9 Dec, 2021

#173 Who Not Why – The Secret to Success in 2022




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“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let’s be honest, a lot of us want to be successful, in our own definitions, of course, but when it comes to specific plans on how to be that person we want to be, we often find ourselves overwhelmed and scared to take the next step. It’s because our motivation to change, to improve, is oftentimes fueled not by the desire to step up but by the dissatisfaction with where we are.

In this episode, we’ll talk about facing the truth about you and where you are right now in your life. Listen as I talk about how everything we do right now shapes who we will become in the future.


-The path to mastery is doing what is best for you. Doing what is best for you is what you enjoy doing the most.

-Your personality is who you are choosing to become.

-Your identity is who you are committed to becoming.

Timestamps to some important stories in the 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 0:02
Happy beautiful, amazing day. It is the Mi365 podcast today's podcast is called Who Not Why - The Secret to Success in 2022. I'll see you after the theme tune.

Pete Cohen 0:22
Let's get ready to rumble. Happy beautiful day. It is Pete Cohen it is the Mi365 podcast today we're talking about Who Not Why - The Secret to Success in 2022 or 2023 or 2024 Whenever you're listening to this podcast because who knows when I reckon these podcasts are going to outlive me. Isn't it crazy to think that one day someone will be listening? Maybe it'll be Elon Musk who wants to die on Mars? Maybe he'll be listening to my podcast, in in Mars in Mars on Mars on Mars. I think it's fascinating. Elon Musk. I did a YouTube video about him and a podcast about him and I really wanted to find out what I could about him because obviously he's a pretty unique individual and has a very unique way of looking through the world. And it's fascinating, absolutely fascinating, where you start to understand who he is, but for me, it's not who he is. It's he's becoming. It's who he's made the choice to be. And I really want to delve into this today and give all of you an opportunity to look at life with a fresh pair of eyes because ultimately, people don't really change when we tell them what to do. You know, because people want to defend who they think they are. It's absolutely fascinating to me, and I just didn't I didn't realize this I kind of wish I'd known a lot of what I've known a long time ago, I wonder how different things might have been if I'd had the knowledge that I have now. Especially, I mean, literally, especially when I started working in a gym in 1989. And people come in and they've paid money to join, you know, a health club and you sit down at court if I wish I'd known now what if I wish I knew if I knew then what I know. Now I would just would have been a lot more upfront with these people because literally you'd sit down and say, Okay, hi. I'm Pete, I'm your fitness instructor. Let's do a fitness and testament physical fitness assessment. So tell me why have you joined the gym? What do you want to achieve? Well, I want to lose weight. Okay, brilliant. Let's write that down. But I would have said really? How would you know that you would have lost it? That would be the first thing I'd say. How would you have known that you would have lost the weight? What would be different as a result of you having done it? You say I wish I'd asked that question because immediately would have taken them to a different place to a place they've not been before because most people do not know what they want. And having worked in that field for a long time and it's a field a field of weight loss, an industry that is built on failure and industry that is built on getting people to think they are a problem and they need a solution and the solution is a diet di e with a T at the end, a diet that they go on. And they never change. The dieting industry is founded on failure, right? That's what it is, like many industries are founded on you thinking that you've got a problem, and there's nothing you can do about it. Even the pharmaceutical industry. Just imagine if a lot of people decided to take better care of their health and well being how they would need the medications that they're on. You know, it's really fascinating to me, and sometimes this might come across in a way that is you know, I don't know how it comes across but it just comes across in a way of look, I promise you what got you here in your life. It's not going to get you there. And first off you probably don't even know where there is. Where you know is you don't like where you are and that's why you've joined the gym and you feel uncomfortable. You can't put on the clothes you were wearing before the doctors told you you've got to lose weight. You've been told you about fatty liver disease anyone no one even know what that was in 1989. But the fact is that most people are driven to change by a dissatisfaction of where they are. And that's their why. And you know, Simon Sinek made this famous, you know, 2009 his TED Talk video. It's a fantastic video, but he was really talking about it from the point of view of companies you know, like Apple or Microsoft, Audi and Nike, they know they know their why. But they also know their who which is their customers and their their What do you call them? They're called you know their shareholders. Look with us of course it's important to know what your wires but it's not half as important as knowing who because who you are is not who necessarily you need to be and there's no better song for me.

Pete Cohen 5:05
You know, who are you? Who are you being and more importantly, who are you becoming? Come on everyone

Pete Cohen 5:33
Are you becoming

Pete Cohen 5:44
so it's just important just to take a moment to think about it. One of the cofounders of Alcoholics Anonymous said the most important thing we should be doing is to start off with the truth, the truth of where you are and right now, you are becoming your future. How is your future looking for you? I think this is just something which often people are in denial about. Again, I might be wrong. This is only based on my experience of the work that I've done. You see the path to mastery is doing what is best when you get to a place This is always my goal. This is my goal in working with people like never before is that you get to a point where doing what is best for you is what you enjoy doing the most. Let me say that again. Doing what is best for you is what you enjoy doing the most. Or if you don't enjoy doing it you just love the way it makes you feel after having done it. Because we know that we live in a world right now where people are just driven by immediate gratification. They're driven by comfort. They're driven by dopamine being secreted. So they just get this kind of feeling good. But I think that at the heart, I might be wrong here. But this is just what I believe from my experience that I think most people realize deep down that they're not they're not evolving in a way they'd like to they're living in denial. And you know, I think most people really do want to become more they want to get better in the eye and as I said before, what got you here? It probably won't get you there. Where is it going to get you? You don't get what you want. You don't get what you want. You get who you are. You don't get what you want. You get who you becoming and who are you becoming honestly if I could just transport you into the future and say, Hey, this is you today. Right? This is what you're doing today. This is where it's gonna take you into the future. And I had a big epiphany about this a couple of months ago I just woke up to the fact that I was in denial about a few things, mainly just some of the foods I was eating. This is you know my choice my why my life my who. But when I really connected to who I want to be in the future, I realized that me in the future was saying no to things I was saying yes to your future is the thing that is shaping your identity. This drives your personality. Your identity basically is who you are committed to becoming. And the word identity means means your repeated it means your repeated beingness. So think about it every single day. What are most of us do well, we just keep repeating who we've been. We're very predictable and whenever you ask a human being to look at something different or act in a different way, this often massive resistance because that's not who we think we are. And the only way to make your present I believe your present better is to make your future bigger for most people most of the time. So your personality is how you see yourself. And I'm not a big fan of personality testing. I think it's flawed in most cases, especially things like disc and Myers Briggs, I mean, even they've changed their ways. I don't believe in personality types. of you know, I just I just don't. And I believe in that in the traits that people have. They have certain traits, I believe your personality is who you're choosing to become. And when you decide to become liberated from your past, and often people need help with that. And that you can come to the point of Well, who do I actually want to be? And there are some great examples of people like that, you know, great examples of people like Nelson Mandela, you know, when he came out of prison, he made a decision way before all of that of who he was going to be. Mahatma Gandhi was exactly the same. He made his decision of who he was going to be. Dr. Martin Luther King he made his decision of who he was going to be.

Pete Cohen 9:39
If you actually really made the commitment of who you're going to be, it could just be right now that you have a bit of a Wizard of Oz moment. You know, the Wizard of Oz and you'd hang on a second here. This is all a hoax. What am I doing? See everything we're doing is based on a future goal. Everything everything we do as human beings is is goal oriented. We are what the Greeks called teleological. Everything we do is for a goal is for an outcome is for an aim, and you are getting certain goals met but really, where's that taking you? Where's that taking you? You know, I've had a couple of massive epiphanies in my life. One was being in a hospital with my dad, when he was starting is beginning to die. I mean, we're all beginning to die right? Right now, but we've all still got the opportunity to live and grow. We can grow into our death. That's what I want to do. I want to grow into my the end of my days. I don't want to retire but that's my choice. What about you? Because I want to know and this is why we've we've launched this start one stop one challenge. We want to help people identify who they want to be not why. When you know who that person is. You can think about well, why would you want to do that? Because then the how is much easier to do. And I know this because of the work that I've done, it's just obvious. And if you learn a lot and you keep investing your time and being curious, you know, I never forget I wondered why all those years ago when I started working with athletes, you know, people don't know this, but I started working with athletes, particularly for one reason because I was just genuinely curious as to how to top athletes perform at the highest level. We made a TV program on Channel Four here in the UK called losing it for Equinox. It was fascinating. We interviewed a lot of top athletes. Who and we wanted to find out about why at some point had they performed in a way that they hadn't performed before but we also looking for athletes that completely just lost it. And we were trying to find out and I wish I knew then what I know now, because I would have asked different questions. But this is the wisdom that we have everyone that's you know, you're listening to this we have the opportunity to apply wisdom. See once you decide who you want to be and there's three areas I'm encouraging you to think about who do you actually want to be with your health Who do you want to be? Not anybody else? Because some people go I want to be like Britney Spears? Okay, fair enough. But who do you want to be with your health? Who could you be with your health? See when people when I will those years ago? I didn't know but I would I would know now that they'd come in the gym they don't recognize with who they want to be they just recognize with a dissatisfaction itself. And that dissatisfaction doesn't go away. And they come into a gym, they don't feel like they belong in the gym. And before you know it, they're going to give up they don't enjoy what they're doing. It's painful. They're missing out on comfort. So they'll go back to what they were doing before and the cycle continues. But it doesn't just continue there. It continues with most things until we decide who we want to be. See our outcome our outcomes are driven are trying to what are your outcomes producing for you? What outcomes are you trying to produce? What are you seeking?

Pete Cohen 12:50
Who was it that said true nobility is being superior to your future self look, I want to tell you a story. You might have heard this story before, but it's a pretty powerful story. I actually heard Simon Sinek tell this story and I've got nothing against Simon Sinek I actually love his work, you know, seeing the why. And the how and the what that he talks about and that TED talk was hugely powerful. I just would love to have a conversation with him and say, let's talk about who you see because the companies he referring to they know who they need to be. And I think most people just don't know got the biggest why in the world but most people's why to change the New Year's resolutions is I've just had enough of this I don't want this. But Simon Sinek in one of his talks, he talks about what was known as the Black Death of was called, I think the the Black Death of child bed. And it was in the 1800s where 70% of women in some hospitals. They would die after giving birth and this was a you know, a time of like Imperial doctors and people who arrived, you know, this is the right way of doing things and they couldn't believe what was happening. So a lot of these doctors were studying corpses like in the morning to try and find out you know why these women were dying? And then they'd literally then go and deliver babies in the afternoon. And then you know, this was continuing lots of babies were die was massive, was a huge problem. And this doctor Dr. Weldon Holmes, basically said Hang on a second Guys, guys, guys, listen, I've got a theory here. I think the reason this is happening is we're not washing our hands. We're going from working on these corpses. And then we're going to deliver babies. We're taking the bacteria and we're putting it on. This is what's happening. You know, he was ignored for 30 years people said he was absolutely crazy. And the reason I tell you this story is that I think if we've just been honest with ourselves, if we want to be honest with ourselves, and just going back to what I was saying before about the guy that one of the cofounders of AI was saying that the most important thing is to start off with the truth, the truth of where you are right now. If you're happy with where you are, then why are you here, you don't need to be here. See, the thing I'd like to introduce you to is the whole concept of something in psychology that is called prospection prospection is when you're being conscious of your view of the future. You know, we were involved with these studies years ago where we put people in these fMRI machines where we could see brain activity. We'd ask them to think of themselves we'd see a part of the brain light up, then we'd ask them to think of a stranger we'd see a different part of the brain light up, then we'd ask them to think of themselves in the future. Which part of the brain do you think lit up? Well, for most people, it was the stranger. What does that mean? It means people don't identify with where they are going. They identify with who they are. And then every day they just keep recreating that. And then they wonder what wonder why they end up thinking God How did I get here? So that song by talking heads that we are on the road to nowhere but you're on the road to going exactly where you are right now, unless you decide, as Gandhi said to be the change that you need to see in this world. And if you can't be that change, then just get out of the way and support someone who can

Pete Cohen 16:14
and we know but we can't say what we see and we know what we so if you want to be on the road to nowhere. That's your choice.

Pete Cohen 16:57
So I'm looking for people that want to go onto a road where just like an athlete when you work with an athlete or I used to sit down with them and talk about what do you want. And they talk about what they want, which was often winning some major event. And I'd say, Okay, well who is that person? How does that person think? How does that person move through the world? How does that person deal with setbacks? How does that person deal with waking up in the morning? How does that person deal with injury? How does that person deal with setbacks and we talk about it, we talk about it and talk about it. Then one particular example Ronnie O'Sullivan, 656 times Nuka World Champion, when he came to see me we had a two hour appointment. He stayed at my house for three days, and I had these questions with him. And it was a massive epiphany for him. And then he he said, then I'm going to watch Michael Jordan videos because Michael Jordan was always you know, the gold standard for me with athletes. Look who this person is look at this person has become. And we just watched that. And I worked with him for two years and it was fascinating and it all resulted in him winning the World title for the second time. It was pretty awesome. But I remember being with him in an event, and he was in a bath and he started screaming. And I ran and asked him if he was okay. And he said yeah, and we didn't talk about it for a while and then I asked him you know what, what was going on? And he told me, he said, I just you know, we were having a conversation and it triggered something in him It triggered that he realized that he'd been playing snooker for his dad, and his dad was was in prison. His dad murdered someone when Ronnie was I think 14 or 15 years old. And when he realized that every time he played snooker, he was playing for his dad, and if he lost, he felt like he was letting his dad down. So he had some stuff that he needed to work through, to get to the point where he could become something different because what got him here? It wasn't going to get him there. He needed to change. And I asked you to think about what outcomes are you trying to produce? What outcomes do you want to produce? What outcomes are you actually producing? And then I asked you to look at your your present behavior. Don't think of it is right or wrong. But I realized a couple of months ago if I'd carried on just having a little bit of this and a little bit of that eating these foods and just thinking it's okay, I know what that was going to end up. It was going to end up with being you know, it could easily have ended up being pre diabetic diabetes. is something that has been in our family, you know, so I just woke up to the fact that my future self was saying no to that, and I'm saying yes to it. And my future self is saying yes to things that I'm saying no to.

Pete Cohen 19:45
And I just build a connection and this is just going back to what I said before and this is what we want to teach people how to do is to know where you are right now and then know who you want to be in the three areas of your life. Who do you want to be with your relationships with yourself and with others? Who do you want to be with your health and your energy? Who do you want to be with your wealth and your work and your service? Who is that person? And then if you were going to label that person, I would say with my health, I am a world class athlete. I am a world class athlete in my life. That's who I aspire to be. That doesn't mean who you have to be. You can be anything you want to be. And that's what I believe. And then what what values does that me? Practice that mean? world class athlete disciplined, focused clear? What about with my work? You know, I aspire to be Mr. inspirator. I am Mr. inspirator. I've written a book called inspirator is being inspired that me in the future I'm inspired I inspire everyone around me. Not everyone, I'm not everybody's cup of tea. What values do I embody? I'm incredibly disciplined. I'm curious, I'm a learner. I'm a lover of wisdom. And then knowing with the person that I am becoming that's me and the future then I then I have to know what what is it that I'm doing every day? Regardless of how I feel, right? That's the key. That's the key. But you know what, guess what, guys, you guys guys. It's like being a PE teacher again. Hey, guys, guys, come on in. Let's talk about what we've learned today. That I'm going back to the Gulf college again. Today to do some work with some of the students and I'm going to be brutally upfront with them because what I've seen is because I know that many of them will look at some of the work I've done with them and regret that the fact that they didn't get involved and I also know because I've filmed some of the sessions and I'm going to show them today. Some of the how they just sit in the classroom. And they just sit like they're at school and just not yawning and just not engaging. What got them here isn't going to get them there. And at some point, they're going to change and at some point, they are changing right now but they could speed the whole thing up by making a decision. And they haven't made that decision yet. Maybe a couple of them have really made the decision to go all in to go all in. So guys, should we get down to business? What do you reckon? Let's get down. Let's get down Berzins give you one more night. I want to get down to business and you're invited to join the My 365 a start one stop one challenge anyone can do this. This is this is going to be a really unique opportunity for you to first off know who you are committed to becoming, who is that person and then building a relationship with that person. And like I just said there will help you work out who this person is. Being able to summarize that person into whatever the world class athlete Mr. inspirator a perfect soulmate. And then just work out help you work out. Okay, well, what do you need to start doing? And this might sound really obvious, but what's obvious isn't always you know, it's like it's common sense, but it's not always common practice. To get you in the game. We want to get you in the game we want to help you to go beyond the honeymoon period, you know, let's get ready to rumble you know, so you're you're ready to you know, go beyond the honeymoon period of starting something and then after a few weeks your enthusiasm goes out the back window and it's gone. And you think what happened to me right now? Oh, no, no, no, no, we want to help you come to the fighting season of when you don't feel like doing something we will teach you how to think greater than you feel. We will teach you how to apply accountability in a way that maybe you haven't done before. We will give you a tracking tool just to keep you focused because a wandering mind is a very dangerous place. It's the same wind that blows us all. It's the setting of the sail. Where are you setting your sail to? We want to help you to develop what is known as identity capital. Right. Your behavior and your is. Basically what I'm trying to say here is identity capital is where you identify with who you're becoming. And then you see all the little investments that you're making every single day as you apply the law of compounding and you have some dynamic tension where you're chasing your future self. You know you've all you've all seen it you've all heard it right? You know what I'm going to say here, don't you? Every single one of you in this room I would imagine have heard someone talking about something where no what I'm talking about right? Now what I'm saying by just talking you know what I'm about to say? There was a famous actor

Pete Cohen 24:37
Well, why don't we just listen to it for a second. So Matthew McConaughey, one best actor in 2014 and listen to what he says about who is who is chasing what he's going after. You ready for this? Bear with me? Here we

Unknown Speaker 24:56
go. My heroes always 10 years away, I'm never going to be my hero. I'm not going to attain that I know I'm not and that's just fine with me because that keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing. So any of us whatever those things are, whatever it is, we look up to whatever it is we look forward to and whoever it is we're chasing to that I say amen. to that. I say all right, all right. All right.

Pete Cohen 25:19
So you know, it's fascinating that someone came up to him, listen to this.

Unknown Speaker 25:25
That's who I chase. Now when I was 15 years old, at a very important person, my life come to me and say who's your hero and I said, I don't know. I got to think about that. Give me a couple of weeks. I come back two weeks later, this person comes up says who's your hero? I said I thought about it. You know who it is. I said it's me in 10 years. So I turned 2510 years later that same person comes bingo so your hero and I was like, not even close. No, no she said why? So because my heroes me at 35 So you see every day every week every month and every year my life. My heroes always 10 years away. I'm never gonna be my hero.

Pete Cohen 25:58
I know you can hear that. And I just love it and whether you notice that but people started laughing twice when he said that and people will laugh at you when you tell them this. Not a lot of people will. And that's one of the things we also want to help create an environment a competitive environment, not where people are trying to beat you. They just want you to succeed because it inspires them to do the same. And you know, we're looking for 101 people that want to start this will be the first people to go through this process because this process has been beyond 30 years. In the making, we can't do this for you. We can't help you be the person that you want to be. We want to help you live life by imagination and creation rather than default. Going back to default settings. And if you're ready, I'm ready. Because the time I don't know when you think the time is to start changing and wake up to the fact that the future is yours. It is unwritten. The future is run written and you have the power to change so what is your biggest takeaway from what I've said? Can you understand the importance of who not why? And in 2022, what do you think is the difference is going to make the difference because there's challenging times coming. You think your y is going to be the difference? Or do you think the WHO THE who you have actually made the commitment to be just like an act and every single day, you're committing to be that person and you recognize there are simple things that need to be done. They have to be done. We know there's a part of your brain, the basal ganglia that really responds to repetition. You know, that's why we're alive. That's why we've survived because we've repeatedly done things that have kept us alive. But many of us are doing things repeatedly, that are giving us a life of dissatisfaction, a life of comfort as opposed to a life of growth and contribution. So maybe this message isn't for you, but maybe it is and if it is, let's do this when not now. But right now. Thank you for listening to the podcast, and we'll see you next time.


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