Keeping every aspect of our lives in perspective is a skill we must learn so that we can achieve that perfect alignment between our intellectual, emotional, physical, and spiritual self. David Corbin has learned the ability to see the patterns of this alignment that allows him to be the best he can each day. He shares how his morning rituals makes him enter into his flow state to feel grounded, fortified, and move on to serve more.
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Entering The Flow State Through Conscious Gratitude with David Corbin
I am thrilled as I am every day to be awake and alive and I hope you feel the same way. I’ve got a real special treat for you. We’re going to chat and have an incredible and a lively conversation with a dear soul, a person who’s a new friend of mine. Somebody that I don’t know very well, but what I do know about him, I absolutely adore because he’s one of these rare breeds. He’s a very real person. He’s had vast experience in business. He runs some of the most famous, well-known, well-received and successful marketing campaigns. He’s a mentor. He’s an advisor to many business executives and thought leaders around the world. He himself is somebody that has great wisdom. He could probably describe himself in less glowing terms because he’s also a humble man. He’s somebody that I respect and you’re going to learn a great deal from. He’s somebody that has an incredible pivot story. I’m going to ask this gentleman to introduce himself and share a little bit about himself from the standpoint of how he’s impacted other people’s lives, how he’s impacted the world.
Without further ado, Mr. David Corbin, thank you for being on The Conscious Pivot podcast.
I’m a guy with a baseball and a lot of rich life experiences. I’m often introduced as a keynote speaker and as an inventor and an author and a business owner and entrepreneur and a puppet, a pauper, a pirate. I’m not all those things. I do them but I am, I be, I are an embodied spirit and I try to get in touch with that spirit as often as possible, keeping that quadrinity together, the spiritual as well as the physical, the emotional and intellectual together. I try to have the emotional and the intellectual get the hell out of the way, so the spiritual can manifest and I’m doing a pretty good job of it.
Sometimes people say, “I want to get out of my own way.” In fact, one of the things that’s pretty interesting topic, subject matter being written about, talked about is this idea of how do you get into flow state, so no accidents. You bring up the baseball word, talking around the sports thing, and when it comes to sports, getting in the flow, getting out of your head. By no coincidence at all, I have on my desk this old book that I’m finishing up a read of that’s about 18 million years old, and I read it when I was about 18 million years younger. I’m revisiting it now because there’s an incredible then wisdom guidance in here about getting out of your way. We’re talking about the Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey, an old book but an incredible book on the side of, “How do your two cells work together? How do you get into that space where your true self, the one that you can trust, is doing the work and you’re not thinking about it, judging it, egoizing it, etc.?”
That’s the distinction. You see what we thought then what this “true self,” we’re finding that there is more and the best that I’ve found is that quadrinity. I would offer that when you look at four components, you’re not going to get yourself out of the way because people say, “We’re going to get yourself out of the way,” because yourself is yourself. You can’t get it out of their way. You want to keep things in perspective and in percentages. When you identify the intellectual self as well as the emotional self, the physical self and the spiritual self, and realize that it’s usually the emotional self that’s at the steering wheel. When you can get them aligned and allow for the emotional self and the intellectual self to have faith that the spiritual self moving unconsciously much like it’s digesting this morning’s breakfast, only then will you be able to enjoy and tap into the flow, the F word. I love that F word.
I love playing tennis. I play tennis about four times a week and I run a 5K every Saturday and that’s when you go into the flow. On the tennis court, I was effing up my flow by being in here. I needed to draw my circle of greatness for the service line, envision myself, my highest peak state, step into that and serve like a mofo. It was great and it works. We lose it sometimes. We step out of flow. Someone who you know owes me money and has owed me money for a long time, and I was getting very resentful of her. I was going into a state. I don’t need that money but I didn’t want to be used, so I fell out of flow in and out of state until I caught myself and sent a text. The text said “May God bless you with all that you wish for.” It blew my mind. Then I texted some love to her and we ended a very difficult situation on a loving note. We fall out of it.
I’ve had a word in my mind and then you said it, which is that when we talk about the flow and the idea, are we getting out of our own way or getting out of the way of ourselves? How do we do that when we’re always with ourselves, like it or not? The word allowing was coming up for me and then you said this idea that we allow. That’s what comes up in this book, which is so beautiful. It is the idea of how it is that we can allow ourselves to be our best. For example, on the tennis court, we know what it takes. You’ve picked up a racket before, you know what the shots look like, you’ve watched enough tennis to see what it look like the way they’re supposed to look, or what they look like when they’re effective and when you can execute at a very high level. You know what that looks like and you’re physically capable of executing that shot of hitting the perfect serve, the ace of spinning it the way you want to spin it, all that stuff.
When we think about it, when our thinking self, the ego self, the self that is the instructor, the self that is the critic, the self that is the one in judgment is in that driver’s seat, we know what happens. We grip the racket a little too tightly. We’re thinking about something like “Make sure you hear a snap. Snap your wrist,” just as you’re tossing the ball for you serve, and the last thing you think is “Snap that wrist.” In which case you don’t snap your wrist, you’re stiff. Sure enough, that tightness turns into the ball hitting the top of the net for double faults or whatever it is. When you’re not the instructor, the critic, the judge, you allow your knowing self to simply show up and do its thing, then the flow state can occur. Thank you for saying that word allowing.
We talk in terms of muscle memory. People talk about muscle memory, trust in your muscle memory, that’s BS. It’s soul and spirit memory. Because my muscles are energy which is tied into the universal force as though I’ve got an extension cord on my too shy going all the way down to the center of the earth and I’m plugged in. When you allow for that, you build a muscle. You build the muscle that’s great and groovy, but that’s energy. When you get out of the way of that, you allow for that energy to happen, so then you go into a Zen state. We’re talking about tennis but it could be many other things. I work closely with speakers like Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy. These guys can get out from a deep sleep and they can do what they do without thinking going into that Zen light of flow state. When you say the ego gets in the way and you have these voices and whatnot, they’re not your voices, they’re someone else’s voices. They’re often childhood admonitions and beliefs that came from someone telling you filthy rich never amount to anything. When you let go of that, when you identify those patterns, source those patterns, bash and replace those patterns, forgive those patterns, you could then move into the state of flow.
I went and gave a speech at our friend Greg Reid’s house and there was an elite group of people that we’re interviewing, a bunch of billionaires, and looking at some wealth hacks and whatnot. I got there late. I have just flown in from the East Coast. By the time I got there, I was a little bit tired but I was in state. I was in state of love and joy and flow and sharing and so I spoke briefly. Then a gentleman came up to me and we had a conversation. He owns a ship that has discovered over $500 million in shipwreck, coins and whatnot, an amazing guy. I didn’t know him but he knew me, and then we had a brief conversation we’re going to get together. He said, “If you’re going to be down in Tampa, please do me the honor. I have a beach house and an ocean front house. If I’m not around, would you please stay in one of them?” I said, “I am touched by your generosity. We don’t even know one another very well.” Here’s what he said, “In the first 30 seconds that we met, I knew you, I felt you and I have no hesitation but rather joy in offering my homes to you.” What that meant to me at the deepest level, and this might sound ego, but I don’t care if it’s not coming from ego, is that I was expressing my soul, the ultimate namaste, the ultimate Om Namah Shivaya. Om, the primordial sound, Namah with deepest respect, Shivaya, the god within. There was an immediate connection.
I look at that as a cool report card because we connected, we got each other. In my estimation, perhaps it was induced by fatigue, the emotional self, intellectual self and the physical self was out of the way for the spiritual self to manifest. To the entrepreneurs, isn’t that what we want? What do we want? How is Steve Jobs spending his money this afternoon? He’s not. What do we want? I have fun when I do my mentoring, “Find out what do you want.”
What I love about the pivot topic is that it is so synergistic or relevant to everything. I’m thinking pivot because that’s a pivot in mindset. It’s a pivot in how you conceptualize the world, how you frame and see the world, and we’re meaning-giving machines, so our life is a product of the meaning that we associate to our experiences. That’s why two people that have been devastated by something in their life can see and feel it so differently, and therefore the results they live are so different.
I’m pissed off about you and Pivot because you captured what has been so important to me in words and damn in, why didn’t I do that first? All kidding aside, your book is there. I’m in a cottage on the back of my property here, which is my office, and over there is my library and in that library is the book called Pivot. It caused me to look back and unpack my world to some of the major pivot points since then through cosmic consciousness, through coincidence, through bashert, which is a technical term of “meant to be,” I’ve looked back and seen some of those pivots and I found a journal that I wrote, I could almost cry thinking about this. In 1984 and 1985, when I found it put me back into a memory and state of one of the most amazing pivots of my life.
Grace, that’s the word that comes to me. There are so many things that we get to appreciate and sometimes that unexpectedly big, and sometimes they’re so small, the state of being in appreciation for those types of miracles. That’s a miracle, to pull out something from long ago like that just by “coincidence.” Would you share a little bit about that? Would you share a pivot tale from your crypt with us?
I got to tell you the definition that some of us have adopted about the word coincidence. Coincidence is a miracle in which God chooses to remain anonymous. God doesn’t play peek-a-boo very well. When you see God’s fingerprints all over these things and you go, “This is no effing coincidence. This is by grace. This is a transformative pivot and consciousness.” I just became a grandpa for the first time on Mother’s Day, so I have my first grandchild ever living on the East Coast. In anticipation of going out there, I remembered that in meeting and getting to know Peter Yarrow from Peter, Paul and Mary, I had him sign a book to the baby. I didn’t know what the baby’s name was going to be, so it was to the Baby Corbin because this is going to be my son’s child. Bottom line is six years ago I had this book signed and another one by Jay Leno. I couldn’t find the books. I tore my garage apart to find these books. I finally did. Honestly to this moment, my garage is in shambles because I pulled books down from all over the place. While I was looking for that, this is the way to go, I found this journal. I don’t journal often but I did then and this was at a time when I owned a business.
I started a company years ago and I expanded it from zero, from $100 investment to twelve offices in twelve states with many salespeople. We expanded and I was at a point where we over-expanded and undercapitalized and we were either going to sell the business or lose the business. The house that I’m in right now, which I bought when I was 29 years old, I turned 65 years old, I was going to lose. With a pregnant wife and a couple of miscarriages beforehand, I could not share my angst with her and hence the pivot. I was like a petri dish for God. We use a petri dish because it’s easy to grow stuff and I was at that petri dish stage. I was wide open and as a kid who didn’t think about God much as a young man then at 34, although in the journal I wrote down, “I’m 35. What the hell am I going to do? Am I going to be able to find another career, occupation, whatever? I’m 35. I’m over the hill.” I’m thinking back, that was 30 years ago, and I’d laugh about it. I was at that point. I went deep and I was scared shitless. The bottom line is I was able to then sell the business and stay on.
It needed to happen because in the journal, after it all happened and I sold the business and I had to stay on as president. The company called Bertelsmann came into the United States from what was then called West Germany. They’d bought RCA records and Arista records and Doubleday Books, Dell Books and Bantam Books. They bought my company, which was a little smaller than the other companies. Nonetheless, I had to stay on as the President and it sucked because of the bureaucracy and I’m an entrepreneur. I like to get things done. They wanted a meeting on top of meeting. The bottom line is I got out of that not knowing that it was one of the greatest gifts of my life. Now I know when the fit hits the sham, it’s called opportunity that God is taking me to the next thing. I know when somebody’s going through shit, I can congratulate them and say, “Congratulations. You’re obviously ready for the next pivot in your life,” but I didn’t know that and it was like a train coming at you. Mom says be careful to wear clean underwear in case you get in a car accident. I was like “If I see a car coming at me, first thing I’m going to say it, and then I’m going to do it,” but I didn’t know.
In that journal, I talked about my feelings. I was talking to my children, “Your dad is away Monday through Friday. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. I love you so. Jen, you’re growing this way.” I’m talking to my infant son before he is born. Then later on I said, “I sold the business,” and I was scared for no good reason because my friend Ken Blanchard suggested that I contact Tony Alessandra, Denis Waitley, and Brian Tracy and others to see if I can team up and work with them. Every one of them said yes, they wanted to make an offer to me. I teamed up with this guy named Brian who’s a good guy, his last name is Tracy and now we’re partners in the business. We created some amazing stuff together. Prior to that I was so concerned, “What am I going to do? I’m an old man. I’m 36 years.” It’s bizarre because at that time we had something called the Phoenix Seminar on the Psychology of Achievement and of course, out of the burning ashes arises the phoenix and that was me, but I didn’t know that. We were pregnant with Benjamin at the time, and in order to create a baby, there’s going to be some stretch marks, there’s going to be tearing, and there’s going to be a lot of pain in order to birth something magnificent. I didn’t know that.
I know that when somebody’s going through a whole pile of crap in their life, I go, “Congratulations. It’s obviously your pivot point for transformation.” It’s then that we become that inverse paranoid. The paranoid believes the world is conspiring to hurt them, but the inverse paranoid believes the world is conspiring to help them. You then know when the fit hits the sham, it’s usually an opportunity because you know something groovy is going to be birthed. Whether that’s right or wrong, you can go out to crock, “What are you smoking?” Whether it’s right or wrong, and I believe it’s right, how can you go wrong by expecting the best?
You and I are into rituals. I can tell you about my ritual some time but expecting the best. Forget about it. From that experience, I learned when I would drop my son off at the Montessori School that Tony Gwynn’s family and my family built here in Poway, I would say to him, “Benny, something wonderful is going to happen.” He goes, “What is it, daddy?” “I don’t know but when you come home, tell daddy what it was.” He’d go, “Okay but what is it?” “I don’t know,” and he’d come home and I say “Benny, what was it? What happened that was so cool?” He goes, “I wanted the red lollipop, but they gave me the green one. That was good too because I liked the green one better than the red one,” so there it is. Seek and you shall find. Now when stuff happens, I look for that pony in the pile of poop because there’s got to be one in there.
That’s the alchemy. The fact that nothing in the universe goes to waste. That’s my firm belief. My knowing is that nothing ever is wasted. There’s nothing that the Source created without a reason, a purpose, and it doesn’t go to waste. It’s looking at the cow patty and seeing one side of it as the stuff you don’t want to step in and you don’t want to smell and you don’t want to look too close yet, but on the underside of it is life itself, it’s feeding, feeding the earth, and feeding other creatures. What a beautiful analogy, being pregnant with transformation that when the shit is happening or change is happening and the fear shows up as to the unknown, what it will all mean? Will I be okay? Will I lose my home? Will I lose my self-respect? Will I finally be proven without a shadow of a doubt that I am a loser like my so–and-so said to me? All of those thoughts that come up, and knowing in that moment that it’s a congratulatory moment because you’re pregnant for transformation.
I want to remind you as I do my clients, this little animal inside of you, this dark animal inside of you that feeds on negativity. Once you give it a taste, it’s like sugar. It makes you want more. It wants more and it looks around. What happens in those situations is when we’re in a negative situation, this is key and this is a specific how-to. If our conversation were a book, this is the breakout page, it is that when you go through that stuff, you wake up that little negative being in there and it goes, “It’s feeding time. Sugar rush.” It starts eating and it starts looking around for negative stuff and there’s plenty to see. Those cobwebs in the corner, and there’s this “That person wasn’t very nice.” When you allow that to take over, you will not see that beautiful transformation opportunity. Here’s the solution, identify it, see it for what it is, speak to it. I see what you’re doing, and I see who you are, and like a vampire in the light of day, it will disappear. It finds acknowledgement, very indigestible. If you keep it in the dark and let it do its thing, it will multiply like mushrooms. I wrote that book Illuminate: Harnessing the Positive Power of Negative Thinking. We can’t solve everything we face, but we can’t solve anything unless we face it. When we face that little beastie, it evaporates and it allows you the opportunity to go, “I see what’s going on here. This is one of those pivot points. This is one of those transformative moments, the light of awareness.” That’s it. The daylight is the greatest disinfectant.
It’s a perfect segue to go into ritual because one of the things that we write about in Pivot are the ways in which we create resilience. To be a pivoter and not once but on a continuous basis, we’re pivoting in our lives and when we look back and see it, it’s like a staircase that’s dark on the way up but when you look back, you can see where it all fit together. You know exactly how you got to where you are and it makes perfect sense, but when we’re going up, when we’re in the dark, moving forward, it’s scary as shit. Everything makes sense in retrospect, in hindsight. One of the ways that I have found that I’m able to continue to move forward in faith to move forward with that, not Pollyanna view, but looking at where’s the creative opportunity, where is the pregnant transformation in every moment, it’s been tough for me at times and in seeing other people write about this and vulnerably come out in public like Bruce Springsteen talking about his depression. If you’re a guy, every guy, I can’t imagine you’d want to be anybody but Bruce Springsteen. Choose anybody and list of five people, Bruce would be one of them. He is a guy talking about his battle with depression. Mornings have been tough at times for me in my life, and in Pivot, we talk about rituals, including morning rituals, practices to help you to identify, to use your words, to identify the enemy, to see, to shed light on that sugar craving negativity that will look at any way that it can find in which to drag you, to bring it back into the dark hole. Could you speak to that, whether its ritual or practice that you’ve got to deal with your mind? To deal with some particular point in the day, maybe even the morning? To me the most important part of the day is how you start the day. I’d love to get your thoughts on that, David.
My morning ritual starts at 10:00 PM the night before. One of the Murphy’s maxims is before you do something, you got to do something first. My morning ritual starts the night before. As I mentioned, one of my heroes, Steve Jobs, earlier I was saying, how is he spending his money? He’s not. Would he give a billion dollars to be alive for one more day, one more hour? Probably because this is an amazing heaven on earth where we’re able to measure and monitor the contrasts of things, but I believe health is wealth. When you’re healthy, you could think of many wonderful things. You can work on businesses, you go work on service, relationships, love, etc. When you’re not healthy, you can only think of one thing and that’s getting healthy. Every night before we go to bed, we begin our health regime. We set up our supplements which need to be taken on a morning on an empty stomach. We have little vials of ocean water which provide all of the elements that you need, which are sadly not in the vegetables. We have all that set up. If I’m in a hotel, I have a towel set next to my bed. Every morning when I wake up, no matter what, I get out of bed and I bow down on my hands and knees like our Muslim brothers and sisters and I go deeply into gratitude. I think about what I’m grateful for, whatever I think of, whatever my unconscious mind brings up. It could be the magnificent woman who I share my life with. It could be the people that I serve. It could be the bathroom which is ten feet away because I got to pee really bad. It could be the meal that I had this morning. It was deep into many different things.
I worked with a client who was in from Texas. We spent two days of mentoring and it was that being able to impact, and then while I was there, I had a client in Mexico who had some trauma and I was able to break away and be available. I was grateful for the opportunity to be able to serve massively. I was grateful that I caught myself when I was going into a negative space about this person who’s owed me money for three years. Gratitude is that and then I run to the bathroom. That’s part of the routine. Then I come back into bed and I meditate. Every morning is meditation. I will either use Bill Harris’s Holosync or I’ll use a product that I bought a third of the company recently because I’ve been using this product for four years, it’s glasses with LED lights, the spoken word and sound and the music is tuned to the words and we’ve got people like Deepak and Proctor and guys like that. I use that as a neural key. I get back in bed and I do that.
From that position as they say, forget about it. Everything is possible. Everything is accessible because I am presenting to the world the best David M. Corbin that can be. I wake up and have a magnificent breakfast where I live and I’m surprised you’re not hearing the rooster because he’s probably in the coop. We have chickens walking around. We have fresh eggs from the chicken coop and we eat eggs. We studied and we learned about health, so our rituals are based around feeding this, the microbiome, and the magnificent thing that makes a Cray computer look like a Backus and building upon that. From that perspective on there, always thinking about fueling my system through nutrients and supplements and the like and service. I want to be the strongest individual to serve. Like Mother Teresa, who is the most selfish babe in the world, people don’t realize that, but boy was she a selfish babe because she acted in her personal self interest as do I and you. It just so happens that her personal self-interest was serving, loving and helping on the indigents. She said, “God would never give me a task that I couldn’t handle,” and then she said, “I just wish sometimes He didn’t have so much confidence in me.” Morning ritual, I feel grounded and fortified so that I can do that which God has confidence I can do. Then I moved forward with ease and grace until I don’t, and I fall into that spiral and I catch myself and I go, “I see what’s going on. Move on to serve more, be more in.” It keeps me happy. I laugh my ass off most of the day and life is groovy.
David, thank you so much. To hear that you have a system for your mental success, the way that you keep yourself intellectually sound, that you get in, you’re able to get leverage over the parts of you that would have you otherwise play a smaller role in the world and in your own life even, to be able to get leverage over your fear and the doubt that is human, totally normal that we all have those things, but yet we don’t have to accept those things necessarily. You’ve done something remarkable by your example. I appreciate you sharing the intimate details of how you prepare the night before and how you take care of your body and that you’re very conscious about that. This program called The Conscious Pivot, you made conscious decisions to do things to bring out the best that you’re capable of being day to day, moment to moment. I love you for that. I love you for sharing that with our community and thank you for being a guest. That has been a very special talk and I appreciate it very much. As I always, I want to give to my special friends the last word. Is there anything else that you’d like to say before we close out this session?
You can put a beautiful new car in a one-car garage until you take out the old jalopy. We live under culture of abuse. We breathe in glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in roundup. It’s in the air. My brothers who go on the golf course after our men’s group, they’re living, they’re walking in a cloud, an evaporative cloud of chemicals and that saddens me and it’s sprayed on our vegetation and life. There’re hormones and chemicals and the meats that is the take. In our book Resanity, it’s over 400 pages, we talk about meat and whatever, and quality vegetation. My last message is you can’t put something good in and not get rid of what’s bad. I believe people should learn about cleansing their bodies of chemicals that are in there. I take a homeopathic drop for roundup. I take it every morning and every night, homeopathic for the liver and the kidney, cleanse the body. My keynote on the unencumbered entrepreneur is it’s tough enough to be an entrepreneur, but when you’re encumbered with issues emotionally and physically, forget about it. Eat good food and cleanse out the chemicals that you’ve been building up for the last many years from electromagnetic frequency. My last word is become unencumbered, allow yourself to be that magnificent vessel, clear out the dirt, put in the good, fortify, and put the quality octane in the tank, and then do good.
Thank you. What a blessing. To all of you out there, thank you for giving us the most precious asset that you have to give, which is your time. Thank you for sharing your time and your energy with us. If you haven’t yet subscribed to this channel, The Conscious Pivot Podcast, please do that so that you can get all the episodes and it’s not just one and done random thing. Lastly, we have a beautiful community called Start My Pivot. It’s on Facebook, the Start My Pivot community is glorious, many pivoters out there sharing things like David has been sharing, their best practices, their rituals, vulnerably where they are in their pivot right now, and it’s a great place to give and also to receive support, so we love you. We’ll see you there.
- Inner Game of Tennis
- David Corbin
- Illuminate: Harnessing the Positive Power of Negative Thinking
About David Corbin
Keynote Speaker, Business Adviser, President of Private and Public Corporations, Inventor, Mentor and pretty good guy…..David M. Corbin has been referred to as “Robin Williams with an MBA” because of his very practical, high relevant content speeches coupled with entertaining and sometimes side splitting stories. A former psychotherapist with a background in healthcare, he has served as management and leadership consultant to businesses and organizations of all sizes – from Fortune 20 companies to businesses with less than 1 million – and enjoys the challenges of all. He has worked directly with the Presidents of companies such as AT&T, Hallmark, Sprint as well as the Hon.Secretary of Veterans Administration and others.