175: Deadly Comparisons

deadly comparisons


Social comparisons are deadly. And in today’s world we fall prey to them all the time.

Social media and the Internet are powerful resources that can enrich our lives – if we use them intentionally.

Here’s what I mean. We can build a business empire with social media. We can find great prospects, leads, and strategic partnerships online.

But, what can happen when we idle surf the web? We can be drawn into the deadly game of social comparisons.

Think you are above that? Maybe. I would urge you to think again. We are all susceptible to the images we see on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube – pick your social media of choice. And here’s the thing. Many of those seductive images are made up.

We live in a selfie world. It’s fun, entertaining, profitable, and dangerous. How dangerous? Check out the insightful research on the rise of teen suicide and it’s connection to social media.

I want to emphasize that I value social media. I respect its power to enrich and to destroy. When we fall into the trap of comparing our lives to “perfect lives” we see on social media, we run into serious trouble.

I know that this does not only apply to teens. Every single human being can be snared into the game of social comparisons. The only way to never engage in that game is to be 100% self-aware all the time.

That requires effort and discipline, just like physical exercise. Sometimes, it feels better to surf the web passively, and let our minds take a rest. That’s when your self image becomes easy prey to the perfect images that seduce us into deadly social comparisons.

Want to be the master of your self-narrative? Think about the beauty you find in nature. Walk in the woods and appreciate the limitless diversity you see there. Look at trees. Every one is different. They are short, tall, think, slender, straight, spiralled, smooth, and gnarled. It’s easy to see the beauty in all of them.

Are they perfect? Yes and no. What is perfection? We will stop comparing ourselves to others when we embrace the perfection of imperfection.

The animal kingdom teaches us a lot about about diversity. Look at three totally different breeds of dogs. A chihuahua, a bulldog, and a Great Dane, for instance. Do they get depressed because they don’t look alike? Does a chihuahua lose sleep and go to a pet shrink because it’s not as “beautiful” as a Great Dane?

These questions make you laugh. Well, have a good laugh at the times (we all have them) when you have felt “less than” someone because of social comparisons. Then, decide to stop playing the game.

T.S. Eliot, one of the great poets of the 20th century wrote these words: “There will be time, there will be time to prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet.”

Think about those words the next time you find yourself drawn into the game of social comparisons.  Remember that the people you are comparing yourself to have probably devoted time and energy to preparing the face to meet the faces that they meet.

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174: Limitless Mindset

limitless mindset


I grew up constantly hearing that a sign of maturity is to know your limitations.  I believed it. And it’s nonsense.

Most of the time, you will allow your doubts to define your limits. Once you accept a limit in your mind, it becomes your story; it become your reality. You become an “I can’t person.”

Today’s guest is an “I can person.” She has earned the right to her success by constantly shattering limits, venturing into the unknown, and taking on big challenges. She reveals how to step into your limitless mindset.

Her name is Laura Gassner Otting. Her latest book, that you can preorder on Amazon, is Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve Your Own Path, and Live Your Best Life.

You are in for  a treat in this episode. You will hear a very smart, highly energetic, entertaining woman whose words and thoughts can help you shatter your limits.

Here’s a glimpse at the value packed learning you’ll enjoy listening to Laura’s story:

  • Why you should live at the edge of incompetence
  • The power of knowing that you are not that important
  • Identifying if you are a star chaser and what to do about it
  • Why contained risk is good for you

You’ll be fascinated by Laura’s journey from Bill Clinton’s White House to CEO of a successful company to the high achieving entrepreneurial life she leads today. That journey helped her gain many valuable insights that she shares in today’s interview.

Here are a few more of the mind expanding insights she offers you:

  • How to snap out of analysis paralysis
  • How to discover your own super power
  • How to make the shift from your career to your calling
  • 4 words to ban from your life
  • The awesome power of saying YES to things

Laura gives you several powerful backpack moment in this episode. A backpack moment is an idea, a takeaway, that can change your life even if you didn’t listen to any more of  the interview. You could literally put on your backpack and go on your way enriched.

A few thoughts that could become the backpack moments for your limitless mindset are:

  • Why the question, “How can I help?” often leads to short term thinking
  • How to achieve consonance – living your life so that what you do matches who you are
  • The 4 elements of consonance that give your life a powerful purpose
  • The difference between your family and your “framily”
  • Why you should wave your freak flag high (we all have one)
  • Stepping into your fundamental state of leadership


Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi (Laura’s favorite)

Mission Driven: Moving from Profit to Purpose by Laura Gassner Otting

Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve Your Own Path, and Live Your Best Life by Laura Gassner Otting


“…You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“Well behaved women seldom make history.” – Laurel Thatcher Ulrich


www.LauraGassnerOtting.com/Change – FREE GIFT – 4 Ways to Discover Your Calling



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173: Your Musical Story

your musical story


Your musical story refers to the rhythm, the pace, and the feelings that your intentional communication creates.

This episode will stimulate your creativity and allow you to feel storytelling with your heart and your whole body. It will get you out of your head.

You will hear three short pieces of jazz music by the legendary saxophonist, John Coltrane. the are from his famous album, Coltrane Plays the Blues.

Each piece is named after a person. The songs are:

  • Mr. Day
  • Mr. Syms
  • Mr. Knight

I first used this exercise when I was teaching young adults in New York City. I played the three songs for them and told them to pick one and write a story about it. The goal of the story was to make the central character of the song come alive.

The students describe what Mr. Day, Mr. Syms, and Mr. Knight looked like; the described the men’s personalities and their behavior. Remember. These were musical compositions without lyrics.

You will only hear the beginning of each song. It is sufficient to create an image and a feeling for you. It will also allow you to sense how the tempo changes.

Why is this important? It’s important because it will help you to feel the organic beginning, middle, and end of stories at an unconscious level. That’s with practice of course.

Open yourself to this experience, and you will tap into your natural creativity. It will ignite your imagination and make you feel good.

Who knows? You may even fall in love with jazz if you aren’t already.

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172: Go-Giver

the go-giver


You’ve heard of a go getter. So, what’s a go giver? Not the opposite of a go getter. The opposite of a go giver is a go taker.

This episode is not about an amusing word game. It’s an interview with a brilliant man whose views on the world transform lives.

His name is Bob Burg, an accomplished and recognized speaker, author, and a sales/mindset trainer. As an author, his book sales have crossed the one million mark.

Two of his most popular books are The Go-Giver, that he co-authored with John David Mann, and Endless Referrals, a book that delivers big time on the promise of its title.

There’s a simple profound theme in all of Bob Burg’s work. It’s this. The more you give, the more you get. He walks and talks the belief that the amount of money you make is directly proportional to how many people you serve.

Here’s what’s exciting about listening to Bob or reading one of his books. You’ll get insights about influence and persuasion that have been around since our ancestors stepped out of caves into society.

But here’s the thing. Bob lets you view these insights through a powerful, new, crystal clear lens. You may even get the feeling that you are learning them for the first time. That kind of ah-ha is life transforming and enriching.

Here are just a few of the value bombs that Bob Burg drops in this interview as we discuss his latest book, The Go-Giver Influencer:

  • The true meaning of influence
  • The big difference between persuasion and manipulation
  • Why context is more important than the content of your words
  • Why you should use stories to influence, persuade, and sell
  • A powerful communication lesson you’ll learn from an elephant
  • What a cat named Cleocatra can teach you about persuasion and influence
  • The back door rule of persuasion
  • Why compromise creates a lose-lose situation
  • The art and skill of listening with the back of your neck

True to form, Bob just keeps giving and giving in this episode. You’ll definitely want to absorb the seven figure wisdom he reveals with:

  • The 5 Secrets of Influence
  • The 8 words guaranteed to win people to your point of view


The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg & John David Mann

The Go-Giver Influencer: A Little Story About a Most Persuasive Idea by Bob Burg & John David Mann

Endless Referrals: Network Your Everyday Contacts into Sales by Bob Burg

The Art of Talking So People Will Listen by Paul W. Swets

How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace W. Wattles

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

The Secret of Selling Anything by Harry Browne


“You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar


www.TheGoGiver.com – FREE chapters from Bob’s books!

www.Burg.com/10Q – FREE 10 powerful feel-good questions for networking

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171: Frankenstein Presentation Template

presentation template


This episode gives you a powerful template for creating any kind of presentation (live, webinar, YouTube video, you name it).

I call it the Frankenstein Presentation Template because you will build your presentation the way Dr. Frankenstein built his monster. Sounds crazy, I know.

This is far from crazy. This presentation template will take the guesswork out of creating compelling presentations that move people to a desired action. It clarifies the order you should follow to build your presentation step-by-step.

Many people make the mistake of focusing on what they will say first; they focus on their opening. The problem is that they don’t know what their core message is. They haven’t asked the question, “What am I opening into?”

The analogy with the Frankenstein monster will make all of this clear. That monster became a living being. Your presentation should be alive like a living being.

Imagine, for a moment, that you, like Dr. Frankenstein decided to create a human. What is the one essential organ that the human body needs to live? The heart. The heart of your presentation is your core message. The opening of your presentation is like a human head.

If you create the head first, you have no body to place it on. You can carry under your arm or put it in a fridge. It’s useless on its own. It’s not alive.

Here is a comparison between the essential parts of your presentation and human body parts:

  • Opening – Head
  • Message – Heart
  • Framework – Skeleton
  • Content – Muscles & Organs
  • Transitions – Connective Tissue
  • Closing – Legs

Here is the order to follow when building your presentation:

  • Message – The heart is your source of life.
  • Framework – The skeleton is the house for your heart.
  • Content -Puts flesh on your skeleton.
  • Closing – Your body needs strong legs to stand on.
  • Opening – Gives meaning and sense of the body below it.

You’ll learn more about the framework and transitions in this episode. Briefly, your framework is the context for your message and all that you say in your presentation.

Once you define your message, you need content to deliver it. The most effective way to do this to choose three key points that will highlight and drive your message home.

Why three? Because the human mind loves and remembers data presented in threes.

This presentation template is powerful. It will make your communication compelling and clear. It will also save you a lot of time when you sit down to create your presentation.

If you want to take a deep dive and master this for your next important presentation, reach out to me for personal coaching.

You can contact me at louis@changeyourstorypodcast.com and lousclub@gmail.com.

Now, go out and create a monster that everyone can know, like, and trust.

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