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Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast™, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
[00:00:10] Russ Johns: Happy day, happy week. We're wrapping it up with Dr. Mort. And we're going to be talking about what it takes to master your life around some things that we wouldn't normally talk about every day and Dr. Mort is here to talk about his journey, his influence and some of the things he's learned along the way and we want to share with you today. So welcome Dr. Mort, how you doing?
[00:00:34] Mort Orman: Great Russ. Happy to be here.
[00:00:36] Russ Johns: It's a happy Friday, it's already Friday again. I cannot believe it's almost September and we're just cruising along and we met through, was it Lunch Club?
[00:00:49] Mort Orman: Yes, it was Lunch Club.
[00:00:50] Russ Johns: And you were driving across the country from Florida to Washington.
[00:00:55] Mort Orman: Yes. That's where I am right now for the next couple of days and then be leaving. But yes, we my wife and I drove across around right before the 4th of July. And it took us nine days in a little tiny Honda Civic, cramped, packed full of all of our stuff for do we need it for two months. And we spent about eight hours average about eight hours a day on the road. It was interesting.
[00:01:17] Russ Johns: Yeah. I'm sure that you got to see some incredible countryside.
[00:01:21] Mort Orman: Oh yes.
[00:01:23] Russ Johns: So we're talking about mastery. We want to talk about some of the things that you're doing right now with program that you've developed over duration of working in the medical field and also, experience in life yourself. And so give us a backstory on how you came to be in this place.
[00:01:40] Mort Orman: By training, I'm an internal medicine physician and I practiced for 23 years in Baltimore. Had my own solo practice. And then I spent 15 years working for a blue cross and blue shield health insurance plan as a medical director. So I've seen both sides of health insurance industry from the physician side and the administration side. And but all along the way, even when I was in practice very early on, I got sorta turned on to the mental health side of taking care of patients. As physicians, we are not trained that well in dealing with mental health issues, but they come, they get presented to us all the time. People come in and not only are they sick, but they've got family issues and work issues and all kinds of stress issues and things like that. And so we're presented with it and most doctors, we don't know what to do with it. We can give people pills for anxiety or depression, but we don't know how to intervene and help people live better lives or be happier or have less stress. And so I became interested in that whole area and I felt I wanted to be the kind of doctor that didn't just take care of bodies. But I took care of people and that I could attend to some of those issues in my patients. And also because of myself, because I realized that I didn't have a lot of expertise or knowledge in how to master life. I knew medicine and I was successful professionally, but in my personal life, I had all kinds of issues and struggles dealing with anger and frustration and irritability, and then relationship conflicts and just not being happy. Kind of having to pretend, that I had it all together. Cause you know, as a professional, you gotta walk around with that air, that you've got, what you're doing and I didn't know what I was doing, but I wasn't feeling all that happy inside. And I always struggled with it. I kept exploring things to try and find something that would help with those issues for myself. And nothing really helped until at one point, had this major breakthrough where I realized that a lot of the stuff that I had been taught about happiness, about stress, about emotions, a lot of that stuff wasn't really true. And it wasn't until I was willing to let go of what I had been taught. And what most of us are taught and believe that I was able to start exploring, what is true? And I tried to find some innovative thinkers and people that I tried to study with and read their stuff and go to their lectures, whatever. And little by little, over a couple of years actually, I came up with some solutions that actually worked for me for the first time. And then once I started getting results, then I started doing seminars and workshops and building it into my practice and doing one-on-one stress counseling with people. And so I've been for 40 years, doing that work in addition to being a regular trained physician.
[00:04:23] Russ Johns: So go a little deeper. I want to go a little deeper in the truths versus the normal perception. Because I think it's really important and it's a key factor in transformation, so go a little deeper in what is imagined and what is real.
[00:04:44] Mort Orman: Well, if, for example, stress is the area that I specialized in. And I don't deal with stress management. I think the whole stress management thing is crazy. Most stress management techniques just deal with symptoms. In other words, you can deal with symptoms by using alcohol and drugs and stuff like that, but you have problems associated with that. Then there's all the stress management stuff like yoga and meditation, relaxation, which is healthier. It doesn't have those negative effects actually has positive effects, but it's still like most of it is dealing still with symptoms. If you're in a bad marriage and you're having relationship problems, you can punch a punching bag all day long and run five miles every day and dissipate some of the tension that's building up in your system. But is your marriage going to get any better as a result of that? No. Until you deal with the issues of what's going on and the root causes of what's going on. In your marriage, it's not going to get better. I always saw stress, not always, but I realized that stress management was really no different than using alcohol or drugs. It was just healthier, but there were, there was a bigger problem, which is how do you understand the causes of the problems, stressful problems that you're having in life and how do you deal with those causes effectively once you identify them. And then we're never, we're not taught that and we're not in the model. Everybody blames the external circumstances in life for why they have stress. And that's only part of it, a small part of the story. The bigger issue is all the stuff going on inside us are automatic ways of thinking and believing and looking at life and philosophical stances assumptions that we have that are causing a lot of the problems that we end up with. And nobody's really helping us identify that and deal with that. And so that's what I discovered for myself 40 plus years ago. And then I've been teaching people how to do those kinds of things in different areas of life. So dealing with their emotions, dealing with stress, dealing with relationships, dealing with things like fear of public speaking all kinds of issues that you can. If you get down to the roots and deal with causes, you can make your stress go away without having to manage it. It's actually much better to do it that way.
[00:06:52] Russ Johns: Okay. So let's take a real world example. Say for instance, I have a toxic boss, I'm working in a work environment that's toxic, for whatever reason, the cause of my stress is the fact that I have anxiety. Each time I walked through the door. Now there's two ways I can see, it's get a new job.
[00:07:14] Mort Orman: Yeah. That is one. Yeah. Most that's what most people think of. They think the circumstances are causing their stress. So they think the solution is rearranged or change the circumstances. And to the degree that you can do that, then that may help the problem.
[00:07:29] Russ Johns: But that may not solve the problem of you putting that on yourself, right?
[00:07:34] Mort Orman: Correct. Correct. , if you're putting anxiety on yourself, let's say you're not just doing it in your job and maybe where it's most evident and most painful, but you're doing it all over and everywhere in your life. So again, when you get down to understanding within you, the root causes of how you're generating anxiety, Then you can fix it no matter what area of life you're generating it in without having to change the circumstances, which again, if you can change the circumstances or modify them great, go for it, do it. But a lot of times we find that we don't have the power or the influence or the control to alter the circumstance. So then we have to adjust within ourselves and it may involve, do some soul searching and saying, do I really want to be in this toxic environment? And what's keeping me in here? Cause a lot of times people will feel trapped or they'll feel married to their paycheck and they realize they're in a toxic situation, but they won't be willing to change it. And that's an internal cause of stress, if you look at it in that way.
[00:08:30] Russ Johns: The other thing is that it's why am I feeling this way? Why am I reacting to this particular bit of stress? Why is this causing me anxiety? What is it about this interaction or outside source that's causing me to feel this way? What is it about me that does that?
[00:08:49] Mort Orman: Yeah. And it's not you as a, you individual per se. It's true for all human beings. One of the things we really don't understand ourselves as human beings all that well, this was a real revelation for me. I went to medical school to treat human beings. They don't teach us about, they don't teach us what a human being is. They teach us what a liver is, what a spleen is, what a heart is, they don't teach us what a human being is. I graduated, my seven years of training, started treating human beings and I very quickly realized I don't have a clue what a human being is and including myself, I didn't understand myself as a human being. But when you ask the question, why do we react the way we do it? Why do we feel the way or have anxiety or anger or whatever, we get programmed as we go through life and you get certain ideas, certain thoughts, they become automatic and you get certain things happen around you, you get triggered and unbeknownst to you in the background in your body, and which includes your mind and your brain and everything, certain ways of looking at things and thinking about things just automatically get triggered. And when you look at things in a certain way and think about things in a certain way, you'll get anxious. When you look at things in a certain way and think of them in a different way, you'll get anger. And another way you'll get guilt. And there's very specific patterns. It's a cognitive behavioral sort of model, but you could trace it back to cognitions and behaviors within us that we don't usually have much conscious awareness of when they're happening. That's what's causing our reactions. And if you can understand for certain emotions that are very common, if you can understand what those driving mechanisms are, then anytime, once you get out understanding, it's you never let go of it. You don't ever want to go back to not understanding because then every time, then from that point forward, every time you get anxious, okay, I know why I'm anxious now. Every time you get into, oh, I know exactly why I'm angry now. And then you can step in and maybe do something about it. But when you're oblivious to the internal mechanisms, you can't do anything internally, all you can do is rearrange the chairs on the Titanic.
[00:10:53] Russ Johns: So we can reduce it and understand it. It may not necessarily remove it.
[00:10:58] Mort Orman: No, you can actually can remove it. I've done this thousands of times over the last 40 years. Once I developed the system that I developed for dealing with emotion. I used to get angry all the time. I used to be like John McEnroe. I used to play tennis. John McEnroe was like my spiritual, I broke a lot of tennis rackets. I used to get angry at the drop of a dime and the last 40 years, I almost never get angry. And if I do, which occasionally happens, I know exactly, I can tell you 1, 2, 3, I know exactly how I'm thinking in order to get angry. And once I know that, here's where the truth comes in and there's another area of truth. We've been lied to by society, but we lie to ourselves. Our bodies lie to us all the time. One of the things I like to say is that our body's produced more fake news than CNN, Fox news, every network combined on a daily basis. And we have no awareness of what's going on. But if you know exactly how you're thinking to produce anger, you can step in and say well, is that thought true? Did somebody really do something bad and wrong? Did somebody really get hurt or harmed? Was somebody really a hundred percent to blame for it? And I had nothing to do with it. When you understand those are the mechanisms under anger and that your body automatically assumes they're true. And when the body assumes it's true, that's how it's going to react. And if it were true, then you should react that way. You should be angry.
[00:12:16] Russ Johns: That's a normal response. I want to give a shout out to a couple of people here as we get through because there's some questions. Good morning, Russ. Happy weekend. Elise from South Africa. Wendy says, wow, stress-free Friday pirates. Good morning, Admiral. Welcome to the ship. Mort. We pirates are an amiable bunch. No one walks the plank, unless you forget that #kindnessiscool. So Nick Gemmell. Hey, Nick Gemmell hope you're plugged into more. Yeah, Nick, you should probably, we should connect you guys. My stress is reduced by an intense commitment to acknowledging #gratitude. I love that.
[00:12:59] Mort Orman: That will work. That will definitely work.
[00:13:01] Russ Johns: Yeah. Howard Kaufman asks a question. What role does diet contribute to the mental state on stress?
[00:13:08] Mort Orman: It contributes to some degree. If you're taking in a lot of caffeine and sugar and other stimulants and things like that's gonna produce some problems. The whole area of nutrition. Is a a difficult area to know things for sure, because it's so hard, it's so hard to isolate. You do studies. It's so hard to isolate the role that diet plays from all the other factors that are going on in a person's life. So there are people who have theories about it, and I'm not sure you can. We can. Many of them science has some weaknesses to it. And one of the areas is nutrition, nutritional science, because it's so complicated, complex, and so many moving parts and other factors that it's hard to separate out the role of diet, but it does I'm sure it plays some role. And obviously, we used to see people when I was in practice. People use a lot of energy drinks and and caffeine. Caffeinated beverages and things like that would be more anxious in general and sometimes, have fluctuating moods and things like that. So that, that can contribute. Just as a lack of sleep, can contribute to just being more prone to stress in general and we're irritable in general. So there are lots and lots of basic health principle. That if you follow them, it'll help to reduce your stress, but the problem is people have trouble following them.
[00:14:20] Russ Johns: Why is that? What is it that causes people to say, I'm all stressed out and I'm not going to do anything about it and then continue being stressed out about being stressed out.
[00:14:29] Mort Orman: The problem is that we don't trust ourselves to give our word and keep it to ourselves, because we have a track record, we've done that so many times when we say I'm going to start a diet. I'm going to exercise today and then something comes up and we bail out. We don't do it. So we've trained ourselves to know that we can't count on ourselves to say I'm going to do X and at the end of the day, we'll have done X and that's a skill, that's a life mastery skill, actually.
[00:14:59] Russ Johns: I think you have a program around that, don't you?
[00:15:00] Mort Orman: I do. And it's something that I, again, I didn't have that skill myself until I put myself through my own training program to rehabilitate that ability to where I want it to be able to know that if I said I was going to do something that I would follow through and do it. And then what the usual things that stopped me in the past were not going to stop me anymore. And I had to train myself to do that. I did a two year program back when I was in my mid thirties to rehabilitate that ability. And then I've been, and I actually do daily things to keep that skill up. It's almost like you train a muscle and then you have to keep the muscle trained. Otherwise it atrophies.
[00:15:36] Russ Johns: Daily habits. Daily, just #gratitude wake up with #gratitude.
[00:15:41] Mort Orman: I do things on a daily basis to practice giving my word and keeping it. For example, I will put my seatbelt on in my car. Every single time. I don't care. , if my wife says, would you please move your car back in the garage, two feet so I can get to a box. If I get in my car to move that car two feet out of my garage, I will put my seatbelt on. Not because I'm afraid I'm going to crash, but because it's a pledge I made to myself that every time in my car and the car is moving, I will put my seatbelt on and I don't care what the reason is, I will do that. Nothing will stop me from doing that. And that's part of my ongoing maintenance of keeping up that ability to give my word and keep it. And then you do that on a regular basis for a few months in a few years and a few decades. And you then know that you can trust yourself to make changes in your life. And if you don't have that trust, you're not even going to start on a project to change something because you're gonna bail out. And it's just so many people just bail out so easily that they've lost the trust.
[00:16:46] Russ Johns: So how do we rebuild trust in ourselves?
[00:16:49] Mort Orman: By having daily wins. You have to daily do things, they don't have to be big things, but you do things, for example, I created a weight loss program back when I was working for the insurance company for our employees. It was a very innovative weight-loss program. I haven't seen anything like it since and nothing like it before, but I started out with the whole, one of the first things was people were not allowed to lose weight in the program until they showed, they were able to give the word and keep it over a period of several weeks. That was the first part of the course. And we use daily exercise promises, not big exercise promises could be literally, I'm going to walk 20 minutes today. Or I'm going to do 10 pushups twice a day, it doesn't have to be anything, but in the morning, you would have say what you had were going to do and then you had to nail it, no matter what came up that day. And you had to be able to do that consistently day after day. And it took people a period of about a month to six weeks before they got good. And then only when they had that ability under their belt, did we then start working on, okay, now transfer that ability to what you're going to eat today. And you're going to say, this is what my my eating plan is for today. And then you nail that each day. And if you can do that, and you have a good eating plan, there's tons of them. It's not just one. You can pick anyone you want, and if you have the ability to stick to it, you'll either lose weight or you'll find out that you're not losing weight and then you'll figure out that you need a different eating plan. You can be successful losing weight, but again, you have to have this ability to get you where you can keep it, which is where most people fall short, they'll do it for awhile and then actually the worst thing that can happen is you lose the weight, which is why weight loss programs are screwy because they try to motivate you to get you to act. And then the motivation drives you to stick to your diet. And then as soon as you reach your goal, what happens to the motivation that was there? It goes away. It goes away. And then now you got nothing driving you except yourself. And that's where we fall down because we don't trust ourselves. We haven't honed that ability to say, okay, this is what I'm going to do today, and I'm going to do it. And then that's what you need when the motivation goes away. When you reached your goal weight, because a lot of people reach their goal weight on various diets programs, and then they just go back to where they were before. Again, because of this issue, we're talking about.
[00:19:15] Russ Johns: They go up and down, up and down all the time.
[00:19:17] Mort Orman: And again, this is another what I call a life mastery skill. The ability to give your word and keep it is so important in life. In every dimension of our lives, not just weight, loss, diet, things like that exercise, but relationships.
[00:19:31] Russ Johns: Yeah. So talk about this life mastery skills for men program that you have going on right now. Cause I know a lot of men, we're supposed to be 10 foot tall and bulletproof most of the time and take care of things and no emotion and all that kind of stuff. And I think we've built a culture around this inability to have any imperfections, and it's really caused a lot of pain, a lot of suicides are up and mental health is a huge issue. , I have had a lot of people on this show talk about mental health and the impact of mental health and I've had my own experience with suicide in my life. And so talk about what it means to master these skills and how you're doing it for men right now.
[00:20:17] Mort Orman: Yeah. I've been doing stress related stuff for 40 years, but I decided to focus on men because I saw that there were all these programs out there for women and women are very easily engaged in these kinds of things. They flock to them. They soak up personal development and yeah, like you say, men, we're a little more reserved. I'm tough, I don't need any help, but I got it handled. I got it all together. So I felt that there should be more programs for men to catch up with women. With the women are doing. And I knew I had some of these life mastery skills that I had acquired over the years, and I wanted to package them up and make them available in an easily accessible way. I wanted to develop transformational program. So it's not information per se, it's you go into a program and you come out, you see things differently. You behave differently. You see the world differently, you see your problem differently. You see the solutions differently. That's what real transformation is. You actually become a different person in how you understand life and how you interact with life and it really makes you more successful in the areas that you've been struggling with for years and years sometimes. So that's what I wanted to do. I put this online learning center together for men called the life mastery skills for men online learning center. And my goal is just getting started. My goal is to create more and more programs for men in that area, I have a bunch of free mini courses and courses that are available now and building out some of the other trainings that I've done over the years to make them available. So the idea is to invite men in, we have a community of like-minded people that are interested in pursuing life mastery skills and enhancing our life mastery skills. So it's about being happier, being less stressed,, having better relationships and not getting divorced and, sleeping better and being better role models for our kids and stuff like that, that we all want. The truth is every human being has been pursuing life mastery since they were toddlers, we're trying to figure out how life works and so we can master it. And we just don't get a lot of training about life in schools, even in professional schools, you just don't, you got to go seek it out yourself, which is what I did. And what a lot of people are doing. Tony Robbins is out there. Brendan Bouchard, all these people are out there, teaching people how to master different areas of life and you gotta go after it if you want it. I believe one of the neat things about men is that we are natural born winners. We were born to win. And we have a lot of competitive desire and there are areas of life that we have learned how to master. Each of us has learned how to master various areas, but then there are other areas of our lives where we're not so good at and shoved them under the rug. Let's not talk about that.
[00:22:50] Russ Johns: Let's not talk about that. We're moving on.
[00:22:53] Mort Orman: But those are the areas that I want to bring up and say, hey look, would you like to be better in those areas? Let's get together and let me show you what I've learned and other people in the community can show you what they've learned and let's help you get better in that area. If it's relationships, if it's stress, if it's emotions and men have just as much issue with emotions as women do, we're all human beings and emotions run our lives. We might pretend we don't have much going on emotion wise, but we do. And we get angry and we get frustrated and we get sad at times.
[00:23:21] Russ Johns: We have the same emotions as anyone else. It just comes out in different ways because we've been trained, society has trained us to react and respond in a different way.
[00:23:31] Mort Orman: Or they don't come out, but we're feeling them inside, struggling with them. And they they can affect your performance at work, in your career, you know that your focus isn't as sharp, your energy isn't as robust, they certainly can affect your relationships. Relationships fall apart because people don't know how to handle their emotions or they get into emotional tailspins with their partners. And it can be very damaging, when you do that.
[00:23:52] Russ Johns: Well, Mort, this has been a great opportunity to have another tool in our toolbox. So go connect with more Dr. Mort in lifemasteryskillsformen.com/go. Sign up and get, I think it's a free course you're offering right here.
[00:24:12] Mort Orman: It's a free membership site and in the membership site are a bunch of free courses, and there's a couple of paid courses, that one that's in there now that it's not quite ready for sale yet, but they will be added as time goes on, but there's also a lot of free stuff added regularly.
[00:24:25] Russ Johns: Awesome. Thank you so much for being here. Happy Friday. Hope you have a great weekend and as you're traveling back to Florida eventually. I look forward to future conversations, as a pirate, you're always welcome back. So check in and tap you on the shoulder and say, hey, we got this event we'd love to have, get your feedback. So thank you so much. As always pirates, I always appreciate you being here. Thank you so much for showing up. And if you're watching this or listening to this in the future, please like, comment and share. Love to learn more about what you're doing. Get involved, ask questions, show up and get involved in the conversation. Cause it's always a little interesting to see what's happening in other people's lives. And as always, #kindnessiscool, #smilesarefree, so you #enjoytheday. Take care of everyone. Thanks Mort, for being here.
[00:25:16] Mort Orman: You're welcome.
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