Dr. Relly Nadler: This week we have Michael Neill. He is a best-selling author of You Can Have What You Want and Feel Happy Now. He is the creator of an Effortless Success audio program and we’ll get him to speak about both of those. He has a website at www.geniuscatalyst.com, he’ll also talk about what is available there.
Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Today we are going to talk about self-management tools to be your best by being happier. I was delighted to discover Michael as a banner on our mutual, common associate Carolyn Kepcher’s website called, FindingWhatMatters.com. She was featuring Michael’s work on his book and his programs. For those of you who are listening who are female entrepreneurs, we are both Michael and I, delighted to be featured by Carolyn Kepcher. You may remember Carolyn, Relly, from the Apprentice TV show with Donald Trump.
Michael has spent the past 17 years as a coach, advisor, friend, mentor and creative spark plus for celebrities. He is also known to CEOs, royalty, and people who just want to get more out of life. He hosts a weekly talk show on HayhouseRadio.com and his daily coaching column can be read on his website at www.geniuscatalyst.com. Welcome Michael.
Michael Neill: Thank you very much. It’s 18 years now. I’ve had a coaching birthday!
Dr. Cathy Greenberg: You were in the actual celebrity field yourself, weren’t you?
Michael Neill: I was a fringe celebrity. I was famous in Wales. Which is an interesting phenomenon because there is a river separating Wales from the rest of the UK and if I needed and ego boost I could cross over into Wales, and then if I wanted to anonymous, I just crossed back into the UK.
Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Relly and I are very excited to spend some time with you.
Dr. Relly Nadler: Michael, who would you say most influenced you as a leader?
Michael Neill: It would have to be my dad, and that’s both as a dad, because I guess that’s the first leader that you run into in a traditional family model at least, but also he ran an engineering company which he’d been doing before I was born, and it was his other family. He never taught me anything about it in the sense of formally setting down and going this is how you do it, but when you hang out with somebody you sort of learn how they do things. He was kind of a remarkable leader particularly for his era, sort of 50s, 60s, 70s, because he was so emotionally intelligent that he managed to, long before they had identified what that was, create amazing relationships with his staff. It was the kind of an office where there was very much the separation between the white collar and blue collar and yet he created sort of a family atmosphere there to the point where the unions tried to organize three time in his factory and each time they failed. Not because he tried to stop them, but because they had never arranged deals for the employees as good as what he offered them anyway.
So for me, what I really got from him was I think three things, which was:
- Directness: no beating around the bush at all, but sort of directness paired with kindness. There was no antagonism behind it. It was just direct.
- Honesty and
I didn’t know growing up that showing up on time and doing what you say you will was a competitive advantage. But it turns out it is. That was just something that I took as a matter of course; of course you do that. That was a nice thing to have inherited.
Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Well it sounds like you have inherited a lot of great things from your dad and obviously from your mom and grandparents as well. I am fascinated by you Michael, and let me tell you why. In your discussion around, You Can Have What You Want, I want to share a little bit with you very quickly.
I hit the wall of life in 2003 as an executive at one of the largest consulting firms in the world. I was making millions of dollars, and in an instant I was told I had a life-threatening illness or two, I had lost both my parents, on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, respectively. I had lost a baby in my seventh month the year before. I was getting divorced and my husband was taking more than half of his share of goodwill, because I made more money, and all of the sudden I woke up and I said, I have got to get a better life, and I did. What thrills me about talking to you today, is the fact that I think there is a thread between us. You say something very important. You say, when you get really clear and honest about what you want, everything in the Universe conspires to help you get it. Now, that’s your quote.
So let’s start with that now that you know a little bit about me. Let’s talk about what is the secret to having what you want?
Michael Neill: Well, it’s almost about cultivating like a dance with life where possibility and opportunity meet. There’s a lot of stuff that is out there. There are sort of three schools of getting what you want.
The traditional one in business for many years has been the acquisition. The stuff of life is out there and your job is to go out and get it, and you get it by working harder than the other guy and outsmarting him, and sometimes maybe being a little bit dishonest, but that’s okay because, you know, all is fair in love, war and business.
That’s one tradition of getting what you want and it works up to a point in terms of getting the stuff of life, but it doesn’t necessarily get you a wonderful life.
The second school, which is the one that’s gotten really popular in the last couple of years, again, it comes in and out of fashion every 20 years or so, is the school of attraction. That’s the sort of thoughts are things, like attracts like, as you think so shall it be. In that school, it’s the mental energy and emotional energy that you put out rather than physical energy that is supposed to get you want you want.
The breakdown in the way that I have seen the school of attraction taught, and the reason even though a lot of people will get the parking space in the first week that they try it, and will get one or two really cool things happening, and then it all falls apart, is because they use it as another tool for acquisition. So instead of actually making their life about happiness and wellbeing, and just allowing the sort of natural bounce back from that to come into their life, they try and use it as a tool. Okay, I’m going to put happiness towards this goal, and I’m going to put happiness towards that goal; that’s not really happiness, that’s just using an emotion to try and create an effect.
This third school, and the school which I teach from, is what I call the school of creation. Maybe the easiest way to explain it is: I had woman that wanted to hire me as a coach and she was extremely successful, so I was curious about what she wanted to get from the coaching. She said that she had been really sort of learning about the law of attraction and she attracted herself a new film job, and a new place to live, and a new boyfriend, I remember her words, he actually seems to like me, which she was very excited about.
So asked, well it sounds great. What do you want to get out of our working together and she said, well I’m terrified that it’s going to stop working and I’m going to go back to being miserable.
That’s the problem and the distinction between the three schools in a nutshell. When you think in terms of acquisition, the powers outside of you, and it’s out there in the visible, physical world. If you want some of the power you’ve got to go out and get it. If you don’t get what you want and you believe that it is all about acquisition, well it’s because the world is rigged about people like you, or you just didn’t try hard enough.
So it’s either a mess-up world or it’s your fault. If you just think in terms of attraction, well the power is still outside you, but now it’s in the invisible, metaphysical world. If you want to tap into that power, you have to align your thoughts and your feelings, and think the right things, and feel the right feelings, and intend the right intentions, and desire the right desires, and if you don’t get what you want, it has to be because God has a higher plan for you or you just didn’t think positive enough.
So again, it’s either the world is messed up or it’s your fault.
Creation based thinking recognizes that the power is inside us. That’s a power that is not necessarily a magical power in terms of, I can visualize this car, and this car is going to appear, but it is the power to create our experience and we can’t not use it.
In physics they talk about the uncertainty principle that the observer always affects the observed. Well what we create on the inside in terms of the feelings and the way we think and all of that, that creates our experience of the world, whether or not it actually creates the stuff of the world. It totally creates your experience and because of that, it’s going to influence what you see, which opportunities you see, which actions it occurs to you to take, and from a creation based model, you are just looking at okay, this is what I want to create, this is the raw material I have. So if things aren’t the way you thought they should be, that’s just different raw material.
You are accessing your power through the choices you make about how to be in yourself, your grounded being, your attitude, your angle of approach to things, and the words you speak, the actions you take. You are actually using all of you and if you are not getting what you want from the point of view of the school of creation, all it means is that you either haven’t found a way to create it yet, or it’s just taking more time than you want it to. There is no blame and no fault, and no shame in it. And that’s why it’s a school that doesn’t promote either burnout, which is what happens in the school of acquisition, or disappointment which is what tends to happen in the school of attraction.
Be sure to listen to the complete, very enlightening interview above!