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40 Seconds To Fame Or Failure

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40 Seconds To Fame Or Failure with Apolo Ohno

Apolo Ohno, Chase Jarvis

40 Seconds To Fame Or Failure

Apolo Ohno, Chase Jarvis

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Lesson Info

1. 40 Seconds To Fame Or Failure with Apolo Ohno

Lesson Info

40 Seconds To Fame Or Failure with Apolo Ohno

Hey everybody what's up? Welcome to another episode of the Chase Travis live show here on Creativelive. Today's incredible guest is the one and only Apollo. No Apollo is the most decorated U. S. Winter Olympian of all time, having eight medals in speed skating. He's also a legend. Being able to transition from that world where all of your focus and intensity for 15 years. He talks about being able to transition to being a successful happy person, a tv personality, a successful sports broadcaster, an entrepreneur and someone who is balanced but it was not without its challenges getting from where he was to where he is now. He's got a new book out which is very, very helpful and smart called hard pivot, embracing change. We talked about all these things, the challenges of the dark side of you will of being world class at something, how to be motivated by intense fear and failure and not have that dominate your life, how to go through this Valley of Darkness where you're changing identiti...

es because we will all have to change careers, relationships identities at some points in our life. Super useful. I can't wait for you to enjoy this episode yours truly with the one and only Apollo. Oh no, take it away. Mhm Yeah, we love you Alright, my guest today is Apollo. No, Apollo, welcome to the show. Thanks for being here bud. Yeah, thanks for having me, Chase congrats on a number of things. Uh first of all, being whatever the most meddled winter olympic athlete of all time, but you've also got a new book, it seems like you you have to transitioned out of being a speed skater into being a lot of other things. That's what the audience is interested in hearing from you today. So before we go into that direction, that would just give us a little background for the, probably the 11 or nine people who are of the hundreds of thousands who are listening, who might not be familiar with you, your past or or your current work, give us a little background. Yeah, absolutely. Um my name is Paula, Oh no, I spent the, the previous kind of 15 to 17 years of my life in the, in the olympics space, particularly in the winter olympics, I went to four olympic trials, three olympic games, won eight medals, had an incredible career um and then since have begun kind of on this passionate pursuit of both reinvention and transition beyond the original identity of being um an olympic champion into where and how can I find both passion um but also purpose in the next phase of my life. So I've worn many different types of hats throughout my life and career. And the one thing is I'm just naturally relentlessly curious. So my newest, I would say not my newest, but my my real person put purpose and passion in life is really too kind of two things. One, how do I help people find their own inner kind of compass and true North, combined with finding things and ways in which they can just show up fully on a daily basis, knowing full heartedly that, you know, the mind is the most powerful asset on the planet or kind of the world's strongest prison. So how we engage and perceive our own realities is it is sometimes hard, right? Because we've been conditioned to react, respond and be in a certain way in a certain light. And I think that we're entering into an era where people are saying maybe that's not always what is really the most important to me. So, um having been someone who lived a very conditioned life for very, for a very long time. Hopefully I can bring some of those insights and um just that openness to the world. Well congrats on the book. I'll just mention the title here is called hard pivot embrace, change, find purpose. Show up fully. It's an excellent book and in many ways it it um recaps a lot of what you just shared. I think there's a bunch of brilliant personal insights and specifically you mentioned the concept of mindset, how the mind can be this powerful asset or prison. Um, I want to put a pin in that and and dig a little bit deeper on something that you mentioned which is sort of reinvention and identity. Now it seems having done hundreds of shows here, we're 12 years in a very consistent theme of the world's top performers that we have on this show is uh is identity. And I, you know, learned from your book. And I can only imagine that you've been conditioned to perceive yourself to have the world perceive you as a certain way for a huge chunk of your early life, only to decide that that chapter was over and on the virtue of this reinvention. Now, I want to talk about it through your lens, but I want to remind the people who are listening and watching at home that this all of this goes for you. Also, you are attached to what your parents thought you were, what your, you know, career counselor, your last job, your previous marriage, all those things can be true. And if you're trying to break out, listen to the words that Apollo shares here. So, I talked about it had to be extraordinarily difficult for you, right? These are you know, you've got gold hanging around your neck. And then at some point you realize that this doesn't last forever. And I wanted to do something different. How difficult was it for you to give up your identity? What were some of the challenges that you faced in the book? We we have a chapter and we call it the great divorce, right? Um and that great divorce was really this kind of like massive break up of where, you know, I've spent at that time, kind of half my life married to this idea and this um reciprocal relationship where the more that I put in the more that I got out, and so that marriage to that identity, which was the olympic path was that it gave me the head nod, it gave me the approval, it gave me the motivation and the discipline and all these amazing attributes that told me this is why you're here, this is what you're really good at. This is the one thing that you can do better than anybody else in the world. Um and that's that's why you're here on this planet. And then so the decision to say I'm going to go in a completely different direction against the grain was at first kind of an easy one, a because I felt like I had understood the blueprint for success, although I had reinvented that blueprint many times internally in that career path. Um but going in the other side of the world and I physically actually did that. I spent most of my time in Asia from 2010 until 2017 um pursuing businesses that I had no experience background or experience or or kind of insight into um didn't go to school to study these things, but had the willingness and also I think that negativity to say I think I can help in this business, so I don't see what the I don't see why that would be so hard, right? Um almost like a little kid, right, who's like so immersed in their environment, who thinks I can, I can do that too because they've never been scarred or had those types of things. Um but the voice inside deeper in my head um I think was also motivating me, where I was really driven in sport by this immense fear of failure. Now, looking back and being able to articulate that today was and is something very different, right? So if you're someone perhaps that has kind of operate in the same realm where your psychological challenge and barrier to dealing with failure actually is a leverage and a tool that allows you to go be so obsessed and work incredibly hard. That's a positive aspect of leaning on that lever. The the other side is when you become entirely obsessed to the point of where it's really toxic internally between your own two years and I had I had kind of you, I have used both of those and experienced both of those different kind of emotional states, but when I moved beyond sport and made the decision internally to say I am done taking a breath and saying, okay, what's next? Like basically what now, what am I good at? What am I passionate about? And that was really tough, right? Because everything in their life previously had told me this is what you need to do and this is what you're here for and now I was going out of the world with having no experience or understanding of what I needed to do and personal development, I was really stunted in many ways. So I was the most decorated winter Olympian of all time, but then I was moving into an arena where I was literally a baby, like I had no experience and I had no idea what was actually happening. Um, and so that visceral reality became a truth very quickly. And then, you know, look, I was surrounded by many athletes have had tremendous amounts of success, both financially and in their career, and I've seen both sides of the equation, some having immense kind of upside and others kind of falling away and almost disappearing into a life of um, obscurity and also they themselves felt very lost and so I was deeply afraid of the latter. I did not want to be forgotten, I wanted to be recognized for my skills and my intelligence outside of the world of sport. Um, and I forgot that it's a process, right? You don't Apollo, you don't go and win an olympic gold medal, like in training for like a month, I'm sorry to break it to you, doesn't it? It's going to take a decade for you to really kind of master some of these skill sets and even then you may not get what you really believe you deserve and to have. So look, it was that experience is an ongoing process. I'm still going through life laughing at myself, still finding myself operating in realms sometimes of my previous conditioning of what I believe the world wants me to be versus saying, hey, hey, hey, what's really the most important thing for you? How do you, how do you live these 86,400 seconds in the day knowing you'll probably lose most of them, but there's a couple there that you can win in those moments of where you can feel great and and fulfilled and with purpose. And so that has been a big, big help. But my, my natural sense of curiosity was the superpower. Um, this negativity that existed which allowed me to play like a kid again in these newfound, you know, business ideas or or the dynamics of traveling all around the world and conducting that business was was really fascinating to me and then kind of coming home. Um, so to speak over the past 3.5 years specifically, uh to say like, hey, how do I help other people kind of open up about their own vulnerabilities, their insecurities and self doubts and they're less than feelings and instead of letting those paralyze you and crush you use them as levers to propel them into a new era. So, you know, in the book, we talk a lot around kind of this introspection reflection process that, you know, that self acceptance is really tough, especially in today's society and I really struggle with that, right? Living in an environment where that critical nature that we have mind came from my father, right? This passionate pursuit of perfectionism, knowing wholeheartedly it was impossible to reach and attain. But getting up every single day, still trying to reach for that was something that I lived by for so long and then that having this kind of all I ever wanted was the head nod of approval from my father in that same respect. So basically I get it right. I've been through a lot of processes. I've gone through the kind of micro traumas of my own personal life and the book is designed to kind of open them up in a way that says like, hey, here's where I've gone through this is what I've been through. This is not the playbook for you. But hopefully there's some insights and some learnings here that perhaps will be applicable towards your own life and we will all face change. We will all face loss. We will all face critical reinvention throughout our life. Whether it's through technology, whether it's the career path, whether it's the relationship, whether it's too personal development and the greater level of understanding of that change that we understand that it is volatile and hard and tough. I think that the greater experience that we can learn from our own lives, it's hard, it's easier to say than to actually go through it. But you know, at times I think we have to face the flames, so to speak. Yeah, this idea of identity is something I'm obsessed with. It can both be empowering. Like you talked about the muscle between our ears can both be empowering and it can be a prison and the same is true with the concept of identity, right? If we see ourselves as someone who's flexible and malleable and opportunistic and resilient versus if we see ourselves as I am gold medalist, Apollo ono, that is sort of fixed in time. And while you will always have the luxury of having earned that or the success of having earned that achievement um as you move forward, your identity or or one's identity has to shift to accommodate, you know, I I don't even necessarily want to say maybe just for convenience, seo a wider aperture. So if that was your identity um in your, you know the previous year you identify you know, as a as the winningest medalist in Winter games history, what is new identity? And so I'm looking for an example of someone who could reorient, for example, the person who is transitioning? I have a new job or out of an old job or an old relationship or old pattern that doesn't serve them anymore. What how do you what's your own new identity? So I think the the new identity is less about what is on like these, you know, these like business cards right? Like and much more around the attributes associated with those business cards. So I'll give you an example. You know, I went to this um this leadership, this executive leadership program at the university at university and in university of pennsylvania in um in philadelphia. Um and this was, I would say this is the end of 2019 and one of the exercises that we had this like hyper immersive program was we took each of the Um 32 executives that were telling this program and we played this game a very simple game of where you and I will be paired with each other and I would say who are you? I can only ask one question and that question is who are you? And I would say this repeatedly for about two minutes and up to five minutes long. And you as the, as my, as my partner in this exercise would have to respond to that question every time now again you're like, I don't understand that the purposes of this exercise. And so we did this exercise three times by the way with three different partners and I was always the person who said who are you and then we reverse after you do the three, exercising, do it again and the first time and you know with your partner and like oh I am. So and so basically what's on your business card, This is what you do, this is what you've done in your career and the second time you do that, you know, it's kind of basically very surface level stuff. And that's that's what we originally were conditioned to believe our identity is tied to the second time you do it. People talk a little more about their history, where they grew up a little bit about that, about their family things that they they've done, you know, being here, why they joined this program and those things and the third time, Okay that you do this is, and by the way, this is like week five of eight at this program when we did this. So I spent five weeks, seven days a week with all of these different executives from 26 different countries around the world. And I feel like I've known them right. We have every meal together, we hang out, we're doing programs and challenges and building businesses together, kind of internally in this little microcosm of executive leadership. And on the third and final run of this exercise, um people start talking way less about what's in the business card and I don't know if this is subconscious but they actually start revealing things about themselves about what they love to do, what makes them happy, What really inspires them and motivates them about their kids and their family and and the world itself. And a couple of the exercises are a couple of people that I was paired with as we did this, that that day, like I had tears And what was so fascinating. Chase about this exercise is in that in that in less than 10 minutes, less than five minutes, less than 15 minutes versus the entire five weeks. It's about these people. I knew more about them in that exercise than I did previously because we wear this shield and this mask in our life that the world has told us, society has shown to us this is what you should have, this is what you should be. This is how you should operate. And this is the comparative analysis in which you should run your life. And it's all bs right? It's all it's all part of this like kind of made up game that we all choose to play. And that was the moment for me around identity where the identity that we have on our business card is just a couple of sentences is important. Yes, absolutely. Because it's where we spend most of our time doing. But the attributes that are underneath that layer is actually who we are as a person. The things that we are inspired by and motivated bar or we feel responsibility to, to adhere to is really a part of identity. And so you know, I give the analogy of you know we are this like beautiful like um you know where this diamond right? That's been like pulled out of the earth and in one facet of the diamond, the largest facet is where we spend most of our life looking from the top down as we hone and polish that diamond, It looks amazing and we forget this diamond is actually, is in its essence has so many other facets that require us to become uncomfortable, to become thrown out of the nest time and time again to feel fully alive, right? And you know, pema, and that's where that, that's where that quote comes from, right to be, to be fully alive, is to be constantly thrown out of the nest time and time again. And I think that that's where we find the other curiosities and personalities that perhaps we have tucked away or squirreled away or just forgotten about and compartmentalized because of the scarring that we have gone through in life because of the emotional damage that has occurred through relationships, through experiences of business, through emotional constraints. Um, and through conditioning of how our parents and in the society at large has raised us. And the reason why this book is so important to me is Yeah, yeah, sorry. So, no, no, I, there was a little delay there. I stepped on you. Sorry, go ahead and finish your thought. No, I'm just, I just wanted to say, you know, and and you know, this book is really geared to helping people realign with they're kind of inner strength and power and and to not feel like they have to be a passenger through the speeding life and trained and instead they can move over to the driver's seat grab ahold of that steering wheel and at least have better visibility at the way that we perceive those things that are being heard or hurtling at us. We can't change what's going to happen to the windshield, right? Like that's it's, it is what it is, what's on that road, We can only see a certain far um, you know, view out, right? We can't, we can't go beyond that. And a lot of times those things change, but how we react to those things and respond is within our control and that's what I want people to really kind of embrace. Mhm, incredibly insightful. And there are a number, I've highlighted a handful of sections of the book that I want to ask you about before, but before we get into some of those specifics I wanna keep at this, this altitude that we're at right now because I think so many folks when they think of a world's top performer, I have achieved in a couple of areas of my life, One in particular photography, watching anyone at the top of their game in any discipline is I think it provides unique insights and not those insights are not always pleasant. They're not always, you know, like to, to, to, to frame it as a question to you in order to get to be the best in the world literally at anything there. It requires set a sort of set of assumptions, a mindset, a commitment that is pretty Unreal relative to 99% of the population. And so I'm trying to be fair to the audience here and a lot of people will say on the surface I want to be world class and my my I always invite people to be, you know, the best version of yourself at some things because when you've mastered something you can then lifted and stamp it. You understand what mastery looks like and all the ups and downs and the benefits and the drawbacks. But I would love to hear. And I've asked this question of a handful of the world's best to have been on the show. I want to know from you though, what were the negatives around the obsession that you had in your case with speed skating and the obsessions that you saw of other people who are the best in the world. What are the drawbacks from that level of commitment? Because we only talk about the good Ship normally right, we only talk about standing on the podium and you know, doing the CNBC interviews and the ESPN interviews and you know, and displaying the gold medal, but can you help us understand sort of the darker side of being the world's best. Absolutely. So look, when we peer behind the curtain, so to speak, sometimes we, you know, we're not really sure what we're actually seeing And I think that it's it's not unlike the January 1st new year's resolutions that happen every year. The dream boards that are created, the visions that are there. The goals that are set are fantastical in nature. They are beautiful and exciting and fun and pretty easy to write down. It's pretty easy to say. I want to be a world champion, I want to be the best at something I want what that person has. I think it's much harder to go behind the curtain when there are no cameras when no one is watching and seeing how and what that process is like and the type of both emotional and psychological processes that occur in that realm. So from my personal experience and I can only share from my own personal experience, it was there's a lot of darkness, right? There's a lot of rage and anger and insecurity and fears of failure that kept me up very late at night and made me wake up very early against all sports science recommendations because I was so handcuffed to the psychological process that it never was good enough that I was never good enough even after winning the World Championships not going out and celebrating with my team. But instead of reverting back to my hotel room and packing my bags and watching my skating tapes and being so self critical that it was toxic, it was actually toxic because I was never being present. I never was opening up to the moment that I had just accomplished something that was phenomenal. Um and so that self acceptance is something that, look on one side, people ask me chasing, like, do you think that you could have ever reached the level of success? Um have you had a more balanced life? And I think successes like somewhat of a misnomer, right? When I would, I would, I think in essence I would have had a more balanced life. I probably would've enjoyed speed skating even more. I would have been much more in the moment and had developed greater relationships with all my competitors as friends all across the world. Um what I've gotten the same type of results on paper like this, I don't, I don't think there's a chance in hell, it's there was no way I woke up every single day with this idea that I didn't even have the luxury of giving myself a vote of whether I wanted to go to practice or not. It was not, it was not even a part of the conversation. You know, that that was something that I for 15 years, by the way that this process went, on like this is not something that is like for a year or like for a quad, this is for 15 years. I didn't care about a single thing in the world selfishly and, and and I thought the world, by the way, watch short track speed skating, like I was so naive as a kid, um there's like small obscure sport that people don't even know about it are you in our country but it look it takes such a tremendous amount of dedication and time and sacrifice and the reason why I say that is you know from a results based perspective our sport was and filled with so much volatility and uncertainty that after you train a decade and you get to olympic games, the race only lasts 40 plus seconds long and in that 40 plus seconds long, you know, the difference between 1st and 4th is like two finger snaps right? Those two finger snaps for people just crossed the finish line and the difference between getting all the glory and all the commercial rights and all the cool stuff and sponsorships of being on the cover of magazines and wheaties and whatever the stuff that they're like Hawk wanting you to hawk right? Um it doesn't mean that and life changing kind of fame and being fourth literally just like off the podium not even receiving a medal Is in that finger snap where you are living almost as if you are a complete failure to society having made the Olympic team the top 1% of all the athletes on the planet and being in the final um is like a tremendous feat, but society has shown you in that way and so this is embedded deeply into the psychology of athletes and olympic athletes especially those that are within reach of reaching the podium where you know, the Ricky bobby, like, you know, Talladega nights, like if you ain't first, you're last, like, that's a pretty american thing to say, if you really think about it right in its in its essence, like we love winners and champions in this country and we celebrate them as such, and if you don't win, you happen to be the loser. You are, you know, and look at whether I agree with that or not is somewhat irrelevant, but the reason why I say that is because of our like our obsession around crowning champions at any and all costs. And by the way, this is slightly changed over the past quad as we've seen with athletes kind of coming out talking about mental health. We've even seen athletes drop out of like the actual olympics with similar biles and that was I mean look, that was a nonstarter question in conversation with me. I mean if you had asked me Paula, how are you doing for 15 years in a row every day, I would say I'm doing okay, I'm doing good. Like that was my conditioned robotic response I didn't know how to say or do anything else different, I didn't know or say how to actually let you peer into my mind of what I was thinking when I'm like, it's 7 30 at night, I'm on my fourth training session in the base of my house secretly or I'm in the sauna and I'm meditating, thinking about this like obsessiveness that like, it's never good enough. I'm always behind, I'm less than I have to keep going. There's so much more to do and on one side it's beautiful right? To see someone so obsessed and so focused on something uh, and so disciplined. Like, you know, just like not an almond and more not an almond less was like my motto when I was like creating this nutritional profile to like cut all this weight when I was training. Um, but it was deeply, I was handcuffed to the sport in a way. Um and I was also jumping out of the airplane man with like no parachute. Like I didn't have a plan B straight up and I'm very lucky and blessed that it worked out for me from a results based perspective, But it very well and could have easily gone a different direction where I could have broken a leg or broken my back or gotten cut or something. And then all of that 12 year dedication sacrifice from an external perspective would have been wasted. Now, internally, obviously there's incredible lessons and, and grit and perseverance and things that I could take in my life later, but externally people like, oh my God, like you train a lifetime for something and you didn't get what you wanted, what a gamble. And so yeah man, like it's, it's the obsessive, this is required and I think it's actually healthy, as long as you understand why you're doing what you're doing, why you are being so obsessed. But if you are mindlessly handcuffed to this thing that has almost enslaved you in a way that's where it gets dangerous. Um and I've been on both sides that equation. So the dark, the darkness is very real, right? Um and learning how to embrace that darkness is is a superpower also. Yeah, this idea of, know thyself, right? If you're sort of the why behind the rationale, as you said, it's both beautiful to see that obsession and the perseverance and the drive. And yet it's only um it has somehow more value if there's an awareness of that tender balance between the life that you're choosing and one that has chosen for you when you're you are and you said you talked about autopilot in the book. I love the line, hm You were like a 17 year old and a 27 year old's body. What did you mean by that? It's you know, I'm tying those, I'm tying those two things together. Perhaps I'm doing that work there, but it seems like this when you are obsessed with something, you've got this uh framework for how life is Um and you know, you don't want to put words in your mouth, you tell me, what did you mean by that line, I was 17 year old trapped in a 27 year old's body. Well my life was confined to the training environment that I lived in. My personal growth was confined to that of which my locker room was right, That was my personal growth because you are the, some of the five people you spend the most money your time with, which I can tell you like the conversations and locker rooms are probably not the most um eloquently spoken or you know, stimulating. Um they're pretty, they're pretty, you know, brutish in nature. So our view of the world was very narrow and very, very, very specific, right? I mean because we spend so much time training and every day feels so important. Every hour of that training session, every repetition feels like it's the last one that you'll be kind of governed by for the rest of your life. Everything seems to matter in those moments when like it probably really doesn't matter if you like missed a training session or not psychologically it's, it's pretty important. So I was 17 going on 27 because I was stunted. I was stunned. I made my first team when I was 14 years old, Right? And I was technically captain of that team at the age of 14 Where guys were like 37 years old around me, right? So like I, I was still still had braces chart chase. Like I was like, I was like, I was literally like a baby kid and but my performance was out of like a grown man and so I, my growth had been stunted, I had lied through my, my sport, but my view of the world, how the world worked. My relationship with fears and pain and all these things was really confined to the world of sport. Um and it took me a long time to fully, I think developed the understanding that um in some aspects of my, of my life, I had Ben, you know, catapulted towards the life lessons that were being learned inside the sport and then other areas of my life, like literally, I mean I say 17 going on 27, I might have been 15, Right, going on 27, like it took me a long time and so when I'm retired, don't forget like everything was pushed off as secondary in my life, if it didn't fit into the realm of this is going to help me perform better in the world of the olympic path, It was secondary, it wasn't even on the top five list and so when I retired in 2010, 12 years ago, you know, you kind of are sprung into the world thinking you have all this experience, but you know, like if I was gonna go and try to get a job, I don't know like, let's just count like in finance, like my peers are like 10 years younger than me, right? Like or or eight years younger than me by the way with like four summers of internships that I don't have and like a fresh brain straight out of academic knowledge that allows them to perform and here you are as an olympic athletes saying, but I have, but I have these medals, like how does that come into play? And you know, you're, you know, your team and boss and environment, it's just you feel like you're, you have to pour the cup out and start a new because you really are. And a part of that reinvention process is pretty challenging because you've been used to being so good for so long and now you're being thrust into an environment where you actually don't know what's happening at all. And so you have to be willing to embrace basically feeling stupid for a long time. I think it's just incredibly valuable to hear, you know, again, we only get these what what, my dear friend Bernie Brown calls gold Paraded grit. We only get the heroic stories of it was hard for a while and then we overcame it and boy isn't, isn't life grand now. And so thank you for sharing this hard part. And I think there's another key part of the book that I took away with this um faux po right? We've heard of fomo fear of missing out. But this idea of fear of other people's expectations. So I'm wondering, you know, tying back to your father, your coach, um how how what, what advice would you give to uh, for, for the listeners out there to be aware of this fear of other people's expectations are faux po as you call it. Yeah. And, and, and faux po was is I love this explanation. We spent so much time on fomo fear of missing out. And you just had an explanation of what is, and you know, my friend, Dr Michael, um sports psychologist for the US team, Michael's been on the show, I get to go down and at the Seahawks games occasionally. Good dude. Yeah. Mike is a great dude. And so when Mike and I were chatting and he was kind of giving me this idea of, of faux po and explaining how psychologically we've been conditioned to often operate, um, in fear of what other people think about us both in terms of our coaches, our peers, our businesses, our parents and that in itself is something that has, I think also become handcuffed and restrictive in the way that we can really operate. And so as we seek true freedom and the right to our own internal freedoms to make better decisions and processes to fully become and encompass who we can be a lot of that process. So it requires us to cut the tie or at least cut the cord to what was and what was, is this environment that says like, well I don't want to do that because I'm afraid of like what my parents will think or my relationship or my other coworkers. And um, and in sport it was um, hey, this is how you warm up, this is the type of training that you do, this is what you eat, this is how you respond. And again, like everyone calls the genius insane when he or she is going through that process in real time. It's not until later that we can say, wow, that person was so genius because they had the foresight to go against the grain. And in reality that that requires the most of us, we have to go against the grain. That is where the essence of magic actually occurs for all of our own individual experiences. And I did that during sports where I did a lot of things that everyone told me that was stupid and crazy and not going to ever work. And the same thing when I retired from, from one time when I retired from sport is just I said like instead of me going and harnessing the power of media to leverage my brand and living a life that only was, was in this isolated realm of living as Apollo on olympic speed skater, I went against the grain entirely and I did things that I had zero experience or perhaps even right to doing right. So the impostor syndrome was obviously very front and center for me many, many, many times where I'm looking around the room, I'm like, oh shit, I do not believe that I actually am supposed to be here. As a matter of fact, I should probably excuse myself before I say something really, really dumb. Um, but I stuck with it man, like I'm here and that's like become a really cool part of my own personality is just like obsessiveness around my own internal warrior mentality touche like, hey, you know what, like I'm going to do something even if the other people around me say that it can't be done. And a part of that is because I am not going to operate in terms of what they believe I should and how I should react and what I should do instead. What's important to me have I created a foundational repository of the attributes that make up my true north and if so it's time to have blinders on And there's times to basically back off and listen to what the world is saying. And I think a lot of times it's hard to do. We operate a lot of times, both in terms of the, I call it the, you know, the social media world of what you should have, how you should operate, what you should look like and, And the comparative analysis that exists, um, ever so often, both in terms of age, right? It's like, Oh sh it man, like I'm turning 40 soon. I should have this, I should be here. I am 10 years behind still like my friends who are like 25 and they have like sold their tech companies and like all this stuff right? And hey, competition is good. We love what it can do for you. But again, like if that is your motivating factor only, I think you're playing the wrong game, you're playing a game that is man made and constructed and designed to keep you hooked into the matrix, so to speak. So you gotta get unplugged man, you got to unplug from this false reality. And I think, yeah, you know, photo to me also is like ingrained like we all have like that uncle or that cousin or that friend who is just radically authentically themselves for good or for worse, but they can't help themselves. There's something really endearing about that person, right? Because they are just themselves, they're living. And we kind of chuckle and laugh like like, oh that person is like you just can't help himself or she can't help him. You can't help themselves, right? That there's something really attractive around that that we see because we wish that for ourselves, we wish that we could actually do and be and say we really want to say all the time. That's why we get attracted to certain podcasters, right? Who say things that we've always wanted to say or have viewpoints that we have but were too scared to actually have them. That's a psychological process and and, and you know, again, you know, dr Michael is a really good friend and confidant and also a mentor in a lot of ways. Um, he, he was the one who, who kind of turned this was like, I was like four years ago, maybe five years ago, we started talking about the, you know, faux po and I remember when he told me this faux po and I was like, oh, that is so genius, right? Like yeah, I can't believe how many things that I do. Anyway. Um, yeah, so, so so big ups to uh, to Michael, he's awesome. I had a good joy of being on his show to and what a great show we're talking about finding mastery for those yet. There are podcast aficionados. Um really, I think, uh, it's definitely worth a listen and makes a great human. I'm curious, you know, we've talked a lot about sort of the the upside of um, success and the dark side of success that a lot of people don't talk about. And I'm wondering like what, what tools have you taken from that elite level that you've able to have been able to harness and manage in a productive way as it's just in civilian life, right? And in um, your day to day and your, you know, your new role as, you know, personal capital's financial hero? You're aware participation in venture capital? Like are there some exercises maybe it's sort of mental visualization what you, you know, feed your body your physical health or wellness, what translated really well into uh, life as a civilian that you could, you know, vouch for here for for our listeners. So, you know, I have like I have the five golden principles that exist inside of the book, I'll kind of briefly run through them. I the first one is gratitude. Second one is giving, Third one is grit. Fourth one is gearing up for setting your personal expectations, the fifth one's going getting into action. Um, but then the olympic path is a masterclass in stoicism. You spend a lifetime in preparation for a moment that the world believes is your moment to shine. And you subscribe to that belief. And then as you rip the curtain open and you have your 40 seconds of either fame or failure as the world would put it, um, you have to surrender to that outcome regardless of whether you got what you wanted and thought that you deserved. So that has been a metaphor for life afterwards, where I have spent and I continue to spend much more time focused on the process versus the prize. And that's been a really, really big and most powerful tool that we have is that life is fleeting. We only have the 86, seconds in a day. Everyone has the same amount of time per day. And we understand that you probably will lose most of those in terms of the challenges per day. But if you can win some of them and the more that you can gain in terms of momentum and also surrendering to the outcomes at the end of every single day. Um, I think you'll show up a little bit better, a little bit more hungry, a little more motivated and more inspired. I love that. Chapter eight the golden principles, the grit and go there was a lot for I think every human being in there, these are tools that we can apply to anything and taken from your universe as a top performer. Um, the last question that I have for you is really around this new life for you. I think the pivot, sorry, the book is incredible. Again, hard pivot. There's some, you know, some vernacular and some concepts that you've taken from speed skating put into a book, but it's really a book about life and reinvention, how to make use of, of the creativity, the purpose, how to show up this. I wanted people to know like what you're up to now. So uh you know, as let us down easy here from all these highfalutin concepts and you know, now that You've reinvented yourself, it sounds like and I read from the book that this was a long process, you talked about retiring 10 years ago and here we are writing a book, you know, it's basically all of these lessons people want to know what you're up to right now. Tell us. Yes, yes. So my called my, my day job, so to speak. And my partner in a venture firm based out of san Francisco called Tribe Capital where we focus on technology companies all over the world and try to support and help guide founders who are looking at changing the world in a positive way. Um, and so that's been, that's primarily been my my day job. But I still love to do what I do best. And that is through the work of the book and trying to inspire and helping people win. Um, I love it to see people win. It's been one of the most single most gratifying things. Probably that supersedes any of my past accomplishments is seeing others find their own true north and become aligned in a way that the, the, the, the inner warrior shows up and that like makes me really, really happy. So whether that's in business, whether that's what I'm speaking, whether that's through the work that, that you do and capture and release to the world. Um, these are things that make me really inspired and motivated to continue on. Well, it is very inspiring. Uh, congratulations from a local Seattle 206 area code guy to it one from one to another. Congratulations. It's been fun to the book is incredible. It's really insightful. Um congrats on Uh, a level of reinvention and I know I know the tribe capital folks having dabbled adventure capital over the last 10 years. You guys got a good thing going and I know you're also one of the, yearly, the, was the title. You had a great title. I'm looking for it here, the uh financial hero there for personal capital. You're the ability to have a day job and still inspire us through um these lessons and books and uh, you know, you got a podcast, your olympic greatness podcast, what is that thing called? Where is that? I saw a note here. I haven't listened to it yet. Favorite Olympian podcast. You got a bunch of fun stuff going on. Congratulations. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us here on the show. Uh, maybe you, me and Mike can get together one time uh, on the, on the sidelines of a Seahawks game if they can get their act together. Um, until next time, anywhere else would like anywhere else we'd like to steer us besides, You know, our community here is really good at picking up the book again. Hard pivot embrace change, find purpose and show up fully anywhere else You'd steer us. You know, social channels or where would you like us to go. Um, yeah, I'm, I'm across all the social channels at Apollo ono on instagram and on twitter. Uh, and then Apollo ono dot com is the website. So deeply grateful for the time spent Chase, um, love what you guys are doing and your community as a large and, and hopefully we can all keep inspiring right on. Thanks so much for being on the show everyone else. Uh, I hope you have an excellent day. Check out this book. Uh, it's lovely to see someone who is as great as you are at the sport that you choose to pursue, but also an incredible human. That's a rare combination. So thank you so much for being on the show, Being a great person and everybody else out there. The world we bid you. Mm hmm.

Class Description

There's a common misconception that artists have a monopoly on creativity...But the very act of making waves - no matter the career - is a creative one. The Chase Jarvis Live Show is an exploration of creativity, self-discovery, entrepreneurship, hard-earned lessons, and so much more. Chase sits down with the world's top creators, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders and unpacks actionable, valuable insights to help you live your dreams in career, hobby, and life.


In speed skating, a hard pivot is an aggressive turn that requires balance, focus, and courage. Blasting down the ice, shoulder to shoulder with another world-class competitor, blades on his feet, Apolo Ohno began his Olympic career in 2002, eventually winning eight gold medals and becoming the most decorated athlete in US Winter Olympics history.

Stories about the commitment, sacrifice, and work ethic required to reach the pinnacle of human performance are a dime a dozen. Just qualifying for the Olympics is an incredible achievement. But what happens when it’s over? Apolo writes in his new book, Hard Pivot, “I faced challenges like anyone else. The inner voice that once motivated me became toxic, amplifying my fears and insecurities. In life, we all face moments when we must make a hard pivot- times when we must adapt, reinvent, and find renewed purpose in the face of profound changes.”

As an Olympian, Apolo was and is still a role model worldwide. However, behind the cameras and limelight, he, just like everyone else, deals with the challenges of being human. He notes that before retiring in 2012, he was motivated to achieve the best in his field.

But what if that motivation stems from an intense fear of failure? While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it can take a toll on just about anyone, not just athletes. Whether you are in business, trying to start an organization, or studying to pass an exam, fear of failure can become toxic.

Apolo also confesses that even after winning gold, he passed up on celebrating with teammates because he may have lost focus on what is essential. Instead, he prioritized the things that could make him a better athlete and pushed every other thing to the backseat. His obsession with being the best blinded him to the fact that he was living through precious moments he could share with friends and family.

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