All of us came into this world with a purpose, a passion waiting to be fulfilled. However, as we grow up, we start having these binders that distract us from truly living out the life we are supposed to live. It is time to reconnect to that. In this episode, Rodney Flowers sits down with inspirational speaker and author Aaron McCormick to guide us to a journey within— in particular, one that is unbounded and free from what the external world dictates. Aaron brings with him the knowledge from his new book, Unbounded: Journey to Your Within, to share with us the most valuable things in life, reminding us of the difference between work and job, those who are successful and not, and more. He then digs deep into our successes and failures, giving us some helpful tips on overcoming the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Join Aaron and Rodney in this conversation as you take the transformational journey to your within.
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Unbounded: Finding Fulfillment In The Journey To Your Within Aaron McCormick
As always, I’m excited about our show. I have a special gentleman with me by the name of Aaron McCormick. He is an author, entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, and artist whose path to success and fulfillment defies societal norms and expectations in nearly every way. We’re going to get into some of those things. I can’t wait to know his story. He was raised by a single mom on the South Side of Chicago. Since the age of 23, he was one of the world’s leading technology business transformation sales executives, earning millions and receiving numerous awards and distinctions. He has been honored as Best of IBM, an award bestowed upon the top 1% of 400,000 employees. He’s founded several companies and earned an MBA from a top business school with the rate precedent of having no prior undergraduate college degree. Without further ado, let’s welcome Mr. Aaron McCormick. Welcome to the show.
Rodney, I appreciate you. Thanks for having me.
I’m glad you are here and I’m glad to have you on the show. I know we’ve had some disconnects trying to make this happen, but I’m excited that you are here with us. I’m excited about your new book, Unbounded: Journey to Your Within. I want to get into the motivation behind you writing that book and understand what you’re trying to deliver to the audience, and then get to know you. You’ve had a lot of success in your life. I know being raised on the South Side of Chicago has its own struggles and maybe some stories that you could share with us on the show. Before we get into that, I want to ask you, how are you doing? How are you with everything that’s going on in the world?
I’m doing good. I’m thriving within. That’s where everything ultimately happens. You, of all people, know this. You’re talking about my success. Look who’s talking. Ironically, we’re all looking out here at whatever the situation is. Everything is happening within here. Despite the world seem like it in the most cataclysmic period in every way in every category, I’m feeling good inside. I’m doing well and I appreciate that.
It’s funny that you say that because I’ve been doing a lot of talks and interviews. As you can imagine, everyone is trying to figure out how they can be resilient in a time like now. A common theme in all of my talks and interviews is living from within. Most often, we live from out there. We live from what’s happening in the environment. It’s dictating what you think, how you feel, and how you move. It’s easy to get distracted from what means the most to you. The things in your heart, the core values, those visions, and things that you want in life. How have you been able to stay focused and stay within versus without?
That’s part of why the book is written. It’s meant to take each of us on our own journey to our own within and the way you do that is through your experiences, previous cause and effect, and perceived successes and failures. Some people say, “It’s your perceived failures,” but it’s not a failure. Even your successes are somewhat perceived because it’s all based upon these notions of what success means. Those are usually external accolades. I call them even perceived because some people reach all these goals that they’ve had, but they’ve been deemed to be the pie in the sky and they’re depressed.
They’re on drugs and suicidal, but yet they’ve done these things, so even success is perceived. Along my journey, I didn’t realize some of the things that I was. In other words, the actual composition of me and my real purpose of things that ultimately is why I’m here and chose to be a human. Some people even read that and they go, “What do you mean chose to be human? You don’t choose. You’re born.” There are things in our life and I know you’ve probably seen this yourself where experiences defy the linear physical construct.Every billionaire gives up all their money for a little more time. Click To Tweet
Linear meaning, we are born, we live, and we die. The physical construct meaning we are the result of whatever is physically going on around us. Both of those things can be defined and are defined if we’re conscious of the evidence that says something different. The reason for each of our journeys can be unique in specific things. We’re here to experience and get to the same end goal, which we all have a similar macro objective and it’s two things primarily. I get these from even looking at children or babies, toddlers before they become what I call, formed. Before they become the expectation.
The business person, the male or female, masculine or feminine, good or bad or smart, successful with money, popular, and all these formations that we become before we’re any of those things. What is the essence? The ultimate energy behind all humans is two things. Number one, expansion, growth, and joy. Babies and toddlers, you can’t sit them still. I don’t know if you have any kids. Do you have any kids, by the way?
I do not have any kids.
I’ve got a boy and a girl and a little girl on the way.
Thank you. They don’t sit still. They’re always exploring. They’re into everything. When they can barely walk, like a year, you try to guide and corral them. They’re grunting. They’re like, “Leave me alone.” They have their own agenda and you’re like, “Excuse you. You started walking yesterday. You need some help. You’re about to fall.” They want their independence and yet, if you shift your attention completely away from them, that doesn’t work either. They’re like, “Notice me. don’t control me.” Objective number one, expand, grow, have joy, and laugh. They don’t want to feel the pain of not trying to do that, at least not consciously.
Objective number two, interact and connect with people. Even if a two-year-old sees another two-year-old crying, if you ever see this in a park or a nursery, they will freeze. That’s a phenomenon I don’t like. They want to deliver their toy to them. They want to console them. Objective two, nurture, connect, and help. Remember, unscripted, so we don’t want to be controlled. Ironically, we tend to go through life or approach life scripted. Meaning, we have all these what I call binders, which are external energies, ideals, and concepts. They’re not always a binder. They’re a binder to each of us individually.
Meaning, if it restricts you or it’s foreign to you or it doesn’t jive with your essence, or whatever it may be. You’re a super empathetic person or a super communicative person and someone’s impressing upon you. You should purely be an engineer, where you’re not dealing with people, but it will make you some money. The binders are prolific and only you will know what a binder is to you. What is outside of your actual energy spectrum or energy field and what’s outside of your essence. We end up going through life to varying degrees hugely conflicted internally or conflicted in small ways because we measure the result of being in conflict with an external idea or situation or paradigm.
It’s the neighborhood, peers, teammates, schoolmates, race, sex, family, religion, or whatever it is. You’re like, “That’s not quite me, but if I speak up or go a different path, I get an immediate conflict or result. I might lose some friends or I might lose a relationship because it doesn’t serve me or I might lose a job,” or whatever it may be. We say, “If I suppress me a little bit, there’s not as strong of an immediate effect that’s so damaging to me. I get a little prick inside and I go, ‘I wish I stood up for myself then or how come I didn’t go down that career.’ That doesn’t feel as damaging or as painful as the other one.”
Ironically, it’s worse because you can separate from the other conflict, the external stuff. Point one, you can be away from peers or you can get a different job or you can even separate a mate situation, either temporarily or long-term if it’s not aligned. You can’t leave your heart and mind, that inner voice. There’s no escaping that. Plus, following the external stuff doesn’t bring congruence within, which within is the real perception of everything without. That’s why people that seemingly have nothing can be smiling ear to ear here. They got to walk a mile or two to get some water that’s not even clean and yet, they’re skipping and dancing.
This is in all parts of the world. We know that there are labels or third world countries or whatever. Joy is bounding for some of these people. You have others that seem to have everything and they’re in palaces, but within is jacked. Once we realize, “Everything is serving me if I allow it, but the way I allow it is to follow more here, live more within more so than here,” that may lose your mind. Remember that the things that the mind told you will bring you certain things are often in misalignment with what your soul is going to feel fulfillment in.
How do we get people to make that transition? That is a wonderful explanation of what’s happening. I’m sure people that are reading can relate to you as me. I feel that way. I’ve experienced that. I would like to live within, but I don’t know how. There’s a lot going on out there that I feel that I need to give my attention to. I’ve attempted to live by my core values and attempt to fulfill my visions, but there are things that come up like bills or sadness. There are these realities in life that I feel that I have to give attention to. That sounds nice, but boots on the ground, how do I make that happen?
There are stages to it. The first stage is having a strong connection to the belief or gaining a belief, which is not usually done by mantras and pure taking in knowledge or somebody telling you to be positive, positive affirmations. Some people think that’s the way. Keep telling yourself something right in the mirror. Those might not be damaging or bad to do, but that’s not what moves you what moves. There’s a reason that even in the Bible and other sources, the heart is referred to as the seat of motivation. The heart or spirit is the thing that animated you before you became you.
One example of the power of this internal thing that is beyond this external stuff, and then I’ll get into how do you practically take steps. A couple of examples that will remind us that, “I can see how it’s not,” this cause and effect. “I’m screwed if I do or if I don’t,” in terms of some of these concepts that scare us so much. We all know situations where a person might be born and raised in a positive environment with a nuclear family, mom, dad, affection, encouragement, and they’ve got all their financial needs met, their physical needs met, and they grow up to somehow be the opposite.
Mean people, unsupportive, unempathetic, maybe criminals, and all kinds of things that you go, “How does that happen when they had every example, every bit of nurture? What does that example come from?” Something inside of them, their spirit, their essence, and how they chose to be in this world belies external stimulus. A lot of parents have serial killers or murderers, they’re not to blame. There’s a spark that we all have and that spark can be the prevailing force. It isn’t always. Sometimes, we’re completely shaped by everything around us.
The other example, conversely, is the person that is born into abuse, born into a broken family, alcoholism, constantly berated, “You’re going to be nothing.” The person instead of being an abuser, they’re super empathetic, loving, nurturing, and inspirational. They become great leaders, hugely successful, and have no examples of any of that. The first thing is there’s a lot of lessons all around us that show us things are not quite as physical as we think. Those are two physical situations and the results are completely different.
We’re physically believing, “I can’t do this. I can’t do that. I end up single at 35. I’ll never get somebody else. I’ll stay in this abusive relationship. I can’t shift careers because the world only knows me as this thing.” You are what you believe or what your soul is telling you that you are. The question is, will you embrace it? When it comes to situations like, “I’m in a job that completely is unfulfilling to me. It doesn’t use any of my natural core, my traits, or the things that I do for free, so to speak,” which is how we usually make the most money. We’re doing things that are in our lane.
When we get into my career and how I did what I was doing so young, it has zero to do with specific gifts. Although my unique traits helped me, and the given things and corral were in. The real genius, if you want to call it genius, and it’s not genius, it’s something we can all do, is aligning with those things that are naturally you that will be in your zone, and then the rest starts to come with it. Here’s how we do this, Rodney. We’re in situations where you say, “I’ve got to pay bills,” or whatever the case would be, we have all this guidance.
That’s part of getting into the whole physical versus spiritual, and what runs the show in terms of energy. We are energy. There are examples that we’ve all experienced that show that physical things happen as a result of energy. For example, your ear is ringing. You heard the phrase. You’re talking to somebody and you’re thinking about somebody’s and the phone rings, or they come to your house or whatever. You go, “Your ears must be ringing.” Chicken or the egg? Did you think about when they do that?
Sometimes, the order is too close. You’re like, “It took you 30 minutes to get here. I started thinking of you five minutes ago. I know I didn’t make you come, but I was somehow aware that you were on your way. How does that stuff happen?” There’s been jobs and things that I’ve gotten that either there’s energetic alignment, or there isn’t. It’ll defy logic how you might have even gotten the job. That’s the case early on in my career. Once the belief that I am not this physical body, and that belief happens through going through your history, some of your experiences, the cause, the effect.
How you thought something was going to be terrible, how it ended up serving you, or even more simple things that you see around you that are lessons that are trying to get through here and they’ve been happening over and over. You had been exposed to some of these things and you never looked at it from a different perspective. Once you get it, we’ve all had these things happen where we’ve been hearing something for a long time, we’ve seen a movie a lot of times, or read a book at a different point in time. Because of our different energetic disposition, the physical words have a whole different power because of where you sit at that particular point.
What’s the point of all this? Whatever you believe to be true and physical follows energy above and beyond everything else. We talked about the person born in this scenario and that scenario and how they defy that. We talk about whether it’s déjà vu or particularly your ears ringing and there’s a psychic connection thing going on. The baby has certain ways about them. Certain people that are wildly successful at something, if you look at their childhood before they were formed children. Before they’re 8, 9, 10, or 14 where they’re acting out and they’re already in certain boxes that they’re supposed to be. If you go back even before that, you’ll see the evidence. Their parents, uncles, and other people will see and they need to remember things.We're the biggest bullies on ourselves because we think we're under pressure. Click To Tweet
That reminds them that this was their essence long before. If you’re doing something, a job that you hate, doesn’t align with you, doesn’t connect within, and is drudgery, you are absolutely misaligned. Now the question becomes, if you take steps to do something more in alignment, how will that go? Well for you. In the meantime, the question is, “It won’t instantly go well for me because the physical world says you have no experience, so I’m going to be broke. I’m scared of all this.” It’s what’s in the mind. If you take a person that is sitting in a 20,000 square foot, $20 million house, and they’re sitting at their table, there’s a cold surface on their elbows and there’s a certain temperature of the room.
That same feeling is felt in a 500 square foot apartment. The difference is the person that’s in that palace, their mind tells them, “I’m something. I’m in this palace.” the other one, their mind could tell them, “Pity me.” That same person in the palace can be completely unfulfilled, unhappy, depressed, and maybe about to blow their brains out while sitting at that table and another person at the 500 square foot apartment is happy and fulfilled because they’re doing what they want to do with their time. They’re doing something that’s in their zone.
The most successful people have done things, whether it be for free for a period of time or for little money because time is worth more than money. Every billionaire gives up all their money for a little more time. There’s a lot of things I talked about in the book that reminds you of stuff that you already know, but we’re under the weight of so many binders, many rules, and things that scare us into not following the universal truth of our own experience and what we know is most valuable to us. We’ll end up spending a decade or more in schooling to do something that may not click within, but it’ll give us some things without title or money and things like that.
Only to then be in a career where the most valuable asset we have, our time, is squandered and exchanged for something that life has taught us when we were five is not valuable. Meaning, the toys. Every toy gets stale to a child. Every Lambo. I had all kinds of cars, all kinds of toys, mansions, and the whole bit. Whether it’s that or a little $5 Hot Wheels, it gets stale to us, and yet, we’ll hold on tightly to them because the world has told us it means something. What does all that mean? It means anybody can shift to doing what is most fulfilling to them and they can be successful.
First, it’s within which is ultimately where we live. If you’re singing inside because, “I’m in alignment. I’m on purpose. I’m helping. I’m creating,” you’re okay with divesting some things that maybe not give you as much satisfaction. I don’t mean your necessities. You’re not going to necessarily say, “I’m going to go live on the street,” because you’ve got to have that. You might downsize here and downsize there, various things that don’t serve you as much as what serves you here and that’s how you get there. The problem is everybody wants their cake and eats it, too. The thing that you’re trying to hold onto is the illusion anyway and that prevents you from getting the real cake, which is your internal fulfillment, and then eventually, all the external stuff that comes with it.
A lot of education is necessary as well Aaron because there’s a disconnect between your job and your work. A lot of people may be asking, “What are you talking about?” To do a job is to go out and do something that you may do for money and sometimes, we associate that with work, but in the land of the energy and awoke, having awareness, is the understanding that your work is your gift. Your work is the thing that you have identified as, “This is how I can contribute. This is the unique special gift that I have that I’m completely aligned with. It’s not something that I’m doing in exchange for money, but this is me and part of my DNA. I can do this for free.”
To me, that’s where you want to spend the majority of your time, but due to society, we spend more time or give more attention and focus to the job than we do our work. We spent a lifetime misaligned. This alignment brings a lot of other things with it, the frustration and those negative emotions that cause us to feel unfulfilled and, “Why am I here?” You don’t have a purpose because you go into work and you’re spending physical energy every single day.
You’re not spending energy on your work. You’re spending energy on your job. Even though you’re getting compensated for it and seemingly, you could be getting compensated well, but because it’s not part of your work, it’s not part of what you need to do. It’s like putting orange juice in a car and expecting the car to run fluidly without any problems. If you put in the wrong thing in the car, it doesn’t work that way.
One thing I’ve never particularly enjoyed is being overly put on a pedestal. I say overly, meaning, it’s okay to acknowledge and recognize anyone’s success in a given thing, but you can feel when people are either envying or assuming you have something that they don’t and they’re devaluing themselves. I’ve always been anti-bullying. I’ve been that way since I was a child. I was inclusive. If I noticed the kid that’s being left out or ostracized or whatever, then the impact in me would want to stop that. We’re the biggest bullies on ourselves because we think we’re under this pressure and the pressure is exerted by us because we’re afraid of lack of conformity or something.
I often say the biggest difference between who’s esteemed, successful, inspirational, affluent, or whatever, but affluent is last to me because the goal, remember since we were children before we learned about money, is fulfillment, and money doesn’t do it. The lesson has been taught. Every poor person says, “It would for me.” Everybody says, “That’s what you say,” but you’ve already been through that. It’s a material thing. When you were five, you said, “Give me this toy. If you get it, I’ll never ask for another one.” Does that work?
Those toys to you are bigger to your little 5 or 10-year-old mind, and then millions of dollars’ worth of houses and cars because by the time you’re 30 or 40, it’s not as significant to you like your little five-year-old mind who doesn’t know any better and yet, those things got old. It’s lessons that we haven’t realized yet. I often try to remind people and I want more of us to know that the only difference between those that are genuinely fulfilled and/or if your mind is stuck on the money thing or whatever, hugely self-made and successful is the clarity of their channel to this.
The clarity of the channel, which means how much fuzzy stuff is around it that scares them, distracts them, and makes them feel like they can’t quite follow this so they don’t. The channel, the amount of binders wrapped all over them that bind or restrict their natural flow, that is the level of affluence. Let’s take it into a career. I’m 22 or 23 years old and I’m making $400,000 to $500,000 a year selling big-ticket technology stuff with no college degree to black kids outside Chicago. How? The people I’m selling to are 50 years old, give or take. They’re senior executives. They got kids my age. My peers are 35-plus with degrees, so they’re 10 to 15 years my senior.
I was so aligned with my natural essence. I started hearing stories in my teens about when I was a toddler. My family, whereas my uncles, aunts, any brothers, sisters, friends of the family, I’d be staring at people’s mouths, Rodney. I was fixated and frustrated wanting to speak and wanting to understand. Different people would tell me the story. I was desiring to understand and communicate. Communication is a big part of me, and then other stories throughout my youth, I now understand why sales. When I was in high school, I thought I wanted to be an auto mechanic because I loved cars.
I listened again to my heart because the mind is like, “You love cars.” I started working on it a little bit and it wasn’t doing much else for me here. Here, meaning, it wasn’t fun and joyful. I don’t want to get too esoteric for you on what does here mean. That fun and joy call you. You naturally want to do it. I accepted. I didn’t say, “You love cars. You should be doing this.” I then go to computer programming. At the time, it was ‘94, I graduated high school, the internet and browsers weren’t as interactive. It was bulletin boards, so the world wasn’t as it is now.
I’m thinking that computers are the way to the future so I started programming in high school. You are creating something. You create a program that spits something out in the end that’s creative here like analytical, but I wasn’t staring at a screen. Look at how I communicate. Look at how I want to deal with and interact with people. I decided then I need to be doing something that is like teaching. Law wasn’t an option. We didn’t get into this but I was raised in a fundamentalist Christian religion where college was highly frowned upon. Being an attorney, no. Psychologist, no. Trainer, maybe. Sales, maybe. It was that awareness and the courage to stick with it.
When I was in a work program in high school, working at a bank, which was rare, there were several little things. All the other boys have enough credits as a senior to be in a work program and get out at 10:00 AM, get out of school at 10:00 AM and go work at a job. They’re all in distributed education, which is a type of work program which meant you were at either a retailer at Walmart or something, you were at UPS, loading trucks and making good money but that’s the framework. That’s distributed education. All the men were there, this a predominantly black school in the Southside of Chicago. It’s super athletic and stuff. You had office education so in my yearbook, I’m the only dude surrounded by twenty girls in the picture with typewriters in front of us because there’s not again, the mindset back then was, “That’s feminine. You’ll be a secretary.”
If I were living here, I would have said, “I can’t do that. There’s going to be conflict. I’m going to get looked at funny. That’s not what men do,” and all these other ideas. Kids get these ideas too of what you can and can’t do as a boy and girl. I deal with that with my son, because he hears it on playgrounds and stuff. I’m trying to un-form or try to get him to be more fluid and not box himself or others in any way. I’ll make that choice.
As a result of being in that office education work program, I get placed at a bank, downtown Chicago so I’m making less money, believe it or not, because the hourly rate is lower than a young part-time kid load and trucks. UPS would pay you hourly. You’re not a valuable kid at a bank doing little menial tasks like filing, setting up schedules for training classes, and entering data. I’m making $5 an hour so I’m making less, I’m paying $100 a month on a train ticket, my peers are making more but that served me. When I got placed full time at the bank, I had to make a decision.
There was a $24,000 a year salary for an eighteen-year-old. I’m like, “This is not talking to people. It’s not interacting with people at all because it is a cash management position where you are balancing the positives that go into ATMs and you’re balancing accounts.” I’m like, “I need to be doing something that is dealing with people.” It’s a long journey after that. I’m eighteen years old and I shifted going into technology, trying on the ground floor. Whether it be talking on the phone, as a customer support representative, or technical support representative to then outside sales and it’s a stair-step up from there. At least I wasn’t in a room bouncing cash, doing computer programming, or working on a car.
It took courage to walk away from at the time when everyone else was like, “At that age, that will be an awesome job,” but at the same time, it wasn’t fulfilling. Things took off pretty quickly after that. To varying degrees, we’re boxed in and bullied by ourselves, because of what we believe can and can’t be. You’re super inspirational to me and all kinds of people because physically and because we live in such a physical world. That’s the point of this conversation. We don’t live with it. Most people are living without. It’s all the physical realities, and what’s more physical than the body?
If the body, doctors, or something external says no, the question is, “Is that so?” Who said that you can be able to know someone is on their way to your house before? That’s woo-woo stuff. That’s got to be impossible. There are things that belie the physical and part of becoming unbounded is that. It’s being unbound from the things that you were once super scared of that you thought were impossible. You realize that as long as I am following my essence and since we all are connected with the God source, and I say that from the perspective of all religion, all the big religions on the planet, one thing they have in common, Muslim, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism. Those 4 or 5 make up almost all of human faith.
Only 20% of the whole world is Christian. We tend to think in the US that the sun rises and sets on our beliefs. That’s our regional belief but all of these religions say that God is ubiquitous energy. It’s a source of energy and we are one with that energy, God is within us and we’re within God. We’re extensions of God. All these little things we’ve heard, we know, and we’ve experienced, but then we’re super rigid, and we’re in all this pain because of our rigidity. We’re dealing with some of this now, especially in the US with racial issues. We are in the strong boxes and we make it even more painful to us because we identify with the world by the strong boxes.
We create even more of the division, the experience is on all sides, and I don’t only mean blacks getting in the box and saying that they’re only this, and therefore they experience more of that challenge. You have other races. You have whites and stuff that feel empathy inside because the media has hyped it up and sometimes they’ll even change their belief system, their internal core, that the media is telling them that they’re racist, because of this or that and they’ve never been racist. They will then say, “I guess I am,” and they’ll change what’s inside of them. We’re all much under external and we got to be able to be more anchored within. Once we are stronger within and more connected within, conflicts externally drop, conflict with our neighbors with all these different ideals drops, also conflict in your career, because you’re in line with it but everything starts within for sure.
Listening to you is causing me to challenge the societal definition of success. That is an issue because we’re all reaching for something based on that standard, the societal standard. That’s not success. You’ve given us several examples of people who are seemingly successful, but yet unfulfilled on the inside. That can’t be a good example of success and hope. Hearing you speak, you’re successful to me when you can detach yourself from all that’s going on around you. You stay aligned and true to who you are and your objectives and intentions for yourself, consistently, regardless of what it is that may pop up because when you can do that you can maneuver beyond resistance.God is ubiquitous energy. It's a source of energy, and we are one with that energy. God is within us, and we're within God. Click To Tweet
You’re unbound. You’re no longer bound.
That’s success in it in and of itself.
When I watch so much triggering, the triggering, meaning somebody getting worried it’s always something external and it usually is based upon a past perceived failure or a future fear of something else that’s going to happen that hasn’t happened. If you ever learn how to ride a motorcycle, one of the things they teach you when you’re getting your license is you have to look your way through the corner. You don’t look in front of the wheel and whatever you’re going towards, it’s going to hit you can’t focus on it or you will go straight towards the tree. What you look at is where your body will go. Even though you’re like, “I don’t want that tree.” Straight to the tree.
Where we have focused everything and because we’re inundated with all this external stimulus, from media to marketing, pop culture, music, and all these things, the challenge is still having some anchoring to what is you. Eventually, you don’t even know what you are because you’re this hodgepodge of societal and social ideals that have formed you. All these things when they first hit you, you had an immediate energetic disposition of alignment or not. Every single time.
There’s a calculation that we make. When it’s a conversation with peers, a proposition, or someone that you might be considering dating, whatever the case might be, you immediately know whether or not there is a fit, but the calculation begins. These are in milliseconds so everybody sits there and has this direct conversation. I’m saying that unequivocally, all of us have this instantaneous decision where we go against the gut. There’s a chapter in the book where I even say, “You are not dumped. It’s impossible to be dumped. It’s impossible to be blindsided in a relationship.”
We call relationships a connection. If you hold somebody’s hand and they let go of it, are you going to not know unless you have some physical issue when you won’t hold hands if you did. You are paralyzed in that part of your body. You’ve got some issues but in a normal situation, both sides instantly know. The difference is we’ll see symptoms and we’ll know even before we get involved that it’s misaligned but the fear of being alone. We’ll say, “Somebody is better than nobody,” but you already know that thing is not going to last.
You turn around and act all surprised, blindsided, and victimized when something physically shows you that it’s over like when the person did something. You weren’t around the trumpet, this big old horn of how you’ve been done wrong, and if somehow makes you feel better, but you knew the energy was heading in that direction. That doesn’t mean that the other person didn’t do something that was against what they’ve vowed, promised, or whatever. The point is, you knew. You always knew but the mind is controlling the show so the challenge is how do we get to where the heart is more front and center.
Ironically, we’re headed to a place where we’re in a collective. Applying it here is what I’ve been doing, the collective dark night of the soul. If you google Dark Night of the Soul, you’ve been through it, for sure. Not everybody’s been through one. What we’re collectively going through on the Dark Night of the Soul is where you go through something or a series of things that are so incredibly dark and so incredibly scary, lonely, and insurmountable that there is no mom, mate, or mentor.
No one brings relief and you’re forced to be alone and suffer through it and therefore get stronger through it. You face your biggest fears and how we know it’s a dark night of the soul as the result is that you’ve changed. In the face of the same crazy odds, your spirit is still high. You somehow are still in focus despite others going, “You have nothing to be happy for. You can’t use parts of your body.” “You’re flat broke you got nothing whatsoever.” Dark night has served you because it has transformed you and we all know human change is one of the hardest things possible.
It’s almost a miracle when a human fully changes. When your animation or what makes you, you are different now, you’re singing a different tune or you completely have a different set of priorities. The dark night of soul did that. Collective dark night, Rodney. We don’t lose money. We don’t lose economy, vacations parting with each other, new programming, and entertainment. All of our habits and patterns have been changed and moved. Depression has happened, families have been breaking up in some cases because they’re realizing we’re not aligned, there’s too much friction, or they’ve had to have temporary separation to then come back.Don't be so worried about the physical things that may be of loss because the whole world is going through the same loss. Click To Tweet
All kinds of stuff are happening and ultimately, it’s going to serve us on the other side because we’re having to realize, “What are my priorities? I faced the biggest fears of my life and I’m still alive. Should I continue to place a higher priority on things that don’t feel aligned in here?” Going back to the career thing early on, what made me super successful at a young age are the things like listening, empathy, and communicating. I was that at two years old. I happen to be aligned there. Selling is helping and solving problems. It’s aligned with my essence. That’s why gifted athletes are gifted in that thing so that’s why they do what it is that they’re doing.
In every category of life when you’re the closer you are to your actual spark in your time what you’re doing so your work should be your job or close to it. In my case, my work was my job in many cases, because these people in different companies hated what they did or they had challenges with it. I come in with a product that solves and serves their specific function or department of the business and it makes it a lot easier. I’m helping them.
That’s in my wheelhouse. It’s helping people solve problems and that kind of thing. All of this comes back to what we started at the beginning. The connection within controls how the mind perceives it’s without it. Meaning everything around it is completely controlled by the mind. The mind should be a slave to the heart, not the other way around. The programming is designed to shift it. They put enough. That’s why in marketing songs if they put certain things in your head enough, you’re going to want to go get it, and to want something is heart-based. That’s the shift that’s happening.
One of the things you said and you said it so beautifully. One of the things I want to bring up and highlight here is the fact that a lot of times the mind doesn’t trust the heart. The mind trusts more of what’s happening out there so that’s the direction that it goes in. Going back to the dark night of the soul, one of the things that I’ve learned out of all of that darkness is to trust the heart because everything that I would have trusted and I want it to trust out there. It wasn’t there. I could not rest on that.
It was misaligned because the stuff out here was saying, “You’ve got these odds. This isn’t going to happen.” It wasn’t so much that you wanted to coach yourself up. Something inside was probably like, “That’s not the case.” Something inside you was like, “I will. Since I’m misaligned here, how much can I trust that?” That was the spark that you allowed but in other people that may feel that thing that says, “This is my gift. This is what I should be doing.” The fear of, “You’re going to fail at that,” the fear of, “You can’t there.” That’s where the mind can help you, in some cases, because you can take in information that will tell you that, “Maybe that’s not so bad after all.”
In other words, I mentioned that the billionaires have given away all of their money for a little more time. If you’re doing something that is fulfilling to you, then some of these things that we thought served us, but serve us this much we’re sacrificing something that serves us. That is what we’re doing for ourselves and with others. What we’re doing with our time serves us more. We all have the potential to downsize in the context of shifting a career, doing something that you want to do and in some cases, the dark night of the soul will force us to events like in your case, there are events.
I’ve been through events where you have no choice, but to be still and lose some of the things that you thought were so paramount, and it’s dark but at the same time, eventually, you realize, “I’m being strong.” It’s like when you lay down on the weight bench, and you start lifting weights. You’re tearing the muscles. You’re shredding them and yet the result of that is it’s getting bigger and strong. Nobody wants to feel the shred. Everybody wants the result of a dark night because it’s hugely bright.
You’re an incredibly bright person and that’s why they want a part of that. They want to be around that and you can’t artificially become that. In your journey, the darkness surges. There are chapters in the book about that as well, about how anxiety serves you and some of the darkness in all kinds of levels that serve us. If you’re doing great, great. Brightness. That’s something to be happy about. If it’s incredibly dark, also great, because it’ll serve you.
Some of the most inspirational people you’ve ever known, including you and others, have somewhat, you would think to be in the mind, terrible stories but their experience looking back through it, they wouldn’t change anything about it. Because it’s their purpose and it serves them and part of their serving is to others. If you remember, that’s part two of every human being about. It is to serve oneself. You can’t love others if you don’t love you. You don’t love to give. It’s to get and do the things that are fulfilling to you. Grow, expand, and all this. Immediately after that, it is touch, serve, and connect with. That’s the whole purpose but we get misaligned we get so few tangents.
What can people do to get the most out of this situation, this being COVID, social injustice, and everything that we deal with? What can they do to get the best out of it?
Appreciate that so many distractions are normally here that are not here now. You can focus on the stuff we’re missing but you can also acknowledge that the things that we’re missing are also things that exert force on your ability to recognize you. It’s okay to have friends but when you are overly social, you’re going into molds a bit, you’re in a crowd. A little bit of isolation has been thrusted upon you and now you’re learning you a little bit more or shopping. You can’t go to malls for at least for a period that was tough. Everything was shut down or you aren’t making any money. You have money but afraid of where things are going. Fear makes you hold on more so now, you’re not on this narrative of bigger better.
It’s like, “I’ve got to upgrade. I’m buying stuff to numb myself from the fact that I don’t even know what’s inside of me.” That thing that’s gone is serving you. Try to appreciate or enjoy the stillness of the moment. Try to go within. What’s going within? It’s following and listening to a bit more here as opposed to everything out there. Try to get out of the fear because the two biggest vibrations or frequencies are love and fear. Those are the two. They’re at the polls.
If you google Emotion Vibrational Chart or Frequency Chart, you’ll see a big triangle that lists the lowest vibration emotions to the highest. These are not esoteric speak. This puts you on a biofeedback machine, measure you and when they show a picture of your beloved pet, the vibe is up. If you show pictures of something that makes you feel guilt, shame, or fear, the vibe is down. Those frequencies are down the bottom, fear, guilt, shame, and even desire. What’s ironic is desire is above fear, which is on the low stock.
We’ve been taught that desire is good, “Be ambitious.” How could that be a low vibe? It’s because desire implicates that you’re not currently in abundance, even as you sit. Let that sink in for a bit. Remember, everything’s in the mind so you’ve got the one person in a 500 square foot apartment sitting at a table happy and abundant, or the person in a third world country walking a mile for water, abundant, smiling, happy, joyful. People over here are complaining about something or another and they got all these luxuries. They’re filthy rich for that matter but they’re suicidal. It’s in the mind.
If we can take this time to reflect on what we do have, and that’s the obvious thing, everyone says that, but also to listen more within. The book is a roadmap or a process to doing that. They’re experiences. It is your energy at the time of the experience versus the result of the experience so now you can say to yourself, “I felt terrible about that. It served me.” At present, I feel terrible about COVID. It, too, is probably going to serve me. When you journey to your within, so to speak, you begin to have a newfound appreciation.
In fact, I was interviewed by a hypnotherapist. I was the only guest that was not a hypnotherapist out of 150 guests because the host said the book uniquely got into your subconscious without taking you under. If you do these steps, you read through the book, and you do some of the exercises, you begin to understand what’s making you tick. Science says, “90% of human thought is subconscious.” Ninety percent of what you do, your fears, and all these things are programmed subconsciously and that’s how the world around us is doing it. The programming has, in some ways, dropped immensely. On the other hand, programming has mostly gone up since it’s an election year.
The programming of somebody trying to get you to feel some way feels triggered, fearful, pissed, or whatever all that’s going on too. We got it in every form now. COVID was a bit of a break because your cheese was moved, the rug was yanked out and now you can’t overwork. You’ve got to you with that or you can’t overly get all into your material stuff and things like that. You have to pause. Embrace it a little bit, enjoy your downtime, don’t be so worried about the physical things that may be of loss because the whole world is going through the same loss. It’s a collective dark night and most except for certain key businesses that I wonder how that works. Safety pattern.
That’s a whole other episode, a whole show.
All these small businesses, 50% of businesses have gone away. How can that become a positive thing for you? It’s a darkness that Rodney and I have been through. If you look at Goalcast on Facebook, everybody you’ve ever been inspired by, they’ve also been through. There’s a way to try to do it in a way that’s serving you.
Aaron, how can people connect with you if they wanted to learn more about your work with you?
My website. You go to AaronMcCormick.com also Unbounded book some people like a title better so UnboundedBook.com. It’s the same website. You can contact me so you can send an email. If you want to have a fifteen-minute conversation, you can schedule right onto my schedule, whether it’s the topic of self, your journey, or you aligning there, which that’s everything, because within that topic comes the others. It could also be career, love, relationships, and families. These are three big parts of the book that each has several chapters in them and because I do corporate speaking as needed. I’ll do coaching also as well. You can find me on the website.
They can book some time with you on the website as well?
Yes. It’s free. They can book a fifteen-minute conversation. I’d love to chat, help, and listen.
Thank you for coming on the show. This has been a great conversation about how to become unbounded and the journey from within, the journey to your within. How do we get to that spot? How do we get to living from within? It’s a beautiful conversation. I love the work that you’re doing. There’s no greater time than now to have these types of conversations. People are looking for this type of information.
I love refreshing and continuing to keep myself apprised of this information. Ironically, we’re not taught this stuff in school. As you were speaking earlier in the show, the thought that came up in my mind was, “Studying energy. To study it and understand how it works.” The fact that we’re energy and we don’t know how energy works is a misnomer. It’s not logical thinking. If we’re energy, we need to know how energy works.
We are energy.
That is responsibility is on us. It’s great that we have books like Unbounded: Journey to Your Within to help us understand who we are because that’s the missing link here. We don’t understand who we are and not only who we are, but how we relate to things that are going on in the world right now. That’s the bigger question.
If the conflict within here goes down some, all the conflict out there goes down some. If we all were more connected within, all the problems would go away. Remember when you were a kid, all the bullies. Any bully, whether it’s a child or as an adult, they’re bullying because of a lack of awareness and valuing of themselves. To make sure I’m valuable, I’m going to push you down. I’m going to literally push you out if I’m in the schoolyard, I’m going to suppress you because I’m intimidated by you. When you know your abundance and it doesn’t result from who thinks you’re pretty only outside then result from all these things out here because I can still feel you know what with all this stuff.
I can also feel fully abundant with little stuff. If more of us were aware of that reality, all this is gone. That’s how the world gets saved. The world has saved one person at a time which is why I said this dark night of the soul. I’m not saying COVID in 2020 instantly makes all humanity way better in 2021. I am saying that we are all going up to some measure of vibration even as we are in our darkness. Because would you not say that with the immense darkness you’ve been through that your vibrational frequency is going to a whole different level than when you were this fully vibrant and perfect athlete?
That’s what suffering does. That’s the ability it has to do for us.
Aaron, thank you for coming on the show. This has been beautiful. Unfortunately, we have to bring it to an end but I can continue to talk to you all day. As we end the show, we’d like to ask this one question. How can people bounce back from adversity, dominate the challenges and consistently win at the game of life?
The $20 bazillion question. It is from within. When you’re in this darkness, go back through, look at other periods that seemed dark. Simple and silly stuff, make it fun too. Laugh a little bit. Your first broken heart at thirteen years old. You look back and you laugh, but you are dark in that particular moment but it’s served you. You learn and you might look back at that person and go, “We weren’t even compatible. What was I doing?” The stuff you may be feeling that seems so dark separation, may be serving you. Separation from something that you’re so upset to not have like your vacations, your time, your money, or whatever the case may be, it may be serving you.
Part of it is going here, a little bit of here as you go back and remember how things have served you as to how you do it. Once you know it’s true, you can’t be dark anymore. You feel the immediate consequences of whatever the constraint, pain, or whether it’s a physical ailment that we’re going through or whatever but you also deep down know ultimately, everything serves me so I’m good. That’s how we do it.
Aaron McCormick, ladies, and gentlemen. Thank you for coming on the show once again.
I enjoyed it. I loved it. Talk to you soon.
There you have it. Another successful episode. Here’s a question for you. Whatever you’re going through, wherever you are, whatever distractions you feel you may have, whatever resistance you feel you’re facing, whatever opposition that seemingly in your way, I have a profound question to ask you. I want you to ask the opposition and the resistance, “How is this serving for me?” Sit with that. Don’t even look for an immediate answer. Sit with it and see what comes up. Maybe there are multiple answers and multiple ways of what you are dealing with are serving you. How is COVID-19 serving you? How is social injustice serving you? If you’ve lost your job, how could that potentially serve you? Be with that for a while, maybe even for a weekend. Revisit that question frequently and pay attention, acute attention to what comes up because that could be the game changer. Until next time. Peace and love.
- @TheAaronMcCormick – Instagram
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- Is Life Knocking You Down? Read Rodney’s inspiring story – Get Up! I Can’t. I Will. I Did… Here’s How! https://rodneyflowers.com/get-up-book/
- Recognize Your Positive Potential – Essential Assertions by Rodney Flowers https://rodneyflowers.com/essential-assertions-book/
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About Aaron McCormick
Aaron McCormick is an author, entrepreneur, inspirational speaker and artist whose path to success and fulfillment defies societal norms and expectations in nearly every way. Raised by a single mom on the South Side of Chicago, McCormick, since the age of 23 was one of the world’s leading technology business transformation sales executives, earning millions and receiving numerous awards and distinctions. He has been honored as “Best of IBM,” an award bestowed upon the top 1% of 400,000 employees, founded several companies and earned an MBA from a top business school with the rare precedent of having no prior undergraduate college degree. McCormick courageously stood up to and escaped the fundamentalist religious cult in which he was raised, resulting in loss of his universe of friends and family.
With the combination of deep empathy, wisdom, and self-made success, McCormick ignites the innate ability we all have within
to decode our own answers for maximum clarity and self-actualization. Aaron has helped countless people of all backgrounds realize greater fulfillment and success in areas of career, personal power, love & relationships, sales, entrepreneurship and leadership.
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