Today on the show we have critically acclaimed author, World-renowned speaker, educator, pastor, and audible.com Audie Awards Finalist Eric Thomas, Ph.D.
ET, as he is better known, has taken the world by storm, with his creative, common-sense approach to living a successful, satisfying professional and personal life. Through a significant social media presence and regular domestic and international tours, “ET, The Hip Hop Preacher” has become a global phenomenon!
Eric’s spiritual walk, tenacity, and drive are the perfect example of his quote,
“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.”
Drawing from his personal experiences: homelessness, the absence of his biological father, academic struggles, and various other obstacles, ET’s life story allows him to connect with others fighting for greatness. Millions of followers have been able to apply the principles revealed in his award-nominated autobiography, The Secret to Success and, equally successful subsequent releases: Greatness is Upon You and, Average Skill, Phenomenal WIll.
ET’s passion is never more evident than when he’s in a school, changing the lives of students forever. Whether he’s meeting and greeting students with warm hugs and a bite to eat on bitterly cold Michigan winter mornings or helping them to recognize their superpowers in a district-wide assembly, where ET goes, greatness follows.
ET believes that Every kid has the promise of greatness within them — every single one. The key to nurturing that greatness is knowing each child’s unique approach to learning. By identifying that unique approach to learning, their “superpower,” teachers are better able to coach their students to greatness!
Unfortunately, most kids don’t even know that they have a superpower and, that’s where “You Ain’t The Boss Of Me” comes in. Every student CAN succeed! They just need the right tools to make that happen. Every child wants to achieve greatness; it’s our job to teach them how.
“I firmly believe if you don’t know you can fly, you’ll always think you can’t.” – Eric Thomas
Get ready to be inspired. Enjoy!
Listen to more great episodes at Next Level Soul Podcast
Follow Along with the Transcript – Episode 002
Alex Ferrari 0:03
Today, we have Eric Thomas, PhD, and he is a critically acclaimed author, world renowned speaker, educator, and pastor, and he is better known as taking the world by storm with his creative, common sense approach to living a successful, satisfying professional and personal life. There was significant social media presence and regular domestic and international tours at the hip hop preacher, as he's better known, has become a global phenomenon. Eric, spiritual walk, tenacity and drive are a perfect example of his quote, when you want to succeed, as bad as you want to breathe, then you'll be successful. Drawing from his personal experiences of being homeless, the absence of his biological father, academic struggles, and a variety of other obstacles. ETS life story allows him to connect with others fighting for greatness in their own lives. Millions of his followers have been able to apply the principles revealed in his award nominated autobiography, The secret to success, as well as equally successful follow ups. Greatness is upon you and average skill phenomenal will. Eric is a force of nature. And I wanted to have him on the show, to give us that little bit of a spark in our soul to keep walking the path and give us a couple of tools that will help us along that path. So let's dive in.
Eric Thomas Ph.D 2:41
Superduper excited to be on you know, I tell people when you use the word tribe, I am very particular about who I put in front of my tribe. You know, so the fact that you will give me access to your tribe. It's an honor, man, it's an honor.
Alex Ferrari 3:00
I mean, I I've been following you for a while now, man. And when I need motivation, I just turn on an ET video and and that'll get you that'll get you riled up. Good. Five minutes is all you need. It's better than a cup of coffee. It's better than a cup of coffee in the morning, brother. You just put an ET.
Eric Thomas Ph.D 3:17
I don't listen to ET myself. I've heard that he's, uh, and I got a funny story. Man. I went you know, when I do work in the physical industry, especially maybe a year ago, and guys would come up to me buff. You know, young ladies, come up to me cut. Et man, I listen to your video. And I was like, Yo, I need to start listening to some ET. 's. I'm kind of chunky over here. So yeah, absolutely. I appreciate you listening, man.
Alex Ferrari 3:45
Thank you, brother. Thank you. So can you tell the tribe a little bit about who you are and where you come from, for people who don't know you.
Eric Thomas Ph.D 3:52
Yeah, man. I tell people all the time, man I am. I'm a failure. That didn't give up. You know, I'm a failure that didn't give up. I fail. In every aspect of my life. I failed as a son. You know, I failed as a student, I failed myself. I failed as a husband. I failed as a parent. You know, I failed as an entrepreneur. You know, I'm saying I'm just a guy, you know, who fail, but got back up. My mom got pregnant with me at 17 You know, my biological father, you know, didn't have anything to do with me. Until probably I was 30 years old. I dropped out of high school. I was homeless. Took me 12 years to get a four year degree. I've done a lot of failing man, you know, I've done a lot of failing, but that's what you learned. It's not just Yeah, yeah, I just didn't give up now. I'll be honest, I don't even know if I learned a whole lot the first 20 some years, you know, you know, but I will say this, you know, being a kid growing up watching you know, like football was a Cowboy fan. When I was younger, you know, and just watching, you know, the Cowboys pursuit to you know, to super Bo in different teams, the pistons pursuit, you know, Isaiah lose into, you know, Larry Bird several times before they actually won their first one. And I said to myself one day, you know you like you like the feeling of winning when you see your team wins. What would it feel like if you won? You know? And so then it was at that point, I was like, Yo, you're a high school dropout, your father's a high school dropout. I often say my grandfather was a high school dropout. The reality is, I don't even know my grandfather. You know, I just say recently, I was like, oh, you can't? You can't say he's a high school dropout. You don't even know. You know, but I'm, nobody's calling me. No, none of my aunties and uncles called me and told me I was lying. So I must be right about it. You know, so, for me, man, I've just fail, fail fail. One day, I woke up and was like, Yo, I'm just not feeling failing, no more. Like, it just doesn't feel good. Isn't it something about it? That's not right. You know, and I just don't want to have to, I don't want to do it another 20 years, you know, so I just made up in my mind, the fear, the anxiety of success, the the pain of change, like, I'm going through so much pain anyway, I might as well, I might as well go through some of the pains that it requires to be successful.
Alex Ferrari 6:19
Right, right. And without question, and there is a lot of pain that you do need to go through to be successful there is that grind that we're going to talk about in a bit. But can you tell me what is the biggest challenge you see in people when you speak to them and within your ministry and within your, you know, your mission in life?
Eric Thomas Ph.D 6:37
Oh, I'm be honest, man, you know, for me is, ET. I know, I can do better. You know, I know I want to do better. I just don't know if I want to work as hard as it takes to get there.
Alex Ferrari 6:50
That's pretty honest. Not a view but of the people who say that because most people aren't even that self aware.
Eric Thomas Ph.D 6:55
If you asked me like that's what you know, my wife we were talking about, you know, hey, changing the diet up you know, and doing the vegan boy you know, and you know, just modifying it like not you know, I'm not no fanatic. No disrespect to people who you know decide to do plant based but I'm not a guy that just feels like you know, I got you know if I just got to do plant, but I knew she needed to change your diet, you know, but I knew the struggle for my wife was my MS is not that bad. It's not that bad to give up. You know, burgers, macaroni and cheese, Santa, Popeye's chicken, like, it's bad, but it ain't that bad. Whereas I'm just being honest, when somebody has, you know, a chronic illness and they can't walk or they can't see, right? It's like, oh, man, I got it. I got to do whatever I got to do, you know, but for my wife, she's doing very good. So to do to do well, or great? Is that sacrifice worth it? I just really think that when I look at the average person, that's what it is like, Yo, I'm not doing bad. I want to do better. But to do better when we cry. Like people say you get up at three o'clock in the morning. Have you lost your mind, and I look at it the opposite. I look at it as I get up at three o'clock in the morning. I can be a millionaire. I can work for myself. I can change my family's three o'clock in the morning. Are you kidding me? How easy is that? Like that didn't require you know, it'd be one thing if somebody said et you want to be a multimillionaire, you have to be a rocket scientist. I'm like, bro, I had no chance at it. Like my family is doing. I could do a body, right? I'm saying but when you telling me that I could become a multi millionaire offline effort. Just get up earlier slide bro is no is nothing to think about. Like, let's go. So for me, it's the opposite. So I think of it as I only have to get up earlier to be successful. I don't have to pay anybody to do anything. I don't have to take classes or anything like that. I just got to get up earlier and put forth more effort. Like why would not do that. So to me, I think that's what I've seen in humans. Is this this wheel to want to do better but not the wheel to do what they have to do to do better.
Alex Ferrari 9:08
Now you mentioned that you are vegan and plant based and I'm also a vegan and plant and plant based. You know I've been doing that for about five years now and I live in Los Angeles. I live in Los Angeles. It's super easy out here and people here everybody here is either you know thinking about or doing and stuff and I still get I still get looked at weird that like you don't eat meat all this kind of stuff. I can only imagine what you go through in Michigan.
Eric Thomas Ph.D 9:35
Yes, it's rough.
Alex Ferrari 9:37
To people like they're like at you. You eat this is the what do you eat? No meat at all right? Like how do you survive? Where do you get your protein?
Eric Thomas Ph.D 9:47
I have to remark I have to remind people that they're other beings, animals, etc who are surviving some pretty thick and they don't eat the animals and know they're doing quite well. well for themselves,
Alex Ferrari 10:00
Like an elephant or a buffalo, or gorilla
Eric Thomas Ph.D 10:05
Yeah, they do a pretty good. Um, but no, it is it is a challenge in Michigan. I live in a small town, which is a challenge, and is in and of itself. Sure, maybe if I was in Detroit, it would be a little easier. But I've been fortunate in that I've got my cousin started a vegan, out of her house restaurant. So she ships, she drives stuff down to me. And then when I'm on the road, what I try to do, she'll prepare, you know, the only bad thing about plant base is that when she prepares food for me, you know, it's a short, it's a short shelf life. You know, it doesn't it didn't last a week. So if I'm out of town for a week, she could probably get me going for about three days. And then you know, but after that, it's kind of it's kind of rough. But you know, what I said is, you know, this is the challenge. For me, it's like, you got to find a way and what I love, everybody knows I love Chipotle. So, no, that's my cheat. That's my cheat with the beans, you know, and rice in the fajitas. You know, and sometimes I'll do the corn. But I also love what I found is a great substitute is the Mediterranean. No, I, I do a nice Mediterranean or my wife's favorite is an Indian cuisine. And they have a few dishes that we can do. So I mean, it's like anything else. If you if you if you want it, you know, you'll find a way if you don't, you'll find an excuse, you know? And so for me, it's just like, hey, I don't I don't have room for excuses at this point in my life. They don't pay bills.
Alex Ferrari 11:40
Amen. Now, what do you what do you say to a person who tells you my dream my dream is too hard. It's just never gonna happen ET. You gotten to where you are. But I'm never going to make it to where I want to make. I'm never going to make that movie. I'm never going to write that script. I'm never going to paint that painting or make that song. What do you tell these people? What would you say to them?
Eric Thomas Ph.D 12:01
You know, unfortunately, I would say to them, you're right. Yeah, you're absolutely right. Right. Yeah. I'll say like, I can't debate you. You're absolutely right. I went to Detroit, Henry Ford. And so one of the mantras in the hallway was, if you think you can, you can if you think you can't, you can't, you know, and that was a mantra we looked at every single day coming in and out of school, you know, so I would say to that person, if you don't think you can do it. You know what, you are absolutely right. You can't do it, because you don't think you can. But at any moment, if you believe you can, then you'll find every resource, you'll find every human, you'll find every reason to make that thing happen. And here's what I find to be amusing. Is that my first goal, as I look back, my first goal was to get a GED, it was the craziest thing like, that was my first big goal was like, Yo, I gotta get this GED. And I got to get out of the trade. And I got to follow my wife to college, like, I gotta get out of here. I cannot let her leave me. And then after the GED, it was like, you know, he you, whatever you say you want to do, just like you did the GED, it only requires that same thought process and that same energy. And what I mean by that, guys, my next goal is a Nobel Prize. I don't have to do anything more to get the Nobel Prize than I had to do to get the GED.
Alex Ferrari 13:33
Mmhm. without, without question, no question. Now, can you also talk a little bit cuz I've run into this all the time with people I talked to in the tribe and, and when I talk out in public and stuff, and this was a problem I struggle with, for for over a decade, almost two, can you talk a little bit of how people get in their own way, and how they can get those obstacles that they're putting in their own way out of their way so they can reach their potential.
Eric Thomas Ph.D 14:02
So I think what happens is, and this is weird, but it's kind of like simultaneously when people come up with their dreams and goals. They immediately and I don't know why they do this, but they immediately talk out the obstacles and challenges that keep them from making those dreams and goals become reality. Like it's the weirdest thing. It's like, as soon as they say, Okay, I want to go to college. They immediately say, I don't have the money to go to college, or college is hard. You know, it was funny. I tell somebody recently, and recent meeting like a year or so ago when my daughter was deciding what she's a sophomore now. She was deciding which university she wanted to go to. It was a San Diego State University was one. Michigan State University was two. And I was telling everybody if she goes to San Diego State, we're moving to San Diego. And it was the weirdest thing as soon as I told him, Alex that I was moving to San Diego, everybody said to me, yo, he you're going to San Diego it is the most extreme expensive city in the United States of America. There's a son tax like, bro, you can't afford to. And I say, Whoa, last time I checked his people in San Diego on welfare. Last time I checked their homeless people in San Diego. Yeah, last time I checked. Last time I checked San Diego wasn't populated by only billionaires and millionaires. The last time I checked is people who are in a working class who live in San Diego. So it must not be that difficult to live in San Diego because there are other human beings who look like me who live in San Diego, they bleed that they had my mom and dad. Just like Come on. Are you kidding me? In San Diego is Do you Do you know that San Diego would go under if people didn't buy a house if they didn't buy food, like San Diego needs people to move there to show so for me, I think the biggest challenge is that as soon as a person says that this is what I want to do, I think is probably the ratio is probably sick, because they have one dream, and they come up with 10 or 20, negative things that that that will stop them impede them from making that dream become a reality. And so I'm just the opposite man. As soon as I say I can do something, I only think of all the possibilities. I only think of all the great scenarios as going happen. Because I only think of how quick this thing is going to happen. How soon is going to take place. And it was funny, Carl, who's our videographer. We were talking the other day, and they come from a Barbado. So they came as students. So there was a time where they weren't considered citizens of, you know, the US. And so the wife expecially, she was very limited in her travels. And so we were just talking on the dead because we've been in a lot of different places. And so I was like, you know, Tanisha before we go to Hawaii, have you been to Vegas? Are you talking about going to Hawaii? Like we can go to Vegas first and dry. Like, you know what? I've never been to Vegas before I was like, you've never been to Vegas. This conversation was about maybe a week and a half ago. She said no, I'd never been to Vegas before I was like, okay, good. We're going to Vegas. And she's like, What do you mean by that? I was like, Don't worry about it. We're going to Vegas. I promise you not. A week later, my agent called me and said, Hey, you got a gig in Jimmy for Jimmy John's. And the convention is in Vegas. I'm saying I told us like, Yo, we're going to Vegas, you know, I've got a great friend there. You know, who sets up? You know, he does bookings for celebrities and, you know, gets their accommodations for him. I said, I gave him a call. He gave me some great rates. You know, if you got an elliptical and a treadmill in your room, you know, I'm saying you got to Grand Lux and Cheesecake Factory all in one bit under one roof. You know, I'm saying um, let's go. And she was like, what I was like, she's like, what I mean, what do you mean? What she was like, Yo, we just had this conversation. I said, Yeah. And immediately after we had a conversation I put in my mind, and in my spirit, we're going to Vegas. And so I got you to Vegas, when you didn't even believe you could go to Vegas. So what could you do for yourself if you believed, you know, so I think that's the problem. We have a dream, we have a goal, then we come up with a million reasons of why the thing we thought of can't possibly happened to us. And I don't do that.
Alex Ferrari 18:21
Now I'm gonna I'm gonna do I'm gonna be the devil's advocate here. I completely 110% believe what you're saying. But for the, because I know there's someone listening right now saying, that's all like positive thinking and all this kind of stuff, man. You know, you're not being realistic about your goals. Like if you're going to go after a goal, there are going to be obstacles, why shouldn't I think about them and prepare for them? I'm just throwing I'm just being devil's advocate. So what do you say to that guy?
Eric Thomas Ph.D 18:47
You say you only have so much energy. You tell me. Negativity is gonna happen anyway. Don't Don't worry about that day, you already got, like, you already know that's a reality. So let's leave that alone. She has put all of our energy on making this dream become a route. And that's my thing. You can't go in two directions. You just can't do it. You can't drive north and south at the same time. So I'm just gonna drive north. And if something happens, that pulls me back south. It is what it is. We'll prepare for that when we get to that. But what I'm going to prepare for is the greatest scenario ever. So when my wife was diagnosed with MS, I didn't say and I heard the doctor said, the doctor said, you know, hey, you know individuals who have this lose their sight. They can end up in a wheelchair. Sure. This could be a she gave me a I promise you. She gave me about six or seven debilitating things that could happen to my wife. Listen to me, Alex. At no point did I embrace any of it? Now, I'm thinking it could be a reality my wife could go without she could go blind. I'm not going to prepare for that though. When that comes, I guarantee I can work that out. When I'm going to prepare for, we're going to look at every possible scenario, you retiring, right? Because that's going to lower the stress you get, you get rest, I'm going to take you in the winner's, I'm going to get you out of Michigan, we're going to travel to the south, we're gonna travel to the West Coast, we're gonna get you some vitamin D. You I bought her a happy light the other day, I got the happy light, you know, that's supposed to provide, you know, these these these vitamin D sundre. You know, I went and found somebody that does supplements that are not the cheap stuff, she noticed diluted, I got the best of the best. You know, look, we went vegan for the most part, I say, five, six days out of the week, we're vegan, you know, we might do vegetarian, which is the Mediterranean and Indian and when people say What do you mean by that? Like, sometimes I realized the Indian things that they put, like, it seems like they might put like cream or something they spinach, because it's a little mushy, you know, but but but we've not done meat. You know, I've really pulled her back on some of the sugars and sweets, you know, um, you know, she doesn't like to exercise. So I'd take her to the mall every day, and she can least get walking in. You know, she's in the mall. So this is this is all I thought about. It's all positive. So have we had has she had relapse? Absolutely. She's had a relapse or two. So we just stay in the bed that day. You know, I'm saying has she had pain in her leg once or twice? Absolutely. But I prepared the cruise. I prepared the trip to Hawaii, I prepared a trip to LA like, these are the things that I did. And and she's not gone blind yet. She's not in a wheelchair, you know, you know, can will tell you, Carl will tell you. She's like she's outruns us in terms of getting up early, staying up late, you know? So my thing is, yes, negative happens. We know that, you know, that's why we go to work. That's why we get insurance. I let my insurance take care of all the negative stuff. You know, I file a claim, I'm saying that. That's their job. That's not my job, I pay them. And when when something happens, I file a claim they take care of it. But in terms of even as we're speaking right now, you know, I went to Lowe's, my wife found of some, I guess, wood and she's doing a whole house over again. I know that brings her happiness. Sure No, and I know happiness is the thing that it will counter attack Ms. Because the one thing the only thing that they know for certain about MS is that is triggered by stress. So my thing is, let's try to get as much stress as we can out of her life. You know, and whatever happens, we'll fend for it when it comes. So that's just my philosophy. And if you say E T is just too positive, we'll go on YouTube and look at who's the number one motivational speaker in a world based on social media? You know, look, he went from being a high school dropout to a PhD, you know, so
Alex Ferrari 22:49
It must be right, you must be doing something right
Eric Thomas Ph.D 22:52
I'm too positive. But I look at the results
Alex Ferrari 22:55
You know, that's the best. That's always the best answer for anything is the results like you don't believe me? That's fine. But these are the results. You know, and and without question, man. Now a lot of a lot of tribe members of the indie film hustle tribe. They're writing their screenplays, and they're shooting their short films, and they're doing their things on a side hustle. What do you suggest they do to try to make it a full time thing man takes to try to construct or create a blueprint where they can be doing their dream in a responsible way, full time.
Eric Thomas Ph.D 23:29
This is what I tell skeptics, right? So for all your all your guys and your tribe, you're talking about who you know, want to do a movie, but they kind of pitter patter, and they got their full time job. I'm gonna give you the safest answer, guys. This not if it was easy, I just tell you to jump. Amen. Say you're not at so right. So so this is what I'm going to tell you. I'm going to tell you to find somebody else who jumped before you. All right. And if you are a skeptic find three or four people who jumped before you. So you got people like Tyler Perry. You know, people like Oprah Winfrey, who started their own network. You know, what, I want you to do a study for five people. And don't just study them. This is the problem. I have Alex with a lot of people. Um, why are you studying people if you're not going to eventually jump? You don't say like, what is it? Are you looking for a reason not to jump? Is that why you're studying them? Because if that's why you're studying them, don't study them because you're not gonna jump anyway. So my thing is having your mind that you're going to jump, but because you're not et and you are a little afraid. I want you to look at how they jump. So study about three or four people. Look at how they jumped. And then as you see how they jump jump, so look at okay, how many years did they work before they did it? You know, what were they doing as a side hustle? How many hours were they putting in? You know, like, how much editing and whatever How did they find stars? Because you look at Tyler Perry, it's like, Yo, how did he find these stars? Because to me, Tyler Perry actually has done it backwards. When you look at the stuff that he has on Oprah Winfrey's network, those are be actors. But he blew up using a actors who maybe just weren't getting any time. You know, they hadn't necessarily been on a camera in a while. But in terms of their skill set, no, they were once known as a actors. Mm hmm. You know, so I'm saying, yo, go study them. So if you're Eric Thomas, you're studying Zig Ziglar. You're studying Nightingale, you're studying Jim Rohn. You're studying Tony Robbins. Yeah, Napoleon Hill, like you're studying these dudes. And then you're watching what they're doing not to just watch what they're doing to mimic it at some point. Now, of course, you can put your own flavor to it. But all the guys I mentioned, I, you know, you watch what they do, and then you do it. So my thing would be to people who don't jump, make up in your mind that at some point, you're going to jump, that you're not going to be studying for the rest of your life, you're not going to be hoping and wishing and, you know, we were kids coming up, my cousin's the girls used to double dutch, you know, and so in Double Dutch, yes, there is a, a period of studying, you know, of swaying back and forth of being very intentional and deliberate, you know, before you jump into rope, but that didn't last for an hour, it didn't last for 30 minutes, you know, it lasts, it only lasted in enough time for you to comfortably feel that you could successfully get inside that rope and begin to jump. So I'm going to say to you stop watching the rope. And if you're not, if you're going to watch the ropes, you know, there's no profession and watching a rope. So just quit it. But if you're going to be a filmmaker, if you're going to be Lucas one day, you know, if you're going to be able to make an impact Spielberg, if you're going to make an impact. If you wait until you 6070 years old, it'll never happen. So to me, if you're in your 20s, you jump before you start getting too many responsibilities that stop you from jumping. If you're in your 30s You better hurry up and jump before you have kids. You know, I'm saying before you have a mortgage, like just jump, but if you're scared to jump, study those who've jumped before you and watch how they jump and you better jump like they jump or you will be one of those dudes that will be looking for the rest of your natural life saying I could have I would have I should have. And for me, I just think that's a sick place. I want to die. No, I did it. I made it happen.
Alex Ferrari 27:44
Absolutely, absolutely. And not be that bitter guy on the corner, or on the sidelines. You know, you know those guys? You know, those guys that just the bitter people who just like oh, you know, well, they did this or they did this? I could have done it. Well, you didn't. Straight up you should have but you didn't
Eric Thomas Ph.D 28:00
Not only did you you didn't, you didn't do it. And now you are telling other people they can't do it. Right. You know, and I definitely don't want to be that Oh, man.
Alex Ferrari 28:09
Absolutely, man. Now, can you also talk about the importance of challenging yourself and stepping out of your comfort zone? Because I feel so many people, you know, they have their little box that they feel comfortable and they just don't want to step out of it. What do you what do you say? We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Eric Thomas Ph.D 28:35
Yeah, so so to me that. That's what I say the Nobel Prize. Yeah, that's a pretty big box. I'm just gonna be honest with you. I don't even know if I could do that. Sure. You know, and here's the reality. It wouldn't even bother me if I never got it. Or what what would bother me is if I never pursued it. So So what happened with the Nobel Prize? The Nobel Prize? Was me watching other people jumped. And I like I like the way they jump. I've never look Spielberg Lucas King. I only know those names guys, because they're so big. Right? Like those those are big boys. You know, I'm saying I grew up watching Star Wars. I'm not really I'm not really a what do you call it scary movie do we know we know King though. You got to know King right? Spielberg was it was it a UFO?
Alex Ferrari 29:32
Yeah, close encounters a third time he also made et
Eric Thomas Ph.D 29:36
ET I knew that movie when I was a kid Spielberg you know, I'm saying Close Encounters of the Third guy. Remember that? You know, these are the big boys. You know and so but but watched his I never watched King do his thing and say I want to do that. But when I saw mata ki, I said I want to do that. When I saw Gandhi. I said I want to do that. When I saw Mother Teresa. I said I want to do that when I saw Nelson Mandela Gala. I said I want to do that. And I looked at them, and what was the commonality, the Nobel Prize? You know, and I asked myself, How did these people win a Nobel Prize? They disrupted something in the world, you know, they looked at something and say, This isn't right. You know, this isn't right. And we got to stand up. And I've been that kid since I was, you know, maybe five or six, who, when I saw somebody fight, I wanted to do something about it. I couldn't just drive past and didn't act like I didn't see it. I've always wanted to do something. So it was a Nobel Prize. When I said, I want to do it. Somebody came to me and said, Do you know what you have to do to win a Nobel Prize? I was like, not exactly. They say, here's a book, this is a book on Nobel Prize winners, the first thing you have to do is find a an area that you can disrupt something. And I was like, Oh, I know that I've been disrupted in schools since I was a kid. I got it. Like, I got it. It's a school who disrupt the school system, you know, and we'll make school fun again, you know, and we'll make the will connect the dots for kids on why they need to be here Monday through Friday, you know, so I would say that this Nobel Prize, and their goals, or their dreams that are bigger than them, what is going to do is it's going to give you a reason to wake up, when you look at all the stuff that's going on in this world, sometimes you don't want to get up, you know, or when you're going through your personal stuff. And you let me tell you some I've meet those kids Monday, Wednesday, Friday, when I'm not busy. And let me tell you some, if I'm not doing anything, I'm up Monday, Wednesday, Friday greeting these kids, I got to get up to greet them, even when I got a slight headache. Or when I had a bad night, the night before, or when the sales weren't what this actually gets me up. And then when I'm with these kids, it brings a smile to my face. So whatever I was going through, I can't go through it no more. Because I'm with these every Tuesday I'm at Michigan State doing my thing, giving them this message. And it's on Facebook Live. And I don't care if I got to attitude when I get there. If I had some bad news, It's over once I get there and speak. So I'm saying to you that that that the goal is going to give you life that the goal is going to give you purpose that the goal is going to drive you in a way that you never ever, ever, ever thought that you could be driven. So your life you're the blood, the DNA, like every every fiber in you is counting on you setting goals that you thought you couldn't do because those goals will be responsible for pushing you and driving you in a way that being comfortable could never drive you
Alex Ferrari 32:37
And, and also you're enjoying the journey towards the goal and that that's such such an important part of that is enjoying the journey because it sets a people always just a lot of people just like a miserable trying to get to their goal. And when they get to the goal, they have nowhere else to go. So you got to do agreed you got to enjoy that journey. Enjoy that grind.
Eric Thomas Ph.D 32:57
Yes. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. And I think what the what the what the the kind of goes you're talking about. It takes you from checkers to chess you know, chess is all you know, chess is not really about checkmate. You know, chess, chess is about your personal development, like your personal strategy and thinking 5 6 7 steps ahead, whereas checkers, man, it's just like bop, bop, bop, bop, bop, you know, there's like, it's like the the current move. Whereas in chess, like you're sitting there, and before you make a move. So I'm saying for those of you who don't have dreams and goals that are bigger than you, you plan checkers, you know, and so that's it. That's a small span of life, you start playing chess, you're starting to plan now for your baby, for your grandbaby for the next door neighbor for the city for the state for the world, like the stuff we're doing right now, man, let me tell you, some people will be listening to these podcasts forever, you know, people will be drawing from us forever. And it won't just benefit the people that we're close to. It's benefiting people like you are giving people hope in the film industry. And you're giving them strategies and tips that if they didn't have, they wouldn't get to their dream ever, maybe. And some of them wouldn't get there, this quake. So the stuff that we're doing is legacy stuff. I just don't think you could do that. If you're just saddled. If you're just average if you just comment. I think having big goals is what makes you legendary.
Alex Ferrari 34:26
Mm hmm. Amen my friend. Now can we talk a little bit about beastmode I love
Eric Thomas Ph.D 34:35
Are they ready for this?
Alex Ferrari 34:36
I don't know. I don't know if they're ready or not brother but based off this. This some organic plant it is no McDonald's. This is not in and out. In and out. This is some plant based stuff right here. The reason why is because you are a inspirational quote machine. I've quoted you many times on my podcast and beastmode and wanting to be the lion and all that stuff. Can we talk a little bit about beast mode and get a little bit of fire in these guises. But today?
Eric Thomas Ph.D 35:08
Yeah, man, Beast Mode man is about survival. You know, Beast Mode is understanding that at any moment, you can lose your life because of your ignorance. You know, that's what these motors about these motors, not about not settling not getting comfortable. These motors knowing that, you know, the economy could change tomorrow, and you need to be prepared for you know, a beast mode is like this constant idea of staying ready like, like, Yo, is me trying to eat and there are other people out here trying to eat, you know, and we were not in the Safari. You know, I think that's where a lot of people live as in Safari. As far as crew cute. The Safari is where it's like a man made jungle, right? You know what patrol, they have everything contained. It's not really real. The Serengeti, you can lose your life in the Serengeti, you wake up and you could be this thing. And I had a picture people were like, Yo, he was all on the lion thing. What's that? I'm like, I'm on high enough, I'm gonna hire you to watch the world got to a place where they were like, Lion mode beast mode. I said, No, no, don't make these mode alliances. Don't do that. That's not beast mode. That that was the example that I gave you in 2016 and 2015. The example of baisemeaux Now is the hyena that has the lion in his mouth. And the reason why I'm going with hyena now is that most of my tribal hyenas, they're not lions. They weren't birth as king of the jungle, you know, they didn't have this space carved out for them. Most of them are these little small, spotted ugly animals that came in without, you know, any pub. They didn't come in with any recognition. But they Alex, they didn't get the memo, that the lion was the king of the jungle, and that he couldn't be beat. They didn't they didn't get that memo, right? No. And, and I like what you said, your tribe, because hyenas run in tribes, like bigger than lions. And, and when you look at the lion, the lion doesn't always go out and hunt. Like, my man kind of gets up when things get out of control, the hyena, they all hunt every last one of them together, you know, and so sometimes you'll see a lion kill a prey, and then the hyena will come and say, Okay, that's good. Thank you for killing it. Move out the way that's ours now. And so some of us are hyenas, man, I didn't grow up with my father. My mother was 17. When she got pregnant with me, she got kicked out the house. My mom didn't go to college, you know, so I'm scrapping. But I'm out in the Serengeti, saying, What's mine is mine. I don't want Alec stuff. I'm not going after Alec stuff. I'm not pursuing your stuff. But there's some stuff out here for ET in the motivational RAM. I'm not going after Bob Proctor. I'm not going after as Les Brown. I'm not going after Tony Robbins, like we all in the same field. And I got to I got to go out here and get my butt. I'm not competing against other I'm competing against the best Eric Thomas. I'm going after my stuff I'm going after, you know, but what I'm doing is I'm going after it every day. I'm going at it intentionally and deliberately. I'm not waiting for it to come to me. I'm not waiting for an answer. I'm like, I'm not setting traps, and waiting for animals to get in that trap. No, I'm going after it. And so that's what this beast mode is about is what do you want? What do you need? What are you willing to go get? Stop, stop waiting for stuff. Stop being reactive. Stop, stop, stop, stop hoping and wishing and go after it. And I want to recommend to you guys a book that QB Q. And the reason why I want to recommend that is because I got to a point in my life where I realized, be small also met, taking full responsibility. I can't say Carl didn't do the presentation. And so I wasn't able to speak and then not my family can eat because Carl didn't show up for I'm not on that. I would love the presentation. I would love to have the presentation. But my family got to eat man. And I can't put my family's life in somebody else's hand. Now, I respect Carl's gifts, and I wouldn't be here without him. But at the same time, if they're ever no videos, and I got to hit these cities, and I got to hit these schools and hit these prisons, and I got to find a way to make myself viral without videos. And that's what I was doing before I met Carl. And that's probably how we ended up meeting. I was beast mode in my area. And so he took the beast mode to a whole nother level. But I didn't wait for social media to start doing what I'm doing right now. I started doing this in 1989 and social media caught up with me. I didn't wait before I didn't wait for YouTube and Instagram. I have been doing this for years before YouTube came out you know So that's what BS mode is about being intentional and deliberate about your life, making no excuses and doing everything you have to do to eat it. Make sure your family eat your friends eat, like whoever is important to you, making sure that you wake up every day and you go get it.
Alex Ferrari 40:17
Man, can you can you discuss if you can, the why, of why people do what they do. And as far as trying to go after goals, because a lot of times people set goals and they don't even know why they're setting them.Can you talk a little bit about that?
Eric Thomas Ph.D 40:30
Yeah, let me tell you this, guys. I'm gonna be honest with you. I don't think you should ever start a go. Without having that without making sure you got few. You don't say like she don't want I've never got in my car. I'm not a mechanic. No, but I've never gotten my car without looking at the gas meter like I'm looking at. That's the first thing I'm looking at. First thing when I get in that car, and I crank that sucker. I'm not looking at how much oil. I admit, the last time the car got the old guy changed. They did ask me. When's the last time you changed his oil? I'm like, bro, I'm not 100% Sure. You don't put the right sticker up there. Yeah, I messed up. I'm just gonna be honest with you. It's like a gas. I checked the gas every time I get in the car. And so what I would say to people it is there are many people who start ventures without looking at CFS, enough fuel to push that boy, you need fuel to push a Mercedes Benz, you need fuel to push a Lamborghini, you need fuel to push a Maserati, a Telsa. Whatever it is, you need fuel for that, you know, I'm saying it either electricity or get you need fuel. And so I tell people don't start something without fuel. Because at some point, life is going to happen. But if you got the right fuel, let me give you guys let me paint a vivid picture for you. I've said this. I've said this in many conferences that we have seen women who are five, five, frail women, you know, they like to run in the morning, they weigh about 98 pounds wet. And they've got these beautiful little running strollers with their babies and they're out doing their thing. And a dog comes out of nowhere. A dog comes out of nowhere and I always asked what do you think is gonna happen? seven month old baby in his stroller and mom is running his dog comes out no, we think is going to happen. They said what was not going to happen is the mom is not going to let this stroller going wrong. And lead a seven month baby there to the dog. What's gonna happen nine out of 10 and I love it because as ferocious as some dogs are because of how they were trained. Excuse sense fear. Even a dog understands like, Whoa, she's not playing. And we have we we have record of mothers getting dogs off day children or mothers lifting boulders or cars, mothers getting their kids out of dangerous situations going up against gangbangers, but you get that same mother. I'm sorry, that same woman who's not a mother, she's just running up the street are all in the same dog comes out. She's going wrong. What's the difference? Same situation? No, no, no, it's not the same situation. That first one she was fueled by something. And so most of us what we do wrong is we go after activities without being new. So before I start any major tasks, I asked myself, yo, he Why are you doing this? What's the real reason why you're doing this? Do you have enough fuel to do this eat? And when I think about my son, I was like, yep, we'll get my master's degree in my PhD. Why? Because my father is a dropout. And my grandfather dropped out. So it made it easy for me to drop out. Because when I dropped out, nobody could call me and say anything to me. Why? Because my father and my grandfather didn't finish. So there was there was no expectations. There was no real goal set for me. My my grandma couldn't call and say you finished school. Her husband did her son did. So she couldn't say anything to me. I said he, I need you to get a master's in a PhD. So your son at least finishes high school, at least finish college. And because I went to Michigan State University and walk across that stage twice. My son walked across that stage, same stage, when he was in high school, they used that stadium and then he walked across the Michigan State stage with his four year degree and four years, it took me 12 years. He did it in four years. Now his sister's a sophomore, and she's trying to finish in three years at Michigan State University. The fuel I needed when I didn't feel like going to school was if you quit, you're gonna make it easier for him to quit. If you keep going, you're gonna teach him what keep going looks like so you cannot stop. And I tell you when I got to a point where I wanted to stop the PhD. And I remember kids asking me when I would travel. Mr. Thomas, you get your et you get your PhD yet. And I was like nope, you get your PhD. Nope. And I remember saying to myself up if you stop, what are you going to tell these kids? When they ask you? Why did you quit? And then if you quit, and they're watching your videos, you know how easy it is for a kid in Chicago? his dad who's in prison, and his mom had him at 15. You know how easy it's gonna be for him to quit. You know how easy it's gonna be for him to give up. So he do not quit, you keep going for these kids. And so you must have fuel in your tank, you must have fuel in your engine, you must have fuel to keep yourself going. So don't ever start a vision without a why we can get to the higher later. I think if you got the right why you're gonna find a way to make it happen.
Alex Ferrari 45:29
Man, that's amazing advice, brother. Amazing advice. Now I got a few more questions that I asked all my guests. Um, first off, if you were going to talk to a filmmaker or screenwriter today, and they want to break into the business, what's the one piece of advice you'd give them?
Eric Thomas Ph.D 45:46
So if I'm talking to a screenwriter wanting to break into the business, I would tell him is we need you desperately need you desperately? Need, you're desperate. Let me tell you why we need you desperately. What if the filmmakers Martin Luther King days had not recorded the I Have a Dream speech? I don't care how I don't care how good the speech was. If you didn't record it, if you didn't put it on fail, we'd never have it. And think about the millions of people when we went to space, somebody recorded it. What if it hadn't been recorded? Where would we be if John F. Kennedy's great speech was not what your country can do for you, but what you could do for your country. And more importantly, if Ken Nelson hadn't recorded the guru story or project in school, the world may not necessarily know who Eric Thomas is, or my ministry may not be where it is that my life being he'll have your hearing me release, not released it. It began a relationship with my biological father, after I was 37 years old, because of that movie. So I think what a lot of filmmakers do wrong, is they see it as an art. It is not art. It can be classified as art was life changing. Jump is what I would tell them
Alex Ferrari 47:12
Jump do it now what a what a book had the biggest impact on your life or career?
Eric Thomas Ph.D 47:22
I'd say two books. First, the Pilgrims Progress. And that was the first book I read. Changed my life. It was actually a book in school growing up that we had to read rather than college. And then Dennis Kimbrough and it a spin off of Napoleon Hills, thinking grow rich. And what he decided to do the exact same book, pretty much the exact same framework, he just decided to use African American heroes. And that particular text that he did, but it was it was a spin off of Napoleon Hills thinking Grow Rich, so the exact same principles, and that was the book I think, profession that took my life to another level. And I think if I'm not mistaken, I haven't read it. Since the beginning. I think the guru story that I did came from that book. I'm not mistaken.
Alex Ferrari 48:17
And what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn in life?
Eric Thomas Ph.D 48:24
To unlearn what you've learned to unlearn what you've learned, because what you learned got you to where you are, but they won't take you to where you want to go. So unlearning so many of the things that I learned in Detroit, you know, the stuff I learned, and that meant that, what do you call it, automobile industry. You know, a lot of things I learned that that's not befitting of an entrepreneur. You know, there's nothing wrong with Detroit, nothing wrong with the automotive industry, it had his time. But we see the conditions of Detroit based on people not forecasting, and believing that one industry would last forever, you know, and so I was fortunate that I let go of that mindset. But there was a lot of there are a lot of people that didn't, there's an entire city that did, and they're dealing with the repercussions of it so unlearning many of the values that I held on to in my other life, I'm an entrepreneur now. And there are new things that I need to learn.
Alex Ferrari 49:26
Now, where can people find you at?
Eric Thomas Ph.D 49:30
They can find me if they want to be a part of that a tribe need some motivation need to be developed, you know, just in their own personal space. I tell people, a lot of times you have a great gift, and a great art, but you also need to develop as a human. A lot of times we spend a lot of time just developing our art and not developing our mindset, you know, and our character. And so breathe University is where they can go to be a part of that tribe and pick up some of those skills. But if it's Just motivation that you're looking for ETinspires.com is all access et
Alex Ferrari 50:06
And of course, YouTube. There's a few videos on there.
Eric Thomas Ph.D 50:09
Yeah. Yeah, yeah, it's a couple was one thanks to thanks to my guys who jumped there a little bit over 1000 videos up there. So I'm appreciative to them for that.
Alex Ferrari 50:20
And and I can't tell the tribe I can't I can't promote and and say that you got to go see it and watch Eric's work so much because honestly, it's like a cup. It's better than a cup of coffee in the morning, you watch five minutes of an ET video in the morning, right before you start working. You will be inspired and and and when I need inspiration. I go to ET man so
Eric Thomas Ph.D 50:44
And I appreciate that it means a lot, man. He appreciate that somebody of your caliber, you know who listened to me consistently that means a lot humble
Alex Ferrari 50:51
Eric, man, ET. Thank you, again, so much for taking the time, brother.
Eric Thomas Ph.D 50:56
And I appreciate you man.
Alex Ferrari 50:58
Eric's journey is been an inspiration to me on my path. And I know for millions and millions of other people as well. He has been that spark that has kept them going has given them the inspiration has given them the tools to keep moving forward no matter what life throws at you. And that you can find that inner strength that lion inside of you, that will keep you going and understand that that strength lives within all of us. You just have to uncover it. You have to connect with it. Connect to that power that is connected to the universe, and you will see the magic that will happen in your life. And if you want to go deeper into ET's universe, head over to the show notes at nextlevelsoul.com/002. And don't forget to subscribe and leave a positive review on whatever platform you are listening on. It really helps the show out a lot. And remember to trust the journey. It is there to teach you. I'll see you next time.
Links and Resources
- Eric Thomas – Website
- Eric Thomas – Youtube
- The Secret to Success
- Greatness Is Upon You: Laying the Foundation
- Average Skill Phenomenal Will
- Earthing.com: End Inflammation Today – Discover the Science-Based Healing Powers of Earthing/Grounding
- FREE Mindvalley Spiritual Masterclasses
- MUSE 2: The Brain Sensing Headband – Meditation Tracker Headset Device
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