Learn the formula for making a change in your life with Michael Dash. He takes us on a journey in discovering how to overcome addiction, defeat struggle and make any change in areas of your life that aren’t whole.
» About emotional management
» How to slow down before over-reacting so that you can connect better with people
» Form relationships that support your goals.
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Learn more from Michael: Website
(Note: This is an automated transcript, so their may be some formatting and grammatical errors)
Chad: In today’s conversation, I get to speak with Michael Dash about how to overcome bad habits and make a real change in your life and how to talk yourself into that change and we definitely get to discuss today how to connect up to a better version of yourself so that you can better help others and also how to disconnect from things that are holding you back. It’s hard to label micro with just one title because he’s just an overall contributor to this world. He has started and sold businesses. He’s traveled around the world and contributed his time and money to several organizations. He’s a passionate entrepreneur, business owner, author, speaker, and coach, and he knows that real change comes from the ground up and it starts with people who really care and he really cares about people and he is continually devoted his time to nonprofit organizations to help disadvantaged people.
Chad: He’s a person who definitely want to follow and get to know, and in today’s episode we’re going to discuss how to talk ourselves out of an addiction and other bad habits that may be holding us back and keeping us from finding the success and the happiness that we’re looking for. And Michael also gives us key steps for making any change or achieving any goal because making a change, ditching bad habits, achieving a goal, it’s all the same formula and he also shares with us the importance of surrounding ourselves by the right people, uh, how that is absolutely key to any change or achieving any goal and getting somewhere new. So, welcome to the show, Michael Dash.
Michael: Thank you for having me.
Chad: So I want to know a little bit about kind of what are some key aspects of your story thus far that have brought you to where you are today in your career and your life?
Michael: Wow. What a, what a broad question. I could go so many directions with. I think, you know, self realization, uh, has been a major component that’s kind of me to changing my life and changing the way that I lived in the way that I approached things in general, you know, I’m originally from the East Coast, from New Jersey, grew up there, worked in New York City for 10 years before moving out to Salt Lake City, Utah and starting my business and you know, back east you grow up or at least I did at least with the certain mentality is kind of this, this, this mindset that like work, work, work, grind, grind, grind. No, you have to, you know, be working longer or harder than the person next to you if you want to get ahead in life. And it really, it’s tunnel vision. And so for a lot of years that is all I focused on money, money, money, right?
Michael: It was the dollar, it was making more sales calls. Then the next person, it was, you know, opening up eventually once I got the company opening up more offices is about hiring more people and that, that was just the mindset and I didn’t know any better. I was just exposed to that. So I, that’s what you wanted to do, but, you know, in the big scheme of things, um, whatever success I did achieve and know where I did end up, I wasn’t really truly fulfilled in any manner whatsoever. It ended up in a lot of emotional decision making on my part. I’m running the business legal battle with my ex business partner or six years. Um, yeah, that’s right. I said, um, which, which fortunately I’ve just been able to settle, but I believe if I had the tools that I currently have that I most likely never would have ended up in that situation.
Chad: So tell us a little bit about the tools that you currently have that’s helping you, uh, make maybe less emotional decisions and tell us about your shift in mindset and what you’re implementing now that’s working a lot better for you.
Michael: Sure. Um, well, you know, I grew up, I’m having a addiction to gambling at an early age, so I always was looking for that high. I mean I gambled for 20 years already, seven years old and you know, I’ve been clean 13 now, knock on wood. Um, but when you have that addictive personality wasn’t just end with your addiction, kind of transforms into other areas of your life. Work being one of them and really everything that you do, you know. So, you know, I believed like when people would have a different point of view for approach things from a different manner, I would love, I would think like men, a person has no clue what they’re talking about. Like I would not listen to their perspective. I would immediately, you know, come to the solution that they don’t know what they’re talking about. They don’t get it.
Michael: I relate a couple of things like I used to walk down the street in New York City and when a stranger would pass by me and look at me, I would be thinking in my head, you know, what the hell. Not like, hey, how are you? You know, hope you’re having a great day, you know, and so it’s from like this negative kind of attitude that are kind of chip on your shoulder that I had, which is a very heavy feeling like it’s not actually, it’s not comfortable walking around with that feeling. It’s a lot lighter smile at a stranger and just say, hey, how are you after being in this little after going through the whole addiction thing and was very emotional as well. Um, and, you know, going through recovery, you’re always in recovery, but recovery starts giving you the tools to understand that there’s certain things you can’t change and focus your energy on the things you can and understanding the difference between what you can affect and what you can write and just small shifts like that.
Michael: Started planting the seeds and allowing me to kind of understand that, you know, there’s a different way to live and there’s a different way to approach things. So it kind of started through recovery, but it really never got to me. Um, and really never impacted me until I was four years basically into this lawsuit. Um, and then, you know, I was ready to open my mind up and start exploring other options and other ways to live my life because I was really miserable. Um, and it wasn’t until that point that I really started embracing some of these philosophies.
Chad: Okay. You mentioned a few things that I, uh, got me thinking when you were talking about how, you know, you’re walking down the street and you assumed the worst is people would look at you and you immediately started telling yourself these stories of maybe why they’re looking at you. And it sounded like you, you know, you struggled to maybe like, a lot of people almost immediately like it’s like, oh, what’s your problem? Why are you looking at me? Um, and, and now you’re in a place where you were, where you do like people and you enjoy connecting with people. Like what was it for you? Like, what do you think was a key thing that you give credit to that made your switch towards liking people more?
Michael: Yeah. So like, I always liked people. I mean I’m in the people business and very personable. I’ll talk to anybody. Um, but it was more of that like ship on the shoulder attitude. If I didn’t know people right, that I would just think they were like, they had some evil intention and it’s just the jaded way of thinking. But when you’re, you know, you’re in this. I was in this legal battle. I was trying to run three offices. I had like 40 5:40 employees basically all coming to me, even though I had some sort of hierarchy wasn’t working. I was just overwhelmed. And um, I created my own, my own challenges really. I created a lot of my mess. I created self inflicted wounds which so many people without really knowing that we self self sabotage. Um, it happened to me on a trip I took to Bali, right?
Michael: Um, it was about two, two and a half years ago and it was a, with a group called unconventional life. And it was kind of like a retreat, a retreat. And there were a lot of people from different aspects of life that I usually don’t surround myself, like an energy person, like a healing person. But then there were two people talking about low consciousness study of flow and living in flow, which is basically the foundation is living and creating an effortless life for yourself, making decisions from your heart versus overthinking every decision and leading with financial, at least for me, when making decisions and going through this whole pattern of clearing out all these limiting beliefs like change is difficult. Like most people think change is hard, but change is really easy.
Michael: Really is easy or might be a process. But it really is easy. It’s a mentality, you know, once you decide you’re going to change, then you can put the structure in place to create that change around yourself with the people you could be around to embrace that change. So I decided to take this flow course after I left Bali seven week course and I started following what they were saying and I opened my mind to something new that I normally wouldn’t be interested in. Started not worrying so much about things I would worry about people. And it led me on the path to, you know, hey, go to selling my company. And it allowed me to say, okay, is this my fault? Is this my highest? Who this what I am most excited about the you everyday? And the answer is no. I would say to everybody, if the answer is no for you, then find what it is and make that cheap.
Chad: That’s a really great tip that’s asking ourself that question often, am I really excited about what I’m doing right now? Is this the right career for me? Is I am I where I needs to be? Because that immediately jolts you into a place where you’re thinking, oh, like I am really not. I mean that’s the question that sparked my career change as well. I was always, always video editing and doing a lot of video stuff for different companies. And I was like, do I really enjoy this? This is this what I want to do the rest of my life? And then I realized it wasn’t in that question alone. Kind of sparked a pivot and a change in my direction. And it sounds like what you’re talking about is you disconnected from a couple of things, including, you know, the gambling addiction, including a not listening to people and thinking that, you know, everything you’re disconnected from that state and you connect it to a state of learning estate, a mindset where you’re like, there are people out here who have things to teach me that are going to change my life. And once you opened up to that and you took that course and you started learning, you were able to finally make a change and like you said, changes, you know, it’s a process but it’s easy and it seems like what made it easier for you? Easier? Yeah. Easy for you is that you decided to, uh, to listen and to open up and to, and to be humble enough to learn from others. And because of that you absorbed a really fast and you’re able to apply it really fast. Would you agree?
Michael: Uh, yes. I would agree. Applying it fast though, I’m semi agree with, you know, when you’ve trained yourself to a without even knowing to act and run your life a certain way for all these years, it’s, you know, you have to break the habits. So there is a process of going through breaking the habit and stopping yourself and have won my lawsuit. Like I wanted to settle my lawsuit, um, you know, two years, two years ago. But as much as I said I wanted to settle it, I still hadn’t learned what I thought I had learned. I still made several mistakes that prolonged the lawsuit when I think I could’ve settled it earlier. So, and those were painful and financially costly, but no, what I tell everybody about, you know, the whole lawsuit thing is, yeah, financially it really hurt me. I mean, I look, I spent over a million dollars.
Michael: It was only over, it was over 350 k and I spent a million on it. Think about it. So a logical. But that was, that’s my reality. That’s what happened. And um, you know, I, uh, I tell everybody it’s not so much the money. Yeah, that hurts. I mean I got a million dollars in the account somewhere yet that would be very helpful to my life, but it’s not the money because I know how to make money. It’s the time I can’t get that time back. It’s gone forever. The money I can make it back to time. Time is the most valuable thing we all have.
Chad: No, it really is.
Michael: And uh, yeah. Time is that most valuable resource that we have and when we change our mindset and our perspective of time, everything changes. We all think the money’s the solution to us fixing a problem or creating something and it’s really not. It’s once we get a grip on time and we know how to use our time, we know how to control our focus. That’s when things start to happen. And I’m sure with your, uh, clearly with, with your gambling addiction, I’m sure a lot of time was spent with that, right? And you had to kind of reframe that as, okay, what can I now do with my time to really, really make it worth it? And how did, like how did you, how did you get over that? How did you get over that as you were making that change and overcoming those bad habits?
Michael: How did you get over the fact that you’re like, wow, I spent a lot of time doing that? How did you just let go of it and move forward and not stay in that place too long where you’re frustrated with yourself that you spent so much time doing that and so forth? Yeah, it’s a great question because when you spend about 80 percent of your life every day thinking about gambling research and gambling, actually gambling. I mean, I spent 80 percent of my days doing that and you know, I was a functioning ambling addicts, meaning I was still very good at my job. I kicked ass at my job. Um, but I think one of the things that motivated me to do that, if they needed to hand in hand, but all of a sudden you have all this time and you’re like, well, what am I going to do with all this time?
Michael: And for me, you know, I started going to gamblers anonymous, right? And I walked in one day not really knowing what it was and not really saying to myself I want to quit gambling. I didn’t do that. I just happened to walk in there one day because my brother was going, you also had an issue and it had kind of changed some of his behavior. So I was like, what, let me go in here and let me, let me listen to what they have to say. Go. I went in there just to here and like I didn’t like really, I thought they were a bunch of degenerate losers around. But by the end of the meeting, like after I heard them all talk, like they had more in common with me than my closest friends. So, um, even though there are different ages all over the place, I related to them more than anybody.
Michael: So then I said, wow, I think I found my home. So, you know, I worked a lot. I worked the program, I did that a lot. Um, but I started running, that’s what I did to fill up a lot of my time. So I started running marathons and I ran four marathons in five years and that was a big fill, a big, the big void of time I had, I filled with running, right initially five years. Right. So, um, I had some great marathons, there’s great running for me. Was that outlet where all my frustrations would kind of fall by the wayside or my challenge is just of get in the zone and you know, working out does that for me just in general. So I started doing that. I started listening to podcasts. I had never heard this was maybe four years ago, but, you know, started playing around a little bit with meditation. I still don’t meditate consistently, but I do believe in meditation, very powerful tool. And, and you know, I surrounded. The other thing is that I surrounded myself with people that were more inspiring than the people I had been surrounded. Know when you’re an addict, you surround yourself with addicts. I surrounded myself with positive people.
Chad: Uh, well, it seems like you did exactly what it takes to make any kind of change in our life and you did what it takes to achieve any goal and I want to just kind of sum up a couple of key things you hit there that are really important. If we try to pursue a certain goal in our career or life or try to ditch a bad habit or make a change, it’s the same formula you, you started running, in other words, you put your focus on something new that was giving you energy and excitement and, and so it wasn’t enough to just like try to not gamble. You had to fill up your time and your focus and energy with something new. That kind of, that kind of move that energy through you, that allowed you to put your focus on something else and on achieving something.
Chad: With running those marathons, you, you set some goals on just some fitness related things that helped you shift your mind in another direction. The second thing is that you started listening to podcasts, so you were getting educated and you started filling your mind with good education and things that we’re starting to replace all the stuff in there related to gambling because up to that point, a lot of that inner voice and that stuff going on in your head was related to gambling. You’re learning about gambling or studying up about gambling and now you’re studying and learning things that were going to lead you towards the change and lead you to where you want it to be and so that education got in your head and started to rewire your brain and started to help you to make that change and then and then you talk about meditation and other things you did to kind of clear that inner voice, that noise in our head that kind of holds us back and then and then of course you went and you found people to support you that were more inspiring. That could lift it to a higher level. Those key aspects surrounding ourselves by people getting education, filling our time with something new. Those types of things will always help us make a change and achieve a new goal. And so yeah, thank you for sharing that experience because that’s really helpful for anyone that’s trying to ditch a habit, make a change or achieve any goal.
Michael: Absolutely. You know, I, I, uh, I like to tell anybody who will listen, right. You know, the smallest change can have the biggest impact
Chad: and that’s important to remember because sometimes we disregard those small little changes and it’s those small changes over time that shifted everything. And, and so we have to see the value in that. So that’s. No, that’s totally true. What like and yeah, and felt some of the things you mentioned were small little changes, but it totally transformed you. I totally transformed you and it’s in. It’s important to do that. Um, what throughout that whole process, how did you have to change the way you talked to yourself to get through that change? Because I’m sure there was various thoughts that came up along the way of like, oh, I can’t do this, or Oh, maybe I don’t want to do this. Like, how did you manage the way you were talking to yourself to take yourself through that change?
Michael: Oh, well, with my employees for instance, I learned to listen and digest would they have to say or immediately firing back and answer and I was much more strategic with the wording. I used to get people to, um, focus on an outcome that I needed. So, um, I massaged it a little more instead of being so direct and to the point with people who may, um, not have that type of personality. So in New York, the way I speak is fine, but when I’m in Salt Lake City, Utah, the way I speak is, can be a, uh, maybe a little alarming because, um, maybe direct. Yeah. So I, I think it’s, you know, and you do have to train yourself and you have to remind yourself to take a different path and decisions differently when you are in that high emotional state. You just have to say, Oh yeah, I promised myself I’m not going to react right now.
Michael: So give me like 10 minutes. I just want to think about what you said and then let’s get back to the other and finish this conversation in 10 minutes so I can then go decompress and really react in a much more strategic way to whatever it is I’m dealing with. Then just to react emotionally and I’m not just talking business. I’m talking about personal relationships too with your significant other, you know, whatever it might be. You know, we all have triggers and if we can identify what those triggers are, then we’re able to manage them a lot better. But if we can identify what they are, but other people know what they are, they can really, you know, Kinda push your buttons and get you to react in a way that benefits them or gets you out of your, you know, the state of calmness that you want to remain.
Chad: That’s really helpful. Yeah. To remember that we do all have triggers and when we’re trying to make a change, there’s a trigger to the thing we’re trying to change. There was a trigger to your gambling as a trigger to when we’re communicating a certain way, there’s a trigger to when we’re overreacting emotionally to somebody, and so let’s remember that, that we need that. The first step is really to identify her triggers and then like you said, you walked away, you spent a few minutes just talking yourself through, okay, how can I, how can I manage this emotion? How can I release it, how can I, how can I then come back into the conversation with a clear head without the emotion in it? But it started with you identifying that trigger and then you’re able to kind of talk yourself through not overreacting. So how, how along the way, let’s kind of close by talking about just as you’ve made this change in your, in your life and in your career, how has your connections to people influenced your progress, influence your ability to change and influenced your overall happiness as you’ve connected to people on the way?
Michael: Well, one of the things I did as a entrepreneur is I joined a lot of different entrepreneur groups. Um, so I joined several organizations that, and this is slowly over time, um, once I started changing my mindset and opening up more, I started wanting to surround myself with, you know, different types of people that I wouldn’t be exposed to in my everyday life. No, by surrounding myself with these different entrepreneurs in these different people with different energy and aspirations and changing the world in different ways. You’re much more cultivated and you know, you start seeing things from different angles and exposed to different areas, industries, people that you didn’t even know existed because surround yourself in this little bubble of people that you’re comfortable. I actually feel I actually love being around people that I’m not so comfortable.
Michael: Right. I feel like that’s very important, um, to growing. And that’s why I love traveling. Going to different cultures and different, different places in the world. Then, you know, I, I did a lot of volunteer work, so as part of leukemia, lymphoma society, so I had a little private there and I ended up climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with them, raising money for leukemia and lymphoma and other blood related cancer. I raised 100 grand for them over a several year period if I follow my heart that everything else will fall into place because for so many years I didn’t. I followed the dollar. Did not lead.
Chad: Yeah, I love that. Follow your heart and not the dollar and you’re going to get to where you want to be. And I love when you said how to surround yourself by people you’re not so comfortable with because I was definitely the kind of person who I. I put a lot of energy into making sure I did not surround myself by people I was uncomfortable with because I was shy and had a hard time connecting with people. And uh, and so that’s so true that when you surround yourself by people you’re uncomfortable with, it forces you to grow, it forces you to expand your perspectives and it forces you to expand your, your, your whole thinking. And then ultimately how you contribute to the world because of the people you surround yourself by. And it just sounds like you’ve had a really wide variety of amazing experiences ever since you made that change. Ever since you gave up that addiction, um, I wanted to ask, what caused you to make the choice to want to give up gambling? What was it that, that, that motivated you to think, I don’t want to do this anymore?
Michael: My brother, he wasn’t pushing it on me, but we both gambled all through, you know, growing up together. And then he went to gambler’s anonymous and we were in a car one day driving to Thanksgiving from New Jersey to Massachusetts and I wanted to put sports radio on and he wouldn’t let me put it on. And I said, well, why can’t I need to listen to know what’s going on with the players in the game so I can bet on it? And he’s like, no, I stopped bedding. I’m not listening to sports, talk any more. And I’m like, what? You’re not going to listen to sports talk for the rest of your life. That’s absurd, you know, blow. And we kind of argued back and forth and then, you know, I said, fine, we’ll listen to music. So we listen to music for the three hours and when we got up there I was like, wow, that was kind of a soothing ride, know I want to check out with his gamblers anonymous.
Michael: And I, it was just curiosity. It wasn’t like I went into it saying I’m going to quit. I didn’t have that mindset. My mindset was more of curiosity and so I went in and I looked at it and when I was in there, somebody gave it to me really straight on. They gave me some tough love and they told me I was ruining my life and they were right about everything that they said and they just said, just don’t gamble tomorrow and just come back next week at that mentality of not gambling the next day. And I was like, all right, fine. So I did that and gambled since that was 13 years ago. Um, so I kept going back and going back and going back and my life genuinely started to not feel so heavy. And um, you know, it felt a little bit more freeing, but it took a while. You know that they say in the, in the wrong, in the wrong place, under the right set of circumstances, no, and attic can go back. Make sure that you, the people, places and things you surround yourself with her, no puts you in a positive place so you’re not vulnerable
Chad: and that, that discipline is so important in order to remain in that state because yeah, the environment that we surround ourself and it’s going to have an influence on us and it can take us back to where we were. Um, I liked how you brought up curiosity because it really does all start with curiosity. And that was, that’s interesting because for some people they hit like this huge rock bottom and all of a sudden they’re like, no, I’m never doing this again. For you it was curiosity. And I want to just stamp that into our minds. Whoever’s listening. Because when you’re curious, it causes you to lean in and listen. And when you listen, that’s the first step to changing because you’re finally taking on a new way of thinking. And that’s the first step to achieving any goal. And so I want to kind of close up this conversation by just leaving with that point that if you want to change, at least just be curious and that’s enough to get things going. Michael, Michael, Dash, thanks so much for being on our show today. How can we learn more from you and connect with you?
Michael: Sure, absolutely. I actually am writing a book right now called chasing the high. It’ll be out early next year. Um, if you’re interested, you can put your name on a mailing list that will mail updates, email updates out. That’s it. Michael g dot V, a s h.com. That’s my personal website. Otherwise I’m very easy to find on facebook, on Instagram am dash one. And lastly, I started a series called fate fat. He from addict, nor where I interviewed former addicts or now entrepreneurs built multimillion dollar companies that are giving back to society. If anybody’s interested in following that, I have a faith group on facebook or the articles are posted there.
Chad: Sounds great. We’ll be sure to definitely check that out. Go to his website, check out his series, connect with them on facebook because Michael really has a lot to share with us and I’m glad that you were able to share your story with us today and give us some really great tips for how we can connect up to a better version of yourself because you certainly did that. You connect it up to a better version of yourself. You connected through in a way from an addiction and into this entrepreneurial life where you’ve been able to contribute in a big way and have a lot of amazing experiences and so thank you so much for being on our show.
Michael: Absolutely. Thanks for having me and I’m glad to help anybody. You might be soccer in any type of situation like that. Anybody can reach out.
Chad: I hope you listened very closely to the golden pieces of wisdom that Michael shared with us today because he gave us the exact formula for how to make a change, for how to ditch a bad habit, for how to achieve a new goal and how it includes shifting your focus to new activities like he did with running and it includes filling your mind with education related to where you want to be like he did, listening to podcasts. You’re listening to this podcast. You’re already accomplishing part of that formula. You’re on your way to getting to where you want to be. A he included also includes clearing the noise in your head and getting a grip on that inner voice. He identified triggers and then he talked himself out of overreacting so he could start to manage his emotions. And the last key part of the equation that he shared with us is the importance of surrounding yourself by people that inspired you, surrounding yourself by people that are where you want to be because they’re going to then take you to where you want to be.
Chad: And to that point I run. I want to repeat what he said about surrounding yourself by people that make you uncomfortable but in a good way because they’re ahead of you in certain areas of your life and that’s going to force you to grow and it’s going to force you to expand your skills and expand your perspective and your mindset and it’s going to help you advance in your life to where you want to be. When you surround yourself by people that are already there, that can support you and inspire you. Connection is everything. So if you want to connect your way to a better career and life, connect with people that are already there and also wanting to get there with you. If you want to learn more, make sure to go to facebook and find Arrow, light TV and like us there so you can follow the content that I produce and release every week and I have other videos that I released on Youtube as well so it goes subscribed there that teach communication and relationship building and how to advance in their career and find us on itunes and make sure you don’t miss future episodes.
Chad: Also, check out the free class called communicate. Now that I host a weekly, just go to arrowlight.tv to learn more. Thank you for joining us and I’ll see you next time on connect up.