Learn to love your life and yourself – Lisa Nichols
David Laroche: Hello, Achievers! Today is a new, amazing day, and I am with a new, amazing guest. She is an African-American woman. You will love her. She’s the author of “No Matter What!” She is Lisa Nichols and she’s with me to answer my questions. She’s one of the most inspirational women, speakers and authors, and she will answer my questions. Hello, Lisa!
Lisa Nichols: Hi! How are you doing today, David?
David Laroche: It’s an awesome day. I’m very happy to be with you today.
Lisa Nichols: Thank you.
David Laroche: And how are you?
Lisa Nichols: I’m doing amazing and I’m excited to be with you, as well… excited for our time together.
David Laroche: Perfect! I have a lot of questions for you, but before asking you a question I would love to know who you are and how you started, because you inspire a lot of people. A lot of people have the belief—“Oh, I’m a woman. I can’t succeed. Oh, I’m Black. I can’t succeed.” And you have them both. So, how did you overcome this belief — I don’t know if you had these beliefs before — and how did you succeed in who you are? How did you become one of the most influential speakers?
Lisa Nichols: First of all, I never saw my gender, as a woman, as a disadvantage and I’ve never seen my culture as a disadvantage.
David Laroche: Great.
Lisa Nichols: I celebrate who I am. It comes with its own set of challenges, but I think everything does. My job is to learn how to, masterfully, be a woman and how to, masterfully, be a woman of color. So, I learned how to celebrate my femininity, celebrate my womanhood, celebrate my culture unapologetically. I think that when you live under the guides of “I’m going to do this even though I’m a woman!”… There’s no “even though.” There’s no “even though.” No one can do it like I could do it as a woman, as an African-American woman. So, it was—instead of it being my kryptonite, my weak point, it’s been my tool. It’s been that thing that’s helped me be extra resilient. I know that my ancestors have had to go through tons of challenges, so that means that’s in my bones. As a woman, we give birth to humanity—that’s in my bones; that’s in my hips; that’s in my essence. The work that I do — My colleagues are primarily men and whenever I step in the room I say, “Okay, now we’re going to bring some flavor to the room”… flavor as a woman, flavor as a woman of color, instead of shrinking, trying to hide, trying to blend in. I tried that for a long time. I used to stand next to Mark Victor Hensen or Jack Canfield or T. Harv Eker, and I tried to blend in. I’d wear a black suit, gray suit or a blue suit. I’d wear my hair pulled back tight in a ponytail, so you couldn’t tell that I wasn’t one of the guys. And I just realized after six years—I don’t do a white man very well, but I do a woman. I do a woman of color pretty well.
David Laroche: Yes, because you are.
Lisa Nichols: Yes. And if I stand in my truth and celebrate who I am, then it gives everyone else the freedom to do the same, in your perfection and in your imperfection. That is not about being perfect. It’s about managing your imperfection perfectly. It’s about perfectly managing your imperfection. I get to design my life based on who I am.
David Laroche: I would love to know your point of view. What are the advantages of being a woman?
Lisa Nichols: They are endless. You didn’t know?
David Laroche: Yes.
Lisa Nichols: Did you not know we run the world? I don’t think anyone told you that we really run the world and then we let you think you run. As women, we get to think through our heart; we get to touch and love, and feel publicly. Oprah gets to cry publicly. She gets to be fully expressed in front of the world. No judgement. My heart goes out to men because society has told you “you can’t cry”; society has told you “you can’t feel anything other than anger.” We get to be afraid; we get to be compassionate; we get to be loving; we get to cry when we see a great movie; we get to be fully expressed. My prayer is that through the teachings, and through our touches, and through the guidance and experience of having a woman in your presence that men give themselves that liberation, as well, because that’s freedom; that’s really freedom… the freedom to express. God gave you tear ducts. God gave you emotions. You’re supposed to feel them and allow them to be real. But men… there’s this bottleneck of “I can’t feel anything other than anger.”
I just hope that you and other teachers in the industry teach something else. As a woman, I get to sing my song; I get to dance to my rhythm; I get to find my tune; I get to laugh out loud; I get to embrace you; I get to recognize that I’m not a man. I don’t have the strength of a man; I have the gentleness and compassion of a woman and together is where magic occurs… together. When we get into the man-woman struggle, it’s when I’m trying to take on the masculine energy and you’re trying to understand my feminine energy. The reality is you don’t have to understand my feminine energy; just honor it and celebrate it. Nor do I have to understand your masculine; just honor it and celebrate it, and at every corner lift you up, at every possibility lift you up. When you come home from fighting the world, be there to help rub salve on your wounds and to help prepare you for the next day. As women, we have the capacity to do that.
David Laroche: Wow! I think so.
Lisa Nichols: Yes.
David Laroche: According to you, what are the advantages to be an African- American woman?
Lisa Nichols: We have rhythm. We have soul. We sit with earth; we come from the earth. We know how to embrace all the children. Everyone is our child. My grandmother is a prime example—Black, White, Asian, Latino everyone was her child. “You need to eat? Baby, come eat.” We’re so used to that; we’re village-oriented. We live inside the village and the village is not just our surnames, our last names. The village is anyone in humanity that’s in this proximity. That’s our culture.
David Laroche: More collaboration.
Lisa Nichols: Absolutely, absolutely! And because we started as a poor culture of “no money”… Money was never something that we got lost behind. Now in my life, where I have great wealth in my life, still the things that mean the most to me cost nothing. The things that mean the most to me… The most exciting parts of my days are having dinner with my grandmother, playing tennis with my daddy, watching movies with my son, because as a culture that’s how we’re raised. We’re raised “stick close”, “hold on tight” and “embrace anyone who crosses your path”, because God sent them on your path.
David Laroche: Wow!
Lisa Nichols: So, I love that… I love that about my culture; I love the resiliency that we have. A Black woman, she’s not going to stop. She’s not going to stop till she gets the job done. We’re not soldiers; we’re not even generals. We’re gladiators and that’s just who we are. We embrace other cultures to play with us.
David Laroche: Great. I would love to know the beginning of what you are doing now. Can you tell me your story?
Lisa Nichols: Well…
David Laroche: You are talking about Oprah… How did Oprah inspire you? I would love to know that.
Lisa Nichols: David, I didn’t come to this work because I wanted to transform other people’s lives. I didn’t come to this work the traditional way of many of my colleagues and friends. I didn’t decide I wanted to be a great study of self-development. I discovered this work because I needed to save my own life. I discovered this work because I was fighting for my own breath; I was fighting to find something in me that was meaningful. It was at a very low point in my life, about 15 years ago, and I was engaged to be married, and five months from my wedding day my fiancée choked me until I passed out. Then he picked me up and threw me three feet across the room. Getting up physically from that was easy. Getting up emotionally, spiritually, mentally that’s where I needed to be my own rescue. So, I went to the doctor and the doctor — I couldn’t stop shaking; I couldn’t stop crying. All of my muscles were out of control — and the doctor said, “Oh, Lisa…” — I’ll never forget the day. Her name was Dr. Bray — and Dr. Bray said to me, “Oh, Lisa, you’re suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. You are diagnosed with clinical depression.” And I said, “Depression?! Me?” At the time I was speaking; I was on stages. I had only been speaking about three years, but I was speaking. So I’m motivating 600 people on stage and here I am diagnosed, three days later, with clinical depression. And I said, “How did I get here?” I don’t know if you’ve ever been somewhere and you don’t know how you got there; you just end up there. That’s where I was. I said — it still brings tears to my eyes to talk about — I said, “Doctor, do you mean I’m really, really sad?” Clinical depression was too big a word. I’m like, “Do you mean I’m really, really sad?” She said, “Yes, you’re really, really sad.” And I thought, “What do I do with my students? What do I teach them when they’re really, really sad and they come to me?”
I went home and I started writing affirmations that I needed to hear. I wrote down the things that I needed to remember. I said, “I must have forgotten who I am.” When you’re sad, it’s because you’ve forgotten, you’ve lost sight of who you really are. You’ve gotten consumed with the circumstances. You’ve gotten consumed with your experience in the moment and you’ve forgotten who you’ve been designed to be; who you’ve been born to be. I forgot… I forgot. While I was teaching I forgot. This relationship was so dark and so saddening I forgot. So, I started writing affirmations reminding me of who I am, and I stuck them all around my house: I stuck them on my bathroom mirror; I stuck them on our refrigerator; I put them on my headboard of my bed—“I deserve healthy love” on my headboard. I put them on the front door of my home—“The world is ready for me and I’m ready for the world.” Everywhere I went I posted them… everywhere. My house looked like a great big post-it note and I didn’t care because I was fighting for my own life. Then I opened the Bible to see who God said I was. I forgot… I forgot who I was and whom I was, and who I belonged to. Every morning I got in the mirror and I finished three sentences, David… every morning. I said, “Lisa, I’m proud that you…” And when I first said it, all I could say was, “I’m proud that you got out of bed today.” That’s all I did. Then the second sentence was, “Lisa, I forgive you for…” Balling with tears… My son was three years old at the time, so I had to forgive myself for not only putting myself in danger, but for putting my son in danger. I had to forgive… every day I forgave myself. Then every day I’d say, “Lisa, I commit to you that.” So, every day for three months I said, “Lisa, I’m proud of you. Lisa, I forgive you for and Lisa, I commit to you that.” And slowly my crawl turned into a walk, and my walk turned into a run, and my run turned into a soar. Then I figured if it works on me, it might work on other people. That’s when I came to this work.
David Laroche: Did you see a difference in your clients, in the people who are following you?
Lisa Nichols: Oh, completely! When you come back from something, when you come from a dark place, when you come from a place of sadness, when you come from a place of worry, doubt and fear and you stand again on your own two feet, you’ll never stand the same way you stood before you went through that turbulent challenge. You’ll never stand the same because you’re no longer the same person. You had to draw something out in you that you didn’t even know it existed. So, when I taught I taught from a place of “no matter what”; I taught from a place of resiliency; I taught from a place of coming back again and my students saw that. They rose taller, and they rose bigger, and they told someone, and they shared with someone. And all of a sudden my brand of my business began to just grow, grow, grow, grow, grow. I’ve never had a speaker agent booking me to speak; I’ve never had an advertising agency putting me out there… never. It was always word of mouth.
David Laroche: According to you, what could be the key factor of your success as a speaker? If you have an advice to give to someone who would like to do the same thing as you?
Lisa Nichols: Transparency is that thing that’s making this moment so special. My grandmother says, “There’s nothing to hide, nothing to protect, nothing to prove and nothing to defend.” So, I speak as if there’s nothing to hide, nothing to protect, nothing to defend and nothing to prove. It’s not in my brilliance that I get to stand on stage and inspire millions. It’s in the fact that I’ve fallen and I got up; that I’ve earned the right to stand on stage.
David Laroche: So, you tell these stories…
Lisa Nichols: I share… I share all of it. There’s nothing to hide; there’s nothing to prove to you. It’s in my being an ordinary woman, choosing every day to make extraordinary decisions. It’s not in me singing from a mountain top that, “I’m the great leader Lisa!” No, that’s not true! That’s not true. I’m a woman; I’m a single mother who chose to make life better for her son, who chose to not hold my future hostage to my past. See, most people are holding their future hostage to their past—“because I did that or because I didn’t do that, I can’t do this.” I cut the shackles attached to my past. I stand on my past, not in my past.
David Laroche: Great. I love that. Thank you very much.
Lisa Nichols: You’re welcome.
David Laroche: I would like to…
Lisa Nichols: Before you do that, are you okay? You’re good? All right. I’ve been known to make the room cry…
David Laroche: It was great! I love what you are saying. You inspire me and you inspire people. And I will do my best to promote this video.
Lisa Nichols: Good. I think the thing about my message that’s needed is it’s not only educational, but it’s used as a healing piece. So, it’s for healing, as well—that when people listen you realize that the experience I had made me a better person; that it’s difficult to go through.
David Laroche: It is my next question. How can we deal with obstacles? What do you have to share on this question?
Lisa Nichols: First of all, don’t be so frustrated by obstacles. Obstacles are designed to help you develop your “resiliency muscle”, your “perseverance muscle.” You don’t get strong without obstacles. You can’t google “download strength.” No, it doesn’t happen, David. You can’t google “download forgiveness.” You want all these things in your character. You want the character of a giant, but you don’t want to climb the mountain. The mountains are the obstacles. The mountains are—someone did something that betrayed you and you have to find it in your soul to love them anyway. That’s when your character’s built. When you see something that is… you go, “How… I’ll never get past this. I‘ll never get past this debt. I’ll never get past this broken relationship.” And then you find something in you and you go, “Wait a minute, no matter what I’m bigger than my circumstances.” On the other side of it you’re not the same person; you’re not the same being. But you can’t get there without these obstacles. Obstacles are designed to show you your “leap muscle”, to show your “love muscle”, to show you your “compassion muscle”, to show you your ability to bounce back. It’s not how many times can you leap forwards. It’s how many times you can bounce back that’s going to determine your longevity. Obstacles are designed to support your growth. You ask for patience, you’re going to get into a situation. You ask for “I want to forgive”—you’re going to get someone who’s going to make you mad. They’re designed to come into your life to make you a better man, to make me a better woman. They’re not designed to stop you—“Oh, my God!” No.
David Laroche: …
Lisa Nichols: You freeze for a moment, but only for a moment long enough to determine your next move; only long enough to go, “Who am I right now? Who do I want to be known for? How do I want to be remembered in this situation? What story…?” — Every time I go through something, David; every time I’m in a sticky situation I go — I promise — every time I go, “What story do I want to be told about me on how I handled this?” This is what you’re doing. We’re now sitting in 2013. You want to project out and you want to be in your 2020 version of you. What would the 2020 version of me do or say? And then you want to do it now, because now you’re growing toward the man you’re becoming. Does that make sense?
David Laroche: Yes.
Lisa Nichols: You don’t respond. If you respond the same way you responded in 2009… You’ve already been that person. Who are you now? Obstacles show you who you are. The area that I find how I grow — when I find I’ve grown — is when I’m faced with an obstacle and I respond in a different way. I go, “Whoo! Look, I’ve grown because in 2008 I would have gone crazy.”
David Laroche: So, we can say that the obstacles are not only the opportunity to grow, but also the opportunity to see that you…
Lisa Nichols: … to measure your growth.
David Laroche: Yes, to measure your growth.
Lisa Nichols: Absolutely, to measure your growth, and you have to stop and celebrate yourself. I look at myself today — and I’m not perfect, by no means. I simply learned how to manage my imperfection — I look at myself today and I — Someone said, “What would you do if someone came up to you and they were yelling and screaming at you?” I said, “They don’t get to trigger me. They won’t make me lose sight of who I am.” They said, “How could you say that?” I said, “Because they don’t have that much power over me. I control me. I design my destiny. They are a stimulus, that’s it, for I decide.” You have the pen in your hand to write your entire autobiography. You design your destiny. No one is ever holding the pen in your hand. You may think someone is influencing you because they’re screaming and yelling at you, but you still write “I’m angry.” You still write “I hate” or you write “I love. I love in spite of…” Your pen—your story… always. I love that! When I finally got that — Because you know otherwise you think it’s because of your mom or your dad or your ex- or your next. You give other people too much power. I used to give other people a lot of power. I gave my community power; I gave my environment power; I gave my culture power and I went, “Whoa, wait a minute!”
David Laroche: I have the power.
Lisa Nichols: I got the power… always.
Lisa Nichols: Before we do I want to make sure I’m very mindful of sound and I hear this. Do you know if you’re hearing this if you have…
David Laroche: I would like to know about… what traits do we have to develop to become a successful person? Maybe five or seven traits you see.
Lisa Nichols: First let me define success.
David Laroche: Yes.
Lisa Nichols: Most people look at success very compartmentally. Success is one category—it’s your public name; it’s your bank account balance; it’s your notoriety; it’s your celebrity status. Well, that’s nice. Success is so much bigger than that. Success is—does your family enjoy you?
David Laroche: It’s your “nine environments of success.”
Lisa Nichols: Yes and if I broke those nine environments into four chunks, four bigger chunks… relationships—how are they? When you’re on your transition bed in your last days of living, your last hours of living, you won’t care about how big a celebrity you were; you won’t care about the number in your bank account. You will measure the quality of your life by the quality of your relationships. That’s it. Did I say “I love you” enough? Did I say “I’m sorry” soon enough? Did I say “I forgive you” quick enough? Did I laugh until my belly ached? Did I cry when I felt like I needed to shed a tear? Did I hold her tight? Did I hold him tight enough? The quality of your relationships will be a direct reflection of the quality of your life and you won’t ever be able to clean that up in the last days. So, when I look at success, I look at success—next week I’m taking my dad on a trip and for four days me and my daddy are going to dance. We’re going to dance all night for four days at a 4-day concert. That, to me, is success.
David Laroche: Yes.
Lisa Nichols: Success is about your health and your wellness; not about being a size two. But if you want to dance, can you dance till your knees agree with dancing? If you want to jet-ski, can you jet-ski? If you want to get up and take a jog, can you? The quality of your life and your health is also determined by your spirituality. How surrendered are you to a higher being, whatever you call it — I call it God — whatever you call it. How surrendered are you? How much are you in alignment with the purpose of your life? Success to me, David, is much bigger than the compartment called “celebrity” or “finances.” Based on that — because I have to tell you that, my definition of success, before I tell you the traits of success. So, the traits of success as I see them is first—authenticity and honesty; being willing to show who you are holistically, no regrets, unapologetically. Compassion… compassion is a saving grace trait. Compassion will allow you to see in the most difficult person what they need. When people are being difficult, argumentative, ego-based it’s because they need something. And compassion will allow you to push ego posture and give them what they need without any attachment. I love elevating people who need elevation. “Okay, I don’t need it. You need it. It’s okay.” And then they feel better. Compassion… You need — I want to say “spunk” — but you need to be feisty. You need to be… You need to be… Yes, feisty. You need to not look for others for permission to do you. You need to do you and just trust they’ll be okay. You need to be a game changer. You need to not ask for permission; you need to give notice. See, I won’t ask for permission anymore. I give notice—“I’m coming! I’m here!” Not in a brag-audacious way, not in an intimidating way; just in an “I’m here.” See, you need to be spunky.
You need to be… You need to be God-centered; whatever you call your faith. You need to sit and rest in service. Sit and rest. If you really want to go to the next level, you need to go from service — now this is a big one; most people won’t ever do this — go from service to obedience. Obedience is the ultimate form of surrender. Surrender to your calling. Surrender. Meaning, on days you don’t want to do it and you don’t like it you go, “Oh, yeah! I say yes. Use me. Use me today. Get me out of your way, God, so that people can see You today; that You can use me like I’m an instrument. I’m an instrument playing in Your great band, in Your great symphony and all I want to do is play my music, play the music that You brought me here to play. Use me. And the moment I get in Your way, stop me. Stop me in my tracks until I become repurposed and then use me again. Give me a thousand second chances to get it right.” Those are the traits. I know you said like nine of them, but those are the key ones. Everything else will take care of itself. You can learn everything else. You can learn strategic planning; you can learn time management; you can learn all that stuff. You’ve got those core things—you’re willing to surrender; you’re willing to be out on the edge; you’re willing to be authentic; you’re willing to celebrate the God in you no matter what you think people might. You’re okay.
David Laroche: “You’re great.”
Lisa Nichols: And then you define success holistically by your family, your faith, your health, your money and your relationships. Yes.
David Laroche: I love that. It’s a new answer for the same question. I love that.
Lisa Nichols: You got me! [You’re having fun? (asking Julie) Some girl energy… off-interview talk 00:39:50]
David Laroche: I’m very happy that you can meet together.
David Laroche: My next question is about the nine environments of success. How do you suggest managing that, because we have relationships, we have our jobs or — I don’t know how to say that — our professional goals…
Lisa Nichols: Career.
David Laroche: Career… We have our health. We have a lot of things… nine things.
Lisa Nichols: Nature, self…
David Laroche: How do you manage that?
Lisa Nichols: Number one—you have to commit to not going to overwhelm. You have a lifetime. Oftentimes we’re so impatient. I’d say take three environments and focus on them for 90 days. Just laser… Instead of moving like a flat light, move like a laser. Focus, focus, focus—three for three months and then three more for three months, and then three more for three months. Within a year you’ve touched them all and as you touch them energy grows or energy goes. Energy grows or energy goes. You touch that environment; you grow the success in that environment. You touch the next environment; you grow the success in that environment. You have to touch them all at the same time. Laser, not flat light.
David Laroche: So, you are telling me maybe to change three and three and three…
Lisa Nichols: Don’t change; just focus… just focus on them. When you focus on them you’ll find what needs to be tweaked, you’ll find what you like. You may look at it and go, “I love it! I love it the way it is! Oh, my God! I’m doing so great in this environment! Great!” You may look at another one and go, “Hmm, I’m doing okay. Let me put some energy. What do I need to do to level that environment up?” The next one—you go, “Argh, it’s non-existent.” My environment that’s non-existent is nature. I don’t go out in nature enough—it’s non-existent. So, I go and I sit on my front porch and I go, “Hah, okay today I did a little nature. Oh, that’s wind. I feel a wind blow on my face. Okay, that’s not air conditioner. Okay, it’s wind. Okay, I’m in nature.” I’ll take an extra walk down to the mail box or I’ll just walk slower.” Small things… See, you have to become committed to instead of trying to make macro wins — we’re so goal-oriented; we want big wins called macro wins — how about you having a micro win? What I love about the nine environments or when I focus on the nine environments on my website is I teach you how to have micro wins, small wins, because then they’ll build on each other, but they’re easy to get to. Sometimes your goals are so far out in front of you; it takes so long to get to it—you loose energy…
David Laroche: …
Lisa Nichols: …you fizzle out. But what if your goal was right here and then right here. By the time you get out here you’re “building momentum” because you’ve accomplished six goals.
David Laroche: Yes.
Lisa Nichols: And the “momentum” — What I love about though—when you look at the nine environments they’re micro… micro wins, small wins. Like your physical environment—your garage is cluttered — most people have a cluttered garage or a cluttered closet — and you go, “Oh, I need to clear that out from my physical environment.” I go, “Wait. Don’t do that yet; just clean out the drawer in the kitchen.” Micro win… And that drawer begins to go, beings to go, begins to go… And in the next three months clean out the one hall closet. That’s it—just one hall closet. Give yourself 30 days to clean it out. 30 days? I could do that.
David Laroche: Yes, baby steps.
Lisa Nichols: Yes, micro wins. You get to your macro through mini-micros. We’re so used to going “Macro! I want to do it all!” You can do it all, but do it all in the stage that feels good to you.
David Laroche: I would love to have your point of view because, to be honest with you, I focus a lot on my professional environment. I think you saw that. It could be very hard for me to say, “Oh, these three months I will not focus on my…”
Lisa Nichols: Your business? No, no, no. See, you already focus on business, right?
David Laroche: Yes.
Lisa Nichols: So, that environment has already been taken care of. Keep doing what you’re doing in that environment. Just give three other environments some attention. You don’t stop giving your business attention. You still do that, but you go, “I’m going to…” — Let’s say you work 12 hours a day, and you want to give… “I want to give 25% of my time to other things”. I’m not going to do the percentages right; I didn’t do great in Math. But of 12 hours you want to give 3 hours now…
David Laroche: Great!
Lisa Nichols: Is that right? You give three hours now to those three environments. So, one hour, one hour, another one hour… You still got nine hours that’s in your work. You’re just committed to three other environments three hours out of the day; that’s it. It just says, “add to your life…”
David Laroche: And you take a commitment to yourself to say, “Okay, at this time I will not work, for example.”
Lisa Nichols: Or at this time I’m going to watch a movie with my girlfriend. I’m going to get on the phone and I’m going to call three people in my family, and just chat. Now, it may sound crazy, but I have to schedule time to call my family. I schedule time. I go, “On Sunday from 10 to 12 I’m doing phone calls.” They haven’t even figured it out yet that on Sundays I just happen to call. They go, “Aah! So wonderful hearing from you, Lisa! Oh, my God! Great!” and I’m talking till 12. Sometimes I go to 12:30; sometimes 11:45. Now I have my relationship environment—its maintenance. You know why? Because I used to work all the time and I didn’t take care of the other environments, and my family stopped expecting my call. They stopped thinking I was going to call. They stopped calling me, because I was always so busy. And then I was lonely. I was successful in this quadrant, in this compartment. This over here—I was lonely.
If there’s anything I can share with you—don’t you dare compromise your lifestyle and your holistic joy for business. You won’t take it with you. You won’t even remember it. It will be the relationships in your life that will bring you the most joy or the most void and the most pain. They’re like gardens—you have to water them. If you don’t water them, they’ll die. Then the greatest thing I love is that when you can go back to an old relationship and say, “I’m sorry. Can we do a ‘do over’? Can we have a ‘do over’?” And they go, “Yeah, absolutely!” To me that’s… I can’t compromise. There’s nowhere you want to get in business that’s not so great, that you would leave back behind these other things. There’s nowhere. You get there and you look back and there’s a cemetery in relationships: killed off, dead, gone, but you have it all! No. See, I coach very, financially, successful people. I coach millionaires and some billionaires. I never coach them on how to make more money, David. They make tons of money. They run rings around you and I with they money they make. I’m coaching all of them on those other eight environments.
David Laroche: To balance that.
Lisa Nichols: How to get back and get grace with their children before they die. How to connect with their God source before they die, because they didn’t, at our age, manage it.
David Laroche: I love that. Julie has two questions for you and I will come back but I think it’s the best moment to let her ask you something.
Lisa Nichols: Sure. Absolutely.
David Laroche: And you’ll love her questions. I’ll come back with my last questions. Thank you very much for everything.
Lisa Nichols: You’re welcome.
Julie: I love this interview. It’s a great interview.
David Laroche: I’m glad to have been persistent to have an interview with you.
Lisa Nichols: Well, good. I’m glad that were. You got past all the guards so you have said the right things and stayed persistent. I’m glad that you did, as well, because oftentimes when people don’t get a reply from us they may think it’s a lack of interest, but it’s we’re moving so much.
David Laroche: I contacted you by your LinkedIn, by Facebook, by your website.
Lisa Nichols: And they’re all very public places so we have so many…
David Laroche: I know that’s why….
Lisa Nichols: I get 3,000 inbox messages a week in Facebook and my fan page….
Julie: So, my question is about education. I would like to know, according to you, how could we improve education?
Lisa Nichols: Well, you know you’re speaking to someone who — I don’t know if you have the same level of grades. You have “A”, “B”, “C”… What’s your highest grade?
Julie: In France?
Lisa Nichols Yes, in school?
Lisa Nichols “A” and then the next level?
Julie: “B”, “C”, “A”…
Lisa Nichols: Okay. So, I was a “C” student — never “B”, never “A” — “C” student all through school. So, no one ever saw me. No teacher ever really saw me. I was the forgotten one. I was the “Hmm, maybe she’ll make it; maybe not.” I was a “C” student because I didn’t learn fast. I’m a thorough learner; I need to hear it four times, maybe five before I get it. I know people have said in many ways. I’m going to speak very basic. Did the tape stop?
Julie: I think it’s okay.
Lisa Nichols: I’m going to speak very basic. The educational system can greatly improve by finding the learning styles of individual children. There is that child who only needs to hear it one time and they’re gone. That’s my son. Then there’s that child like me. I need to touch it, feel it, hear it again, repeat it back to you. I’m a kinesthetic learner. No one ever knew that I was a kinesthetic learner, so I struggled all through school. I thought I was stupid. I would tell people, when I was 17, “I learn really slow. Watch out; go slow” because I began to think I couldn’t learn when in fact I’m a very good learner. I just learn differently than the way the educational system teaches. I think one major improvement is to test children on their learning style and then put them on a track that complements their learning style. Does that make sense?
Julie: Yes, it makes sense.
Lisa Nichols It’s very simple but, God, it would just — How many “C” students could run multi-million dollar companies now if they had the inspiration then? Somehow I was able to get through it. Somehow I was able to figure it out that I was a good learner, but I shouldn’t have had to do that. I shouldn’t have gone through what I went through for so many years. Do you know what I mean?
Lisa Nichols: So, I think spend more time learning how children learn and then teaching them in their learning style. Smaller groups. I think that we should bring back parent involvement in the schools. My daddy was the President of the Parents’ Club and he was the only man on campus. Because my dad was on campus I made sure I did good because my father was on campus meeting with the other parents. Somehow we’ve lost parents coming on to campus. Then I would bring Arts back. We need to be creative. Everyone doesn’t learn linear. Some of us learn through music and touch and visual and we’ve lost the all of those different aids. We have so much money. We have so much money available to us. I think the first place new money should go is in the educational system. Don’t loose anything—don’t loose Cooking; don’t loose Sewing; don’t loose Music. Bring it all back, because there’s a child that’s waiting to thrive with their hands and when they engage their hands, their minds fire off. That’s me. I didn’t even know until I was in my 30s that I learn that way.
Julie: Wow, okay.
Lisa Nichols: It’s kind of late, do you know? I’m trying to make up for it. But how many people just gave up at 25. I just can’t learn; I’m not one of the smart kids. I wasn’t one of the smart kids. When I went back to my 25 year reunion I was the keynote speaker at my 25 year reunion. And all of the academically enriched students, the “A” students they were all looking and going, “How did she…? How did she become an author of six books? How did she…?” I didn’t show up that way. Do you know what I mean?
Julie: Yes, I understand. It’s great that you come with this answer. Thank you.
Lisa Nichols: You’re welcome.
Julie: It’s good because I have lots of people answering this question and people will see that — A lot of people had the same answer like you so they will say, “Okay, we have to teach children the three basic different ways—kinesthetic…” So, it’s good. Thank you.
Lisa Nichols: You’re welcome. It’s my pleasure.
Julie: My second question is about your vision of the world. What could be the three actions human beings could do to make this world a better place to live?
Lisa Nichols: I’m asked questions like that. My love and belief for humanity just cracks open. We could stop judging each other by the skin, by the hair… just love each other like if the God in me touches the God in you, and that’s all I see. How would I treat you differently? If we were distracted by culture, our finances and I just saw the God in you….
David Laroche: Do you want some….?
Lisa Nichols: Yes, both of us. It’s my life dream to impact humanity and to touch humanity and to leave something because I was born. That makes it easier to be with each other. That’s probably my favorite question…..
Tell me your question again. I’m sorry. …….
Julie: So, the question is—according to you, what could be the three actions human beings could do to make this world a better place to live?
Lisa Nichols: So, one—search and see the God in each one of us versus our color, our culture, our skin, our social economic status; but see the God in me. Whatever religion, whatever faith, see the God in me, because I’m born; I’m here; I’m human. See the God in me—that’s one. And two—that we give ourselves permission to forgive sooner, quicker, faster. That we rush back to love. We run and rush back to love. The moment we feel separated from love, we fill the separation and then we rush back to love. We don’t live in righteousness and indignation and wrong, right. We want to be in love and we know that and we remember that when it gets hard. The third thing is we stop keeping score. Stop keeping score. Toss out the score card. Who cares what this race did to that race? Who cares who didn’t? Who cares? Who cares what your ex-husband did? Who cares what your mom didn’t do or what your dad couldn’t do? We ball up the score card and we stop keeping score. Every day is a new day. Every day we press “reset”… every day. We don’t drag anything from yesterday, anything from last year into this moment now. That this moment is a fresh, new moment to love wildly, to play radically, to laugh hysterically… This is a new moment. I’ll never get this minute back; I’ll never get this moment back. This moment with you will forever be in the imprint of my life and I don’t want to miss it. I don’t want to imprint anything into this moment that doesn’t belong. I don’t want to corrupt it with any thought of you other than a pure thought of the God in you touching the God in me. Think if we did that the world would just be so much more exciting.
Julie: Yes, I love it. Thank you.
Lisa Nichols: You’re welcome.
Julie: I love your answer.
Lisa Nichols: Thank you.
David Laroche: I have a question for you. I would love to know how old your son is.
Lisa Nichols: My favorite topic on the planet… my son. My son is 18; he’ll be 19 this June.
David Laroche: Perfect… it’s perfect. You will understand why. My mission I think — I don’t think, I feel — is to help youth to grow and believe in themselves and I ask this question to everyone. Let’s consider I ask you that for your son, okay? According to you, what could be the life lessons you would like to share to your son? I’m sure you did. Imagine you can speak directly to your son; I will send the video to your son.
Lisa Nichols: He’ll say, “Mom, I heard about it already.” No he would not.
David Laroche: What could be the life lessons you would like to share to youth? And you can speak directly to youth and imagine that it is your son beyond the camera.
Lisa Nichols: First of all, to know that you get to continue to learn how to get it right. You don’t have to start perfect; just keep going. That you have the right to experience unconditional love. That means when you make a silly mistake, when you do something, you still have the right to be loved. And that the world is looking at the way you love yourself first, and then the world will follow your example. So, love you, celebrate you, honor you. As a teenager I was confused; I was lost; I was very popular, but I wasn’t comfortable in my skin. I didn’t know Lisa. Everyone else knew Lisa, but I didn’t know Lisa. I didn’t love Lisa; I didn’t celebrate Lisa. So, I looked for my own self-love in the warmth of men. I looked for my own love by saying “yes” to a lot of things that I should have said “no” to. Find out who you are. What do you love to do? Dance to your own rhythm. Sing to your own bit. No one can do you better than you. And no one has to approve who you are. You approve who you are. If you love you, then the world will love you. When you celebrate you, the world will celebrate you. If you find yourself being alone, remember that I looked into your eyes through this lens and said, “You are not alone. You are never alone.” In those hours when you feel no one gets you, someone gets you, someone loves you, someone adores you, someone’s praying for you, someone’s hoping that you open up to them.
I found myself feeling so alone as a teenager, so much that when I was 19 I was in the bathroom in my one-bedroom house, and I poured in my hand eight Tylenol Aspirin and I contemplated suicide because I felt so alone. And I felt to my knees what the Aspirin in my hand, the Tylenol in my hand, and I prayed out to God, “God, pleas help me. Help me get through this time. And if You help me get through this time, I’ll spend the lifetime bringing other people through it, helping other people to get through their dark times.” And I got through it. So if you feel alone right now, just know you’re not and that we can get through this. You can get through this and when you dance through your rhythm, sing your own song, find your own bit the rest of the world will find the same bit with you. I love you. I appreciate you. I honor you and I celebrate you just the way you are. No changes required.
David Laroche: Wow! You are great!
Lisa Nichols: Thank you.
David Laroche: My last question is a funny question. I have to explain why this question because I believe — You will understand my question. My question will be how to become unhappy in this life? Okay?
Lisa Nichols: That makes sense.
David Laroche: I believe a lot that people don’t want to become unhappy, but sometimes…
Lisa Nichols: They end up.
David Laroche: They’re acting…. So, we will remember maybe more — I believe in this way to teach people. Are you ready?
David Laroche: So, Lisa I have a very serious question for you and I’ll ask you to stay serious because it’s very important for me.
Lisa Nichols: As you laugh.
David Laroche: How can I become unhappy in this life?
Lisa Nichols: Hmmm… How can you become unhappy? Continue to dream and never take action.
David Laroche: No actions.
Lisa Nichols: No actions. Blame everyone for how your life ends up. Make tons of excuses. Live a life of procrastination.
David Laroche: I have to develop that.
Lisa Nichols: Be shameful of your past; hide it. Spend a lifetime making everyone else wrong and you’re right. Don’t take care of your health.
David Laroche: No?
Lisa Nichols: No.
David Laroche: No?
Lisa Nichols: No. Don’t take care of yourself. It will make getting up hard and you’ll be nice and unhappy.
David Laroche: It’s great.
Lisa Nichols: Don’t manage your finances. Just spend whatever you want whenever you want. Don’t be financially responsible.
David Laroche: I don’t see my account… I spent
Lisa Nichols: Yes. Stay in debt. Be unhappy. Don’t nurture your relationships. Don’t nurture your relationships; let them with their way. Don’t call. Don’t say “I’m sorry.” Don’t say “I love you.” Don’t say “I accept your apology.” Just don’t do that. All those things will pretty much keep you unhappy.
David Laroche: It’s great.
Lisa Nichols: By the way, some people are very committed to that, very committed.
David Laroche: Maybe it’s the time to change that.
Lisa Nichols: I think it’s a good time. The wonderful thing about a decision is that it can in a moment change the trajectory of your life.
David Laroche: Yes, thank you very much.
Lisa Nichols: You’re welcome.
David Laroche: The last thing—I would love a testimonial from you. Do you prefer I ask you something or I can let you speak about David Laroche. What do you prefer?
Lisa Nichols: Which ever way serves you best. I know this about testimonials—that if you don’t guide the person and you don’t get what you want, you missed the moment, because it’s hard to get them again. What do you want to use it for?
David Laroche: For example, to promote the website.
Lisa Nichols: And pronounce your last name.
David Laroche: Laroche.
Lisa Nichols: Laroche.
David Laroche: Yes, perfect.
Lisa Nichols: Laroche.
David Laroche: Yes. I will do speeches and conferences about self-confidence in the United States in six months… no, in one month. It could be for that also. What do you think about what I’m doing and what do you feel about…? We can start when you’re ready.
Lisa Nichols: There are so many people with the intention to inspire. David Laroche does it. He’s been able to gather wise individual and pull them together and ask profound thought-provoking questions so that he can teach his students. Few teachers are willing to take big risks to go far, to go wide, to go deep, to be persistent. David has done that. He is young; he is vibrant, intellectual and he has a heart of compassion and gold. I believe that anyone he touches, chooses to teach or partner with will benefit profoundly from connecting with him. I advise you, invite you and implore you—play with David. He’s worth playing with.
David Laroche: Great! Thank you very much.
Lisa Nichols: You’re welcome.
David Laroche: It was awesome.