, we spoke briefly about the I got chronic fatigue when I first moved back from playing football in America, I tried to prolong my career, I played nearly a full season in the in the National League, and I had to retire because of chronic fatigue. So
Mark Whittle 27:22
I'd already been introduced to a lot of like coaching practices, as I said my dad was a coach so used to do all these goals set in the wheel of life, all these things with me when I was young, so I've been exposed that sort of stuff and personal development was in my blood, so I leaned on that as soon as I got chronic fatigue, was a few months but that was what I turned to I tend to books I tend to pull personal development stuff videos all this stuff and I just got all this reading material and I stumbled across it, you know, as these things often happen at the right time. So I don't know where it might have been an Aubrey Marcus podcast I've heard much from him he is, he is my favorite one was, or it could have just read another book which quoted the hero's journey and I just remember resonated with that, what is it the sixth or seventh part
Pete Cohen 28:08
Yeah someone called of an adventure, they don't want to go, they get coached they get a mentor is fascinating, isn't it, how we identify with stories, and I had been epiphany about that maybe a year ago when you think about Instagram stories and Facebook stories and you think, what is the fascination with this, and it's got to be the fact that fascination with stories I've stopped looking at that stuff I mean I still do my own stories, you know, because someone might be inspired by that but I don't, I don't know if you the same I've spent less time looking at other people's stories because I'm more interested in. Sounds like it doesn't make sense. I'm more interested in my story, and that inspiring other people. I don't know, but is that something that kind of you're driven to to your, to make your swear is your story going you're taking fly. Let's talk about where your flight is going do you see do you think about your future and what you're creating.
Mark Whittle 29:01
Every day yeah. It's hard to, it's hard to articulate it in my mind it's very clear.
Pete Cohen 29:10
Yeah. Yeah, if I do it right here. As you see, so what do you see.
Mark Whittle 29:15
So I see, so every morning I do a visualization practice again in my meditation but if I was the talk it, so I what I tried to see is feelings, emotions, the things
Pete Cohen 29:24
I heard you saw it in Clubhose and I thought I wanted you to expand upon. Yeah go on.
Mark Whittle 29:29
So, I, I spent a lot of time setting goals for myself, and I really believe in the power of setting goals and I achieved. If I look back on my notepads I probably James all of it because I really believe when you write it down and you sow that seed as Jim Rohn used to say like you sow the seed, it comes to fruition, which is why you gotta be careful what you wish for all these other things but I used to set these goals for myself. And I didn't really ask myself why there are a lot of them I set myself always because again that conditioning that we have about what successes so it will be material things, it will be, might be buying a house at the time or earning X amount now this year versus last year.
Mark Whittle 30:05
Just clone it's way more than the previous year, but not really a why behind that. So they need to achieve those things. And I feel a bit flat. So we talk about it, I had a really interesting conversation with the Super Bowl winner, I asked him how it must have felt to win the Super Bowl, you know, some of us spent three months working towards a goal. He spent his whole life or like, you know, it's like two and a half decades working towards this thing. And he said he felt good for about an hour. And he used an analogy of climbing a mountain is like, it's like climbing the mountain. And then you reach the top, which was for him winning the Super Bowl. And then, you know, that feeling afterwards is like going down here. And he said, that slide down the mountain took an hour to get to the bottom and it was like shit, what do I do now? So I just had a thought a few weeks ago, and I've had a few conversations about it seems it seems to be sitting with people. So maybe, maybe we're on something. But rather than setting goals, set intentions, I don't really necessarily want the goal, I want the feeling that comes with it. So I want the and I distilled it down I want that I want the joyfulness, I want the playfulness, I want the bliss. I want to feel connected. I want all these things that come from that achievement. So then I started to think Okay, so what achievements Give me that, because then inevitably, those are the emotions that will be elicited at the end of it, it won't be that flat, numb feeling that I was getting, because I hadn't given the goal enough attention, you know,
Mark Whittle 31:31
It's so powerful, because what I would say to that is, once you know what that feeling is, you can start generating the thoughts that produce those feelings. And then you change everything. You know, one of the people I follow and know and know him is Dr. Joe Dispenza. Whether you've ever come across the podcast,
Mark Whittle 31:52
I mentioned him in a room that we're in, and you said, Yeah, you agreed straightaway.
Pete Cohen 31:57
Yeah, no, he's unreal. I mean, that whole thing of learning to think greater than you feel. I saw him in a film, What the Bleep which came out, I don't know. When that film came out. I ran I heard it remember his voice. And then I, and then someone said to me, oh, you should listen to something that he had done. And I thought I don't want to listen to somebody else. But I listened to it. And then I read three of his books, you are the placebo? I remember breaking the habit of breaking the habit of being you
Mark Whittle 32:27
Being yourself. Yeah.
Mark Whittle 32:29
I think that's so powerful. I think you're definitely onto something there in terms of teaching goal setting by teaching the intention, and the feeling and then bringing the feeling back to today and putting that feeling into what you're doing. And then recognizing when you're not feeling that well, then you need to change your thoughts because the thoughts produce the feelings. was something else I was gonna say, but it was it's gone. Oh, yeah, I was. I was thought of a couple of guests for your podcast. Yeah. Joe De Sana I've ever come across Joe dishonor, the founder of Spartan races. He's a really, he's amazing. I can, I can connect you and there was someone else as well, when you just said that as well. Oh, yeah. You've probably heard him speak, which is Naveen Jain, who's, who's been on? Rob Moore had him on clubhouse. He's amazing. He's that billionaire. He's got the rights to mine on the moon. And he said that when he grew up, his mum used to say, you know, don't worry, so the sky's the limit. And as he got older, he realized No, the sky is not the limit. Because the sky doesn't exist in the sky, you don't arrive at the sky and thing over here I am. You know, it's an illusion that there is no limit. And it's just how many of us want to take flight into possibility? So why do you think that that's hard for people to kind of let go of what they know, and be open to possibility? And I'm wondering kind of what you're what you think about that?
Mark Whittle 33:56
Huge question. I mean, look, you can, it can be anything from our own perceived limitations. But if we take a step back from that, why is that perceived limitation? Now the first place is because we got told 1000 times a day, no, you know, 15 years, 20 years alive. So I think that there's a, there's like a negativity that, you know, through our early experiences in life that we're told not to do that, that we can't touch that, that we shouldn't do that. Which is why like, I've I've got a seven and a half month old now. And every time she screams or makes a noise, I'm like Yeah, express yourself. Like they'll do whatever you want. You know, it's a lot here and that, like, the last thing you want to do is try and try and suppress anyone's fear.
Mark Whittle 34:40
Like, like, Yeah, why do we say that? I remember someone saying to me once, the worst thing you teach a child is tell them, don't talk to strangers. Money doesn't grow on trees. And don't copy as I went to school, don't copy. Yeah, if we all copied what other people have done, and then to meet on our own? We all talk to people. And Money Money is, as is a fascinating conversation. So I interrupted you there. And I can't even remember what the question was. But I remember what if we remember we can come back to it, I suppose. I mean, one of my goals whenever I do a podcast is for people to listen. And I like where this person is coming from. I want to explore more about what this person has to say. And I know there's plenty of things that you have, which you can share with people, obviously, your podcast, but tell us of all the people who you've interviewed, who have you come across that has really made a lasting impression on you that you thought well, it's brilliant. really impacted my life.
Mark Whittle 35:40
Pete Cohen 35:41
I thought I'm Pete I'm joking.
Mark Whittle 35:46
The first person that comes to mind is Ed Milan who's obviously a force in the US. But
Mark Whittle 35:51
You actually actually don't say that is it? admire? That was the guy I heard interviewing Dr. Joe dispenza.
Mark Whittle 35:57
That episode is unbelievable.
Mark Whittle 35:59
The and that was what this guy who Matthew Janis AK who runs escape fitness. He was the one who said to me, it's not weird. He was the one who said, Listen to that podcast with Ed Milan.
Mark Whittle 36:11
Yeah. Probably listen to that, like three times.
Pete Cohen 36:15
I've listened to it more than you. And I've sent it to so many people.
Mark Whittle 36:20
Pete Cohen 36:20
That was an amazing podcast. Yeah,
Mark Whittle 36:22
yeah. Yeah. So you really got me thinking? I've been booking guests for the 12 seasons. So I really I do want Joe Dispenza on. So I need to,
Pete Cohen 36:29
I need to, I've got I've got a lead in connection to him.
Mark Whittle 36:33
I really, I might not be, that'd be insane. So I'd say Ed Milan, I'll tell you the story. Right. So I was I was probably 10 months into the podcast, this is three and a half, nearly four years ago. And I just got to number one in the podcast in the charts for the first time, Episode 10. So as you do and again, it's interesting, you're talking about school and stuff.
Mark Whittle 36:55
This is why I thought Australia when when you said don't copy of school, it's like, well, this is a system that's been built for us to walk through. And if we can use our creativity to get through it quicker, or in an easier fashion, then why not, you know that that idea of like as little effort as possible with maximal output. So I remember a time when I I hadn't prepared a talk for one of my classes, and I ended up like reading a few ones in advance. And then she said he wants to go full command. And I went up to just freestyle and I took bits from all of their talk. And I would say to my parents, well, they've never let me forget, forget, because I think that's like something in itself, right? Like learning how the system works, and then adapting your style to be able to get to work. Yeah, so the reason I'm saying that is because then I I recognize that I could place my strengths now. Right? So I've been to number one on the charts. So I screenshotted, the image of being number one in the charts. And I picked all the people who I was really inspired by and moved by in the US, one of which was that Marla and I would send the messages, say, look, I will fly to America to do this interview with you. And again, it was quite a unique thing at the time, that long ago. Lots of everyone's got a podcast, but at the time, it was quite a unique thing. So Edwin, it was one of those who said yes. And I flew over to LA I was actually working at Salesforce at the time. And that was coincided with that. So I could do a business trip. And then I spent four days on the end of that by myself traveling around interviewing people. So I drove down to Laguna Beach, into his $14 million mansion that was on the right on the beach. Unbelievable. And yeah, it just it really it just impacted me. So just to answer the question. He gave me a tour around the house. It was a time when I was like, I was having therapy. And I was going through some stuff. And we ended up speaking for an hour before we even press record and just both sharing stuff that we haven't shared with people before. Which he obviously has an ability to do that. Then he gets that from this guest as well on his podcast. And yeah, which is a really moving conversation. It's still an episode that people are talking about now. And that was Episode 20. Yeah
Pete Cohen 39:25
Definitely, I will definitely check that out. For sure. I've got a couple of podcasts ago, I'd love you to listen to it. So my podcast is five years old. And what we did to celebrate five years was I look back, listen to a whole load of interviews. So we did one with celebrities, one with entrepreneurs and one with sporting champions. So please have a listen to that because the best bits, and it's really fascinating to Yeah, I've interviewed Ronnie O'Sullivan three times. I mean, I've worked with him for two years. So he's someone you should also get on you. It sounds like a real conversation between two people. It's my podcast. That's what it is. He's a really good person to, to interview. Like I said, I spent two years of my life working with him, which was fascinating. So who else? Who else apart from Ed Milan? Like interviewing? What's his name? Sir Clive Woodward.
Mark Whittle 40:15
Ah watered. What got a gent he was absolutely lovely. His team couldn't have been more helpful as well. He was. The only dirty frustrating thing about some of the more recent ones is of course, they've all had to be like this remotely died before before lockdown for COVID. I'd spent three years and I've never did one other than face to face I never did. So now that he was absolutely fabulous, it was brilliant. It was lovely. And his advice, as you can imagine, was just absolutely game changing. But he makes it really relatable. So he talks about how his sport experience because he does a lot of corporate talks. He's very good at doing that. But he talks about his sporting experience and leadership in sport is transferable to business and even life and it was it was super that was Yeah, that was one of the highlights actually probably for the whole journey so far. Eddie Hearn was good. Eddie Hearn was the 100th episode. Oh, wow. Yeah,
Pete Cohen 41:05
I know Eddie, obviously only because of Ronnie O'Sullivan. Yeah, I've met him a few times. I've worked with a golfer. remember his name? But yeah, but amazing story. You know, his story? And his Yeah.
Mark Whittle 41:18
But you know, what was interesting about him is that like, he kind of went against a lot of the other. You know, a lot of stuff. We talked about his routines and habits and morning routines and mindset and all that. And he just like a very easy to get get it done guy. Yeah. Doesn't need all that. Almost like a Jordan, you know, in the sense that he'll just do anything. He said, He's up in on phone calls at three in the morning talking to the US he'll do whatever
Pete Cohen 41:37
He'll do whatever he needs to do to get the job done. Some people don't need routine instructed. I mean, there is no one way I suppose. Right? So in terms of life lessons, just you know, what are some of the major life lessons that you have learned along the way that you will encourage people that listen to this podcast to consider in order? So Mi365, which is the name of the podcast is really about helping people live life by by design, as opposed to just by chance by randomness? What would you say? So definitely being obsessed about something I like that word. A lot of people don't I think it is a good word. being committed. And there was something else that you say, yeah, just working towards something is in front of you. What else would you say to people that want to live life by design?
Mark Whittle 12:24
You need you need a purpose beyond any doubt. You need to I think you need to believe that you have a reason for being here. Not that we're just all here by by chance. Like, again, we'll use it right. I think we are here by chance.
Pete Cohen 12:36
So what's your reason for being here then?
Mark Whittle 12:38
So so what's my purpose? Right now my purpose is to enlighten inspire, empower. And I think that people's purpose can change. But I woke up to the reality that, you know, we don't need to live that conventional nine to five, we don't need to, although we bought up to lead. And let's believe that we don't need to. So I want to through the stories I'm sharing whether that's on the podcast at events, or wherever else they will go, I want to enlighten people to to, to the fact that don't need to do that. I'll do that by sharing, sharing these people's stories, who have also lived an alternative way of living, right, taking flight, taking a leap of faith and done something that's outside of the norm. inspire them that is available for them, you know, these people are humanized, but on the podcast, and it'll be the same for you, right? When you have this conversation with somebody, even if there's a Michael Jordan's son, suddenly his achievements become more relatable more or more kind of Yeah, you humanize the guests, I think that then inspires listeners or people who are viewing to go, you know what, maybe I can do something great for myself. And the last one is in power. So we talk a lot about practices, habits and routines, and things that the listeners in the audience can take into their life, which will empower them to help them either find their purpose, improve their performance. So everything I do when I wake up at our bed on driven to do those things and try and share that message as far as possible. So
Pete Cohen 13:58
So if you come across Dr. John Demartini?
Mark Whittle 14:05
It rings a bell. I feel someone already told me.
Pete Cohen 14:08
I'm interviewing him on Monday. I am on your podcast, Joe Demartini.
Mark Whittle 14:13
Dr. John Demartini.
Pete Cohen 14:17
I've known about him for years, but Rob Moore brought him into clubhouse. And then I just I, yeah, I got asked to moderate a room with him. I mean, it was just like, definitely gonna do. But he is just, he is just amazing. And I heard him say something. And I really appreciate what you've shared. I think for me the biggest takeaway from what you've shared, and I would encourage everyone who listens to this to reach out to Mark and we'll find out the best way and share with Mark, what was your biggest takeaway from what, from what you said, For me personally, it's that feeling your goals, see your intention and feel the intention, because if you can put that feeling into what you're doing It's going to make it a lot more enjoyable. I mean, this is what Dr. Joe Dispenza talks about, you've got to learn to think greater than you feel. And in order to think greater than you feel, think about the results that you want them to feel that feeling. Now you don't have to wait for it to happen. You can if you want to.
Mark Whittle 15:14
And that's the difference, right? Not to not to interrupt people are when you hear of Conor McGregor. I love this example. So Conor McGregor used to sit and it'd be unfair. But it's it's the ability to think about the greater burden yourself in those ship times in those tough times that he talks about the power of sitting there that he's imagine himself in a Rolls or a Bentley, or wherever Carli Lloyd, right. But he's in there. He's in a shift time of his life. He has not made it yet. But you still have that ability to think greater than how you feel.
Pete Cohen 15:40
Yeah and I think when he won his first bell, he asked, he was asked how he fell. And he said he felt okay, but he was heading to visit. The other one is no rocket science about any of this. But Dr. John Demartini said, because I have been, you know, we've all heard what you want the legacy of your life to be and begin with the end in mind, I heard him say, what do you want the legacy of your life to be in 1000 years? And that just blew my mind. So I'm going to ask you that question mark, what do you want the legacy of your life to be in 1000 years apart from people who will still be listening to your podcast? Hopefully you like the legacy to be.
Mark Whittle 16:20
That's the beauty of podcasting and YouTube in fact, is is its its legacy content, right, but a video on Facebook, and it disappears after a day or an hour, in some cases, but yeah, podcasts, you know, what I did to an ideas guy, he said, you'll go listen to that last legacy content. But I think beyond anything else, the legacy and 1000 years is that I was somehow live my truth. And I had the self awareness to recognize when I wasn't doing that, I stepped away from the courage to step away from it. And, you know, in, in doing that inspire other people to take responsibility themselves to live live my truth and have the courage and the self awareness to recognize that I wasn't. I stepped away from that.
Pete Cohen 17:02
It's time to take flight. So if people want to connect with you, where do they do that? your podcast is called Take Flight. Yes.
Mark Whittle 17:11
Podcast go Take Flight, Instagram, @markwhittle_tf.
Pete Cohen 17:15
Your website, Take Flight?
Mark Whittle 17:19
Wait, websites, flights, and the I is a one (https://fl1ght.co.uk/). Which always confuses people, but yeah, so I did just go to Instagram. I'm on Instagram.
Pete Cohen 17:27
And absolutely, yeah, you're an Instagram kind of guy. And we will put all of this in the show notes. And also if you get a chance to interview Matt Fiddes. Okay? You know who he is.
Mark Whittle 17:41
No, we're going to need to talk off the top
Pete Cohen 17:44
Don't worry about it. Listen Matt Fiddes, F I double D E S. This is the guy who was Michael Jackson's bodyguard, right. And what's amazing about when you speak to someone like that is the narrative. The narrative of Michael Jackson has always been through the media. But when you get a narrative through someone you knew him, then it takes it to a whole new level. That's why I like clubhouse because you can hear someone's narrative, you're not hearing it through somebody else. Yeah, I really appreciate you and everything that you've done, and I'm excited to see your continued growth. And I'm also really would love to know from people who listen to this, what you take away from it. And feel free to connect with Matt on Instagram. But it's time to take flight. Thank you so much for your time. I'm still looking at that picture. But I'm going to when we start this I'm going to show you a couple of things very quick. So thank you so much. I really appreciate it.
Mark Whittle 18:41
Thanks, Pete. It's been a pleasure. I enjoyed it.