BILL HARRIS: Hello, this is Bill Harris and I want to welcome you to the Masters of The Secret Series. Tonight’s guest is my good friend Lisa Nichols, one of the stars of the hit DVD movie The Secret and a recent guest on Oprah. Through her organization, Motivating the Teen Spirit, Lisa has impacted the lives of more than 60,000 teens and she has prevented over 1,750 teen suicides. She is quite frankly one of the most amazing human beings I know. Despite being labeled one of the worst writers by her English teacher, she has landed three major book publishing deals with the best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul Series and she is co-author of Chicken Soup for the African American Soul and Chicken Soup for the African American Woman’s Soul. She has appeared as an expert life coach on NBC’s hit show, Starting Over. She was one of the 27 leading teachers featured in the international hit DVD, The Secret and she keeps, very deservedly, winning awards for all the good she does in the world. She has received the 2006 Rising Star Award, 2003 Trail Blazers Entrepreneur Award, the Legoland Heart of Learning Award, the Emotional Literacy Award, and November 20th is Motivating the Teen Spirit Day as proclaimed by the mayor of Henderson, Nevada. In 2006, in June, Lisa was honored as the keynote speaker in Johannesburg, South Africa by the Umsobomvu Youth Fund for her commitment to youth, entrepreneurship and empowering the human spirit and she is also my buddy. Aren’t you sweetie?
LISA NICHOLS: Hi there. It is so exciting to be with you Bill.
BILL HARRIS: Yes. We are going to have some fun today.
LISA NICHOLS: I am looking forward to it, too.
BILL HARRIS: So, I know that you were just on Oprah, so, tell us a little bit about what it was like to be on Oprah.
LISA NICHOLS: Absolutely amazing! From the moment we stepped into the Harpo Inc. Studios, we were greeted with the warmth that you see that comes from Oprah Winfrey from stage and from television, from security guards to the assistant producers. Everyone was so excited to have us there. There was an energy of anticipation. You could tell that they all have seen The Secret and when we walked into the studio, it was really amazing because maybe forty percent of the audience had seen The Secret and the other sixty percent was just excited about the conversation. And then when Ms. Winfrey came out, it was really a moment to remember. She said, “I have been trying and attempting to teach this lesson for years and ﬁnally there is something, an amazing tool to help and it was like the cavalry had come in to help her conﬁrm and afﬁrm this powerful conversion.” She was just grateful. She had a grateful energy. She was just like, “Tell us more. Tell us more.” We would talk through the commercials and then we did an after show, because the energy, just the buzz, was so high. People were jumping up and down to speak and to share how The Secret had changed their lives. It was just really, really amazing. She was very humble, very grateful. You could tell that she was being a teacher in her role and a student at the same time, asking us to repeat certain phrases, repeat certain lessons and, you know, getting her own personal ‘ahas’ while the audience was getting theirs. It was really a wonderful, life-changing, moving experience and I am grateful to have been there.
BILL HARRIS: And of course, she is being pretty humble. She knows how this law works, obviously, being one of the richest people in the United States already. She has to know how all of this works. So, but that is just like her to be humble about the whole thing.
LISA NICHOLS: Yes, yes. She immediately jumped out front with the statement, “What you think about most grows. What you give energy to, it expands.” So she knew immediately. I mean, that is a very simple and powerful line, “What you give energy to, expands.” And she kept saying that throughout the entire show, and yet, you are right, she was very humble. We would say a different phrase or just different ways to say it, and when she found a new way to say the same thing, she would go, “Oh that is great! Repeat that again! Say that again! Oh, I gotta remember that! I will have to write that down later!” She was just really great and what she did was she kept the energy around everyone being able to be taught simultaneously, because, of course, we are thinking as Oprah Winfrey is allowing herself to be a student, then anyone and everyone in the room should allow themselves to remain a student as well, which I am really excited about because sometimes we block our own blessings because we are not listening with our listening ears. We are not hearing with our open heart and she deﬁnitely had her listening ears on and her open heart.
BILL HARRIS: And you know, a lot of times one way of saying a certain principle people get it, but some people do not get it and then when you say it in another way, then suddenly the ‘aha’ happens for them. So it is good to say these things in a lot of different ways. So, I know you work a lot with kids, with teens. What is the main thing-and you know, this does not necessarily have to be about The Secret necessarily-but what is the main thing you are trying to get across to these kids?
LISA NICHOLS: Well, I appreciate the question Bill and I think that everything I do and touch has to do with the secret in some way or another because it is the law of attraction and for teens, their mind, their thoughts, their requests from the universe are as powerful as adults are. And so, one of the things that I teach to them is that you are deﬁning and designing your life right at this moment. You are designing the quality of your life at this moment. They are in a period of time when they feel like they have zero control. Everyone is telling them what to do. If it is not the Principal, it is the parents. If it is not the parents, it is the neighbors. Everyone is telling them what to do, so they feel like they are in the least amount of control and so one of the primary things that we teach inside our seminars and workshops with teens, is to show them how much in the driver’s seat they are. Not going against any of the adult ﬁgures in their lives’ rules, but how much of their joy, peace, bliss and happiness really have to do with what they are looking forward to, or what they are expecting or what they are claiming. One of the examples I use with my teens is, if you get up in the morning and you say, “God my mom is always nagging me! She is always nagging me! She is always nagging me!” And you see your mom and the ﬁrst thing she says is, “Honey, come eat your breakfast.” You are going to think, “Oh my god! She is nagging me!” versus, “My mom loves me enough to make me breakfast, to give me nourishment, so when I walk out that door, I am operating on a full stomach.”
BILL HARRIS: You know, you are making a really good point and I think it is one of the most fundamental points, because with all of my students, one of the key things is getting people to realize that they are creating their life, that they actually have a lot of power, and the way you said it, it just kind of reminded me that lots of people think that power comes from outside of them. So, a teenager has all kinds of people who really do have external power over a lot of things in their life, and their attention tends to go to those examples and they do not realize, and very few people anywhere are teaching them, that there is a tremendous power inside of them that they need to get aware of and learn how to use and that is the power of how they focus their mind. And so, I teach mostly adults, but a lot of those adults are no different than these teens in the sense that they do not realize that they have this power inside. And one of the reasons they do not realize it, is because they are spending lots and lots of energy focusing on what they do not want, like the teenager saying, “Mom always nags me!” That is something that the child does not want and by focusing on that, they notice things that they could interpret that way. They attract more of that into their life and these adults are the same way. They are focusing on all of the things they do not want, and then they are creating those things and they do not realize that that is a power they have and they are exercising it. They are just exercising it about the things they do not want instead of about the things they do want.
LISA NICHOLS: Absolutely.
BILL HARRIS: It is actually, you know, you can ﬂip that switch to what you want fairly easily. There may be a habit to overcome, but you can ﬂip that switch and then all of a sudden, all of the stuff you want starts appearing in your life.
LISA NICHOLS: Absolutely, and it is the same formula for teens. The conversation is packaged a little more basic, which is really good for them. You know, we give it to them in digestible, palatable, bite-sizes. We give it to them in a language around the things they want. If you walk into class and say, “I am going to fail this test. Oh my god, I am going to fail this test! I am going to fail this test.” And then you end up getting a D. You are actually surprised because what you thought would happen did not exactly happen; you do not know how you got a D. You are totally thrown by the D. What would have happened if you had said, “I am going to get an A. I am going to get an A.” And so, we really teach them from a very practical state and a very practical place on things that they can do right then. Like, what can I do right now? We have this lesson called negative self-talk, or self-talk I should say and in the lesson called self-talk, we portray as if our head is a boom box or a big radio and it has two CD players in that boom box and one CD is ﬁlled with our negative self-talk and the other CD is a space for powerful self-talk, but unfortunately the negative self-talk CD is full. It is fully loaded, 21 tracks and the powerful self-talk CD has like, one track on it and that little one track is something nice someone said to you 20 years ago that you are still trying to decide if you want to believe or not, but you are holding on to it.
BILL HARRIS: And the volume is low!
LISA NICHOLS: And the volume is low! And so, we really take them to a process, Bill, where they hear and we have them play everything, all that junk, that is on that negative self-talk CD and then we go a step further. We have them look at what is created in their lives. Now with that exercise, normally comes a lot of tears, but a lot of ‘ahas’. They begin to realize in that moment, some for the very ﬁrst time, many for the very ﬁrst time, Bill, that they have been the artists that have created the masterpiece or the messter-piece, you know, all of this mess in their life that they have been the person painting this painting called Yuck. And so, they then see, “Oh my god!” So then we support them to create a powerful self-talk, to lay new tracks on that second CD. What can you replace all of that negative energy with? What are the words that eliminate that? And it is not ‘don’t’ and ‘not’, you cannot say those things. You cannot go there, but what can you put on there? So we actually, for the ﬁrst time in many of their lives, we help them lay new tracks on a new CD so that they can begin to access a new resource in their heads with their boom box, with their double CD player.
BILL HARRIS: Well, and I have seen you do this in front of kids and it is amazing and then the kids go home and start teaching this to their parents too, who probably also could use it. You know, one of the things that I run up against when I am teaching this to my students, is that when they start saying some of these positive things, they tell me, “Well, gee, when I said that, I did feel better and things did start to work out better in my life, but I felt like I was lying to myself.” So, what I tell them is that instead of saying something as if it is true when there is a part that does not really think it is true, yet, I tell them to ask questions to themselves, to ask, “How can I?” questions. So, instead of saying, “I have lots of friends and people like me,” which would be a typical afﬁrmation, I might have them say, “How can I get lots of friends and have lots of people like me?” And I have them just go around asking themselves that question and the more you ask that question, the more ideas start coming to you about how you could actually make that happen and it is a great little question that gets people past worrying about saying something to themselves that they do not think is true yet, and it also causes your mind to just get ﬂooded with ideas.
LISA NICHOLS: Right and I think that is a wonderful idea and tool and in addition to something like that, one of the things that I work with my teens, and my adults, by the way, every single lesson that I do with my teens, I do with adults, because we are, you know, adults inside of a 15-, 17-, 18-, 21-year-old conversations in moments in our lives where something happened. So, when I am working with adults and teens, one of the things, and I agree so much with what you just said Bill, but also getting them to be okay with where they are now. You know, one of the things that we learn in The Secret is that gratitude attracts more gratefulness. It attracts more things to be grateful for and really turning up the gratitude volume, really looking at the, you know, these days in my life I have book publishers, major book publishers coming after me and people want to do documentaries and international book tours and there is so much that I could easily feel overwhelmed, and I have been working on, you know, staying inside of peace and bliss and one of the things that I say is, “You know God, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to have to manage this abundance. Thank you!” I say that normally when I feel like my head is about to spin around and I am gurgling under phone calls, but I begin to immediately go to the, “Thank you for the opportunity for me to have to manage the abundance.” Find the gratitude in anything. Find the gratitude in everything, because gratitude attracts more things to be grateful for and the universe cannot and will not open up and give you anything else or better until you become grateful for what you ﬁrst have and so, that is a really important piece as we are working toward what we want. You know, everyone is always reaching out in front of them as if success, joy and bliss are right around the corner, eluding them by one half a step. Well, slow down for a moment and look at what you have, celebrate that, love that, embrace that, honor that and then watch everything, watch the ﬂood gates open.
BILL HARRIS: Yeah, and you know, now that you have all this stuff coming at you, all of these opportunities, it is in a sense a problem and then it is a challenge, but it is a luxury problem.
LISA NICHOLS: It is a quality problem.
BILL HARRIS: You know, what I like to call a luxury problem and I am sure anybody listening to this would rather be managing abundance than managing some sort of…
LISA NICHOLS: Lack and scarcity.
BILL HARRIS: Yeah, lack and scarcity. You know, this question I mentioned a minute ago, this “How can I?” question, it brings up another thing that I think is really important about The Secret and the law of attraction, that a lot of people, I think, miss and I know you and I have talked about this before. When you say, “How can I?” and then you ﬁnish that sentence with whatever it is you want, one of the implications of that, is that you are going to be taking some sort of action to get whatever it is you want. And one of the things I noticed about The Secret is that I know, as you do, almost everybody that is in that program and every one of us that were on The Secret take massive action, all of the time, and yet it does not get mentioned that much in that program, unfortunately. And the reason I think that is a problem, is that there are some people out there who do, what I call, ‘believing in magic’ who think that all they have to do is think and put it out to the universe and envision it, and somehow it is going to happen without them taking action. So, how do you see that Lisa?
LISA NICHOLS: You know, I appreciate you saying that. James Ray said something really funny on the Oprah show. He said that, “You know, we tend to think that there is going to be some magic happening and you are sitting on your couch and you are just visualizing and saying, ‘Okay, this is what I want, universe. This is what I want, universe.’ but you are not taking any action. They are going to come and take your furniture that you are sitting on and you are going to be visualizing from the curb.” So, I agree to what you are saying so much and when you want movement in your life and you want a shift in your life, many people spend a lot of time thinking about it and then they spend a lot of time talking about it. So, they actually think they are in action about it, when they are actually not. They are just talking about it and just thinking about it and that is very different than being in action. You know, I heard something really great one time and it is a quote from someone, I do not know the name, but I love the statement. It says, “The antidote for despair is to be in action.”
LISA NICHOLS: The antidote for despair is to be in action and I also believe that the formula for success is to be in action. That action is the main seasoning in your life. Everything else is a preparation, but the baking in the oven, the getting it done, the getting it right, that is all done in action and so many times, we spend so much time in preparation, in thought or in conversation, that we never get to action. And people say, “Why isn’t it happening?” You haven’t done anything! You just talked about it or thought about it, pondered about it or planned it. You have not been in movement about it and so, I am glad you brought that point up, Bill. It is really important for us to make a distinction between analyzing, assessing, discussing and action.
BILL HARRIS: Well, you know, I get at least one letter every day from someone who says, “I have been visualizing this and saying afﬁrmations and putting it out to the universe now for weeks, and weeks, and weeks.” And then they say, “How long does it take?”
LISA NICHOLS: For it to come and land on my shoulders.
LISA NICHOLS: Of course. Yeah.
BILL HARRIS: And I say, “Unless you take action, it is going to take forever.” And what I have realized, after dealing with a lot of people who think this way, is that people who feel powerless, which we were talking about earlier, that one of the ﬁrst things you have to realize is that everybody has this power to focus your mind and therefore, attract certain things into your life, but if you feel powerless, magic is really attractive. The idea that maybe there is some magic way that you could get it, that seems really attractive and so, people fall for this idea that all they have to do is envision it and it will happen for them. So then the next thing that occurs to me is that people say, “Well, I don’t know what to do. If I was going to take action, I wouldn’t know what to do.” That is one of the reasons why you ask that question, “How can I?” because when you do that, it generates ideas. It causes you to notice resources around you that you were not seeing before. It causes you to draw on internal resources that you did not really know you had-courage, for instance, or persistence or whatever it happens to be. And it also motivates you to take action and then the big secret is, none of the people in The Secret, or anybody else that is successful, really knows how they are going to do whatever they are going to do when they start.
LISA NICHOLS: Oh, absolutely not! I think that what you said is key and one of the key things that people who do not ever move, you know, they just kind of sit and think about and wait for something to happen. One, you have to realize that there is no sprinkle fairy dust and there is no magic wand. You have to be into action, but really what is important is that, I heard this once it was so great, you have to give yourself permission to fail so you can give yourself permission to succeed. You have to know that at the end of a failure is just another beginning. If something happens and it does not go right, so what? Start over. Do it again. Most people do not move because they want to get it right the ﬁrst time. They are so afraid of getting it wrong. Again, fear-based, scarcity-based, deprivation-based motivation does not get them anywhere. They are so afraid of failing that they do not want to move or they are afraid of succeeding. I tell people that there is power in the truth. Be honest about why you are not moving. Be honest about why, because then you can handle that. I think that the most damaging thing that people can do to themselves is feed themselves some type of fabricated story that makes them feel better and they think that everyone around them is buying it. Well, I tell them, I am not pulling my nickel out. I am not going to buy it. Get in action and if did not work, then get in action with a new plan, but be in action.
BILL HARRIS: Well, one of the things that I like to say is there is no failure there is only feedback. So, you know, you take action and something happens. It is either what you wanted or something else. And whatever it is, there is information there that allows you then to reﬁne the next action, and of course, there is a shortcut. Even if you did not know anything, you could start off taking the best action that you could think of, even if it was pathetic, and you would learn something from it and then you could take another action based on what you learned. And, even if that did not work, it would give you more information and gradually you would ﬁgure out how to get to where you wanted to go, but if you ﬁnd someone else that has already been there, someone else that has already succeeded at what you want to do or something that is like what you want to do, you could go to them and ﬁnd out how they think and act and you could borrow that, at least to start. That is a big shortcut. I always tell all of my students, “For any outcome you want, there is a certain way of thinking and acting that will get it for you.”
BILL HARRIS: And you have to ﬁnd that way of thinking and acting and then the more difﬁcult part, really, is you have to be willing to adopt it and that is where a lot of people have trouble, but are not willing to change their way of thinking and acting.
BILL HARRIS: They want to get new results, but with the old way of thinking and acting.
LISA NICHOLS: Well, if I could just give you a personal example of a lesson learned for me, and you talk about ‘it is not a failure; it is feedback’. I really love that because, you know, I think I have spent over the years as an entrepreneur probably about $200,000 in getting great feedback on how I hire people and the guidelines that I have hired people around and so, I appreciate replacing the word failure with feedback because I have gotten a lot of feedback and I saw my hiring patterns. That I hire people that love Lisa and were fans of my work, but they were not necessarily competent in the area that I need them to be competent in. So, I have gotten great feedback. Now I hire my staff a lot slower, number one. I take my time and I really hire based on the facts not on the emotion. And then another thing you just said, but I really appreciate, is ﬁnd someone that is doing what you do and, you know and I know and now your listeners will know, that I have come to you for your internet and marketing savvy. I, now being an entrepreneur for many years, I ﬁnd the people that you consider to be the master and then ﬁnd the ones that you connect with in that area, that you have a synergy with. That has been huge for me in this area and you know I think, our friendship is really great because we ﬁll each other up with different things that we need and for you with me, I am the people woman. I love people. Look into my eyes and hug me. Let’s talk. This whole internet thing, I have not been moved by it. I was not passionate about it and then as a business woman, I looked at the numbers. I looked at business growth. I looked at the revenue opportunities and I said, “Okay. I need to put on my student’s hat.” And I called you and I said, “May I have time with you?” And then when we sat down I said, “Can I become your student?” You so graciously said yes and so, I totally understand from what you just said, I have been on both parts of that pendulum and I appreciate both parts because the lessons are valuable. Now I do not want to spend $200,000 again trying to get a lesson. You know, I would rather fast-track it and go to someone that I trust to get the lessons. So, I totally agree with what you just said.
BILL HARRIS: Well, you know, you went to school in the school of life and you paid, however much you paid, in tuition.
BILL HARRIS: And you got, you know, you got the lessons in return for it. The key is to try to pay the smallest amount of tuition and really get the lesson. When I was in my 20s, some relative died and left me $7,500, which was a lot of money to me then. Really a lot of money to me. And it was the greatest amount of money I had ever had at one time. So, I invested it in the stock market and I eventually lost all of it and I was really, really miserable about the fact that I had lost this largest amount of money I had ever had my hands on. But now, I am managing huge amounts of money, because I make a lot of money, and what I learned by losing that $7,500, now I know how worth it it was, because if I had made the same mistake now, I would lose millions of dollars.
BILL HARRIS: So, there are two lessons there. One was, that I paid this tuition and it was really worth it and second, there is a hidden beneﬁt in things that happen that seem bad, but you cannot always see when they happen. I thought it was a terrible disaster then, but now I am really glad that it happened because otherwise, it would have happened later with a larger amount of money.
LISA NICHOLS: And if I can take that to a more personal level for me, I had to learn the lesson and I guess the power in the lesson in giving ourselves permission to stand bigger, taller and speak more boldly and loudly as a result of the lesson. I learned lessons on very personal notes as well as on business relationships. Like, I completely understand how to be in a relay, a relay relationship with someone and what to request based on my feedback, I love the way you call it feedback, not my failures, in my past relationships, where I did not request. I did not require. I did not ask for what I needed, for what I wanted. I was not the example of how to love me. Now, I am the example of how Lisa is to be treated. Now, men, women and every relay that I am in, I feel the honor. I feel the love. I feel that because I am the ﬁrst example of that. So, I know we were talking business and learning from our lessons, but that has been really huge for me personally as well and then, I had to learn personally how to give myself permission to make a lot of money. How to give myself permission to live in a new community. How to give myself permission to be an international speaker. On a personal level, I had to allow myself to break through any place that any one in my family had ever gone before. That was really huge for me as well and giving myself permission to not know what is on the other side.
BILL HARRIS: You know, that reminds me that, several times in my career I have run into someone, whoever it happened to be at the time, who caused me to set my sights much higher. One time, someone who was mentoring me said to me, “Your business is 10 times as big as it was at one point right?” And I said, “Well, yeah, I can think when it was 10 times smaller than it was.” And he goes, “So you already know how to make your business 10 times bigger. What if it was 10 times bigger than it is now?” Well, I was not thinking that big at the time.
LISA NICHOLS: What a great question!
BILL HARRIS: And so, I have had this happen three or four times in my life where somebody, I mean I won’t go into all of the stories, but where somebody came along and really increased the vision of who I could be and what I could accomplish. So, you know, you are going through some of that now.
LISA NICHOLS: I just gotta tell you this, Bill. You do that for me!
BILL HARRIS: Well, that is great! That makes me all tingly because I have had people do that for me and that is what you want to do. You know, when somebody does something and makes a huge difference in your life, you want to pass it on to other people and that is the kind of person you are and I see you passing on what you know all of the time because I see you in front of kids and adults too. So, anyway, you know, I think that that is another key and that is part of the gratitude thing too, is to pass things on to other people.
LISA NICHOLS: And I think, I absolutely agree with you, and I think that when you look at it, “What do I do ﬁrst? What do I do? What are my steps? What are my practical steps?” I do believe that it is to act. To make a bold, what I would call, outrageous request, but something
the hardest thing to do is to express ourselves because we
are trying to combine two things, logical communication with all of this emotion and often times it is like an eight ounce glass where 50/50 is really good, 50 percent logic and 50 percent emotion, but normally inside our relationships, especially with our children and with our spouses, there is like seven ounces of emotion and one ounce of logic.
that is realistic for you. For me to say, “You know, I said 15 years ago, I want to change, touch and transform teen lives. I want to teach teens how to fall madly in love with themselves and how to make integrity-based decisions. I want to transform a million teen lives.” That was huge for me! That was crazy! A big dream! I am living in South Central Los Angeles. I lived between the Harlem Crip ‘30s and the Rolling ‘60s. I was considered academically challenged in school. Did not have two pennies to rub together that I could ﬁnd and I had this big dream and I went forward as if it were so, as if it could happen. I did not know that it could not. I did not tell myself that it could not. I did not quite know how because I knew how to speak to teens, but I did not know how to do business necessarily. And so, I would say that when you are looking at what is the ﬁrst step, it is what do you want? What do you want? Design what it looks like. I think many people live as if their future equals their past or their past equals their future, even though, in our life, Bill’s autobiography, Lisa’s autobiography, our ﬁrst 25 chapters up until this very day, right here, that we are speaking on this phone. Up until this very day, every single chapter is already in print. It is already there written. We cannot change it. So many people spend their life doing two things. One, trying to change the print that is already on the paper, trying to change the past. Why did that happen? Why couldn’t I? Why? Why? Why? That is like the most universal question people ask is, “Why? Why? Why?” Well, everything happens for a reason and you do not have to know the reason right now, but it has all made you who you are today and your job is to be okay with that person. The second thing they do is they cut and paste old stories into the next chapter. If you are cutting and pasting chapter 10 into chapter 29 and all of a sudden you have this repeated cycle of relationships. This repeated cycle of failed employment. This repeated cycle of dreary days because I believe that people have it held onto and we need to grab ahold of the fact that, “I have a pen in my hand to write my next chapter and I could write it any way I want to irregardless of my last 10 chapters.” I think when we get that, when we get that we have that power of desire, I think that is the most exciting part of my workshop when I see the participants, adults or teens, but really when my teens do it I get really excited, when I see that look in their eyes like, “Wow! I am the author of my story!”
BILL HARRIS: Well, and, you know, I know a lot of your story, your past story, and you know, people see someone like you who is now appearing on Oprah and has been on other T.V. shows and is being offered big book deals and all kinds of other things and they think, “Well, there must be something about her that is different than what about me.” And, I get this all the time too. People say, “Well yeah, that is nice that you feel like you can create anything you want, but I have all of these handicaps.” And I have to tell them, as you could too, I say, “Well. Believe me. I did not pop out of the womb this way. I was miserable at one point. I was lost. I did not know what to do.” And I know a lot of what you have been through and, you know, where you are
what you have been through in the past has nothing to do, at all, with where you can go, other than, there are a lot of lessons and things in the past that actually, if you change your thinking, help you to go where you want to go.
LISA NICHOLS: Bill, there is nothing, and I mean nothing, that anyone could tell me that could make me believe that they were any darker than I was at one time. And I mean that, because at age 17 when my best friends were contemplating which college to go to, UCLA or USC, I was contemplating how to commit suicide without getting blood on my mother’s carpet, because I knew she could not afford to buy another house. That is what I was thinking. And I believe that being suicidal is the darkest place anyone could ever go to. So, anything between death and where you are now is more than what I had. I did not want to live and I did not necessarily wanna die, I just wanted to get out of the pain. So, and, I think, that is something really important that people have to know, that people just want to relieve themselves from pain. So, I know what it feels like to think more about what does it mean to leave this earth than what am I gonna do while I am here. I do not think there is anything below that because when you are ready to give up like that, you are just ready to give up completely and so, I know the walk and not one step along the way did anyone else have the power to give me permission to take the next step. I tell people, “The life that I live now. The ginormous life that I live now and I am really blessed to live a ginormous life now. I acquired this life by constantly taking one more step, by playing a little bigger today than I played yesterday, by listening to great friends like you saying, ‘What would have happen if I make it 10 times bigger?’” And I love that statement; Can you make it 10 times bigger? Because I look at my business now and I think, “My business is small compared to people like yours and Oprah’s and that, but then, my god! It’s huge compared to where it was 10 years ago. It is 10 times bigger!” You know, and it was done one step at a time that I was that same girl considered academically challenged in school. I was that same girl who struggled with not loving herself. That I believed that no one that looked like me with mocha skin, full lips, round hips and an afro, no one that looked like me could do international work, could do global work. No one that came from my background would have the permission to touch teen lives. I gave myself all of the stories. Why would someone? Why would someone like me be able to do it? And the real question was, “Why not? Why am I not the perfect person?” Why are you not the perfect person for the calling that has been placed on your life? Why are you not the perfect person to do that? To bring relief to the world in that way. Why are you not the perfect person?” God used imperfect people to touch imperfect people. A friend of mine said that, as I was crying the other morning, I was crying on my way to the Oprah Winfrey, before I got on the plane to go to Chicago, I am crying gratitude tears. I mean, just profusely! I mean, ugly tears. I am just crying, and crying and crying going, “God! Thank you so much for using me in spite of all of the times that I have gotten in your way, you still chose to use me.” And a friend of mine was praying for me and he said, “That is because God uses imperfect people to touch imperfect people and that if we give ourselves permission to be inside the lesson, always, and be inside growth, always, then we always get to move forward as long as we keep walking and moving.” So, I just look today at my son and my son, Gillani, has gone international before he turned 10 and I am grateful for the opportunity that I said yes and I invite you, and Bill you said, and I invite each person listening, to say yes! Say yes even if your knees are knocking. Say yes and play full out because at the end of your journey, you do not want to say, “My god, I lived my life on the sidelines.”
BILL HARRIS: Absolutely.
LISA NICHOLS: I want to get in the game. Even if I bump my knee and bruise my elbow. If I break my leg, I want to break my leg in the game, not stepping on a stair on the sidelines.
BILL HARRIS: You bet. Absolutely. So, we talked about two main steps in this thing. The ﬁrst one is the idea of focusing your mind on where you want to go and saying things like ‘how can I’ do whatever it is you want to do, which is kind of what The Secret focuses on. This whole idea of putting your attention on what you want helps to make it happen. And then we talked about that second part about actually taking action and that you might not know what action to take at ﬁrst, so you either model someone or you just take the best action you can think of and keep learning from it. I have found that there is one other part of this that I think is really important that also gets left out. And that is, that the action you take, what you do, has to be of value to someone else because, I mean, this is really the essence of what people call the law of attraction. If you want to get something, you know, I mean, people are very often, when they think of the law of attraction, they are thinking about getting some sort of prosperity. There are other things, too, like getting love and that sort of thing, but let’s take prosperity for now. If you want money to come to you, you are going to have to give something of value for it because if you think about it, you do not ever, unless it is to your son or somebody you really love just for that reason, you do not give money to anybody else unless you are trading it for something you want more than the money-something that is of value to you. So, a lot of people get stalled because they do not realize that they have to be of value to the world in some way in order to have something come back to them and some people do not have a lot at ﬁrst that is of value. So, there they are selling their labor for 12 dollars an hour or something, somewhere and then they feel stuck, but you know, you can go out and ﬁgure out a way to be of greater value to people. And I know that is what you did. You probably did not feel like you were of tremendous value at ﬁrst, but you have constantly done things to learn how to be of greater value to other people and that the compensation is really starting to ﬂow to you now. So, anyway, I am just curious to know your take on that whole rant.
LISA NICHOLS: Well, I absolutely agree again, not surprised you and I are just so connected synergistically in our thought pattern. I believe that, you know, when I ﬁrst started my career, no not my career, actually my adventure as an entrepreneur and CEO of Motivating the Teen Spirit, it was to transform and change teen lives. I had no idea what the ﬁnancial value of that would be, but I knew what the human value of that would be, that if I could teach a teen to avoid the pot holes that I went through or to step through them or to climb out of the valley that I was in at that time. If I could teach one teen and my whole intent was I want to save teen lives one teen at a time. I want to empower teen lives one teen at a time and my intentions in it, when I went in it, was truly to contribute to this word, to contribute to this planet and as I became more savvy at it, and of course, I gotta tell ya, I did a lot of them free, I said I was gonna give 18 free workshops. Well, on my 42nd free workshop Bill, I thought, “Hmm, maybe this plan needs to be revised.”
BILL HARRIS: Lost count somewhere!
LISA NICHOLS: Right. All of a sudden, people began to see. I will never forget the ﬁrst time I was paid $300 to teach a workshop. I did not know what to say. I thought I was supposed to say something different because I was being paid and in fact, they just saw value. Now, my company does hundreds of thousands of dollars in workshops a year, but I am doing the same thing with the same intention. Now of course, I want to create revenue for my company, but here is the deal, I want to create as much wealth in my life, so I could do as much good in this world. It is still the same thing. I have not changed, you know, now I am excited that I drive around on my busy day in a better car than I used to, yeah, that was important as well and I do not apologize for that, but the intention of what I want to do and what I want to create still is the same. So, I so agree that you have to give value in service because if your hand is open to give, then your hand is also open to receive and those of who walk around with a tight hand and say, “I gotta hold onto everything I get.” You won’t lose anything, but you also won’t create any space to gain any more than what you currently have and you will constantly be inside this cycle of ‘I need more and I want more’, but you won’t get more because your hands are too tight. And so, releasing and giving and serving and showing up to create a higher value for other people and that is not saying donate your life away and give your life away. I am not saying that, but I am saying create a value in who you are, your intellectual properties, your time, your contribution, what you do and it will begin to come back to you because life is a cycle. Everything is on a big wheel, you know, you give good, you need to know it is coming back to you. Give something else and you need to know it is coming back to you. You know, so, you are right. I was in a place for a long time where I could not donate any money. I could not give away. I could not give any ﬁnances. I mean, my son and I, we were eating cabbage, carrots and onion as what we had in our refrigerator at one time and all I could make was stir fry. And so, I did not have money to give away, but I did have a skill. I had been gifted with the skill of facilitation and teaching people how to turn breakdowns into breakthroughs. So, I kept giving that away and kept giving that away. Now, my challenge is managing the abundance ﬁscally as well. So, you are absolutely right.
BILL HARRIS: You know, some people, while you were talking I thought of this, some people think, somehow, that there is something wrong with making money or that, you know, it is not spiritual to make money or that if you are making money, you must be taking advantage of someone. And I think it is important that we clarify that because I see, as you know, I make a lot of money, and I see the amount of money I make as being a measure of how many people I am helping and there may be a few people in the world that manage to ﬁgure out how to make money by screwing other people or taking advantage of them in some way, but people are not stupid and they won’t line up, over and over in most cases, to have somebody take advantage of them. So, really, that is a misconception. The only way you can really accumulate a lot of money in this world is by serving a lot of people and being of value. So, if that is the case, everybody should feel great about making money because, I mean, even if you are, I don’t know, somebody that is working in, I don’t know, they are selling plumbing equipment or something. They may think, “Well, I am not doing the same kind of things that Lisa Nichols is doing.” But you know, people need plumbing equipment and without it they would be fairly miserable. So, all of those kinds of things, even things we think of as being really mundane are helping and serving other people and if you do a lot of it and do it well, you will make a lot of money and you will deserve to make the money. So, I think it is really important that people not, you know, they just have to get rid of this idea that there is something negative about making money.
LISA NICHOLS: If I could add that I agree with you and I struggled with that very same thing for years. I struggled with it and I struggled with it for a couple of reasons. Number one, I had never had wealth around me. I did not have it in my community and yet I knew, very early on, that I did not want to wear poverty. Poverty did not ﬁt me well. It did not work for me. I did not like it and I did not even know what we did not have because all of my needs were met as a child. My family, they met my needs, but I also knew what lack felt like. I knew about not having enough. I grew up in a home where my father said, “We couldn’t afford that. We couldn’t afford that.” Five years after I graduated from high school, my father looked up one day and he said, “Lisa, where is your class ring?” And I said, “Oh I didn’t get it.” He said, “Why?” I said, “Because we couldn’t afford it.” He said, “Where is your letterman’s jacket?” I was an eight time letterman athlete. He said, “Where is your letterman’s jacket?” and I said, “Well, I didn’t get it.” He goes, “Why?” and I said, “Because we couldn’t afford it.” He goes, “Where is your senior class pictures?” I said, “Oh, I didn’t get it.” He said, “Why?” and I said, “Because we couldn’t afford it.” He said, “What made you think we couldn’t afford it?” and I replied to him, “Because every time I asked you for other stuff you said we couldn’t afford it, so I just assumed we couldn’t afford that as well.” And I never forget the look on my father’s face of hurt and pain because I had taken on his conversation.
BILL HARRIS: Yeah, and he probably did not realize that he was impacting you in that way, but, you know, having that in your background though, allows you when you are teaching people now, to understand what it is like to be in that place. I have many things in my background where I was, you know, emotionally really miserable and everything and I know what it is like for the people I teach because I have been there. I have sat in my living room all night long in the dark about two feet from the wall looking at the wall thinking about suicide and how miserable I was and how hopeless it was and I know what it is like to be in that place. At the time, it was not a very good thing, but now when I look back, I am glad that all of that happened because I would not be able to do what I do now if I did not know what it was like to be lost and know what it is like to ﬁnd myself.
LISA NICHOLS: Here is the thing, I appreciate you saying that and you and I are sharing very candidly, and here is what I really want people to get, that anywhere that you are is okay. If you are on the mountaintop, if you are at a high point in your life, design a way to stay there, but if you are going through a valley or you are going through a transition, that is okay and necessary as long as, if you are going through a dark part in your life or a low point in your life or a transition point as long as you do not take out real estate and stay there!
BILL HARRIS: Right. Do not pitch your camp.
LISA NICHOLS: Do not pitch your camp. Do not lease option buy. Just keep moving. I think what both of us are saying really clearly and I appreciate your candidness because you just support me to keep opening up, is that every journey, every part of my journey is okay even this one today where this year, you know, I stand to triple, quadruple my income from last year and that is huge for me! I am now in a place where I do not even think in my wildest dreams I had imaged because I saw myself as ‘I am going to help teens in L.A., Los Angeles.’ Now I am going to help teens on the West Coast and now I am going to help teens in the United States and now, you know, I am international on my way to South Africa and this part of the journey is okay as well when you talk about our perception that wealthy people, in some way, there is something out of integrity about them. I am very happy to say that I am creating wealth for my son and I am creating wealth and abundance for myself. I do not apologize for that. I have earned every step that I am talking and that I have taken. I have earned that seat next to Oprah Winfrey. I earned the bank account balance that I have. I have earned that and as long as we know that we have earned it and as long as we know that at the end of the day we are doing the best we can with what we have and the more we have, the better we can do. There are no apologies. I used to think that if I got too wealthy or if my ﬁnancial status changed, I would no longer be like the people in my community. Well guess what? The best thing I can do for the people in my particular community is not have their same bank account balance. That is the best thing I can do for them because then I can possibly teach and pull some people out. And so, I used to really have to coach myself around ﬁnances and I got through that and you mentioned something, you said, “Get someone that is better at it than you are. Get someone that is doing.” I had to ﬁnd people that had healthier ﬁnancial conversation and healthier relationships with their money than I did and I asked them to show me, to teach me, to mentor me and I am excited that I have had that breakthrough because now I can reach back. Because I know that someone that has had a background like mine or a background like yours, they will hear it better coming from someone like us and I just have to tell you that all 12 years, I qualiﬁed for free lunch when I was in school. My son does not qualify for anything and I am absolutely okay with that.
BILL HARRIS: Yeah. Really. Well, you know, this thing about bad things happening to you and they turn out later to be blessings in disguise reminded me, you know, the great Napoleon Hill used to say, “Every adversity carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater beneﬁt.” And so, what successful people do, what people who are really living the secret or the law of attraction, what they do is that when something happens to them that they did not really want to have happen to them.
LISA NICHOLS: Like ﬁnding diamonds.
BILL HARRIS: Yeah, well, they say to themselves, “Okay. What is the equivalent or greater beneﬁt in this?”
LISA NICHOLS: Right. What is the diamond? What is the diamond in this?
BILL HARRIS: I do not have time to tell the whole story now, but you may have heard me tell the story about when Centerpointe was very young, I got sued for a million dollars by a competitor and to make a long story short, when the sheriff handed me the lawsuit papers and it was a frivolous law suit, but still I had no money to defend it. I had been reading Napoleon Hill and reading the part about learning from adversity. I went down into my basement in my ofﬁce and I started to make a list of all the potential beneﬁts of being sued for a million dollars and at ﬁrst, I could not think of very many. I mean, I think the ﬁrst one I wrote down was: Well, I will learn a lot about the legal system. It was something I did not want to learn a lot about really, but eventually I had 60 some beneﬁts on that list because I carried it around with me for about three or four weeks and every time I thought of something, I added it. And I wish I still had that piece of paper because somehow it got lost, but every single one of those beneﬁts came true. This is an example though, you know, every day, all day long, things happen to people. Now, that is a pretty momentous thing to happen, but even if it is a small thing, you have a choice whenever anything happens to you. Are you going to respond to what happened by focusing on what you want or are you going to respond by focusing on what you do not want? I could have gone down into my ofﬁce and thought about all of the things about that that I did not want and they would have come true and I would have felt terrible, but instead, because I was lucky enough to have been reading a very amazing teaching, Napoleon Hill at the time, I focused on all of the things that I wanted. All of those beneﬁts that I had wanted and they had all came true and it gave me courage and it made me feel better and the thing got resolved to my advantage and, in fact, I wish I had time to tell the whole story because Centerpointe would not exist if it had not been for that lawsuit. So, anytime anything happens, you know, if your car gets broadsided and it is destroyed and you do not have any insurance, you know, you think, “Okay. What is the hidden beneﬁt here? What can I get from this that will be beneﬁcial to me?” And believe me, if you start thinking that way, you will think of something.
LISA NICHOLS: Absolutely and that goes back to gratitude. I mean, what you are speaking of, you just gave an excellent example of a time where most people would get rigid and get resentful and you went to gratitude. And when gratitude, where you give energy, it expands and when you ﬁnd gratitude in every situation, I know we said this earlier, but I cannot say this enough, I mean, I have three gratitude rocks and I really touch them when I am feeling frustrated. I go to them and I say, “Okay. I need to ﬁnd something right now to be grateful for.” And it is not difﬁcult. I do not have a difﬁcult time, but there are times when I need to focus on that. You know, one of the things, you know, as personal as my weight. gained a lot of unwanted weight and in order for me to give myself permission to get back to the body I wanted, I had to ﬁnd the gratitude in my weight gain. Talk about difﬁcult, Bill. I mean, when I found the gratitude and I said, “I was able to build my character because I was not distracted and I was not allowing myself to be distracted by all the attention that I got in this athletic body, but I built my character. I built my charm and now I have the opportunity to sit inside a healthy life.” I had to do all of these things, even in the most personal moment like that, it makes a huge difference and I always say, “Someone lost 40 pounds and I found that I am still looking to return to its rightful owner at this very moment.” However, I love the package I am in today. I appreciate every inch, every pound. I appreciate my complexion now. I appreciate all of the little things. I appreciate the big things like Oprah and the book deals, but I appreciate the fact that, you know, I have a little funny walk. I am slow footed on the right side. I would rather love that about me than keep trying to change it because, one, it is mine. It is my ﬁnger print and I love it and by doing that, what I ﬁnd is that people come to me and they ﬁnd the most beautiful things about me as well and I just think that that all wraps into the package. That wraps into the business package and that wraps into the personal package because I believe we bring our personal selves to every form of business that we do and the more content and the more at peace I am with the personal me, the better the business I will do.
BILL HARRIS: Well, you are a great example for people Lisa because you have a great attitude and it shows and it creates more of what you want in your life. We probably got another 10, 12, 15 minutes. I could think of 10 or 12 more things we could talk about and we could go on for three hours doing this…
LISA NICHOLS: Easily! Easily!
BILL HARRIS: But, I want you to describe your training, you know, Motivating the Teen Spirit training that you do for kids because I think a lot of people that are listening to this might want to bring their kids to you to take one of these trainings because I have seen you do it and it is absolutely mind blowing. So, tell people a little bit about the training and what happens for the kids and how it ends up for them.
LISA NICHOLS: Sure! Sure! It is one of my favorite topics and by the way, we are launching something new this year in that we are going to do some parent trainings as well where we are going to have a seminar where we break the parents out in groups and teach them some of the techniques that we use with the teens so that you can take that learning home and apply it inside your home. So, some of the things we do is, number one, we create what we call a safe space that we as families assume that our children feel safe. We just assume that and that is one of the biggest injustices that we do to our children is we begin to assume about them and we do not give them space to deﬁne what is real. So, we create a safe space and we create a safe space by three agreements and mind you, I am saying three agreements and not three rules because teens are inundated with rules. You say they are rules and they do not even hear you. Their ears go blank. They close their eardrums up and they just nod and give you that blank look that we have all seen. So, we have three agreements, which means they have the right to agree or disagree and most parents, they ﬁrst get rigid when they ﬁgure out that they could disagree. Yeah, because if you get them into an ebb and ﬂow and you get them into a relay, an engaged relay between you, then you truly have an engaged relay between you. And so, the three agreements, the ﬁrst agreement is, no judgment that we agree to not judge them and ask them not to judge us and we agree to not judge ourselves as well. The second agreement is that there will be no repercussions that they can tell the truth about how they feel and that we are not going to throw it back in their face and use it against them later. That is a huge agreement that by the way, us adults can use as well and the third agreement is the agreement to show unconditional love no matter what comes up and no matter what comes out, which means, if you say something that I am really excited about hearing, I love you, but if you say something that I really did not care to hear, I am still going to show you demonstrable love in that moment as well. I am not going to play love take away. So, that is really critical, Bill, that we set the room up. We do not make a move in that room until we have created a safe space, which I encourage parents to make at home and then we begin to take them through what we call ‘cognitive interactive experiences’.
BILL HARRIS: Before you tell about that, you know, I have seen you do this and these kids appreciate this so much that when the parents arrive at the end for the graduation, they insist that you go through the rules, not the rules, the agreements with the parents, too, because nobody can come into the space without agreeing to the agreements.
LISA NICHOLS: And at any time the space is compromised by an existing adult in the room or a new adult or a teen, we stop the process and make the room safe again. You cannot imagine, well, you can because you have been there, how much comes out because they literally feel like we have a safe space. This is a different kind of space and when someone else comes in, even their own mom or even their own dad, they give us that look like ‘Hello. Create the safe space agreement.’ And we do. We have them make the agreement and they raise their hands to the agreements and so, we have made this agreement in schools. We made it in auditoriums. We made it in churches. We made it in juvenile justice and probation camps. We made it in high performance leadership camp. We made it everywhere and all of a sudden it becomes the safe space room. You know, and every time we reconvene, we create that safe space again and I gotta tell you, my son, you know, we are sitting at dinner one night and I said, “Son. I heard you talk about such and such, you know, did you want to discuss it with me?” He goes, “Mom.
Before I say a word, we need to make a safe space.” And he has me, Bill, raising my hand in the restaurant and I am going son, “Do I have to raise my hand?” and he goes, “Mom, raise your hand like we do in the workshop.” And he added some additional things that he needed to make the space safe for him in particular, customized things that made him feel safer. And so, it is important for us to have a responsibility to our children to give them safety. Not safety from criminals and safety with a locked door or wearing your seatbelt, but safety inside sharing their feelings, sharing their emotions, sharing their concerns, sharing their hopes and dreams and vision, we have not made that space safe for them. And so, we create a safe space and then we take them into experiences. Now here is the number one thing without going through the details of what we do because that is a whole lot of stuff that listening to it will kind of twist your head up, it is almost like you have to join us, you have to be in the room. You have to play full-out, but here is the concept behind it. We do not ask those teens to go anywhere inside themselves, to say anything about their heart or their feelings or their minds to express anything about what is going on for them that we are not willing to do ourselves ﬁrst. We often ask more of our kids than what we are giving. We ask them to do as we say and not as we do. We ask them to listen while we talk when we are not necessarily listening. We ask them to tell us what is wrong with them when we are not telling them what is wrong with us, unless what is wrong with us has to do with them. We put them at the end of our hurt at the end of our shame. I am so ashamed of you. I am so ashamed because of you. I am so hurt by you. That is just, I mean, we are beating down their spirits. We are dampening their life. And so, inside our workshop, one, we level the playing ﬁeld and that is very key. We level the playing ﬁeld, so if I asked them when have they done something really, really stupid, I mean, something that you like said, “I know this is stupid, why am I doing it?” and you go ahead and do it anyway. Before they even answer me, I have to give them a part of me that has done the same thing and not all the stuff from my old days when I was your age. They are so tired of hearing that, when I was your age, we were never their age in this year, we were never their age in this time. And so, I give them now stuff now or just last week stuff or just last year stuff, but not 30 years ago stuff. I give them stuff, real things now, so that they get to see that we are still inside learning. And guess what, the more of me I peel back, the more of them they peel back. And so, I literally ask them to take baby steps with me as I take baby steps with them and magic happens! Magic happens! And then, believe it or not, when their parents come in the room, they want the same experience with their parents because I am a nice lady, but they do not know me. They just met me. I am their new best friend, but they have relationships with their moms and dads and sisters and brothers, they just do not know quite how to start that new relay.
BILL HARRIS: Yeah, well I have seen parents talking to kids at the end of your trainings and everybody is crying, crying for happiness and kids are saying things to parents that they have always wanted to hear their kids say and then the parents say things to the kids that the kids have always wanted their parents to say. It is quite amazing.
LISA NICHOLS: Well, you know, one of the things we do, and I just wanna say this, is that inside a relationship, the hardest thing to do is to express ourselves because we are trying to combine two things, logical communication with all of this emotion and often times it is like an eight ounce glass where 50/50 is really good, 50 percent logic and 50 percent emotion, but normally inside our relationships, especially with our children and with our spouses, there is like seven ounces of emotion and one ounce of logic. So, it is hard to kind of make sense of how I am feeling so things blurt out and we throw things out that we wish we could bring back and once they fall off our tongue, we cannot. And so, what we do as facilitators is we simply help and assist on facilitating a valuable conversation so we give them what we call sentence stems where we begin the beginning of the sentence and they ﬁnish that sentence with whatever is true for them and we keep guiding that sentence until they can kind of pick it up themselves. And boy! You have seen it. It is amazing when they get their own momentum and they know how to start those sentences. So, we give them a new language structure, a new way of communicating with each other. We give them, instead of saying, “I do not like it when you do that.” We give them the language, “It would work better for me if you would…” We just give them guidelines to play. We do not tell them that you can not ever argue again. We just give them tools to disagree with. We give them tools to agree with. We give them tools to acknowledge each other. The best thing is for, I will never forget seeing this young girl, she looked at her mom and she said, “Mom. I know I do not tell you that I love you, but deep down inside I really, really love you. You are a single mom and what you do for me is amazing and I know I do not tell you that I love you, but I do love you.” And the mom, attempting to talk with tears streaming down her face she said, “I never, ever expected you to say these words to me. This is the best gift I could ever get for Mother’s Day. The best gift.” And then everyone always goes, “Christmas in May. Christmas in July.” Whatever month it is, it is really Christmas because that is the gift of having your child back. That is the gift of having your parent back and so I commend you because you are one of the individuals that have stepped up to get our kids back, to bring our children back home to us, not just physically, but emotionally. You have put up your intellect. You have supported me to expand my business. You put up your ﬁnancial resources to sponsor children, to become a second chance angel and create workshops. You have created a those spaces and so I wanna salute you because I said, “Ten, ﬁfteen years ago, I want to touch a million teens.” And that was a big, lofty dream, but today, you know, we have done 75,000 and I am really happy. We got a lot of work to go, but we are ramping up and it is because of people like you that keep the conversation about our children. I say that the law of attraction, the secret, transformational work, it is all very important, but we can not just live it for ourselves, we have to bring our children along.
BILL HARRIS: Well, it is certainly my pleasure. I mean, I feel grateful that I have managed to accumulate enough resources that I can do things like this and give back in some way. So, I just feel grateful myself to be able to do it. Can you give me kind of a, some sort of a picture of the way a teen might be at the beginning of the training and what they are like at the end or maybe there is even a speciﬁc story of someone that would illustrate that.
LISA NICHOLS: Absolutely. When they come in, they are very guarded. They are very guarded because they are expected to be told what they are doing and this happens regardless of their cultural background, regardless of their economic background. We have just as many high-end, wealthy youths as we have inner-city, disadvantaged, disenfranchised youths and they come in ready to be told what is wrong. Ready to be dictated to, every single one of them. They come tight. They come reserved. They come guarded and as they go through the experience and they once see that we are sharing the same way we are asking them to share and all of these other teens opening up, as the space becomes safe, they begin to turn that ﬂoodgate on like, “Oh my god! I think this may be the only place I can get all of it out, so let me not hold back.” And they become ﬂooded. When I ﬁrst start the workshop and I have them talk for a minute to each other. They kind of look at me after about 30 seconds like, “Okay. Is it time to stop?” and then several hours into the work…
BILL HARRIS: Yeah, I know what you are going to say! You are going to say that you can not get them to shut up!
LISA NICHOLS: Right! Several hours into the workshop I go, “Okay and stop!” And they go, “But I was not ﬁnished yet Miss Lisa!” And so, all of a sudden they ﬁnd their place where I am not ridiculed. I am validated. I am encouraged and one of the key things, oh god, I gotta tell you this. Whenever they say something like, “I feel like my parents only love me when I am doing good.” I ask the question, every time someone shares, “If you feel that way, raise one hand up. If you really feel that way, raise two hands up. If that is really, really you, raise two hands up and stand up and when your hand is in the air, look around so that you can see that you are not alone.” Bill, I cannot tell you the impact of that room when those teens share those sacred secrets that they have been ashamed of for so long and they see another teen raise one hand and another teen raise two hands and ﬁve teens stand up. Then they go, “Oh my god. I am not alone.” See, the number one reason for depression is that we feel alone. The number one reason why seven teens a day commit suicide is because they feel alone. So, if you want to immediately impact their lives, let them see that they are not alone. I mean, that shift alone, I mean, one of the best examples was this young, white girl, 17-years-old, her father was an attorney, her mother was a psychologist. She lived in Carlsbad and had no ﬁnancial needs. She was sitting next to an African American young man who was in a group home who was on probation who was on house arrest with an ankle bracelet around his leg. I mean, they had no more in common. She was the national spokesperson for the Kiwanis Club. He was on probation and they were each other’s partner. She had ripped all of the heads off of all of her trophies and she said in the workshop, “I am suicidal. I did not want to live when I came here.” And he raised two hands and stood up and she looked at him and he looked at her and at that very moment, Bill, this African American male who did not have a mom or a dad connected with this young, white girl who seemingly everyone thought her life should be perfect and why are you sad. They found their common ground. They found that place to connect and they became partners in the next exercise and all of a sudden, every perception she had had to be melted away. Every perception he had had to be melted away because they found their likeness in one another and at the end of the workshop she says, “Well I have no idea how I am going to explain you to my mother and my father that I have a new friend like you.” And he said, “Well honey, I do not know how I am going to explain you to my home-boys.” But they agreed that they would make an effort. What we did that day was we helped two people who were in pain ﬁnd their common ground and then turn the breakdown into the breakthrough. Her mother and her father came to the workshop and they were very rigid because they did not want to be perceived as bad parents. It was amazing what she did. She stood up in front of the room and she said, “Mom, Dad…” she says, “I need to tell you something about me and I need you to let me own my own choices.” She said, “When I came here, I was suicidal. I did not want to live and that was my choice because I did not know how to open up and talk to you.” She said, “But I have learned how to ﬁnd my voice.” And then he stood up and he talked to his group home counselor and he said, “When I came here, I was angry and I was resentful and I wanted to hurt people because I was so angry that my father left me when I was a baby.” He said, “But now I realize that the only thing he was supposed to give me was life.”
BILL HARRIS: Well, I am assuming that everybody listening to this is probably doing the same thing I am doing is choking-up as you tell these stories and I have heard you tell these kinds of stories before and it is always very, very moving. One of the things that I think is the most moving, I am sure, the most moving part of your seminar is when you ask the kids who felt before the seminar or still if they were suicidal and you have created such a rapport with these kids in such a safe space, that, well, describe how you do it.
LISA NICHOLS: Well, we have had a safe space now for a period of time. We have built trust. We have taken great risks with them and we are all in it together and they know that. I tell them, I say, “I have to ask you a very hard question. A difﬁcult question that I never like to ask. I do not like to ask the question, but it is my job to ask this question so that we can be here for each other.” And then I ask, “How many of you were suicidal, were contemplating suicide frequently?” And I want you to get how I asked if you were contemplating suicide frequently prior to this workshop and then I asked them to not raise their hand, to not just stand where they are, but to get up and walk to the front of the room and I am asking them to do this with their parents seated next to them. So, there is a huge risk, opportunity and I ask them to stand next to me because I was once in that space as a suicidal teen.
BILL HARRIS: And their parents are freaking when this happens I am sure.
LISA NICHOLS: As they stand up, you can just hear the tears bursting out in the room and a part of it is very hard to know that their parents are about to feel that level of pain, but another part I get that knows that I am doing you a favor. We are doing something good here. We are vetting that demon called secrecy. We are disempowering that demon called secrecy and we are letting this out so that we can support each other and the parents are crying and then I ask the teens, now, I gotta let you know, Bill, that in a room of 70 teens, I have had as many as 35 teens stand up. Seventy teens, 35 teens walk to the front and we go one-by-one down the line and ask them, “Based on the tools that you have received, based on the tools that you have received in this workshop, do you choose to live? And if so, say, ‘I choose to live’ and if you still need more support say, ‘I need support’.” And I gotta tell you that, they go down one-by-one and they are to say, “I choose to live or I need more support.” And I am pleased to say that of all the teens that they have said that they were frequently were contemplating suicide prior to the workshop, we have not lost one. We have kept every single teen. They have all chosen to stay alive and use the tools and I gotta tell you, that the teens that go to the workshop one time the number one request is when are we doing this again? When are we doing this again? When are we doing this again? Because they want to keep visiting that safe space to keep discovering more of themselves and so, right now, thank god, we have prevented now over 1,900 teen suicides on record. You know, I can‘t keep updating my bio as quickly as we are touching teen lives, but you know, that is a quality problem again, but we always ask that question no matter where we are and we are really pleased that they always stand up and tell the truth out loud. And I have to tell you Bill, I never ask that question without hoping that I end up standing up there alone. I always pray that I am standing up there alone. It has not happened yet, but I believe, and I am not saying this to be braggadocios, I am simply standing in the greatness that the universe has allowed me to do, I know that there are nearly 2,000 teens that have chosen to live as a result of something they experience in one of those workshops. I am pleased about that. I am happy. I am not asking God to take me home tonight, but if I went home tonight, if I transition to my next life tonight, I know that I have spent a day in my passion and in my purpose. I was doing the work that I was put here to do.
BILL HARRIS: Well, you are doing great stuff and that is one of the reasons why I have been very supportive of you and will continue to be very supportive of you. You know, to get teenagers who often will not say a word to their parents about anything signiﬁcant to actually get up in front of a room and acknowledge that they had been thinking of killing themselves is an amazing testament to how safe they feel with you and how much practice in just three days you gave them in actually talking about what is really true for them instead of continuing to B.S. everybody, which is what a lot of them are doing when they come in there. So, I really, what you do is really amazing, Lisa and we just gotta get you doing it more and more and more of it for more people, which is exactly what is happening here. So, anyway, tell people how they can ﬁnd out more about you and ﬁnd out how they can send their child to one of your workshops if that is what they want to do.
LISA NICHOLS: Absolutely and they can plan many different ways. You can go to LisaNicholsOnline.com and you can play in many ways. If you have a teen that is yours or someone that you love or someone that you just really want to help, then plug them into one of our workshops. Look at our online calendar and plug them into one of our existing workshops. If you do not have a teen, but you think, gosh, I have a passion for working with teens and I really believe that I want to do this and this is what I have been looking for. I get so many emails from people all around the world saying, “This is what I have been looking for.” Then sign up for the facilitator training because I cannot do it all by myself. I am deﬁnitely looking to build an army, a network of talented individuals. So, sign up for our training. Say you want to be trained and then if neither one of the ﬁrst two apply to you, but you just say, “I just want to be a part of the solution.” You know, and you want to be a second chance angel, then I invite you to go click on Motivating the Teen Spirit and become a second chance angel. You can sponsor an entire workshop or you can sponsor teens into a workshop and what I love about sponsoring a workshop or sponsoring teens is that we invite you to come to that graduation so you can see exactly how your dollars were spent. I love to give, but the one thing I want to know is that I gave to a cause that did what they said they were going to do and we want you to see that and so, you are welcome to play in any way. Any way that ﬁts you and if none of those three ways ﬁt you, then pray for us. Just hold the possibility that teens can have a new beginning in a moment that like we get breakthroughs, that they get breakthroughs as well. Like we get a shift, they get a shift as well. Like we can invoke the law of attraction, they can invoke it as well. Become a cheerleader. Do something outrageous for a teen, even if it is listening more than you talk to them. So, any one of those four ways will work for me.
BILL HARRIS: Well, I will tell you, as you know, I have sponsored a number of…
LISA NICHOLS: A ton of teens. A ton of teens.
BILL HARRIS: …and one of them that I did attend the graduation, I know that I had at least a hand in saving 13 lives because there were 13 kids at that one that stood up and said that prior to that they were suicidal.
LISA NICHOLS: Doesn’t that feel good, Bill?
BILL HARRIS: Yes. I mean, that is what I was going to say. I highly recommend the beneﬁts of sponsoring kids to go through your program because knowing that you saved a life, and there are other beneﬁts of doing it too because even the kids that are not suicidal, you are doing something dramatic to change their whole way of seeing themselves and their relationship with their parents and the rest of the world. So, knowing that you are helping in this way, I mean, if you are going to donate money to something, boy, there are few things where the actual, tangible results are more obvious than helping these kids go through motivating the teen spirit. So, that is my little commercial for Lisa Nichols.
LISA NICHOLS: Well, thank you so much and I appreciate it and again, I salute you because I can only do my part and it is through partnerships that we have been able to touch almost 100,000 teens directly and who knows what the ripple effect has done. So, thank you for walking your talk, Bill.
BILL HARRIS: Well, you are welcome and I think the best days of all of this are ahead of us.
LISA NICHOLS: Yet to come. Yet to come.
BILL HARRIS: And I know that not only are you going to reach your goal of a million kids, but you are going to get to a point where you are going to say, gee we are going to have to increase that goal because there are more than a million kids that need this. Anyway, Lisa, it has really been a pleasure to talk to you this way. It is always a pleasure to talk to you. I have had the pleasure of sitting at my kitchen table with you talking to you about these kinds of things and I am glad to talk to you now. So, go off now to your next wonderful accomplishment and thank you so much for being here and I appreciate everyone who was here to hear this and I am sure you all beneﬁted from listening. So, I will just say to everybody and you too Lisa, be well.
LISA NICHOLS: Thank you so much, Bill, my pleasure.
BILL HARRIS: You bet. Thank you so much for listening to this conversation with another of the Masters of The Secret. I know this information will help you master the secret yourself. The fact that what you focus on is created in reality. To thank you for listening, I have a very special free gift for you. As I have worked to master the secret and implement in my own life, one of the most powerful tools I have used is Holosync Audio Technology, which when listened to using stereo headphones, places the listener in deep states of meditation, literally at the touch of a button. In addition to many mental, emotional and spiritual beneﬁts, Holosync creates an ability to focus your mind so powerfully that manifesting what you want becomes easy. I would like to send you a free Holosync CD so that you can try it yourself along with a free special report explaining how it works and all of the amazing beneﬁts it has created for nearly 300,000 people who have used it in 173 countries. To get your free Holosync CD just go to www.centerpointe.com/freeCD. Thank you again for listening and I look forward to being with you again next time.