Chris Marhefka on becoming the master of your life, the captain of your soul (#33)

On the day that we recorded this episode I had actually taken the day off work. 

But I had no plans to relax. 

I was going to get up early and use the day to get a lot of stuff done. It was go, go go! 

After we recorded this episode I changed my plans for the rest of the day. Instead of jumping in to do the next thing on my to do list, I decided to go for a walk. 

I could feel the warm spring sun on my skin. There was the faintest breeze giving a freshness to the sunny day.  I felt relaxed. At ease. Enjoying the moment.  I brought back some food and ate outside in the backyard with my wife, enjoying our 20 min impromptu picnic. 

Taking those small moments made the day more enjoyable and I felt more content and more connected with my wife. I doubt rushing through the day would have given me the same experience.  It confirmed to me that what we talk about in this episode has very practical and very powerful take-aways. 

Because today we’re talking to Chris Marhefka about finding fulfilment in life and in relationships. 

Chris is the CEO and Facilitator at Training Camp for the Soul and Founder and Facilitator of Embodied Man, Mens Leadership retreats. Chris facilitates transformation by opening hearts, expanding minds, & giving people permission to be their most authentic self. 

We hope you enjoy this transformational conversation with Chris Marhefka. 

You can connect with Chris via his website or on Instagram

You can listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or Simplecast.

Show Notes

2:05 – book recommendations from someone who read over 200 books on business and personal development.
4:47 -want to impact your business, family or community? Be the light.
6:12 – reading addiction. Did reading more books help you to grow?
10:33 – why is it so hard to sustain a change in habit?
14:39 – does willpower and discipline work to change a habit?
18:16 – how to get beneath the surface to identify and change thought patterns.
24:40 – we think that stress is normal and a sign of success.
29:34  – isn’t stress needed for growth?
35:02 – overcoming fears that seem to trap us.
42:52 – achievement vs fulfilment.
48:27 – we need an appropriate amount of pain before we change.
52:19 – Chris’ story of burn out that caused him to change.
59:31 – how do we have a fulfilled life?
1:02:41 – the perfect day?
1:06:03 – relationships can be greatest source of pain or fulfilment.
1:10:23 – we treat other people through the lens of our own experience, often without realising.
1:15:37 – avoiding unnecessary conflicts in relationships.
1:19:22 – navigating conversations when emotions are high. The importance of trust and vulnerability.
1:23:21 – when I do nothing, that’s when I find my best something.
1:25:00 – you get to choose.
1:28:08 – get in touch with Chris. 

Links to References

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Rob Kawasaki 

The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida 

How to Win Friends and Influence people by Dale Carnegie  

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey 

Victor Frankl

Tony Robbins 

Robin Williams 

Inner child work  

Parasympathetic State 

Key Quotes

“If I read more than four non-fiction books in one year I would be in the top 1 percent in the world.” 

“More is not better!”  

“Be the light!” 

“Saying: ‘you should definitely do it’, turns people off. Rather just be the light.” 

“If you want to make a change in the world…be the light for others.” 

“A lot of people get caught in the cycle of just more information!” 

“I wasn’t taking what I was learning and putting it into practice.”  

“I committed to only read one book and actually apply it.” 

“Our mind is only as good as the information we put into it.” 

“A lot of people live from one reaction to the next and are rarely conscious of their decisions.” 

“The only thing we can respond from is the information that the brain is getting.” 

“People don’t have much bandwidth to commit with discipline alone.” 

“We are all in a movie called our life… most people don’t realise that we can rewrite the script.” 

“Slow down your breath.” 

“Get to the root of what is really happening.” 

“Where did this thought or behaviour come from?” 

“When we get to the root, we get to choose: is this something we want to keep or not?” 

“The average resting state is carrying a lot of stress.” 

“We just accept that stress is a part of life. Stress means you are busy and successful.” 

“Some countries who are less achievement oriented are usually living at a slower pace of life, happier, spending more time with the family.” 

“It doesn’t have to be stress equals success.” 

“Whatever the ego focuses on it seeks more of.” 

“Instead of stress equals success I can have it all and enjoy and be happy today.” 

“Stress is what our bodies need to make a change or to grow.” 

“Most people are living their lives with a full stress cup.” 

“You can’t make changes when you are in a survival stress state.” 

“Most people are running their lives out of fear.” 

“We show up with the good grades and we get praised.” 

“When we do better we get more love and acceptance from other people.” 

“All fear exists in the mind.” 

“The lightest and best thing in the world is when you just get to be yourself. It is stress free!” 

“When you do what you love you will light up.” 

“People will judge you but it says more about them than you as they are not living in the light.” 

“We have all these things we think we should do to get something else.” 

“It’s not about judging the achievement. What is the energy behind this?….why am I doing this?….is it for me or to impress others?” 

“I have all the things but I don’t have fulfillment….I am not happy!” 

“There is no right or wrong in your individual journey.” 

“When we slow down our life and ask what is really happening here….new way of living.” 

“My model for success was: you had to almost show the world how uncomfortable you are doing.” 

“I was truly neglecting my health even though I was working out all the time…I was a semi professional athlete.” 

“I had to go through a lot of discomfort and pain.” 

“You have to stop the way you are treating your body….it is under too much stress.” 

“There is only so long that you can work 80-100 hours a week…you can only sleep for 4 hours per week for so long.” 

“We get signs…that we should change this…the Feather, the Brick the Mack truck.” 

“Can I pay attention to the subtle signs so that I can avoid the pain of change?” 

“Nobody cares…everyone is so consumed in their own life….nobody cares.” 

“Fulfillment doesn’t come from the outside!” 

“Fulfillment, happiness joy are all states that occur internally.” 

“When we are in a state of love we have love for the things around us.” 

“I have a genuine gratitude for my life and I make decisions that are aligned with that.” 

“Fulfillment is how close can you get to living the life the heart truly desires…how aligned are they?” 

“Write out how you want your life to actually look…not what you don’t want…do it from a blank canvas.” 

“You may actually be living 90% of your perfect day already…acknowledge the 90% and have patience for the 10%.” 

“Relationships are both the most challenging and the greatest opportunity in our life.” 

“Accept the people in our life exactly the way they are…it lets go of expectations…it stops this energy of changing people.” 

“We are all just doing the best that we can with what we have learned.” 

“When you slow down you start to really notice what is really happening in our relationships.” 

“I had this relationship with unspoken agreements….this happens so often…we need to speak about them and put it on the table.” 

“When we feel like we are attacked our defences go up and we attack back…we should slow down…take a breath and then respond.” 

“Staying in a calm, present state when we are communicating becomes a discussion for two people who care about each other.” 

“You pause, you reflect, you check in and then choose more intentionally.” 

“Every moment you get to choose.” 

“People are caught up in morning routines, and I have to do this…” 

“It’s not about the meditation it’s about how long you keep that calm and present state in your everyday life…it’s what you do in the moment after the meditation and yoga”. 

About the author

Divan and Mark are co-hosts of the Candour Communication Podcast where we discuss interpersonal communication and all the human stuff that gets in the way.