Harmony Over Balance With Dr. Ivan Misner

PR 87 | Harmony

 

People are often told to achieve balance in life. However, for Dr. Ivan Misner, founder and Chief Visionary Officer of BNI and dubbed by CNN as the “Father of Modern Networking,” balance is unachievable. Debunking that myth, Dr. Misner gives us reasons why we should aim for harmony instead of balance. He believes that nobody is perfect and we can’t spin too many plates all at once. He shares with us our need for margins in life, including taking some time apart from your business. Sharing his own journey to success, Dr. Misner talks about where the idea for BNI came from and how he incubated it. He also gives some great advice about thinking back to your why, the importance of resilience in business and life and what it means to reinvent your identity.

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Dr. Ivan Misner on Harmony Over Balance

I am taking a deep breath in gratitude at this moment for the fact that I can take a deep breath at this moment and be grateful. I can’t even imagine anything that would be a better feeling. At this point in my life, I’m yet to find anything that feels better than that other than hugging and squeezing my kids and my wife. To be able to breathe and feel grateful in this moment for everything that’s going on at this moment is a blessing. I always will remind myself of that I hope and be able to have the blessing to remind all of you of it as well. We’re going to have an incredible conversation with somebody that you’re going to learn a lot from. You’re going to very much enjoy his presence. I enjoy his presence and respect him both as a person and as a business leader.

My guest is Dr. Ivan Misner. He is the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of BNI, Business Networking International, the world’s largest business networking organization founded in 1985. The organization now has over 8,400 chapters throughout every populated content of the world. In 2017 alone, BNI generated 9.1 million referrals, resulting in $13 billion in closed business for its members. That’s spectacular. Dr. Misner’s PhD is from the University of Southern California. I’m not going to hold that against him simply because our daughter graduated from UCLA, but there’s a huge rivalry between those two schools. He’s a New York Times bestselling author. He’s written 22 books. He’s also a columnist for Entrepreneur.com. He’s been a university professor as well as a member of the Board of Trustees for the University of La Verne. Called the Father of Modern Networking by CNN and one of the top networking experts by Forbes, Dr. Misner is considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on business networking.

He has been a keynote speaker for major corporations and associations throughout the world. He’s been featured in the LA Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, as well as numerous TV and radio shows, including CNN, BBC, The Today Show and NBC. Among his many awards, he’s been named Humanitarian of The Year by the Red Cross and has been awarded the John C. Maxwell Leadership Award. He is also proud to be the cofounder of the BNI Charitable Foundation. He and his wife, Elizabeth, are now empty nesters, something we’re soon to be, with three adult children. I love learning this because I’ve known Dr. Misner for a number of years, but I didn’t know that he is an amateur magician and also a Black Belt in karate. Welcome to the show.

Thanks for having me on. It’s great to be on your show.

Balance in life is impossible to have; harmony is. Click To Tweet

It’s a pleasure to have you here. That’s a mouthful. Even reading that, I got to believe that a lifetime of concentrated effort went into these things. I would love to know what’s not written in that bio that you would love people to know about you personally?

The one thing that is often brought up when people go deep in an interview is how do you have any balance and have that life? It’s a topic that I rarely talk about. I love that question because it enables me to talk about it. I have what is the secret to balance. Here it is, this is the secret to balance. Forget about balance, you’ll never have it. Inevitably I say that to people. If I’m in a live audience, there’s always somebody up front that goes, “I thought I was going to hear something amazing.” You still might hear something amazing. Especially if you’re an entrepreneur or business person, your life is crazy out of balance. The problem is we look at the concept of balance like lady justice where you have the scales of justice and your life must be in this incredible balance where you’re spending this amount of time on your business and this amount of time on your family and this amount of time on a spiritual life and health. Everything’s got to be completely in balanced. That’s impossible. I don’t even recommend you try to get it. The true answer to the question is I believe in harmony. I believe you can have a life of harmony. Harmony is way different than balance. Even the logo for harmony, the Yin and the Yang, when separated are out of balance. It’s only together that you can create a life of harmony. Although I have not had a very balanced life, I travel extensively. I traveled as my kids were young. I do have a life that I believe is full of harmony.

There are many things that I’ve talked about is to create a life of harmony. If you want to talk about more, I’ll give you more. Here’s one, be here now. Those three simple words make a difference and made a difference in my life. Wherever you are, be fully there. Don’t be at home thinking about that work project that has to get done at the office, be there with your family and with your kids. Don’t be at the office thinking about the fact that you didn’t spend time with your kids. Wherever you are, be fully present at that moment. With that and a number of other techniques, I have had a life of harmony. Even though there are pieces that are out of balance, it’s been a harmonious life for the most part. Nobody’s perfect.

I would say out loud that this was not a setup because Ivan and I did not discuss the setup time. Even Ivan, you don’t know why I’m saying what I’m saying, but for a long while, people have heard me share what you shared. Balance is one of these things that is not quite a fool’s errand, but it’s chasing something elusive that does not exist. Yet somehow the media or wherever it was perpetuated or announced that we should be seeking balance, it’s an interesting thing. Imagine a symbol of balance. The most extreme version of balance would look like the guy that walks between when the Twin Towers stood, the French gentleman that walked between the Twin Towers on a tightrope. You think about both the risk of what would happen if he fell, death and the fact that it is so much work. There’s almost no time when you can even relax and be here now because to lose focus on the high wire is to die. When people set themselves up for that task, it won’t pay them the dividend they are looking for, which is to find peace, to find serenity, to find themselves even.

Your why helps you today, not just back then. Click To Tweet

I appreciate that you brought that up, especially with everything that you’ve been doing in your life and “accomplished” in your life, to debunk the myth that we’re supposed to seek balance, to have it come out of your mouth is a lot more credible than the recovering workaholic that I was because to this day I still work a lot. It’s different because I’m not seeking balance. You can create harmony even in a high-stress environment or an environment where to be an entrepreneur, it’s a never-ending list of things. That’s the understatement of the century. It’s intense.

One last thing I want to plus what you said too, which is with the author of an amazing book called The Presence Process. His name is Michael Brown. He added a couple of words to the “Be here now” mantra or statement. He added the words “in this,” “Be here now in this,” which is what you were saying, “Right now, this moment, how could this moment be anything other than what it is?” We’re either in it and able to learn from it, able to process what’s happening, integrate even the emotional things because that book is mostly a book about our emotional state of being and how much trauma is unresolved in our lives and how it is that we integrate that is the process you described. Thank you so much for sharing that.

People think about multitasking. They’re doing multiple things. They’re trying to keep all these balls in the air or spinning all of these plates. My experience is spin one plate at a time and then start with the next one. That’s a better way to create harmony in your life. Here’s one that a lot of people don’t talk about with harmony. One of the things that I’ve always been a believer in is creating margins in my life. When I am busy, I make sure to have a margin. It’s like in the lines of a paper where I’m not busy. This is my time. This is my family time. This is our time. Here’s a great way that I’ve created margins my entire life is that I always have one day a week traveling. There are exceptions, but almost always one day a week, I call it my mental health day a week. It’s my mental health day. I hang around the pool or I watch movies or I spend time with the family. I don’t go out. Don’t ask me to go out. Don’t ask me to go do something. Beth had a hard time with this when we first got married. It was one of the ways I kept my sanity and kept my focus was having the margin of one day a week to be present.

That’s a radical principle because there are almost no margins in people’s lives. The business life distinction, it’s as if the margins have disappeared.

PR 87 | Harmony

Harmony: Balance is one of these things that is not quite a fool’s errand, but it’s chasing something elusive that does not exist.

 

I see a lot of people who are miserable. They’re working and working. They are miserable. It’s not easy, but it’s possible to do.

We were talking before about some of the people that have influenced us. I mentioned Emmet Fox. He passed away in the ‘50s but still, his message has applicability today. He interpreted the Bible. That’s a Bible. It’s a biblical principle that there’s one day of rest. Even God himself took a day. Who are you not to take it? Who am I? I’m nothing compared to that. I’d love for you if you would bring us back in time to a pivot moment, something that you’ve learned. What you’ve shared already, the idea that we’re looking to create harmony. That harmony is something we can seek and balance as this whirlpool, if you will. They’re creating margins in our lives, for ourselves, for our own self-care. It’s one of those things that will contribute to our success. Take us to a time in your life when maybe you didn’t feel harmony, whether it was something to do with business or personal things or health? What it is that was like for you? What did you learn in the process that informed you forward?

How far do you want to go back?

Do you want to go back to birth? We’ve had people go that far.

If you don’t continue forward, you’ll never succeed. Click To Tweet

The biggest pivot moment in my life was long before I started BNI. I was a young man in high school. It was probably the biggest pivot moment for me. Everybody talks about understand your why and talk about your why. My biggest pivot moment has become my why. Why do I do the things that I do today? It was a real epiphany when I went deep and thought about this. I was thirteen years old. I had run for student council in junior high school. I lost every time. I ran twice and lost. I didn’t lose, I was decimated. I wasn’t just decimated, I was dead last. I was the laughing stock of the school. It’s like, “Misner is going to run again. What an idiot.” I lost. Usually in high school that you run for student council the year before, but as a freshman, you had to do it the very first couple of weeks of school. Here we were as a freshman, I had run and lost in junior high. I’m a freshman. They selected the student council from the freshman history class.

The history teacher, Mr. Romero, changed my life. Mr. Romero said, “We’re open for nominations for student council. You can nominate someone or you can volunteer. Is anyone interested?” I remember sitting back, “I’m not going to do that. Been there, done that. I’m out.” I’d love to do it but it’s very painful. He said, “Anybody.” I swear I’m not making this up. Cindy, one of the cheerleaders stood up and she said, “Mr. Romero, I’d run but I’m so busy in cheerleading that I don’t have the time to do this.” Mr. Romero is like, “Thanks. I appreciate you telling me that.” He said, “If nobody is going to run, I get to pick. Are you okay with that?” I’m saying, “I don’t care. Whoever you want.” Mr. Romero looks around the room and he stops at me and he says, “Ivan, I bet you’d like to do this, wouldn’t you?” I said, “Mr. Romero, yes, I’d like to do that.” He said, “Ivan, is the student council representative.” I swear to you, the entire class at one time says, “No, not Ivan. Anybody but Ivan.” Cindy stands up. I swear Cindy stayed up and says, “Mr. Romero, if you’re going to pick, I’ll do it, I’ll run.” I remember sitting there thinking, “Wow, these are my peers.” Do they have any idea how hurtful that is? I was a thirteen-year-old boy. I didn’t have a crystal ball. I didn’t know that I would create a global organization, I’d be a New York Times bestselling author. I didn’t know any of that. I knew my peers didn’t respect me very much. That’s an understatement.

Mr. Romero was amazing. He said, “No, you empowered me to make the decision. Ivan is the student council representative. Turn your books to Chapter Two, page 35.” We were off to the races. I remember the rest of that year wanting to make him proud because he gave me an opportunity, one that I always wanted to have but didn’t have. I wanted to do the absolute best job I could possibly do so he could feel good about that decision he made. At the end of that year, that same class who said, “No, not Ivan,” elected the sophomore class and that class elected me. It’s the same class that said, “No, not Ivan.” I ended up being Student Body President four years later. It changed my life. It became my why because I realized that almost every business when I went back in time and thought about this experience, it hit me almost every business I’ve ever started was about helping someone be their best. That’s what BNI was. I can’t make anyone successful in piano. You joined BNI. It’s up to you. You’ve got to do the hard work, but I can give you the process. I can give you the opportunity. I can give you this system, but you’ve got to do the hard work. Almost every business I’ve started after that experience has been to do that. That was my pivot moment. It was given to me by a very thoughtful teacher who saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself.

PR 87 | Harmony

Pivot: The Art and Science of Reinventing Your Career and Life

It’s clearly a pivotal moment. I’ve shared with you before that I was a BNI chapter president in Woodbridge, New Jersey long ago when my lawyering was my day gig. I’m fascinated. We’ve never discussed how it is that you incubated the idea where BNI came from, what that was all about, were you doing something else at the time. Would you take us back to that moment? There are a lot of people certainly in this community who are entrepreneurial, some have day jobs and are doing something entrepreneurial on the side. It’s a side hustle for them. Others are full-time entrepreneurs doing their thing and looking for the big one. Bring us back to that time.

If I could add one thing to the previous story because I want to give a takeaway for people. It’s important for you to think back about your why, what happened in your life that changed the direction of your life and how it’s impacting what you’re doing today. When you understand those pivot moments, then you are better able to talk to people about how you are qualified to help them in some way. Your why helps you today, not just back then. I’d like to tell you I had this vision of an international organization, but the truth is I needed some referrals for my consulting practice. I had a group of friends I wanted to help. We got together. We started passing referrals to each other. Someone came up who couldn’t join because we only take one person per professional classification. You remember as an attorney that you can maybe have two or three different kinds of attorneys in the group. It’s limited based on professional classification. Her classification was taken.

She asked me if I’d help her open up her own group. I said, “No, this isn’t what I do. I’m a business consultant.” She said, “This is helping me build my business and that’s what you do.” I’m like, “There it is, yes.” At the first meeting of her group, several people came who couldn’t join because of the classification conflict. They asked me to help them open it. I ended up opening twenty chapters the first year by accident. It was at that point that I realized I had struck a chord in the business community. We don’t teach networking in colleges and universities. That was the point in which I sat down and created the plan to make BNI be national, if not international. We now have 8,556 chapters in 73 countries around the world.

I have been an entrepreneur since I was fifteen. You started early, what was the age when you began on the business track? Was it after college?

In junior high, I sold Suckers. That’s where I found regulations are problematic because I had to walk to school. I missed the bus one day.

You’ve got to reinvent yourself so that you’re passionate about what you’re doing. Click To Tweet

Were you that guy that ran on the platform of, “We’re going to bring Coke machines in?”

I probably would have, but I’ll tell you what happened. I lost in junior high. What I did was I had to walk to school one day and there were these big Suckers. It cost a nickel, $0.05. It was back in 1970. I showed up to school and I had a whole bag of them. Someone said, “I’ll give you $0.10 for that.” I’m like, “Sure.” I had a 50% margin there.

I was saying you were in the arbitrage business before you knew it.

I’m selling all these Suckers. One day I got called in by the principal. They’re lollipops. The principal called me in and he said, “Ivan, you can’t sell lollipops. You can’t sell candy in school, so you’ve got to stop now.” I said, “Really? You can’t sell any candy?” He said, “No.” I said, “What about that fundraiser that we did this year when we sold candy for the school?” He’s like, “That’s different.” I’m like, “How’s it different? It’s your candy versus my candy.” He said, “Do you want to get suspended?” I’m like, “Fine.” That’s when I found out the government regulation can make business difficult.

PR 87 | Harmony

Harmony: An entrepreneur is either working in their flame or working in their wax.

 

How important is resilience in the process? How would you define what resilience is to you in business and in life? The thing at this point for me is if you don’t continue forward, not so much endurance, but the ability to continue to find out and explore and iterate new things and innovate. If you cannot do that, you’ll never succeed, let alone thrive in business or in many other areas of life. What’s your experience of resilience? How would you define that?

I may not be the smartest man in the room when I walk in. I may not be the most talented man in a room, but I am almost always the most persistent man in a room. I’m the most determined man in a room. For me, resilience involves being like a dog with a bone on something. If you’ve got a problem in life, what you want to do is look for alternatives to achieve that objective. Resilience doesn’t mean giving up. To me, it doesn’t mean giving up, it means trying it a different way because if this didn’t work, then try this. If that didn’t work, then try that. If that doesn’t work, then try this. That’s what resilience is because if you’re a man on a mission, if you’re a person on a mission, then you want to accomplish that. Try it from different angles and be persistent as heck.

My dad is a writer. We were talking about family and parents and things. My dad is 81 and has written dozens of books and plays. He’s been published and all that but has never had that big huge success, at least not a commercial success with his writing. He’s a creative writer. It’s all fiction. From the time that I was very young, earliest memories of him typing at night, keys on the old typewriter, music playing, him editing constantly for years and years. His persistence has been one of the biggest influences in my life. You brought that up, persistence, determination. Even for me as a lawyer, tenacity. I was routinely up against much bigger firms but because of the level of my tenacity, I would win or they would pay my client money because they said, “This guy is sending me paper this Saturday.” In New York City, you could put things in the mail. The Post Office was open until midnight. At 11:50 PM, you could have postmarked papers. I would routinely be sending things out at odd hours of the day and night to show the other person, whatever it takes, that kind of thing. What I found is that lead for me to burn out.

For example, I practiced law for eighteen years and at a certain point when I pivoted, which is what that initially was the catalyst for the book, Pivot. It was the fact that I had become detached on some level from my heart. I was disconnected from my heart because all I did was work and all I did was eat, breathe, sleep, beating the other guy or being more persistent than the other guy. The book that we’re incubating right now is called Embrace. It’s a book about change. It’s all about how to utilize change. The path to that ability is through our definition of resilience. In that context, we look at resilience as holistic, mental, emotional, spiritual and physical resilience. What can you say? What are your thoughts on the other areas, whether it’s your habits or your rituals or the way that you approach life and business to create resilience?

If you are passionate about what you are doing, you are going to be the best. Click To Tweet

I can answer that question by addressing your comment about you have at some point felt burned out on all the work, eighteen years of doing something. It’s important that people reinvent themselves. I love BNI. I love what I’ve created. I am humbled by what it has become. I got sick and tired of dealing with the day-to-day stuff of running a global company. An entrepreneur is either working in their flame or working in their wax. When they’re working in their flame, they’re excited, they’re passionate, they love what they’re doing. You can hear it in their voice. You can see it in the way they act. When they’re working in their wax, it takes all their energy away. My flame for 30 years over that three-year period became my wax, building a franchise organization became my wax. It was time to reinvent myself. That happens, long before 30 years. Usually, it didn’t happen for me before 30 years, but that’s when I was able to make the full switch. Bringing in partners to the company, my CEO now loves running the company. God bless him. He’s great at it. I’m doing my flame. What’s my flame? This is my flame, doing interviews, writing, working with the media, speaking to audiences, that’s my flame today. I’m the Colonel Sanders of BNI now. I love to do it.

You’ve got the hair for it. You’ve got the beard.

I’ve got to shave the beard.

PR 87 | Harmony

Who’s in Your Room: The Secret to Creating Your Best Life

I’m letting mine grow for a little bit here.

Let me tell you. I had a goatee for many years, but my wife was gone for a week and I didn’t feel like shaving, so I didn’t shave. My wife of almost 30 years comes home and she looks at me and she goes, “I like it. You’re very distinguished.”

When your wife says that to you, it’s a keeper.

That’s the key. You’ve got to reinvent yourself so that you’re passionate about what you’re doing. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing, you’re going to be your best.

In Pivot: The Art and Science Of Reinventing Your Career In Life, we talk about identity. I want to get your thoughts on this. People have been through all kinds of tests. They had been to personal development seminars. It’s a search of their passion. I’ve heard some people talk recently, billionaires speak about this idea of passion and how important it is. Yet at the same time in business, success comes from opportunistic investment and in following your gut from a business standpoint, not necessarily from a standpoint of what’s your passion. I want to tie to that this idea that people are searching for that thing that represents their identity, their reason for being born and the thing that they’re supposed to be doing in the world. I’ve stood on stages and share that message with many people over the years. I’m not contradicting it but I’m questioning it because to me, I don’t know that we’re born with an identity. That identity is what we are for our lives. When you talked about in high school and wanting to have some role of leadership and not being able to accomplish that without the assistance of someone else who looked at you and saw in you something or at least was willing to support you. Your identity at eighteen, your identity at 28, your identity at 52 or 70 is different. That’s my theory. Do you buy into that? If so, is that how you talk about when you say reinvention, are you talking about what is your identity now at this stage in your life?

As long as you are living your passion, you might not have a lot of change over time. Click To Tweet

Everybody’s identity changes over time. There no question about that. Mine has in many ways, but there’s another issue and that is where are you living your passion before? BNI has been my passion for 33 years. In the last 33 years, has my identity changed? Probably not a lot. There’s always change but probably not a lot, but my role within the organization has changed. The question is, are you living your passion? As long as you’re living your passion, you might not have a lot of change over time. It’s the people that are living their day-to-day life in this indentured servitude of a job and they’re not happy. They have to make this massive change of who they are in order to be happy and passionate about what they do like I did, where it was the same business and same identity, but I wanted to get out in a different role. Does that make sense?

It makes perfect sense because I do think we can confuse our identity with our role. People will identify themselves as a mother, as a father, as a son, a daughter or whatever or as a CEO or as something else. The “role” or roles that we play in our life have a lot to do with how we think about who we are in the world. You’ve posted an important question, which is what is your true identity? What is that? That’s a question we ask. I think about that myself quite often. Whether it is that what you do is your identity or is it something else?

If what you do is a job, it’s probably not what you consider to be your identity. Those are the people that are often saying, “Why am I doing this? How much money do I need?” On the other hand, some people, their identity is about making money. They’re happy doing that. Other people, they’re not. Making money at some point isn’t as important as living the life that you want to live.

How many people do you know without naming names that have success in societally accepted terms? They have a lot of money. They have wealth, but they’re miserable. They have crap relationships. Their body is quitting on them. Their kids don’t talk to them and any number of other things that would be inharmonious.

PR 87 | Harmony

Harmony: You may feel that you are not able to make a world of difference, but you can make a difference in the world.

 

Many of them are in positions of teaching other people how to have an amazing life. I’m sure we have some of the same names. It’s like, “Here, take my advice. I’m not using it. You use it.” There are people like that.

Share a little bit about now where it is that you’ve pivoted and reinvented because you are the chief visionary officer for the company that you founded. You’ve got somebody who is your operator, which was something that you were no longer in love with doing operate and this guy is in love with it. I know you mentioned some of the things you’re actively engaged in. Speak about the foundation, speak about things that you are truly passionate about that represents the pivot forward for you.

Certainly, the foundation is one of them, the BNI Foundation. Beth and I created the Misner Family Foundation. I can’t tell you as a business person what to do, but I can speak for myself. I believe I have an obligation to put back into the communities from which I draw. Beth and I have supported many causes mostly related to children and education. We’ve made a difference in a lot of people’s lives. There’s never enough money to do it all. Here’s my attitude about it. As an individual, you may feel you may not be able to make a world of difference, but you can make a difference in the world. You do that one kid at a time, one scholarship at a time, one bit of assistance at a time. You heard me talk about Mr. Romero and how he’s in my story. We all have people in our story, all of us. The real question at some point in your life is not who’s in your story, but whose story are you in? That’s the real question. Whose life are you making a difference in where they say, “This person changed my life,” because they did this little thing or this massive thing or whatever it is they did. It’s not who’s in your story that matters as you get older, it’s whose story are you in? It’s about contributing to others. That’s what the BNI Foundation and the Misner Foundation do. I’m excited about that. I’m excited about new books I’m working on. There are a lot of things.

Is there a book that you’ve got coming out that you’d like to share?

If what you do is a job, it’s probably not what you consider to be your identity. Click To Tweet

There’s probably a book out this year. I’ll share you a little bit with you. You may have heard Stewart Emery or myself talk about it at a Transformational Leadership Council. Adam and I are both members of an organization called the Transformational Leadership Council. Stewart Emery is my co-author with this book, Who’s In Your Room? Have you heard Steward talk about Who’s In Your Room?

I haven’t yet, no.

Imagine that you live your life in one room. That one room has one door and that one door is an enter-only door so that when people come into your life, they’re there forever. You can never get them out. Luckily this is a metaphor but if this were true, Adam, would you be more selective about the people that you’ve led into your life over the years?

Can I say yes, underscore, capitalize?

The real question at some point in your life is not “who is in your story”, but “whose story are you in?” Click To Tweet

That’s what everybody says. Everyone we’ve ever talked to has said, “Yes, I’d be a lot more careful.” Why aren’t we more careful? I would argue with you that this is more than a metaphor. Even though you think they are out of your life, they’re still in your head. If they’re still in your head, they’re in your room because the decisions you make in the future will to a large extent be based on the good experiences and bad experiences that you had over your lifetime. It will be based on the people that you have allowed into your room. Even though you think they’re out of your life, they’re still in your head. If they’re in your head, they’re in your room. Now that you understand the room and the concept, how do you screen people from coming in and how do you deal with the people that you should have never let in, to begin with? How do you live the life of your dreams? This is the first self-help book I’ve done. I’ve done it with a master, Stewart Emery. We’re excited about it. It’s a quick read, 15,000 words.

One quick question about that because I feel like it’s a thread I want to follow. How does forgiveness play into that? Do you address forgiveness? I know I’m thinking about, I’m sure people are, what do you do with people who are in your room because they were in your room ten years ago or two years ago or whatever it is? They’re there because it’s the room up here in between your ears.

We say they’re still in there. You basically put them in a box and put them on a shelf. That’s what my mom used to tell me when I was a kid. If you got something going on in your head, you’ve got to stick it in a box and put it on the shelf. It will still be there, but you’ve got to compartmentalize it. We talk about some specific techniques on how to compartmentalize those kinds of people. Forgiveness is a very spiritual thing that you need to focus on. That’s not a direction that we went in the book, but maybe in one of the sequels.

What’s one of the rituals that you’ve got to practice that assists you? People know that we’re talking about master habits, things we do consciously. Is there a ritual that you’ve got that’s helped you both to be resilient? Let’s stick with resilience. What’s one of those rituals that you have?

I’m a believer in a contemplative time either through meditation or what I do daily, probably six days, seven days a week. I have built out a steam shower in every home that I’ve lived in for the last 35 years. One of my daily rituals is to sit in the steam shower and contemplate. It’s amazing how many answers have come to me to problems that I’ve had in my life where I’m sitting in the steam and not even thinking about the problem and it hits me. This is what I needed to do on this thing that’s been on my mind for a long time. It’s a contemplative practice that I’ve had for a good 35 years. It’s literally daily.

Thank you so much for sharing that. We started with gratitude and that’s where we’ll conclude this, reminding ourselves how important it is that we can be grateful in this moment for something. If you’re doubting that, recognize that at this moment where we’re breathing, whatever it is you guys are doing, you’re consuming this content and taking a deep breath. As you do that, as you receive that conscious breath, there are people who are taking their very last breath at this moment. It’s a moment that is like no other. It’s certainly not guaranteed. We’re not guaranteed the next breath either. I want to express my intention with love that each of you, Ivan to you, to Beth, to your family, certainly to the people that I know as well that we all get to wake up tomorrow. It’s not a guarantee but that we get to wake up. We get to experience gratitude in that waking moment knowing that’s not guaranteed and not everybody is getting that moment in time.

There are powerful words that we can start our day with. I am reminding myself of those words as I say them and reminding all of you that the way you begin your day is very powerful. As a ritual, the first seeds that you plant in the soil in the morning are very powerful. Wake up, be in gratitude. Lastly, if you’re willing to say these words out loud say, “I love my life. I love my life. I love my life.” Ivan, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you so much. I’m looking forward to the new book and appreciating you and all the work you’re doing in the world. Thank you.

Thank you, Adam. I love my life.

Thank you again.

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About Dr. Ivan Misner

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Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization. Founded in 1985 the organization now has over 8,400 chapters throughout every populated continent of the world. Last year alone, BNI generated 9.1 million referrals resulting in $13.1 billion in closed business for its members.

Dr. Misner’s Ph.D. is from the University of Southern California. He is a New York Times Bestselling author who has written 22 books. He is also a columnist for Entrepreneur.com and has been a university professor as well as a member of the Board of Trustees for the University of La Verne.

Called the “Father of Modern Networking” by CNN and one of the “Top Networking Experts” by Forbes, Dr. Misner is considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on business networking and has been a keynote speaker for major corporations and associations throughout the world. He has been featured in the L.A. Times, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times, as well as numerous TV and radio shows including CNN, the BBC and The Today Show on NBC.

Among his many awards, he has been named “Humanitarian of the Year” by the Red Cross and has been awarded the John C. Maxwell Leadership Award. He is also proud to be the Co-Founder of the BNI Charitable Foundation. He and his wife, Elisabeth, are now “empty nesters” with three adult children. Oh, and in his spare time!! he is also an amateur magician and a black belt in karate.

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