This past weekend (May 2019), I had the opportunity to attend the Powerful U Experience here in Los Angeles.
Powerful U is the branded as the first of its kind, a personal evolution company aimed at bringing together audiences, influencers, and ideas. The experience was different from other seminars I have been to, much more personal and experience-centered. There is less the notion of selling a product and more of an emphasis on experiencing an event.
An event that is meant to be life-altering.
The event started early Saturday morning with a key note by Robin Sharma. Admittedly, I didn’t know who he was prior to the event, which is partly why attending personal development seminars are so important. Despite my commitment to personal growth, I still missed everything created by Sharma, including his version of the ideal morning routine outlined in what I would later read and love, the 5 a.m. Club.
I truly admired his style and delivery, dropping tidbits of wisdom with every word. The audience was transfixed, and it was a great opener for what would be a personally fulfilling weekend.
He speaks in a way that inspires action: he makes you want to do more with your life. He makes you feel like you have much more to give, so much more potential than you ever imagined. He addresses fear, not as something to be avoided, but as something to be understood. Fear, he says, screams in the head, while wisdom whispers in the heart.
Here are a few more noteworthy ideas from other speakers:
♦ Rosie Acosta of Radically Loved: Just remember that you are so much bigger than your problems. A grain of sand is your problems, the solution is the ocean.
♦ Lori Harder of Earn Your Happy says that the most successful people in the world are just the most self-aware of their weaknesses: “Our environment is stronger that our willpower.”
Habits trump feelings. – Lori Harder
♦ Amberly Lago, author of True Grit & Grace: everyday you wake up just to be willing. On endurance, there is nothing more powerful than a passionate person that just won’t give up. Adversity, she says, truly introduces us to ourselves.
♦ LaRayla Gaston from Lunch On Me, spoke of a program she created for helping to feed the thousands of homeless people occupying LA’s “skid row.” This is not a humble undertaking but she her mantra, “Love Without Reason,” helps her to be more mindful and intentional about helping others.
One of the more personal aspects of this conference compared to others was the use of breakout sessions throughout the weekend. Within these smaller groups, a speaker led a discussion around their areas of specialty:
♦ Heba Ali, a sort of IG fitness celebrity, spoke of growth through the sharing of your story and struggles. She relates her personal story, dropping a quarter of million dollars in sponsorships because she outgrew the fitness world. This resonated with me. She asks, what’s the point? She says, everyday we are conforming. In order to be resilient, we must be rooted.
ROOTED → RESILIENT: SELF-ASSURED OF WHO YOU ARE.
I liked how she used her study of psychology for her frame of reference. For instance, she spoke a lot about battling conformity and how conforming is so powerful. She introduced the idea of Normative Conformity, a principle from social psychology that occurs because of the desire to be liked and accepted. This is certainly an important part of our evolution as social animals, and still an important part of being successful in today’s tribal economy. However, because of today’s technology, it is difficult to not conform for the wrong reasons. We want people to like what we are putting out on social media and that desire has come to rule our day to day decisions, actions, and thoughts.
We have to fight this constant and persistent desire to conform.
♦ James Garrett on the Deep Change Project, was conducting a year-long study on himself to slowly change his neural wiring. He asks, what is your dormant potential? He then began a journey to unlock it. He brought up familiar topics such as neuroplasticity and the insulation of myelin, which is the physical form of talent development. When you increase the neural firing of certain patterns, myelin becomes thicker, which makes your brain networks fire faster and faster.
The basis of Garrett’s Deep Change Project is simply the accumulation of keystone habits:
JAN/FEB: Stress to Mindfulness
- Exercise (Yoga)
MAR/APR: Distraction to Focus
MAY/JUN: Negative to Positive
- Gratitude Journal
- Daily Act of Kindness
- No News
These are simple, but effective daily implementations to literally rewire and change your brain. Many, many, many of the world’s best neuroscientists all agree that once the brain changes, the mind also changes.
The physical transforms the mental. The key to transforming the physical is mental.
There a few more critical pieces of information Garrett shared that would be useful for future growth:
- Use a 90/20 work:rest cycle for deep work.
- Stack habits to make them automatic: After I do this, I will do that.
♦ Edwin Arroyave, entrepreneur and CEO of Skyline Security, spoke on how to adopt an unstoppable mindset. Arroyave is also an immigrant, so it makes me also think of the immigrant mindset, which can only be described as one thing: unrelenting work ethic.
Arroyave outlined a step-by-step process to build the right mindset to achieve anything:
- Have Faith. There will be a lot of resistance, faith is the projection of the most beautiful thing for the future.
- Believe in yourself by building your identity (self-worth). You can only receive what your mind can accept.
- Take responsibility over everything. When you’re a victim, you don’t have a way out.
- Experience and touch your dreams.
- Use your RAS (Reticular Activating System). Part of your subconscious mind, RAS filters information to your conscious mind.
- Put yourself in a high pressure situation that will force you to increase your necessity level.
- Have an abundance mindset: become, action, have.
- Play the Game of Life: a triangle that consists of Purpose, Problems, and Restricted Freedom. We need to create or we will get bored, depressed, and miserable.
- Nothing stays the same. You are getting better or worse.
- Focus on the 4 Pillars of Life: Faith, Family, Fitness (body & mind), and Finances.
BECOME FIRST → TAKE ACTION → HAVE WHAT YOU WANT.
Put yourself in situations that demand more than you think you are worth, and then succeed. – Edwin Arroyave
♦ Drew Manning, from Fit2Fat2Fit, is a fitness expert that did the unthinkable to help better understand his clients: he gained over 70 lbs. of fat. Going from a ripped, fitness expert to soft and overweight, he experienced some of the mental trauma that comes with a lack of physicality. He realized, your physical well-being determines your identity. When you are in shape, your identity is how you look. When you are overweight, your identity is how you feel.
Transformation is mental/emotional. A complete transformation changes much more than just physical appearance.
After he became fit again, Manning created the 4 Steps to Transformation:
- Own your story: Step into the arena.
- Find your support.
- Change your perception.
- Discover your pain.
Closing out by discovering The Third Door.
Alex Banayan, author of The Third Door, spent the last 7 years obsessively studying success. He interviewed many of the world’s most successful people in an attempt to discover what it takes to get to the top.
Finding success is like trying to enter an exclusive nightclub. There are two main paths: the first door, where everyone waits in line and hopes to get in, and the second door, where the VIP’s effortlessly slip through.
What most people don’t realize is there’s always a third door. It may be sneaking through the cracked window in the back or the kitchen, but whatever it is, it will take resourcefulness and guts. This, Alex Banayan explains, is what the successful do.
The hidden principles of success are right there in plain sight.
The great thing about personal development seminars is that they serve as a reminder that the answers to life’s toughest questions are easily accessible to all who are willing.