Happiness, the Most
Important Life Goal
Ep. 3 ft. Rob Mack
“You don’t need to see the whole staircase, you just need to see the next step.”
Robert is an ivy-league-educated Positive Psychology Expert, Celebrity Happiness Coach, Executive Coach, and Author.
Robert studied under the direction of Martin Seligman, the founder of Positive Psychology, at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn). UPenn is the only institution in the world to offer a Masters degree in Applied Positive Psychology.
Robert is one of the world’s leading experts on the relationship between happiness and success. He helps individuals and organizations achieve an energizing balance of authentic personal happiness and effortless professional success, based on time-tested, face-valid, empirical data and timeless, transcendental wisdom.
Robert’s work has been endorsed by Oprah, Vanessa Williams, and many others, and he has been seen on Good Morning America, The Today Show, Access Hollywood, E!, OWN, GQ, Self, Health, Cosmopolitan, and Glamour.
Robert’s first book, Happiness from the Inside Out: The Art and Science of Fulfillment, is celebrity-endorsed and critically-acclaimed. It has been translated into various languages, including Chinese.
Please welcome Rob Mack, happiness coach, author and psychology expert, to the Be It Pod! Rob unabashedly told us about his attempt at suicide and how that lead him down the path to study and pursue happiness as he transformed his own life. Today he is a sought-after speaker, host and coach, and he lovingly shares his expertise and action items with all of us in this episode.
If you have any comments or questions about the Be It pod shoot us a message at [email protected].
And as always, if you’re enjoying the show please share it with someone who you think would enjoy it as well. It is your continued support that will help us continue to help others. Thank you so much! Never miss another show by subscribing at LesleyLogan.co/subscribe.
In this episode you’ll learn about:
- This episode discusses suicide.
- They have chat and a 1-800 number
- You don’t need to see the whole staircase, you just need to see the next step
- The mind is usually decisive, rarely decisive. Quiet the mind, come from the heart
- The “left turns” are exactly the turns you’re supposed to take
- Defining yourself, creating your own title (you define the story/message)
- “Every thought is limited” “the limitless state is without thought” there are some less limiting thoughts than others, vet your thoughts by how they feel rather than how they sound
- “It’s so hard to hear your heart when your mind is so noisy”
- You don’t want to chase temporary things
- Knock on that inner door, not the outer doors
- Action items from Rob Mack
- Make happiness the most important goal in your entire life
- Recognize that Happiness is inside
- Found first thought positive thinking about everything and everybody in your life
- Found secondly by not thinking at all, but being it. Be in the moment. Here, right now in the present. You will BE the happiness you are chasing.
- Don’t route your happiness through other people, places and things, instead go to the source for it
- Positive thinking
- Not thinking
- It allows you to “step back from the movie”
- You become a non-judgmental observer/witness
- You can make a different choice when it comes to any of those emotional (scary) thoughts
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline suicidepreventionlifeline.org
- Rob Mack’s website: http://www.coachrobmack.com/
- Rob Mack’s book, Happiness From the Inside Out: The Art and Science of Fulfillment https://amzn.to/33K3UED
- Richard Carlson’s book, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… https://amzn.to/3uQlanx
- Robert Holden’s book, Be Happy!: Release the Power of Happiness in YOU https://amzn.to/3ojhFn7
- Al Franken and Stuart Smalley’s book, I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!: Daily Affirmations By Stuart Smalley https://amzn.to/3y8fYxr
- Canva Pro – https://canva.7eqqol.net/667MG
- The Artist’s Way Morning Pages Journal: A Companion Volume to the Artist’s Way https://amzn.to/3hvjfB4
Hey you! How are you doing? Thank you for being here. Thank you for listening. Thank you for pressing play to this podcast today. You could be listening to anything and you chose to listen to this which tells me that you are wanting so much to make yourself the priority in your life and that is awesome. Today’s guest is, well, I just can’t wait to get into it but his name is Robert Mack and his journey is nothing short of incredible and inspiring, but full of so many tips. Like when Robert and I were talking, he was like, “I like to speak in bullet points.” And I love that. Bullet points means you can do it too. You can take these tips and add them to your life and I’m really really excited. Before I tell you more about this interview and Robert, I do want to let you know that this episode does deal with suicide. And because of that I really wanna make sure it’s important that you know that there are resources out there. If you are someone who is having or you know someone who has suicidal thoughts, you need and you’re looking for some support and help with that, please check out suicidepreventionlifeline.org, or call 800-273-8255 800-273-8255.
In my fitness business coaching group, I say something. I say it on Instagram daily too it’s so important that I repeat it all the time, because it’s important for people to hear over and over and over again and I want to share it with you. You’re the only person who can do what you do, the way that you do that. So please know that, ok? So when you’re making excuses as to why you shouldn’t do the thing that you’re trying to do and make time for yourself or you feel a little bit selfish. And you just remember you’re the only one and that is amazing.
So, Robert Mack’s full bio is in the show notes, please check it out because, I mean, he has gone from Philadelphia to Miami, now he’s in Santa. Monica and the journey in there we talk a bit about it in the interview, but really you’re gonna want to see who he’s studied with and where he got these brilliant thoughts that he shares with you. But just a brief little intro is, Robert is an Ivy-league educated positive psychology expert. Yeah. Positive Psychology expert. He’s a celebrity happiness coach, executive coach and he is an author. He is one of the world’s leading experts on the relationship between happiness and success, which is why I wanted to have him here today. He’s also been endorsed by Oprah, I mean, enough said, you can just keep that thing, right you’re like, I’m ready let’s go. Vanessa Williams and many others and he’s been seen in Good Morning America, The Today Show, Access Hollywood, E, Own, GQ, Self, Help, Health, Cosmopolitan and Glamour, just to name a few, in the show notes and you just check out not only just see his amazing bio but also see, he has a book Happiness Inside and Out, we talk about it briefly in the interview and I just know that after this interview, we’re gonna be reading it, because when you hear his story of how he was born, unhappy. And now, he is a happiness coach, I just think that, that means even if you are sitting here today listening to this feeling a little bit like everyday is another unhappy day and it just be that way.
So, we’ll be right back with the full interview with Robert Mack right after this message.
Welcome to the Be It Till You See It podcast where we talk about taking messy action, knowing that perfect is boring. I’m Lesley Logan, Pilates instructor and business fitness coach. I’ve trained thousands of people around the world and the number one thing I see stopping people from achieving anything is self doubt. My friends, action brings clarity and it’s the antidote to fear. Each week, my guests will bring Bold, Executable, Intrinsic and Targeted steps that you can use to out yourself first and Be It Till You See It. It’s a practice, not a perfect. Let’s get started.
Lesley Logan – 00:01
All right. Okay, everyone, I am so honored, like truly honored to bring our next guest into your ears today. This is Rob Mack, Robert Mack, you’ll find him on Instagram and all the things. I met him through a friend at an event, virtually. And his story is just one that I had to make sure you heard because it absolutely, like it shows so many different times that he was being it before you saw it. And I know that to be true, from the things that I can’t wait to share stories and have a great conversation. And you’re gonna hear some awesome things. And so, Rob, will you tell everyone. Who you are and where you’re from? We can just dive right into it.
Robert Mack – 00:39
Yeah, for sure. So thanks for having me, first of all. I’m Rob Mac, I’m a happiness coach, a published author, a TV personality and producer. And also like a recovering unhappy person, or recovering suicidal person. I was suicidal for a large period of my life. And that’s probably what I identify most with, in some ways, because the work I do now is really all about happiness.
Lesley Logan – 01:04
Thank you for sharing that. I think one of the things I like is that you share your story about suicide in a way that a lot of people don’t understand. And also, it’s something I think that people don’t talk about very much. And so then people who have suicidal thoughts, they feel fairly alone. And that is something I think is really important, especially right now in the time that we’re in when we record this. I am sure when people hear this, like he’s a happiness coach, and he wrote a book, and he did this. And he did this. And it’s like, already, like, how do you do all the things? And so I want to start kind of what? Well, I think we probably should start a little bit at the beginning, like, when you were, when you were suicidal? Obviously, that didn’t happen. Thank goodness, because we’re here today to hear your story. What, what prompted you to become a happiness coach? Or like what happened in between those two things?
Robert Mack – 01:56
Yeah, it’s such a great question. So, I don’t know about a lot of people. But I felt like I was born really unhappy. Like it was the most miserable kid in the world, for seemingly no good reason. I just feel like was wired that way. My first memories were being very unhappy, really stressed out, anxious, self loathing. I always thought I’d grow out of that, you know. That as I got older, and I wanted to be a professional basketball player and if that ever happened. I thought that would solve it for me. And I knew if I had some friends, maybe a girlfriend, even at some point, that I would grow out of my unhappiness, but it didn’t happen, at least not right away. And then not in that way. As I got older, it actually got worse. And I got to a place where I was actively contemplating killing myself every single day, multiple times a day. And it was overwhelming. At some point, I eventually decided to do something about it. So I did a little research, I basically decided that I was going to slash my wrist because that’s what I had access to, I had access to a knife. So I went to the kitchen, I got a kitchen knife, and I rammed it into my wrist. You know, the one thing about suicide and wanting to kill yourself is that you’re trying to escape the pain. So I didn’t really love the idea of more physical pain. And so I still have a test mark to this day, but I was very serious about killing myself. Something very strange and unpredictable happened in that moment, though, you know, as I sort of dug this knife into my wrist without any explainable reason, I started to just feel this inexplicable joy and peace, just sort of wash over me. And that was extraordinarily unexpected, unpredictable, and I didn’t really couldn’t process that, really. So at the time, it was like, What am I gonna do with this? I should maybe just postpone the suicide thing. Maybe I’ll postpone it for like an hour. And now it’s pretty laughable, you know, because an hour doesn’t seem like that long. And to be quite honest with you, even that time, I wasn’t committed to an entire hour, I thought, well, maybe it’ll be 15 minutes, it might be 15 seconds. But I’ll do a little research. And so I started doing a little research, I discovered a lot of things in that period of time. But mostly, I wasn’t alone. And second of all, lots of folks have were smarter than me had dug their way out of this dark, deep depressive hole. So in any case, I started applying all the research that I was in, all the things I was learning, I started keeping a journal, just sort of things that were working for me in terms of improving my happiness. And that journal eventually became a book. Kind of reluctantly, I never set out to write a book. But yeah, lo and behold, my life just started to turn around when I prioritized happiness. And before long,it kind of became a profession, which is interesting.
Lesley Logan – 04:39
I think I love how professions happen upon us. I think it’s my, maybe it applies here. I thought I was going to be happy. So that was paying for my very expensive Pilates habit. Yeah, but it happened upon me in a way and I. When I hear your story. I mean, I’m sure to many people listening, there’s going to be these… there’s so many thoughts that come through your head. And I’m so grateful that you didn’t. I’m sure everyone in your life is so grateful that you didn’t go through with it. And I will do hear… I know, I know, I know. But I hear like, you know, I, I hear the negotiation with yourself. And I think that even if you aren’t someone who’s ever been suicidal, we negotiate with ourselves all the time, we negotiate with ourselves over if we’re going to get the dessert in an hour, no in 15 minutes like, there are negotiations that happen in our brain all day long. And, and those, those negotiations, put our choices, and we are constantly making them. And I, I think it’s so fascinating, that you’re, that you felt joy for a moment, I was just enough to get you to think and act on that thought, which is something that a lot of people don’t do. And I want to go back to your book, because I’m sure a lot of people are like, wait, what’s the book? So I’m going to ask the question, like, what’s the name of the book? How can they find it? So we can just get that out of their head right now?
Robert Mack – 06:01
Yeah, for sure. So the book is called Happiness from the Inside Out: The Art and Science of Fulfillment. Vanessa Williams, the actress and singer, wrote the foreword to the book. The friend of a friend of mine, can find the book, everywhere great books are sold, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble. But yeah, initially, it just started out as me tracking happiness habits. Over time, it became more about the clients that I was, you know, working with, and the things that were working for them as well. But yeah, it’s part-story. But it’s really, you know, eight, tried and true principles for increasing and improving not just the happiness of your life, but also the success of your life. Because the one thing we know, from the field of positive psychology is that when you become happier, you increase the authentic and effortless success of your life. So your actual circumstances and conditions improve on their own, seemingly as a result of prioritizing happiness.
Lesley Logan – 06:53
Yeah, I mean, obviously, the science agrees with my opinion, which is like, yes, it’s so true. Because I talk to people a lot about like whatever you believe to be true, is what you’ll see evidence for. So if you believe your life is unhappy, you’re going to see all the evidence that just proves you to be completely correct. Versus people who are like, see their life as more happier, the glass is more full. They’re seeing all the different things that did happen that were really good. And I have a coaching group, and I have a rule: you are allowed to vent in a channel, there’s a slack group, and they’re allowed to write like, I need a moment they can like, just vent it out. But there’s a rule, they have to then go share a win, because never in a day, do you not have both. But there’s always something else to look at. And so I imagine that with your journaling, like you’re just tracking those good things. And whenever we track anything, we see the…we actually like, there’s a, there’s a saying in the business world about like, what you track you actually manage or something like that is more worldly than I am. But I think that’s so cool, because I do believe that a lot of people have a lot more good happening to them. Even right now. Even if they’re listening like no, Lesley, you don’t understand I lost my business. I lost this person in my life doing this last year. And I think there’s still good stuff happening.
Robert Mack – 08:06
Well, yeah, you’re alive, right? I mean, that, that and of itself. I mean, there are infinite, countless things that are required in order for you to continue to stay alive. And if on top of that, you’re also healthy, on top of that you have a roof over your head and running water and all these things. And yes, don’t get me wrong, I totally understand how difficult life is and the brain doesn’t always make it that easy to be happy. I mean, the brain is really wired to help you survive. If you survive, the chances of being happy are a lot higher than if you don’t, right. And so, you know, we’ve got these biases built into the brain and make it a little difficult to be happy. So we’ve got a negativity bias built in, which requires that we have about five positive experiences, or at least five positive recognitions for every one negative, right. And so things like that, and we’ve got a confirmation bias. You spoke there a little bit about that. Also, selective attention, selective perception. But the whole point is that you get more of what you focus on, right? And what you appreciate, appreciates increases in value. And so the challenging opportunity in the world today is to focus in very intentional ways. Right? In ways that will actually improve or increase your happiness.
Lesley Logan – 09:15
Yeah. Oh, that’s, so there it is. The appreciate appreciates. That’s the word. The phrase I was looking for. Thank you Rob, for being here for that. (Robert Mack: Every now and then.) Yeah. I am. I know that you now live in New Downtown in Santa Monica. And but you didn’t always you were in Miami for some time. And what I love to hear more about your experience in Miami and then moving to LA and just kind of what, what brought that about? What was the impetus?
Robert Mack – 09:43
Totally! So I came out of undergrad I went to undergrad in Philadelphia at Swarthmore. Came out, had no idea what I wanted to do. All the smart kids were interviewing with consulting companies. I had no idea what consulting was, but I just knew the smart kids were doing it so I should probably do it. So I ended up getting a job with a consulting company. I did that for five years. And after that management consulting work, I, the entire time I didn’t love the job. I loved the people, but I honestly really didn’t love the job. I didn’t love living in Philadelphia. It’s great city, but it was cold. I was, you know, suffering from seasonal affective disorder the whole nine, right?
Lesley Logan – 10:15
My husband’s from Philly. So (Robert Mack: Oh, okay!), go there at Christmas. And I’m like, how long are we here? I’m a California girl, like I just need some sun.
Robert Mack – 10:24
Yeah, I need my vitamin D, I need the sun or any beach ideally. So at some point in time, I decided to go back to business school. And, you know, part of that was I just wanted to be in Miami. And I wanted to find a good reason for the company to let me work from a virtual office in Miami, whatever, I just wanted to be in the sunshine. So eventually, that happened. But along the way, you know, I decided to want to do consulting work. And I was without work for a period of time, you know. I was going back to business school, and I’m trying to pay for that. And Miami is not cheap either. And I was walking along Lincoln Road, one day thinking. What am I going to do with my life? I’ve got to figure this out. And I ran into just a random, there was a random guy walking along the road, he said, “Hey, you’ve never modeled before?” And I’m like, definitely not me, like, you’ve definitely got the wrong person. I know, I’m the ugliest person in the world. I know, I’m, you know, not the model type. And a week later, the same thing happened again with someone different. So I then eventually decided to go into the, you know, one of the agencies, and I started this entire career for 10 years in entertainment. You know, I was working as a model, as an actor. And along the way, I was meeting people in that space. But mostly the entire time, I was really focused on what I wanted to do when I grew up, you know, really was trying to discover what my purpose was. And it’s just so interesting that I couldn’t get away from this obsession with happiness. I didn’t know there was a profession called happiness coaching, or anything like that. And then over time, I found this program at University of Pennsylvania, the Master’s in Applied Positive Psychology program. It’s really the study in science of what makes life worth living. And I, you know, entered into that program, graduated from that program, and opened my private practice.
Lesley Logan – 11:58
Amazing. So did you, is that when you moved to LA? Because did you go back to Philly for that degree?
Rpbert Mack – 12:04
Ah! So thankfully, it was an executive program. So I just flew in for the weekends. Like once a month, it was ideal, expensive, but worth it. So yeah, I couldn’t, I don’t think I could move back to Philadelphia, though I love the people there. Great city. Um, you know, so what happened with the LA thing is I had done, like, three different stints in LA once with the girlfriend, once with my brother, once on my own, and it never stuck. And so at some point, I just surrendered this whole LA thing, like, you know, maybe LA isn’t for me, it doesn’t seem like it ever works out. And then one day, I got a phone call from a production company, and they were working on a TV show for E. And so they said, Hey, Rob, you know, we know that you do kind of this, you know, a little bit of relationship work. And would you be interested in doing this show called Famously Single, and you’d be a dating and relationship coach. And I said, you know, at that time, I was like, you know what I don’t, I don’t think I really want to do that. Honestly, I’ve chased the TV for a little while. I just wanted to be happy, like help people, genuinely. But they convinced me. They said, Oh, you can help people. We’ll film it, it’ll be fine. So that’s what brought me to LA. We did two seasons of that. And then I moved to LA.
Lesley Logan – 13:10
Cool. I have to say, y’all, this is really funny. Because if you’ve never been in like Miami, New York, LA and you hear about people who just get stopped on the streets, and you’re like, I would never talk to that person. There is something about affirmation that makes you stop when someone’s like, have you ever thought about doing this? And you’re like, Oh, my God, no, we’ve the wrong person. But it has. So I did a brief because I lived in LA and I actually worked as a Pilates instructor in West Hollywood. So like, just like every model walking up the high end gym that I was working at and teaching that and I not only ended up with a commercial acting, commercial acting agent, I ended up with a modeling agent. And then all of us like, it’s crazy, y’all. It just keeps happening. And I didn’t, similar to you, I didn’t actually know that that was what I wanted to do. I also was like, do I want to be a Pilates destructor when I grow up? Like I didn’t really know, like, I was enjoying it. I was doing projects. I was trying things out. I was really testing things and trying to be something and figure out if that was the thing. And so as my amazement, be this, I may as well just see what this is like. And I swear, like, even if it sounds like a left turn in your career to do something like that. It’s exactly what you’re supposed to do. Because it changed. It changed the trajectory of everything. Like it made it so easy for me to do YouTube videos, that made it so easy for me to talk to strangers or like, just try on things and be a little braver.
Robert Mack – 14:30
You don’t need to see the whole staircase, you just need to see the next step. And that’s huge for me, because when I was in Philadelphia. I mean, I was reading every book I could possibly find on: Wwhat should you do with your life? What do you do with your career? And I had no idea and I wasn’t getting any closer. In fact, it felt like I was getting further away. And the only thing I knew for sure is that I love sunshine. I love the idea of Miami. Right? And that led me to Miami and it didn’t seem like it was at all related to anything professional. In fact, I felt like was probably gonna get away from doing, you know, being successful professionally. But it led to the next thing. And so to your point, and I love what you’re saying there, you’re absolutely right about that. You don’t need to see the perfect vision of how your life’s gonna work out. If you feel an inkling inside of something and you want to do, that might be interesting to you, that might be fun. Just take a step in that direction, and you find that the other steps sort of appear, you’re actually taking that first step.
Lesley Logan – 15:23
Yeah. Oh, that is, that is so true. It’s that, that there’s that there’ll, there will always be a little anxiety and fear, I’m sure you felt like, am I doing the right thing when I move here? But all you could see is like, well, this is the first step, I’m going to take that and see what it is. And when you take that first action, everyone, it really does like it, it gets the fear of the way and it makes the fear feel a little smaller. Because once you start the wheels in motion, clarity comes meaning the second step and the third step, or just the opportunity to look at different staircases and you can’t get that from thinking things through. And I see so many people, I just got to a group coaching call, and someone was like, “Okay, so how do I do this?” And I was like, “Well, I can probably give you literally every step because I’ve done what you’re asking for. But that’s overwhelming. So even if I gave you the staircase, you won’t even do the thing, because now you know too much. And it’s gonna sound really, really like too much work. So here’s your first step. This is what your first thing is to do.” And I think people underestimate the power of that first step.
Robert Mack – 16:24
You nailed it. I mean, action, cures anxiety, often, right? I mean, you’ve got a bench test things. Like that was the discovery with me. Was I going to like Miami or not? Bench tested it. Go to Miami and enjoy yourself for a week or a month or a year and see how it goes. You can always move back, or whatever it is. And so you have to get experience. Sometimes experience is the only explanation. And we sometimes try too hard to figure out things in our head.
Lesley Logan – 16:48
Yeah, now our head is such a funny, it’s, it’s so funny, because inside your head, good things that everything takes up a little bit too much too much space. And it gets very muddled. And it’s like, I’m always like, if you I just tell people, if you just say it out loud, when you just say out loud what your fear is, it all of a sudden sounds a little funny, you’re like, really, that’s what I’m afraid of right now.
Robert Mack – 17:08
So true. When you hear it out loud, it suddenly puts it all in perspective. And you make a great point there too, Lesley, and I just, that’s why I love conversation with you. Like, the mind is very rarely, if ever decisive, it’s always divisive. You know, the mind is a place of dissonance very rarely, a place of consonance, right. And so a lot of the work for me has been to quiet the mind so I can slip more deeply into the heart and then come from a much more intuitive, deeper knowing place. But it does require you to get some of those thoughts out, or at least that I can go.
Lesley Logan – 17:42
Yeah, yeah, it’s well, you go you said it already was that like, our, our, our brains job, our body’s job is to keep us alive. So it’s going to probably challenge every thought you have with like, what could go wrong? It’s not exactly ready to go, here’s what can go right. When you go that way, here’s the best thing that’s going to happen, you know, that does take, that takes practice.
Robert Mack – 18:04
That’s right. And evolutionarily that wouldn’t have been very adaptive, right, would have served you very well. It’s like, just go out, you know, for a stroll right now at midnight. And, you know, in the middle of the woods, don’t worry about it. Like, you know, you know, the challenge, of course, now the opportunity now is that, you know, lots of these sort of biases and some of the heuristics that the brain uses, you know, they’ve, they’re no longer as valuable or as useful as they often were before, right? So we have to, you know, use this other function of the brain, which, the prefrontal cortex, to kind of think our way through things in a much more relaxed, but clear way.
Lesley Logan – 18:40
Yeah, I am. I want to go back to, so you didn’t know what a happiness coach was. So when did you hear that there was such a thing as a happiness coach? And like, or when did you at least start calling yourself one?
Robert Mack – 18:51
Yeah. So it’s, it’s a great question. I’m not sure I ever really did hear of happiness, coaching being a thing. I just remember coming, having this insight. And I’m sure that somebody else facilitated this insight. But the insight was kind of like, what would you do, not only for free, but what would you pay someone else to let you do? Like, what are you doing already that you’d love to do more of that you’d love? You know, that you would even pay someone else to let you do? And I thought, well, I love talking to people about psychology and spirituality, a little bit of business here and there, but mostly around happiness and effortless success. And I thought, well, that’d be sure nice to get folks to pay me to have those conversations. Right? And so, over time, I started to think, well, it’s really just happiness that I love helping people with. So I guess I’m a happiness coach. And I really struggled with like the terminology around it. But then I discovered Richard Carlson, who was the author of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. He kind of was like a stress consultant, happiness coach, and then I discovered Robert Holden, he was the happiness coach. So over time, sort of, you know, you start to see more of what you look for in a way. So it was kind of confirmed or validated for me.
Lesley Logan – 19:56
Oh, I love that. I grew up. I had a mom who I don’t know that she was born happy either. She like, we listened to a lot of Stuart Smalley, you know?
Robert Mack – 20:10
In my book actually I talk about Stuart Smalley, yeah.
Lesley Logan – 20:12
Yeah. And I just remember being this kid like, okay, you know, you’re smart. You’re important, like all, people like me. (Robert Mack: Yes!) So anyway, I mean, if you’re listening, you don’t know who that is, look him up, because you’ll be like, Oh, so many, like, all these people’s names, you’ve probably seen their stuff. At some point just maybe someone else quoted it. And you’re like, that’s amazing, it resonated with you. Yeah, I think I was like, when you said, I didn’t know who, like how it came on, I call myself happiness coach, and then you start to see things. I think a lot of people get stuck on, like, Well, what does that make me? And, what is my title for that? And I remember, even when I started my business, people were calling me the CEO of my business. And I’m like, I’m the CEO of my business, what is that? What does that even mean? Like people will put titles on you if you don’t, like get a title on yourself. So like, you gotta, that’s probably the one of the first steps I was like, I have to like, come up with something. And so you know, when I started calling myself a Pilates instructor even that felt so weird. Felt so weird to call myself that because there was this part of me that was like, waiting for someone to deem me that. Like, I think we tend to go through life waiting for someone to deem us whatever it is, what we want to be and, and I, I’m gonna I’m gonna guess, but maybe I could be wrong. Like, you didn’t wait for someone to deem you the happiness coach, like you called yourself that?
Robert Mack – 21:27
Yeah, no, I mean, I was, yeah, because I was the only person I knew of who was even talking about happiness in the obsessive compulsive way that I was, and reading every book I could get my hands on. So I was like, No, this is what I am like. And yes, it does feel weird. And part of that is because it’s not familiar. Another part of that is sometimes we suffer with imposter syndrome, right? But a third part of that, ultimately, all definition is somewhat limiting, right? Because we don’t really, any of us, we don’t really fit into a box. And so we call it the happiness coach you like, well, but I’m also talking a little bit about success and everything about executive presence, or confidence, or charisma, or, you know, these other things, love dating relationships. So you can always feel a little uncomfortable, because ultimately, you’re so much bigger than that. But (Lesley Logan: Yeah), you think you’re so much smaller than that?
Lesley Logan – 22:15
Yeah, yeah, I think, um, I think if someone is listening, you’re like, waiting for someone to tell you what you are, I highly recommend you give yourself your own title, you can make it up whatever you want. I promise you, it’s better that way. And you, I think we all will outgrow something to an extent because we are ever changing. And so you know, and it’s really simple. You just, you just put a new title on the business card, like you just go into Canva and you just edit.
Robert Mack – 22:42
No, totally. And it doesn’t have to be just one. I mean, depending on who I talked to, I call myself different things. Right? So the executives, my private practice, I’m an executive coach, for you know, the athletes, I might be a peak performance coach, you know, but for everyday people who just care mostly about happiness, and I’m a happiness coach, but really, it’s the same thing, we’re just using different words, different language, but you don’t have to stick to one thing forever. And you don’t only have to be one thing even for now.
Lesley Logan – 23:06
Yeah, that is the coolest thing that, um, I, you know, my parents have always had one job. Right? Like, my mom has been a school teacher, since she started being a school teacher somewhere in my childhood. And that’s what she still is. And my dad worked for the post office, which you can’t get more of like, this is your job until you get a pension, and he did not get a gold watch. And it was the whole thing, right? So you know, when I went to college for communications, and interpersonal organizational and I didn’t even, I was like, I don’t want to go to grad school, I don’t want to write another paper. I’m over this. So I started working in retail. I didn’t know what I was gonna be and I loved it. And I had so much fun. But when I met someone there who said, “you should teach Pilates.” And I was like, I could do that, like, in my mind because of what I saw. And that’s what we people have to be really careful of. If you only saw your parents do one thing their whole life, then you start to think that that’s it. Like, you don’t see what you can do, you don’t see that there’s other possibilities. And now, you know, since someone just opened up that door, and I think like being aware of people suggesting things like you were aware of someone who said you should be a model. And it’s like, no, no, no. And it happens again, you’re like, well, maybe I should try this, twice in one week, you know. And so I think it’s really important that we don’t have to. We can change, we can grow, we can evolve, and now we live in a world that’s so much more possible, right? It’s not weird to switch jobs after a couple years.
Robert Mack – 24:29
In fact, it’s celebrated. It’s celebrated, right? I mean, particularly these days, you know, a lot of the folks that are working my private practice, you know, even if they stay in the same industry, or the same space in general, they are encouraged actually to change jobs after every three, four years. Right? It’s a thing now. So absolutely, you know, I think part of the, you know, temptation for all of us, is to impose these limitations on ourselves and then spend our lives trying to overcome these limitations, but most all of it self imposed, yes, that we hear from somebody else that maybe we inherit. Somebody else sure, but every day that we choose those limitations, it’s our responsibility, but it’s also within our power to make a different decision.
Lesley Logan – 25:10
Yeah, I love it. So I have a question. And maybe there isn’t. But I’m just wondering, is there? Is there a word or a sign like a statement that someone might be saying that is a sign of a limitation? Do you know what I mean? Like, (Robert Mack: Okay), is that clear?
Robert Mack – 25:24
Yes, totally. So I’m gonna say something very strong. And I can dilute it down, but every thought is limited. So we talked about limiting beliefs. But every belief is limited, to the extent of this belief, right? Every one every single one, there’s no exception to that rule. And so ultimately, the limitless state is, one that is thoughtless, that’s without thought, right? So every way in which you describe yourself, or define yourself, you’re actually limiting yourself, period. So that’s the way to know. Am I thinking? Okay. I’m limiting myself in some way. Now, there are much less limiting thoughts than others. Right? And so generally, anything that sounds, I would say, a better way to vet it for yourself is: how does it feel when you say it, right? Because we can all say the same thing. But we’ll all feel a little differently based on, you know, our experiences and what we sort of imagined for ourselves and how we see ourselves. And so I’d say you can vet your thoughts better by how they feel than what they sound like. So if the thought doesn’t feel inspiring, and enlightening or doesn’t make you feel happy to be alive, it’s probably limiting thought.
Lesley Logan – 26:25
Ah, yes, yes, yes. Okay. So, I sometimes, people wonder, like, if someone listening might be thinking, How do I know I should quit something? Right? And that’s what your thought, your statement just came to. And I remember Brad and I were working on this project. And he, I was really frustrated with it. I was crying, I was burnt out, because I was trying to, you know, do it as a side hustle while I was working, because I needed to make the money, to make it happen. And so I was doing this job and this project of mine, and he was like, let’s just quit it. Just quit it. Like, if it’s making you cry, just quit. And the feeling that came over me was regret and frustration and anger, like that was not the answer. And so, while I didn’t know how it was going to make it work, I knew based on the feeling in my body, that that was the wrong thing to do. Like it didn’t make me feel relieved. Like, if I knew that it was the right answer I would have felt relieved. Okay, I’ll just quit. But that was not that wasn’t it? So I think that’s, I think that’s such a great thing. I think we forget that our body is really telling us a lot of things all day long.
Robert Mack – 27:32
Oh, the body is much wiser. And the brain is older. The brain is, you know, right. So you’re absolutely right about that. If you ever have questions or doubts about what you think or believe, just check the body, the body will tell you, you know, generally if it feels like relief or not. So you absolutely nailed it. I mean, and that’s the challenge. That’s the challenge with, you know, and why we can’t really give people like a guidebook or a rulebook and say, these are limits, these are the most limiting thoughts, because for some people, that would have been the perfect answer. Quit! Yes! They feel relief, they want to just go running, you know, and into the sunset, they were – loved it. But for you, it was a very different response, and that there was a deep knowing in that. So I agree with you there. And I’ve had the same experience in my own life. Like, you know, there have been opportunities for me where it’s like, oh, you can get paid this amount of money to work this corporate job, and I’m like, kill me now. I’m good. I’m gonna pass on that. But I love the idea of, you know, the opportunity for somebody else. So you’re absolutely right, I think we want to reach for feelings of relief, ultimately. And that doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be moments that are uncomfortable, that you still might want to lean into. But it’s such a personal thing. It’s very hard for somebody outside of you to tell you what’s right for you.
Lesley Logan – 28:34
Yeah, and I think that’s the hardest part, because everyone’s listening like, Okay, tell me what I’m, when I say this, this is the thing that’s, that’s holding you back or when it’s just you. It takes so much personal knowing and just like checking in with yourself. And I think that takes so much work, because I think a lot of people are scared of what, I think they know the answer, and they’re too scared of it. It’s just scary to do.
Robert Mack – 28:57
Well, absolutely. And it’s so hard to hear your heart, when your mind is so noisy, right? If you’re listening to the mind, and the mouth, the mind shouts and pretends to know so much, but it actually knows so little, the heart just speaks in a whisper and it knows everything. But you think that it knows nothing. So that’s what any of these practices are about: yoga, or mindfulness or meditation, or prayer or visualization, ultimately, it’s about quieting your mind, ideally, long enough and deep enough that you can hear this deeper, intuitive, all knowing presence. Right? And so I love what you’re saying there. And it’s a little hard to figure it out when you’re only living your life, through your mind and through your thoughts.
Lesley Logan – 29:37
Yeah, so, I mean, obviously, because of your journal that led to a book you would tell people to journal. Yeah.
Robert Mack – 29:43
Yes, I love journaling. And I would say you know, depending on where you are, if you’re just starting out in this journey, journaling, whatever, just free association is great, wherever you’re thinking and feeling is fine. Ultimately, though you want to eventually get to a place where you’re journaling or focusing on what you love about life, about the people and particularly about yourself that will help to rewire your brain, to make happiness and love and peace, much less effortful and much more automatic.
Lesley Logan – 30:10
Yeah, I, this is I love that you start with a free association because here’s the deal, y’all, feel if you don’t know me already, I’m a recovering perfectionist, I definitely the ing is there. We’re good. I’m also a recovering overachiever. So there’s like, there’s a couple little things in there. And I remember my therapist was like, it was right after the pandemic started. And I was having a meeting with her. And she said, I think you just need to journal. And I was like, Okay, I can do that. And then I go back the next week and I’m like, so I didn’t journal because I have a journal. And it’s sitting here. And actually, let me show you all the journals I’ve purchased in the last 10 years. So I have all these pretty journals. And they’re all empty, because I actually don’t know how to journal like, what do you journal? Right? And she started laughing, she’s like, of course, because you have a perfectionist problem. And just so you know, there’s no right way. And I’m like, “But okay, thank you for that. I need direction, I need direction.” So she had me do morning pages. And I said, I’ve heard of morning pages, I just don’t have time to read that book. And I want to read the book. And she said, you don’t have to read a book, this is what you’re gonna do. You’re gonna grab a legal pad of paper as soon as you get up in the morning, you’re gonna write until you hit three pages, and then don’t re-read it. And, y’all, if you have if you’re like listening, and you’re like, thanks for the journaling tip again. For if you can’t get to the part where you do like really intention journaling, where you’re like looking at gratitudes looking at wins, looking what’s going really, well, trust me, the free writing on three pages first thing in the morning, you become so aware of the thoughts that you’re not actually paying attention to. It’s like that meditation you’re talking about. And I really discovered so much within two weeks of it. And I was like, this is the most amazing thing. I still do it every morning. It’s my favorite thing. Usually, it starts with I hate the mornings. Oh my god, and I’m a morning person, but who wants to wake up? No one. So I, I just highly recommend anyone who’s really stuck on like, what do I journal about, just write for three pages, and you will figure it out.
Robert Mack – 32:03
I love that so much. And you’re so right about that. And you know, there’s a great metaphor I think about sometimes, like most of us are so lost in our thinking every day. And most of that thinking is redundant, it’s negative, it’s super stressful. Okay, we’re so lost in it. It’s kind of like being in a movie. And you’re just so caught up in this like horror flick, you’re just so into it, you’re so freaked out the entire time that you forget, it’s actually a movie. They’re just fake characters. It’s a fake plot, it’s all made up, we forget that. And part of what journaling allows you to do is step back a little bit from that movie. And remember, you’re actually in a movie theater, and you can step out of the movie theater, if you want, you can turn off the projector, you can maybe redo the scenes, whatever it is that you want. So that’s the beauty and power of journaling, to some extent is that you get to become sort of this non judgmental observer, or witness of the crazy thoughts that you often have. And then at some point, you can make a different decision, or different choice when it comes to any of those thoughts.
Lesley Logan – 32:58
Amazing, amazing. And I am the person who screams in a movie because I’m like living the movie. I’m like with them. So horror films are not around here because it’s like, I may as well be that like, “turn around!” I can’t do it. But that’s so true. It’s like journaling does let you do that. Thank you for sharing that. I think that it’s something that’s an easy thing for people to do right now. To really help them figure out what their body already is trying to tell them. I’m really into that so before we wrap this up, I’m really enjoying this, I hope everyone’s having too much fun learning everything. Where can people find you? Just so that they can start because they’re already going on? Want to learn more from you?
Robert MAck – 33:37
I so appreciate and adore you. I mean, I mean I thank you so much not just for who you are, but for what you do. Just amazing. So you can find me at coachrobmac.com. That’s my website. You can also find me on most social media platforms, but probably most consistently Instagram @RobMack (MACK) official.
Lesley Logan – 33:58
Yeah, I love it. I have a friend who’s also an official at the end and like, I should do that. I want to I’m official.
Robert Mack – 34:04
Well, I knew what the beginning was like, I knew when they had come up with that check. We’re gonna all be chasing this check mark thing now. And I’m like, I’m gonna make it official. I don’t need the check mark. I’m declaring it for myself.
Lesley Logan – 34:16
That is the ultimate Be It Till You See It. You’re like, I don’t even need the check mark. I’m already officially checked. That’s awesome.
Robert Mack – 34:23
I’m gonna outsource this self approval thing. You know.
Lesley Logan – 34:27
That’s it. I mean, it’s so in line with what you do. And it’s really funny. I mean, it’s people do get too caught up. There’s always gonna be something we’re chasing. I think that’s the nature of what the world wants. This is for so busy chasing something that’s like, Who cares? Who cares what the check mark is? Someone has a check mark and I saw four posts. I’m like, Well, obviously you can buy that then because like how did you get that with the four posts?
Robert Mack – 34:49
You nailed it. You’re right about this too, which is a really profound point. I want to just highlight what you say because it was so profound. I want people to hear it. Like you don’t want to spend this very short life chasing temporary things, that there’s a huge danger in that. And actually, if you can turn it around, if you can stand, you can just prioritize, like, this happiness that’s on the inside. You’ll find that the successful things that you’re after, whether it’s health or relationships or money or more recognition, it shows up with so much less energy, time and effort. And so that’s the one thing I just want to remind folks that because that’s a poignant remark.
Lesley Logan – 35:22
Yeah, um, thank you for pointing that out. I love when things can be repeated, because some people need to hear it in different ways. And it’s so true that some people call it a flow state, you know that you get in there. And it’s the, I’ve heard of other things like the doors are closing. And then when you’re on it, the doors keep opening. And I know people who are listening to me for like, I’m just hitting closed doors. And I’m like, I promise you, I promise you, it’s just because it’s part of the process, you’ve got to go on, like you’ve got those doors are closing on you for a reason. And then there’ll be plenty of doors opening and it will, it will happen when you probably stop chasing what you think you’re supposed to be doing. And start asking your body the questions that it really should be doing.
Robert Mack – 35:59
Giving up on that inner door and inner doors that when you get to knock on all these other doors, when you, when you prioritize knocking on the outer doors, you just postpone, ultimately, where the greatest happiness and the greatest success is found.
Lesley Logan – 36:10
Yeah, beautiful. Okay, so before I let you go, I really like people to have tangible takeaways. I mean, we’ve nailed several already. So the journaling one is big, but what is something a tip that you can give people that they could take away now, that they could be it to something bold, executable, something to find that intrinsic motivation or something targetable. Can be one, can be four. What would you tell people?
Robert Mack – 36:31
Number one, make happiness the most important goal in your entire life. Like if you can prioritize that, I promise you that everything else will take care of itself. So that’s number one. Number two is recognize that happiness is always inside. And it can be found first through positive thinking, or really telling a better feeling story based on truth about everything and everybody in your life. And secondly, by not thinking at all, ultimately, what we’re all heading is to simply being the peace and love and the happiness that we ultimately want to experience, the future being it now. And every time you have a moment when you’re not lost in thought, and you’re just breathing in the moment, and you’re not trying to figure out the future, and you’re not reminiscing about the past, and you’re just deeply present, you already are being the happiness that you’re ultimately chasing through these other people in these other things. And so that’s the final thing I’ll say is, try not to route your happiness through other people, places and things, but instead go directly to the source for it. And you can do that both through positive thinking on one hand, that’s putting it simply and not thinking on the other.
Lesley Logan – 37:41
Amazing! Obviously, we could talk for hours, we’ll have to have you back for sure. Like I’m just this is a conversation, keep going. And I’m so grateful for you. I really, really am. So thank you for being here, Rob. Everyone, follow him? Screenshot this podcast, tag us both on Instagram with your takeaways. We can see what you got out of this and we can share what you posted with those who are following us. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, and I’ll see you soon.
Robert Mack – 38:06
See you soon!
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