We are all one question away from a breakthrough.
This podcast provides holistic answers to health issues. In other words, Wade and his guests cover physical health topics and address mental and even spiritual subjects to help you find sustaining, next-level wellness.
In this episode, our guest Marc Champagne takes us on a quest to find mental fitness – something that is extremely important when it comes to not only your health but also your ability to achieve your goals and dreams. Marc illuminates the pathway: the key is to ask the right questions.
But what does it mean to “ask the right questions”?
Tune into this episode, where Marc shares these powerful questions and how to use them to break out of a mental rut to find a different life, personally and professionally.
Marc is the host of the top 50 ranked podcasts Behind the Human, and his first book recently was recently released titled Personal Socrates. In the pages of his new book, Marc explores the practice of asking pointed questions (like Socrates did) to stimulate our mental fitness, teach us how to direct our internal narrative, and facilitate a better life.
Marc is also an entrepreneur. He co-founded the journaling app KYO, which had 87 million people without using advertising. Marc had to shut down KYO, and he shares this life-altering experience with Wade.
Marc is a renowned expert on mental fitness – primarily due to his exceptional interviews with legendary figures like Kobe Bryant, Maya Angelou, Robin Williams, James Clear, Coco Chanel, Stephen Hawking, and many others.
If you are looking for a way to climb out of depression, start the career of your dreams, or reach higher levels of success, be sure to listen to this episode. Getting clear on who you are and where you’re going isn’t so hard when someone like Marc can guide your steps.
In this podcast, we cover:
- What it means to “ask the right questions”
- The benefits of becoming “mentally fit”
- What is the “Socratic Method”
- How you can radically transform your career and life through Marc’s process of asking questions
- Marc’s magic morning routine
- Why being open to new experiences is essential for personal growth
- What type of questions can pull you out of darkness and despair
- Marc’s story of losing his business and climbing out of depression
- How the most decorated winter olympian got mentally clear and achieved his goals
- What is Stoicism, and why does Marc devote so much time to it?
The sky is NOT the limit.
At one point in the show, Marc says, “We’ve all heard that ‘the sky’s the limit.’ But in reality, the sky doesn’t even exist. It is a figment of our imagination. When you’re up in a spacecraft, it’s not like you went through the sky.”
“That’s a humorous example. But I think it sets the tone in terms of possibility and the way we think about things.”
“What if you ask, ‘How can I solve a billion person challenge?’ How about creating a billion-dollar business if that’s what’s motivating you? If you’re trying to help a billion people, you have to think differently by spending some time thinking about what you’re doing.”
“For example, my friend Navene, who is doing incredible work in the microbiome, or the gut, and what we’re eating, factoring that we’re all so different. So his big hypothesis is “make the chronic disease a choice.” That’s a big statement to make, which leads to the next question: what do I need to do? Who needs to surround me to do that?”
This Question Changed Marc’s Life
“I was slipping into a depressive state because I just deleted my business app, which was the vehicle to keep me in this mental fitness space that I was so lit up from.”
“I could feel myself waking up in the morning feeling sick, not knowing what was next.”
“Eventually, I got to the point where I asked myself the question: what do I want to do with my life?
“That paused the narrative long enough to put a plan together and ask the next question: who do I need to speak to who can help in this journey.”
“That’s when I realized it doesn’t matter who we are or where we are in life. We’re all just one question away from a completely different life.”
Mental clarity is a beautiful thing. If you need help getting clear on your professional or personal life, you came to a good show episode. Marc can teach you how to use the Socratic method to get where you want to go. You must ask the right questions to get mentally fit – hit “play” to get started.
Check out this episode – the life you want is one question away!
Check out more about Marc Champagne & Personal Socrates
Behind the Human Podcast on Stitcher
Behind the Human on Instagram
Marc Champagne on Twitter
Marc Champagne on Facebook
Marc Champagne on LinkedIn
Read The Episode Transcript
Wade Lightheart: Three, two, one good morning. Good afternoon. And good evening. It's Wade Lightheart from BiOptimizers with another edition of the awesome health podcast. And I have been looking forward to this topic. We're going to talk about how to get mentally fit and to get mentally fit. You need to ask better questions, better questions lead to better health, better health leads to a better life. And our guest today, Mark Champagne unpacks the mental fitness practices and reflective questions, shaping the lives of some of the most successful and brilliant thinker thinkers in the world. Get that right? Not thicker thinkers. He is the host of the top 50 ranked podcast behind the human. And co-founded the journaling app. K Y O. We'll talk about that in a minute, which ended up reaching almost get this 87 million people without any paid advertising. That's the power of a good question. He has studied mental fitness practices for over a decade and consults with fortune 500 companies. Mark's first book available now, personal Socrates explores the pointed questions that stimulate our mental fitness and teach us how to direct our internal narrative to work for us instead of against us, mark unpacks, the prompts and mental fitness practices of legends, such as Kobe Bryant, Maya Angelou, Robin Williams, James clear, Coco Chanel, Stephen Hawking, and many others to bring clarity, intentionality, and possibility to every aspect of your life. Mark, welcome to the podcast. Marc Champagne: Thank you for man. What an intro. Thanks for That. Wade Lightheart: Well, you know, it's so easy to get into this. We had a great talk the other day on your show and I've been itching for this one. I've been traveling around getting things and I'm like, I looked on the calendar today and I'm like, yeah, who let's get into it. So maybe for our listeners, how does a guy in today's world write a book called personal Socrates? I mean, that's a great title because it leads you instantly to a question and you're all about questions. So it's, it's, it's a very, it's a, it's a very unique way to look at us. Maybe share with us your background. How'd you get into questions I'm sure. Cause when you ask questions, you always get yourself in trouble, the troubles worth worth answers, oftentimes. Marc Champagne: 00:02:54 Sure. I mean, I think I have to, I have to explain the title then definitely we can jump into the backstory, but I, when I first heard the name personal Socrates, cause it was actually a guy named Joey [inaudible] who's the founder of barren shaken in the company that published this book and he said should really call this book personal Socrates. And I said, absolutely not. I'm like, that is the one that is the worst. Dave. I'm not a philosopher. I mean, I know of Socrates, like most people in the world and that's about it. I know he's the guy that asked question after question and that's as far as my knowledge went, so it started off like that, but quickly in diving into Socrates, just going down a Google search essentially, then it became really clear and like, oh yeah, he, he, he, he actually nailed the title of this book because if I think of the last, definitely the last five years of running the podcast and really diving into questions, interviewing people like yourself, I mean, usually there's a question followed by another question and that, you know, unlocks clarity and intentionality and whatnot in our lives. Marc Champagne: When I was running that journaling app, it was floated full of questions. So when I was explaining all of this and how I use mental fitness practices through prompts, then it started to make sense. It's like, yeah, you know what? That is the Socratic method. And we all use it, but we don't really think about it much. And I remember seeing, you know, some, some research and seeing here we go, we got this guy Socrates from 4 69 BC. So it's going back quite some time, a method he invented, that's still around to this day that we're using, but not really intentionally thinking about it unless you're an academics, right. Or you're a lawyer or a philosopher of some, some case, well, how, how do you take that and wrap it around a narrative or modernize it so that we can intentionally use these questions in our favor, right? And not just using in an academic setting. So that's, you know, that's what jumped off the whole, the whole mission to, to write the book Wade Lightheart: You touched on something I think is really important. And for our listeners are probably some that might not be familiar with Socrates or Socrates is someone they saw in a bill and Ted movie and never really got quite into what Bob was all about or heard of the Socratic method. Can you explain the Socratic method to our listeners? So they understand what is the fundamental of that? Marc Champagne: I mean, in its simplest terms for, from my research, it was Socrates working with his students to ask a big question that then was followed up by some sort of a clarification question. And then the next question after I, and then another question until essentially the, the objective is to get past the surface to a root cause, right. Or the, the, the root of whatever you're looking at, which I mean applies to everything, especially our health, especially our health. Right. And, but the thing is, is that the method is, is even in the literature, it's really only, the examples are typically in some sort of academic setting that you don't see it described too much in, in other ways. So for me, and then there was then there's there was there scholars that have studied Socrates and came up with these six question types as well. Marc Champagne: So there's clarifying questions, there's questions to challenge assumptions and the other ones I don't remember. And that's the problem. That was the very problem. And that's why I said, okay, there's gotta be a better way to simplify this so that it's intuitive. And we just do it because if I can't remember these six question types, first of all, we don't walk around thinking, okay, that's a clarifying assumption question. I mean, I need to input this question here, right. But what we can remember, and this is the structure of the book and how I operate is first, we need to get clear. And when we're clear on either who we are, who we want to become or where we want to be going, then we need to get intentional and make intentional decisions to support that person. That's all you have to remember. Cause the third part happens by default because when you're clear and intentional, there is an expansion of possibility because we can see, you can say, ah, that is the path, but you've spent time doing the work. Right. Wade Lightheart: Which, which is interesting because now we're living in this feedback system of Wikipedia and Google, which only question we ask is ask Google or ask Wikipedia. But it's surface based knowledge on mathematical algorithms, which oftentimes lacks depth and originality, or doesn't build the Axion dendritic connections for lateralized thinking or deeper dives. It's funny because one of my favorite books was Plato's the death of Socrates. Okay. And what's beautiful about that book is, you know, of course his students, some of the greatest thinkers that have ever existed in mankind, which is so interesting 2,500 years ago, and we haven't all technologies advanced, but we haven't advanced past the thinking of that time, really so true, which is remarkable. But in that book, the death of Socrates, of course, Socrates historically, is he's got to drink the poison and he's, he's, he's come to the conclusion that he has, or he can say, you know what, I've been, I've been misrepresenting the truth to the youth and dispo and being disruptive. Wade Lightheart: And that's what they kind of wanted. Or they kind of wanted like, just kind of go along with this or go away. Cause he was a boy, but he's like, Nope, I've worked this all out. And the opening is I have no choice, but to drink the poison and die, even though I very much want to live. And so he gathers his greatest students together to convince him of why he shouldn't drink the poison. And he does an argument in a back and forth in each one of these, it's an absolute masterpiece of a, of a, of a book and a great Testament. And of course he obviously wins the arguments because he ended up drinking the poison right wrong. How did you get to a place that drove you to study this methodology? Like how did that, w w were you curious, growing up, was there challenges going up or asking questions or was there something that spurred you to ask deeper questions? Marc Champagne: Well, the method itself kind of just fell into the, into place when starting to think about the book, because I like many was just going through this mechanically without really thinking about the method, what really sparked the, the curiosity to go even deeper and really pursue this was that after a good four or five years of interviewing all of these, you know, exceptional humans and, and thinkers and bringing in the questions that were helping shift their life or pivot their journey or pull them out of challenging situations. The, the, the art of these questions, you know, I started to notice that that would give you the pause required to pause that autopilot essentially, and, and go a different path. So I was collecting these about a decade ago before even being in the space at all. I was in the corporate world brand management sales and all of that. Marc Champagne: But in the morning, I'd be reading positive content and positive material. And that's what, where I stumbled upon journaling or reflection and started seeing, okay, all of these people are taking some time to think, and they're asking good questions. So I would write the question down. I, I was doing digitally at that time. So I'd copy the question, paste it into another app. And it did that for years until eventually getting really frustrated with the digital solutions. Cause I'm like, this is so backwards. There's there's, there are too many steps in the process. It's not fluid. And at the same time you had apps in the meditation space, like calm and Headspace were starting to take off. So I remember thinking, okay, it's interesting. We we're coming into an era where people are open to being guided digitally in some capacity for meditation, but when it comes to journaling, there's not a lot of people talking about this or when they talk about it, they're talking talk about, from the perspective of, oh, you're, you're, you're talking about journaling, like the girl write in her diary about the boy at school type thing, which there's nothing wrong with that, but that's not how I was using it. Marc Champagne: Right. I was reflecting on these, these prompts and that that's what really started my journey in this space, because then there was an idea to say, well, Hey, how about, why don't we try creating something? You know, something that's similar to like a calm or Headspace, but specifically in gathering these prompts like I was doing in a, in a backward fashion, but then provide the guidance for people that would download this app and want to start journaling from all of these different people. So it wasn't necessarily our content. And that's what, how we reach so many people, because we had all of these collaborations and apple started the feature, the app around the world and whatnot. So that's what, you know, that's what really sparked the interest in this space. And then as that, as that business continued and, and flourished, but then it ultimately financially failed had to delete the app which I'm happy to talk about. Marc Champagne: But that's when, again, another level around the Socratic method that I didn't know I was doing, but the power of questions showed up because then I was, I was slipping into a depressive state because I just deleted this business in this app that, you know, was the, the vehicle to keep me in this mental fitness space that I was so lit up from. And I could feel myself, you know, just waking up, feeling sick in the morning, not knowing what was next and so forth. And eventually got to the point where I asked myself the question, well, what do I want for my life? And that pause the narrative long enough to put a plan together and ask the next question. Well then who do I need to speak to? You know, who can I, who can help in this journey? That's when the realization was made, that it doesn't matter who we are, where we're, where we're at in life. We're all one question away from a completely different life at any. Wade Lightheart: That's so true. That's so true. And it's ironic today that we, we, we, everyone, there's this massive drive to automation, but there's a need for innovation yet. Automate many people are caught in the machine of automation, as opposed to having the machine of automation create the space for innovation. Marc Champagne: 00:14:13 Yeah, Wade Lightheart: Exactly. Right. And innovation, meaning to go within and automation is, is, is, is, is an efficiency of thinking. So this morning I took a driver's test because I had moved to California, not that long as a foreign national, and I've delayed this driving test for, I don't know how long I've been carrying around a beginner's license for a year to go get this driver's test. Now I remember they brought me back to the first time I had my driver's test long, long ago in a galaxy far from driving a tauntaun, but I might as well then. Yeah. And I was going through this test today and it was a completely different experience. I'm kind of like, okay, this is cool. I got to go through this thing. And then I'm like, I'll try that. I'm trying to drive within the parameters. That's a sign. Wade Lightheart: Like I had to go from an automated mentality. Yes. Back to, I need to pay attention that I'm doing everything right. So I pass the test. It's like, what a crazy experience. It was crazy. It was a really interesting, cool that had happened today too. But I think so many people are caught in the machine of automation, right? They wake up in the morning, they automatically check their Facebook posts or their, their, their text messages. Right. When they're standing in line up, they automatically scroll to the latest YouTube or whatever their source, meaning their DMZ or whatever. They, they automate their payment, their selection of information from various sources that they pick and they don't go outside of those lanes. And therefore they get a very efficient life, but don't ask innovative questions. And I think a lot of people are caught here in this world. Wade Lightheart: And there's a malaise that happens. There's a, you see kids that are cutting themselves and stuff because they're not feeling themselves anymore because everything is so automated. You just press a button and Amazon Ballou delivers everything right there. It numbs you out. It numbs you out for people that are in that state right now, they, they know they're in a mental rut. They know that they're just doing the same thing and they can up, how do you access? Like how do you bring your own personal Socrates into the life to start firing off some questions, take you down the rabbit hole, which is often tumbling down there. It's kind of a dark, uncertain, anxiety ridden thing to get to a place where you can come out the other side to a whole new world. Like, yeah. What is that process like? And how do you innovate? Like how do you do that? Marc Champagne:Well, I think that the biggest thing is that we, we need to be honest with ourselves in terms of where we're currently at. Right? Like, get, just get real truthful of the fact of, okay, I am, I feel like I'm here and I'd like to be here for example. Right. And, and understand, Kay, there might be a big gap there and, and be kind to yourself. Let's not, you know, pass judgment on how you got there and let all that stuff go and know that it's a process because it's not, it's not any different than the physical world. Right. In, in, in terms of physical exercise. I mean, I know your backstory. I mean, you're not going to end up winning you know, bodybuilding championship the first time you ever pick up a dumbbell or do any weights. I mean, there's a process there to win my first show. Marc Champagne:Exactly, exactly. And I mean, our mental fitness for me, it's automatic now in a good way, in the sense that every morning I have time dedicated to these practices, the practices change and evolve and based on, you know, what I feel like I need, but that time, or in the early morning has taken a good 12 years to get to the point where there's gotta be a pretty significant event or something going on in the evening before for me to, to go and do that. Cause I know that's going to disrupt the next morning and that hour dictates the next 23 hours my day. But is that hour? What is that hour? Yeah, that hour is a mix of mental and physical fitness. So the first thing I do wake up big glass of water, a couple of sprays of B12 to kick things off. Marc Champagne: And then typically I do a short meditation or breath work, whatever feels right. Some might be just a 10 minute kind of mindfulness meditation. I'm not using apps as much anymore. Just, just trying to focus on the breath. I'm enjoying like a whim Hoff style breath work these days, which, which is fun to use any of those breath hold versions, because you can stack in another practice on the holds, I'm often visualizing an event or goals or something like that. Like, you know, jumping into kind of what we're wanting the future to play out. Then from there, there's usually some physical ex exercise, whether weights spinning even a walk, something to move the body and get things going and fired up and everything wraps up usually with some sort of reflection and often that's journaling. The method of journaling I think is less important than the actual practice, which is the reflection. Marc Champagne: So that can be pen to paper. That can be an app that could be just leaving yourself an audio note that could be on your walk, just thinking of, well, how do I feel right now? Where do I feel that in my body, you know, is it, do I feel tight and, and, and anxious is that in my chest. Okay. Often just acknowledging where it is, releases it. And now you're not carrying that in or that, that, that mental clutter and fog into your day. So for me, that's why the morning for me the morning is, is, is critical. And it starts me up in, in a great way. And usually to actually, well, my coffee's brewing and this just takes seconds. People can start here if this is where they, they, they want to fire it up. But I have Ryan holiday's book, the daily stoic leaning up against the coffee machine and I'll read one passage, which again, stoicism is just a great way to reframe or add in a different perspective of whatever might be going on in your life thinking, okay, I'm not the only one that's like feeling like this, or people have handled this, or just subtly shifts, you know, something that may be bothering you and primes your mind to, to start the day on, on the right foot. Marc Champagne: So, yeah, so that's, I mean, it's been, but going back to your original question, I mean, that's, that's taken over a decade to get to that point of really, really prioritizing the time. And then also having a list of tools in the toolkit to pull from based on what's going on. So Wade Lightheart:Jim, like, it's like, it's like having the barbells and the dumbbells and the universal and the floral you've got, you've got a whole, you've got a whole set of mental gym equipment that allows you to become a much robust thinker than say someone who just hits the Google button. Marc Champagne:Exactly. And then thing is that the more you do this, and even if, again, if you're doing this 10 minutes a day in the morning, the more you're training your mind like this, the more then you start to catch yourself when you're standing in line at the supermarket about the grab for the, you know, the end cap display items that are not nutritious pieces of food, right? Or like there are so many examples that you provided a whole bunch of good ones there that were just on autopilot. You catch yourself and then you can make a different decision. So for people that are, you know, just trying to get started, the easiest way to do this is to figure out a time in your routine. Again, I highly advise the morning, but I understand that everyone's different, but the morning just gives you the best chance for success because life hasn't happened yet. Marc Champagne: Prioritize the time, put it in your calendar. So you've committed to that and list out five to 10 things, activities, things that you can do that, you know, will make you feel good, right? And that could be yoga for someone meditation, journaling, a walk, so many different things. But the things that, you know, for sure, without a shadow of a doubt will put a smile on your face and make you feel good. And then, then you have your toolkit and you're ready to go and you can start and you can start experimenting right with these things. And you can turn to those, those items on the list in the middle of the day, if you get that email that bothers you or sends you an emotional response where normally you would carry that emotion throughout the rest of the day and it throws your whole day off versus just, okay, pause, acknowledge what's happening here, release that. And then you can carry on. Wade Lightheart: That's great. You touched on one little piece there. I think that's really good. And in your routine is that was you were using apps, but now you're kind of moving away from X. So I think a lot of people are so hopelessly hooked on the digital system that as an app is an easy way to exit into a more creative or thoughtfulness space. You know, clear the mind to empty the mind, to defrag everyone, to call it, or this journey of over a decade of cultivating this practice. Can you talk about maybe where you started and then when you drop thought, like where this, what would the evolutionary points? Yeah. Marc Champagne: Well, so you make a good point with technology. Cause I, I, you know, unfortunately I think that the majority of us have an unhealthy relationship with our technology, right? And it's, you know, it becomes challenging when you have to rely on willpower to, to navigate technology. So I only say that because I mean, this morning, for example, I did journal in an app, you know, it's not my own anymore, cause that one's gone. It's day one is the name of the app. But I always, I, at the beginning I had started journaling digitally because at the time my job was required me to travel a lot. And I just liked the idea of having, you know, on an iPad. For example, my iPad was like a sanctuary, there was zero notifications on that iPad. The only thing I could do was, you know, or I should say the only thing, there was nothing that would pull me away from the task at hand, unless I decided to go there. Marc Champagne: And I've continued that philosophy in the sense that the first screen of my phone are all apps for my mind and body. And there are no notifications there. Everything is disabled on my phone until at least 9:00 AM. And I'm getting up at five 30 to do this routine. So there's, there, there are no notifications. And when I'm, even when I'm on that first screen, I'm three swipes away until I'm anywhere near social media icons. So it, you know, for me, it's okay. Do I falter sure. Sometimes, I mean, I'm in the middle of this book launch, so I'm eager to see what's happening, but for the most part you know, that that routine has worked, but you know, if you're just starting off, I mean, I think it's like, like, like anything even, even even eating, I mean, if your kitchen is full of sugary food and garbage food, I mean, you're setting yourself up to eat like garbage essentially don't have that stuff in the house. So if you're just getting started on the mental fitness side of things, think of the environment that will be conducive and help you support the practice to get started. Right. Just give you the best chance for success. Wade Lightheart: Yeah. My spiritual teacher said a statement that I repeat all the time and that his environment is stronger than will. Oh yeah. And that cult of it, you know, and on top of that, what was really interesting is in Dr. Jordan Peterson's rules for life. I think it might've been beyond order. He says, find one little place in your house and make it as beautiful as possible. Yeah. Set things like make your bed and set things in order before you go out and start breaking down, everybody else's and people go, well, that sounds awfully simplistic, but it comes back to switching the mind into cultivating and environment. Okay. You know what? I'm going to clean up my room and have it orderly. I'm going to put myself together as best as possible. And just by doing those things, how the world sees you and how the world begins to interact with you automatically changes course. Wade Lightheart:And then you, as you see that progress, or maybe you have a room in your house, you want to go, maybe you want to get to a better home and that leads you to, well, how do I make more money or how do, what kind of characteristics? And so this space allowing an organic development of these questions and the things. So how do you, how do you build upon say maybe first principle, quite like how did someone get started, but then start stacking these tools like like a master trainer would put together a strength and conditioning cards. Okay. You're going to do spots here and leg presses here and lunges here, and then we're going to go to hams and, you know, like, you know, like, like I look at okay, structuring a program through the beginner, the intermediate, and then you get the advanced training, which you're getting into very hyper-specific with that individual. I think mental fitness is very similar. What's the process that you've learned over all this time that people might benefit from? Marc Champagne: Well, the main thing is to be open and experiment and try new things. Wade Lightheart: Yeah. Well, yeah. Explain like, say that I want to be open. Does that mean, like, I go have sex with 100 different people in my room? Like what is, what does open mean from a mental side of things and how hard is it to be open? Marc Champagne: Yeah. That's the great questions. I mean, open to me, I'll get, I'll give you a specific example because there's probably people listening that can resonate with this, but I remember, you know, first jumping into to journaling like that, that, that was my baseline. Like that journaling is like squats essentially. You know, it's kind of the core thing for me. And with that, the more you read about the practice, the more you study, you know, people like Jordan Peterson and Robin Sharma was one that had been reading a lot about he starts seeing these other practices. And if you can't hold back from judging those other practices, and the example I'll give is I, you know, I interviewed this woman a neuroscientist, Johns Hopkins trained, but also credibly passionate in the cosmos and all of the, you know, moon energy and all of this stuff. Marc Champagne: And she actually left her training to then go and really lead people into harnessing energy essentially. And I judged that stuff hard. You know, I was like, I like, I'm not going to start pulling out taro cards or what, like that, these are the things that was running through my mind, but it wasn't until I reached out to her and her name is Jill Winterstein, she's in, she's in the book. And she runs the Instagram account, a spirit daughter that I started to then learn about all of this, you know, cosmology and whatnot. And you know, this stuff has been around since the beginning of time and got to the point where like, I don't know if I believe all of it yet. I'm probably not there, but what I, what I do believe is that if I'm going to, if I'm going to visualize goals, if I'm going to journal about what's going on, there's zero downside in me aligning that with stuff that I don't understand that's happening around us. Marc Champagne: And we're all energy anyway. And if the, if the moon can move the tide, there's some serious stuff going on. Right. And that's what I mean by being open. And since then, I've, you know, I've interviewed and tried different modalities, like sound healing. I got into men's work because of that in my men's group. I, you know, I really credit them to saving me from some really dark years when I had to delete that app. And there's still, you know, we meet every second Monday. I just, I wouldn't have been exposed to any of these, these practices without doing everything possible, to just hold back on the judgment, you know, or the self, the judgment on the practice, that then the self judgment of me going through that. And I see that with people starting with journaling too, you know, there there's a lot of people that, that journal in the way that, you know, they think they're going to submit that journal to fast company or something. Marc Champagne: Right. You know, and it's just, again, so if you, any of these practices, if you can start with first identifying what you w what you what lights you up, but then setting some principles and writing down, you know, what, anything I write in this journal that's for me, unless I decide to share that I, you know, I will not judge what I'm writing on this paper. I don't care about grammar structure. This, this is, these are the, the founding principles. And, and you can do that for all of these practices. And then that lets at least get you started. And then, then, then you obviously you'll find the routine that really works well. And then as you're exposed to more things like for me the last few years, breath work has a bit, has been a big one. Now that's, you know, I'm stacking the breath, work with the visualization before that. Marc Champagne: And I desperately miss this just in, in, when I was living in Toronto, I was going to a local gym that had a steam room and in the steam room, that would be part of my practice. I would do the visualization or, you know, close my eyes and, and set some, some intentions for the day. Like how do I want to show up for others and myself today? What would that, what does that look like? The next, the next visualization is to have that in my own home. Cause I, I'm not in that same location, but now I'm, I'm bringing in the breath work to do that same thing. Right. So that's how I think you can advance from starting to having fun and experimenting with all of these different practices. Cause there's so many, there's so many things it's just like physical exercise. There are a million different things you can do to keep things fresh and, and, and exciting. Wade Lightheart:I want to switch gears a little bit, brought it up a couple of times. And that was the deletion of your app and kind of a dark place where you ran in. I think for a lot of people, particularly in this last 18 months or so a lot of people have been brought in into a dark place, the certainties of their governments, of their medical sister, their ability to travel. Like there's been a tremendous pullback on personal autonomy, freedom. And, and whether you're in supportive of not supportive of it, I think people can recognize there's been a major pullback and a huge disruption, which for the evidence is showing a lot of people are going to a dark place depression, suicide addiction to pills, addiction, to alcohol addiction, to drugs proliferation of unintended consequences, which are devastating for both individuals and families and ultimately society. What would you say to the person based on your own experience of what kind of questions you need to ask when you're in the darkness and do you go deeper into it to get to the core or do you ask questions to get out of it? Which, which, which methodology do you ascribe to? Marc Champagne:That's a great perspective there. Yeah. I think, you know, you know, without going too far into the weeds on this one, I mean it's when you, when you marry up a stifling of curiosity, I, you know, holding back from asking questions. Cause that's my thing. I mean, I think we, we, we come out born curious, asking questions. I have a five-year-old that is reminding of my, my wife and I, every day of that fact. Right. And my goal is to, is to not, you know, to keep it as curious as possible because if we can keep that, then that's what we learn. That's what we challenge. That's, that's how we grow. So, you know, when we're, we're, when we're kind of getting forced to not ask questions and whatnot and going to autopilot with fear, then that's a, that's a scary recipe that's that's happening. Marc Champagne:Right. So for, for anyone that's there and a lot of us are just given everything that's going on. I think the biggest thing is to, is to pause again, through any of these practices and, and do everything possible to focus on what you can control. And this is going back to the stoicism philosophies, right? Like, and there's a profile in the book with Ryan holiday and Marcus Aurelius. And it's just what is within my control, because lot of the stuff is not within our control except for how we react to what's happening. Right. And there are things yes. And there are some key key variables that, you know, we do have control over. And if we focus on those, then, then there is also a sense of hope, you know, in that, in that flow, for example, then I think the biggest thing is just really understanding where you're currently at and who you want to become, right? Marc Champagne:Like where do you, where do you want to go? I mean, not, you know, questions that are progressive are the ones, the least for me that helped me out of those dark moments. Cause at first, just for every the, the, the short story is I left that corporate world. I created that app or co-founded we had a small team, we rate reach 86000000.9 people or 86.9 million people with the app. But that didn't mean our revenue model and business model was working. It wasn't and people were coming in just as fast as they were leaving, essentially. So long story short, we had to shut the business down. But in doing that, it wasn't just shutting the business down. It was essentially deleting an app and deleting the, my identity for the last three years. And I had left the job that, you know, I, I, I wasn't unhappy. Marc Champagne: And it was just, I would regret not trying this. And now I started asking all the wrong questions or reflecting on the wrong questions. Like how could we fail at such a colossal level? Like what would my ex colleagues think? What would my family think were the ones that were supporting me throughout this and whatnot. And that, that just keeps pushing you down into the ground. It's okay to reflect on, you know, why did it happen to learn from those lessons? So you don't repeat those mistakes, but if you keep going down and down and I could feel it happening and it wasn't until really dialing into the present moment, which anyone right now, if you're struggling with what's going on, you can do that. Right. I remember deleting the app in a coworking space in Toronto and thinking, all right, my life feels like it's exploding because I have no plan forward. Marc Champagne: And you know, I have no job. Now. We live in a city that's incredibly expensive and I don't know how we're gonna afford our bills. And to pause that I had to stop and think, oh, you know what? I just deleted this app on a laptop that most people in the world don't have, or don't have access to. And just to bring in these micro moments of gratitude that, you know, what configure it out, right. And just enough deposit. So for, you know, for people that are going through through a tough time now, just finding those little, those little moments of appreciation, cuts the narrative or pauses it. And then you can bring in those progressive questions for me was what do I want for my life, right. For others, it could be, well, what what's within my control. And if I don't like how I'm feeling or what's going on, well, what can I do about it? Right? And then, then it pushes you down this, the Socratic method, because then that leads to other questions. Other people Wade Lightheart: It's beautifully said. And I think if you look at many of the great philosophers of life, they had very dark periods in their life, which, which, which drove them, I think both into the negative set of questions, as well as the light set, if you will. And Dr. David Hawkins who wrote power vs force and a whole series after this is a great philosopher and psychiatrist and spiritual teacher talks about the relative energy fields of thoughts and feelings and emotions and processes. And you touched on something that's really important and went in the darkness of whatever current life situation. And everybody's going to experience this. It's, it's, it's pretty much unavoidable in human condition. And I don't even know if it should be avoided one, something to be avoided. Maybe, maybe we should, maybe we should celebrate the life altering challenges in her life as painful as they might be, because once traversed it's slaying the dragon, if you will. Wade Lightheart: And the goal is, is hidden by the dragon. The dragon is within ourselves and the higher energy is the call to adventure, the call to the unknown, the call to the unfamiliar territory which was talked about by young and the collective unconsciousness or Joseph Campbell's, the hero's journey. Even Nietzsche who saw the nihilistic nature of going into he predicted would lead to a major world catastrophe and the death of hundreds of millions of people, which he was right, because he said without this overarching idea of a divinity, a divine personages, like that's why I said the death of God, which wasn't something he was celebrating. He said it was going to be devastating because the mind it needed an ideal to strive for. And he came up with the idea of the Uber mench, which was kind of distorted by the Nazis. Unfortunately like the, the idea was the, the, the, the Superman that the idealistic self represented by Christ or by Buddha or by Krishna, or a long line of spiritual traditions in this, most of the scientific thinkers look at some giant in their history, which they resonate, you drive thoughts to overcome very complex and difficult questions. Wade Lightheart:Is there a way or is there, like when someone's caught in that real dark place, where like, is there some okay, gratitude? How often do you repeat it? Like, do you gotta just keep like, cause, cause you kind of come out for a little bit and then you go back down and you kinda like, it's like, it's like a heavyweight fight or something you're getting knocked down, Marc Champagne:But we need, we need those constant reminders. Like I, I, there's two things that just so I don't forget, there's a profile wrote on Apollo Ohno. Who's a short track speed skater, I think at the time. Oh yes. I think he's still the most decorated winter Olympian in us history. And he shared a practice and then the other one, I think that's relevant, reign out to everything you're saying is as is something I wrote about Marcus Aurelius and his belief systems. Apolo Ohno though, I remember interviewing him and having a chat and, and thinking about his Olympic level of reminder system, which was, and still is post-it notes, you know? And he just identified, okay, well, where are the areas of my house that I'm most frequently in? And I, he spent the time getting clear in terms of what he was working towards. And he S he just wrote down little Wade Lightheart:Reminders, whether the little affirmations or reminders of his goal, so he could see them all the time, because it doesn't take again, we just pick up our phone and that could, you know, throw us into another realm. So we need those little micro resets of those reminders, even writing the book. I had all these little cue cards near my desk, just reminding me, right, as if you're writing to a friend of yours, it's quantity over quality. And the first draft, you know, just things, cause my mind kept going. I'm not submitting this to an editor. I mean, I I'm embarrassed by what I'm writing here. Right. But just the, the reminders, but on a bigger level, you touched on it. And this is what I learned from studying Marcus. Relius, you know, you're, you nailed that. I mean, they, in those times, I mean, I think, I think he lost 13 or 14 of his children in his life. And the death rate among Caesars is like 40% or something we're be killed by the people around you. Marc Champagne: Yeah, exactly. I mean it different time, but you losing a child. I mean, it's still, we can't even fathom that, you know, if that happens once obviously. So then, you know the question for me, like, how the hell did he, how did he do it? How did, how did he lead Rome through these massive plagues, through these giant battles being away for years, losing children, like how did he do it? And, and th the conclude, this is my opinion, but the conclusion I came to were, were around his belief systems. And, you know, there's obviously stoic philosophy and his meditations and all of that, which made me start to think and ask the questions for, for others. What are your belief systems? Because we're normally born into a belief system and, and raised in a belief system, we may still resonate with them, whether that's religious views, philosophy, science, other things, but understanding what we were essentially forced into it, because we grew up in that environment. Marc Champagne: Does that still resonate with you? And if not, you know, what does, what would serve you well, because then you can, you can lean back on these things for me. I mean, I D I never grew up with any type of stoke philosophy, but I started to read about this stuff, and it's a huge pillar. So for me, it's I try to live life with three main principles, stoke philosophy, guiding those moments when they're very challenging to reset perspective. I believe that my actions and thoughts do have some sort of result in, in are linked to energy and something will come from that. And then I also believe that just kindness wins, you know, and I get that one from my parents. I mean, just be kind, and we default to kindness, usually can't go wrong. But you know, you've got to spend some time thinking about that, right. And getting clear, because then when, when you're in these, these tough moments, again, like what we're faced with right now, you, you can feel the comfort or the confidence that your overall belief systems can help you there. And that list of other tools that you have, that, you know, what will will make you feel good, that'll help you there. Right? And then we can stay on the track that we're we've designed or the life that we've designed a little bit more easily and not be so rocked off the track all the time. Wade Lightheart:It's really great. I would guess maybe what are some of the other tools that you, maybe you and I don't want to give away the book per se, but what are some of the other things that you feel is important? We've got kind of setting the tone in the morning with your practice. And then obviously there's, you know, this question process about things or knowing where you're at finding out where you're going, and then obviously there's a study of great thinkers. It would seem that that's, that's also would be some of the earmarks of what you're doing. What other things, or is there other things that you draw from maybe some of our more sophisticated listeners who have maybe developed a lot of these practices or things, but have found a stagnant rock they're they're kind of, you know, oh right. And, you know, I've got the income thing figured out I got the 401k, I got the wife, I got the kids, I got the retirement, Lena, I'm doing good. I'm trying to do this little. Bio-Hacking like, you know, they say the death of the enemy of greatness is good. Marc Champagne: Yeah. Yeah. That's well said. Right. Wade Lightheart: So let's, what are some other things, or maybe some, yeah. So some, some of the more radical ideas are like really when you're trying to push innovation with a once you've had a well-rounded game. Marc Champagne: Well, so I would say thinking bigger, you know, and the questions that can train your mind to do that and seek other questions, seek other details, to think at a different level. And I remember I interviewing someone by the name of Nevine Jane. You know what I mean? Well, yeah, of course you would know just the health link I would imagine. And, and he's in the book as well. And, and the, the whole principle behind this profile and this, this thinking is around the idea of imagine, if, imagine if, you know, you did this, or you were working on, on whatever project, imagine if that was possible and it is possible, I didn't need, it's possible. It's our imagination that tells us whether it is or not. Right. Wade Lightheart:Where is it? Isn't what was previously impossible for most of humanity. Marc Champagne: Yeah. Right. It's it's it's Wade Lightheart: And the fact that anyone's listening to this was virtually impossible, only a decade or two ago. You know what I mean? Not the other day, this, this, this conversation and the person listening to this was not possible exactly. For most of human history. Marc Champagne: Well, and, and even I remember, I remember Nevine sharing and an example of you, you we've all heard this one, but oh, the sky is the limit and he's like, the sky actually, isn't the limit. The sky doesn't even exist. It's a figment of our imagine. It's not like when you're in a spacecraft, you're like, oh, just went through the sky. You know, it's, it's not there. Right. So, I mean, it's more of a humorous example, but I think it just, it sets the tone that think in terms of possibility and the way Nevine thinks about this is how can I solve a billion person challenge? And if, you know, if, if you can solve a billion person challenge, you create a billion dollar business by default often, right. If that's, if that's, what's motivating you, but if you're really trying to help a billion people you have to think differently, right? Marc Champagne: And you, you spent some time thinking of, well, what, what is it, right? Or just in the work that he's doing with biome and, and looking at the gut and what we're eating and how we're all so different. I mean, his big hypothesis is to make chronic disease a choice. I mean, that's a big statement to make. So then that leads to the next questions. Well, what do I need to do? Who needs to surround who needs to surround me to do that and what he shared. And what's in the profile here, when you're thinking like this, people can feel that, and people gravitate and often the smartest people in the world, gravity, cause they want to be a part of that mission, right? When you're thinking of solving these massive challenges. So, I mean, that's, that's the big one, but the other thing is just using these practices because we've talked a lot about like helping in the moment when things are stressful and whatnot. Marc Champagne: And obviously these tools are really effective for that. But the whole other side is just unlocking another world of opportunity. So something as simple as if you're not, you're stuck and you're trying to figure out the next steps for something writing down, what do I need to do next, go to sleep, wake up the next morning, have your glass of water and answer the question that one has come up. I do that one all the time. And I'm always amazed that literally within eight or nine hours previously, I had no answer. And then now I'm sitting there and everything's flowing out and I've just allowed my mind some stillness while I'm sleeping to actually let the mind connect the dots because we have the answers. It's all there. It's just a matter of making it just like a physical room. If it's jammed floor to ceiling with boxes, if we can blow out the boxes and see the door in the back, then, then it becomes easy because we can see the path, right. Marc Champagne: And our minds are the same thing. They're just, they're clogged with relationships, decisions, emotions that are, are, you know, are, are bothering us. So the more we do these practices, the more we clear up that mental clutter in that fog, again, the more we can see and expand all of that possibility or, or opportunity I should say. So that's, that's one. And then, I mean, sleep is another big one. And I'm not just saying this because of you guys, but I mean, I do take your magnesium product and it's, it's been a game changer for me, but I have that layered in with the times I can feel where my mind is starting to spin a bit and it feels a bit heavy. I'll do a journaling exercise before bed and I'll release that stuff. Yeah, yeah. Right. And always finish with some sort of gratitude. Marc Champagne: Like what can I celebrate about the day we forget about there's so much awesome. That happens each day. If we just take two minutes to think, what can I celebrate about today? The micro moments, right? And then you, you go to sleep often, you fall asleep faster because you don't have your mind spinning. If you're, if you've got a lot on your plate, you can start with just listing out two or three things you want to do tomorrow. Then that's done. That's out of your mind. Now finish off with the gratitude. The other thing, going back to those visualization practices, then another fun way to fall asleep is just dropping into the, your own movie. Essentially think about, you know, where, where are you heading? What are you, what are you striving to do? And B what are you working on? And you're dropping as if that's completely real. And again, your mind starts putting together the pieces. I mean, there's good science on this. Your mind is growing. New pathways are forming new pathways when you do this stuff. So this is the other side of the coin. Wade Lightheart: Four, we wrap up, I got another kind of leading back to earlier where we started and that is decision making fatigue. Yeah. And asking good questions. So almost every entrepreneur that scales a company runs into decision-making fatigue. And that is so for those who aren't familiar with the concept, it's, you have so much glucose available to your brain to make decisions. And you, you spend it at a certain level inside a company growth or in a business growth, or like you, you want to be thinking on higher level complexity. I always say, you want to solve a volume of questions. Then you want to solve an intensity of questions, questions that kind of take a business. Then it's complexity and complexity requires space and space needs that you need to free up Ram or how many decisions you make. Because let's say, let's, let's just say an arbitrary number. Wade Lightheart: You can make a thousand decisions in a day. Well, the decision to answer the text message, the decision to answer your Facebook posts, the decision, whether I'm going to have eggs or copying, of course, famously that was taken to the nth degree by guys like Steve jobs that wear the same clothes every day and all that sort of thing. Right. Reducing decisions down to almost everything was autopilot. So you could spend time, or how do you suggest, or what have you found to free up the energetic space? [inaudible] Like, how do you reduce the redundant decisions so that you can spend time on the big questions? Marc Champagne: Well, the biggest thing is that is to allocate the time to, to create that space. And that doesn't feel normal in our society. That's the, I think the, the, the sooner we can get over this notion of productivity. And then that means that you have to check off a million things off your list to say, yeah, that was, that was a good day. Like w once we can release that, then you know, you're on a new path. They're just like reading books. We have this with books all the time. You want to check off, I read a hundred books this year, right. Or, you know what, I read a couple really good books, but I read them slow. And I actually applied that knowledge. Right. And you read, I mean, it's why the book is set up in two to four page profiles for a reason that that can be your mental fitness for the day takes 10 minutes. Marc Champagne: Right. But it's, I mean, we talked about Robin Sharma. I have his latest book. The what is it called? The see right there, the here, the everyday hero manifesto. And I remember, well, it's right before the launch, there's so much going on and I could feel my mind was starting to spin. And so the night before I went through that gratitude practice, let some of that stuff go. And I put his book right in the center of my desk. I put a pen, a journal, and a bottle of water. So as soon as I'm getting up, I'm going right there. Everything's there. I just need to open the book. And then I knew I was going downstairs to do a, I think I did a Peloton spin or something like that. Right. And so all I have to do is get up that's, you know, that that's that's decision to be made and getting up is not a problem anymore. Marc Champagne: And I learnt this from Kobe, Kobe Bryant, he's in the book as well. He used to get in an extra workout, a fourth workout every day from the team getting up at four in the morning. And he, the reason he was able to get up like that consistently was because he had this goal of winning the NBA championship. He had the same internal negotiation with himself lying in bed. I don't want to get up, I'll get in the workout later, or I can do this later, but we all know what happens later. Life happens later and we don't do it. So his motivator was that for me, I know that I, you know, I really want to go into, into this launch of the book clear. So I want to be able to see, okay, well, here's the right. Here's the opportunity that there's fancy stuff dangling over here. Marc Champagne: That may be fun, but that's not really going to fuel the ecosystem that I'm trying to work in. So I can't see that if I'm not clear. So I think just, you know, back to your original question, just thinking of the things and setting your, your, your day, especially your morning in a way that, you know will set you up for success is one way to do that. And when it comes to big decisions, this is going back to Nevine actually he shared an awesome practice that I, I think we can relate to. He he's often presented with these, these massive decisions and, and often investments that equate to millions of dollars, if not more. And he said, you know what? I get all the information. I have the team there. I'm seeing all these spreadsheets and all the presentations, but at the end of the day, the decision is made with one practice for him. Marc Champagne: And that's, he takes 15 minutes and he said, he said, sometimes I tell people to just, I need 15 minutes. You need to, everyone needs to leave. He says, I close my eyes. And for 15 minutes I visualize the decision having been made. And I, I see myself six months down the road. Does it feel right? And if there's any sense that it feels off the answer is no, no matter how good the data looks. Right. And he said, you know, it's like mark, I've saved millions of dollars because of that, even though it doesn't look, you know, on the onset, that, that, that looks like a logical decision. The next thing, you know, three months from there, something blows up or whatever in that, in that business or whatever it is. Right. But again, I think it comes back to that, that stillness, right? Cause we're, we're, we're, we're just rarely still, but it shows that the benefits of being still show up all the time. It's like when we have the ideas going for a run or we're in the shower and the ideas come up, it's because your mind is still right. You're not jamming in PowerPoints or spreadsheets or worrying about this, worrying about that. You're, you're doing something to help still your miner or calm your mind. Wade Lightheart: The book is called personal Socrates and Murray title, right? The title. We only caught a few little tidbits and I'm encouraged everyone to get a copy of this book. I'm excited to dive into it myself. Can you share where people can reach, you get access to your book and follow you on this journey of rethinking their life by asking better questions? Marc Champagne: Yeah. Well, first of all, I mean, just thank you for having me. I, I feel like you and I can talk for hours. We need we need another podcast. The easiest places is behind the human.com. That's my personal website and I have all the links, but I mean, you can find the book on Amazon, directly from the publisher, Baron fig as well, doc audible, it's all in the regular places, but behind the human.com is where the book is. The podcast also all my social handles and, you know, tag me, shoot me a message. I would love to know whether they're in the book or not, but just the questions that have really made an impact in your life, because you can probably tell I'm a bit obsessed with prompts. And I literally have a spreadsheet of thousands of these questions from interviews and, and just my own study. So, you know, nothing would light me up more than, than seeing a prompt from someone else. iWade Lightheart: There, you have it folks, mark champagne, the book is called personal Socrates. And if there's ever been a time for you to step back and take a pause, take a reflection, get a practice of asking yourself better questions. It will inevitably lead to a more rich and fuller experience of the human condition. I want to thank you for joining us today, mark. And I want to thank you the listener for staying this long and kind of winding through the thought processes and practices. I would encourage you to get the book. I think this might be a very powerful episode for a lot of people, for a lot of reasons. The qu the question that always comes up is what area are you struggling in? And asking better questions will get you out of the struggle and into the success. And that's what we hope for you today. I'm weighty. Lightheart from BiOptimizers. This is another edition of the awesome health podcasts. If you liked it, share it. If you hated it, tell us, and if you're indifferent, well, hopefully you'll come back next time. Take care of lots of love way T Lightheart ciao.
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