22 Embracing Pain to Avoid Suffering with Human Behavior and Performance Coach Brian Bogert

22 Embracing Pain to Avoid Suffering with Human Behavior and Performance Coach Brian Bogert

Alone With Peter
Alone With Peter
22 Embracing Pain to Avoid Suffering with Human Behavior and Performance Coach Brian Bogert
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Our guest today is human behavior and performance coach Brian Bogert. In this episode, we talk about embracing pain to avoid suffering, how to align your public and private voice to find radical authenticity, the 80/20 Rule and so much more!

Please enjoy this transcript of my interview with human behavior and performance coach Brian Bogert. (BrianBogert.com)

Transcripts may contain a few typos. With interviews ranging from 1-2 hours, it can be difficult to catch minor errors. Enjoy!


Peter Kersting: Welcome to Alone With Peter, I’m your host, and on this podcast, you’re going to hear interviews with entrepreneurs, artists, digital nomads, and people seeking personal growth. We’ll dive deep into what set them on their journey, where they are now, and how their story can impact you, including helpful insights if you aspire to take a similar leap of faith. No matter where you are on your journey, thank you for spending some quality time Alone With Peter.

Peter Kersting: Today, we’re joined by Brian Bogert, owner, and president of Brian Bogert Companies. Brian is a human behavior and performance coach, motivational speaker, and business strategist. In short, a man who wears many hats. Brian teaches individuals and companies how to leverage radical authenticity and awareness to create a more intentional life. His clearest and loudest message? Embraced pain to avoid suffering, teaching individuals how to move from avoiding pain to accepting it in order to achieve purpose, joy, and freedom.

Peter Kersting: Brian was named one of the 40 under 40 in the Phoenix Business Journal for his leadership skills. He’s a founding member of the Society of St Vincent de Paul‘s professional advisory board and he’s worked with a number of nonprofit organizations, including Phoenix Children’s Hospital Patient & Family Alumni Leadership (PALs)- www.pchpals.com

the American Cancer Society, Adelante Healthcare, and the YMCA. If you want to follow what Brian is doing, or reach out to him on social media, you can find him on his website, BrianBogert.com, on Facebook and Instagram as BogertBrian, and on LinkedIn and Twitter as BrianBogert.

Links to all Brian’s social media, as well as his YouTube channel and giveaway (No Limits Prelude), can be found in the show notes here, on PeterKersting.com, where I do my best to give links to all the relevant information mentioned in the show.

Brian Bogert: Human Behavior and Performance Coach

Personal Website https://brianbogert.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bogertbrian

Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/bogertbrian

Instagram,https://www.instagram.com/bogertbrian/

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianbogert/

Twitter https://twitter.com/BogertBrian

Bogert’s Bullet’s YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmhaMgY8q-tMMCj0rpGg7iw

Giveaway: www.nolimitsprelude.com

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Peter Kersting: One final thought before we get started, Alone With Peter cannot exist without your support, so thank you for listening, and if you enjoy the show I would ask that you please take a moment to follow and subscribe to the show your favorite podcast platform, and leave a review on Apple Podcasts, and a comment. Tell us what you think of this episode!


I’m so excited to have this marvelous mustached man on the show as we dive into his hero’s journey, learning how his past formed his present and informs his future. Brian, thanks for taking time to spend Alone With Peter.

Brian Bogert: Man, I’m excited to be here with you. We’ve obviously jammed a couple of times, and we’ve gotten to know each other, so it’s going to be a fun time today. I love that you brought out the mustache, I’ve got a business partner that calls it the trustache, and it’s hilarious. I never had a mustache, never knew I could grow it, but about six months ago my wife looked at me and was like, “Why don’t you grow a mustache?” And it just seemed to stick, so that’s where I’m at.

Peter Kersting: I love that, I love that so much because the first time I grew out the mustache I thought it was make all ladies run away, but my fiance loves it too, so that’s a win man, it’s a win.

Brian Bogert: Well my wife and I, neither one of us are actually fans of mustaches in general.

Peter Kersting: Yeah.

Brian Bogert: And she supposedly has not ever liked another mustache until mine, but I will take that. So it was her idea, and I look at it and say, look, as long as she’s happy, I’m happy.

Peter Kersting: Hey smart man, smart man. All right, so Brian, I want to talk about in this first episode, I said I was going to talk about your past, but I actually want to pull a Tarantino and start with your present and move backward. You have a really powerful origin story, but I want to hide that, reveal a little bit. I want to start macro to micro, like what do you do? How does it help people? Help us see that bigger picture. Can you put that in your own words?

Brian Bogert: Yeah, so I’m a human behavior and performance coach first, but I’m an entrepreneur really, so we build and scale businesses. Everything that we are doing right now is in combination to reach a billion lives collectively by 2045 through our entities and through our partners to reduce the level of suffering on this planet. You’ll understand why, you even talked about it in the intro, my major, loudest, clearest message is embracing pain to avoid suffering, so we’ll get into that in more detail, but the core and root of it truly is to help people become exactly who they are, get back to who they were before they started to become who the world told them to be, because I genuinely believe that when we can do this, it allows us to have some different freedom.

Brian Bogert: I also look at everything that we do through the lens of strategy and tactics, although they’re important, although they’re a part of how we coach and develop people, they are not typically what’s focused on first, they are things that are done after we get really clear on who we are. Because what we’ve discovered is that what keeps people stuck, what keeps people from reaching their potential, what keeps them from being the best version of who they are, living holistically to have the greatest impact on who they’re doing it for and who they’re trying to impact, is all rooted in emotional triggers, behavioral patterns, and environmental conditioning, so we have to move those to a place of conscious awareness to allow people to actually use those as tools towards their path to success, versus things that will keep them stuck.

Fear, guilt, shame, scarcity, doubt, a lot of these things are emotions that dictate our actions or will direct us if we’re not careful.

Brian Bogert on emotional triggers

Brian Bogert: So I talk about emotional triggers, what I mean by that is fear, guilt, shame, scarcity, doubt, a lot of these things are emotions that dictate our actions or will direct us if we’re not careful. So we work heavily through the human experience and human condition to help people really become free and experience joy, freedom, and fulfillment holistically in their lives.

Peter Kersting: Yeah, that’s awesome. I’m a huge believer in authenticity, and I want to talk to you a lot about private voice, but I’m curious to hear, what are some of the most common things you see people struggling with? Whether it’s personally or professionally, because they’re connected, as you said.

Brian Bogert: Yeah. Instead of things, because again, that’s outbound stuff, I’m going to focus on the thing that I think keeps people stuck most. It is absolutely emotional triggers, and I think the most powerful one is shame. And I think the reason shame is such a big deterrent is it’s the ultimate wolf in sheep’s clothing. It literally presents itself and manifests as defensiveness, perfectionism, worth, scarcity, guilt, fear, all of these other secondary emotions, anger, are a lot of times rooted in shame. Now why shame is so difficult is that it literally bookends us and traps us from both sides. And I’m speaking personally as well, because I dealt with shame at a deep level for a very long time, and I had to do the work to understand how to move through it.

Brian Bogert: But why shame can be so damaging is it’s blind to most people because of how it manifests and shows up, and most people when they think they’ve got shame, it’s in this bucket of self-worth, I’m not worthy, I’m not good enough. I’d be lying if I said I was never impacted there, but that has not been my predominant narrative, and so that’s why I never identified with shame. But Brené Brown outlines very well that when people shut down this self-worth, they show up in the arena, they’re ready to go to battle, it’s who do you think you are? And so for me, everything major I’d ever done in my life I felt the need to apologize for.

Brian Bogert: But shame looks like a 45-year-old commercial real estate broker who has ridden his bike from coast to coast in the country, who has a growing, developing business, who is also recognizing that he was having a difficult time leveraging and scaling it, his relationship with his wife wasn’t right where he wanted, and he’d lost this physical health that allowed him to ride coast to coast. Shame for him literally showed up as scarcity in a way that he wasn’t able to take and leverage the risks in his life to actually perpetuate the growth that he wanted.

Brian Bogert: Shame looks like a 55-year-old female lawyer who’s been very, very successful, but in her own terms, wanted to make a shitload of money. I don’t care what your definition of that is, and it doesn’t matter what hers is, that was what she wanted to go after. But shame was also impacted and conditioned in her life because what she realized is the narratives of all the men in her life, her father, her grandfather, her brothers, her husband for the last 30 years, were actually louder in her narrative than her own was, and so shame kept her from living the life that she needed to, to actually live and produce that amount of shitload of wealth, and a shitload of money in those years.

Brian Bogert: Shame looks like me in the fact that I talk fast, and am loud, and how many times in the corporate world did people actually put their hand on my shoulder and be like, “Shh, you can’t talk that loud, you can’t talk that fast, you’re going to lose people.” And I would shrink down in myself, because apparently, I wasn’t good enough to demonstrate the words that I wanted. Shame looked like defensiveness in my household, when my wife would ask me if I’m going to spend time with my kids on the weekend, which was a completely neutral unled question, I would hear it through the lens of shame which would cause me to hear her saying, you haven’t done enough to be a good husband and father, so what are you going to do this weekend to make up for it? And I’d react with anger and defensiveness to list the 10 things I’d done as a husband and father in the last four days to demonstrate I was good in that area.

Shame, I think, is one of the greatest toxins that we deal with as a society and as individuals.

Brian Bogert on shame

Brian Bogert: Shame, I think, is one of the greatest toxins that we deal with as a society and as individuals, so although that’s not the only place that we focus, you asked a question on where I think what are the things that people struggle with most, the root of what most people struggle with is shame. Those things look very different because of how it manifests.

Peter Kersting: Yeah, I think that has a lot to do with the way that people talk to themselves. There’s a term that Jim Loehr uses, he’s a performance coach who I really admire, and he talks about your private voice, and a lot of what he talks about is learning, how do you talk to yourself, and how do you talk to yourself in different situations? And he asked this very powerful question, would you talk to someone else the way that your private voice talks to you? And when I first heard that question I was like, oh hell no, I would never even dream of talk, and so many people I know feel that way, and I’m sure that shame you’re talking about is directly connected to that. And so I guess I want to ask you about that idea right there, as well as how does that tie to authenticity?

Brian Bogert: So I think, the second question I’ll come back to, how does it tie to authenticity, the first question is really easy, I 100% agree with that, I think that’s a great thought process. And one of the things that we focus on is I encourage people to eliminate the word “should” from their language. How many times do people get up and they’re like, “man, I should have worked out this morning.” “Man, I should have slept a little longer.” “Man, I should have gone to bed earlier,” “I should have eaten better.” Here’s the thing about should, should is inherently a shame-based word because it’s implying that whatever you’re doing isn’t good enough.

Peter Kersting: Wow.

Brian Bogert: So I would say, as it relates to internal language, stop shoulding yourself. We’ve heard that statement, stop shoulding all over yourself. Let’s remove the word should, and then everybody says, “Well then what do I replace it with?” Could or would. Ask yourself, what could I do differently tomorrow? What would I have done differently in this scenario? What could I do to better prepare myself so that I can be successful in working out? What could I do to prepare my food so that I can be disciplined in my nutrition in the way that I want to? What would I have done to put myself in a better position to get that job? If we position it with could or would then it’s not a shame-based word, it’s a future-focused and objective-empowering lens to look at why and how we can move through things differently next time.

I think the internal voice is extremely loud because we are born as our brightest burning most authentic self. Anybody who’s been around kids under the age of seven knows this, they’re raw, they’re real, it’s an authentic experience of who they are.

Brian Bogert on the authentic self

Brian Bogert: Now how does this relate to authenticity? I think the internal voice is extremely loud because we are born as our brightest burning most authentic self. Anybody who’s been around kids under the age of seven knows this, they’re raw, they’re real, it’s an authentic experience of who they are. And then what happens? Parents, teachers, coaches, employers, we start telling people, again, using the should word, you should do this, you shouldn’t do that. You should be this, you shouldn’t be that. You should chase this amount of success, you shouldn’t chase that amount of success. You should drive this kind of car and make this amount of money, you shouldn’t drive that one or make that little amount of money. And all we do is we start funneling people down this path so at one point they just become this empty shell of who they once were, because they bought into all the shoulds that the world has told them they need to be, versus paying attention to who they want to be and who they could or would be if it wasn’t for the world.

Brian Bogert: And so how it relates to authenticity is if we silence our internal voice, if we allow the voices of the world to be louder than our internal one, we will never be authentic to who we are. So authenticity starts from inside, it’s not about creating ourselves to fit in the box that the world has created for us, it’s about throwing out the box and saying I’m okay being exactly who I am, leaning into who I am, realizing that’s a very difficult journey, but it’s got to start with the first step, and part of that is how do we change the language in how we talk to ourselves, and how do we pay attention to what makes us authentically ourselves?

Peter Kersting: Yeah, that’s awesome stuff. I’m really curious to hear, if I recognize, okay, the way that I’m talking to myself is not aligned with who I want to be, how do I begin to create that alignment between my personal and private voice and the person that I want to display to others, and the goals that I want to meet?

Brian Bogert: Great question, that’s not a quick answer, because it’s different for every single person.

Peter Kersting: Could you give me an idea of what kind of things you might try to tackle, just on the general level.

Brian Bogert: Yeah, so I’ll just give a really easy tactical thing to just pay attention to better aligning yourself with who you are. Just create two lists, the first list is all the people, things and sources of information in your life that are additive to your life, that leave you energized, that leave you feeling worthy, that leave you feeling uplifted, that you could literally spend eight hours and it felt like one because you were in flow state because it was in alignment with who you were. Right there, in and of itself, just pay attention to those things. We all know what those feel like, we all know off the top of our head some of the things in our lives that do that, that make us feel free, joyous.

Brian Bogert: Make a counter list, what are the things, people, and sources of information that are negative in your life? That are not additive, that are a drain, that leave you feeling defeated, that leave you feeling depleted, that leave you feeling unworthy, that one hour feels like eight, that leaves you feeling like you don’t have the energy to keep going, that you don’t want to go back at it again tomorrow. And again, pay attention to those things, people, and source of information, start systematically eliminating things from those lists, and spending more time over on this positive list, and just that step alone will start calibrating you more to who you authentically are.

Peter Kersting: Oh yeah, I smile because I wrote this down, maybe you’re familiar with Richard Koch and The 80/20 Principle, but I wrote a couple notes down that I wanted to share, and you basically touched on them in a slightly different way. But one of the things that The 80/20 Principle really says is 80% of all our results in business and life stem from a mere 20% of our efforts.

Brian Bogert: That’s right.

Peter Kersting: And so this idea that 80/20 reveals this, this basically uneven state of affairs, The amount of resources connected to achievement or success or happiness, or whatever you’re trying to define, and I think you’re very right in that you just need to find what makes you happy, what is the 20% of people that make you the most happy? What is the 20% of things that give you the most achievement? And I’m curious what that has looked like for you. I’m sure it’s changed over time, but what are the things that give you life, that make you get up in the morning and say, I’m doing what I need to be doing, and know that you’re aligned with your goals?

Brian Bogert: Yeah, so I’m very far down this journey, it’s not to say that I have it figured out, I want to be very clear, I am far from perfect, and there is no final destination, it’s only a constant evolution of self. So why I say that, I’m far down the journey, is that at this point in my life I have to be less intentional to create that, but it took me a lot of work to build the framework where my life can be self-regulating because it’s already built-in alignment. But it is, it started with a basic list like that, but it’s also been a very extensive list of unpacking my emotional triggers, my behavioral patterns, the things that are creating damage in my life, the things that are more authentically me.

Brian Bogert: As a business owner it’s asking myself three questions, what are the things that only I can do? What are the things that someone else can do? What are the things that don’t even need to be done? So even in those categories, it’s like, how do I make sure I’m spending my time on the things that align with who I am, and who I want to impact, and who I’m doing this for? So for me, the things that light me up, it is genuinely infusing life into other people. My wins are other people’s wins. When I can help unlock someone else to live a bit life, that feeds me as fuel for the fire that I’m burning to have this impact on a billion lives by 2045. My wife and kids fill me up. Intentional downtime with them, doing things that we enjoy, fill me up.

Brian Bogert: Physical activity fills me up. I like to be active, I’m not someone who can sit around for long periods of time. I can’t be someone that sits in a bed or in a chair and zone out on television for a long time, I just can’t, that’s not how I’m wired. So I have to keep my mind and my body active, but I also have to pay attention to stillness, rest and recovery, because those also fuel me, and it’s all a part of the same path. For me it’s interacting with people, it’s thinking about building people and building businesses and building systems that create impact. Those are the things that light me up, and at this point in my life that’s all I do, is those things in that category.

Brian Bogert: But I had to truly recognize that there needed to be a cleansing of relationships in my life as well. I didn’t say goodbye to a lot of people, but I allowed people to naturally migrate outright. Truthfully in my world, and I don’t say this with any negativity, I’m not upset by this, but I’ve had two periods in my life where I had to retreat because of where my energy and attention were focused, which meant that I wasn’t outbound reaching out to a number of people to stay in touch and maintain relationships and do this. The first time it was very obvious how many people didn’t reach out to me if I didn’t reach out to them, and they’d start asking me, “Where’d you go? You just disappeared.” And I was like, “Well, you never texted me or asked me why, you never asked what was going on in my world, you never asked how I was.”

I’ve now had two periods of those in my life that have proven and been consistent in the individuals that I needed to cleanse, not eliminate them from my life, but to show up for them when I can and not necessarily drain my energy by trying to carry a relationship from one side. And so that’s not a bad thing, that was an elimination of resistance and energy drain in my life that freed me up to move faster, with less effort, and have more impact in the people that I am going to align with.

Brian Bogert: And again, no criticism, I’m not even upset by it, it just allowed me to see where are those relationships that are feeding me? Because there were a number who reached out and asked me how I was, there were a number who said, “What’s going on in your world? I haven’t heard from you recently.” There were a number that were like, “How can I help you?” But my point is, I’ve now had two periods of those in my life that have proven and been consistent in the individuals that I needed to cleanse, not eliminate them from my life, but to show up for them when I can and not necessarily drain my energy by trying to carry a relationship from one side. And so that’s not a bad thing, that was an elimination of resistance and energy drain in my life that freed me up to move faster, with less effort, and have more impact in the people that I am going to align with. So that’s a people example, but truthfully, it’s about really knowing who you are.

…When you build your life of intentional alignment, it becomes self-regulated. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to realize what fit and what doesn’t anymore…I’m really clear on who I am right now. That’s why the mustache is being rocked, that’s why the full sleeve is being rocked, that’s why the Mohawk is being rocked because you know what, until the last 18 months, I wasn’t clear enough in who I was to own it with absolute conviction and not give two shits what anybody else has to say about it.

Brian Bogert on intentionality and aligning with your authentic self

Brian Bogert: Again, going back to what I said before, who are you doing this for? And who are you trying to impact? And when you build your life of intentional alignment, it becomes self-regulated. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to realize what fit and what doesn’t anymore when you get to that point in evolution, which is where I’m at. I still have lots of growth to do, but I’m really clear on who I am right now. That’s why the mustache is being rocked, that’s why the full sleeve is being rocked, that’s why the Mohawk is being rocked because you know what, until the last 18 months, I wasn’t clear enough in who I was to own it with absolute conviction and not give two shits what anybody else has to say about it. This is me. But that’s an example of now I know, and if somebody’s not okay with me doing those things, they don’t fit in my life.

Peter Kersting: Yeah, no, I think the idea of prioritizing things, people can easily perceive how you need to do that for your business, or your productivity, but it sounds cutthroat to do with people. But I totally agree with you, it’s not about them not being worthwhile as a person, but there’s just an objective truth that some people are life giving, and other people-

Brian Bogert: Well, and what you feed grows, right?

Peter Kersting: Yeah.

Brian Bogert: And so I want to feed people that want to grow with me and are also mutually feeding me. And when I say cutthroat, I want to be really clear, I don’t cut these people out of my life. I don’t tell them they’re a horrible person, I don’t tell them I’m angry with them or I’m hurt, I don’t, because I’m not, I see it for what it is. What I realize is where do they slot as it relates to my time and attention in my world, and that doesn’t mean that if they call me that I won’t answer. That doesn’t mean if they need me that I won’t be there. That doesn’t mean that I won’t check in once a year just to see how they’re doing. But am I going to follow up once a month with people who don’t ever return the effort? Probably not.

Brian Bogert: So it’s really more about understanding where people fit in your life, not saying get rid of them, it’s spend less time with the people that bring you down, and more time with the people who lift you up. That’s what I’m saying. I want to be clear, so that changes the lens on being cutthroat, because it’s not about saying goodbye to people, it’s about allocating energy, time, and attention towards those people in your life that are going to help you on your path.

It’s really more about understanding where people fit in your life, not saying get rid of them, it’s spend less time with the people that bring you down, and more time with the people who lift you up. That’s what I’m saying. I want to be clear, so that changes the lens on being cutthroat, because it’s not about saying goodbye to people, it’s about allocating energy, time, and attention towards those people in your life that are going to help you on your path.

Brian Bogert on cutting people out

Peter Kersting: I appreciate the distinction because I think a lot of people would probably hesitate to do that thinking that that wasn’t fair, but it is, it’s a prioritization of the relationships that are important to you, and therefore, like you said, an investment, it is growth. I can tell from talking to you, intentionality comes up a lot, identity comes up a lot. You talk about having a goal of 2045. You have a long-term vision.

Brian Bogert: Yeah.

Peter Kersting: Do you have a written personal credo, or a tombstone epitaph, or something to that effect?

Brian Bogert: Yeah, and that’s one of the first questions that we work with, everybody that we work with on, is just purpose and legacy, and I know that’s really a coined industry term, it’s overused in a lot of cases, and so for me it’s not just purpose in its own sense, it’s like, what is something, what are words, what are things that we can attach to you that really move you, that really resonate with you? And what I’ll tell you is that most people when you ask purpose don’t know what it is, sorry, don’t know what it is, but know what it’s not.

Brian Bogert: So it’s a matter of really helping refine that, but for me, I won’t go through the whole length of it, but I genuinely believe, and this is interesting, you’re the first person who’s asked me this question since it shifted, and I didn’t even pay attention and slow down long enough when you asked the question to realize until I got to answering the question that it’s changed recently. My purpose hasn’t changed in seven years, it changed the tenses and how I have said it. So I originally started with my purpose is to be a provider. Then it was, my purpose is to provide, and so it shifted not from being a provider to just provide and providing actively on a go forward basis. What I’ve realized though is I’ve lived more into my truth, my purpose has actually found me, I didn’t find my purpose.

Brian Bogert: And so yes, I do now, and the words are not going to be as articulate, because I have evolved it, but I have not written it down yet, because the words have not been to the point where they’ve resonated and moved me yet to know that I want to replace the words on paper, but conceptually I’m in a new direction right now. I believe that my purpose, my credo, my legacy, is to allow my truth to give others permission to live theirs, and I genuinely believe that the pain I’ve endured, I’m a practitioner in pain, the things that I’ve actually had to go through mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically, I’ve moved, I’ve thought about my thinking, I’ve thought about my feeling, I’ve felt my thinking and I’ve felt my feeling in each one of those quadrants. I’ve put a lot of work, I still have a lot of work to do, but what I’ve realized is that true strength actually lies behind vulnerability, and the glue that binds human connection is vulnerability and authenticity.

Brian Bogert: So for me it is truly about allowing my truths, my pains, my vulnerability, my struggle, my stories to give people permission to live theirs, and I believe by doing this it unlocks people to recognize, because I believe the root of all suffering is really based in a couple of different categories. It’s what’s left unsaid, what people don’t feel they have the permission to feel or say, what they don’t have the words to say, or what’s left undone. And so often I’m going to speak in a way that I want to allow my truth to let others feel the connection to my stories, my struggle, my world, because it relates to theirs in a way that they now feel like they can move through their own pains, they can actually feel in order to heal themselves, they can look at the quadrants in their life that need the focus. So my credo, my mission, my legacy, the words will come concrete at some point, but for right now, directionally, my purpose is to be here to let my truth give others permission to live theirs.

Peter Kersting: Wow, thank you for sharing that, I appreciate that a lot, and it’s powerful stuff because even if you talk about the hierarchy of needs, you get to a point, you call it that evolution, where you figure out where you’re going, what your strengths are, what you have the offer to the world, and then you need to do that, so thank you for sharing what you have. And I think this is a good spot for us to start to do a little bit of a transition. There’s a couple terms that really stand out when talking to you, and when reading your bio, that I would like to highlight and ask you what they mean to you.

Brian Bogert: Yep.

Peter Kersting: The first few are perspective, motivation, and direction.

Brian Bogert: So perspective to me is everything. Perspective points us to what’s important, perspective allows us to grow, perspective can hone our focus, perspective can truly give us feedback if we’re listening and paying attention to absorbing it. We’ll talk more on perspective later on in terms of my story and why that’s so important to me.

Peter Kersting: Absolutely.

Brian Bogert: But I will tell you that perspective is the only way for us to truly find a way to unite in anything that we’re doing. So we are all hardwired as human beings, I believe the human experience is rooted in four basic things, to feel safe, to feel protected, those are not the same things, to feel seen and understood, and to feel connected. The only way you can truly understand how to provide that for someone else is to seek perspective. The only way to know who you are holistically is to take account and look at the perspectives in your life, and seek perspective from others so that it’s not just my own internal view, but how do others see and receive me?

Brian Bogert: When we look at any topic in the world that we live in today it’s polarizing and politicized, but it’s because people don’t seek to understand the perspective of the other side, they just sit in their camp of whatever their belief system is. And I don’t say that negatively or critically, but I believe that based around those four things that root the common experience, more often than not the things that we fight about, that polarize us, that politicize everything in this world, we actually have more in common in the middle than we do on the sides. But the problem is we view the world in black and white and the gift is in the gray area. So I believe that perspective allows us to see the gray area and understand it so that we can be truly objective and non-judgmental about alternative viewpoints, but seek to understand what they are. Perspective points us at what’s important. Motivation, and we can stop on perspective, it looks like you were going to say something.

Peter Kersting: Yeah, no, that’s fine, I just, I really want to say, because I think you’re so right, the black and white versus the gray, because in today’s world, as you said, it’s so much you versus me are right in thinking, and it’s not. When you think black and white I think good and bad, but it’s not about good and bad, it’s not about right and wrong, it’s about understanding, and the shift from difference to commonality, a lot of this stuff, it’s a very subtle shift, but a huge change.

Brian Bogert: It is, it is. Ryan Holiday, one of my favorite quotes came from him, and it says, “There is no good or bad without us, there is the event that happens and the story we tell ourselves about it.” And so the truth is is you and I will experience this from two totally different perspectives. We view the world through a different lens, each one of us, and when we change our glasses, by the way, the lens changes real time. But the thing is, is our experience of even this conversation, there is no good or bad, it’s what happened and story we’ve told ourselves about it, like, oh, Peter’s a good host, he asks good questions, he’s been engaging. Oh man, I like how his camera quality seems to have improved. Man, he’s a vocal artist and records in his closet in a lot of cases to be able to record these things, man, listening and having a conversation with him, he does have a very nice voice. That’s my perspective.

Brian Bogert: I know that you’ve got music in the background, you’ve played it, you’ve talked to me about the mural that was on the wall when you moved there. My perspective is how I’m consuming you, but it might not be your perspective. And so it’s the exact same event, but we have two totally different viewpoints on it, and so often, again, conflict arises when there’s resistance or energy drain simply in a difference of perspective, not that what actually happened was different. But because we’re human beings and everything filters through us, if we don’t seek that perspective, we’re only getting a part of the story, we’re only seeing a part of the truth. It’s just our truth, which is okay, but we still have to balance and regulate between the alternative perspectives, and I mean that even intellectually and emotionally; I have an intellectual per and I have an emotional perspective. I have a spiritual perspective and I have a physical perspective. I also have a perceived perspective.

Peter Kersting: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Brian Bogert: Do I know what my five perspectives are on how I’m viewing any situation, am I able to balance and regulate between which one is true right now based on the variables outside of my [inaudible 00:29:01]? Perspective is everything.

Peter Kersting: It is, it is, and so much of it is connected to that credo, or that legacy, or the purpose, or whatever phrase you want to use, because you can recognize how your experience of the world informs your perspective.

Brian Bogert: Correct.

Peter Kersting: I lived in South Korea for a year, and that definitely formed my perspective.

Brian Bogert: No doubt, of course it did.

Peter Kersting: It has to, right, it changed my life for that reason. It’s not a grandiose statement to say, I see the world a different way because of that experience, and because I saw that experience in a positive lens. If you went there and you didn’t enjoy the experience, it still would’ve changed your life, but probably not in a positive way.

Brian Bogert: But that’s why they make chocolate and vanilla ice cream, because we all have different perspectives, and we all have different desires, and we all experience the world differently.

Peter Kersting: Yeah.

Brian Bogert: So that’s what we just have to start paying attention to, there literally is chocolate and vanilla ice cream because we have different tastes. Guess what, we’re human, we have different perspectives, it’s no more complicated than that.

Peter Kersting: Yeah. I love how much energy you put into this, because it gets me fired up just listening to you talk about, and talking about it myself, because this is stuff that I think for most people they don’t spend enough time reflecting on, and it shows when in today’s world all the things going on around us, it’s so easy to get distracted and pulled and tugged and feel like I don’t know where I am and where’s the ground underneath me, and I guess I want to talk a little bit about your experience, your perspective, and especially in regards to the term resiliency. We alluded to it a bit at the beginning of this show, and I’ve been coy and holding off, but I would like to hear you tease it out today, and then we’ll talk about it in full next episode.

Brian Bogert: Okay.

Peter Kersting: Can you tell us your story of resiliency and how that has shaped your life?

Brian Bogert: Yeah, and the thing is I’m going to hit the beginning part of it, but it’s been a process over 30 years of development after that moment. So there’s a lot to unpack that we may have time for today, we may have time for next time, or we may not even get to it all, but let’s start with the beginning, and it’s not the beginning of my life, it’s just the beginning of a really important resilient moment in my life. So I’m going to ask you and anybody who’s listening, unless they’re driving, of course, to just close your eyes for one second, and I promise you I will have you reopen them.

Brian Bogert: I want you to imagine going to a store, having a successful shopping trip. You get to the checkout line, and you think you’re going to breeze through, but you don’t, it stalls, it’s sitting there, it’s not moving. So you move to another line, because that’s what we always do. You do that, and you bounce around, and it takes you 10 minutes to get yourself checked out at the store. And you’ve got something going on the rest of your day, you’re starting to get stressed, a little bit anxious, because you want to get out of there, and those unneeded distractions are things that keep us stuck sometimes. I want you to take that story and put it off to the side in your brain for just a minute. I want you to run a tangential story alongside it.

Brian Bogert: I want you to now envision another successful shopping trip, but this time you breeze through the checkout line. You get out, you’ve got some pep in your step, you’ve got a bright day ahead of you. You walk out those doors, you look up, you’ve got the sun warming your skin, you feel the breeze blowing through your hair. You walk over to your car, and as you’re fumbling in your pocket to grab your keys, you turn your head and you see a truck barreling 40 miles an hour right at you with no time to react. Go ahead and open your eyes, it’s where this portion of my story begins.

Brian Bogert: My mom, my brother, and I went to our local Walmart, we went to get a one inch paintbrush, and then as we were headed back to our car, I was the first one there, I wanted to get home and put that paintbrush to use. My mom and brother were a few feet behind me, and this was back in the days before key fobs, so I had to wait for my mom to literally get the physical key, turn it in the door, so we could go on with our way. And I was standing there, there was a truck that pulled up in front of the store and parked, and the driver and middle passenger got out. Passenger all the way to the right felt the truck moving backwards, so he moved over and put his foot on the brake, but instead hit the gas. A combination of shock and force threw him up on the steering wheel, up on the dashboard, and before you know it he’s catapulting across the parking lot, 40 miles an hour, right at us, with no time to react.

We were in an end spot, he goes up on the median, hits the tree, goes over the tree in the median, hits our car, knocks me over, runs over me diagonally, tore my spleen, left a tire track scar on my stomach, and continued on to completely sever my left arm from my body. So there I am, laying on the parking lot on a 115-degree day in August in Phoenix, horrible accident, mom and brother watched the whole thing happen and they look up and they see my arm laying 10 feet away.

Brian Bogert on his childhood accident

Brian Bogert: We were in an end spot, he goes up on the median, hits the tree, goes over the tree in the median, hits our car, knocks me over, runs over me diagonally, tore my spleen, left a tire track scar on my stomach, and continued on to completely sever my left arm from my body. So there I am, laying on the parking lot on a 115-degree day in August in Phoenix, horrible accident, mom and brother watched the whole thing happen and they look up and they see my arm laying 10 feet away.

Brian Bogert: Fortunately for me, my guardian angel also saw the whole thing happen. Remember that other story I told you to put in the side on your brain? Well it was a nurse that got delayed, and the second she walked out she knew exactly why. She saw the literal life and limb scenario in front of her, and I’m forever indebted to this woman for her choice to go into action versus to go on with her day. She came over and stopped the bleeding on the main wound and saved my life, and she instructed some innocent bystanders to run inside, grab a cooler, fill it with ice and get my detached limb on ice within minutes to give me a fighting chance of also saving my limb.

Brian Bogert: So had it not been for this woman, Peter, I either would not be here with you today, or I’d be here with you today with a cleaned-up stump. And I know that many of the audience was not expecting it to go there today, I have a very, very, very unique story, but what I’ve also realized in all my time of doing this is that we actually all have unique stories. What’s important is that we pause and become aware of the lessons that we can extract from those stories, and then become intentional with how do we apply them in our lives. And we all have the ability to do that, and we also all have the ability to tap into the collective wisdom of other people’s stories to shorten our own curve to learn.

Brian Bogert: So I’ll share with you two primary lessons, and then we’ll see wherever it goes. The first is I learned not to get stuck by what had happened to me, but instead get moved by what I could do with it. And then second I didn’t realize until far later. You see, at 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 years old, although I was the one having surgeries, although I was the one going to therapy, I was also being guided through the process, so I was a little bit in the fog. My parents, however, were not. They were intimately aware of the unceasing medical treatments, years of physical therapy, and the idea of seeing their son grow up without the use of his left arm was a source of great potential suffering for them, so they willed themselves day in and day out to do what was necessary, to do what was tough, to embrace the pains required to ultimately strengthen and heal me.

Brian Bogert: So what they did, whether intentional or not, was ingrain in me a philosophy and a way of living which was to embrace pain to avoid suffering, and I believe that when we do this correctly it’s also where we gain freedom. And so it’s these lessons that I use to not only overcome this unique injury, but how my business partners and I scaled our last business to over 15 million within a span of a decade, and how we’re flipping it on its head, as a human behavior coach and performance coach, to help individuals and organizations just like you, just like the people listening, become more aware, more intentional in who they already are, their most authentic selves.

Brian Bogert: We talked about this a minute ago with prospective motivation and direction, but I believe that’s when the door cracks to those three things, and that’s when we can experience joy, freedom, and fulfillment holistically in our lives. Which again, to read, which is why we’re on this path to impact a billion lives by reducing that level of suffering, because I believe that if we do that successfully, that’s when people can stand on their own two feet, not only confident, but convicted in who they are, knowing the world won’t just accept them, but will embrace them for who they are. I think that’s the path to having a much more beautiful world for my kids and my grandkids. So that’s a little about my origin story brother.

Next week on Alone with Peter

Peter Kersting: Brian Bogert, really powerful stuff, I’m glad you’re here with us today. And for those of you listening, you’re not going to want to miss the next part of this episode, where we get into Brian’s past, and clearly how this tragedy has helped shape the beautiful person he’s become. Stay tuned for that, next Monday on Alone with Peter.

Links for Brian Bogert: Human Behavior and Performance Coach

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