page title icon The Morning Upgrade Podcast Featuring Alan Lazaro

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Welcome to episode #73 of the Morning Upgrade Podcast. In this episode I spoke with Alan Lazaro, a podcaster, public speaker, and business coach & consultant.

Top Talking Points

  • What your health, wealth, and love is and how to improve them.
  • Improving your personal hardware and software.
  • Having a purpose is a crucial part of your happiness and satisfaction.

Resources & Links

Connect With Alan at Next Level University

Find The Books Mentioned on Kindle or Audible

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

Subscribe to The Morning Upgrade Podcast

Thanks for listening to this episode of the Morning Upgrade Podcast. Be sure to subscribe so you never miss another episode. And if you enjoyed this interview with Alan, please share and review!

Episode Transcript

Ryan

Hey guys, it’s Ryan real quick. So my mission with the Morning Upgrade blog and podcast is to raise awareness of morning routines and personal development. And I now have two products that are also helped me with this mission. The first product helps you start a 20 minute morning routine. And the second product is a book that outlines how to use personal development, upgrade your life and business. You can get full details on both products over at morningupgrade.com. Thanks for letting me share. And now on to the show.

Announcer 

Welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast with Ryan Cote where we feature casual conversations with entrepreneurs about personal development and growth.

Ryan

Hey, Alan, welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast. How are you?

Alan 

I am doing awesome. Thank you so much for having me. And it’s still morning for me. So this is going to be good.

Ryan 

I agree. We’re talking a lot before we start recording, I’m excited to ask you about your bodybuilding days and haven’t had your fitness tips and how that ties into your personal development. But let’s first tell my audience of morning upgraders who you are, what you do for a living, and then some of your hobbies.

Alan 

So who I am. My name is Alan Lazarus. I was born and raised in the small town of Oxbridge, Massachusetts, in the US. I am a podcaster. I’m a speaker. I’m a business coach and consultant. And those are the only three things I do at this point. Obviously, I do fitness on my own, I have an intimate relationship, and I have friends and family and stuff like that. But when it comes to my main genius zone, my main area of expertise, I really do I podcast I speak, I coach and I consult. And that’s kind of it and I try to stay as much as possible, more percentage in that genius zone. In terms of my story, I’ll go quick because this is a short form interview. But when I was two years old, I’m 32 years old now. And when I was two years old, my father passed away in a car accident when he was 28. And the long and short of it is this, my mom gave me the best lesson that I’ve ever heard. And as I get older and older and older and older and wiser, hopefully, I realized how valuable this lesson was. And it was that Life is about choices. She taught me how you can be a CEO or you can be a farmer, I’m gonna love you either way. But if you aim high, and you go for CEO, then you can wake up one day and decide to be a farmer. And basically, when my father passed away, she was a stay-at-home mother with two kids. And she didn’t feel like she had a lot of choices. And so she taught me to aim really, really high. And that will create choices, not only high financially, but in terms of impact. And that’s what I’ve done my entire life when I was 26 years old, and this will be the short, short, short version. When I was 26 years old, I got a near-death car accident. And as you know, when I was with my mom, my dad passed away in a car accident when he was 28. And so for me at 26 that really messed with me. I’ve seen the pictures of my father’s car and normally during my speeches, I show them pictures of my car because my car was completely totaled. Fortunately, it was a 2004 Volkswagen Passat and I used to call it the steel trap I used to call the tank. And fortunately, both airbags did deploy my cousin and I were in the car at the time and you know, he hurt his knee on the airbag, I hurt my face on the airbag. And we were okay. But I was physically okay. But mentally, emotionally, and spiritually I was absolutely rattled. And so at 26 years old, I had a beautiful girlfriend and I had tons of corporate friends and tons of college friends, and tons of high school friends. And, you know, I had the six-figure way beyond that honestly, income. I had a master’s in business, I had my computer engineering degree, I had all of what I was told success was, but yet I was not deeply fulfilled because I wasn’t making positive choices. My dream from a young age was to be a fortune 50 CEO like Steve Jobs in the tech industry, and at 26 years old, realized who I am, and who I aspired to be. And I really started going all-in on holistic self-improvement. And so now we have a podcast with 750 episodes in next-level University and it’s basically about health, wealth, and love. Health is physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Wealth is how you make your money. In other words, do you love what you do? You know, how much money do you make? Is that increasing or decreasing? And at what rate and then you know, where do you invest your money? Where do you spend it? Where do you invest it? Where do you put your capital? And then love which is your relationships, you know, your intimate relationship first immediate family, kids beyond that. I don’t have any children yet, but I do intend to and those three areas of health, wealth, and love, from my perspective, are holistic self-improvement, and I meet a lot of people that are super, super-wealthy. A lot of my you know, mentors are multimillionaires, some of my clients are multimillionaires, but they’re not necessarily as healthy or maybe some people are healthy, but they’re not wealthy. Or maybe some people have amazing relationships but maybe, maybe they’re not as fulfilling in their career. And so that’s what I’m about is, you know, podcaster, speaker, coach, and consultant about holistic self-improvement. And that’s why you mentioned fitness is big, you know, I’m a business coach. But fitness is a huge part of what I do as well. And I think that’s, you know, what makes me unique.

Ryan 

Great advice in the introduction, I would appreciate it, I love the quote that your mom or the story that your mom told, but the farmer and see are definitely gonna borrow that tonight my daughters. So I actually go back to your car accident, because I’ve never had a near-death experience. And we haven’t talked about that yet on the podcast. What changed inside of you, after the accident mindset? Or, obviously, they had fear and stuff like that. But the positive like, what did you come away from that on the positive side?

Alan 

So, there are so many ways to unpack that. And I appreciate the question. So in my speeches, I talk about post-traumatic stress disorder and how I struggled with that. Because double yellow lines scared me, I got claustrophobic for a time in crowds that used to bother me after that car accident, it really rattled me. And as a matter of fact, I used to get pulled over for being too far on my side of the road, because double yellow lines scare me so much. So it’s definitely traumatic. But what I think we don’t talk about enough is post-traumatic growth. And so yeah, there was definitely some downside. I mean, I remember I used to have to literally puff my chest up and walk in between, like, out and in my bedroom door just to like, overcome claustrophobia. Because when trauma happens, your subconscious mind just kind of like takes, takes that trauma and tries to make sense of it. And you, you get all these weird fears, and it messes with you. And then, you know, I just use exposure therapy over and over and over again to overcome that stuff. Proactively. But post-traumatic growth, I think is the more important piece. And that’s really what you’re asking about the post-traumatic growth for me, I live by this quote now of you cannot see the stars during the day. They’re always there like it’s daytime right now. And I can look up at the sky like they’re always there. But sometimes it takes the darkness to see clearly that which we simply could not within the light. And so for me, that 26-year-old car accident for me, was like, This is my second chance. And I saw two stars that I had never seen before. The first one is Tony Robbins TED Talk, whether you like Tony Robbins or not that TED talk is unbelievable. So I highly recommend you watch it or listen to it. If you’re listening to this. It’s life-changing, in my opinion, the best TED talk in the world. The second one and more importantly, is I came across a book by a woman from Australia, her name is brawny where I’ve since interviewed her and she’s amazing, such a sweetheart. But this book is called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. Now you mentioned how you’ve never had a life or death situation. For anyone who hasn’t, I highly recommend you read this book, because she worked in hospice with the terminally ill for eight years. And she thought her job was to take care of these people. And it was but her real job her real calling was actually just to listen. And she heard all these stories about their life and all this stuff. But as she listened, she realized these same exact common patterns, I wish, I wish, I wish. And so she wrote a book about it. And to this day ever since I was 26 years old. I’m 32. Now, I’ve had a flashcard in my pocket, it’s actually right over there on the desk, but I always carry it with me that has all five regrets on it. The Top Five Regrets of the Dying and the number one regret of the dying. And this is one that I was definitely guilty of, is I wish I had lived the life true to myself, and not what others expected of me. As a born and raised. I grew up in adversity, Caucasian American male I was conditioned to believe that success was everything. And you know, I just think that I didn’t come at that from a holistic perspective. And now I do now I optimize for fulfillment and fulfillment is my main focus. Because fulfillment is unique to each of us. Success is a science and you know, if you do XYZ, you will be successful. Like, for example, money, if you earn more money and focus on earning more money if you learn how to spend less money, and then you invest the difference intelligently like you’re going to be wealthy regardless of your background or, or your color or whatever. But fulfillment is unique to everybody. And so for me, what I’ve finally found out is that what’s unique to me, fulfillment wise is when I am maximizing my own unique potential, and helping others do the same. That is when I’m the most fulfilled. And that’s, I think fulfillment is the soul’s recognition of alignment with its highest self. And so for me, that’s where I live. That’s where I stay. That’s why I’m a podcaster, speaker, coach, and consultant because every single day I get to spend my time learning how to improve myself and help others improve themselves. And that’s when I’m fulfilled and when I’m not doing those things I’m not fulfilled and so I also believe that profitability is a byproduct of living in your calling and living in your genius zone. And so, for anyone else They’re listening. You know, that’s what I really learned is you need to design a life unique to your own fulfillment. Because if you don’t, you’ll spend your life chasing these external things that quite frankly, are never going to fulfill you. Yeah, they’re pleasurable. Yeah, they’re exciting. Yeah, trophies are great. But at the end of the day, they’re not gonna fulfill you. And I think most people have a pleasure-centered paradigm, where they’re chasing pleasure at the expense of fulfillment. And I’m just grateful that after 26, I turned that around.

Ryan 

So do you have any, you seem pretty dialed into your personal growth? And you mentioned the pillars at the start of the podcast? Do you have any habits you swear by me, we have to talk about your morning routine. So maybe that’s a good segue to talk about that. But do you have any habits that are trying to reveal?

Alan  

Yes, so one in particular that I’ve done every single day, literally every single day since 26. So after 26, I found a man by the name of Eddie Panero. And it’s so cool because now he’s actually a client of mine. But he was just a hero of mine at the time, and he started a YouTube channel called Your World Within. And every single day, I swear, I have not missed a single day, I wake up in the morning, and I listen to this video. It’s called Ode to excellence. And I haven’t, it’s called my morning mindset workout I have all these, you know, motivational videos that are in a row. And every single day I did it this morning, I woke up my girlfriend, it’s funny because she wakes up to it too now because I put it on every morning. But it’s basically a letter that he wrote to himself, to have a commitment to be the very best that he can be no matter what adversity comes his way. And it resonated with me so deeply that from that moment on until literally today, I have not missed a single day. Now there have been times where I did it a little later in the afternoon when I forgot, or I did it in the evening because I really let it ride. I was just in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for four days. And like I did it in the evening one of those times. But I’ve never missed a full day. I’ve always listened to that video every single day for six and a half years. And it’s funny because now he’s a client and YouTube user, one of the metrics that he tracks, and a couple 1000 of those views are me is what I say to them, which is kind of funny because I’ve done it for so many years 30 to 65 times six, I don’t know what that is, but it’s probably like 3000 views at least. But um, that’s one of the habits that I swear by is priming your mind. First thing, the subconscious mind can be programmed just like your computer can be programmed. And, you know, I’ll be short about this. But like, I was a computer engineer at a tech company and not a tech company, a tech school WPI, which is kind of like a mini MIT. And what I learned in computer engineering is that computers actually are built and designed based on what human beings are. And what I mean by that is that all of us have hardware and software. So your computer has a motherboard, and it has random access memory. And it has a hard drive. And it has a keyboard and a mouse. And you know, we have hands and feet. And we have, you know, our central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. And basically hardware and software, we have the hardware. All of us are given genetic hardware at birth. And then we also have software and you can update the software. And so an example of software is like, I don’t know if you’ve ever used Windows Vista, for example, back in my day, when I was a kid, we use Windows Vista, and it was terrible. It was an operating system that didn’t work well you couldn’t accomplish much on Windows Vista. And I feel like some of us and I’ve been guilty as to we have really bad software, our hardware works great. Some people their hardware doesn’t look great, work great because maybe they got a concussion or maybe they drank too much or did drugs or whatever, you know, not everyone’s hardware is equal and I do understand that but Software-wise we you can download any programs you want. And even this podcast if you’re out there listening right now you’re downloading our consciousness onto your hardware. And hopefully, it’s great, you know software to download and I believe that it is but that’s my morning routine is prime my mind every single day with the most excellence-driven morning mindset work that I can and I did it this morning you know and I will do it every day for the rest of my life and I think that starting your day off right is so so so critical and that’s how I do it.

Ryan  

Great resources you got my mind just firing right now with the TED Talk and the book I’m gonna get I’ve heard of that book for the rest you’re ready Yes, I’m definitely gonna do that. And Oh, excellent. What do you get from listening to it? It’s just you said its prime is prime in your mindset first thing when you get upset is that the basic gist of why you do it?

Alan  

Exactly. And when you listen to it you’ll understand if you type in Alan Lazarus on YouTube, it’ll be my morning mindset workout in public. You can it’s the very first video, but it’s called Ode to excellence and it’s literally just in when you listen you’ll understand it’s like a letter to yourself. So it’s got motivational videos in the background, kind of like a compilation but it’s hymns. Speaking to himself. It’s kind of like his human self writing a letter to, or no, no, it’s like his highest self writing a letter to his human self. And so that yeah, that’s, that’s the frame. And yeah, that’s what it is, is it’s just me downloading my mindset every single day because that’s the thing Eddie Pinero wrote that, but that’s exactly what my mindset is. And when you listen to it, you know, that will give more context. But that’s why I do it is because it’s kind of a letter that I didn’t actually mention this, you asked me what else I do every day, I do have a purpose prayer as well. And I would be happy to share it for a long time, I did not share it. I didn’t even think I ever would. And this is my highest self letter to my human self that I also recite every single day. Sometimes I say it out loud, sometimes I say it in my head, but I never miss a day on that either. So between those two things, you know, those are two things that I do every single day no matter what, if you want me to read the purpose prayers, that’s up to you.

Ryan  

It sounds like something that would be worthwhile for my audience. But uh, your call.

Alan 

I would love to and the thing that I want to say before I recite it, and I’m happy to do it. I remember the first time I ever shared with my girlfriend, I was so read and I like actually messing it up. This is hilarious because I’ve been reciting this thing every day for at that point five years. But the important part about the purpose of prayers is that this is my letter. This is a letter of my highest self to my human self that I wrote after my car accident. And I’ve recited it every day since. And so between that and oh to excellence because oh to excellence Edie Pinero created, this is mine, my own unique flavor, this my own unique version. But I encourage everyone out there if you’re listening to create your own. So this is my TrueNorth. This is sort of the purpose of prayer. In other words, this is when I’m living by this that I’m about to recite. This is when I know I’m fulfilled when I’m living in alignment with this, so I’ll just hammer it. Okay. So I and I are alone in the keeper of my own happiness and self-worth. I shall not allow naysayers to sway me from my purpose, nor to deny me of my right to pursue a life well lived on my own terms. My every moment shall be spent in an effort to better the quality of myself and others, and to spread the utmost love and goodwill with every last breath that I take. I shall defend health and freedom with all haste and put forth a forever and purposeful effort to balance out that which is clearly evil. And malicious. In this world, my mind, body, heart, and soul shall be one of the greatest possible measures, I shall forever take steps to ensure that I learned from the past, enjoy the present and focus on a brighter future for all for I Alan, Lazarus will exit this world one day, a better place.

Ryan

That’s beautiful, thanks for sharing.

Alan 

Thank you. And one thing that I think is really important for everyone to understand about the purpose of prayer is that came through me. And it’s interesting, because I’ve written a lot of blog posts, and I’ve written a lot of articles. And I’ve written you know, social media and all that. This when I wrote it, it was like one of those things where I wrote the whole thing, and it never changed all my articles and all that like every time I would reread it I’d be like, ah, terrible, I gotta change this, I gotta change that. It’s interesting. This never changed. The only thing is I spelled upmost wrong, it was up mo S T instead of upmost. But I find that funny because everything else and that’s one of the reasons why I know it’s, so true to me is because it came through me in this sort of surreal movie moment. And ever since then I’ve recited it every single day. And I’ve tried my best to live by that every single day. And the important piece is that I’m not perfect. And I’m not ever 10 out of 10 aligned with that, but I’m going to spend the rest of my life it’s an infinite game trying to get closer and closer and closer to that highest self. And I think that’s a lot of people might get overwhelmed by a purpose prayer like that. But that doesn’t mean I have to be perfect every day. And I want everyone to understand that.

Ryan

This was a fantastic conversation. Alan, you gave a lot of great resources, a lot of great advice. You gave me a lot to think about. We went a little long and wrapped it up right now. But I do want to ask you one last question. And then, of course, you can tell everyone how they can connect with you. And I shouldn’t ask this question before, but it just came to me. So you seem like really dialed into personal growth. You’ve got the purpose prayer, you seem like a bit high energy happy guy. What do you do? But obviously, you have moments where you’re poor, you’re not feeling that way you’re sad, or whatever the case is, during those moments? How do you get yourself back to the guy I’m speaking to right now?

Alan  

Yeah, and I appreciate the kind words very, very much, you know, those moments come for all of us. And I often say this in interviews and on our show, as well as like if you’re out there listening right now, I have one thing that’s absolutely certain for you adversities in your future, and adversities in my future. And it’s not really it’s going to be what do you do with it? And what do you do when adversity strikes? And so how, what do I do I go back to basics, and it’s interesting because I’ll tell this very, very quick story. I know we’re over but I remember I was we were co-hosting an event in Florida on the 11th floor. Have this hotel overlooking the ocean, it was in Hollywood Beach, Florida. And it was a place called Margaritaville. And it was interesting because everyone who was at this event is a personal development event, I could tell the difference between someone at this personal development event versus the people that were at Margaritaville sort, it was such a drastic contrast between people who had the event tag on and people who were there to vacation. And I remember, after the event, I remember thinking to myself, I was literally in the ocean. And I was overlooking this hotel. And I was it was after the whole event. And it was after a big dream came true. And I was overlooking the entire Boardwalk. And I was just like, it’s interesting that I got here, quote, unquote, because for me, that was like the dream after my car accident, like I want it to be like Tony Robbins, I want it to be like a Brendon Burchard. And for me, that felt so far in the distance. And we had co-hosted this event called your world which by the way, it was co-hosted with Eddie Pinero, who at one point was just a hero of mine. And now I closed that event with him. So this was like a surreal moment. And what I find fascinating is that that moment of like surreal, absolute bliss, I do understand is actually a byproduct of what I did in moments of adversity. And I grew up in a lot of adversity, I’m not even going to sugarcoat it. I mean, I, you know, obviously my father passed away at two, you know, I had a stepdad from two to 14, my stepdad left when I was 14. And I not going to go down that rabbit hole of all the alcoholism and different challenges that I faced in my childhood. But what I do know is that I had self-belief and I aimed high. And so because of that, I just always figured it out. And still, to this day, I have tough days I got in from a flight that got delayed you know, not last night, but the night before at 3:30 am. And I had a call the next day, I think at 930. And I had to be this energetic podcaster. And the truth of the matter is, is that the large majority of my life is spent just trying to get better. And when I have those tough moments when I have when I feel like crap or whatever. I think that I just go to my purpose prayer. And when we hosted that event, Euro within life, I got in a fight with Eddie Pinero. And the way he wanted to lead the event was different than the way I wanted to. And now he’s a client and he’s a dear friend. So I’m not I’m not talking poorly. But I remember I was crying my eyes out after this one business meeting prior to the event actually being hosted. And I remember I almost went to the bar. And it was I remember walking towards the beach. And I was like I didn’t tell you this, but I had a lot of drinking challenges growing up. And I’m now I often joke about how it took me five years to quit drinking. And now I’m two and a half years sober, which is amazing. But thank you, thank you so but I remember I had this one moment where I’m literally crying. I’m trying to co-host an event with one of my heroes who now is mad at me. And I feel overwhelmed. And I’m in Florida and I’m like, What am I even here for? Like, why am I even here, people are mad at me? I’m being villainized. I’m not the bad guy, and I know it. But I’m seeming like the bad guy at this moment. And I looked over at the bar. And I literally was like, I was so pulled to just go to the bar and say eff it. Pardon my French. And I didn’t instead what I did is I went to the beach and I’m sitting on this chair and I’m looking at seagulls and I’m literally crying so much that people a stranger came over and asked me if I was okay because they could see it through my sunglasses. Like that’s how ugly cry this was. And I just decided, I just decided I’m just going to assert my purpose, recite my purpose. And I did I recited it. And I was like, that’s why you’re here. You’re not here in Florida for vacation. You’re not here in Florida crying on the beach for no reason you’re here. Because you this is your dream. This is your dream. And so yeah, the great success of that event, we had 100 plus people there Evan Carmichael headlined it, it was amazing. But all of that happened because of the decision that I made when I was in that dark moment. The decision that I made was not to go to that bar. And so I think that’s what it is. It’s the decisions you make when you’re at your lowest that will determine how high you climb. And that’s just the god honest truth. And someone asked me one time what does it mean to be next level because our entire brand is next level? And I said honestly, it’s what you’re doing when no one’s watching. It’s Who are you when no one’s watching, I was alone in the gym last night. And I could have not run a mile like I do every day I could have not done my mobility I could have easily not home-rolled and I could have easily left the gym before my 35-minute timer went off. But I do every single one of those things all at once. By the way. I did all four of those because I just don’t want to let myself off the hook anymore. I just you know, do what’s difficult, and your life will be meaningful. Be proactive. If you do what’s fun and easy all the time. I promise you. Your life is not going to be fulfilling and That’s all I have is when it when it gets really hard. 

Ryan 

That’s what makes you great is what you decide when it’s really hard. That’s a great way to end this gave me you gave me a ton to think about, really enjoyed this conversation and I appreciate it.

Alan  

You are so very welcome. Thank you for having great questions. And I appreciate you allowing me to share some of myself and for anyone out there listening. At the end of the day. After that car accident, I just started reverse engineering regret, thanks to the brand where’s the book I had so much regret at 26 and I got my second chance like my dad never did. And right now could be your second chance just, you should be more afraid of regret than you are of the tough challenges in your life, whatever that business is, whatever that person you want to ask out whatever it is, whatever it is that you’re hiding or running from that thing that you’re afraid of. You need to be more afraid of regret in my opinion. And so that that’s all I’d say is I am more afraid now of regret than any other fear. And that’s okay. Because now it’s giving me the courage to go and do the hard and difficult things, even when I don’t feel like it and you are totally capable of the same you know, the consistency is everything and just making positive choices consistently unique to you, you’re going to be great and you won’t fall victim to what I fell victim to which is like basically chasing success at the expense of fulfillment.

Ryan  

I mean it’s like Darren Hardy says you’re gonna struggle either trying to achieve your dreams or you’re gonna struggle with like I mentioned regret and so you must go for your dreams, you know?

Alan  

Amen. Darren Hardy is my favorite author of all time the compound effect is right behind me. That’s the best book ever written in my opinion. So shout out to Darren if you are friends with him please you know put me in touch.

Ryan 

Alan if someone wants to learn more about your Next Level, etc what’s the best website to send them to?

Alan

Any podcast platform. We’re on YouTube as well Next Level Universities spelled just like you think, Next Level University, and all of my contact information on social media all that is in the show notes of every single episode. We do an episode every single day you know you brush your teeth every day you also can get to the next level of you every day and that’s the place you can find me please reach out on Instagram Facebook or LinkedIn between my assistant and me, we literally get back to everyone I was talking to someone you know from South Africa from Australia like I love to meet listeners I love to connect on. You know if you want to talk about growth in the game if you want to talk about maximizing your potential in the game if you want to talk about the weather do not reach out. Just because small talk is not for me. But if you want to get better on the game please connect.

Ryan  

Great job. Thank you. 

Alan

Thank you.

Ryan

Thanks for listening to the Morning Upgrade podcast. Please subscribe and review. And don’t forget to visit us at morningupgrade.com for more content.

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