Though we are expected to do so, maximizing talents is something most people neglect. We just stay in the comfortable, maintain the same old mindset, and not allowing ourselves to stretch. Rodney Flowers aims to change this with entrepreneur and leadership developer Cory Lee. Together, they discuss the importance of looking within instead of beyond to discover your talents, especially the untapped ones. They talk about the benefits of accepting even the most grueling challenges to allow yourself to grow, why it is important to revisit your values, and why settling in the comfort zone is the last thing you want to do if you want to succeed.
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How Maximizing Talents Can Lead To A Better Mindset With Cory Lee
I have Cory Lee, an entrepreneur, a business builder and leadership developer who is passionate about helping entrepreneurs navigate business world without sacrificing their faith, family and fitness. He and his wife have built and sold multiple businesses in the healthcare and fitness industries. When he isn’t helping companies and individuals grow, Cory can be found spending time with his wife and three children at their home in Mississippi. Mr. Cory Lee, welcome to the show.
Thanks, Rodney. I’m excited and thank you for inviting me. I’m looking forward to our conversation around game changer mentality.
I’m glad that you’re here. I’ve read about you and some of the successes that you’ve had in life. I want to know what has caused you or allowed you to walk so boldly in your gift? You’re a humble guy, you ooze humility and I want to know what caused you to be this type of person. You experienced so much success but yet have so much humility.
Humility is a word I struggled with for a long time, Rodney. You’ve got two sides of humility. You’ve got the too far where you’re so arrogant and nobody likes you, then you’ve got the other end of the spectrum where you think too less of yourself, you think you’re less than. That’s where I hung out at. There’s something in your intro I love, when you’re coming on, the lady is talking. She says, “Above the social norm,” and I love that little phrase and that is awesome. We’re called to live above the social norm, away from the pack.
You’re the first person to ever call that out. Thank you. I appreciate that.
A little bit of my background. You mentioned my wife and I had several businesses. In a five-year period of time, we had three kids, we built four gyms and two physical therapy clinics. Within five years, we built those and sold them all. I was born and raised by my mom and my grandmother because when I was about three, my dad wrote on a piece of paper, took this piece of paper and he stuck it, taped it to the door of our single wide trailer and told my mom he was leaving to move to Chicago with another lady. She got the opportunity to raise a three-year-old and a one-year-old on her own.Everyone is called to live above the social norm, away from the pack. Click To Tweet
She was not on her own though, she still had my grandmother. I can still hear my grandmother’s voice. She’ll say, “These two grand baby boys of mine, they are not growing up to be no sissies.” We’d be at her house and she’d say, “Get out here.” We’d get out and we’d walk up out onto her porch, and she would have her car jacked up with the driver’s side tire laid over and say, “Pick it up, put it back on.” Rodney, I’m five. I can’t even lift this tire. She would have us in her bathroom with a plunger hovered over the toilet, trying to unclog this unclogged toilet, there’s nothing wrong with the toilet. She was living out that old John Wooden quote, he said, “When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.”
She wanted us to be ready for when that tire was flat. She wanted us to be ready for when that toilet was clogged up. My mom and my grandmother, they loved us much and they did the best they could, but it was in that environment that I was programmed to believe certain things. I was programmed to believe things about you and your readers. I was programmed to believe things about me and my potential and what I could and could not do. We had a lot of sayings like, “You don’t take risks. It’s better to be safe than it is to be sorry.”
You’ve probably heard all those kinds of things, but the one that stuck out to me was, “Stay humble.” That’s a great quote if you have the right definition of what humility is. I had the wrong definition. I thought humility was licking myself less than, and it wasn’t until I heard Adrian Rogers talking on humility. He said, “Humility is a form of rebellion.” We’ve all got these gifts and these talents and this potential. When we start to let those gifts and talents shine, then many people will call that arrogance.
He said, “That’s not arrogance. That’s awareness. The moment you step in and you don’t bring that forward. The moment you step in and you hold back, you decide to settle for something less because you’re having a sense of humility, then that’s rebellion against the gifts that God has freely given you.” It shifted my mind. We talk about game changer mentality. It was that, along with a teacher coming alongside of me as well, she challenged me to do stuff that I’d never done before. It’s when she challenged me to do that, I realized that her title was teacher, but what she was, was a leader because a leader sees talent and potential within other people, and they extract that.
Over a course of time, I changed my definition of what humility is. There’s the big quote out there, “Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, but it’s thinking of yourself less.” The way I’ve come to define humility is recognizing the gifts, the talents and the abilities that you have. Being aware of those and using those to serve and add value to other people, because when we don’t, we don’t only rob ourselves, we rob the world of something incredible. That’s interesting that you said humility. That’s not something we talked about before, but humility is, early on, one of my enemies from the opposite end of the spectrum.
A lot of people deal with that. It’s a form of identity crisis, not realizing who you are, what you have and how you are responsible to present that and contribute your gifts to the world. We all have something. When we find out what that is, we are charged with 100%, 110% delivering that. Being the best version of ourselves that we can be and giving our gift to the world, serving the world, because that’s why we are here. There’s something unique about all of us. There’s something about every last one of us that are here, and we all have something to contribute. When we can find that and deliver on that, that’s when you make the world a better place. We do our part and fulfill our role.
Not to think less of yourself but walk fully with who you are and what you have is a beautiful thing. It’s something that a lot of people struggle with. What would you recommend to someone who’s struggling with what you struggled with? You had your support system, your mom and your grandmother to help you. You’ve read these quotes. You were exposed to certain information to facilitate you getting out of that spot, but you’re on the other side of that. What would you say to someone who’s dealing with this?
I wholeheartedly agree with you when you say everybody has got that talent and potential, but it is sometimes so hard to see. It’s hard to see the picture when you’re in the frame. It’s hard to see the things that come so easily and natural to you. One of the things that I like to do is, I call it life-defining moments, timeline, where you start out at zero and go all the way however old you are. Break it down in five-year, ten-year increments and moments that defined you. You will find things in your life that stood out to you, that shaped who you are, but you also get compliments from people that say, “Rodney, you’re such a good speaker. You’re so good at communicating.” Many times, we brush that off, “Anybody can do that.” Anybody could, but some people are gifted at it.
I would take notice of those things that come natural to you. It seems easy to you, but it’s not easy to other people. That’s a clue into the sum of your giftedness. The other thing that I try to be mindful of is increase in awareness too. Be mindful of the things that you’re into. Pay attention to what you are into. The things you like, that’s a clue as well. It’s a clue to some of where your giftedness lies and maybe an area that you spend more time in too.
During your journey, what were some of the mindset traps to being mindful, or maybe that we need to be mindful of as we go through our journey? What are some of those things?
I can tell you so many, but I’ll go back to one more on the teacher. I told you that I had a teacher that challenged me to get outside of my comfort zone. She was always challenging me. What she challenged me to do, it wasn’t anything spectacular, but she challenged me to do a 5k. I played high school baseball and football. We did not run. There was no such thing as a 5k fun run. We did not do that. It was for punishment. I respected my teacher and I did it, and it wasn’t to the end of this journey that I saw the trap that I was in. I remember running this race, and across that finish line, they put that little finishers medal around my neck and this thought popped into my mind, “I ran 3 miles without stopping. I wonder what else I can do. I wonder how much further I can go.”
That 3 turned into 6, 6 turned into 13, 13 turned into 26, and 26 turned into 31. I ran a 31-mile race on the beach, in the sand in Destin, Florida, and won first place overall. As I finished that race, another thought popped into my mind. I ran further than I thought it was even possible. I wondered, “What other areas of my life might I be holding back in?” I wonder what other areas of my life I could go further in. I wonder what else I can do. The mindset trap that I was in was more of a limited mindset. I didn’t even know what was possible. I thought it was possible for other people. We talk about abundance and gifts and talents. Somebody reading this and they may have read all your other episodes as well. Rodney believes in people with gifts and talents and abilities. I believe that too, for other people, and for me too. I had to shift my mindset, and for me too. The other one was when my wife and I, it was a dream of ours to own our own physical therapy clinic.
I remember driving around town. We were about to open up. I drive past all these other physical therapy clinics. They have this alphabet behind their name. I fell into comparison trap of I’m just a physical therapist’s assistant. I went from so excited and enthusiastic to comparing myself to other people. They had these long alphabets out behind their name. They’re awesome guys and girls. I knew them. I come home and I say, “I’m a physical therapist’s assistant. These guys have alphabet out behind their name. I don’t think this is going to work out. We should stick with what we’re doing.”If you don't use your talents to serve others, you rob the world of something incredible. Click To Tweet
My wife said one thing to me. She said, “You know how to make people feel good.” In that moment, I realized what I had done was I had fallen into that comparison trap. Comparing myself to other people. They have gifts and talents too, but so do I. They’re not me and I’m not them. I had a mentor say, “Cory, when you get to heaven, God isn’t going to ask you why you weren’t more like Mother Teresa. He’s going to ask you, ‘Why aren’t you more like you? Why weren’t you more the Cory Lee I designed and created you to be?’” That’s a trap I still fall into. It’s a trap a lot of us still fall into as well.
Why do you think that is?
I think it’s easy. We’re looking on the outside circumstances and conditions. We see other people doing things, but we don’t go inside. I truly am a person of faith. I think God has created us all with those unique talents and abilities, but we don’t take time to go inside. We have insight and we have eyesight, but many times we’ll use our eyesight to see everybody else, but we don’t use that insight to see what’s possible for our own lives. I still have trouble with it. It’s a process too. Take our focus off of other people and go insight instead of using our eyesight.
It’s deceiving. Everyone has something to contribute. Everyone has a gift and a talent, but yet we see other people doing all these miraculous things or successful. We don’t look at ourselves as having the ability to do that. That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to get into what I’m doing, because having the ability to walk again, after I accomplished that, I would ask myself, “Why isn’t more people doing this? Why is it so rare?” People come to me, “You inspire me. You’re great. This is a miraculous thing you’ve done. If it was me, I couldn’t have done it.” They put you up on a pedestal. I was thinking what I had to do is going in. It was to faith, having a routine, the visualization, it was all of those things. Outwardly, when I meet people, I was held up on a pedestal. I started writing books, it was the same thing, they hold you up on a pedestal. I was being me. That was what was inside of me. What was pulling on me, tugging me to do. I’m like, “I’m going to go do that and I’m going to do it 100%.” I find that even with my clients, a lot of times they don’t feel they have a gap that pushed them to believe themselves, discovering themselves.
A lot of times I use the challenge that happened in their life. You talked about the teacher challenge. I want to touch on that a bit. I use the challenge because sometimes life guides us, and a lot of times we don’t go to the insight until we have to learn to and force to. There’s a lot of insightfulness going on because we’re trying to figure out how to navigate, but if we don’t have the pressure, the stress, the issues to force us to go into that space where we’re discovering who we are and what we’re capable of. We don’t seem to take that approach. How do we get to that space where we are deliberate and intentional about discovering who we are and maximizing our gifts and talents?
The word there is “deliberate and intentional.” It wasn’t until I became deliberate and intentional with my time to write. We have to be intentional about our time and set aside a time for that. You talked about meditation and visualization. You can’t hurry up and visualize and meditate. You have to set that time aside and you have to be intentional about that. You are probably the same way and see people all the time too of, “I can’t get up in the morning. It’s hard for me to get up.” Whatever the excuse is. It’s hard for me too as well sometimes. I don’t know how long it is, but there became some tipping point where I was making myself get up and do it. I look forward to it, Rodney. I enjoy getting up and doing the visualization, the meditating and the praying and reading my Bible. You have to be intentional about it. It’s the intentionality behind it and setting the time aside. I tell my wife and other people, “My time is valuable. I’ve got it booked.” I don’t like people messing with my time. I went so long drifting, floating and coasting, and you get stuck that way. Intentional with your time is the step zero. It has been for me, that step zero, being intentional with my time.
What are your thoughts about your teacher challenging you? A lot of times we don’t like challenge. We want to avoid challenge. You gain something out of that challenge that is lasting your lifetime. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. What are your thoughts about challenges?
Even then, I was competitive in sports and all. This was a bit different challenge. It was something I’d never done before. She challenged me to do something, and even though I didn’t know it at the time, her heart was motivated out of love. I couldn’t tell it then, but I can now after I reflect and assess. Her motives were, “I see something in there. I’m going to push him a bit to do something that he’s never done before.” People can tell when people are motivated for personal gain. If I wanted to challenge you to do something, if there was something for me to gain out of that, there would be some resistance there, but she gained nothing. There was nothing for her to gain from me doing that, but even other times she was always challenging me to do things. Even the way she went about it was her intentions were motivated, what I call out of love, love to see somebody move higher levels.
Constantly challenging ourselves, and if we’re not being challenged, then we’re stuck. We’re not growing. We know that growth is the only guarantee that our future will be better. Our son is in third grade. I was doing his homework with him. He’s doing third grade math. I remember doing the math with him. I’m doing this math and I’m like, “I remember learning this stuff in high school, and they’re learning in third grade?” My point there is if we’re not growing, we’re not standing still, we’re getting left behind. Change is occurring and we’re seeing it, but it’s so rapid in every single industry and field. Constantly being challenged, challenging ourselves and allowing other people to challenge us. If we’ve got that accountability group or someone we’ve allowed to get that flashlight and to shine into our lives, having people like that is important and powerful too. Accept the challenge.
I’ve been thinking about pondering on the definition of challenge and the whole idea of challenge, given that the world is in a challenging state. What I’m coming up with is unfamiliar. You haven’t done it, so you don’t know the process. You’re trying to figure out how to navigate it. That’s challenging in and of itself. That’s what a challenge is. What causes it not to be a challenge is you being familiar. When you’re not familiar, it’s challenging. Once you become familiar, it’s no longer challenging anymore. It’s like, “What’s next?” When you talk about rapid change, growth and learning, we are in a constant state of challenge if we are on that train. If we’re riding that ship, we’re in a constant state of challenge, which is a constant state of discomfort because we’re constantly in a place where things are unfamiliar.
As we continue to do it, go through, learn and grow in the process that was once challenging, it no longer becomes challenging. You become familiar and you become a master. I’ve gotten to the point where I loved that. I love it to the point where I feel that I’m blessed that God has built this in the design of life. It’s built in. When I look at nature, it embodies this. You’ve got to put a seed in the dirt in order for a tree to grow. A lot of animals have to burst out of an egg, and they have to struggle out of this egg in order to survive, to come out. The struggle from day one is challenge from day one. I was talking to someone about the butterflies in this cocoon, it has to struggle to get out of this cocoon. If you take the cocoon away, the butterfly doesn’t learn how to fly, it doesn’t have the strength in its wings to fly.
I love this because I believe that having game changing mentality is all about mindset. It’s not talent, but you can still win if you have the right mindset even if you don’t have the talent. If you had the talent but you don’t have the mindset, that doesn’t guarantee you’re going to win. You still have to have the mindset. This gives me a perspective on how things show up in my life in terms of challenges. When you have a positive perspective or outlook on the things that are happening for you, it puts you in a better position to win.
The way gold is refined is it’s put through the fire, all the impurities float to the top. It’s not pure gold when it comes out of the gold mine. You have to refine it. There’s a refining process. I’ve been thinking about this same thing the whole time too about challenges. I look at people who win the lottery or people who may have gotten an inheritance. They’ve got these millions and millions of dollars, but several years later, they’re bankrupt, dead or dead broke. It’s because they haven’t become a millionaire themselves. Going through the challenges helps us on our journey from here to there, wherever we’re at. Those challenges help us to stay to the there when we get to there, and not fall back to the here, like people who lose all the millions with the lottery. The journey is important. Those challenges are important as well. The mindset you have right there that you love it, that’s strengthening you right there.
I wrote a book, and I was talking about the destination. A lot of times we won’t start because we don’t think we have the tools to do it or we don’t have the know-how, the support system, the background, the money. “My mom and dad didn’t grow me up with a silver spoon. I don’t have what you have. It’s okay for them, but it’s not okay for me because of,” fill in the blank. Wherever you want to go in life, that’s the destination. It’s important, but it’s not the most important thing. The most important thing from where you are to where you want to go is all that space in between. That’s why people say, “If you want to go, start. Get going, start the process.” It’s between A and wherever it is that you want to go, that’s where the growth, the strengthening, the education, the understanding of the gift, the building of the talent, the cultivating of the mind happens. Once you get there, it’s the end of a thing at that point.Being intentional with your time is step zero toward success. Click To Tweet
There’s no growth in the end of the thing. You reflect after you get to the end of the thing. The beginning of the thing is not in the growth there because you’re at the beginning, you’re getting ready to start, you’re dealing with fear and all of those things. Everything that’s magical happens in between those two points. Even once you achieve it and you get whatever it is that what you were after, that’s so short short-lived. It’s like, “I got it.” When you reflect on it, you’re reflecting on all the things you’ve had to go through and everything that you learn along the way. All the ups and downs, the hills and valleys, and all the experiences that come along with that, that’s what a value is. It’s like seeing the tip of the iceberg but not being able to see what’s underneath. What’s underneath, that’s real goodness. That’s what you’ve got to come out of your pocket because that’s what you’re paying for. The tip of the iceberg that’s value but the real value is underneath.
Our oldest son, he loves soccer. He said, “I want to be a professional soccer player.” A positive mindset, that’s awesome. Let’s go for those goals. He said, “I want to be a professional soccer player right now.” I said, “There are a few more steps.” That’s how we all view success. We think it’s going to be one giant leap from park and rec to pros. There’s that journey along the way too.
I go back to nature. It doesn’t happen. You don’t wake up in the morning and there’s a great big oak tree that’s out in your backyard. It takes nine months to incubate a human being. It takes time. Every single thing has an incubation period. You don’t even build a house overnight, even the fabricated ones. It still takes time to build those. Nothing is seemingly instant. Along with the identity crisis, there’s this crisis of instant gratification. We don’t want to go through the thing that makes us who we are and that’s the process. We want it now. Whatever you get out of life is great, but nothing is more valuable than what it took for you to get what you want. That’s what you leave behind.
It’s not so much the theme, the money, but it’s that experience that you’re able to share with people. It’s the knowledge that you gain. If someone gives you $1 million, it’s just you’ve got $1 million, but if you go and you earn $1 million, now you have something to go along with that. You have stories to tell, the experiences, techniques that you used that you can pass down. You’ve heard the saying, “I can give a man a fish. I can feed him for a day, but if I teach a man how to fish, I feed him for a lifetime.” It’s the process of learning how to fish. You do a person more harm when you avoid the process.
I’m curious. As you were going through your rehab, I’m sure there were moments where you had a decision to make, “This is tough, but I think I can do it,” or there’s a decision, “I could slack off.” I’m curious about your mindset in those moments. What was that like for you?
I wasn’t as mature as I am. It was many times that I wanted to give up. I always thought about the alternative. There wasn’t an alternative to give up. You stay where you are and that wasn’t acceptable for me. What kept me going was, I made a commitment to myself. I was either going to do it or die trying. I could live with it not happening knowing I gave 100% every day. I gave it everything that I had. As long as I have breath in my body, I was going to try. To not try, I felt that wasn’t an option because it means that you give up and you sit there. You’re not trying to better yourself and be independent. You’re constantly waiting on people. People are constantly waiting on you. That’s an experience in and of itself. I decided that if I don’t make it, and I can be at peace in my heart, knowing that I gave 110%, that’s something I can live with. If I’m old and gray and I’m on my last days and I look back over my life, I will be at peace. If I’m in that same space, but I know throughout my life I gave it everything, I’m at peace. I would not be at peace if I know I gave up. That kept me going. I believe this one kept me going too.
If I’m at point A and I want to go to point B, I’m going to shoot for the moon. If I don’t make it, I’m going to be among the stars. I’m going to be in a better place than I am. I tell everyone this. If you’re in a situation and you want to get out of it, try to get out of it, do whatever you can to get out of it. Go as far as you can go, and if you don’t, people say I might not make it. You may be right. You may not make it. I can’t guarantee you are going to make it, but what I can guarantee is if you start, if you do something, you’re going to get off top dead center of where you are. Getting off that and experiencing any level of progress is better than what you are. I would ask them, “Where would you rather be?” If you give up, you’re going to stay where you are. If you give it a little bit of effort, you’re going to progress beyond where you are. Imagine what that could be like. You could be making a bit more money. You have another job. Maybe you’ve increased the love in your relationship. Maybe you move to a different location. Maybe you’re more grounded spiritually. Maybe you have a stronger relationship with God.
I don’t know what that is for you, but I’m sure it’s better than where you are now. You choose which one you would rather be. Would you rather stay here in this pain or improve the pain? You may not be pain-free, but I would rather have less pain than I have. Once I get to a place of progress, who knows what other opportunity may open up? I believe in giving yourself the opportunity of possibility. If you’re not trying and not doing anything, you’re not even giving yourself the opportunity of what’s possible. You have to give yourself that opportunity. You have to take advantage of the opportunity that’s already there in order to open up the opportunity for something greater and bigger.
A commitment came for up front though. I was committed to that destination. I was committed to going all-in 100%.
We all have a choice even with where we are. Everything that’s going on, it all comes back to individual responsibility. It’s a global pandemic. I get that, but then there’s this individual’s responsibility in this. A lot of people are hurting because they’re looking for their government, these social economic programs to come in and save the day. That’s great. Those things are helpful, but it’s not the end all, be all. If you put all your hope in that, and those things don’t come through at a level that is conducive to where you want to go, what’s next? You have to take individual responsibility of your world. The world is in a pandemic, but my world is not in a pandemic. I’m not in a global pandemic. I refuse to accept that.
That’s a mentality I’ve taken on too. In our mastermind group, we’ve been going through a book, As a Man Thinketh. One of the things we’ve been talking about in there is if outside circumstances and conditions control my destiny, what hope do I have? If who’s in the White House, the Senate, the House or outside circumstances and conditions determine my future, what control do I have? I can’t control what laws they’re going to make in there. I can’t determine if they’re going to give a stimulus package or not, but I can control my actions, my thoughts. Day-to-day, my thoughts determine how I feel. How I feel determines my actions, and my actions produce my results, but I can’t control what other people are thinking or doing.
To add to that, when we’re faced with situations like this, we have to go back to the fundamentals. Are you a sports guy? Did you play sports?
Back when we were playing sports, I always remember when we were in games and the game seemed to be getting out of control. We weren’t playing well or the other team was playing well and it’s knocking us off our game, doing things that we could not control. We couldn’t stop. We’ll call time out. We would always go back to the fundamentals. Coach would always say, “We’re going to go back to what we know best.” In this case, we have to go back to our values. In this pandemic, we have to go back. I was talking to somebody. We have to go back to what matters most in this. We have to go back to what our values are. We’ve lost sight of our values. When we lose sight of our values, what’s driving you?
Everything that’s out there begins to drive you because you’re not driven from the inside, you’re driven from what’s going on out there. It’s dictating your thoughts, what time you get up, what time do you go to bed, who you’re talking to, what you’re talking about, how long you’re talking about it. It’s distracting you from what matters to you, so you’re acting from that space and wondering why you’re not getting results that’s aligned with what you want in life. You find yourself not making any progress. You’ve made progress, you just haven’t made progress aligned with your goals and objectives.
A lot of people have lost their values, and they don’t know what their values are, or they’ve accepted the values of other people. They’ve accepted the values of the social norm. We live above the social norm and it’s determined what your values are. You coach people and I coach people as well. It’s easy to make a decision, we’ve got a good versus bad, but when you’ve got a good and a good decision, how do you make a decision? It comes back to your values. When you know what your values are, you can say, “Is it in alignment or is it not in alignment? Does it match or is it not a match?” If we don’t know where our values are, it’s difficult to make decisions. You compound what we’ve got going on, it causes chaos. That’s what we’re seeing.
I listened to a lot of Dr. Myles Munroe. He talks about the greatest enemy for a lot of leaders and a lot of people is good. The greatest enemy is good. It may not be right, but it’s good. It may not be the right thing for you to do but it’s good. Everything that’s good for you to do is not what you should be doing. You’ve got to do what is the right thing for you to do. You’ve got to be in tune with who you are, what your goals are, what your values are, so that you can discern, “What’s the good thing for me to do, or what is the right thing for me to do in this moment?” If you get into this work, you can discern what’s bad like, “I shouldn’t be doing this.” That’s not something you have to struggle with. It’s what’s good and what’s right for this moment in time, because you may start doing something, it’s not a bad thing to do, it’s a good thing, but you should have been doing this thing if you want it to progress in this particular area. If you want results, this was the thing at that particular time you should’ve been doing.Growth is the only guarantee that the future will be better. Click To Tweet
I’ve heard Myles Munroe, the name. Somebody introduced him to me. That’s a lot of good stuff right there. I went out and bought five of his books. One of the things he talks about that stood out to me was about the richest places in the world aren’t the gold mines, or the diamond mines or the oil fields. He says, “The richest place in the world is the cemeteries.” It goes exactly back to what you and I started our conversation with. We had the gifts, the talents, the ideas, and the inventions that go down to the grave that people never act on. That’s the first thing I heard of him, I was like, “I’ve got to get that guy’s books. All of them.” He’s got some good stuff.
He believes, and I also believe you should die empty. In this game, you’re exhausted. You’ve given the whole entire game everything that you’ve had, and when the whistle blows, you’re empty. You don’t have any more to give because you’ve exhausted all of the gifts that the universe has given. Imagine your life, that’s an exercise. I believe that’s an exercise. If you can sit down and think about all the gifts that you tell us that you have, because you have a lot of them, you just haven’t recognized them. If you took all of those that you recognize after doing that and imagine what your life would look like if you exhausted to the complete exhaustion, what would that mean? What would that look like? That’s your legacy. That’s what’s intended for you.
I was praying. I feel God is leading me to do something big. That prayer, “What do you want me to do? Where do you want me to go?” He asked me a question, Rodney. He said, “Can you be trusted?” We’ve been given these gifts and these talents. Can we be trusted with them? You get an idea put into your mind. Can you be trusted with that idea? Will you be a good steward and be found faithful with that idea? That’s what He was asking me. “You feel there’s something big and I do have something big for you, but can you be trusted with it?” The automatic response is yes, but that’s something you have to think about. You get an amazing idea for new business venture. What are you going to do with that idea? Will you be found faithful to it? Will you be a good steward of that idea or like I’ve done in the past many times, make excuses of, “I don’t know what to do here. That’s too big.” I want to share that as I thought it went along with what we were talking about there.
I have a keynote presentation called The Game Changer. One of the elements of this talk is understanding who I have to be. I walk people through an exercise to identify a vision that they want for themselves. It could be this idea that you talk about. They want to bring forward. In order to bring that idea forward, who do you have to be? What type of person do you have to be to bring that forward? Are you that person right now? The vision that you have, the idea that you would like to see, come forward before you pass away, who do you have to be in order to do that? It’s a wonderful exercise because it gets people thinking about, what type of person does that? What type of person brings that idea forward? Who is that person relative to who I am? It allows you to see areas in your life that you may want to improve and you may want to change as an individual. That’s the question. A lot of times we have ideas, but we don’t have identity to match those. If you are the type of person and you had the identity to match your idea, you can be trusted.
Ideas versus identity.
What are your thoughts about having your ideas match your identity, or vice versa having your identity match your ideas?
That’s the first time I had ever even considered that. I’m an ideas guy. I have tons of ideas all the time. It makes total sense. Going back to those values that we’re talking about. Your identity, that’s who you are. As an idea comes in, is it in alignment? Is it a match or is it not a match? There’s so much wisdom in that. As an ideas guy, that’s a great filter to put the ideas through. Who am I, and who did God design and create me to be, and what are my values? Is this idea a great idea or is this something that I should pursue and move forward on? There’s so much wisdom in what you said there.
We’re evolving as human beings. You’re evolving as an individual, so your identity can become. As you grow, you change. Your identity changes. Your values may even change. I would even consider and challenge people to challenge your values. A lot of times your values have been passed down from your parents, and unchallenged all your life. Is that value serving you? Is your identity who you are as an individual? Is that serving you where you want to go in life? It’s internal work. Asking yourself these questions and working with these things and identifying areas you want to change in your identity is key to you being a game changer. You’re changing the game in your life.
You only get to that point too, is going back to what we talked about being intentional with your time, setting time aside to do that, thinking, meditating, and visualizing. If you don’t do that, I don’t think you could ever get to the point where you do challenge, does this value serve me? It’s important to ask yourself that question, but it’s step zero. It’s making the time and sitting down and thinking through that. Thinking is the hardest work there is. A lot of people avoid it, but I love it. I love my time in the morning.
Cory, how can people reach you if they wanted to learn more about you?Thinking is the hardest work there is. Click To Tweet
Rodney, I am a cookie on the bottom shelf guy. I like it simple. I’ve created a page specifically for your readers. It’s got the little social icons, the Facebook and all the good stuff they can click on, like and follow me there. I’ve got a couple of gifts I want to give to your readers, and you can find these at www.CoryLeeLeadership.com/gamechanger. You’ll find some information about men’s mastermind group. I’ve got two free gifts there. One is a personal assessment. It’s some questions you can ask yourself to see how balanced you are, but then the other one is a spousal survey. One of the keys to having a great relationship with your spouse is communication. You can print this off or email it to your spouse. They answer it for you and then you do it for them. The communication that will come from that is great. Communication is key. Those are two free gifts for your readers. It’s the best way you can find out more about me or follow me on social media.
Thank you for doing that and thank you for being a guest. This has been great. You are a great guest and I have thoroughly enjoyed the conversation that we’ve had.
Thanks, Rodney. I’ve enjoyed it. This has been great. Before we end, we always like to ask our guests, how can we bounce back from adversity, dominate our challenges and consistently win the game of life?
One, increase in your level of awareness, what are you thinking? What thoughts are you allowing to come in? Challenging those beliefs and values. Number one is increase awareness of what you’re doing day in and day out, but more importantly, what are the thoughts that you’re allowing yourself to think? I know we’re in it, but most people have 60,000 to 90,000 thoughts per day. Ninety percent of those thoughts are the same ones they had the day before. Increase our level of awareness of what we allow in.
Thank you for coming. I appreciate it.
There you have it, another successful episode. Challenge your thoughts, raise your awareness. These are fundamental things that we can do. Awareness is such a big deal because there’s so much out there that’s distracting us and taking us away from who we are and from our insight. Cory shared there’s our eyesight and our insight, and our awareness allows us to see more with our heart instead of our eyes. That’s so important so you can truly see yourself. You look in the mirror, you don’t see your outer self, but you have to get in a space where you can be still to see yourself. Maybe you don’t like what you see. Maybe you want more of what you see. Maybe there’s a combination of both, which makes the exercise worthwhile. Until next time, peace and love.
- Cory Lee – LinkedIn
- As a Man Thinketh
- Facebook – Cory Lee Fitness and Leadership
About Cory Lee
Cory Lee is an entrepreneur, business builder, and leader developer. He was trained and mentored by the world-renowned leadership expert John Maxwell and is now an executive director with The John Maxwell Team. In 2012 Cory and his wife opened their first business, a physical therapy clinic located in a town of only 1,100 people, Within 5 years they were billing over $2 million per year from that one location and had opened and successfully sold 2 physical therapy clinics and 4 gyms.
Cory is an accomplished speaker and is often invited to speak and train employees at companies looking to develop a culture of leadership. He also provides individual leaders with opportunities to maximize their own growth through one-on-one coaching and mastermind groups. Cory is most passionate about helping entrepreneurs navigate business growth but not at the expense of their faith, family, and fitness.
When he isn’t helping companies and individuals grow, Cory can be found spending time with his family. Cory and his wife of 14 years Kimberly reside in Mississippi and have 3 children: Colton (9), Kendall (6), and Brady (4).
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