The 2% Solution: 30 Minutes to Transform Your Life

The Power of Discipline in Creating a Life of Excellence with Derick Johnson

March 13, 2024 Derick Johnson Season 1 Episode 69
The 2% Solution: 30 Minutes to Transform Your Life
The Power of Discipline in Creating a Life of Excellence with Derick Johnson
The 2% Solution with Dai Manuel
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Have you ever converted adversity into your life's greatest strength?

Join our enlightening chat with Derick Johnson, an ex-military powerhouse turned life coach who's mastered the art of turning life's punches into a launchpad for success.

This episode is a deep dive into the synthesis of discipline, resilience, and leadership. It reveals how to harness your turbulent past and channel it into a relentless drive for self-improvement.

With Derick, we dissect the anatomy of focus in our distraction-saturated world and unpack actionable strategies to maintain those fiery New Year's goals year-round.

You'll get an insider's look at my 4 a.m. morning routine, designed to prime your day for victory.

We'll swap notes on how the most straightforward actions, like a walk in the rain, can catalyze profound mental clarity and spiritual encounters.

It's all about equipping you with tools for a more intentional, fulfilling life and how to strip away the unnecessary to make room for growth.

Real-life client transformations take the spotlight, showcasing the impactful changes that stem from adopting these life strategies.

If you're ready to step into your greatness and keep your aspirations alight, regardless of life's challenges, don't miss this episode—your blueprint for personal excellence awaits.

Connect with Derick here:


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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."

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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.

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

Dai Manuel:

Welcome to another invigorating episode of the 2% Solution podcast, where we dive deep into the incremental changes that catalyze significant life transformations. Today, I'm thrilled to welcome to Eric Johnson, a beacon of resilience, transformation and leadership. With a rich tapestry of life experiences ranging from his valiant service in the US Army to conquering personal challenges and emerging as a luminary in life coaching, derek embodies the quintessence of living by design. His journey from enduring hardship to inspiring hundreds through his coaching and speaking engagements demonstrates the profound impact of embracing one's past to fuel the present and future. Derek's wisdom and insights are a testament to the power of breaking old patterns to thrive. Join us as we explore how Derek harnesses his unique experiences to empower others to step into their full potential. Whether it's transforming pain into purpose or elevating everyday habits to achieve monumental goals, derek's strategies are sure to ignite a spark within. Don't miss this opportunity to learn from a true master of life transformation and discover how you too can live by design, just as Derek does.

Dai Manuel:

Hey, everybody, welcome back to the 2% solution. As you heard in the intro, extremely honored, I got a great guest today and I swear he's like a brother from another mother. I looked at his Instagram profile. I looked at everything that he's doing online. He echoes a lot of the values that we support on this show and that's why it was a natural fit to get him on, and I'm excited today because it's my first time connecting with him as well. So, just like you, I'm learning all about Derek today. And, derek, how you doing man.

Derick Johnson:

I'm doing great, doing great. Great year so far. I'm staying productive.

Dai Manuel:

Nice, yeah. And just to give everybody context, right now it is around the middle of January 2024, when Derek and I are connecting and I know we're going to talk a little bit about New Year's intentions and goals. But I know by the time this episode airs, we're already going to be a few months into it and many people, statistically speaking, will have already given up on those intentions and goals based on frustration, lack of awareness, lack of knowledge, lack of action.

Derick Johnson:

And so.

Dai Manuel:

Derek, today is going to share some amazing tips to get you reignited, but also next time you find yourself in a deep, intentional, goal setting period of your life, you're going to have some strategies to really set yourself up for success. So today, you know, let's get a little bit of background on you, derek, just so everybody can get a little bit more understanding, and somewhere where your knowledge and experience comes from, but especially your leadership experiences in the US Army specifically, and how they shaped your approach to life coaching, which I know is a big component of how you serve people today. So take us back and walk us through that.

Derick Johnson:

Yeah for sure. Great question. So I grew up as an Army brat, meaning my dad was Army. So I grew up as a child in Germany. My father was stationed there. I was there with my mother. My mother is also German. So I got the African American country boy dad that grew up on a farm, hard work, ethic, and then I had the city girl from Germany. So Germans are really gung ho, professional, get stuff done, and so was my dad.

Derick Johnson:

So growing up I always saw my parents awake at four and five am and that was just second nature and, as we know, kids do as they see, not as they're told. So that's what I saw. So I was like all right, let me get my butt up. And so that was just natural in our family. We were athletic, we took care of our body, took care of our mind.

Derick Johnson:

And my parents. They grew up both very poor and they were the oldest and multiple siblings, but then the older they got, they succeeded really well in their careers. My mother was a kindergarten teacher, first public school for like 20 plus years and then retired from Montessori school, which is a private school. So it's an interesting teaching modalities. I didn't personally go to it, but I love seeing how the kindergartners learned and thrive just of their different way of teaching. So an example of people are familiar, they don't have classrooms and they basically have workstations, so it's an interesting concept on how to teach kids. But she would bring a lot of that at home and so taught me in a different way than most parents would, and it really worked.

Derick Johnson:

So on the flip side, my dad. He grew up poor as well and they'd lived on a farm and all that, but he joined the army and succeeded, became an officer and then ran multiple businesses, crushed in a real estate. But with their success and with their grit and tenacity. There's a lot of things in their past that they didn't address. So growing up with traumatic situations, and so when I turned 11, that's when I noticed that they were drinking more at night. So we had a beautiful home, screened in pool in Florida, beautiful family, big house and from the outside just look beautiful, but behind closed doors once the guests left after the birthday party, after the cookout, because we would always host everything. That's when the last bottle was drank and then they would just release whatever trauma happened in the past. So usually had nothing to do with me, but they were just physical, verbal, emotional and all that. And so I was the youngest, I had two sisters, and so I felt like you know what, I got a man up and accept and take this and not tell anybody because I didn't want to ruin the reputation Because they're great people. But it only happened at night, and so that foundation got me into fitness.

Derick Johnson:

I was the insecure kid. I just moved from Germany to the States. Before Europeans moved to America, we always watch American high school movies and American movies and we wonder is it really like that? So, long story short, I come to America and like my second day in school, I'm getting beat up on the basketball court, I'm thrown in the locker room and I'm like all right, it's just like the movies. And so I'm getting bullied at school.

Derick Johnson:

I'm the very skinny kid, I'm insecure, I have a bad stuttering issue and I really didn't know who I was. So it was a different intensity in the States than it was in schools that I was in in Germany, and so stuff was happening at home, stuff was happening at school and around the age of 12, I just got sick and tired of it. So I said I need to change my body. So fitness was my first stepping stone to personal development. So I changed my physique within a year and people were like, who are you? Because they thought I had a cousin or a twin, because I just totally transformed my physique. And then I was working on my public speaking. I joined Tonksudo, which is similar to Taekwondo, and I just went all in on personal development body and mind and so within a year I then just started really helping others my teammates, my classmates, people that I'd worked with and then, by the age of 15, I became a personal trainer and so I was training my parents' friends, my teachers, coworkers at the time, and I just fell in love with helping empower people with fitness, with nutrition, with mentality, and so I did Army ROTC in high school and that really helped me get out of my shell as well in regards to leadership.

Derick Johnson:

So, with the wild upbringing to then harnessing my mind and body before I was 16, I was then thriving in regards to coaching and leadership and it was interesting how that shifted, and so I always see everything as a stepping stone. So it all helped me and guided me to give what I was lacking, because I do believe kids and teenagers that have trauma. We're given a gift and that we can use that to our advantage. Some they just continue the path of the family curses, or they use that gift to manipulate people, and then others they take it in a positive light. So, whatever we're lacking and lacked as a child and teenager, people tend to give it. So I was lacking the support and the love Like I love. You was never sitting in our home. It was just like get your ass up, get to work, work hard, don't cry, suck it up, keep going. It did help me a little bit, but on the flip side, the human aspect was not there. We were just like robots.

Derick Johnson:

So, long story short, I joined the Army and then in the Army I did satellite communication. So I was a tech guy and so on the other half, I was also the Army master fitness trainer. So in the military you have your main career and then there's also other things that you could do certifications, coaching, mentorship, things of that nature. So my job was to get male and female soldiers ready to be mission, ready for deployment. Or, if they came back from an injury, if they had a divorce, things of that nature I would help them get back into physical and mental condition and so, with my experience in the Army, as a coach in martial arts, playing sports and all that, I work with so many different people that I realized that another skill was leadership, because of working with different personalities, genders, aggressiveness, like all these different types of people, and I just thrived in those situations because I was much calmer.

Derick Johnson:

And so what got me into life coaching was, after a few months or years of working with the clients, some of them would go backwards, meaning I would see them online or in person and they'd lost their results. But I took it personal and said I let him down because I didn't give him the mental tools that he needed to overcome binge eating, to overcome his divorce, to overcome alcohol, whatever the vice was. So that inspired me to get deep into life coaching and psychology. So nowadays what I do essentially is I help people break old patterns so they can thrive, not just survive. So if they feel like they hit a ceiling, I essentially just help them bust through that ceiling and get rid of whatever they had in the past that's holding them back, that they're carrying into the workplace, into their relationship. So in hindsight, healing the inner child to now helping heal others, and it's coming full circle.

Dai Manuel:

That's amazing, man. I love the story, derek. We even have a lot of similarities and I love it. Pick up on your vibe. But I can also see that that's just that passion to help others and, of course, having your own transformation journey and bringing you back here. I mean it's just a perfect representation of the hero's journey. Right, like you went on the journey, you got to the top of the mountain, turned around and, man, at the bottom of the hill there's a bunch of other people needing help to get up the hill and you've got back and you're helping them up, man, and that's inspiring. And you mentioned your mantra and I love that. In the intake form, you mentioned this and I thought it was wonderful. But you talk about helping people break old patterns and I know, with the amount of people that you've served in your history and this space, what are the most common patterns you're seeing recurring and what have been some of the best ways to support people with those or overcoming those more specifically, yeah for sure.

Derick Johnson:

Great question. So nowadays, we're now in 2024. The most common thing now is people lack attention span, like now, human beings just as a whole. In general, we have a lower attention span than ever in human history. So if you look at your grandparents, your uncles, whoever, when they were our age, they could focus more than two seconds or more than two hours on something. So, with that being said, people are just distracted by the devices TikTok, email, amazon card, netflix. All these things are awesome.

Derick Johnson:

Speed is the key nowadays, but it's ruined a lot of people's results and progress in life personal and professional because they start to work on something and a notification pops up it might even be just be for their favorite restaurant 20% discount this Saturday and then they start looking at that and then something else pops up and then they go back to work and they're like I can't get back into flow state or into my zone. I feel like I'm all over the place and I have all these unfinished projects and things floating over me and I feel like I don't even know what to choose first. So, going back to the attention span, that's one of the most common things I'll notice, because people are intelligent, they're hardworking, but if they don't have control of their focus and their time and what they're giving time to, then everything's gonna be at 20%, 40% completion. There's gonna feel like nothing is completed and eventually that leads to vices and a slippery soap spiral. But that's number one is they don't have control of their attention.

Derick Johnson:

So what I recommend people do to start off with is see your phone as a tool and be more intentional about what you do. So an example on my breaks I say you know what? I'm gonna find some funny memes to send it to my clients or my friends, but I'm intentional about five minutes of something funny. And then I'm intentional about checking emails. I'm intentional about reaching out to people and going from there, but I make it a conscious decision when I open up the phone.

Derick Johnson:

So what you're doing is just catching yourself before the pattern starts, because everyone has a digital pattern. We get bored, we don't feel like doing that thing, so we do our loop. Everyone has a digital loop. She gets bored. She opens up TikTok, she saves a video. She goes three videos deep. How the hell did I get here? Let me go to Amazon. Let me check my car. That's a beautiful shirt. Check this hey, what's my friend doing? Oh shit, two hours went by, or 30 minutes went by, and so everybody has their loop.

Derick Johnson:

So I challenge people to figure out what is your loop and why do you do it and when do you do it. Do you do it out of boredom? Do you do it because you're procrastinating and you're just trying to get the little endorphin hit from whatever you're seeing? But when people are just in control, they pause and say what am I gonna do before I grab my phone and only do that thing. It's easier said than done, but people just have to snap out of it. So that's the number one thing I notice nowadays is the lack of attention span in what they love, or just getting something done that just needs to get done. So that's definitely the most common.

Dai Manuel:

Lately I've seen I can believe that. I know that attention is probably the well out of all the resources that we have access to. It seems to be the one I'm sure to supply these days. Oh, yeah, exactly, and all the personal development gurus you've probably heard this sort of mantra said before. But where our attention goes, our energy flows right. So if we give all that attention to the phone and then we find ourselves feeling very unproductive, it's like hey because I love what you're saying.

Dai Manuel:

It's that pattern interrupt right, that's catching yourself before you trigger the habit and follow through for that little dopamine hit. And so I love all your leveraging science but also using some very practical insights to support people with this. And I gotta ask you then so where does this philosophy around pain come in? Because I think you got a really unique idea around that, where you talk about turning pain into fuel.

Dai Manuel:

Can you talk a bit about that philosophy and I guess, to continue the example, like, how would you use this philosophy to support someone that's got the attention problem?

Derick Johnson:

For sure. So I am a huge component about morning routine. So I challenge people to do two things one for the mind, one for the body, and they can choose. The mind could be planning, visualization, prayer, meditation they can choose. And then the body is running, yoga, pilates, lifting weights, whatever their option is, whatever they enjoy. But if they just choose two things and only do those two things in the morning, 30 to 60 minutes, the whole intent of the morning routine is to open up the mind, to be proactive rather than reactive.

Derick Johnson:

So, that being said, if somebody is struggling to get up, if they are struggling to get to the gym, they gotta look back in hindsight of the difficult, dark, traumatic situations they've been through and remind themselves like hey, I went through these things, I'm here for a reason, and really just remind themselves how strong they are and how far they've come and get out of the monotonous autopilot zone of I call it the default setting. Their default setting is low. So let's just say it's like a thermostat zero to 100. Their thermostat, their default setting, might be at a 60 or 65. They feel sluggish all the time, even after coffee, even if they slip eight perfect hours, they're just always sluggish. But if they think back, they're in college. They had two jobs. They would go out, they'd work out. Maybe they're a parent. They had a time period in their history of life where they did a lot, they had more energy, they slept less, they were more focused, happier and more fulfilled. Everybody can think of a period where they did that. It might have been for six months, it might have been for two years, but you have proof that you're capable of doing that. So their default setting essentially just dropped to where it's currently at. So the way to raise it is to just own that. First 30 minutes to 60 minute window of their morning and the intent is I'm being intentional about this day Open the mind, train the body, push the body, and then they're way more proactive about the day.

Derick Johnson:

But using pain as fuel, they can see what is the gift or the skill that I got from said experience. So with my childhood, my gift was discernment. I could read people. I could read a room, meet them where they're at and slowly build them up. The reason I got that is because stuff was throwing at me. I was just hyper aware of vigilant. I was in fight or flight most of my teenage years. So it made me hyper aware to read a room. I was in paranoid, I was just very calm and aware, and so if that's a skill somebody had, then they can use that to their advantage.

Derick Johnson:

And in the workouts, think of that quote unquote ultra ego, or some would call it the dark side, and all that is is just your pain, your resentment, whatever those feelings are. Yes, we wanna do the work to get rid of some, but you can also tap into that when needed to go harder than you used to. So all you're doing is using those experiences to your advantage with your workout, with your intensity for sales, your intensity to help your family get to the next level, and so use that to your advantage. You're not putting yourself in a lower dark place, you're just reminding yourself I'm stronger than I think I am. I have proof, I've been through all these things.

Derick Johnson:

So if you think of an analogy, technically he or she is undefeated. They've overcome all these traumatic situations, they're still alive and they're still healthy. So technically they're 500 and O. If you're thinking about sports, or 600 and O, or 100 and O, so they're undefeated. So all you're slowly doing is flipping your perspective to then start to raise your default setting. So that person, our friend, that's just always go, go, go in winning and even when they fail, or even when they mess up, they bounce right back quick. Their default setting is just higher. But the interesting thing is they're using less energy, less mental bandwidth, because that's just generally naturally where they operate. They're not on three cups of coffee, they're not on two scoops of C4, they're just operating at a high level. So pain can definitely help somebody. Raise your threshold, to raise and elevate their default setting where they operate at a higher level.

Dai Manuel:

I like it, I really do, and I mean that idea of pain. A lot of people avoid pain and I guess what you're really speaking to here is remembering that we are all resilient. We've all overcome some pretty hard stuff in our lives.

Dai Manuel:

And so am I gathering this correctly Like you're inviting your clients and people that are hearing this too, not avoid those hard thoughts but actually, more so, embrace them and channel that negative emotion into something positive? Is that sort of what we're referring to here? I'm just trying to understand, really, the psychological motivation of acknowledging a troubling past but also recognizing it's the past. Man, we can't change it, it's done. Yeah, exactly, you're talking about reframing it into something much more positive and motivating and inspiring, and also something that can drive us, and I'm just, is that clear? Am I explaining this path correctly?

Derick Johnson:

Yes, 100%. So the past gave us power. So when we can have clarity and we see it as a gift, it happened to us. As Tony Robbins says, life happens for you, not to you. So if you really start to emulate that mentality, we can see.

Derick Johnson:

I went through this. It made me better with kids. It made her better with animals. It made him better with leadership, because they got something from it, even if they don't think about it. They naturally are just good at this thing.

Derick Johnson:

But it all makes sense when we learn about their past. So essentially they're like perspective hopping. I had this pain. Now I have this power. How can I use this to my advantage? And that pain turns into a new career, turns into a new skill set, a new passion, a new whole path and journey of life. But it's super interesting.

Derick Johnson:

And so going back to the pain is put yourself in more situations where you have to push past pain thresholds. It might be mentally. From a workout they push for five more minutes, 10 more reps ran, one more mile with the body. They're pushing their body, seeing what it's capable of, and every time that they hit and surpass that pain threshold or that attention span threshold, they feel a high Confidence goes up, endorphins are kicking and their mind just opens and then they just start laughing. They're like, wow, two hours ago I didn't wanna do anything or I was having negative thoughts and they just tapped out of it. So we just have to remind ourselves that we have to earn a high vibration and soon that person begins to live there more frequently. We're not there 24 seven where human things happen, ebbs and flows, but we operate more with high vibration because this is just part of who we are.

Derick Johnson:

So I always like to tell people make fitness or personal development your lifestyle, not a phase. So you live by that. And if we need an example, we can look at any family member or friend that we know. That's just always on it. They're always crushing it. Life still happens to them. They still get flat tires, they still mess up, they still embarrass themselves, but they bounce back so quick because they have a morning process Every morning. They own what their routine is and they're just on it. They don't miss, doesn't matter if they're traveling in time zones or like here's what got me to where I'm at. I'm gonna rinse and repeat and keep it simple.

Dai Manuel:

Well said, well said, derek. And to sort of piggyback this pain piece, because I think it's sort of you've got a story I know around this because on the 2% solution we always like to invite the guests to share a moment in their life where they made a very quick decision. But you could have gone left or right, like it's that fork in the road moment, and you alluded in some of our past conversations that your moment occurred while at the Army and there was a tough decision that you had to navigate, and could you sort of elaborate on that Cause? I think that also would speak a lot to why you're doing what you do now.

Derick Johnson:

Yes, for sure. So I would see the pain in soldiers' eyes of a divorce, an injury, needing a waiver to go to the school that they want to. Life is happening outside the military, in their personal life or in their professional life. So I would see that and the same thing with civilians and so I would relate to a lot of them because of my upbringing or other personal things. I went through so because I had proof and experience and education and certifications and stuff. I just brought all of that along with the passion and to meet that person where they were at, to build them up, to let them know that, hey, you know what this is happening. So let's sit in it, let's go ahead and step one let's release. So a huge thing that I do with clients or friends, if I can sense their body language is off. I'm not gonna try to teach or preach or show them a new modality or give them new information, cause they're not gonna absorb it. So step one is release and release. Even as men sometimes we just gotta release, whether it's in the gym, on the punching bag, go for a run or allow ourselves to be emotional for two minutes, like one of those last time most men just cried for two minutes, even if there's no reason, even if nothing is happening right now, but they just feel they're like the workout. It helped, but something is still there. Sometimes you just gotta release tears for no reason. Listen to that song if you need to, and the intent is just to be calm again. And that smooth wave Because too many men and women, they hold things in size so much that they begin to mask it.

Derick Johnson:

They mask it with binge eating, they mask it with alcohol, they mask it with unnecessary naps. They're not even tired, but they're just trying to sleep stress away. So there's all these different things. That doesn't always have to be toxic or unhealthy, but these vices are just not getting them to where they need to because they're overshadowing. So what we do, we face what that thing is. We're fully transparent with ourselves, but we're doing it in a non-judgmental way. We're not angry at ourselves, we're not sad, I'm not judging them, and they just feel good because we're writing it down. We're seeing.

Derick Johnson:

What can we eliminate? So a huge question I ask people is what could you eliminate to make more progress in your life? Start with what you eat and what you drink, then who you're speaking to, then? What information are you consuming? Are you watching the media? Are you arguing every Tuesday for 10 minutes on Facebook with somebody about Biden, trump or whatever Like? Are you wasting time? So really looking at what you can eliminate?

Derick Johnson:

But going back to the person that's in pain, it's just guiding them. Release, change that routine, remind yourself who you are and then have a game plan or a blueprint where you can make progress daily to elevate yourself, elevate your confidence, self-love and really just operate at a higher level. So long as you're short, I always challenge people to see what can you do to become the man or woman that you would be proud of and how could you give that individual to others your family, your friends, your coworkers, strangers on the internet that see your video and they're like hey, I needed that. I don't know you, your video somehow popped up, but I needed that, thank you. Those moments, something clicks and it all makes sense, whether that's in person or digitally. But it only happens when we push past pain. We get ourselves out there and then we realize that all these things made us better and it was all part of the process.

Dai Manuel:

Yeah, I like it. I like it. And you know, process is just such a wonderful way to gain access, because, I mean, often provides a lot of clarity as well as confidence, because we have a path in front of us. You know, oh yeah, but I know not everyone has a good example, right, because we learn through mentoring and modeling. So, on that note, I'm sure those people want to. What's Derek's morning routine? You know, right, I do. So what's your morning routine look like?

Derick Johnson:

So I wake up at four, not as a challenge, not to be like my true man, alpha male, privato, it's. I've just done it most of my life. And so it stemmed from my childhood. I wouldn't really sleep much because I was preparing my for the military. I fell in love with pushing my mind and body. But now it's just, I get excited and I love the quietness and calmness of the morning. So I wake up at four.

Derick Johnson:

I go to my kitchen, I pour my dog's food we adopted a rescue pit bowl adopt, don't shop, side note but she's eating her kibble. I'm drinking my spring water and while I'm drinking it, my eyes are closed and I literally drink it in slow motion and I imagine the water going all the way down to my stomach and as I'm drinking I thank God for health, just all different things people, situations, past pain. I'm just grateful in that moment as I'm drinking the water, so I'm drinking, I'm showing gratitude. I hear my dog eating the kibble, is moving. My girlfriend's still sleeping. She wakes up later than I do. So she's sleeping, she's calm, she's safe, she's relaxed. My dog is enjoying it. I'm processing everything. I open my eyes and then I'm intentional Okay, today I'm going to train this Today, I'm going to send these emails Today. I'm going to do that. And then I get really clear. We go on a quick walk. After that walk, I then head to the gym or I run outside so I change it up, and so this is all within an hour. And then, after I walk out of the gym or I'm walking home from the run, my mind is just open, and that's when I tend to just check on people. I make a Facebook post, I start recording on my walk and some things just do that. And it's my conscience. And that video always does well, not in terms of just aiming to go viral, but it hits somebody. Somebody messages me like dude, you're like talking to me in that post or that video or that message, and it's just amazing to see. So it happens so frequently that it just opens up the door for a proactive day.

Derick Johnson:

So my whole intent is to harness my energy. Whether when I show up on calls or with people in person, I'm positively affecting them, not negatively infecting them. We're all human. We have moments where we're pissed off for two hours for no reason, or we had a nightmare, sleep, paralysis, whatever the hell happened. But we just got to make sure we harness the energy. We don't bring that version of ourselves on the call into the Monday meeting and we drop everyone's morale Because we've had people we've worked for work with that. That's what they do. They bring all their personal baggage into the thing and you're like, ah, yeah, monday morning team meeting and you just dropped it, like they don't, they don't think, they're just selfish. You're like, ah, last week we didn't hit our numbers, so don't be that person.

Derick Johnson:

So my morning process is wake up 4am, take my dog out, go to the gym one thing for the mind, one thing for the body and then start my day. And our field is totally calm and I'm ready for anything. So it's just to be proactive. Because, on the flip side, everybody has hit snooze three to five times. Then you're late, everybody goes up. You're annoyed. Everybody is texting and calling you. You're getting every email. You're just like, holy s***, can I get five minutes to myself?

Derick Johnson:

But it's our fault because we didn't create a proactive morning. We're reactive to everything. So we feel like we're being pulled in all directions. So we've seen the bad. Everybody's experienced that. But why not harness that morning routine and own it? And my favorite thing is traveling into different time zones, because I still stick to it and no matter how tired I am. But the thing is like you are riding on a high because you're like most people would have said, oh, I'm going to get back to it after my trip or this and that, but you stay in that zone and you respect yourself enough and your goals and your standards that you're going to stick with it. And that's a high that cannot be replicated. Can't take a pill for it, can't go on a DMT trip, can't drink for it, you can't get hand claps on the internet and whatever makes somebody feel good. You have to earn it. And that level of confidence and self love is like none other.

Dai Manuel:

I think I got to echo a lot of what you just said. I wake up between 3, 3, and 4 every day and no alarm. I just it's autopilot, right. It's just like I'm so ingrained even when we were living in Bali for three years, my family and I like I was still getting up between 3, 3, and 4, you know, and so I can attest to what you're speaking but also it becomes such a lifestyle, you know, it's like I don't think about it, like subconscious and consciously they're aligned.

Derick Johnson:

Yes.

Dai Manuel:

But I also really appreciate, derek, that you're not someone that just instantly prescribes do this, do this, do this, because there's a lot of lists out there.

Dai Manuel:

Oh yeah 5 am you got to do 20 things before 7, you know, and I just know like even the 75 hard and I'm nothing against it. It's a wonderful program, it works for a lot of individuals, but it also doesn't work for a lot of people and because you know, if you got to rearrange your entire lifestyle to adopt to some program, it's not really a lifestyle right. We're trying to put that square peg in a round hole and hoping for the best and then we get frustrated with ourselves. Why aren't we getting the results?

Derick Johnson:

And I appreciate.

Dai Manuel:

You check in with yourself and then you set the intentions after you've reflected on your gratitude and getting some hydration in you. So I just think it's a refreshing outlook and I just want to acknowledge you for that. So thank you for being just a great example of what's possible. You know, when you just really start to embrace those extra couple hours Like I remember when I was running my previous business and at the same time I had like everybody aside hustle, you know, because I found myself with these couple extra hours every day. Yeah, you know, two extra hours, like because I get up early, right, like most people, even if they got up early with 6am and I'm like I'm getting up at 4. Well, two extra hours a day of productivity equals one extra month a year, exactly. So I've been writing a book called the 13th month, with all on this concept, so I'll have to share it with you when it's ready, Derek, because I think you'll jam with it.

Dai Manuel:

But you know I'd love to. I know we're sort of getting close to the end now, but I want to make sure that we talk about a couple other interesting things that you chatted about. Yeah, because you mentioned you're not only a morning person, which we obviously can tell, but you're also a coffee lover. Yes, yes, right, yeah.

Derick Johnson:

I actually pre-workouts are my thing. I drink coffee occasionally but, definitely workouts are my thing. I don't push it on anybody, but I just love the tingles.

Dai Manuel:

Pre-workouts do you do, because I tend to lean more to coffee or caffeine. You know, specifically for my pre-workout, yes, and I've been vetting a couple new products, you know, just sort of playing with them and to see how my body responds. But I'm also 47 now, so I recognize I'm a little bit more sensitive, especially to some of those pre-workouts. I was curious what do you use personally?

Derick Johnson:

My favorite that I like to use consistently not every day, I would say three days a week is C4 RIT. Okay, so with myself, I don't take creatine. Creatine is amazing but I just turn it to a pillow. Even if I just look at creatine, I just swell up Like I got some clients and some friends they could take it 365 days a year and they're shredded me. I look at it, I just retain water. So I've tried every variation. But the thing I love about C4 RIT and other similar pre-workouts, it does not have creatine in it and so like if I get creatine it'll be from a steak, from other meats and all that. But I just like it because it's just smooth energy. It's not a ton of stimulants. Some guys are like, oh, I really don't feel it. But for me I just like the focus that I get on it and every couple of weeks I'll buy random brands just to test them out. But my favorite ingredient in all pre-workouts, besides the caffeine, is beta alanine which is definitely what I love it.

Derick Johnson:

Some people hate it. They get anxiety.

Dai Manuel:

They're like my ear's flinching.

Derick Johnson:

What is going on? Is your hand sawing me Like I don't know what's happening Me?

Dai Manuel:

I'm like oh, it's chicken A niacin flush too right that niacin that B-synchulirin is yeah, yeah, yeah, that's super cool man.

Derick Johnson:

And so with me it's just a correlation of I wake up and I drink several glasses of water beforehand. Why don't I just go straight to the caffeine? But by the time I get to the gym or start walking or running or whatever I'm doing, it just plays into my process of like I'll train to very intense music or something that I could feel. Anything that'll give me chills, even if it's just a piano with some build-up music. Sometimes I just listen to movie soundtracks, just like vision that I'm running in the street and just while shit's happening.

Dai Manuel:

I am the tiger baby.

Derick Johnson:

That's not fun, yeah, exactly. And so sometimes you just got to create a character. So, going to that, I recommend that everybody create an alter ego if you don't already have one, if you have a nickname or you never liked your name growing up, you're like Dad, why'd you name me this or why'd they name me that? So, naming that alter ego and tapping into that person as needed the morning, you don't feel like training. Dary doesn't train, but the alter ego, all he knows is get shit done.

Derick Johnson:

And the same thing with work-wise. Maybe they don't feel like sending that extra email and they can tell themselves people depend on me. And then they tap into another version to continuously make that email, send another call, whatever the case may be, and they realize another opportunity is created, another contact is connected with and they're like, wow, I was this close to closing my laptop or leaving the office or walking out of the gym. They did one more rep, one more call, one email, one more conversation that they didn't feel like it. Something amazing always happens, even at a spiritual standpoint. They just have clarity and they're like, wow, I'm grateful, I'm aware that I'm much more focused and a lot more things are possible once I push past that threshold. So the threshold doesn't always have to be physical, from work out or mental. It could also just be doing one more thing of whatever is going to move us ahead. So that's a huge thing that I recommend people start to do and be hyper aware of it. You just have to snap out of your monotonous autopilot zone.

Dai Manuel:

That's right. Oh, that's I like that. The pattern interrupt is Tony Robbins or other NLP practitioners always talk about, but it's so effective, right, I know, with your military background there's a lot of pattern interrupts. Oh yeah, nothing goes as planned.

Derick Johnson:

Nothing goes as planned. We have a term called Fraggo, and Fraggo is basically when you're doing things totally different. People are like I need my structure, I need this and this. All right, imagine a digital bomb is dropped on your calendar and it's like all right, now, what are you going to do? So now? You're dehydrated, you're hungry, you're having to eat and you're stressed, but you have a written test. What version of yourself shows up to take that written test? What version of yourself shows up to go to your kid's birthday party when you're physically, mentally, drained, are you going to be positive and support them?

Derick Johnson:

So those key moments is when people just have to learn how to harness gratitude, having the skill to elevate their state or bring their state down so they can show up better for others, and nobody knows what happens. So we're not pretending that we don't feel these things, it's just do you have the skill and the ability to come back to an equilibrium within less than 10 minutes? If you do, you're going to be one of the best leaders, because you're not acting on emotion all the time and being reactive to everything and ruining things, but that's all out. People are, but they don't notice it until after the fact they just need some guidance and they just need to pause. So that's why I always recommend people pause more and go back to the basics Anything more time in nature. One of the last times somebody was grounding, and if people don't know what grounding is, take your shoes and socks off and literally grip the sand, the grass, the mud. Wherever you're living. Snow is snowing in a lot of places now, even in Texas.

Dai Manuel:

Right now, my buddy's saying you can pick, I know, but one of my clients just come to your message in Texas and I'm like dude, is that what's up? So he's going like no, oh, yeah, yeah.

Derick Johnson:

So like, with that being said, that could be somebody's pattern in a rupture. So, just sticking to the basics and just doing something that is different that will benefit you, and just being present in the moment, seeing what comes to mind. Like an example, I challenged one of my clients to go on walks in the rain and it wasn't thunderstorming, but she started doing it. She's like I have so much clarity and I said, yeah, look at what happens, like the way it was hitting my skin.

Derick Johnson:

I thought about this and this and had these ideas and then I started running and I was sort of sprinting and I was like I just recommend that she walk for like 10 minutes. She had this whole spiritual moment, just being in the rain and being in nature. So that's a huge thing that I recommend people do is put yourself in nature more and be present and see what happens. Something spiritual is going to happen, an idea is going to flow to you. Somebody's name will come to mind, god might speak to you, whatever somebody believes in, but it only will happen when we're present and we're not in our head.

Dai Manuel:

You're so right and I mean everything you've dropped today has been great. I got to say, derek, thank you for sharing all these wisdom bombs. You actually addressed a couple of other questions that I was going to ask, but you end up answering them anyways. It was some of the other questions, so I just really appreciate it and thankful for you joining today.

Dai Manuel:

Extreme gratitude for you and how you're making an impact locally and globally, like dude, some of those videos that I've seen. They're very inspiring, they're motivating, they're educational, but they're also just a wonderful example of what's possible when we choose to look at things differently and choose to be different ourselves. In the moment and I think that's also what you were just speaking to it's like there's always a choice, isn't there? There's a choice we want to react to that emotional trigger or do we want to be more stoic and handle it in a much more proactive way, because we don't know how we really are going to be, until we're finding ourselves in one of those old shit moments and I know, with military background, with yourself, I mean, they prepare you for that.

Dai Manuel:

But if you aren't in the military, and before we go today, what do you think is one of the best exercises people can do to really sharpen their minds? Because I know there's so many different ideas around this, and I appreciate that you talked about looking at our past, those painful moments, leveraging those, reframing those to push ourselves through the present hard moments that we're dealing with, because chances are, it's not as bad as what we've already dealt with. Oh yeah, sharpening that perspective and that mental fortitude. What's an exercise you should ask people to begin with, and then we've got one other question for you. We'll call it a day.

Derick Johnson:

For sure. I recommend people do weighted walks. In the military we call it ruck marches. So you would see Army guys, a massive backpack, 70 to 100 pounds, in there, so you don't have to do all that. So here's two options. Somebody can get an old backpack and the most important part is pull it as high as you can. It should be at the top of your back, not leaning back we used to be cool in school and hanging down, or hanging off.

Dai Manuel:

I have a turn of the pink button Got a curtain here, Books in there.

Derick Johnson:

You're like damn, I got weightlifting in an hour.

Derick Johnson:

So, please wear it at the top of your back, on your shoulders. But what you could do? You could use jugs of water, so then it'll move right. If you want to use books, that's fine, but I would wrap it in towels. But basically, just add some weight into your backpack. You can get a sandbag. Go in your backyard, put something in a plastic bag, get creative with it, but just make sure nothing is digging in your sides. That's the intent of that.

Derick Johnson:

But if you can do minimum, start off with 20 pounds and just go walk for 20 minutes. You don't have to walk up a hill, you don't have to sprint, do anything crazy. Just start going on weighted walks. And yes, it's a workout for your legs and your core, but it's what starts to happen to your mind 10 minutes in on the walk home. That person gets clarity and all you're doing is pushing past thresholds. You're out of your comfort zone. This is different. At first you're annoyed, all my knees pop in this and this, but five minutes in, something shifts and every single person feels like a badass. I don't care if it's 10 pounds, if it's 70 pounds. Just start with 20.

Derick Johnson:

Most people are pretty strong. You could also get a vest if you want, so it's more balanced, you can choose. But if somebody doesn't want to buy anything, just find an old backpack, put some sand in it. If you have weights, put them in it. Please wrap a towel around or something, so it's not digging your side. They'll message me and be like yo, I'm all scratched up. Okay, that's your watch.

Derick Johnson:

But in general is ruck marches, which is just essentially a way to walk. Start with 20 minutes. If somebody does this three to five days a week, the mental clarity they get from it and you're going to drop body fat. There's a lot of physical benefits you get, but the mental aspect, just go into it and really strategize your day. You're just going on a brisk walk. Really think about all right, what are some things I need to work on? And everybody knows those thoughts. They need to have more, but they usually run from it. So during that walk you can think of all those things and you're going to start to find solutions because you're out of your comfort zone, your mind is open and you feel like a badass. So there's going to be a lot of shifts that happen internally and externally.

Derick Johnson:

Number two would be to get yourself out of your comfort zone in regards to social settings. This is not what we do in the military, but it's something that I recommend. If somebody doesn't have to give public speeches, they could either join Toastmasters or would. I highly recommend everybody do once a month, go to improv. Once a month, go to improv.

Derick Johnson:

Most first classes are free, but if they go to improv some people are like, well, that's weird, I don't want to act, I don't want to get overthinking it. Be quiet, you need this, that person that's overthinking. If they go to it and they just stop self-judging and let's just say he has to act like a doctor and this lady is acting this character. Go there for 30 minutes. What they do? They release their inner child. They start having so much clarity. Their next presentation they're going to crush it. Their next sales call they're going to crush it. They're going to be out of their head the reason why they ignited that inner child.

Derick Johnson:

We have the beast mode over here weighted, walk, sweating, dripping sweat, thinking about life. The other side is when it was the last time you released that inner child, and the great way to do it is at improv. There's no audience, it's just you and strangers. You act out 30 minutes to an hour, but afterwards you sit in your car and you're like that was different, but something released. It's amazing the shift that happens. I always recommended it to people. Do that weighted walk for the mind and body and then do something in regards to a social setting Go to improv toastmasters. If somebody attends church, raise your hand more or say, hey, could I give the sermon next Thursday or whatever the case may be, but just step out of that comfort zone Afterwards. Just take into account what starts happening. That's the best part. Everybody has their own thing and they're like, wow, okay, pull us so much more. Or maybe you release some trauma just acting like a friggin' dog for 20 minutes at improv or whatever. You had to act. So it's pretty interesting what happens.

Dai Manuel:

It's remarkable what happens If you look at the neuroscience of it too. When we're doing new things, it's amazing the neural pathways that are formed and solidified and also that belief system gets shifted. I know for myself when I joined toastmasters is because I dealt with social anxiety. It was a requirement for me to overcome that, because I wanted to overcome it, but I needed support and help and examples of other people that were doing it, and so I speak to toastmasters frequently. But then, after I got through toastmasters I'm almost done my second DTM right now and I decided during COVID standup comedy.

Dai Manuel:

There you go All right and biggest challenge in my life, and I was like, okay, I didn't do it just once, I did it three times, it's okay and I'm getting ready to do it again. And I'll tell you way outside my comfort zone, derek, way outside, but to your point, it was the best thing I could have done and actually it was so good for not only myself, the steam, but also for that inner confidence to know that I can do some really hard things, you know that are full.

Dai Manuel:

I'm afraid I am and I acknowledge the fear of doing it, but I did it anyways.

Derick Johnson:

And there you go. You still showed up.

Dai Manuel:

Yeah, yeah, and I just got to say it's awesome. But also the improv suggestion that you made is just wonderful. You know learning how to play again, right, and that inner child and releasing that. You know you've had some wonderful ideas today and strategy shared. I thank you again, Derek, I appreciate it.

Dai Manuel:

I will have all your links to all your platforms in the show notes. But if people were going to lock in on one social media channel to really connect and start to get to know you, what would be your best channel that they should start?

Derick Johnson:

with. I would start with Instagram. That's my personal favorite. I use every app, but Instagram just feel like the community aspect of messaging and everything it's more personal. So that is fit with Derek 2, with the number 2. F-i-t-w-i-t-h-d-e-r-i-c-k.

Derick Johnson:

My whole intent is to plant seeds. If somebody hits snooze five times, they're going to see a video and they'll be like, oh he called me out, let me get on my game again. Or if they're like, hey, I relate to that. I just love making people think To be that pattern interrupter and speak about topics they don't talk about. This morning I made a post about raising your standards and I was talking about how some people date the same person with a different face and their pattern is they just keep running in the same thing. But it's a them issue, not a people issue. So topics like that that just make people think and stop and really make them be aware of themselves, and that's my whole intent Plant seeds, plant seeds. And besides that, I love showing client testimonials, videos and pictures and they speak about their journey or overcoming traumas, crippling social anxiety, having two divorces, giving up drugs and alcohol all those different things and it just gets me excited and I love seeing people's feedback and they're like dude. That's the same guy. 100 pounds Like holy shit.

Dai Manuel:

I love it. I love it, Derek. You're an inspiring man and thank you for showing up every day and doing what you do.

Dai Manuel:

You know the world's just more like you, man leading the charge, so I feel very grateful to have met you. I've been especially extremely grateful to have you on the show today. I know I just got this feeling you're going to be back later this year. I know I'm going to get you back here again because I'm going to have lots of questions from the audience and I'm sure they're going to want to have you back as well. And any before we go today I'd like to give you the last four. Is there anything you'd like to share with somebody that might be on the fence? You know they're right there on the precipice of wanting to make a big change, but they've been really apprehensive about committing and taking that step, that leap of faith. What would you say to that individual?

Derick Johnson:

What I would say to him or her is you've been through so much and you didn't come this far just to be miserable and not like yourself. You didn't come this far just to be financially struggling to be in this toxic relationship. You didn't come this far just to feel stuck. All this is to your advantage. So you've got to figure out what the light is and what the skill is that you got from these experiences, because you used to have a vision, a version 10.0. So my challenge to that individual is sit down, grab a sheet of paper and write every single portion and characteristic inside and out of your version 10.0. Get crystal clear, because too many people they just say vague statements I want to be rich, I want to be famous, I want a loving family, I want to get married. Those things sound great, but they're just vague statements, so it's kind of up in the air floaty. So if they create a version 10.0, they say how does he or she look? Where do they live? Are they married? Do they have kids? How many kids do they have? How is your home? Are you living in a house, a condo, a penthouse? What about your this? What crystal clear in every area of their life and then they really envision that person and the interesting that happens.

Derick Johnson:

Once they have crystal clear clarity on what they want in life, they get excited about the work because they have such a clear vision of an end goal or the big goal or the long journey, that the work is seen as something different. So that's a huge thing that I recommend, because many people they just have these vague statements. They don't really have a crystal clear vision. The people that do, they're the ones that are always crushing it, because when they go through something, this is so clear that they don't even care about what's happening right now. They're like I'm so clear that I'm excited this pain is happening. That means I needed this test and it's all perspective.

Derick Johnson:

So that's what I would leave somebody with is get as clear as possible how you look, how you feel, who's around you, where you're living, are you traveling, are you in your hometown, are you in business, are you speaking to thousands on stage, are you an online streamer? It's all about what you want. So reignite that thing. You want something, but somebody in your life gave you a piece of advice and you dropped your standard. Your goal is up here, some shit happened or you heard a negative opinion and you slowly dropped it and then you just said yeah, maybe it's not for me, it is for you. This is your reminder. So get clear on that and let's get to work.

Dai Manuel:

Nice, oh man. And with that I think we just got to drop the mic. Well, don't get. The mics are pretty expensive, but you know what I mean. Thank you, derek, I appreciate it.

Derick Johnson:

Thank you for having me.

Dai Manuel:

Yeah, of course, and look forward to having you back in the near future. But all the links for Derek's Amazingness is shared in the show notes. Be sure to click on the expand there. Go check him out on Instagram, throw him a DM, let him know how much you appreciated conversation we had today, as well as follow along to get extra inspiration, daily motivation and start expanding that mind and mindset. And because you know what, as they say, iron sharpens iron.

Dai Manuel:

So we got to get around each other to support one another and really try to elevate one another, you know, Because that's how the world gets better 2% at a time, you know. So again, thank you, Derek, for being here. Look forward to continuing to follow your journey online, but also stage a time.

Derick Johnson:

Thank you, thank you.

Dai Manuel:

Oh man, what an extraordinary ride we've taken today with Derek Johnson on the 2% Solution Podcast. Derek's insightful stories and strategies on transforming pain into power and leveraging past experiences for a triumphant present and future have truly enlightened us. His journey from the disciplined life of a US Army veteran to a life coach and trainer who's impacted hundreds showcases the unparalleled strength of human spirit and the incredible potential within us to break free from old patterns and soar to new heights. As we wrap up this episode, let's take a moment to reflect on the powerful message Derek shared about thriving, not just surviving. It's clear that with the right mindset, tools and a dash of perseverance, transforming our lives is within reach. Derek's approach to life coaching isn't just about achieving goals. It's about crafting a life filled with joy, purpose and fulfillment. For those looking to dive deeper into Derek's work and continue the journey towards personal excellence, be sure to check out his website at fitwithderekcom and follow him on his social platforms linked in the show notes. Derek's insights, coupled with his practical advice, are invaluable resources for anyone looking to make significant life changes. And if today's conversation struck a chord with you, why not share the love? Leave us a review.

Dai Manuel:

Subscribe to the 2% Solution Podcast for more life-changing episodes, and don't hesitate to share this episode with someone who might benefit from Derek's wisdom. Each small action you take could be the 2% change someone needs to transform their life. Remember, every journey begins with a single step and every significant change starts with a 2% shift. Inspired by Derek's journey, let's all commit to making those small, consistent efforts that lead to massive transformations. Until next time. Here's to living a life by design, not by default. Keep pushing forward, keep thriving and let's all aspire to be just a little bit better every single day. See you next time.

Transformative Life Coaching With Derek
Converting Pain Into Productivity
Morning Routine and Personal Growth
Pre-Workout Preferences and Alter Egos
Benefits of Weighted Walks and Improv
Transforming Pain Into Power

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