The 2% Solution: 30 Minutes to Transform Your Life

To Live Your Best Life, You Need to Answer these 4 Questions

November 27, 2023 Dai Manuel Season 1 Episode 22
The 2% Solution: 30 Minutes to Transform Your Life
To Live Your Best Life, You Need to Answer these 4 Questions
The 2% Solution with Dai Manuel
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What if you could leave a long-standing career, travel the world with your family, and learn lessons that shift the trajectory of your life?

Well, that's precisely what I did.

After a 17-year career, I embarked on a transformative journey that altered my perspective and, ultimately, my destiny. Join me as I delve into my personal experience, sharing the four big questions that stirred growth and shone a light towards achieving my dreams. I'll also be discussing the power of positive association, which can undeniably shape your life.

The journey was not all rosy, though. I grappled with self-image and weight issues, which took a toll on my relationships and daily life.

However, every cloud has a silver lining. My struggles led me to the health and wellness industry, where I found my calling in helping others achieve their physical transformation goals. I'll be sharing insights from my journey, highlighting the importance of understanding the ripple effect of our daily choices and actions.

The last part of this journey was one of the most transformative. I struggled with alcohol, drugs, perfectionism, and the pressure of a growing business. But an eye-opening question from my wife set the wheels of change in motion. It led me to prioritize my health, become my own role model, and embrace the continuous evolution of my perspective and values.

The journey was tough, but it equipped me with invaluable lessons that I want to share with you. So whether you're battling uncertainty or just need a little nudge to make that small shift towards a better life, this episode is for you.

Grab your copy of Dai's chapter in From Fear to Courage, click here.

Click here to grab your own copy of the book, From Fear to Courage: 15 Insights to Achieve Your Dreams.


Support the show

Have you ever wondered if you're truly living your best life or stuck in a never-ending reality show called "Why Do I Keep Doing This?"

Meet Maurice, a fellow Canadian who might be a secret wizard. He's created the Life Inventory Assessment.

At first, I was skeptical, thinking, "Sure, Maurice and I'm a unicorn."

I tried it, and whoa! I was so amazed I dedicated a podcast episode to sharing my "ah-ha" moments and clarity.

And here's the deal: This incredible tool for self-awareness can be yours for just $24.98!

That's not only a massive 75% discount; it's also just one penny short of the cost of a one-month Netflix binge of high-tier shows.

Along with this life-altering assessment, you'll also receive Dr. Douglas Tataryn's e-book, typically priced at $37.

And because I believe in overdelivering (or maybe it's just too much coffee), you'll also get my "Dai Manuel's Whole Life Fitness Manifesto" – a guide to living your best life, valued at $24.

As the cherry on top, Maurice and I will take you on a masterclass journey where we'll spill all the secrets of maximizing your newfound self-awareness.

Visit www.QuestForClarity.com, and let's turn your life into the adventure it's meant ...

Speaker 1:

Hello, hello, hello. Di here, your host of the 2% Solution Podcast, absolutely stoked to have you back again for another week ahead of us. My goodness, time sure does fly. I'm heading into week three since this podcast launched and I have to start by saying thank you. I know I can't express the gratitude enough that I'm feeling, but, wow, the outpouring of positive messages and supportive compliments and just the feedback I'm receiving is, just to be honest, overwhelming. It's way more than I was expecting and I love it, and it's definitely given me greater confidence to keep charging forward and keep producing content to support and serve you, the audience, my listeners, my community, my friends, all on the same journey together. We're all just trying to live our best lives and, my goodness, it can be complicated enough. But today, hopefully, just nice little segue here I'm changing gears a little bit. I know the Monday motivation episodes are typically going to be shorter and I was thinking of breaking this up over a couple of weeks, but then I started to think it's like nah, that's silly. Give the information now, give it to people so they can have it now, they can start to ask themselves these powerful questions now so they can get the clarity and the confidence they can help me, at various periods of my life, to take more decisive action and procrastinate less. So that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to give it to you all right now. A number of years ago for those that may or may not be aware I've had some people asking for an episode and actually I'm going to have Christy, my wife, on the episode with me and we're going to talk about travel as a family and some of the travels we did during a five year period when I left a 17 year career. She left a career, pulled the kids out of school, started traveling for five years and some of the things that we learned, some of the big challenges as we faced, but also some of the cool people we met around the world when we were traveling. Anyways, there's a big backstory to how that came to be. In what you're going to hear today. There is a snippet in the chapter I'm narrating where I do touch a little bit on that period, but I don't go too much into detail. We'll have to say that for another episode. But anyways, a number of years ago, while we were living in Bali, indonesia, that little islands down in Southeast Asia with our family. While we were living there, we met some amazing people. One person in particular is a coach and speaker by the name of Obid Abbo. He's a wonderful European dude that lives in Bali most of the year and operates his businesses on a line, unless he has to go speak physically at an event. But he's a great dude, just super nice guy and very positive, very outgoing. We connected on many different levels because we share very similar values, but anyways, he came to me after seeing me speak and actually I had him on as a client for a little while. I supported him with creating some very powerful presentations as well as get some better systems in his own practice, and so it was great. We developed this really nice relationship and so he put together collaboration book. This book was called, and is called, I should say, from fear to courage 15 insights to achieve your dreams, and there's 15 contributors, or 14 plus Obid, so 15 in total. Different perspectives from different coaches and industry leaders in their own specialties contributed a chapter each. My chapter was the final chapter in the book and it has some very actionable items but presents a very simple story, which is basically a little bit of my story, but some of the observations and the takeaways I've had from some of those very trying experiences, but also how they've helped me be who I am today. I'm not going to avoid it. In fact, I'm going to address it. I'm going to share some very personal things when I narrate this chapter, because, if you haven't figured out, my wife and I, we have a very simple mantra around life it's Ron, real is our deal. You know that. That's just the way we operate. So, full transparency. You're going to get it all and I hope you appreciate that, because it's taken me a long time to get here. Okay, if you listen to my talk on vulnerability, it's something that I've struggled with, but it's a work in progress, as always, and I'm going to keep trying. I'm going to keep trying. So today, enjoy, it is a little bit longer, but hopefully you'll be out for your morning and walk or get into the gym for a workout and you can listen to this story. And I'd love to hear from you. Please reach out, share your thoughts, what came to mind or your story, especially if you have a similar story. I would love to hear it. Okay, I'd love to hear it. I'd like to know how did you navigate that? What questions supported you. So, as we get into this, be reflective, create space for yourself to just be open minded and as the questions land the questions that I share with you, that I had to work through think about how those questions, too, can support you, no matter where you find yourself currently in life, and how we can give you clarity on where you want to be going and how to get there. So, with that, enjoy, listen to the power of association, choice and the little stuff they don't tell you about in school. An authentic story by Diamond the Four Big Life Questions by Diamond. About 90% of the time I wake before my alarm goes off, and sometimes I just lie there waiting for the Beach Boys to start echoing off my walls and vibrations crank to the max. Spews from my iPhone, putting a smile on my face in a hop skip and a literal jump out of my bed. The tone from my day set. I'm picking up vibrations In the morning. She has given me excitations. Good vibrations is a reminder that we're all just energy, made up of subatomic particles coming into and fading out of existence. That's life, isn't it? But here we are making sense of what we can through our own mind's interpretation of our worldly experiences, trying to make sense of this big, beautiful world. I intentionally choose this morning ritual. It doesn't pick me. This specific set of actions are performed daily as part of my morning ceremony. Repetition is the key to mastery and vital to creating a habit and for those who commit to the process, eventually creating a sustainable lifestyle. At the ripe old age of 47, I can say this now it took me a long time to figure out this seemingly basic principle. Throughout my life, I was challenged by situations that have pushed me to the verge of suicide, to the edge of leaving everything that I loved and to give up on the one person that should matter most of my life Myself. Life has been full of many ups and downs. While walking the path to try to figure out how to make sense of the big questions Like who am I, why am I here, where am I going and, most of all, what do I want, our brains, hearts and spirits are challenged by some of these vast yet seemingly simple questions, unable to define what is that we most want. Much of what we want seems so far out of reach that we avoid thinking, talking, feeling and dreaming about it, not to feel saddened by its lack of existence in our lives. In the coming… Coming minutes, I'm going to share with you some of the wisdom I've stumbled upon over the past 30 years as I've explored the four big life questions. My stories may be uniquely my own, but the themes I'll share often plague others, and maybe you too. Big Life Question Number One who am I? From the day we can comprehend its existential meaning, the question who am I torments us Like an exam stress student, afraid that we'll compromise our future. If we are answering correctly, we may not get into the school we want, have our dream career or achieve the idealized life we've envisioned for ourselves. Until about 15 years ago, I was afraid of the perceived finality of answering this question and I was afraid of the fact that I was not able to understand it. I was afraid of the fact that I was not able to understand it. I was afraid of the fact that I was not able to understand it. Years ago, I was afraid of the perceived finality of answering this question, forever being peg-hold into living a life founded on my answer. Fortunately, I had it all wrong. In my book, the Whole Life Fitness Manifesto, I share a memory about my parents' divorce. I was roughly nine years old at the time and up until then I thought I had a perfect life, so receiving this news was quite traumatic. Suddenly, all I wanted was to be liked. I was now the kid with divorced parents Feeling an inner void. I withdrew from friends, family, social outings and turned to food for comfort. Our family dinners were reasonably healthy, but outside of mealtimes I was hooked on junk food. Food was my crutch. I quickly developed a bad habit of reaching for more snacks than I should, choosing foods like burgers, fries and other garbage that barely landed in my stomach before I wanted more. In hindsight, I can see that I was making choices without really understanding why I made them. I was on autopilot, just acting on an impulse to soothe my turbulent emotions. By the time I reached the age 14, the answer to who am I Question was simple I am the fat kid. I was medically classified as morbidly obese. Now, people can be cruel, but teenagers are often downright vicious and they're ridicule. My peers found it hard to look me in the eye and I was well aware of their snickering behind my back and right in my face. Though it was hurtful, I understood. I avoided looking at my own body. When I stepped out of the shower, I wore baggy clothing in an attempt to camouflage my protruding belly, and shorts oh man, I never wore those, no matter how hot the weather was. I said no to everything. I tend to pool party where I would To wear a bathing suit. Are you kidding me? No way, participate in gym class out of the question. Go to a school dance no, thank you. I avoided anything physical, leveraging my asthma as an excuse to opt out repeatedly. Through these lifestyle choices, I soon became freighted with low self-esteem. I approached rock bottom, feeling depressed and isolated. I can admit now I even had suicidal thoughts occasionally. And then one Sunday morning, I decided to do something that I usually avoided I looked at my reflection in the mirror. Up to that point, I was able to pretend that things weren't as bad as they were because I wasn't looking the problem in the eye, deny Facing up. However, I broke down in tears. I never felt so low in my life. At that moment, I experienced an epiphany. I didn't like where my life was going and I hated the person I saw in the mirror. I got really honest really quickly and I began to own my daily choices and actions. I knew that I enjoyed life. At least I had enjoyed it before and I wanted to once again. I faced a simple choice I could remain this way forever or do something about it. I hit the library and I poured over books on health, nutrition and fitness. I started eating a little less and moving a little more. I started slowly with walking daily, then mountain biking. I strapped on my cassette player with an audio tape playing on an endless loop. I'd ride until I'd exhausted both the audio tape and myself. Only then would I ride home. Little by little, I added more and more daily activity, eventually joining a gym. In over just 20 months. I was transformed. This time, adolescence itself was on my side, as I shot up to around 185 centimeters 6 to 1, a gross spurt that undoubtedly helped to burn some extra calories. My weight didn't change that much, but I saw body fat melt away as newly muscle mass appeared. Now, with a better understanding of the science and biology of health, I know that my physical changes resulted from a combination of cardiovascular and resistance training. I strengthened my body and I increased lean muscle, which cranked up my metabolism, my body's natural furnace. I felt stronger, healthier and more confident in my abilities to tackle whatever physical obstacles stood in my way. Rather than saying no to pool parties and gym class, I started asking people to join me in the activities. I felt good. I felt alive. I've never gone back to that state of obesity, but I don't forget how it affected my life, and remembering this time in my life helps me relate to my clients who battle their self-image challenges. I know how it feels when people stare at you. I know what it's like to be out of breath from climbing a flight of stairs or struggling with something as simple as tying your shoes. When you're fighting with your physicality, sometimes it's the little things that seem the hardest to do. If this describes you right now, I want you to know that you're not alone and that it doesn't have to stay this way. Going through the physical changes was both empowering and enlightening. I thought by looking good, I would feel good. Who doesn't have the desire to reinvent themselves from time to time? At age 18, I graduated high school, moved from one side of Canada to the other. I thought if I went someplace where no one knew me, I could shake loose the fat kid stigma that seemed to follow me around. I changed my physical home, but all of the emotional baggage came right along with me. I dabbled with school but ultimately fell into a career in the health and wellness industry and found that I had a real talent for it. I was great at helping people get the results they wanted. My career became my cornerstone for who I was. It defined me and it gave me a boost in confidence. It masked a lot of my insecurities and made me feel I was worthy of something better. My career took priority much of the time. As much success as I was creating, I still sought out acceptance and accolades any chance I could. Daily, I would tell myself that the guy in the mirror was successful, a great man, somebody who has got it all together. Truth be told, I think you have your shit together. You're probably just standing in it. Two of the most significant events in my life were the days both my daughters were born. I would tell myself I need to provide for my family, be a great dad, a fantastic partner and successful in my career. Who am I? I sought the answers outside of myself. I am. Statements were defined by profession, economic status and virtual anything other than the reflection in the mirror. To me, success wasn't owning the cars, the home, having our kids in every activity possible, being an outstanding entrepreneur, having all the toys and flash, so people would think I was making it. I wanted perfection, but the more I strive for this idea of perfect, the further I push myself away from attaining it. Alcohol and drugs became my way of numbing the pain of failing to meet my expectations of success. I noticed the more I drank, the more people seemed to like me. They wanted a party, and soon I started living two separate lives. One night, after attending a work function that turned into an after party, I found myself racing home Yet again. I had let my wife Christy down. I had a habit of telling her I'd be home by a particular time and as someone who believed in keeping my word, I hated that I was rarely following through on my commitments with her. The next thing I knew I was waking up at the wheel of my car deep in the woods, having missed the large trunk of a tree. I should have died that night, but I didn't. A couple years later, after multiple mess ups and numerous unfulfilled promises to change, my wife was at the end of her rope. She sat me down and asked me one question. Some people will think that my biggest mistake was leaving a thriving career after 17 years, getting rid of everything I own, packing up suitcases, employing my kids out of school. We had little savings and, instead of putting down a payment on a home, christy and I decided to put a down payment on our dreams. We self-published a book and set off to be a full-time family, and we haven't looked back since. But this didn't happen overnight. It's been over 14 years since I've had a drink of alcohol. Drinking was my way of numbing much of the pain I felt in the struggle to achieve the idealized version of myself. There was a massive chasm between being who I was striving to be and who I was being, but alcohol had a nice calming effect which distracted me from the pain of not feeling good enough. Alcohol eventually led to narcotics and promiscuity followed. All the while I was starting a family, trying to be a good man, leader, father, husband, but never living up to any of them, I was numbing my failures, the pain, the shame, the blame, the discontent and the depression. One morning, after an all-night bender, christy sat me down and asked me the question that changed everything Big life questions number two when am I going. She looked me in the eyes and she asked I could be in the type of man that you would want daughters to marry? It was like I was being punched in the nose and kicked in the jewels both simultaneously. And you know what I deserved it? The saddest thing was I knew that I wasn't being the man. The man I could be Not even close. I'm grateful every day that my wife saw in me more than I saw in myself. She continues to challenge me to be a better man than I was yesterday. I immediately began making a list of the things that weren't serving me. This list included people too. I realized that many of my friends were just people that I drank with and partied. If you are reading this right now and wanting to change something in your life, I have one recommendation Make a change right now. Sounds so silly, right? Things don't happen overnight, but they will happen. That question prompted me to choose my life that fateful day, january 1, 2010. I committed to stop drinking alcohol for one year and clean myself up. It was a start, but I soon learned it wasn't the alcohol or drugs that were the real issue. It never was. A few months later, I watched Christy aggressively stomp on every step. As she climbed the stairs to her neighbor's home With iron fists, she hammered on their front door like a woman trying to resuscitate someone back to the living. The door opened and wham, christy winded up and knocked that woman flat on her butt. Seeing this all unfold in front of me is when I knew deep down that the last changes I had to make needed to happen right now. Everything was out in the open. There was no more lies in it. For the first time in our relationship, I was 100% me. I owned all the good, all the bad and, most of all, every bit of the ugly. In hindsight, something unique happens when you are sober, with eyes wide open, not lying to yourself and everyone else around you. The created void opens up a lot of space for creativity, connectivity, growth and learning. I owned every one of my ethos. I confessed that I was a fat kid who needed people to like him. I acknowledged that I was a drunk. I owned that I was a crappy father. I confessed that I was a perfection junkie. I also held that I was not the net sum of all my past transgressions. I owned that nothing is permanent and everything is changing. I believed that I was worth changing and that, being the type of man I would want my daughters to marry, was a choice up to only me to make. No more running, no more denying it. I owned every little thing about me and this marked the beginning of my journey of progression. Big life question number three why am I here? I was a co-founder of one of the more prominent specialty fitness equipment retailers in North America, supplying equipment, apparel, supplements and pretty much everything equipment related under the sun. My business partner was 20 years my senior, I meant to remind. For some years, while I was getting my feet wet in this industry, I loved what I was doing because it provided in-home and commercial solutions to my communities. I saw fitness equipment to help facilitate lifestyle goals by achieving a higher level of health and fitness. I loved it. To me, it was like selling toys. After many years, I could start to see where the path was going. My business partner's kids were finishing up university and he and his wife were at a point in life where they wanted to travel more and enjoy more time away from the business. The writing was on the wall and the pressure was being applied to start assuming many of his CEO CFO responsibilities, with the plan to transition into running the company. Meanwhile, it had been almost 10 years since I started my blog and created a platform to help people improve their lives through health, fitness, nutrition and life coaching. I had read Gary Vaynerchuk's first edition of Crush it and it opened my mind to a new form of online marketing and building communities. I began to build an online presence for my business, knowing that I had something to share which couldn't be done on the corporate brand's platform. Fast forward a few years. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called autoimmune neutropenia and at first thought that it would be a chronic condition I would need to live with. Like many autoimmune issues, lifestyle habits play a huge part in controlling symptoms and managing the condition itself. This disease caused me to become obsessed with improving my health. The more I focused my efforts on helping others with their lifestyles, I realized I needed to be my own best role model. I had already decided to follow a path of self-improvement, focusing on personal and professional development. Learning became my new hobby, and boy did I study life. When you embark on a journey of improving your body, mind and spirit, you will quickly realize that you step into a lifestyle of continuous evolution. As you evolve, your perspective's, beliefs and often your very being will shift too. You will see things differently. More importantly, you will value things differently. For the first time in my adult life, I started to question the path I was on. As pressure mounted to assume more professional responsibilities, I started to envision my life playing out over the next 20 years in the same way my business partner's life had. All I could see was his life, and I knew I didn't want it. I asked myself what do I want? Why am I here? As I wrote a personal manifesto for my life, I realized the path I was on was not the right one, and it was terrifying A terrifying place to find myself after 17 years of doing what I believed was my calling Big life. Question number four what do I want? In 2018, we traveled the world as a full-time family One more item to check off our live list, a shared family highlight, was spending nearly two full years in Bali, indonesia. On that beautiful island, we continued fostering relationships and nurturing communities. I started facilitating men's meetups and Christie ran women's groups. And I can't forget my girls. The kids had a wonderful adventure meeting other local children while attending various international learning centers. As the end of 2020 approached, our teenage daughters desired to finish their schooling back in Vancouver. So back to our roots we go. Today, the whole family is thriving as we reconnect with friends, family and a few of our communities. As we re-establish our home back in Vancouver, I continue my life's purpose as I strive to positively impact one million role models worldwide in leading functionally fit lives mentally, physically and emotionally through education, encouragement and, of course, community. I love being able to serve. Life is a great adventure and I'm filled with gratitude and fulfillment. Isn't it amazing to think how much life can change when we ask ourselves the right questions At the right time for the right reasons? Clarity leads to confidence and when we feel confident, we're ready to take immediate action. And the best time to take action is always right now. Remember, don't be a collector of tomorrows. What are the biggest challenges you've grown through or maybe going through right now? What are you learning? What are you actively choosing to do about them? I find, more often than not, we know the answer to what we need to start doing to see ourselves progress and change, but one excuse tends to trump all others Procrastination. I'll start that journey tomorrow. I'll make those changes tomorrow. I will start living a little differently. Tomorrow, don't be a collector of tomorrows. One day, you will wake up and realize that all these tomorrows you've been collecting are nothing but a bucket full of empty yesterdays. Rather than collecting tomorrows, I encourage you to start living today. Own your choices, even the F-Ups, because they're beautiful in so many ways. Learn to see the beauty of living in the present. Choose you, connect with communities that challenge you to be better every day, and remember that, whatever you think you can be or do, you're absolutely 100% right. So take action and stay positive in your pursuit of not just a better life, but a great one filled with no regrets. Amazing Gosh, it was so much fun to actually re-read this. Narrate it quite literally for all of you. It was a number of years ago, I guess almost five years ago. I actually wrote this, and when I think back, that's like basically 10% of my entire lifespan. At this point, it's not a huge amount of time. It's, in fact, even less than 10% of my life. However, in that 10% of my timeline, so much has changed. I actually found this exercise very cathartic, but also very introspective and reflectionary, so here's my invitation to you. I shared some big questions today and I know they're not easy questions to address. But questions that create an emotional sort of response inside of our body rarely are easy to answer. That means you're getting to the right part, okay, because it does require a bit of heart, not just the brain, to logically figure out how to answer those questions. You do have to feel into those questions. So my invitation now you may have the habit, or want to have it, to diarize or to create a daily journal. It's something that I haven't been able to do consistently in my life, but I do it from time to time and it is amazing at creating space to reflect and ask the appropriate questions. So some of the questions that I shared with you in that chapter I just narrated, just to recap them. Big life question number one that you're going to spend some time thinking about is who am I? And then, once you start to get a little bit of clarity on that and trust me, it's one of those questions you'll forever be asking, there is no perfect answer but start to identify some of the things that you use to identify yourself. Because after you start to get some clarity around that, you're going to move to number two, which is where am I going? Where am I going? And then, why don't you get there? You're probably going to ask yourself well, why am I even here? And then, lastly, what do I want? Now, they're all challenging questions, let's just call them what they are, but often the most challenging of questions are the most worthwhile to ask. So again, I'm going to invite you create some space to ask some of those questions, maybe journal about it Even sometimes what I'll do is, in my morning walks I'll throw on some music that doesn't have a lot of lyrics, so it's more instrumental, like some jazz or blues or even some trip hop, so something that's got a little bit of a beat, but it doesn't overpower. But then I'll ask myself the question and I'll just think about it as I walk. Just think about it. The amazing of what happens when you start funneling a bunch of oxygen into this mind of ours. Creativity will run and if you give yourself that intention, the subconscious can also align with the conscious to help you discover the answers and realize the answers may change as you change. Don't worry about it, it's just part of the life that you're living and it's pretty awesome If you enjoyed today. You guys know the drill. Please like it. Share it. Share it with somebody that needs to hear these questions now. Maybe they're dealing with a period of uncertainty, a lot of big changes, and they're up in the air on where everything lands. Give them a little bit of a softer foundation. Help them be able to see their footing. Maybe provide them with this podcast as a first step in them starting to get the clarity they need to create the confidence to take decisive action as they navigate the changes. Maybe that's you too. If it is, please leave a review like subscribe. I love the love that I've been receiving. Thank you all. The support has been overpowering, quite literally. It's been just amazing receiving some of the feedback, emails and whatnot, and I just want to say thank you. I am so honored to have this opportunity to support you, to connect with you and, of course, to align with you, as we're all trying to live our best lives right now. This has been another episode of 2% Solution Podcast. This is Die Manwell signing off and again, remember, even the small, simple 2% shifts matter, because you matter, you're worth it and, man, you're freaking awesome. If no one's told you, I'm here to tell you, so enjoy your day, have a great week, keep living your best life.

Life's Big Questions
Discovering Self-Identity and Overcoming Struggles
Life Transformations and Self-Reflection
Support and Encouragement for Navigating Uncertainty

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