The Effortless Path to Discover Your Life Purpose – Janet Attwood
David Laroche : So, hello achievers. Today I am with a new, amazing woman. She's Janet Bray Attwood. She is the co-author of the New York Times Bestseller, “The Passion Test,” and she's with me to answer my questions about passion, life, purpose. And you will love this interview, so follow that. So, hello Janet.
Janet Attwood : Hello, gorgeous.
David Laroche : How are you today?
Janet Attwood : I'm good. I'm in my exercise wear and I'm just running out, after this interview, to go exercise, which is one of my passions. Here I am with my, you know, my little exercise clothes on. So, soon to be running outside to have some really beautiful weather in San Diego, California.
David Laroche : Yeah, I love San Diego. It's one of my favorite cities in the world.
Janet Attwood : Yeah, me too.
David Laroche : Because we don't have a lot of time, I would like to let you answer my question, who are you? And I would love to know also, can you tell me one of your struggles and how you overcame it? I love to learn from struggles.
Janet Attwood : Sure. Who am I? I am that. Thou art that. Then all this is that. That's who I am. Okay, so that's an interesting question to answer because I could answer it in many ways, because you know, I'm very much tuned into spirituality. So but I'll bottom line it. Okay, I'm sure what you want to hear is…what do you want to hear when you ask, “Who am I?” That's always an interesting question to me.
David Laroche : Yeah, it's interesting also for me. So, how do you define yourself?
Janet Attwood : I am the most fun person on the planet.
David Laroche : Yeah, good. And according to you, what make you that successful?
Janet Attwood : I think gratitude. I am so thankful. I really mean this. I am so thankful, and I am so thankful for every single moment, and that's no exception. And that means the things that sometimes don't feel so great, I'm also thankful for, because it's through those things that I find great lessons in. And I would really say that, you know, this being thankful for all the great things that have come into my life keeps me open. And openness is the secret to living a passionate life. That when you're open, you're open to loving what is. Because loving what is, I love… one of my mentors is this great woman, I hope you get to meet her, named Byron Katie. And she has this great program called “The Work,” which is a process of self inquiry, to take a look at your limiting beliefs that keep you from being able to recognize that everything is perfect just how it is. Everything is perfect just how it is. And so I love to practice gratitude, and noticing, and having the awareness that everything, just how it is, is working for me all the time. And by doing that, what I see is that I become this light, because that's what gratitude creates. It's lightness. You lighten up. And people love to hang out with other people that are of that light. They've lightened up. They're lightened up. They're fun. They play. They want to be joyful, you know? And so everybody comes to you because they want to be around that, whatever it is. They don't know what it is. What is it that I want to be around? And that really is the secret to creating alliances, because I would say…you know, my company's name is Enlightened Alliances…
David Laroche : Wow.
Janet Attwood : …and so, that's a real secret to creating alliances, you know, is to, when you're in gratitude, when you're thankful, when you're always looking for the good, then you develop within yourself, automatically, this lightness about you. And people are just gravitated, like a honey bee is to a flower or a moth to a flame. You just, you don't know why, but you have to be near it. You have to be closer. And so, that's one of the reasons why, I would say. The other is that I love to ask people, “What is your passion? What are you…?
David Laroche : Yeah, it is my next question.
Janet Attwood : What do you care about? What's important to you?” In other words, what I'm finding out from others when I'm meeting them is, what is their critical need? And when you find out what someone's critical need is, then you can support them, and you can create an alliance with them. And all of my success, all of it…you know, I was very fundamental in the movie, “The Secret.” Rhonda Byrne had been one of my students, who's the creator of “The Secret,” the movie “The Secret.” And she came to me after she had taken my program online, called, “The Love Alliance Secrets,” and said, “Can you help me to meet transformational leaders?” And I said, “Absolutely,” and introduced her to about 70%, my partner and I, to the teachers in the movie, “The Secret.” And this was before. It was just when I was starting to be a speaker. I still wasn't out speaking, so I wasn't in the movie, but, you know, all of this came from creating alliances, all my success. My success with Jack Canfield. Right now, Jack Canfield, who's one of the stars of the movie, “The Secret,” who has a program called, “Success,” he has a book called…
David Laroche : “Success Principles.”
Janet Attwood : …what is his book? Success…
David Laroche : Principles.
Janet Attwood : Yeah, thank you. “Success Principles,” and you know he's the co-author of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series. Yeah, “Success Principles.” I gave Jack the Passion Test, and after that, after he took the Passion Test, which is the number one tool being used all over the world to help people get clear on the things that they choose to create in their life. After taking the Passion Test, Jack started what's called, “The Transformational Leadership Council,” and it consists of a group of top transformational leaders all over the world, who come together for four days, twice a year, to share their knowledge with one another. It's an incredible group. And right now, I'm in Torrey Pines, La Jolla. It's in the San Diego area. And I'm with the Transformational Leadership Council. That's where I am right now, David. And all of the success that I experienced, all of it…you know, I now have over 1400 Passion Test certified facilitators around the world, and I've just graduated my master trainers for the Passion Test for kids and teens, which is a brand new program.
David Laroche : And do you have a French…do you have a…?
Janet Attwood : Now, all of this came because, number one, being in gratitude and just being…go ahead.
David Laroche : Do you have a French….
Janet Attwood : Do I have a what?
David Laroche : Yeah, we are in a delay. Do you have a French version of your Passion Test?
Janet Attwood : No. You know, I just had my Japanese Passion Test facilitator connect me with a publisher in Japan. I just came back from Japan, where I did a huge program. And my book now is published in Japan because of one of my students. So if you have a desire to help me find a French publisher, that would be a very good connection for you and I, because I would love to have the Passion Test in French. We're in, gosh, we're in over 28 languages, and we're not in French yet. So that would be wonderful.
David Laroche : Yeah, I think so. You were talking about passion. I would love to know, how do you help someone to find their core passion?
Janet Attwood : Yeah, really it's a simple process. We ask people to think about when your life is ideal, and then fill in the blanks. And think about the different areas in your life: your health, your career, your education, your spirituality, your fun. “When my life is ideal I am…” and then filling in the blanks. So it could be, when my life is ideal, and you're thinking about health, it could be: in vibrant, perfect health. And in a relationship it could be: traveling, working, playing with my ideal mate. And we have them write down a list, thinking about all the areas of their life that are important to them, of maybe 10, 20 passions. And then we have this elimination process, where we go, “What is more important?” And we just go down the row. “This or this? This or this? This or this? This or this?” And there's some other questions if they get stuck because, obviously, many people do, you know? And get them to come up with what they consider to be their top five passions. And so, what we say in the Passion Test is, “When you're clear, what you choose to have show up in your life will.” And only to the extent that you're clear. That clarity is power. And so we help people clarify the five things in their life that are most important to them, so that they can start putting their attention on those things. Because, see, what's happening in the world, and why many people aren't successful…and this is another process that, of course, I've used in my life. The Passion Test is one of the reasons why I am so successful, is because we have people put their attention on their top five passions, right? Instead of 500 million things that other people in the world are doing. Many people in the world, would you not agree, are way overloaded, have way too much going on, cannot focus? You know, they're turned this way and that way, and this way and that way. But with The Passion Test, we clarify those top five like a samurai. Because when you're clear what you choose to have show up in your life to the extent that you're clear, because clarity is power. So we teach them the formula of living a passionate life. Intention. Clarify, “What is it that you're most passionate about?” And have them come up with their top five passions. Attention. All of us are powerful. Everyone in the whole world is powerful. No one's more powerful than anyone else, really. It's just where are you putting your powerful attention? Are you putting it on all the things that aren't working? Or are you focusing and lasering it, like a samurai, on your top five passions? And keeping your attention on those things you choose to create.
David Laroche : Yeah, I would love to know something because it's very amazing for me to listen to you about that. I would like to be not only authentic with you and to take my own example. I have a passion-ated life, but how do you balance between the five passion you have? Because I want that my company grow, and sometimes I'm maybe too focused on only one passion. Do you understand me?
Janet Attwood : Yeah, absolutely. Are you kidding me? Do I understand you? I've lived you. Yeah, and it's a practice. You know, it's a practice. It's groundhog day, right? Which means that there has to be…when you called me, Marci [SP] and I were meditating, right? And then next we're going to go exercise, and then next we're going to go do some work, right? And then next we're going to do this. You know,? And if I take you to my refrigerator here, I hear…and I will. I'm going to take you to my refrigerator. Marci's in my refrigerator. We're living in a five-star hotel right now, but we brought all our own food, because one of our passions is to live a vibrant, healthy life. And so we want to really walk our talk, and be the teachers living the teaching. And so, it's something that you have to just…you know, no one said there's balance in living it. I mean, we try our best for [inaudible 00:13:36]. We try our best to live a passionate life and be balanced, and you can just do the best you can do. And here's how you do the best you can do. Whenever you're faced with a choice, a decision or an opportunity, choose in favor of your passion. Choose in favor of your passion. I was just in Japan. I interviewed the Warren Buffet of Japan, and his name is Wahei [SP]. And when I was interviewing Wahei, I said, “Wahei, why are you so successful? What is it?” And he said, “Number one, I never do anything I don't enjoy.” So here's the secret for you, David. The minute you stop enjoying what you're doing, state change. Go do something else. That's the universe, that's nature talking to you, saying, “Okay, done. From this point on, I'm not going to be productive any longer.” You know? So then go do something else. You know, if you're really passionate about your work, but you're not taking care of your physiology, then eventually you're not going to feel good. Then I don't care what your passion is, it's not going to be that passionate. Am I right?
David Laroche : Yeah.
Janet Attwood : You know what I'm saying. Yeah, and I know. I've been there. I've done that. I find myself still sometimes, and I go, “Okay, back up.” You know, the great thing about life is we get to have groundhog day. We get to do it again. We get to do it again. We get to do it again. And it's a practice, and it's a practice. And what's so great is that you're young, and you have the ability now to really live differently. And really live in the cycle of, “Do less, accomplish more,” which is when you feel it's a “Yes,” you go with it. The minute it becomes a “No,” that's the universe speaking. State change. Do something else, until it's a “Yes” again. And when you follow that rhythm, that rhythm will not deceive you. It will not deceive you, and that's your inner GPS system speaking to you.
David Laroche : And I would love, also, to know your point of view about how can I know if I have to go to the end of the project or maybe to change what I'm doing and come back later?
Janet Attwood : As I said, you're your own test tube. And here's what I know to be true, and sometimes it's painful, is that we make mistakes. We call it a mistake. I don't think there are any such thing as a mistake. I call it a do-over. You get to do it again. You get to do it over. And this is how we learn. And this is how we ground the knowledge within ourselves. And this is how we become leaders, is that you have to listen to your internal voice. So, how do you it best? You do things like meditation, which connects you to all of us. And science talks about it, has within us this unified field of pure knowledge. So, what I say is, take deep breaths, to be able to contact the source of who we are, and so that we can access that when we have questions. So number one, mediation is very important. You know, I've been practicing transcendental meditation since I was 20 years old, so this is something I tell everyone. Find a meditation technique that you can use, that really will connect you to you, so that you can listen. Because a leader leads, and to be a leader, means that you are able to stop, and just access that knowledge from within because it's there. It's there. The other thing is to make sure that you keep your body temple clean. You know, that you don't do things that you know will cloud the mind. I mean, if you want to think clearly, and you want to access the reservoirs of the silence of your mind, right? Then it needs to be a mind that is functioning very clearly. So I don't find it when…if people are taking drugs, they don't seem that clear to me. Or in the past, drinking tons of caffeine, or getting exhausted, or eating food that doesn't serve you, all of this affects the physiology in the mind. So, really being conscious. Being really conscious and then asking for support from within. From within, say, “Speak to me. Tell me.” Before you go to bed at night, just implant, “Okay, my intention while I'm sleeping is to wake up and really be connected to me and know what's best for me today,” and then setting the intention, and getting really clear in the day, “What do I want to do? See the job. Do the job, and stay out of the misery.” I mean, there's so many things. And then do what you're doing. You are a brilliant person. I mean, brilliant. I am so proud of you. I am so proud of you because you know you and I are one and the same. One of my passions was to travel all over India and Nepal, and other parts of the world, and interview masters, which I did. And I created this whole series called, “Dialogues with the Masters,” from it, and this was my passion. And just because you're living a passionate life doesn't mean that sometime you won't have challenges, and sometimes you won't have obstacles. Right? You see them. They're there. I mean, you can run out of money. You can get sick. I was in India at the top of the Himalayas, and I was extremely sick, and I was like, “I never want to do this again.” And then the minute I got better, I was out interviewing another master. And what's so beautiful about when you're following your passion is it doesn't matter how big the obstacle or the challenge, because the love for that thing will see you through. And this is why it's important for everyone to live a passionate life, because what you love and God's will…When I say God, I mean nature, higher power, the unified field. What you love and God's will for you is one and the same, and when you're in alignment with what it is that you are here to do. And each and every one of us has a purpose. Everyone has something greater than they feel they are. When we align with that, then that's the “Do less, accomplish more” path. That's the path of least resistance because that's where you're going to receive the most support of nature. Because that is what you are here to do, and it's not personal. It's not personal. Each and every one of us, we don't exist in isolation. We are part and parcel of a unified field. We are one and we are one, and we are one big puzzle. And when we fit into that puzzle perfectly, life is joyful and we're in service to others. And when we're in service to others, we're happy because the secret to being happy is in giving.
David Laroche : I love that. You are giving me and I thank you very much. I would love to know, because I'm glad today. We, according to me and my girlfriend also, we don't have enough women in my show. Do you think the way to succeed for a woman is different?
Janet Attwood : That's a hard one because I'm not a man. I don't know the difference. I think that for a woman in this world to… I think it's a very masculine thing, actually, what I do. You know, I travel all over the world. I travel all over the world by myself, I'm on these huge, gigantic stages. I think that the most important thing is to just take care of you, no matter where you go. So, as you saw what our refrigerator looked like, and as you saw what our lifestyle is like, to really just nurture yourself wherever you go, and be kind to you. And when you are that, then you don't become hardened because you're in a world filled with men. But you become this feminine aspect that they appreciate. And so, I don't have the awareness of separation between men and women, so that's why this one's very hard for me. I only feel this oneness, so it's a very interesting question. I hope that's okay.
David Laroche : Yeah, it is. I would like to know, also, how to bring your passion into your coaching.
Janet Attwood : Well, I love that question because I always go, when I'm giving a program where there's lots of coaches in my audience, I say, “Coaches, how the heck can you coach anybody, if you don't know first what they're passionate about?” So in our Passion Test program, I have a certification program, where I teach people how to be teachers of my program. I'm always amazed at coaches who coach people in their lives when they don't first know what is it that they're most passionate about, or what they most care about. You know, your passions in my languaging, in my languaging…and passion can mean many things, but in my languaging, passion is just what you care about, and what you love, and what gets you out of bed in the morning. And if coaches don't understand how to help people to come up with their top five passions so they can support them in living those things, I'm amazed at how they could be a coach at all. And then the other part of our coaching is that we go through people's beliefs. We find out, “What are their limiting beliefs? Why aren't they living a passionate life right now? What is keeping them from it?” And it's always the mind: “I'm not beautiful enough. I'm not smart enough. I'm not rich enough. I'm not the right color, the right age.” I was in my forties when I began. When I wrote the Passion Test, there were 27,000 books already written on passion, you know? I wasn't an author. I wasn't a speaker. My first speaking engagement was on a stage with 500 people. And before that I'd spoke to 13 people. You know? And it was kind of like…
David Laroche : Big jump.
Janet Attwood : That's another story in itself. But when you follow your passion… and that's how coaches can really help someone, because when you follow your passion, so many things happen for an individual that you would never think would happen. And I would say the most important thing is that you fall in love with yourself. Really, when you're really, truly living in integrity then you start to really deeply appreciate, you have a sense of self. You have an inner power because you're saying “Yes” to you. This is what I care about. This is what matters to me, in spite of what other people may say, you should be passionate about. In spite of what your parents say you should be doing. And you say, “No, this is what I feel I need to do. This is what's right for me,” and that brings a great sense of power. And that doesn't mean you won't fail. But, you know what? You'll get up again and you'll do it all over again because you know that feeling of being in integrity and being true to you. And that's number one. That is so important. And the other thing is that, as I said, one of the things I asked the masters as I traveled all over the world is, “What is the secret to being happy?” And they…
David Laroche : Oh, yeah. I would love to know.
Janet Attwood : Yeah, and it was really simple. And they all said the same thing. The secret to being happy is in giving. It's through giving. I have everything. I have everything.I have two houses. I have the best car, I have the this, I have the that. I have everything, and yet that is not what brings me internal happiness. What brings me happiness is when I can just give something of myself. And so, in order to be able to give, one must first have. And what is so beautiful about living a passionate life, is that when you're living your passion, you become so full that you overflow, and the natural progression of that overflowing is that all that's left is all you want to do is give. That's all that's left, is that you're so full the only thing left is to give. And then it's not on the mood of the mind that, “Okay, I've got to take care of that person, or I've got to do this. I've got to do that, or I should, should, should.” It's more from the heart, that it's automatic. It's spontaneous.
David Laroche : And so, do you think we have to give ourselves before to give to others? Or we can do…is there another?
Janet Attwood : Well, when you're on an airplane, what do they say to the moms? Moms, when when you're on an airplane, yeah, bring down the air first to you, and then you can help your child. But if you're dying, you can't help your child. So that's it for all of us. And this is very hard for many people, and especially moms. Right? I've had so many mothers come up to me, “Oh, I can't do it. I have all these kids,” and I said, “Yeah, but if you're not living your passion. If you're not taking care of what you care about, then how is it affecting your kids? Do you find that you're irritable?” “Yes.” “Do you find that you're short and curt and not nice to them?” “Yeah, I feel so guilty.” And I said, “What if,” and I tell people, “Once you find out where your top five passion are through the Passion Test, which is an easy, sure thing, then every day just choose in favor a little bit in the direction of your passion.” Start entertaining, even if you have to get up early in the morning. Don't change your whole life. Just start baby steps, and what you'll find is that those baby steps will bring you support. And when you see the support you get, and your world starts to open, then you have more courage, and then you can take bigger steps, right?
David Laroche : Yeah, right. I believe so much in the power of baby step because I was shy and sick when I was a teenager, and I started to grow just doing baby step every day and improving myself. So I love this idea of baby steps, and I show that in all of my conferences.
Janet Attwood : I love that. Well, this is good. Well, you're my kindred spirit, I can tell. So if I can support you in any way, I'm looking forward to it. And I would like to just finish with one little thing, because I was sharing the formula for living a passionate life and I didn't yet complete it. So, intention, for everyone who wants to live a passionate life. Intention. Get clear on what you're most passionate about. The Passion Test is the number one tool being used right now, all over the world. Attention. You're powerful, so take your powerful awareness, your consciousness, and laser it on your five passions. Don't put your attention on other things. Don't waste your time on all these other things. And strike like lightening in all directions. Take massive action. It's not enough just to go, “Oh, I'm a New York Times bestselling author.” No, you have to put action into that. And then once you've done everything you know to do, the last part of the formula is no tension. No tension is surrender. Let go and say, “This is something better.” And in that surrendered state, that what you find is the universe starts to organize. And I don't know why this is, but it is. The people, and the places and the things that you need in order to live a passionate life will show up. And then make sure, also, when you're…if you want to really hit a grand slam in life, you take your passions, you take your skills, you take your talents, you take the things that people compliment you on, you add all of the knowledge that you've studied in your life and you've learned. That will get you a grand slam. That will get you a grand slam. There's no mistake in the universe. No moment has been wasted. Nothing. Never feel you're too old. Never. Because you're in the right moment, right now, because now is all we have, and this is the time to begin.
David Laroche : Wow, I love this answer. Thank you.
Janet Attwood : You're welcome.
David Laroche : I would like to…you say two things, massive actions and no tension. I would love to know how can we know between determination and the fact that we continue to do the things and the moment that we have to stop because it's not the right thing?
Janet Attwood : Well, you know, here's what I have had to learn and it was a hard job for me. And I'm still learning it, seriously. I am a student, I am always learning. I'm not there yet, I'm never there. Whatever “there” is, then I will have transcended this body and be somewhere else. But, yeah, what I see is, I'm not the general manager of the universe. You can write out whatever you want to write out. You can write your list of passions. You can be on the path, and then, have you noticed that you might have a plan and no matter how you wrote your plan, your plan's different?
David Laroche : Yeah.
Janet Attwood : I'm not the general manager of the universe. So, be patient, surrender and let go. Be patient, surrender and let go. And know by noticing that the world is working for you, not against you, at every moment. Even if the plan changes. Even if the plan, whatever changed, it's working for you, not against you. And, here's the last bit, the secret to living a passionate life. Whenever you're faced with a choice, or a decision or an opportunity, choose in favor of your passion. So if you know your top five passions, and whenever you're faced with a choice, or a decision or an opportunity, and you choose in favor of the things that matter most to you, and you do that on a regular basis, what do you think your life would be like?
David Laroche : Amazing.
Janet Attwood : That's it, that's it. I think I have to go, but this has been a really fun time with you.
David Laroche : Yeah, it was great. Thank you very much.
Janet Attwood : You're welcome, so much. You're so, so welcome, and I look forward to our friendship. If I can support you in any way, you know how to get a hold of me.
David Laroche : Thank you very much. Bye.
Janet Attwood : Bye, sweetie. Bye. Lots of love to you. ♪ [music] ♪