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111: Turning Adversity into Life Mastery – with Lance W. Essihos

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Your Personal Growth is on the Other Side of Whatever Adversity You Now Face

This episode is all about overcoming adversity and learning how to turn tough times, even tragedies, into growth opportunities. We get real in this episode—Lance is an open book, and he, along with our host Wade Lightheart, talk about battles with alcohol and drugs, tragic deaths in the family, career disappointments, and financial struggles. Lance has overcome misfortune and disaster and has emerged on the other side dedicated to helping others learn how to turn sorrows into blessings. 

Lance is a visionary who has experienced life through a diverse set of roles: hockey player, bartender, and now an innovative entrepreneur. He is the CEO of Mic-Up Podcast Productions, an agency that helps entrepreneurs and aspiring podcasters leverage podcasting for their business objectives. He also hosts his growing podcast called “The University of Adversity,” an innovative show where guests share their inspiring stories of overcoming incredible adversity and going on to accomplish great things.

In this podcast, we cover: 

  • How to make positive changes through adversity
  • Finding the light in life’s darkest moments
  • Why Lance calls his podcast “The University of Adversity” and what the show provides for listeners
  • The positives and negatives to being a bartender and how Lance is applying the positives to his entrepreneurial career
  • Fear – what this emotion is and how it connects to adversity
  • The tools Lance uses to manage adversity
  • Lance’s upcoming book titled Mastering Adversity

The Stepmom from Hell

Adversity came to Lance hard during his teenage years. 

Not long after moving away from his hometown, Lance’s parents divorced, and his dad remarried quickly. Suddenly, Lance had four new siblings. But what made this new arrangement extremely tough was his new stepmother. “She was right out of a movie, like a stepmom from hell. There was so much crazy that went on in those 20 years—she made our lives hell.” 

Lance shares how, over time, the pain grew so intense that he moved to Australia. The land “down under” is where much of Lance’s bartending career takes place, and it was while living in Australia that his father came for a visit—and that is when the adversity went up to a whole new level in Lance’s life. You get the full story in this episode.  

As the Dean of the University of Adversity, Lance dedicates his life to educating people of all ages on how to get a Ph.D. in Mastering Adversity

Lance has a lot to say about adversity because he has faced plenty of it already in his relatively young life. And we’re not talking about “first world problems,” like losing your cell phone. Lance has encountered some difficult situations, circumstances, and surprising twists through the years, and he is now grateful to be in a place where he can share what he has learned. 

“Adversity… is coming for you no matter what, right? So, we better get ready for it. The more you learn to face it, which usually comes in some sort of fear or anxiety, on the other side of those hard times is where the reward is. When we get that fear response, we need to lean into it. That’s when empowerment comes in, and you know on the other side you will discover a lesson that is going to bring fulfillment.” 

Lance Essihos is one of the most sincere “open books” you will ever meet. His story will inspire you. If you face adversity right now or want to be prepared for when that next inevitable challenge drops into your life, be sure to listen to this episode. You can subscribe to the University of Adversity podcast and follow Lance, so you will know when his upcoming book is available.  

Episode Resources: 
University of Adversity
Lance W. Essihos on YouTube
Lance on Instagram
Lance on LinkedIn
Lance on Facebook

Read The Episode Transcript:

Wade Lightheart: Good afternoon. And good evening. This is Wade Lightheart from BiOptimizers with another edition of the Awesome Health Podcast. And today we have Lance W Essihos and what's really interesting about Lance is he's written a book called Mastering A, which is going to come out and he's had an interesting background. First off, he has a popular podcast called the University of Adversity. I don't know if I want to wish is to that one. That one would be a challenge on university [Inaudible]. We'll talk about that in a minute, but he is the CEO of Mica podcast productions, an agency that is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and aspiring podcasts, leveraging podcasting for the business objectives.

 Wade Lightheart: But here's the thing. He's a veteran of adversity and he's faced a lot of challenges. He played hockey. We're going to talk about that. Cause I mean, a lot of people don't know I was used to be a hockey player way back in the day, love that sport. It's one of the best sports in the world. One of the fastest sports in the world, but he was traveling the world as a bartender, went through a whole bunch of personal battles with drugs and alcohol can relate to that. Then he had the tragic loss of his brother to suicide and then a loss of his father to cancer only a year later. So all of us on our journey to help have, I would say here, this thing called life, we are all going to face adversity. The loss of loved ones happened early for me in my life with my sister's death. And I think there's this kind of, I want to get into this because I think this is a really big topic. Some people are into health because they want to avoid death, which is unavoidable. Some people are into health because they want to optimize life. But regardless of which is your pathway, you're going to run into these difficult things. And the Western world seems to want to avoid this question. So we're going to dive into it, Lance, welcome to the show.

 Lance W Essihos: Thank you so much for having me really excited. Thank you for the awesome intro

 Wade Lightheart: Right on. So Lance, tell us a little bit about your background. I, anybody that plays hockey, where'd you grow up? How'd you get here and how did you end up coming up with the mastering adversity university?

 Lance W Essihos: Yeah, so it's been quite a journey. I grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, which was a very cold city in Alberta, kind of like middle of Canada ish. And that was my passion was hockey. I was really good at when I was young. You know, I played on one of the best teams when I was, you know 9, 10. So I'm one of the top players in the world. As I got older, we moved out West where hockey wasn't as big of a deal. And I went through a lot of challenges. My parents separated. My dad got remarried to a woman with four kids. Things just got really challenging me in my teen years. And during that time there was a lot of family turmoil, a lot of stuff happening that was a huge distraction from my hockey career. And I was really just lost. And the hockey window is so small. And if you're not fully dedicated, if your mind isn't in the right place, you lose focus and it's over before you know it. So throughout those years I was struggling. I started to develop, you know, habits and drinking in the off season. But my last season going in when I was 20, I did a big cycle of steroids and that really messed up my career. And that was, it was over. So I was lost. I didn't know.

 Wade Lightheart: How did that mess up your career? Cause most people would think if I take anabolics that's going to enhance Chrometa bigger, stronger, maybe a little bit more aggressive. That's right?

 Lance W Essihos: Yeah. If I did it right, maybe, but like I just put on so much size that I was just, I was like, I think my weight was like t220 and I went from like one 95 to two 20 in a summer. So yeah.

 Wade Lightheart: Speed. Was it speed and agility was affected, right?

 Lance W Essihos: She's like, what's wrong with you? Why is your head so big? Like what is, what is going on? And, and to be honest, like it just ended. And then I went and finished my career in a level lower than that, but I kind of threw away my chances. And from there, once that was over, I lost my identity. You know, I didn't know who I was and a lot of athletes can relate. You see a lot of them now. They don't know who they are after sports. And I didn't, I didn't have the tools or anything after that. So I got into trying to figure out who that, who I was. And I tried all the different things. Uall the jobs, all the trades tried to be all this stuff, cop Fireflight or whatever you name it, nothing, nothing felt right. And I found the bar industry. It was an area that I could be very, I could live in this toxic environment and have a lot of fun. And that, that kind of swallowed me up for a majority of my twenties, which allowed me to travel a lot of great times, but I fell into some really, really dark, a spiral of darkness. And, you know,

 Wade Lightheart: I was a bartender by the way, there do a lot of people don't know I went through the whole thing. So I get it. I understand the whole after hour scene and all the other side of side shows that kind of emerged as the whole world and can take you down it's a great career on one level, but it can really take you down into a pit of snakes and art can relate to that. So yeah, keep going.

 Lance W Essihos: Yeah. It that's exactly what it did, but not all of it was bad. I got to learn a lot about myself, but I always had like this thing in the back of my mind, that's like, you can do better than this, you know, you can do better. And I, what I did love about the bar industry was I loved connecting with people. I loved helping. I loved giving them a service and giving them a good time. That made me feel good. Selfishly. That's what I loved. I didn't like the craziness of a lot of it, but I did like really connecting with people. And of course it was fun, but I did go through a tough time. I lost my younger brother and my dad within a year and a half. And I was, I was in a really dark place. I was living in Australia and from there I really had to give up the booze for a year and I really started to make a change in my life. And before, you know what, I was starting a podcast about adversity. There's something about that word that that word that just sort of came to me and it's developed into this thing that just kind of took over and it's, it's been such a powerful journey through, you know, university of adversity and being able to connect with all these amazing people and all these amazing high-level performers that I've been able to learn kind of like the struggles that they've gone through and to be able to kind of teach everybody along the way and share those stories. So it's, it's been a huge, it's been an amazing journey and I'm super grateful to where it's taken me today.

 Wade Lightheart: Well, let's talk, let's dive into some of those adversities particularly the death of family members. And I think there's lots of people out there who have dealt with it or who have yet to deal with it. And there's a very interesting component. It happened to me, of course, when I was 18, my first year of university, my sister died, we knew it was coming. It wasn't a sudden, you know, like a suicide or a car accident or some sort of thing. It was very relatively slow. There's really two different types of death that I think people face with loved ones. And that's the one which people get a diagnosis or an illness, and that's either a short or a long period of time and you kind of have time to prep a little bit. And then there's the one day the person's here the next day. They're gone, never to be seen again. It seems like you've gone through both sides of them. And the human condition is fraught with pain and fraught with suffering. I always say no one gets out alive and no one gets out unscarred. So what happened in those situations? And then how did you impact that, that kind of set the course for you to kind of spiral downwards and oftentimes it's just a coping mechanism.

 Lance W Essihos: Yeah. So when I left to go to Australia, a lot of it was kind of running away from the pain I was facing in the life that I was dealing with with my family. My younger brother came from my dad's second marriage. And she was right out of a movie like stepmother from hell. And there was so much, so much crazy that went on in those 20 years that she just made our lives. Hell and I, I couldn't process that anymore. She had caused so much pain that I really just wanted to get out and get away. And what happened was I lost touch of my younger brother and it was always kind of like on the back of my mind that I wanted to connect with him when he got older, when he got became a teen, but I never got that opportunity. I kind of, I was running away trying to fix my own self, my own life. And, you know, while my dad was visiting me for the first time in three and a half years, I was at work and I got the news and, you know, I had to come home and process and tell my dad that while he was visiting me. So that was really hard because I had a lot of guilt and shame around it because, you know, I felt I could have been there for him. I felt I could have helped, but I wasn't. And I've been doing a lot of healing about that over the years. And even now up until this day is, is trying to process that. So that was tough. And, you know, within that year, within 18 months, you know, my dad just couldn't process that I at least kind of had the tools to get through it, but it wasn't easy. I went down a pretty dark spiral of events and pretty toxic environment for a while. And my dad just got sick. He just couldn't handle it a year later, his, his health just declined completely. He got cancer. And then I literally had, you know, I got a call in Sydney when I was living there. He had like 48 hours to live because he had pancreatic cancer and the doctors couldn't find it. And I had to go and deal with that. Didn't have any time. He literally had five hours with him before he passed. So yeah, there was a lot to process there in those couple of years, but it really now, even now dealing with it, like I've really, I've had to dig deep and really sit with it to really understand that. Although it was very challenging. And although we go through these situations, we need to see that there is always a gift in these hard situations, even though it's hard to process, but we have to, in order to move forward, we have to be empowered. We have to get empowered. We can't sit in the victim seat for too long. It's okay to feel it. It's okay to process it. We have to, but then there's a time where you got to go, what did I learn from this? How can I move forward? And what can I do? You know, how can I give myself the tools that when this happens again, I'm able to process it. So it's been a journey, you know, and that, that was all very recently, still. So yeah, and I don't think we ever really, we ever really get over it, but we get better at accepting it and [Inaudible]

 Wade Lightheart: Developing a, what I would say, a productive meaning out of these tragedies. And that's something that I did with in my sister's death. And one of the things that I would do is my sister, when she got last sick, she didn't want to die at hospital. I mean, we knew she was terminal. She would, she wanted to stay in my bed. It was just a better place for her. And there was a window there and after she died, I remember I would lay down on the bed and I would see the view that she had. And I would look out the window and I was like, imagine this being my last days. And I made a pact with myself that time that I was going to take chances in life. I was going to not have a whole life fuller grads. I would go after it. And if I didn't make it and if it didn't work out, so what I would not take the standard life. And that led to a massive variety of failures and an incredible array of experiences. So I'm grateful for that. And I, I took that meaning out and I also became very passionate about the pursuit of health. And of course that ultimately led to the formation of our company and my journey in this. And on some strange level, it was one of the reasons that we're here today. So I want to talk just specifically the spiraling downwards, because I think there's a lot of people out there right now that are grieving the loss of a loved one. They're grieving, maybe the loss of a career, maybe the impact of the inability to travel or to see loved ones under the current circumstances that the world finds itself in. And we see a massive rise in depression, alcoholism, drug, abuse, these types of things. And I think it's quite common for people to seek an escape through these temporary euphoric compounds in order to manage that pain. If you don't have the tools. So where did you go? What did you do? How did you like what happened? And like, like, and then at what point did you say, okay, this isn't working.

 Lance W Essihos: Yeah. That's a great question. It's, it's, it's not a one size fits all answer either, but when people ask me, what was the thing that changed for you? My answer is always the year I took one of the year. I quit drinking 2017. I quit drinking for a year. That was what my body needed to allow myself. I've said this a few times, but this is probably the best way to say it is to allow yourself to start building on the foundation versus digging yourself out of a hole all the time. And when I was sober, it allowed me to start building on that foundation. So I started to allow myself to sit with, and it started to feel what it felt like. And I started,

 Wade Lightheart: Was there a trigger that said I'm going to stop drinking? Was there anything that…

 Lance W Essihos: I just knew that it, I, you know, you got that thing in the back of your mind. You're like you just, like, I was lucky to survive some of the nights, the benders, I had drugs alcoholic, and, you know, I'm grateful to be able to survive those. Some people don't survive a lot less. And you know, I did the, the personal development tools that, you know, are out there. Tony Robbins, Tim Ferris. I started reading. I started really under, like I wanted to read about people that were winning in life. You know, I started reading books about, you know, athletes like hockey players, like Theo, flurry, and Bob Probert about their, their dark moments and like, you know, rock stars who got into these dark moments. And it wasn't making me feel good. Like it wasn't making me feel good. So I, I looked, I said, well, what can I read? That's going to empower me. You know? And then I started to read books that like made my soul feel better. Like made me feel like,ulike not down in the, like I'm like, Oh man, like I didn't need that anymore. And I just started to do the things like meditation. You know, I really started a bit with go within and learn what that was. I started to do something that I really started to practice that helped me was journaling and gratitude journaling. It really helped me because I came from a place of lack and always thought I was, everything was happening to me. And when I started to practice this gratitude and journaling, it really just ship shape. It shifted the way I looked at life. And those were the basic things that, that helped me sort of get on the journey. And as the journey went on, it just kind of evolved. You know, you get on the path, you start to learn a little bit more. You start to go to another event, you start to go and do yoga. You start to go to Tony Robbins, you start to like, all of a sudden, these things start to come together. And I'm like, Oh, you know, I'm kinda healing. I'm kinda on the path here. And I've always been passionate about health as well. Like what, what I put in my body. That's like the one thing while I was drinking, I always still took care of my body with, with, I know it sounds crazy, but I always knew how to eat when I wasn't drinking. I kind of like thought I was counter acting.

 Wade Lightheart: Right, right, right. There was a thread, there was a thread of goodness running through the darkness. And I can read that I can be…

 Lance W Essihos: Activated charcoal, coil, you know, all that stuff.

 Wade Lightheart: Yeah. There's An intuitive kind of connection that says, you know what, I really need this stuff to support. There's almost like I need to support myself because I know I'm kind of going off the rails here. So this is kind of the counter because you have that, Hey, I feel better when I'm on this physically, as opposed to maybe a euphoric disassociative feeling that comes with booze and drugs is a very different feeling, which is I would call it almost a holistic versus a hedonistic, a hedonistic being kind of the self-destructive things, which has the, the, the highs are higher and the lows are lower. We're a holistic is kind of like a slow building, good feeling as opposed to like a peak growed feeling and the next subsequent crash.

 Lance W Essihos: Yeah, exactly. And I always knew better. I always knew in the back of my mind, like, you know what to do, what are you doing? You know? And I think a lot of us do, but we ignore that, right. Our ego gets in the way. And I think the better you get at listening to, you know, your soul versus like your ego and the distractions, the more you can kind of get on that path. So I think that's really the key as well as knowing what, what voice is serving you or what is guiding you, which is the right way. And I feel like during that time, I always knew what I needed to do. And I just started to listen to it more. So it's been a journey since then, you know, I've gone up and down. It's not been linear, it's been crazy. But my, my purpose is always has been to really heal myself and really try and help heal others because we need help, especially right now in the world. You know, everybody needs something else, something different, but a lot of times there's something within us that needs healing. And it's, it's really just a journey of discovering that. And that's kind of how it's been for me is up until this point is just really trying to figure out how I can heal myself best so I can help others do the same. And you know, so that's kind of where…

 Wade Lightheart: Well, let's go to your university of adversity. So I believe that adversity is unavoidable in life. In fact, most of the most successful well-rounded happiest people don't avoid adversity. They actually moved towards it and you know, they, they take it on and they'd go right after it. And it's in the world, which there's this very, very debilitating victim hood mentality of everybody's trying to play the bigger victim and blame someone as a perpetrator. You also have the emergence of what I would call most called these superhuman type people who are connected or connecting with on podcasts. You go to a Tony Robbins event. It's obvious that he's been able to access States of being that most people can. If you look at a Jocko Willink who explains the Navy sales or Mark Devine, who far I had just had on the podcast the other day for a develop seal fit in a variety of condition things are Tim Ferriss, who struggled with his own levels of depression, despite worldwide success. He just came out recently about, so it's not like a lot of people assume, Hey, well, if you're rich and famous and successful, and everybody loves you that that's going to be a winning hand. Oftentimes that's the hand that you go. And then what, because it doesn't solve the things that the internal demons that I think roam the minds of all of us. So how did you come up with the university of adversity and what's it all about?

 Lance W Essihos: Yeah. I just, I, I say this to people, there's, there's been a few things in my life that have been, you know, 10 out of tens like that, that feeling like I gotta do this, you know, like that was one of them. I didn't know the reason why I just knew I needed to do this and the word adversity. It all just came together and that flowed so beautifully. And it just was natural to me to do a podcast because I was so used to connecting with people at bars, like I was used to, Oh, let me still there.

 Wade Lightheart: Yep. We're back. We just lost you for a second.

 Lance W Essihos: And I was used to breaking down these barriers and connecting with people. So for me it was, it was easy to do this in podcasting because I just generally love talking to people. I love finding out about them. I love connecting on a deep level, finding somebody in common. And when you connect at that high level, you're able to pull out this magic and share that with the world. And that's the vibration, that's the level. And I noticed, I was like, wow, this is addicting, you know, and you get feedback from people and you start connecting with more people. It was just, it was amazing. And what I've come to realize with adversity is that you're absolutely right. There's a lot of victim mentality. There's a lot of people that are in the back seat of their life as a victim instead of being in the driver's seat of empowerment. Yeah.

 Wade Lightheart: Are you back?

 Lance W Essihos: Yeah. I'm back on.

 Wade Lightheart: We lost your video there. All right. We just lost a little bit of video. We got Lance down in Costa Rica, so we're going to continue going now. For our YouTube friends. We'll lose. We'll just have this still picture, but…

 Lance W Essihos: Hold on. Let me check. Let me try and get this going. Sorry, man. I don't Know what's going on.

 Wade Lightheart: All right. Let's keep going.

 Lance W Essihos: Oh man. All right. Where, where are we there? I know you're going to have some editing to do

 Wade Lightheart: Sure. Well, my editing team, will, I won't do it. So just dealing with adversity.

 Lance W Essihos: So adversity is one of these things where I've learned that it's coming for you no matter what, right? Like, so we better just get ready for it. And the more you learn to face it, which usually comes in some sort of fear or some sort of anxiety on the other side of that is where the reward is. That's the thing it's like when we seek the adversity, when you get that fear response, it means we need to lean into it. And when you can lean into that with a place of empowerment and you know that on the other side is going to be a lesson, that's going to bring you the fulfillment. That is what you seek it, because you can have all the shiny objects, but you don't talk about the shiny objects. You talk about how did, what did I do to get there? And that's the lesson that we teach people. Is that, that, because it's, it's getting over. The thing that is the valuable lesson is that it's not just, we don't talk about how easy things were. We talk about what we did to get there. And that's why you hear, you know, David Goggins and people like that, seeking this stuff because you're constantly getting rewarded for it.

 Wade Lightheart: Our best memories and our tightest bonds are usually with the events and people that we went through, our greatest challenges with, which I find very interesting because there seems to be something innate within humans that on some level creates emotional and psychological confidence in, I would say connection from the, that one experiences. Yeah. Why do you suppose that? Is, is it a design of the universe?

 Lance W Essihos: I think it's that anything that seems like a challenge means we need to do it, but it's really how you look at it. Because if you look at the adversity in your life as opportunities to grow and you like getting rewarded for things, then it changes it. But if you become somebody that's afraid of them because of society telling you, Oh, we want to be safe in your little bubble. You don't want to, you don't, you don't want anything to hurt you. Then you're just robbing yourself of the joy of overcoming things. And then you're stuck in this place of like being scared of something that isn't even true. And this is what I was dealing with in my life. And recently, you know, doing my plant medicine journey as I was confronted with that, even though I, I deal with this adversity in my life, I had to really understand what fear is and what, what it really means to, to face this stuff.

 Wade Lightheart: So what does fear to mean to you? What does, what does fear and how does it connect to adversity?

 Lance W Essihos: A lot of it is a response that you get about something that you feel you shouldn't do. But I think that response means it's testing you. It's testing you to see if you are willing to get the reward that is there for you. Like it's…

 Wade Lightheart: I always, I always, I say, I always share this with a lot of people that I've worked with. And I says, what if you're the challenges that you face in your life are invitations from divinity to find the new level of capacity and capabilities within yourself? Because oftentimes we're just not motivated enough when things are rosy. It's like you need, you know, it's almost like the, the, you know, the disaster hits and you're either going to crumble and cower down and roll over and die, or you're going to rise up and, and, and face the challenge and, and the, the hero's journey throughout all of every structure of every society of every that's ever existed, talks about how ordinary people kind of going along in this ordinary life, suddenly some devastating event has, and the most unexpected people rise up and become the hero in, in this whole journey of transformation that occurs because of it.

 Lance W Essihos: Yeah. I mean, that's basically the entire model that I've been living by in the last couple of years is like answering the call. You know, the hero's journey, it's so important and, you know, adversity, struggle, whatever you want to call it, right? It's, it's, it's a form of resistance. That's coming at us, right. Some to some degree or another. And I'm just learning that adversity reveals character. And in order to really discover who you are, you want to get to the next level that you say you want to, then you're going to have to overcome challenges. You're going to have to overcome adversity. If you want to play small. Well, you may, you may encounter less adversity, but at the end of the day, it's coming for you no matter what. So if you can have the tools and if you can have the hacks, if you can take care of your body, have the right supplements, do all the things. Then you're going to be able to take whatever adversity is coming at you and get through it in that way.

 Wade Lightheart: One of the things that I find fascinating, and I think we're probably living in the least adverse society in the history of human conditions, but there's a next Spence expectation of continuity and grace and ease like, okay, I ordered my Amazon shipment. It's not here today. What's the problem. I just got out of university, why am I not making a million dollars a year? You know, why isn't the current political leader just resolved all of society's problems because they're so obvious. Like, there's, there's like our, our, our, our level of convenience that we experienced. If you look back, you know, in the time of the Romans, the average life expectancy of a Roman soldier was 20 years old. If you look back just you know, 150 years ago, the average life expectancy was like 40 years old. And we look today and it's, you know, somewhere around 80 yet the disability adjusted life, expectancy's going downwards. Which is around 60 years old? And so at some point in maybe the sixties or seventies, we crossed over the convenience threshold. In other words, we developed a rapidly rise of the convenience and the diminishment adversity so much so that the things that everybody dealt with, I mean, everybody got sick. Everybody had family members that died. Everybody had to work hard. Everybody died of an untimely death or a disease or some horrific condition or something. That's relatively a resolvable today up until relatively recently. Why do you think that so many people are choosing the path of victimhood instead of the path of the hero when faced with whatever adversity it is?

 Lance W Essihos: I think because we live in a world where it's consumer world, where you're sold based your fears and your weaknesses, you know, like they could really prey on your,

 Wade Lightheart: Tell me more about that. What's that

 Lance W Essihos: These problems with people or a lack of some, you don't have this, so you need this to be whole, right. Or

 Wade Lightheart: So that you're not good enough if you don't have this thing that preys on the dark side of the human psyche.

 Lance W Essihos: Exactly. And you need us, or you need this or that in order to be whole. And I think it's, it's interesting because we also, we just want to, we want to be comfortable all the time. And people think it's like all the things that we used to do as, you know, being primal animals, you know, like walking barefoot or, you know, like going into cold water, doing all like challenging things. It's like, that was considered like a bad thing. We got to, we got to stay safe, we got to stay comfortable. And I think that is, we've just gotten so soft. And, you know, w we don't have to hunt our own food. We don't have to really do anything, you know, and we're just consuming so much stuff that I think it's in our genetics to have to go and do these things in the human DNA, but we don't. And most people have this energy that they don't even know what to do with, and it ends up just creating chaos because they're not being able to express themselves in ways that they've been expressing themselves for generations and

 Wade Lightheart: Tools. So going into that, w what tools have you discovered to manage adversity in your life? What do you think if someone's listening to this podcast, what would you say is some things they're going through something adverse, maybe a health challenge, maybe a financial challenge, maybe a breakup, maybe the death, or a sickness of someone they care about or close to them. Maybe a career change, maybe a financial chaos. I mean, varsity comes in so many different methods. What have you learned that you could universally apply to people to, so that they could embrace health? What were some, what some basic things that you think that people need to start with, because there's higher levels, but then there's base camp and so on and so forth. What have you learned?

 Lance W Essihos: Yeah, The most basic is to be okay with where you're at acceptance doesn't mean do nothing, but it means be okay with it. A lot of the stuff is a lack of self love and a lack of judgment and shame in our stories. And being able to accept your story fully as part of your unique you know, as your unique puzzle of life is important. And if you come to something, a challenge in your life in adversity, and it's troubling, you have to sit with it, you have to sit with it, you have to reflect, connect to yourself. That's as simple as sitting with something and journaling, how does it feel? You know, like, you know, really get your feelings out on paper, like this kind of stuff, this basic stuff, it seems basic, but it is so powerful

 Wade Lightheart: When you're doing that. Would you say it's flipping the script from this is happening to me that this is happening for me?

 Lance W Essihos: Yeah. It's really just accepting the present moment. If you're having a time or something is really struggling with you, you're struggling in something. You have to sit with it, you have to process it and understand this is happening. For me, everything always works out, but immediately we judge ourselves expectations of why something isn't happening fast enough because of somebody else we're comparing ourselves to. We all have our unique story. And for me personally, it's been accepting that and sitting with the things of discomfort, we want to celebrate all of the wins and all the positive things in our lives, but we also have to identify when things, when we're not feeling great.

 Wade Lightheart: Do you think, do you think social media is leaving a kind of warped perspective as to where someone is? Because, you know, you could say, well, why don't I have 15 million fans and live in, you know, a Beverly Hills mansion and drive around in a Maserati at 22 years old? Like, you'll see the famous rock stars or Hollywood elite, which are a marginal fraction. Many of their lives are total chaos. Do you think that influences a lot of people in their expectations or, or their, how they feel they're doing or their, what would be maybe a fairly good life, but in comparatively, it seems like they're living, they they've, they've lost.

 Lance W Essihos: Yeah. W without a doubt, without a doubt, social media can be used such a tool, but it can be used as a weapon against you as well. It's really gotta be used with you. You really got to understand what it is and people, people compare themselves to others. It's so easy to do. I've done it. I'm sure you've done it.

 Wade Lightheart: It's natural in any species, just neurochemical nervous system Dr. Jordan Peterson talks about that understanding the dominance hierarchy and how, but unfortunately, we're now not comparing ourselves to our local community. We're now comparing to like the very ultimate levels of possibility in a giant field of millions of people, which is not our human brains. Aren't really capable of adapting to that as of yet, which maybe this thing of social media is actually inviting us to look at humanity from a much bigger and more broader perspective than humans have had at any point in time.

 Lance W Essihos: Yeah, exactly. But you're also looking at people that you don't even know. You don't know their story. We don't know what they've gone through. You see one aspect of their life. You may very well be better off than they are, but you think because of some vanity metrics on social media, you know, there's people buy followers, people do all this crazy nonsense that can mislead somebody. And the part that sucks about that is that when somebody sees something, they compare themselves and they'll, they'll stop doing what they're doing, because they feel that where they're at isn't good enough for where they want to be, because they're not, they haven't achieved what the person they're comparing themselves to has. And that's so dangerous because we all have our own journey and our own unique footprint of wins and losses that have got us where we are today. And it's great to look at people and see what's possible, but really, we don't know anything about their life. And it really doesn't matter because their life is different. We have been raised by different people. We have gone through different events. We see life through a completely different lens. And for us to compare ourselves to somebody else, it's ridiculous. We all do it, but it's like, I've had to take a step back many times, you know, especially in the podcast world, I think, Oh, well, you know, Joe Rogan, or, you know, like Lewis Howes, you start comparing yourself. They got, you know, hundreds of millions of downloads. And I'm like, Oh, I might suck. Then if I don't have that, but then I'm like, wait a minute, wait a minute. Where are you at right now? Where were you? Are you progressing? Like, you know, like, what is the story? Like how much work have you put in? Like, you gotta be real with yourself. Like, that's the self-reflection. And that's where it's like, we have to really be honest with our stories and honest where we're at. And, and that there's no finish line. We have lots of time to get there. Right. And that's a beautiful thing. It's like, we're trying to get somewhere. There's nowhere to get to. There's just somewhere else, another thing going to want to do. So you might as well just enjoy where you're at in the journey, because what I've learned in the last two years from doing the podcast itself, just that specific is that I was in such a hurry. Then I'm like, wait a minute. Those were beautiful moments that I was. So you get so worried about what you want to achieve, but what you achieve is really the journey along the way. That's, that's the fulfillment.

 Wade Lightheart: So let's talk about your upcoming book, mastering adversity, what's it about who's it for? And tell me about how it came into fruition.

 Lance W Essihos: Yeah, so it had, that's another thing that I knew that I had to do. It's been kind of calling me so to speak, answering the call something that scares me a lot, that I know that I have to lean into it. And I was looking for the right opportunity. And this opportunity with kind of a crowdfunding campaign came across and it felt right. And I was trying to decide on a name and mastering adversity was the name that really sat with me because the book is going to be not only about adversity, but it's going to be about developing. First of all, like what we talked about, a deeper acceptance of our story of where we're at, you know, like where we're at is totally fine. And we need to be, we need to be happy with that. And when we can fully accept who we are, our truth of where we're at, then we can start to move forward and look at things differently. It's easy to say, Oh yeah, just go and change your perspective on adversity. Be empowered. It's not that easy. Right. Everybody has different levels of trauma, different levels of stories, and it makes it harder. So it's really just understanding where you're at first and foremost, and then it's going to go through, you know, what is diversity? Why does it show up? How does it serve you? And we're just going to kind of unpack the different areas in life that it shows up with. And it's going to be a combination of my story, what I've been through, my, my healing and, you know, self discovery with all the brilliant people that I've interviewed, you know, over 300 people, you know, from all kinds of, you know, New York times, bestselling authors, pro athletes, lots of amazing human, spiritual leaders, and just kind of, alchemizing all of that into a book and doing my best to sort of make that a reality and make that into something that so people can have the tools, tips, resources that they can use kind of as like a field manual for life in these hard times. So

 Wade Lightheart: I love it. Can you share where people can reach you, Lance, all your social media channels, where they might be able to grab a copy of the book, all that sort of stuff?

 Lance W Essihos: Yeah. So the there's the fundraiser campaign, which we can link in the show notes. I'll send that to you. And just all social media is Lance W Essihos. It's super easy to find me it's my name is the only one out there. So also Lance is the website.

 Wade Lightheart: And any words that you'd like to share with our audience, whom someone might be going through adversity right now. And some things that you might be able to send them a Pearl of wisdom.

 Lance W Essihos: Yeah. It's essential. It's essential. You got to learn it, learn to lean into it because on the other side of that is going to be the fulfillment and the reward that we seek and learning to really embrace the adversity and embrace the struggle is going to produce all of the joy and the fulfillment that you is really what we're after, so that you're able to teach other people and to be able to help people get through it there, they're going through. So I think just seeking the struggle, seeking the challenge, because that's where the rewards are going to be.

 Wade Lightheart: Well, there you have it folks, the words from Lance Essihos, mastering adversity, make sure that you check out his podcast, university of adversity, his new book, mastering adversity, and more importantly, take some of the words that he suggested today. You know, no one gets out of life, as I say alive, and no one gets out unscarred, but maybe the biggest challenge that you're going through right now is an opportunity to inspire you, to discover the greatness that lies within you. Thanks so much for joining us today. It's another edition of the awesome health podcast. We'll see you again next week and until then be awesome. Take care.
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