Self Made Coaching Group: www.facebook.com/groups/smcmastermind
Jason Hyland – Stop Thinking Like That: No Matter What – https://www.amazon.com/dp/1984383515/?ref=exp_loc_pl_rushtechsupport
Eckhart Tolle – The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment https://www.amazon.com/dp/1577314808/?ref=exp_loc_pl_rushtechsupport
Don Miguel Ruiz – The Four Agreements https://www.amazon.com/dp/1878424319/?ref=exp_loc_pl_rushtechsupport
Haters don’t hate you they hate themselves for you doing what they wish they were.
With me today is Jason Hyland, the author of the best selling book, stop thinking like that
No matter what. He’s a motivational speaker, he’s the host of the no matter what podcast. He’s a frequent blogger on sober nation. He’s the founder of motivational recovery. He’s given a TED talk at the TEDx Boston College recently completed the hundred 23rd. Boston Marathon, former minor league baseball player. Jason, what did I miss? Oh, my I’ve never heard it all out like that before. It’s I’m tired just hearing that.
That’s awesome. I’m a blessed man today. Needless to say, Yeah, well, I’m really happy you know that we got to arrange this and and get together because I know, when Michael introduced us and he was telling me a bit about your story. I was like, you have to make this connection. I mean, the exact it is the story of triumph and then losing it and then coming back stronger than ever. That’s what this whole podcast is about man giving hope to those people that you know, when you’re
Feeling like crap and you’re in treatment or even you’re not in treatment? Just everything’s going terrible and it looks like there’s no way out. There’s people and you know, spoiler alert, like things seem to get pretty good for you. But why don’t you give us a little background on growing up and what what sort of led to where you ended up? So as you obviously aware how we got introduced was a fellow friend, Michael, all that and he’s from Beverly mass where I’m from, and my brother is around his age, and I grew up in a family that I mean was normal to me, but there was a lot of chaos around and I didn’t realize that or really understand it until many years later. My father, May you Rest in peace, he was an alcoholic and he died from the disease on Christmas morning of 2016 with me by his side and so I saw firsthand what the toll that alcohol can have on someone. But what I had growing up that
Really he pushed on me and my older brother and sister as well was sports, sports, sports, sports, sports sports.
And you know, that was my my getaway. So I might have saw, you know, witness some some bad things happening at home. But it was all lost when I went out went on the field, whether it was baseball, football, basketball, and that was my refuge. And to this day baseball is my true love in life and it will forever be. I’ve experienced a lot of, you know, great, great things that not many people get you and it’s because of baseball. And really, even though I grew up in a really alcoholic home, and I don’t want to say abusive because it wasn’t like the physical type, but there was a lot of verbal abuse going on. And I didn’t fall into that trap, so to speak, until many years later and I always told myself, I will not become him. I will not become him. I’ll not become him. And my mother and I left when I was in fifth grade and we stayed in Beverly
Which was great. So I didn’t have to move schools anymore because I moved a bunch of times in the in like elementary school. And then when we permanently stayed in Beverly, you know, I had the same friends and that’s really good thing for me because I know so many situations where, you know, when parents get divorced or in my case, never married, separated, then, you know, kids are living in going to different school after school. But I told my mother in high school, we left it like I said, fifth grade, sixth grade, actually, that, I promise you, I’ll never become him and I will do everything within my power to make sure that you know, we are going to be financially stable. I’m going to buy us a house and I said I was going to, you know, like dribble cages and hamster cages where they have two different ones and then they’re connected in the top by like a little bridge. That was my vision.
Like a big farm pretty much because I love animals and I have two dogs, and that’s what I always I told her, but I started experiment in high school with just drinking my junior high school.
didn’t take long before it just took over my life and it took over, like everything I was doing. And, you know, that’s some of the stuff that I’ll be, you know, share with the, you know, the triumph, but soon, you know, severe tragedy. And that occurred started occurring in college pretty much. So when you first started drinking, were there consequences or anything like that? Or were you just sort of having fun? Definitely having fun, and, you know,
some of the things I did back then no, like, if I got in fights and stuff, if I did that today, I’m sure there would be consequences, like physical altercations, but it was more so fun, you know, doing the high school thing, we’re having a good time, you know, partying in the woods or someone’s parents were away, going to have a good time and party there. And I went to an all boys Catholic school, and North north of Boston. So we had I have friends from all over, you know, the area, which was great because, you know, I got to know a lot of different people and a lot of different groups of people.
It was just, it was experimental, have some fun, and you know, do what teenagers do pretty much. So when did it start changing from just having fun too? Did you start noticing there were kind of rumblings of problems. The major incident that looking back now tells me
that was when I became an alcoholic. I don’t know if there’s if that’s even like a way to say it. But the incident was after my sophomore year in college, I was named MVP of the College World Series at the University of Tampa. We had just lost in the national championship to Central Missouri State. This is 2003. And so heading into my junior year, I’m told no I have I’m there’s no doubt about it. My My dream is right there. I can see it clearly. I’m going to get drafted and then it’s on me and how quickly I can get to the majors. And it was reality. There’s no doubt about about those realistic and little sides.
know, when I was on with Mike, he told me he heard when I was like 10 years old he was he that’s what was going to happen. Jason was the baseball player who was going to make it now because again, he was in high school with my brother. And so that was always the thought that was always what I believe. That’s always what everyone around here believes. My family. Absolutely my dad drilled in me that’s what had to happen. So it was my junior year early in and alcohol related incident where we had some recruits High School recruits staying with us, and we took him out in Tampa and one of my roommates got in a fight and I got involved and helped and unfortunately, I got a separated shoulder at me with a coach the next morning and just like that kicked off the team. No, not even six months removed from being named college drugs Series MVP and seeing everything I’ve worked so hard over the years, no come into fruition. And that was the moment so I was it was November 2003.
It would take many years before finally, you know, succumbing to my fate. What have you but that was the moment I started taking like that the incidences started piling up and there were, you know,
results, negative results and consequences.
So after basically your entire life, and I’m not I’m no therapist, I’m just on the surface level but your whole life it was Jason the baseball player Jason the baseball player, Jason the baseball player, and then you separate your shoulder and now it’s Jason.
Who are you all see that’s the thing people still knew me as Jason the baseball player because I end up even though I got kicked off that team, I transferred to a school in Northern California, who Chico State Division Two powerhouse or baseball and I knew of them because they lost in the College World Series championship the year before my team did and so
I had a decent junior year. And going into my senior year was when I taught I was told where I was going to your top 10 rounds is what my coach told me and my coach now is the head coach of University of Washington. So he’s certainly made his way up there. And I’ll never forget when he told me that, and I was like, he’s like, just going to do what you did. I was I was making a name for myself away from the incident that happened that I brought me to that school, but alcohol and drugs were just too much of a factor and they were becoming consistent in a daily thing. And that’s what ultimately, my senior year was just a complete mess. It was all about drugs and alcohol at that point. And so what did I had to find myself and it didn’t take another almost 15 years to do so. Because what for the next 1012 years after college, it was just a mess. That was when What trouble Can I get myself into now and and No, I’m just very fortunate that I never got into a significant
in trouble, even though I definitely should have had a number of occasions and now that I’m sitting here that I didn’t hurt anyone. No, I’m I’m very blessed in that regards. But it took its toll from you know, being Jason, the baseball player to Jason the partier pretty much up until I found sobriety which was July 24 of 2017. So what’s happening earlier in July 2017, that sort of brought you to treatment because if you’re just Jason the party or that guy is just having fun, I’m guessing probably something happened between the Jason’s just having fun to Jason’s got a problem? Well, there was no having fun for the last three, four or five years of my drinking and, and drugging. There’s no, there’s no fun. You know, it was the point where I was that stereotypical I had black curtains black shades tucked in my room were in the same hoodie, watching the same TV shows only leaving my house to go to
Paki which is a liquor store here in Boston. That was it. There was no fun I I very rarely would go out and when I did I wasn’t a good person to be around I was miserable. I surrounded you know, probably with misery loves company. So no one trying to go anywhere no one trying to really do anything with their their lives just blaming, you know their circumstances on everything else. And there was no fun for a long time. But what happened is divine intervention. I’m not a religious person by any means. But there’s no explanation for what happened on July 23rd. I got home from work at a bar. I was a bouncer. So I got home at like 130 in the morning on Sunday, the 23rd. And I just knew before I went to bed that tomorrow mean that day was it. I knew exactly what was going to happen. The circumstances that played out in my head actually unfolded. The next morning I knew I was going to get a knock on my door.
More More like a bang from my brother. And I knew he was going to ask to talk to me and confirmed me about some things that were missing. And I went to bed. I get that banging, and I know y’all, y’all Adam through the draw, why are you here so early? Like, get your ass up? It’s 130. And I was like,
I was I wanted to sleep and I really wasn’t even though I was, you know, a lazy bum. I did not sleep and I was like, Oh my. And so
I went downstairs I lived in. I’m in my three family house my family’s on since the 40s. My 97 year old grandmother, she’s on the first floor. I’m on the second floor and my dad did live with me for the last few years of his life because I moved back here to take care of him and then my sisters up on the third floor above me. So I went downstairs and talked with my brother. And you know, he basically
he asked me exactly what I know is going to going to ask in regards to some life submission
Missing money. And it took me a while but I saw the tears are coming in. He’s like, why are you crying? Why are you crying and then I just let it all out. And it was the most freeing experience of my life. I had finally just put the truth out there everything I’ve been holding it I just bought off my shoulders and hoes like,
I can breathe now. No, I wasn’t worried about what was going to happen next anymore. I knew at that moment I was saved. I knew that there was no way I was going to be going back and that I somehow I survived. And then now is about putting in the work to make sure I do never go back. And you know, the, probably the best part about that moment with my brother is, you know, he’s dropping f bomb after f bomb in the other room. And then he comes back and he said something to me that really was the pivotal moment telling me that I’m going to be okay as he goes. I’m really proud of you. And I couldn’t believe that. You know, this is one of the people that I’ve heard more than anyone in the world that I’ve lied to and lied to and lied to.
You know, created a lot of animosity between us and just resentments within our family. We have very small family. It’s only the four people that I named my brother, my sister, myself and my Nana now, and,
you know, him saying that gave me hope. And so I called my mother. We have separate mothers. She lives down the street, and
I knew she wasn’t home. So I went and I sat on her, on her
on a hill in her backyard, and I was looking at the water and crying and I called the first I called the detox and asked if there was a bed available, and then I called her because again, she wasn’t home. I wasn’t allowed there. No doubt about it. So I called her and let her know hey, this is for real. I go to bed tomorrow. Can you please drive me and she said, All right. And so I had the last drink and last drug I ever had was that that day, and the next morning, I walked into detox with
Open Arms just saying, Tell me what I need to do to assure that I never ever go back. I knew I’ve never feel any as much pain as I already did. I’ve never go through as much pain. All the tears I already shed. You know,
I’ve been through the worst of it. So now let’s, let’s go, what do we need to do? You basically surrender and just say, I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve done my best at life up to this point. And it’s gotten me nowhere. And now I’m in treatment. And you’re just like, whatever you guys say, like I’m going to do. Where’s that willingness come from? And I wish I could tell you but all I know is I actually just before this, and I had a law of attraction session. There’s an it was an hour and a half, and it’s my first time going. And, you know,
it was just believing in the things that were occurring that there’s something bigger going on. And one of the things that I spoke about earlier today was that the no coincidence moments, they just kept piling up.
There was no no coincidence that these things are happening, there’s no way a human could have been in control of the things that were falling into place for me. And that just showed me that I was about, you know, becoming part of something far, far bigger than my journey. And I started, you know, few months and realizing my purpose, and that was to be able to be on a podcast like this and share my story to help spread hope and inspiration. And it just grew from there. The willingness was like, I could never go back to that life. There’s no way you wrote stop thinking like that while you were in treatment, right? Yes, I did. Yeah. Aren’t Aren’t you supposed to be miserable when you’re in rehab? You know,
that’s why motivational recovery was founded. I could,
I couldn’t understand. I was free. I could understand that I was free, but I could understand what everyone was so miserable. Even though they were sober. They were no longer you know, poisoning themselves. They were still miserable.
And I didn’t get it. And it still I don’t really
understand it. I know everyone goes into treatment at a different place in their life. But once I got to the link house, which is a six month program, I spent one month between the detox and holding and before finding long term treatment, and at the link house, everyone shows up at the same exact spot because you’re showing up you’re you’re getting the same exact tools, the same exact resources. You’re You’re already sober because you have to have gone through detox to go there.
Why not make the most of why not take advantage of the you know, the opportunity you have. But what I realized, is there a lot of people sometimes they’re on the second third 14th 25th 50th
time doing that. And that was mind boggling to me. That detox process was eight days of from what I remember because I was so drugged up on them getting me off. I was on opiates. I was doing upwards of three
$300 habit 300 milligrams a day of opiates at the end, and on top of my drinking. So I had to, you know, have some serious drugs to make sure I didn’t have the withdrawals. And there was like four days of that. So I don’t really remember the four days, but I just you know, that’s as bad as it could get not not remembering things that were going on and so forth. So I was,
when I arrived the windows, I was all gung ho, like, I’m not going back there. So what can I do? Tell me what to do. And for me, I found writing. And I wrote a lot for myself and you know, it was my therapy, and not gonna lie. A lot of people tried to slow me down and say, you know, you need to focus on your recovery. And what they didn’t understand is there was no recovery if I didn’t write and if I didn’t write there was no you know, if I there was no recovery if I didn’t write in vice versa. So that was my therapy. And that’s what got me got me going and getting better and realizing I’m writing for more than myself. Now. I gotta write to motivate these people. No, no
Just the people I was with, because I was showing them every single day I had that daily discipline of writing and going to the library and transferring whatever I was writing on the computer because at the program, we had no computer access except for two hours on a Saturday with no internet, no, no cell phones, and no cars, no jobs, you’re focusing on yourself and yourself only as it should be from that’s how I believe and so by focusing on myself, what was I doing, I was writing about things that you know, I’ve never shared with anyone in the world and research and in research and in studying positive people have overcome in very big adversity and inspirational books, positive books, positive mindset, I just jumped into that stuff and it brainwashed me for the better and I still use that that that mentality today because I could see that things starting to happen that you hear about, like putting the law of attraction, putting good things out there. Put in
what you want.
visualizing it and stuff like that where some people think it’s a gimmick No, I was seeing trance play in my life. And so I became a huge proponent of it and I still am and no, I was motivated to succeed and do whatever I possibly want, I finally could fulfill what my mom always told me as you can do anything you put your mind to. And I was I was testing that to the core and I was, you know, succeeding and doing so. And I was like, Well, I’m no one special. There’s no there’s nothing great about me. I’m just a man willing to do what it takes. So I never go back to drinking and drugging anymore. So if I can you can
It’s so cool that that because i mean i’ve i’ve been in the in the treatment industry, I’ve been to treatment myself. I have seen the motivation levels of people like week one, right? Most people, they just escaped death. They are so grateful to be out or or they’re just taking it for granted. They hate it because their parents forced the
To go and they don’t want to be there. So it is kind of all over the spectrum. But for someone to maintain that level of enthusiasm, how do you keep up with wanting to do that other than just, I’m going to do this because that pain was so recent, you know, Now, a couple a couple months in, how are you still motivated to keep doing this? Well, first things first is life still happens. So there’s going to be bad things that occurred just because I’m sober doesn’t mean that I’m not going to have to deal with some serious adversity. And first of all, is all the wreckage of my past, I have to face that I had to take accountability own up for, you know, the harm I may have caused, in particular, you’re my family, my mother, first and foremost. And I had to own up to that because if I didn’t do that, then I would always be carrying that baggage with me. And that’s one of the things when I work with individuals is trying to help them let go of that because it’s an anchor and it can hold people down forever, and I
see it happening, unfortunately. And so by it being able to deal with my past, and like I said, take ownership of it, I can now focus on the now and I really, it took a while. But once I grasped the concept of one day at a time, things started really clicking for me. And I became very excited to go to bed so I could wake up the next morning because I was starting to, you know, as a friend with said is manifesting my life for what I wanted. For the first time ever, I was seeing the manifestation taking place. So that was the enthusiasm all that I needed to be enthusiastic about because things are transpiring for the better. Now writing this book and being told it’s going to be published, I’ll never forget it was January 1 2018.
Found out and I was crying in my bed in this you know, this little room that there’s two twin size beds that I’m sharing with a 22 year old kid and
Realize all the hard work, what it can what it can bring, you know what can come up if you just believe in yourself and put in the work if you have the effort and not be lazy, because I was a certainly a very lazy person for a very long time, you know, we can have anything we wanted. And that’s where my enthusiasm came from. And what state and then when I dealt This is, I think one of the key parts is when I would face hardship,
I would now actually face it, instead of turning and running away and going to, you know, the to get to the nearest package store or to the, you know, to my dealer, I didn’t have to go that route anymore. And I can learn from these mistakes and paste them and take something from that and use it moving forward. So something ever of that nature. And again, I know how to handle it, other than putting a substance in my body. I know just for myself, in my own experience. I’ve seen people come into treatment. They’ve had these big hits.
audacious goals and years, obviously, you didn’t have a track record of success coming into this point. So were people supportive of you? Or were you getting like the Okay, Dude, chill, like, you’re not gonna, you’re not gonna make this book happen. I would say 99% of the people who are the latter were like, Who is this kid? 90 days in and saying he’s going to write a book, who’s this kid saying he’s gonna, you know, change the world. But I’ll say it until the day I die is why not me?
No, why not? Someone has to.
And that’s how I look at when I when I speak to groups is if I can just reach one person, that person could be the person that’s going to change the world. You don’t know unless you try. And, you know, the talking about different breakthroughs. Um, I’ll refrain from swearing. But I was walking from CVS down to the library in Newburyport.
What the town I was getting the treatment. And I was walking with my big brother, you have big brothers at the house. Basically, they’re your mentor, they show you the ropes that first month, you can’t leave without them. And they make sure you abide by the house rules and this and that very, very instrumental. And, you know, because you’re walking into a place where you don’t know anyone, there’s all these very strict rules you have anywhere from ages of 22 to 65, all these different personalities, so they help get you through that, you know, very vital and important first month, and he was so caught up in everyone else’s bullshit. It was really I was scared, he’s gonna have a heart attack. I truly was like, Man, you gotta just calm down and stop worrying about what everyone else is. You can’t make them do that. You can’t force them to do anything that they don’t want you. And it was that moment. I was like, holy shit. I am having that breakthrough. I’m like, Oh my God. I don’t care what anyone thinks anymore. And that was that big,
big breakthrough. Somebody
Now, as the more people who are saying like, you’re delusional, you’re delusional, delusional, you know, who the hell do you think you are? I just brushed that off. And because what I realized is, you know, the Serenity Prayer, you know,
I can only control what I can control. And that was that was the biggest breakthrough of the of the journey, for sure is not caring what people think anymore. And finally, just been able to focus on myself and just go after it is what I wanted and not live for anyone else. And it’s funny because sometimes addicts will come to that realization while they’re using and but it’ll be like on the other side of the spectrum of, I don’t care that I’m ruining everybody else’s life. Just Just let me do me. But you’re on the other side of that. And Mike actually talks about it in his in his new book, blueprint to business, I believe was the title. And it’s basically if you know you’re doing the right thing. Then stay in your lane. Don’t worry about what other people are talking about.
what other people think on what you’re doing? Because if you’re doing the right thing, and you’re passionate about it, and you can go to bed at night being like, yeah, I wrote this book that I want to change the world, you know who’s gonna, who’s going to get mad at you for doing that, like, all you’re trying to do is provide value to other people to help other people to get your message out there to as many people as possible like this podcast, like, initially, the idea behind it was just, I’ll interview big corporations, things like that get in touch with business owners, and then kind of as time went on, it was like, the people the Jason highlands of the world are the ones that can use this as a platform and getting to know people like you and your story. It’s just it’s really cool to see people just pushing through because like you, you know, with practically no sober time, and I mean, you know, a statistic is just a statistic, but you know,
know you’re in the minority for the people that say, I’m gonna do something early recovery, that’s audacious and like, you pulled it off, man.
Yeah, and that was the other thing is there’s always going to be someone who’s gonna, you know, go against the grain and prove prove those statistics wrong. No, I’m not a number. And no one else should feel like they are a number because that that’s just wrong one putting a number on and saying you’re just a statistic. You should never want to be you want to be yourself and do what you want to do and live your life. So I wasn’t going to let know these other people that I didn’t even know complete strangers define who I was. And definitely not going to be just another statistic I wanted to, I realized I didn’t have it wasn’t my second chance at life. It was no can be my 10th 1215.
Who knows. But I was. I knew that that the nightmare was over. And I had an opportunity to do things that I never thought were imaginable and that I have the power now to help people, not fall to
where I was, you know, not get to the spot I was. And just as importantly, I was being able to help parents and family members who were dealing with, you know, someone who was suffering someone they love suffering with substances, and being able to have that impact. I don’t care what anyone says about me anymore, because what’s what’s the worst that you could call me right now? You know, have at it. And there’s a great thing I heard from on one of the motivational videos I listened to is no haters don’t hate you, they hate themselves for you doing what they wish they were. And it’s so true. And you know,
I’m starting to get trolls online and that’s, that’s fine. And a one that shows me that if I’m making it, I’m making a name for myself and that’s a good thing I was told any publicity is good publicity. I think Mike told me that at the beginning and to you know, to embrace it. You know, the more success you do Garner that the more people are going to do.
jump aboard and want that they want to watch the train wreck, right? They want to see you fail. And it’s unfortunate but those are the people who need to be listened to this those are the people who need to be reading stop thinking like that. Those are the people who need to be you know, paying attention to the people who are doing it, rather than, you know,
just hate it and sitting behind a keyboard or locking themselves in a room like I was in the pitch black watching American pickers for 17 hours a day. You know, I,
I was that person and now I see that hating on someone who was doing good, what was just holding me back, you know, this delaying the inevitable. And so I embrace people who are going to hate or I’m going to, you know, talk down on because you know what, what it means I’m doing something right into is if they do have something to say that I could learn from, you know, because I am far from perfect, you know, as a recovery coach and a performance coach. There are three things I always tell
No a potential person I support at the beginning one. I do not have all the answers Far, far from it. I’m going to be forever learning. It’s my favorite thing on my post earlier today. But you probably saw my knowledge brigade. I love just building that up, I want to learn as much as possible because it’s just, it’s a beautiful thing and it’s infinite. The second part is I am not perfect, I am the furthest thing from perfect, I’m going to fail, I’m going to fail and fail some more and I’m going to mess up. But I’m going to admit to it and I’m going to use whatever I can can from that situation to be better moving forward. And thirdly, those The important part is I know how to stay sober one day at a time and I can help you do the same. And you know, I say that right up front so that I’m transparent as can be I don’t have all the answers no one does. It’s be ridiculous. That’s why when I hear so called experts in the field of recovery, I’m sorry I don’t believe in that. No, I respect that you your knowledge and your opinions, but you say Aaron expect
An expert in a field where there’s millions and millions and millions of people that are just hurting. And no, there’s no such thing in my eyes. What got you into recovery coaching?
My my mom,
she saw an article in the local paper, and I graduated from the program I was in on February 23 of 2018. I started the recovery coach class on March 1, so the following Friday, and it was every Friday for eight hours for one month.
So I got my 30 hours to get my certification and Massachusetts and then
my that’s I released the book right there after and I kind of went on this like whirlwind of a tour of every week was either a podcast or I was going in studio did a couple of radio stations and a couple of
actual TV shows. I was on a guest of a senator. She asked me to be on our TV.
So again, these are things that were showing me, it’s far greater than me that my purpose is far beyond my own sobriety. And I was starting to, you know, see results from the work I was putting in with individuals, you know, the people who are reaching out to me in private, and I loved it, and I loved being able to see know, have the perspective from the other side now, because I, I, I’m an expert when it comes to using I’ll say that, no doubt about it. But on the other side, there’s so much that you see, and you start really peeling the onion of a person, different layers of individuals. And so I started a job with Paco Human Services. It’s a nonprofit, and I was working on this brand new thing that Massachusetts was implementing, through the Department of Mental Health and it’s a peer support, and the program’s called ACC at CS adult community clinical services. And what it is is moving from the old adage of clinical
Support of client and
like the doctor and client or doctor and patient. And doing now moving it towards peer support to where everyone’s equal, it’s a given take as a recovery coach or peer specialist, I didn’t get to learn something from the individuals that I’m working with. And vice versa because that gives them you know, if I’m someone who’s lost as can be and don’t have feel I have any value in the world, but I’m, I’m now I’m working with this recovery coach, and I can see I’m having benefit in the recovery coach, that’s a great thing that gives hope, and we all know that it’s just, there’s not much hope when we’re using and that little little sliver of hope can be the world of a difference because, again, I’m going off my personal experience, I felt it and I was living it. And so by joining them, I learned the the PR side of things and I got my certification as a certified peer specialist, which I don’t want to say one’s greater than the other when it comes to recovering. Go to peer specialist. Find a peer specialist. Your
You’re looking at like a whole greater spectrum recovery coach deal with people with substances. As a peer specialist now with people who have mental health challenges, some also have substance abuse, history and those layers that you start to unfailing as getting to know the person and bringing them all the way back to them as a human being to a lot of the time we just see someone, you know, on the corner, why don’t they just get a job? You know, there’s the button for change. Well, there’s a reason why that person’s there. Do you think they chose to be there? Absolutely not. No one in there, no one in their right mind, left mind, any mind would go and want to be in that situation. So we got to remember that that’s a human being to that they were once they’re there, someone’s son or daughter, you know, they’re there. They were someone’s friend, maybe someone’s husband or wife and so forth. There’s a reason why they’re there and it’s not their choice. And that really
really hit home for me seeing that. Okay, that part going all the way back to the individual. If I can just build a connection with that person, maybe I can give them a little hope. And at the very least, I’m giving them someone to talk to, you know, because there’s no human connection really, when you’re out there running and running and running. You know, it’s very rare. So no, that was a long answer to as how I became a recovery coach and you know, PR specialist and why I love the work that I do, because in every day is different. And I get to see the results firsthand of the work I’m putting in. Yeah, I know exactly what you mean, when you’re kind of on the same team. When I’m doing business coaching with clients and they’ll present me I’m running into issues with accountability with my employees doing this particular thing and I want them to be doing this, how do I solve this problem? And I feel like it’s just sort of human nature. It’s very easy for us to just give advice on
Yeah, so here’s how you can solve that problem. And then I look at my businesses, and then I’ll be like, you know what, perhaps we’re also and then I kind of peel it back and just selfishly, you know,
you tell your side and then just human beings, we just think like, how does this relate to me? How does this relate to me? And so my clients will say, I’m having issues with employee performance and accountability. And then I say, Oh, well, you could use a project management software and then organize all the steps that are supposed to happen. that’ll solve your problem. And then I look at mine, it’s like, you know what, I have that same problem. And that would actually solve my problem too. But we just it’s one of these things that Tony Robbins says he says, we know what to do, but we don’t do what we know. And you can look at just
you can you can look at just the epidemic of it. You can look at addicts. You can look at people being overweight. Everybody knows if you eat healthy and exercise every single
time if you burn more calories than you take in every single time it’ll work. It’s not a secret. It’s not well, you need to watch the macronutrients. And if you balance the correct protein, and we keto this, and if you’re in ketosis and do intermittent fasting, like all these tips and tricks for things to get short term relief, like the answer is just a calorie deficiency. And then that’s, that’s just science. But, you know, the whole country is morbidly obese and everyone’s blaming, oh, it’s the cookie manufacturers problem. It’s, it’s not their problem. And it’s not that we’re not educated, that these things are issues, but we don’t feel that short term. That short term pain because you eat one cookie, you don’t immediately get a heart attack. If that happened, people would stop eating them. It would be easy. Yeah. But it’s a long, slow progression, just like you can’t go to the gym.
Once and get in, get ripped. It’s a progression. It’s got to become a lifestyle. And when you’re dealing with people in recovery when your whole life has just been, how do I deal with this situation? I don’t like well, I’ll get high. How do I deal with life? I hate it I get high. What?
What do I do in any situation? I I just drink and drink and drink. And for me, you know, one of the things that that I questioned when I started when I was like, Well, what do you do for fun?
And then what I came to realize was you just keep living your life the exact same way without drinking because it wasn’t. I enjoyed going into hockey games in drinking. I enjoyed going to hockey games and I was an alcoholic, so I did that drunk. It wasn’t it wasn’t the I Have fun drinking and doing this. It was I’m just an alcoholic, and I can’t stop drinking. But I think it’s it’s funny though.
Kind of that that purse perspective that you touched on. So when you were writing stop thinking like that. Were were there times where you were like, you know what? Maybe everybody’s right. Maybe I should just, you know, who am I kidding? Did you have any of that self doubt?
I’m gonna be honest, I really did because. And I remember I said this to my stepdad. At the end of the day, when I finished writing the book, the worst worst case scenario was I wrote a book. If you think about it, that’s the worst case. Even if I only sold one copy, you know what, I still wrote a book. More importantly, what did that writing do for me? It kept me sober. So that was the absolute worst case scenario. And I kept that mentality. So no matter what I was, I was winning in my eyes. And if I if I failed, well, who did? What did I fail according to who standards? You know,
I didn’t fail myself and that all might go
standards that should matter my own. And I just wrote a book. So the self doubt and that’s part of the brainwashing I mentioned at the beginning, I just erase all self doubt and know right after, I’d say a few months after I wrote the book, I started writing workbooks, and I made my first motivational recovery workbook. Part one is on confidence. And because I saw the value of getting, you know, self care, to building up the self esteem, and the confidence that I what it brought to me, in early recovery, when again, everyone else is miserable, well, Why wasn’t I and I try, you know, try to use again, just off of what worked for me, this is what my personal experience to try to help help others because a little self esteem can go a long way because you start, you know,
doing things you didn’t know you could or you thought you never would be able to do again, and I think about the admirals story on making your bed and if you just make your bed
First thing in the morning, at the very least worst case, you’re going home at night to a nice freshly made that you’re also starting your day off with completing a task that Reese releases don’t mean, you know. But that’s how my mind thinks constantly is how can I make you know, turn something make it positive no matter what, are there any other books that you sort of reference that kind of get you through the day or things that have helped you in your journey? Yeah, the book The Four Agreements has been my Don Miguel Ruiz is instrumental and I try my best to live by those. It’s very, very difficult.
And the four agreements are, be impeccable with your word, which is basically have integrity. Always try your best in everything that you do. Don’t take anything personal. And the last one is, don’t make assumptions. I can do very well and not taking things personal because again, that’s putting if I’m taking everything personal, that’s being an egomaniac thing and everything’s about me and it’s not you know, I can
Not make assumptions. Because again, that’s being almost that’s being taking things personal is making it about you, but doing your best at everything you do, it’s difficult because there are days where you just don’t have it, you know, you just want to lay and lay around and do nothing. And so I do when I as best I can and try to follow those and Four Agreements and being impeccable with my word. You know, have I lied since I got sober? Of course I have. But have I followed it up with honesty is is a key.
Again, going back to I’m far from perfect, I’m still going to make mistakes, I’m still going to mess up. But it’s about owning those mistakes now. So I do my best at trying to follow the Four Agreements. And I think it’s a book every single person should read because it is it’s an easy read. It’s short, and it’s it’s straight to the point. A book on the opposite end of the spectrum in regards to I think a difficult read but has been super instrumental to is the power of now by Eckhart Tolle. Totally
That’s that moment of being able to live in right now. When I when I discussed how I got, I finally grasped the one day at a time concept. To me that’s like the power now, the past can’t do anything about it. Obviously nothing I can do today, nothing no matter what can change that in the future. I can only prepare for it. It’s a fantasy right now though. It hasn’t happened. So if I can just worry about what I’m doing right here right now. And for me right now, right here I am growing because I’m having this conversation with you. I’m being able to put out more of my truth. So I’m learning more about myself as I go to because there’s probably some things I forgot about, that I’ve mentioned. And I’m growing in the fact that I’m getting more comfortable speaking, you know, so all that is just from sitting here right now. That’s how I try to take everything as I know, make the most of every opportunity and in the now so that I’m preparing for that future that fantasy I want to have the best fantasy ever
You know, well, I can only have that if I take care of right here right now. And I believe and get better every day. motto. And today, no doubt about it. I’m doing so by having a conversation with someone like yourself and so interesting. You’re talking about getting comfortable speaking. So we go back a couple months, why don’t you tell us about what the background was on getting the TED talk at Boston College. So that’s
it goes hand in hand with writing in the very like the first four or five months of my sobriety where I knew that this was my I found my purpose because I was never one who would like to speak to groups, even if I knew the people. I also was never a writer. And something just told me I meant to do this. And I started going to Toastmasters, which are private, private, their public speaking groups, where you actually there’s only usually like a handful of people who go to them they every town has one, I’m pretty sure and then meet once once a month, twice a month, whatever. And you basically give speeches and you get graded.
on them and like live. So it’s great. You learn a lot from them. And I started slowly building up my platforms were getting bigger, the more success the book was having the bigger the platforms. And I got the chance to speak in front of roughly 1000 people on the Boston Common
for international overdose Awareness Day, which is August 31. And that’s a it’s in 500 cities worldwide, that it’s celebrated. And I was chosen to be one of eight speakers. And I was like, oh, my goodness, it was the most emotional event that I’ve been a part of, because there was like a big screen with people’s pictures who have passed away. Like we’re talking like a like a stadium size. Big Screen. I can’t think of the name right now.
But it was very emotional. And I one of my friends up there. I was speaking in honor of him and his family was there to support me. So that was only a five minute speech. But it showed me again that I’m doing what I’m
Supposed to be enjoying what I’m supposed to be at? Because continue. You know,
the more I do it, you’re the more comfortable you’re going to get, obviously, no matter what in that regards. And so what the TED talk I was my one month away from graduating the link house and my therapist in the house who was separate. She had worked for the house, she came in from a separate
company, and she told me to check out Bernie Browns book. Well, she gave me a book to read and said, check out her TED talk on vulnerability. And I was like, what’s a TED talk? I had no idea. And she’s like, well check it out. And then I meet with her once a week, I read the book and that week, I check out the TED Talk.
The following week on I’m with her. I told her, that was a note that book was amazing. It was a daring greatly. And GIFs a perfection. imperfection was the first one that you gave me. Dr. Great, I read both of them. And I told her, you know,
she said, Why don’t you go you know, see if there’s one in Boston and I’m like, why don’t I speak at one I just put it out there. You know what’s again, what’s the worst, I can
happened, I put it out there. And so I reached out to Boston College because they were the next one they were having in April, this was 2018. And I filled out the application and I made it to the second round. But I didn’t get chosen. and rightfully so I was, I was in no way shape or form, ready for that type of event. And I wasn’t I didn’t have any credibility at the time either. And not saying I have much now but I had a lot more to offer the second time around. And so I reached out to them, and the topic of the event was resiliency and I was like, who can speak better on resiliency than someone who’s overcome addiction? I don’t know. I mean, there’s obviously some people who will become much more adversity and massive odds than than I have in someone who’s overcome addiction in general, but I think we have a good grasp on what resiliency is and
so I I made it through the you know, the all the cuts and I had to write the speech up and they had to look it over and give it one last go of it.
Thumbs up, thumbs down. I got chosen and it was March 31, March 30. at Boston College, there was six speakers. Five of us were chosen through the online application process. We’re from all over the country from Tampa, Cincinnati,
a professor at Boston College, myself, and someone else, I’m not sure I forget where he was from. And then a girl from Boston College won their contest. So there’s six talks and it was all in resiliency. And it was, I would never been so stressed about something leading up to that, because I put so much pressure on myself because I knew this could be a life changing opportunity. I know it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. At the very least if I don’t do it, right. It’s that’s that’s it.
But one of the things they send you is a video on how to make a successful TED Talk. And it’s a TED talk on that and it was just needed to to watch I took a bunch of notes
on it and I’ll never forget she said, act as if this is only the first of many TED Talks you’re going to be making but this is the first but not the last. And I did that. And I probably rehearsed my speech a million times to my girlfriend. She got, you know, definitely got sick of hearing it. But no, I did what was necessary. She helped me a lot with writing because she’s a lot smarter than I am. And so to have that one that support where I could just kept, you know, rehearsing it to her, and then know sent it to my mother multiple times sent different versions. So my step dad, you know, having them behind me was great because it was nerve wracking, but once I was up there, I missed one sentence what I learned probably like three days before giving a bit speech and not supposed to memorize it, word for word. But that’s what I tried to do. So at the end of the day, it was an amazing experience. I cannot wait for it to come out. It’s not officially the official Ted videos not out. I did have eight minutes of the like roughly 12 minutes
The talk that my friend videotaped, and I had it on my YouTube channel, but they made me take it down Ted did because they have all the rights to it. So hopefully by the time this airs, it’ll be up there. And it was awesome. I can’t wait to do more like I want to absolutely apply to more and know who knows? I we don’t know anything unless we try. Yeah, and the resiliency that just addicts and alcoholics have in general, I think it’s also just kind of fitting the resiliency of you didn’t get accepted by them, and then we’re resilient and then apply it again, with your story and having a best selling book behind it. So what do you think led to stop thinking like that no matter what, being a best seller, I mean, most books just get published in poof. So what was the difference with yours?
I was very, I’m very candid. There’s no sugarcoating addiction and I make sure
sure that in the way I, I described things and I, I feel like I speak for the everyday person, I show what’s possible. And I’m no one special. I just put in the work I show if you put in the work, what is possible, and it’s anything. I know, I followed my heart and I went with it. And I was very truthful and honest with everything that I put it in there. And people can relate to that people like hearing the story of someone who’s, there’s no bullshit. They are who they say they are. They they not just talk the talk, they walk the walk. And I had a great support network, as I mentioned, between my girlfriend and my parents, but I know others, Mike who is huge in the process of just teaching me how to go about it. And at the end of the day, I took things I said I was going to do in 2018. And this is the power of the law of attraction and visualization. I sent my mother an email November, like a few months into my sobriety saying, I’m going to become a best selling author.
And then I told them
That therapist, I’m going to speak at the state level,
I did become a best selling author, multiple categories alcoholism and drug dependency, both as a new release and regular release. In the past, like three months ago, it became
a best seller one once again, on Kindle and in paperback. So I fulfilled that. And the second part is when I spoke at that international overdose awareness event on the Boston Common, the Boston Common is the line for the state, the State House here in Massachusetts. And I put it out there I believed in myself and I follow through with the action and that just anything’s possible if we do that. You got to believe in just conceive, believe, achieve, conceive, believe, achieve, conceive, believe achieve. I said that so many times, and I and I truly believed it and you know, I made it happen because I follow through with it. And so how did it become a best seller? I, like I said, I’m as honest as it gets, when it
comes to put in what I put in that book. There’s no BS and around it. I’m not trying to, you know, I know play the role of someone else. I ripped off all the mask possible and I’m just, I’m just who I am. And people respect that. I think I’ve come to find that people, especially when you’re dealing with talking about addiction and recovery, that people when I tell my story, I tell them, I got a DUI. I threw up all over myself threw up all over my car. I was telling the cops please don’t like this was right around. There was a whole bunch of like police brutality and it’s like don’t do police brutality on me. I don’t want to end up on YouTube. I’m just wasted saying all this stuff. And I blacked out getting arrested. I blacked out being in jail. I woke up the next morning and that’s that’s my truth. And I you know, it is what it is if down the road that comes back and I lose an opportunity because
Uh, the truth of what my past is, and, you know,
it is what it is. But I’d be willing to bet that more people have given me more chances and more opportunities as a result of not trying to be something that I’m not like my company.
This was three or four years back. We in like remote tech support, there were a million scams going on, and we’re still around because we weren’t one of them. However, if it looks like it looks like something smells like something, it’s located in the same area, so I get where they were coming from, and I had to meet with the state’s attorney and they were like, Well, how do you know this person? How do you know this person? I was like, from from a 12 step recovery. They’re like, like, Oh my god, oh my god, I turn off the recording, the recording, they’re like, You’re so brave for telling us your truth. You don’t have to do that though. You don’t have to feel pressured. I’m just like, it’s how I know him. Like it’s not a it’s not like this crazy secret that I’m like, so ashamed.
And, but like saying that they it, it changed it changed from like an interrogation to like you’re so brave
it changed the whole complexion of the of the the process it sounds like and that’s that’s what I love about where we’re going today is people are becoming more comfortable. And it’s still a very difficult process. I think asking for help is the most courageous and vulnerable act we can possibly do. Because we’re saying, I don’t have the answers. I can’t do it on my own. Please help me that is so difficult to do. But now that more and more people are doing it, it’s becoming almost mainstream. It’s beautiful because of the fact it’s showing those people that I’m sure you your You and I were here trying to do is show them that it’s okay. That it is okay, you can overcome it. There’s no shame and you can still live out whatever you want to do with your life. And that’s what I try to try to tell everyone who I’ve ever come across. Yeah, it’s definitely something that I think more people do need to embrace and I mean, you’re living proof of it man. Like
Your book, you just peel back all the layers and just here is Jason like, this is my truth and no one’s going to come out of the bushes and say, That’s not what happened. You know, like you tell your truth, you tell it like it is. And the universe is rewarding you for that. So in wrapping up, what’s the best piece of advice you’d give to someone who’s trying to get sober? It’s okay, that you have baggage of your past. It’s okay. You’re not alone in the process. Everyone has it, everyone’s failed. As long as you keep putting foot one foot in front of the other, and believing in yourself. I there there’s there’s enough proof and evidence that you you can make it if you need any look any further. I’m that physical proof. I’m no one special, as I mentioned many times that anyone can do it. It’s just you got to believe in yourself and ignore all the noise because there’s going to be so much of it and just keep moving forward. No matter what if you mess up, you stub your toe. It happens
Learn from it move forward. I feel like that answer is going to hit to this next one too. But what what advice would you give someone who’s trying to write their first book or jump into entrepreneurship or coaching?
be okay with failure and don’t don’t like there’s so much negativity around fail failure. You can’t succeed unless you fail. The biggest advice then from that is make sure you learn as much as possible from all the failures that you inevitably will go through. And they’re only going to make you stronger moving forward in whatever the endeavor may be. Thank you so much. That’s great. And Jason, where can listeners find you online? Instagram’s the best place for me I actually shared account with my girlfriend so we get the best of both worlds reaching out, it’s at motivational recovery, which that one is where I try to show as much as the humanistic side that I’m just I’m just a person, I’m living my life, but I’m showing you what’s possible. Now. That’s why I like
Putting some personal stuff in there because I like to I want people to know that whom it really suffering right now really hope was lost they can go to a Red Sox game and have a blast sober. You know they can do all this great stuff sober.
Then at Jason are Highland. My last name is h y le nd that’s my Facebook. That’s where I put a lot of my bigger content where I’ll post my blogs and my podcast which is the no matter what podcast I’m actually I kind of taken a step back with the podcast and making shorter one to five minute videos so that I can produce a lot more content My goal is to bring push motivational recovery and the philosophy behind it to as many in as many ways as possible. And so I want to give as much value to that I’ve gone so freely back, you know, I want to give back as much as I possibly can and so I’m putting the know all the different videos I cannot there, boy
blogging Instagram motivation recovery as well. Jason dash Highland calm is my website. And please if anonymous or not you can reach out to at any point about any questions I am as you can probably sell as open as a book as possible as can be and I’m here to help I want people to be able to live their best life because I know I can say I am today. And I’m coming up on two years sober, which some people may like you’re only to yourself, well, in the past 22 months what I have accomplished, far outweighs the the last 35 the first 34 plus years of my life. Yeah, man, that was my experience to like the first nine months of sobriety, I had kept actually not even nine months. Well, it was probably like two, three months of sobriety like I had gotten further ahead in life than I ever had the previous 26 years and is like, you know, I’ve turned it over something else is in control and I can’t argue with the results. But Jason, it’s been such a pleasure.