Today’s podcast is a very important topic, which is your redemption story. When I say that, what I’m talking about is your ability to redeem yourself. I know a lot of guys who have had very difficult situations because I talk with these guys on a daily basis. I get messages and emails and texts from guys who are going through divorces, and that are going through separations, and maybe they lost their job, or they’re dealing with something with a health issue or medical condition. What I see a lot of these men doing is they’re living in this perpetual state of discomfort and misery. What I want to let you know is that when these bad things happen, when these negative situations come up, or we have these obstacles and hurdles that we need to address, they’re only meant to be temporary. Yet so many men operate from a position of that this is just their destiny and this is their way of life and they can’t ever seem to redeem themselves.
The reason this thought came to me is that as I was wrapping up my oldest son’s baseball season a couple of weeks ago, there was a pop fly hit to our left fielder, just a regular pop fly, nothing out of the ordinary. Should have been caught, no problem, the inning should have been over, and we should have gone on to win the game. This batter hits a pop fly, my son happened to be pitching, hits a pop fly to left field, and our left fielder doesn’t field it well and ends up missing the play. He was upset. He was in his head about it, and it got to him.
We finished out the inning and I pulled him aside in between innings, and I said, “Listen, bud. That stuff’s going to happen. That’s the way it goes. But you get to go up to bat this inning and you have an opportunity to redeem yourself. You have an opportunity to make up for a misstep, to correct a situation, or to contribute to the team in a meaningful way after a situation that took away from the team that you should have made and you know that, but don’t sulk about it. Don’t stew in it. Don’t think about it for too long. Don’t let it ruin the rest of the game. Chalk it up to a mess up, a mistake, a mishap, and now let’s go up to the plate and swing the bat like you know how to swing, have a good at-bat.”
Long story short, he ends up hitting a deep, deep triple into right center. He got to third base, and then eventually he scored. In between the inning, I told him, I said, “Good job, man. You redeemed yourself.” I talked to him about what redemption means, and he was so proud because he was able to make up for that mistake that he had earlier. If this doesn’t translate perfectly to us as grown adults, us as men, and life, I don’t know what does. Look, bad stuff happens. I’ve gone through situations, and as I’m thinking about our move to Maine, which is basically across the country from Utah to Maine, I’ve thought about all the blessings that my family and I are enjoying. A lot of that comes through my own personal redemption because as I was thinking about our trip, I was thinking about where I was 10 years ago. The place that I was 10 years ago is that I was arguing with my wife, and she was leaving, and she was taking my one-year-old son with her at the time.
I’m here to tell you, guys, that was the darkest point in my life. My wife left, my son wasn’t with me anymore. My business was struggling. I was in horrible, horrible physical shape, and it was the darkest time of my life. I thought for a long time that this is my destiny, that this is the way that I’m meant to live, that I’m in a way following in my father’s footsteps because he was out of the picture when I was young. I thought that this is just the way it had to be, and for a long time, it was because I wasn’t willing to redeem myself. I placed all the burden and all the responsibility and all the blame on my wife and outside circumstances and outside situations. I talked about this a little bit in last week’s podcast about being a victim. As I did that, I stripped away any opportunity that I had to redeem myself, to step more fully into the man that I was capable of becoming.
Guys, this is your redemption story. I don’t care where you are in life. I don’t care if you’re not married or have gone through a separation or divorce or even happily married, but maybe your business is struggling. Or maybe your business is fine and your marriage is fine, but you’re 50, 60, 70, 100 pounds overweight and you know you need to get that into check. Guys, things happen. The things that happen in our life aren’t meant to completely derail us. They’re not there to write out our destiny in concrete and stone. They’re there to equip you or give you the environment, I should say, to equip you with the tools and the skill sets and the mindset that you need to excel to a new level in your life, to redeem yourself in a way from all your past transgressions, from all your past mistakes to all your past missteps, and all the other shit that happened to you in your life.
It’s temporary if you allow it to be, but it’s permanent also if you allow it to be. You have a decision to make. Is this going to be your redemption story, or have you already written the entire script of your life? I was down at Summer Strong, Sorinex in SummerStrong a couple of weeks ago, and one of the speakers talked about… His name’s Neil. He’s a bladesmith. He does amazing, amazing work. Anyways, he talked about how his story and our stories are being written right now, that you’re the author of your story, and that that story hasn’t been fully written. But when you wake up each and every day, and you go through the actions and the behaviors and the patterns and the things that you do, the decisions that you make on a daily basis, you are literally writing out your story. Again, I don’t care where you are right now, but you have an opportunity to redeem yourself just like that baseball player did when he missed that pop fly, to come up to bat and to redeem yourself in a powerful way and step more fully into the man that you’re capable of becoming.
As I talk about this, what I want to share with you is some steps, some strategies that you can use. Now, I know you probably… if you’ve been listening to this podcast for any amount of time that you’ve become accustomed to me listing points out and I do that by design because this is a two-step process, generally a two-step process. It requires thinking, it requires a thought process. That’s important. It also requires action. What I see too many guys is they get hung up on one of those areas. They’ll think forever and ever and ever and ever, and never apply any of the stuff we’re talking about. Some guys will just act recklessly without putting much thought to anything, and then produce the same results that they’ve always produced in their lives.
We’ve got to be intentional, we’ve got to be thoughtful, and then we’ve got to put this stuff into action using a framework that has been guaranteed to produce results. Guys, we don’t need to reinvent the wheel here, we just need to look at what other guys are doing and reproduce what they’re doing. Just go through the same patterns and behaviors and scripts and everything else that they’re doing, and it’s likely that that’s going to produce similar results. That’s why I do a step by step process with you guys. I want to break this down for you.
1. Have Hope
As I was thinking about what I wanted to talk with you about this evening, today I guess if you’re listening to this as it’s being released, is that you have to have hope. You have to have hope. If there’s no hope for the future, then there’s no reason to go through anything else I’m going to share with you today. That is the foundation. You have to, even if it’s just a small little glimmer of hope somewhere deep down in your soul that maybe you’ve buried or it’s been buried for far too long, you have to figure a way out to ignite that level of hope, some level of optimism, some faith if you will. Not necessarily spiritual faith although that could play a role, but faith that you can crawl out of this situation that you found yourself in.
I know too many men and I know you probably do as well who have been suicidal, who have been depressed, who have committed suicide because they saw no hope. Guys, open your eyes, please. Barring mental health, and that should be certainly addressed in the proper way, if you don’t look around and see that there’s some positive redeeming value in society, value in your life, who you are now, who you have the potential to become, I’m not sure you’ve even opened your eyes. I know it’s hard when you’re in despair. I know it’s hard when you’re sitting alone at midnight wondering how you can get your wife and your son back. I know that because I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to be pacing around the yard wondering how you’re going to make the mortgage payment, or how you’re going to pay for groceries that week and provide for your family. I know that because I’ve been there.
I know what it’s like to have to look your kids in the eye and say, “I’m sorry I can’t go play with you,” because you’re so exhausted because you’re fat and you’re out of shape, and you’re lazy, and you don’t have the energy to do anything else because you’ve neglected your health. I don’t say that to beat you up. I say that with a level of empathy because I’ve been there. That’s my story, I had to do that. But somewhere in the midst of all of that darkness in my life, I saw that there were other people around who were performing, who had what I wanted, who had the marriage, and had the relationship with the kids, and had the body and the energy that I wanted, and had the business and the bank account and the career that I was after. By looking around, I saw that even though I was where I was rock bottom, that there was an opportunity for growth, and that’s what you need to focus on.
We live in a world where it is so easy to be negative, not only your own internal scripts but listen, if you’re thinking negatively, that’s because somewhere along the way, you decided to adopt somebody else’s negativity as your own worldview. You can’t have that worldview unless you accept it as a reality for yourself. It’s so easy to get consumed with resentment, and bitterness, and animosity, and contention, and negativity. It’s everywhere from social media, to even the podcasts that we listen to, to tabloids, and books, and magazines, and the garbage and the nonsense and filth that we see on TV and in music. It’s everywhere, has permeated every fabric of society. If you focus on that negativity, it’s going to be hard to see that there’s some level of optimism. You’re going to be pessimistic, and you’re going to think that you are doomed to a life of misery.
But if you are intentional about it, and you focus on the good, and you focus on the positive, and you focus on people who are doing good and wonderful things and achieving success, it’s not very difficult to see that because that individual is doing it that you too could be doing it. That’s the first step to redeeming yourself, to your redemption story, is to have hope, and to have faith. That through your efforts and your progress and your consistency towards your dreams and desires and ambitions, that you can have what you’re after. That is the foundation.
Once you establish that level of hope, it’s time to get to work because as most of us know, in the scriptures, it says, “Faith without works is dead.” It’s not enough to have faith. It’s not enough to be hopeful, or cheerful, or optimistic, although that is all wonderful and you should strive to be those things, it requires quite a bit more. It requires work on your part. It requires effort and labor.
2. Daily Exercise
Very simply, guys, please, do not overlook the simplicity of this. Just go exercise. Go into the gym, go for a walk, do some push-ups by your bed, go for a run, take your dog out, find a friend. Go do something, move your body, exercise. Get that blood pumping, get the air coursing through your lungs, get the muscles building. I promise you, you’re going to feel better. Guys often ask me, “Hey, Ryan, I’m trying to figure out my life. I’m in this rock bottom state or I know there’s something more. Where do I start?” Go to the gym, guys. I don’t care if its powerlifting or strong man or bodybuilding, or CrossFit, or running. I don’t care, it doesn’t matter. You can figure that stuff out down the road. But if you’re not exercising every single day, then you’re doing yourself a disservice.
Now, yes, I know there’s little efficient ways to do it and you can be doing this exercise versus that exercise. We’ll get to that and you should get to that. But if you’re not doing anything, if you’re not lifting and working out and exercising and move your in your body seven days a week, you’re missing an opportunity not only to fix your physical health, but to redeem your life because as I’ve said before, the skill set required to improve your fitness: discipline, dedication, commitment, consistency, sacrifice, are all the same skills that you need to achieve when it comes to your marriage, and achieve when it comes to the relationship with your kids, and achieve in your business, achieve any facet of life. It doesn’t matter where.
You learn the skill set required to succeed in the gym, you are naturally and inevitably going to do it in other areas of your life. Exercise daily, every day, at least an hour moving your body. We can talk about what kinds later or you can listen to other podcasts that I’ve done with guys who are infinitely more qualified than me to talk about fitness stuff. That’s another conversation, but for now, you need to begin to move your body.
3. Change Your Environment
This is critical here guys, flip your environment, switch your environment. The environment that you’re in right now, and I’m talking about the people you’re hanging out with, the way that your house or your apartment looks, the way that your car looks, the way that your cubicle or office looks. Your environment is going to dictate your life. I’ve said it before, the product of your environment thing, I understand what people are saying. But look, that’s not a passive role. You don’t just get to show up and like what happens happens. No, you made decisions in your life that have created the environment in which you find yourself. If you’ve got McDonald’s fries and bags and fast food stuff lying around in your car, and it’s all filled with trash and junk, that’s how the rest of your life is going to look. If you can’t clean up your office space and file things where they go when they go so that you can get them when you need them, and you’ve got chaos all over your home screen on your computer, that might seem trivial, but it’s not. That’s going to dictate the rest of your life.
If you go home and you’ve got trash sprawled everywhere and your stuff doesn’t have a place to go and your plants aren’t watered, how is that going to translate over into the relationship that you’re trying to redeem? It’s going to mirror. You can’t make decisions in a vacuum. You make a decision over here to keep your life in chaos and clutter and confusion. Guess how every other aspect of your life is going to show up? If all your friends are assholes, and then they’re all pessimistic, and they’re all bitching and moaning about their life, don’t you think they have a vested interest in you being stuck with them because misery loves company? Gentlemen, inventory your life, inventory your friends, inventory your living arrangements, inventory your car. If your car looks like crap, drive into the car wash right now. Go get it washed, vacuum it out, have somebody detail it. I don’t care what you do but clean that space up.
You start cleaning up your car, your glove box, your junk drawer, your house, your office, the people that are in your circle and in your space, you’re going to naturally improve your life almost magically although it’s not magic. It’s just the law of the way you do one thing is the way you do everything. Clean it up, clean up your environment.
4. Develop New Skills
When I say skill set, I’m talking about hard skills. That might be a hobby or self-defense, some of the things I’ve talked about in the past, but I’m also talking about soft skills, learning how to communicate, learning how to learn, learning how to cast vision, learning how to be more assertive in your life, learning to make small talk and being able to hold conversations with other people. For me, it’s learning how to be a great listener, and a great asker of questions because that’s what I do with my career here with Order of Man. The more skills you have in your tool belt, the more capable you become, the more confidence you build, and ultimately, the better the position you find yourself in. Make yourself the project.
When I talk with guys who are going through a rough relationship or they just got laid off, they’re going through a health situation, I tell them, “Make yourself the project.” You got to make yourself the project. You’re worried about too many other people. You’re worried about your girlfriend and your kids and your boss and your clients. All that stuff’s wonderful and has a place in time, but if you’re not worrying about yourself, you’re focused on the wrong things. I’m not saying be selfish as in doing this at the expense of other people. I’m saying be selfish as in taking care of yourself so you’re more capable of stepping into the calling of man, which is the protector, provider, and presider. You can’t do that if you don’t have the skill set to do it.
If you’re moping around thinking about how all this bad stuff is happening to you, and why always me and I can’t catch a break, and why would God do this to me, and yet you aren’t doing the work to dig yourself out of the hole, you’re never going to redeem yourself. You’re going to start believing this own BS that you’re just destined to show up as a loser. You’re not. You’re not, but it’s an active role. It requires you again doing work towards redeeming yourself.
5. Get Your Financial Affairs In Order
You have to get your financial affairs in order. We hear all these quotes like money is the root of all evil and money doesn’t grow on trees and a penny saved is a penny earned. We buy into these scripts that we’ve heard from our parents, and our friends, and our family, and then we remain broke. Guess what? Like our friends and our parents and our family did because we adopted all of their beliefs about money as our own. I’ll tell you what, I’ve been broke, and I’ve made good money in my life. I can tell you that making money is always better. Always better. I have less to worry about, I have less stress, I’m able to be present with my family instead of worrying about how the mortgage is going to get paid. I can donate to charity. I can spend my time in meaningful and significant ways. I can contribute more in my community, and to the organizations that are important to me because I have money.
If you’re broke, I’m telling you, you’re going to be consumed with being broke. I get it, I understand it. I’ve been there, but learn how to budget, learn how to invest. Develop a skill set like I just got done saying so that you can go in and ask for a raise. Or you can get another job where you can start making some more money. When you’re trading your time for money, the time you’re trading is worth more money. It’s a more efficient way to live. Again, learn how to invest, learn how to handle this stuff. Pick up a second job, turn a hobby into a money generating activity.
Again, that’s not the topic necessarily of this conversation, you can go back and listen to my podcast with guests that talk about how to invest and how to make money and how to turn a side hustle into a full-time business. We’ve had dozens and dozens of them. But guys, get your financial house in order. You just can’t be the man you’re capable of if you’re broke. Can you be a good man? Sure, absolutely. I know some men who aren’t that well to do financially, and they’re some of the finest men that I know. They’re good men. But I’m telling you, you are more capable when you have money. I want you to learn how to develop and grow it in your life, build wealth so that you can be more capable, and you can fully redeem yourself from where you may be finding yourself right now.
6. Find Ways To Recharge Yourself
I talk with a lot of guys, for example, who will be going through tough situations with their significant others. They’ll hear things like, “I’m not in love with you anymore. The spark isn’t there.” What I would suggest if you’re feeling like you’re in that situation is because you may have dimmed your partner’s light, you’re more powerful than I think a lot of you give yourself credit for.
What happens is that she’s out there doing her thing, providing her energy to the relationship, and because you’re not finding your own hobbies and activities and interest and hanging out with your buddies and recharging your own soul, you’re asking her indirectly to provide not only her energy to the relationship but your energy as well, and she can’t sustain that obviously. You couldn’t sustain that if you were providing her energy and yours. And because she can’t sustain that, she gets burned out, the spark in the marriage or the relationship dies, and the thing withers away and crumbles. That’s what happened to me in my relationship. I thought I was doing all this wonderful stuff. I was going to work. I was working full time, trying to grow my financial planning practice. I was trying to be there for my one-year-old boy at the time, was trying to be there for her. I was busting my ass.
I questioned her like, “Why can’t you see this? Why can’t you see what I’m doing for us? I’m doing this for us.” As much as that was true, I wasn’t as capable because I didn’t have any energy. I wasn’t in the gym, I wasn’t taking care of myself. My buddies weren’t around. I didn’t have any hobbies, nothing to recharge myself and I burned out. Then I asked her to do it for me and she burned out. Then our relationship burned out. Go out and find a hobby, find some buddies, find an activity, find some interest.
On next week’s Friday Field Notes, I’m actually going to talk more about that specifically, so make sure you subscribe or tune in because you’ll definitely want to hit that one up because that’s going to be really, really important for a lot of guys. I know because I’ve been in that situation. But guys, this is pretty simple stuff. I know, and I’ve talked about it before, but it’s critical. I want you to redeem yourself.
I had a guy message me on Instagram. By the way, if you’re not following me on Instagram, make sure you do, connect with me over there because that’s the platform I’m most active. It’s @ryanmichler, but he messaged me and he saw that we were moving across the country. I’m paraphrasing here, but he said something to the effect of, “I’m really excited about you moving. I’m a little envious of where you’re at in your life because I want to be there. I’m fairly young, I’m just getting started. I know I’m on the path. Do you have any tips for me to get to that point, or get over this feeling of maybe envy or not being exactly where I want?”
What I told him I said what you need to realize is that the thoughts that you’re having now, the people that you’re surrounded with, the hope that you have, the optimism for your life, you exercise, all the things I’m talking about today, you’re building the foundation. You’re building the foundation upon which everything else will be built in your life. If you don’t learn to build this foundation, and you do it incorrectly, and you start building on sand or a faulty foundation, it’s all going to crumble. What you build from here on out will crumble if you don’t do it right.
When you hear me talk about going into the gym and inventorying your friends and developing skill sets and getting your money in order and finding a hobby and having hope and your positive outlook for life, you might think, “Well, that’s not going to produce the results.” It may not feel like it now, but guys, you’re building the foundation, and I would argue that that’s one of the if not the most important part of any structure is what you pour underneath. It’s what nobody else sees. Nobody’s going to see you getting up at 5:00 AM and busting your ass at the gym every day. Nobody’s going to see you inventorying and cleaning up your apartment or cleaning up your car. Nobody’s going to see you staying up for an extra hour or two every evening because you’re working on some skill set or trying to get your career. Nobody’s going to see you hacking away in and punching out a budget every week. Nobody’s going to see you…
One of the hobbies I like is archery. Nobody’s going to see you in the backyard shooting arrow after arrow after arrow after arrow after arrow so that when you’re out in the field, and you get one arrow, it counts, that you make an impact with that one arrow. Nobody’s going to see all of that, just like nobody sees the foundation of the building. But regardless, that’s what’s so important about the structure itself. That’s what I told this gentleman. What you’re doing now is you’re building the foundation. You have faith and hope that these foundational principles will inevitably produce the results that you’re after. I guarantee you that they will because I built a life that wasn’t on a solid foundation, and it wasn’t long before it all started to crumble down.
Now I’m building my life on a solid foundation and had I done it right the first time, I’m curious how far along I would be. I’m not going to play that game to thinking about what could have been, but it would have been greater. My empire would have been bigger at this point, but that’s okay, I’m building it now. I have hope that it will continue to grow because I will continue to do these activities that nobody else is going to see.
To wrap this up and put a little bow on it here as I wrap this up this evening, as I said when I started, I was a broken man 10 years ago. I was alone. I was separated from my wife. I didn’t have the opportunity to see my son. Was near divorce and near bankruptcy. My business was falling apart. My health was shit and I was miserable. As my family and I travel to the other side of the country this week to a beautiful home, to people who care about us and want to see us win and support us, to the times that I’ve had with my family on this trip, to me being able to still occasionally get some exercise in as I’m traveling across the country, and to do the things that are important to me, I’m redeeming myself. Not for anybody else, not for my wife or my kids or anybody that I may have wronged in the past, and I certainly have and I try to make amends where I can, I’m doing this for me because I can and I feel like I have a moral obligation to do it.
I’m here for a reason, and I haven’t always known what it is. I know what it is now, is to be the best father, and husband, and business owner, and community leader, and mentor, and coach, and friend, and frankly man that I can be. That requires my dedication to redeeming my past mistakes and my past missteps, and I’m on that path. I’m honored to be on the same path as you. I might be a little further along the track than some of you. I might not be as far along the track as some of you. But either way, I’m honored to be standing shoulder to shoulder with you in this redemption story of becoming the men, frankly, that we’re capable of becoming, of the men that we ought to become because we can live a better life, and the men that our families and our friends and our communities and neighbors and people we love and care about are requiring us to be, expecting us to be, and hoping that we’ll be.
Guys, as I part, I’ll leave you there this weekend. I’m going to take another couple of days on the road here. We’re heading from Nashville straight to Maine at this point. I’ll be up there in two and a half days. As we do, I’ll continue to share my story on Instagram, so you guys can check that out and follow along with what we’re doing. Of course, when we get up there, you’ll see that as well. Then we’re going to do an event in August. It’s looking like August 9th through the 11th, I believe. You might want to pencil that into your calendar. Then we’ll let you know as dates form up.
Anyways, guys, that’s all I’ve got for you. It’s late here. I’m going to go get some sleep before we head out tomorrow. Appreciate you guys, honored to be on this path and this journey with you. Do me a favor, share this. If you know somebody in your life, some man specifically who are struggling: father, brother, colleague, coworker, friend, whoever it is, they’re struggling, they’re in a downward spiral, share this episode with them and help them write their own redemption story. All right, guys, that’s all I’ve got. Go out there, take action, become the man you are meant to be.