“Be that person that you want to be today… Do things that you respect yourself for first and then go out there and do these things.” -Adam Lewis Walker
Alpha Centauri is the brightest star in the Centaurus constellation. You can be that star in your life too, not through your end goal but throughout your journey. In this episode, Art and Adam talk about how to manage your expectations so as to rise from rock bottom, be successful in transition, follow your dreams, and teach your kids to manage their own expectations. Adam also shares the 3 key pieces to awakening your alpha, the power of deadlines, being able to fear less, and raising your kids through the “show and do” method. Listen in and learn how you can shine your brightest right at this moment. Do the things you want to do and be the person you want to be today. Don’t wait until your achievements are filled. Your life is not a to-do list.
Listen to the podcast here:
01:14 A Tattoo of an Unforgettable Past
09:24 Awaken Your Alpha
14:07 What To Do When You Hit Rock Bottom
21:20 Fear Less
25:33 3 Key Pieces of Awakening Your Alpha
28:50 The Power of Deadlines
36:21 Show and Do
42:07 Be The Alpha- Shine Your Brightest
Be the Alpha! What does that mean? Join @myexpectation and @AwakenYourAlpha and learn how to shine as bright as you can today! #expectations #transition #identity #movingon #fear-less #clearmission #powerofdeadlines #bethealpha Click To Tweet
- Awaken Your Alpha: Tales And Tactics To Thrive by Adam Lewis Walker
- The New Rules of Success by Adam Lewis Walker, et al.
14:14 “We all hit… rock bottom and we make a choice either to overcome it or succumb to it. And that is what separates so many of us in this world.” -Art Costello
14:49 “It can be major things; It could be minor things. It’s all about our perspective on it.” -Art Costello
15::39 “I just wanted to feel better so much and I was impatient. And that didn’t help.” -Adam Lewis Walker
17:43 “You got to be careful not to turn your life into a to-do list of achieving certain things… Enjoy the journey.” -Adam Lewis Walker
19:22 “Be that person that you want to be today… Do things that you respect yourself for first and then go out there and do these things.” -Adam Lewis Walker
20:25 “We all have opportunities throughout our life. They come up every day, it’s whether you choose to move on them and take the chance on the opportunity or you’re going to sit there and be an observer.” -Art Costello
38:51 “When people expect they’re going to be instantly good at something, that’s a problem because they give up on stuff.” -Adam Lewis Walker
Adam Lewis Walker was originally from West Sussex in the South of England. As he achieves his dreams, he moved his family to America. Today, Adam serves as a TEDx speaker, High-Performance Coach, and two Times Best-Selling Author. He’s also the host of a top-ranked podcast, Awakening Your Alpha and the recently launched, The TalkXcelerator Podcast. Adam was a former teacher and International Pole-Vaulter. As he was attempting to reach the Olympics, he met a terrible accident that changed the course of his life forever. He began to rise from rock bottom and rebuild his life and identity. In 2019, Adam was twice named as an “Icon of Influence” in the New Media Space.
Art Costello: Welcome to the Shower Epiphanies Podcast, today, Adam Lewis Walker is our guest. He has an amazing journey that he has been on. Adam is a TEDx speaker, high performance coach, 2x best-selling author. He’s also the host of a top-ranked podcast Awaken Your Alpha, interviewing the world’s elite, and over 350 episodes since 2014, more recently launching the The TalkXcelerator Podcast and course focusing on how to get on your own TEDx. A former teacher, international pole-vaulter from England, Adam is attempting to reach the Olympics when a freak accident occurred. Adam gave the TEDx talk Awaken Your Alpha, How to Rise Up, and has been featured in The Huffington Post, ESPN, and many more. Welcome to the show, Adam.
Adam Lewis Walker: Well, thanks for having me. It’s good to be here.
Art Costello: Yeah. I didn’t know that you had tried out for the Olympics, or wanted to be an Olympian.
Adam Lewis Walker: Yeah. That was my big thing for the first sort of, I was obsessed by the Olympics growing up, I just loved it. Everything about it, the ideal behind it, watching it when I would just watch all the different events and just wanted to be there. We’re going to be part of that club? I’ve only ever wanted one tattoo, and that was the Olympic rings on my shoulder. But well, I believe you can’t get that without being in the Olympics, so I have no tattoos.
Art Costello: Well, that’s really amazing, but I want to hear your journey, how did it all started? How Adam grew up, and where? And all those good things. So take it away Adam.
Adam Lewis Walker: Yeah. If you’re willing to speak out, as I said, just let me know, but we’re fine. I’ll go right back to, so the South of England, little place, cruelly, affectionately known. Some people were loaded with quick, creepy crawlies. There’s not really a last name, but yeah, it’s a real convenient spot, it’s right by Gatwick Airport, one of the UK’s major airports. It’s halfway between London and Brighton. So yeah, I grew up there. When I was growing up, my favorite subjects at school were Art and PE, and I wanted to be a PE teacher, but I saw that they wore shorts 90% of the year, they got the active, and obviously I know they didn’t own a huge amount of money but that wasn’t the point, it was the lifestyle, so yeah, that’s the route. I wanted to be a graphic designer or a PE teacher, and I went down that route, terms of being a PE teacher. So that was kind of my goal. When I was a pole vaulter probably about 11 years old, I was pretty young. My brother was a couple of years ahead of me. He’s a pole vaulter as well, he took all the town sports records for pole vaults for quite a long time. And I came two years behind him, and just took all his records out as well. So that was the background for the university. That was the lifestyle. A PE teacher obviously has the summers off, which is the high of the athletics track and field season. So it worked really nice as a lifestyle. I really enjoyed teaching. I still enjoyed teaching but then obviously I got to 28 years old, I’d had quite a major injuries at 21, torn my groin at 21, so that was my personal best, overheard the equipment personal record was from when I was 21 which isn’t the best if you peak at 21.
So I’d finally worked, got back to getting rid of all these injuries, and when I was 28 years old, I was having the best season of my life. I got a new lifetime best and I thought it was time, now I was getting big competitions, I completed my win across, I have dual nationality at Wave Island, basically to compete in their pole vault competition, their athletics. And I was in the UK Challenge Final, which is a top 10 in the UK based on a league system/point system over the season. And it’s England, it’s the height of our summer but it’s horizontal rain, it’s dreary, it’s a mess. And yeah, the pole vault competition, they had the opportunity to move it indoors, and all the pole vaults we turned up and it was to say it’s really rough rope weather, it’s not exactly a drizzling, it’s really rough. And we assumed that was going to move it indoors, but it would have been behind closed doors, not in front of the big stand, which is where all the crowd were. And they made the decision: “No, we’re gonna carry on outside, and we’re going to do outside.” And we were like, it’s not if someone’s going to get injured, it’s who? And this is only about 10 of 10 bowlers. And we’re like, this is bad. I think even one person was probably smart and they pulled out, I saw myself as the underdog, so I was like, okay, this is what the situation is, I’ll make the best of it. And it does level the playing field when you have really bad conditions. So I was like, okay, it comes largely a mental game here, who’s going to put out the bad conditions, and who wants it the most?
So I did that a bit too much. I was in full position, and there’s only four of us left obviously as the bar gets higher, and yeah, I had my first run through and in full position as well. This is where my perspective I think, tipped over a little bit, too much in terms of it’s good to be dedicated, and focused, and wanting to get a goal. But you’ve also, there’s risks involved, how bad, is it worth it type thing. And I’d never had any knee issues or injuries at that point. And we were literally, above us was holding umbrellas over us as we’ve running down, you’re slipping down the poles, your grips, it’s really hard to hold onto the pole. And when you land on the pole vault beds, it’s like you land on a swimming pool and there’s a big puddle where you’re looking to take off where you put your foot down.So I run through for the first time, and then I heard someone from the crowds, they shout it real loud: “Oh, he’s done. He won’t take off again.” Because that happened to a lot of us., once they run through, it’s hard to get your confidence back in those conditions. So I thought to myself, I’m going to take off no matter what, which was in hindsight not a good mindset to have going into this. So I ran down again, it felt wrong, I was too close, I overrode that and attempted to take off at which point my heel hit the ground first on takeoff, which has no grip on it, really in the puddle, and I slipped, tore my ACL, tore my meniscus, a cartilage, all off the end of my bones, and dislocated my kneecap, and just felt like pretty much on my knee, or my leg had been snapped the wrong way, and that was the end. Landed, and luckily I didn’t land on my head or anything. I kind of landed in the box where you take off, and that was, yeah, the most painful thing ever, and that was the last time I vaulted.
Art Costello: Even though you made the attempt to do that, have you always been a risk taker?
Adam Lewis Walker: Yeah, I guess. Again, you’ve only got your own perspective. I’d like to do these things. I like to do these challenges. Again, I sold my store years before this, I did the world’s highest bungee in South Africa. I kind of committed myself to that years before, I was like, Oh, I’ll do that. And it’s a different thing when it comes down to actually doing it, that was very scary. My wife, I was like a pep for my wife was with me and she’s like, don’t do it. Like, what are you doing? This is crazy. And that was my pep talk, and I was like, I don’t need to hear this. I’ve done a few things by, yeah, I think I got healthy, I wouldn’t do, again, by my style, I wouldn’t do anything too crazy or too risky, I don’t have a death wish.
Art Costello: Yeah. I always tell people about, I always have thought that I was fearless, that I will do anything until I said to a guy: “I’m fearless, I’ll do anything.” He said: “Would you walk across the Grand Canyon on a tightrope without a net?” And I said: “No.” He said: “You’re not fearless then.” I mean, so it’s all about perspective.
Adam Lewis Walker: Yeah.
Art Costello: But I think people that are athletically inclined really go at it, because I played semi-pro baseball, and I think there’s a certain element to us that we’re willing to put something out there that other people don’t. You’ve got to come in–
Adam Lewis Walker: To a certain level, yeah.
Art Costello: Yeah. I mean, it takes a lot, a lot of training, a lot of repetitions going through the same thing all the time. How has that helped you, can you take us further in how you started to be a TEDx trainer, and a speaking trainer?
Adam Lewis Walker: Yes. So I was out to that point, I taught, and then all my extra time was, I do entrepreneurial things on the side, but all my extra time is really taken up with that dedication of looking to get to the Olympics. And I came third in the Irish Olympic trials that year, have qualifying standards though, I wasn’t quite there. So after that, and completely honestly, I was outwardly, I had that positive face, and I was positive about it initially trying to make the best of the situation. But reality after about a year, and it was about two years of multiple operations, rehab, crutches, because they tried to do certain things, repair the cartilage then go back in and remove it, obviously it didn’t quite work. And by about a year in I’d slowly just been chipping away, and I’m still saying: “Oh, yeah, I’m good as a lot of men do.” About a year down, I was really struggling and it took a long time, but I was in denial. I felt for a while I was still like: “Oh, how quick can I get back?” And the surgeon was like: “You gotta think about being able to play basic sports for your kids.” I didn’t have kids at that point. So it was like, again, shifting that perspective about, yeah, okay, it’s a shame I can’t pole vault. But at that time, that was my whole identity my whole life. So I became very depressed and there was no magic pill to get out of it. But after about two years, my first son was born and I was, I just slowly, I hit rock bottom. I had a real, real bad patch, and I didn’t feel like getting much lower. And so it was just that gradual, getting better than yesterday, not a huge amount but just gradually [inaudible] my way out as long as it took me to slip down to them. And coming out the other side, everyone has their own journey but coming out the other side I wanted to, I would reinvigorate to help other people as well because I always coached but I really had to awaken my own alpha. So I learned a lot from that, going through the process myself.“It can be major things; It could be minor things. It's all about our perspective on it.” -Art Costello Click To Tweet
But I was kind of back on my feet, I co for the book, New Rules of Success, and that was, it was like a group of different people, really varied people, very worldly. South African, and Australian, English, American, different ages like dentists, teachers. I couldn’t see how/what the connection was, and it was only WHEN, really I met the majority of these people and had these conversations and I was like, on paper you’d think we wouldn’t have this connection but it was the mindset and conversations about how they’ve approached life and overcome their obstacles. And there were lots of similarities in terms of what you need to do to get out of struggling and will start thriving. And that was the light bulb to this Awaken Your Alpha concept. And I was like, these conversations need to be shared because I’d never really had that, I’ve been more in my own area. So that was really the idea for the book and the podcast, I saw it as a very, I wanted to research this and have these conversations. I wasn’t in a situation where I could just sit there and research in a book for four years. So I launched the podcast which did very well, initially in terms of the first year I had three to four episodes a week. It launched the same time as Tim Ferriss Podcast. He’s done quite well since then. I’ve got the screenshot of me being ahead of him in the mornings before America woke up. I’ve got the screenshot, and yes, I just dived into that. And I always wanted to write my own book, not cover a book. So that’s really what started the journey down that route. And then it came full circle in terms of what I did at TEDx Talk, Awaken Your Alpha in 2016, and then the book came out in 2018. I tried to be reasonably quick to summarize how everything has gone along them, along that route.
Art Costello: One of the things that always amazes, and I guess it doesn’t amaze me as much as it did in the beginning for me, but we all hit these points in our life where we go, we’re depressed, and we’re down at rock bottom, and we’d make a choice. We make the choice either to overcome it or succumb to it, and that is what separates so many of us in this world. The people that have moved through it, beyond it, and onto bigger and greater things always make that choice to move forward. But the people that get stuck, they just get stuck there, and they just let it devour. They let the event eat ’em up, and it can be major things, it can be minor things, it’s all about our perspective to it.“We all hit… rock bottom and we make a choice either to overcome it or succumb to it. And that is what separates so many of us in this world.” -Art Costello Click To Tweet
Adam Lewis Walker: Yeah, exactly that. I actually felt guilty because at the end of the day on the surface, I’d ruin my knee. Again, I was probably a bit too hard on myself, but that was the continued downward spiral. Even though I felt like I shouldn’t be feeling this bad, I knew there was a lot of perspective, there’s a lot of people who are worse off than me, it’s only a knee type thing. But it wasn’t the knee so much, it was the whole identity around like I was a pole vaulter, and then I was like, what am I now? I always just felt lost and as I say, I was just kicking myself on down because I didn’t acknowledge, it’s okay to be feeling bad about these things, and I just tried to be quite ruthless on myself in terms, I just wanted to feel better so much, and I was impatient and that didn’t help.“I just wanted to feel better so much and I was impatient. And that didn't help.” -Adam Lewis Walker Click To Tweet
Art Costello: Yeah. I coach athletes on transitioning into and out of sport. In other words, high school kids going into college sports, college going into professional sports, and professional sports athletes coming out of retiring, and we all feel that sense of, I don’t want to say abandonment but of termination. Only a small percentage of college kids make it to professional sports. Only a small percentage of high school athletes make it to college sports, and they have to deal with it, at some point in your life, you’re done.
Adam Lewis Walker: Yeah.
Art Costello: And how do you transition through that? And that’s what I help people through is in that transition. It can be divorce, it can be any number of events, major, minor, but a lot of it does surround our identity, who we are, and who we think we are.
Adam Lewis Walker: Yeah.
Art Costello: And when you change that, and guys can have millions of dollars in the bank, millions of dollars in the bank and feel so lost when they end their sports career, or when they end their employment career it, it’s 60, or 50, or 40, and you always have to find something bigger and greater to move on to.
Adam Lewis Walker: And that’s what was jumping up in my mind. Not just the identity but also having that clear mission, and when I felt lost, when that mission has become unclear or not as crystal clear as it be. And obviously before, I was very clear about doing certain things athletically and then the podcast, that was very clear, my goals, and then we’ve launched a new podcast, and having a goal to do a TEDx, and that to get this book out. Again, you’ve got to be careful not to turn your life into to do list of achieving certain things but obviously, the classic, enjoy the journey thing, but there is a pitfall of that ambitious people who just have these things they want to do and they’re just ticking them off, and they’re missing, life is going on now because they’re just on this treadmill, well, as soon as something’s accomplished, then norm to the next thing. So I feel like I have to be aware of that as well. And I think people listening don’t go down that route.“You got to be careful not to turn your life into a to-do list of achieving certain things… Enjoy the journey.” -Adam Lewis Walker Click To Tweet
Art Costello: The thing is that I always tell people: “Just do.” Just do. Do what comes up in your life. You don’t have to have a checklist of things. I mean, we all have bucket lists, the things that we would like to do, but the key word there is LIKE TO DO. Does it have to be, I’ve got to do this, or I’m not going to be fulfilled as a person. But everyday we have events in our lives that we could do. It can be going down to the high school and sharing with the kids in high school what your life has been like. It can be going down to a homeless shelter, it can be going to church. There’s so many things that it can be, but the people that sit at home, turn the TV off, and vegetate in front of it, they don’t get any fulfillment out of that.
Adam Lewis Walker: Yeah. Yeah. I was just going to say, a lot of times as well, talking about accomplishing things and missing certain things they used to not just doing as well, people think like, Oh, once I do this, once I achieve, then I will be that person. I’ll be nice to people then, or I will give the charity then, or I will enjoy my life then. And it’s important to flip that, be that person that you want to be today and then do these things as opposed to you don’t, it won’t change you. There’s no reason you can’t be that person today. And that’s where you start from the core of who do you want to be? Do things that you respect yourself for first and then go out there and say “you need to do these things.”“Be that person that you want to be today… Do things that you respect yourself for first and then go out there and do these things.” -Adam Lewis Walker Click To Tweet
Art Costello: In my life, I’ve done so many things, and I’ll just go through real quickly. I’ve been a US Marine, I was in Vietnam, I’d worked in the entertainment business, played sports at a professional/semi-professional level, I’ve owned my own business. I’ve been a podcaster, I’m an author, I’m a speaker, I haven’t become a TEDx speaker, but we’ll get into that about how I can get there.
Adam Lewis Walker: That’s why we were talking.
Art Costello: So there’s always something out there, but I don’t let it be, I don’t obsess about it. I take and live life in the here and now, and when presents itself that’s the moment, we all have opportunities throughout our life. They come up every day. It’s whether you choose to move on them and take the chance on the opportunity, or you’re going to sit there and be an observer and say, I wished I had done that. I don’t ever want that in my life where I wished I had done something because I just go ahead and do it. And remember we were talking about being fearless, that’s why I always thought I was fearless because I drove my wife nuts, my late wife nuts because she was a person who was steeped in security, she wanted everything secure. And me, I want everything, I want to absorb everything. So anything that came along, I was willing to try, and she, it just drove her nuts. I mean, I literally saw her, it drove her nuts. But it’s who I am.
Adam Lewis Walker: Yeah. When it comes to fearless as well, I do believe all of us need to FEAR-LESS. I don’t think we should be fearless, but that’s something we’re all trying because a lot of times, when it comes down to the degree, and I even look at myself why haven’t I done certain things, or why haven’t you made it? We talk about taking the chance and opportunities, but also when you do that, making the most of that opportunity like going all in and be FEARLESS a lot of times, number one thing that’s holding people back, if not a huge amount of fear is some level of fears. Sometimes you can try and put blame on other situations people, but then realistically it comes down to your own fears.“We all have opportunities throughout our life. They come up every day, it's whether you choose to move on them and take the chance on the opportunity or you're going to sit there and be an observer.” -Art Costello Click To Tweet
Art Costello: Adam, the folks on the podcast can not see what Adam’s doing right now, but he just triggered something to me, that I work with people who have fear, and I want to explain it to Adam because he did it without realizing it. He was taking his fingers and he was kind of turning them. One of the things I do with people who have fear is I tell them: “Take your hand, put it up to your temple, and turn that fear switch off.” Literally take it and turn it off because it works. When people physically do that, it helps them visualize being less fearful. And I really, it should strike a chord with me when I say: “Your finger is kind of turning up to it.” Because we do it inadvertently. I mean, when we fear something, we kind of make gestures and stuff, and when we take it and turn it into a switch that we can turn on our head and turn it off, it’s very effective. So I had to get that in there. So how has that all worked into your speaking?
Adam Lewis Walker: Okay, well, we talked about certain things you want to do alongside the book. I always wanted to extend zones when you’re obviously feeling like you’re in the zone, when you call it the alpha zone on fire, you just lit up it’s emphasis, and you’re really enjoying it, and kind of that’s what you’re meant to do. I kind of cut my teeth as a say, being a teacher for 10 years, that’s a Rufus’ audience. If you’re not entertaining them on a daily basis or lesson by lesson, that can turn pretty quick. They don’t give you any kind of, even if you’ve done well for the last five years or whatever, they’re all about current performance.
Art Costello: All about living in the moment.
Adam Lewis Walker: Yeah. I can see you’re off on that day that [inaudible]. Yes, so the TEDx thing, the Ted Talks, I’ve always been a fan of that side of things. And again, I put this in terms of, we haven’t touched it yet, but one of the things I put down that big mission, as soon as my son was born, I always felt like I’d end up in terms of my vision, living in America. So as soon as my son was born, I was like, well, okay, when is this going to happen? So me and my wife, we had the discussions, we sat clear deadlines right before he started school. You think that’s quite big, but that’s five years. That’s to get things in order. I came around pretty quick. We didn’t know how I was going to do it, but ultimately we landed, we had him enrolled in both an England school and an out here, and we landed like September 1st, and he started school later that week. So we made it, and that’s set in that big mission, and then just working towards it. And there were key things that we had no doubt that was going to make it. But yeah,that was a bump in the road, but we made it. Sorry, I’ve got to put that in a game. Back to the original question, I’ve gone off on a tangent now.
Art Costello: I love tangent. We were talking about how your TEDx develop.
Adam Lewis Walker: One of the things, again, when I come to America, I’ll step that up a little bit. So I said: “Go ahead.” I’m like, okay, that’s one of my own personal excuses out of the way. So then I pursued the TEDx stage. But again, it only came back to the, you’re saying that you never get bored of talking, that just is coming out. It’s a clear mission or clear idea that you want to share, and you believe it’s going to have an impact. That’s where you’ve got to start with that. So the TEDx was just another, a platform of doing the podcast, and I’m working towards a book on that. And the TEDx was just another platform to help get clearer as well. Because up to that point, I had all the concepts of Awaken Your Alpha, but if someone asks what exactly was it? It is hard to articulate quickly. So going through that process, creativity — on the constraints was very rewarding in terms of just getting that, now down to what exactly is there. And I got it broken down into awareness, action, and Ascension in terms of the key free pieces of Awaken Your Alpha, and ultimately that became the free sections of the book. So that was very useful. So I did the TEDx, and part of the three key things I’ve had like an impact in, at least in the entrepreneurial and business world for me personally, professionally was the podcast, the book, and the TEDx. So that’s how the TEDx came around. So for the last couple of years, people generally ask me around that, how do you do a podcast? How do you get a TEDx? And I helped and advised on both. But again, having that awareness, which is the first kind of piece of Awaken Your Alpha for is when I talk about TEDx Talks. And how do you do that? I noticed I was way more engaged and way more fired up about that than talking about the nuts, and bolts, and all the technical side of podcast for example, which I can do.
But again, there’s only so much of you and what you can do. So I paid attention to that, and that’s when I started to help people a little bit more with the TEDx Talks and then created this to accelerate a process, and then take people through that. And I find that very rewarding, and I can see as well, it has a clear, we talked about clear missions and goals as a clear impact in the person having gone through the process, and also helping share their message, and amplify their message. I work and coach people on what we talked about, the Awaken Your Alpha stuff, and fulfillment, and achieving things, but again, a lot of times that is very all encompassing, wholesome. There’s lots of aspects whereas, I’ll hit the thing that I like about the TEDx as well. It’s like, yeah, TEDx is a very clear goal.
Art Costello: Well, there’s very clear steps to it, and when you’re doing personal development, which brings me to what question that I want the audience to hear because we love people’s journeys. When you decided to leave England and come to America, what was that process in your head? I don’t mean the physical process of moving. I mean, preparing yourself mentally because you went from a place where you were comfortable, had grown up to a totally new place for you.
Adam Lewis Walker: Yeah.
Art Costello: How was that like?
Adam Lewis Walker: Yeah. So I would look at it as if I preempted things. I manned the lifeboats before I left. I started for the last year and a half or 18 months. I felt right. It’s going to be a shock to the system moving not just from England to America. That wasn’t the biggest shock. Especially looking back on it now, it was moving from quite populated urban access to countryside and stuff. So I had it all there, I think that’s too quiet. I’m up on The Great Lakes. Beautiful area but it’s more remote, so it’s moving from that environment to middle of nowhere ultimately, but it’s beautiful. That was a big shock. So for the last 18 months at that point, I was still in my last, I was a part time lecturer in a college, I was doing my Awaken Your Alpha, no, actually no, that’s when I started by Awaken Your Alpha, I was doing entrepreneurial things on the side. And that transition was a very pain, that was when I get pulled in two directions. But once I was like, okay, and this only came from having a clear deadline, we are moving in 18 months teaching and taking the money, and doing this. As much as we talked about the comfort zone, that’s not going to help me in 18 months because I’m going to be gone, I’m going to be in another country. So then from that point, I quit against the majority advice. I had two young children, quit my last job, and just dived all into everything entrepreneur and only approached it that if I couldn’t do it in the middle of nowhere in Northern Michigan, then I wouldn’t do it here. So crossing that bridge before I had to, so then when I landed here, obviously it’s still a challenge, and the entrepreneurial stuff is always a challenge. But I’d already been working on that so it wasn’t like moving location, changing job, or changing careers all in one go. So that side of things was a little bit smoother because it didn’t make too much difference to me at that point about where I was. But yeah, it was the power of deadlines. And yeah, it does take a lot to get used to the, as I say, being more remote. I’m away from my family. I’m not one of these people who wasn’t close to my family. I’m five minutes down the road from my parents, we drop in there all the time, and that is tough. I’m not having them right here. And also there’s guilt involved in this, let’s be real. I talked about this in interviews, I feel guilty about taking away their grandchildren because they are obsessed and we’re obsessed with them, and there’s a lot of love and we deal with it now, but they were definitely not happy with me.
Art Costello: Yeah. I mean, I can understand that because I have four granddaughters and two of them are in Colorado, I’m in Texas, and the other two are here. And yeah, I can understand that. That would probably be the toughest of all of them.
Adam Lewis Walker: Yeah, it’s horrible. And that was their only grandchildren at the time. I was the first one, me and my brother, and I was the first one to have kids, so they were obsessed by them. My brother, he’s got three kids now. So that takes a little bit of heat off us. But at the time, really ripping out a key piece, and it’s very, very tough. But thank goodness for technology, we Skype all the time, they’re fully retired now. They come over this Christmas for a full month in the winter, which I’m surprised as long as they’ve been ever, and it’s going to be in the winter over Christmas. So we get really good quality time, and we make the effort, but it’s been a tough transition.
Art Costello: Yeah. And that’s one of the things about the world right now, it is so small. It used to be this big thing and we couldn’t travel wasn’t as easy. And with the new technology, Skype, Zoom, and all the different platforms that we can FaceTime, and everything that we can do with them now and stay connected. But still that connection of being able to put your arms around your son–
Adam Lewis Walker: Exactly.
Art Costello: –and your grandchildren’s.
Adam Lewis Walker: For the first year and a half was really tough because they focused on the fact not the, okay, we’re having these conversations, we’re keeping in touch, they focus on the fact that they couldn’t physically touch, and they couldn’t cuddle, and they couldn’t just pop round. They focused on that a lot, and they didn’t come and visit us for 18 months. Now over every six months roughly, we don’t go that long. But I felt like it was their punishment. I chose to go here but at that age, kids grow a lot in these 18 months. So I know that they probably have some regrets around that, but we see each other a lot now, and we have really good quality time. We’re staying with them or they’re staying with us. That’s one of the reasons I got my place here. Made sure I had a big decent base that they have their homes, and then don’t feel like they’re living in our house, or that they’re stepping on our toes so they can stay as long as they want. They’ve got their own bar from their own bedroom, their own whole floor. So yeah, we’re making it work.
Art Costello: Yeah. And I think it builds appreciation also when you’re not together and see somebody everyday, you kind of get to that point of taking it for granted. But when you come and visit your children and your grandchildren, it puts a whole different perspective on it.
Adam Lewis Walker: Yeah. You’re present. Yeah. Very present. Yeah.
Art Costello: That’s a good word, very present, you’re there. I mean, you’re in totality with them. And that’s a great thing.
Adam Lewis Walker: I have to say when you talk about that, one of my favorite things, and it’s not worth them being apart, but one of my favorite moments I think I feel them building up, and I feel that’s probably going to be like replanning my head as I get older and older is when we arrived back in England at the airport, or they arrive here because I get to hang back a little bit because obviously my boys just sprint to them and they’re just upset. And that moment is my favorite moment ever.
Art Costello: Yeah. How were your boys? They were pretty young when they came here, right? So they really don’t have any cultural shock.
Adam Lewis Walker: The older one was literally just turning five. So yeah, he was there about two and five, younger one, and he obviously didn’t go to school straight away. He stayed home, he still had his English accent for quite a long time, and he’s at home with his mom and me. And yeah, they did really well. And again, this was the reality of just sort of comparisons at the time. Again, people coming from quite a populated urban area to middle of nowhere. They were going to tell them my oldest was going to be in a class of one of like 33 students and then we’re going to have even like three classes that had to have some open times, I mean, like nine students. It was going to be as a teacher on that, Oh, that’s too many kids. He came here and he was one of 19, and it was just quiet, relaxed. And you’ve got that individual attention, in England that’s more, 1 to 19 is more like private schools where you’re paying a huge amount of money. So yeah, I think that really helped the transition because he’s a thinker, quiet guy especially then. And I felt like he was going to get lost in the crowd whereas they had the space and time to get that individual attention. So I think that really helped. And obviously the school is a great social thing. I think he adjusted quicker than all of us. So we were like, Oh, we got to make friends, or we got to try and get settled and organized. He’s got that social thing straight away, so he was very quick to adapt.
Art Costello: Speaking of your children, do you set expectations for your children?
Adam Lewis Walker: Yes, definitely.
Art Costello: Are they your expectations? Or are they expectations geared to direct and teach them?
Adam Lewis Walker: So I suppose that I’m a big believer in show and do, behaviors you want to see, not I’ll tell you what to do, but it’s different rules for that. And there isn’t one or two I say, Hey, generally. Because I understand it’s almost, especially for a kid, but for adults, it’s almost pointless telling someone to do something and clearly you’re not taking your own advice. That’s why on the most basic level, you might be a personal trainer who’s smoking a fags, either smoking a cigarette, or out of shape personal trainer, a broke financial advisor, or these sorts of things. And it’s the same thing if you’re telling the kid to do something and you’re not demonstrating yourself, then pay more attention to what you do, and how you live your life and your perspective, your mindset. So I’ve expectations that obviously they’re going to be happy and lots of love.
Art Costello: Then teach them this for me would you, because my expertise is in expectations as you know. Teach them to learn how to manage their expectations, because it’s really not the expectations that the world and everybody else puts on them, it’s the expectation they have on themselves to be good, to do good, to care about this world. Set those integrity issues with them at an early age and teach them to manage all the expectations that the world is gonna throw at them, and you will have taught them happiness.
Adam Lewis Walker: And interested in talking about that expectations as well. I’m thinking of little kids, again, manage their expectations, especially the younger one. A lot of children, as well as if they can’t do something or they’re not instantly good at it, they don’t do it, they expect to be good at things instantly. So they’d be like, Oh, I don’t like this. I’m like, you haven’t really done it. And they’re like, Oh, I don’t like it. Obviously anything, when you start, like stop podcasts, if you start shooting a basket, obviously you’re gonna miss the first, then a few hours I’m going to be very good. But if you’ve got the expectations that Oh, I tried it, I wasn’t any good at it, I’m not doing it, I noticed that in them sometimes, especially the youngest one is very getting frustrated very quick because obviously they’ve got the expectation they should be better that instantly because they might see me or someone doing something and they don’t appreciate that you’ve gone through the steps to get to that point. So that’s something I talk about managing their expectations. I’m always working on that because I think when people expect they’re going to be instantly good at something, that’s a problem because they give up on stuff.“When people expect they're going to be instantly good at something, that's a problem because they give up on stuff.” -Adam Lewis Walker Click To Tweet
Art Costello: Yeah. My mom had a great one for me. She always used to say to me, I grew up on a farm, we ate vegetables that came out of the garden. My mother grew spinach and we had calves, liver, all this kind of food that is not the most appetizing, but it’s good and healthy. And my mother always used to say: “Have you been to a restaurant and had a bad meal?” And I’d say: “Yeah, yeah, I’ve been to a couple of where they don’t cook as good as you do.” She says: “Did you stop eating?” I said: “No, I won’t stop eating.” She said: “Eat your spinach, eat your spinach.” But you know what? As an adult, I love liver, and I love spinach, and I love all vegetables and all that. And I think it’s because when I was a kid, we tried them, we grew to like them because the taste was good and it was prepared right.
Adam Lewis Walker: Well, the boys know an expectation, I love it. They manage themselves now around eating fruits and vegetables. They just know that they need to eat them, not for mom and dad to keep us happy, which they do, but they need to hate them for their body because they get that they won’t survive very well long term. And they already get that concept that they need that kind of balance, that nutrients in a meal, that’s an expectation for them as well as for us.
Art Costello: Yeah. And that’s how you start. That’s how they start learning about expectations. So that’s great. Well, we’re getting close through our time out already, and it went really fast. But I wanted to give you, Adam, a chance to let people know how they can get ahold of you, where they could get ahold of you, what you’ve got coming up, anything that you can share with us, last words of advice and wisdom, we would love to hear it.
Adam Lewis Walker: Okay. So I suppose I start with best ways or easiest ways to get ahold of me, Adam Lewis Walker across all social media, Facebook, Instagram is quite a big one for me. In terms of the Awaken Your Alpha stuff, that’s Awaken Your Alpha Podcasts is AYAlpha.com. And then again on social media, Awaken Your Alpha. And if you’re interested in getting or achieving a TEDx, or even just interest how might you do that, it’s TalkXcelerator.com, so T-A-L-K-X-C-E-L-E-R-A-T-O-R.C-O-M. And again, that can all be found through just going to, so I’m happy, that’s something I really like on that concept. The first stage of that is hearing your ideas, worth sharing, and I just love hearing that. And what might work well on that stage, if you’re interested in that, please do reach out. And the Awaken Your Alpha stuff is geared towards men but not exclusively. And the Awaken Your Alpha book is, if you’re interested in concepts that we’ve talked about here, please do go check out. It’s got a lot of good reviews that you can browse. So that’s a good way to connect. Was it the words of wisdom next?
Art Costello: Yeah, lay some words of wisdom on us and then I’ll take us out of here.
Adam Lewis Walker: Okay. So I’d like to finish with, for me, what Awaken Your Alpha means, my concept behind that, I sometimes feel like the word alpha has negative stereotypes in society. People expect certain things from that. But to me, I go back to the original definition. So Alpha Centauri from the Solar System is the star that shines the brightest, and alpha in the animal kingdom is literally the two examples I give. It gives like the alpha female of an elephant pack. So there’s no mention of male or female. So the Awaken Your Alpha concept is to shine as bright as you can with the time. And that’s not to [inaudible] in your shadow, but to illuminate, and to achieve the highest rank in areas of your life that are important to you that you’ve prioritized. So that’s where it’s a very personal thing. So that’s, Hey, it’s kind of my approach to life and what I believe in.
Art Costello: It has been a pleasure, Adam. All of what you’ve left with us is going to be in the show notes so people will be able to see that and get ahold of it, and we’re going to have to do this again. You and I have a really good connection and we could have lots to talk about that went beyond this. But I want to thank you personally for coming on the show and sharing your journey with my audience, and we look forward to meeting you again. And with that being said, everybody knows where they can get ahold of me, expectationtherapy.com, and I will let Heather White take us out of here.
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