• Shirley Owens

Get What You Want by Preventing Your Bad Moments From Turning Into Bad Days with Michael O’Brien






“With more intentionality, with more being, it can be better than just good enough.” - Michael O’Brien

Do you ever feel that everything seems to be going wrong? It’s starts with one bad moment and then more bad moments until you’ve had an entire bad day? Some call it getting up on the wrong side of the bed. Did you know that you have the power to have it stop at the one bad moment? Shirley and Michael O’Brien share how we can stop bad moments from turning into bad days. Tune in and learn how you can create what you want out of your bad moments.



Highlights:

03:17 Turning Something Horrific to Something Amazing

09:53 How to Shift Your Mindset

18:52 Separation Between The Doing And The Being

26:50 As A Peloton Coach

33:19 Give Time For Yourself


Resources:

My Last Bad Day Shift: How to Prevent Bad Moments From Turning into Bad Days

Use the coupon (25% off): Shift





Tweets:


Having a bad day? Join @SfbaldwinOwens and @roadieob on how to have our last bad day. #getwhatyouwant #payingattention#gratitude#connections#awareness#truth


Quotes:


  • 03:03 “I just refuse to give a bad moment any more fuel or energy than it deserves.” - Michael O’Brien

  • 09:20 “I knew that I had to get my mindset right if I was going to get my body right.” -Michael O’Brien

  • 13:42 “It's so easy for me to fixate on everything that was wrong. So I had to develop the muscle to find out what was right.” - Michael O’Brien

  • 14:13 “Life happens to us every single day until we start happening to life.” - Shirley Owens

  • 15:09 “Once you get into a place where you're happy and you are setting that intention every day and you are achieving things, gratitude just naturally comes up inside of you.” - Shirley Owens

  • 16:53 “We can't prevent bad moments from happening, but we certainly can respond to them differently.” - Michael O’Brien

  • 20:37 “When the doing is chronic or constant, and we don't have recovery, that's when we get injured, or we get sick, or we don't make good decisions.” - Michael O’Brien

  • 21:58 “With more intentionality, with more being, it can be better than just good enough.” - Michael O’Brien

  • 23:08 “Your extraordinary right where you are, and now we're going to be purposeful and trying to take that up to the next level. You are great where you are, and we're going to work hard on making you better.” - Michael O’Brien

  • 23:41 “You can do your entire life without being anything.” - Shirley Owens


Connect With Michael:



Michael O’Brien is an Inspirational Speaker. He is on a quest to help 1 million people have their last bad day. As a Corporate Coach, Michael elevates successful leaders by helping them prevent bad moments from turning into bad days. Before launching into his coaching career, Michael experienced a life-altering event that shattered his worldview. On July 11, 2001, he was struck head-on by a speeding SUV while out on a training bike ride. Now Michael considers this his last bad day and one of his best because it helped him shift his perspective in almost every aspect of his life and career. Michael's peloton helped him get back on the bike and into the corporate executive suite, all while transforming from a human doer to a human being. He shares his journey in his best-selling memoir: Shift, Creating Better Tomorrow's; Winning at Work and in Life and he donates all his proceeds to the World Bicycle Relief foundation. They mobilize people through the power of bicycles. They envision a world where distance is no longer a barrier to education, healthcare, and economic opportunity.


Transcriptions

Shirley Owens: My guest today is inspirational speaker, Michael O'Brien. Michael is on a quest to help 1 million people have their last bad day. As a corporate coach, Michael elevates successful leaders by helping them prevent bad moments from turning into bad days. Before launching into his coaching career, Michael experienced the life altering event that shattered his worldview. On July 11th, 2001, he was struck head on by a speeding SUV while out on a training bike ride. Now, Michael considers this his last bad day and one of his best because it helped him shift his perspective in almost every aspect of his life and career. Michael's Peloton helped him get back on the bike and into the corporate executive suite, all while transforming from a human doer to a human being. Michael shares his journey in his bestselling memoir SHIFT: Creating Better Tomorrows, and he donates all his proceeds to the world World Bicycle Relief foundation. They mobilize people through the power of bicycles. They envision a world where distance is no longer a barrier to education, healthcare, and economic opportunity. Wow, this is exciting. Thanks Michael, for being here.


Michael O’Brien: Thanks for having me, Shirley. I can't wait to have our conversation. I've been looking forward to this all day.


Shirley Owens: Same. So where do I even start? I love, love the idea of helping people have a last bad day, we all want that, right?


Michael O’Brien: Yes, yes. Oh, well, at least I hope we do. Yeah, it's really remarkable. I read a stat, it goes back several weeks ago, but it was from a study in 2018, it was like one of those wearable fitness bracelets that measures their steps, and they did. They did a survey out to all their users, I'm not sure if it was Garmin, or Fitbit, or another one, and they asked people about their days, and the research, or the conclusion that came out of the research was that people on average had 60 bad days a year. And I was like, wow. And so, obviously I called My Last Bad Day, my last bad day before I came up about this research. But when you think of it, that's more than one bad day a week. And even if we, maybe we don't eliminate all bad days, maybe we can just divide them in half.


Shirley Owens: Or called them something different?


Michael O’Brien: Or call him something different, which is part of my overall message about being really mindful of the labels we use in our lives because I still have bad moments. I just refuse to give a bad moment any more fuel or energy than it deserves.

“I just refuse to give a bad moment any more fuel or energy than it deserves.” - Michael O’Brien

Shirley Owens: That's awesome. Well, I know that you turned something horrific into something amazing. If you could tell a little bit about that journey, if that's okay. I'd love to hear a little bit more about the story, and what happened in your mind that shifted.


Michael O’Brien: Yeah, I'd love to share. So that last bad day happened on July 11, 2001, and I've been an avid cyclists probably from the very first day, I came off a training wheels when I was five years old. I just loved how the bike in my mind could take me anywhere, and I always loved riding my bike, and got into bike racing, and I had an affair with running for a little bit but then I came back to cycling after the birth of our two daughters. And I brought my bike out to a company meeting, we had an offsite, like pretty typical offsite, go out on Monday, come back on Friday. And most of the guys were going to go golfing. I decided I was going to bring my bike, because I had half a day, I could ride in New Mexico, and cross New Mexico off the States over in my bike, and get some exercise. And I was also training for my first race back after the birth of our second daughter. And I was doing some laps in the morning before our meeting on that July 11th morning, and I came around to bend, and right there coming at me going about 40 miles an hour, that's what the police estimate how fast he was traveling, an SUV, a Ford, white Ford Explorer. And I looked at him, Shirley, and I was like, Oh, he's going to see me. He's going to move, he's going to see me, it's going to move, and he never moved.



Shirley Owens: Oh, my God.


Michael O’Brien: And everything was like super fast, but also like super slow motion, all at the same time. You know, like when we have an accident, everything seems to slow down. And I remember everything about the sound of me hitting his grill into the windshield, that sound screech of his brakes, the thought I made as I came to the asphalt below. And of course, that knock me unconscious, but the EMT has finally arrived, and I could tell things were really grim. I tried to cut the moment, the attention of the moment with a little humor. So I asked them like, how is my bike? Which is only a silly question, and another cyclist can truly appreciate. And I just remember thinking, wow, the script doesn't play out this way because, had you met me before my last bad day, I was following the script I thought you had to follow to have success in your life. You work, you work hard in high school to go to the right college, whatever, the right college is, then you get a gig, and you might meet someone, and get married and start a family, and then you work your way up the corporate ladder. I was doing that, but I wasn't necessarily aware. I was just following the script that I thought I had to follow. So here I am, fighting for my life, literally fighting for my life, thinking, well, the script's not written this way. This is not supposed to be happening. And I just remember willing myself not to fall asleep cause I thought if I fell asleep I may never wake up again. So I was just like, stay awake, stay awake.


Shirley Owens: Wow.


Michael O’Brien: And then when they put me on the helicopter to take me to Albuquerque, which was the only trauma one center in the state, which I tried to get out of, because I was a little scared of flying back then. I was like, really? Can we take an ambulance? And they're like, no, we need to get you there. And obviously, I was in shocked. I was not totally coherent. I just remember telling myself, if you live, life is going to be different. You've got to stop chasing happiness. Because back in the day I did a lot of chasing happiness, and this was before the internet, and FOMO really exploded, right? It's 2001, before smartphones, but I really did a lot of, well, I'll be happy when I get promoted. I'll be happy when I buy that car. I'll be happy when this meeting is over. I'll be happy when, and I was never, I wasn't been, and in my early days in my corporate life, I followed this guy, many listeners might know Zig Ziglar, and I used to listen to his cassette tapes, I started learned sales from him. And he had a little funny saying about, DO, HAVE, BE. And how so many people DO hustle and grind, as we call it now, to HAVE stuff, and then you'll BE whatever you want to be. And he's like, that's not the best way to bring out happiness in your life. You have to flip the script, and you have to show up BEING FIRST doing the things that say happy people do like gratitude and kindness, and then as a result, you can have more of it. So he flipped the script around, and I was in that motive of doing, of hustling, grinding, following someone else's script. And then I had my first surgery where it was about 12 hours. I needed 34 units of blood product to save my life. The doctors miraculously saved my life, and saved my left leg, because what happened besides breaking a whole bunch of everything, the left femur shattered, and when the left femur shattered, lacerated the femoral artery of my left leg.


Shirley Owens: Wow.


Michael O’Brien: And that's why the doctors told my wife, had I been 10 years older or not healthy, I probably would have died before I got to the hospital. And when I came out of the ICU, they told me about my accident and a lifetime of dependency, and limitations, and pain, and suffering. So at first, life was different, but not in the way, Shirley that I wanted. I got really dark, and really angry very quickly.


Shirley Owens: Oh, I'm sure.


Michael O’Brien: Yeah. I thought life was so unfair, and I was just sitting in this toxic stew, even though I tried to pretend it was all good, but when the hospital got dark, and lonely, and after visiting hours, I was just fighting reality. I was like, this is so unfair. I was following the script, I was doing everything you're supposed to be doing, and then this happened, Oh, this is so wrong. And it took me awhile until they flew me back to New Jersey, where I currently live, for some more surgeries and a lot of rehab. And then I eventually had my big shift where I knew that I had to get my mindset right, if I was going to get my body right.

“I knew that I had to get my mindset right if I was going to get my body right.” -Michael O’Brien

Shirley Owens: Yeah, for sure.


Michael O’Brien: And in the whole concept of like, we can all worry ourselves sick, which we do a lot of worrying ourself sick nowadays. So I thought, well, if you can worry yourself sick, can't you think yourself well, so I knew enough from just athletic background to the mindset as matter a lot in terms of performance. So I knew I had to start shifting my mindset if I was going to get my body healthy.


Shirley Owens: I love that. Wow. It's hard because I hear, you hear of people saying that, a law on my show actually, we talk about this happened, and then I shifted my mindset, and so I'm sure that so many people out there are like, how though? How, how, how, like I want to know how, yeah, it sounds all great. I mean, that was a pretty tragic thing for you to go through, and a pretty dark place for you to be in. I know, I've been there myself. And if someone were to say, okay, Michael, I get it. Like you shifted your mindset, how? What would be one of the first things that you would tell someone?


Michael O’Brien: Well, the first thing I would think about and share with someone is really determine who is in your Peloton. So I use, for those that don't know what a Peloton is, a Peloton is a group of cyclists in a bike race. So you think the Tour de France and all those cyclists, although they're on different teams, they all have to work together to get down the road as fast as possible, they need trusting collaboration and communication. So I'm a big believer in really paying attention to who you're riding alongside, to play off the analogy or metaphor. Because I'm here, I was able to shift my mind because of the people in my Peloton, because the thing is, this didn't happen just to me, this happened to my wife, this happened to my two daughters, my oldest Elle was three and a half at the time, three and a half years old, and my youngest, Grady was seven months old. And they don't necessarily remember the details, but they do remember the energy of the whole thing.


Shirley Owens: Yeah.



Michael O’Brien: And energy has a way of rippling. So for me, when I thought about like all the time I was in the hospital, I was like looked around, I'm like all these people are my Peloton, they're all helping me cycle or pedal forward. So one is, like now, before something happens, like our last bad day moment is paying attention to who's in your Peloton, who is around you personally and professionally. And if you have to make some changes, as difficult as those changes are, then this is a good time to make some changes. And I would start there. The next thing I did was really basic but so vital, so essential. And it's not some magic pill or some hack cause I don't really believe in hacks. Because I think change really happens drip by drip, or my little vernacular pedal stroke by pedal stroke is I got quiet, I connected with my breath. So that big moment where I realize, okay, you have to shift your mind in order to get your body right. The very next morning I woke up, got out, scuttled out of bed into my wheelchair, and I willed myself to a quiet place in the hospital, and I just got quiet and set my intentions before the day. And for whatever reason that just felt like the right thing to do. And this was before the Calm app, or Headspace, or any of that stuff. I just knew that I had to get quiet because my head was so noisy. So what I did is I just spent some time, it was the beginning of my meditation practices, I like to call it, that I was just setting my intentions for the day and being really purposeful as far as how I wanted to show up to my rehab and just life in general, the people who would come to visit me, so I got really connected to my breath. The third thing I would offer up Shirley, I would always go to bed after my gratitude practice for the day was over, because I had so much to point to that was wrong in the world, like I had all these limitations. So it's so easy for me to fixate on everything that was wrong. So I had to develop the muscle to find out what was right. And so my gratitude practice helped me, even if it was a micro win, or even maybe the challenges I was facing that I could have gratitude for that as a way to serve anchor my day and give my day some balance or some perspective.

“It's so easy for me to fixate on everything that was wrong. So I had to develop the muscle to find out what was right.” - Michael O’Brien

Shirley Owens: I like that, I'm really huge on intention, and waking up each day and having an intention of what I want to create that day, life happens to us every single day until we start happening to life. So yeah, you can get stuck in that, backslide of just getting up every day and just letting the day happen. And I think that it's very common. Most people do that. And then you wonder, why is this happening to me? Or why is that happening? And get stuck in that victim mentality, which would have been very easy for you to do in a wheelchair in a hospital. And the other thing I love is the night time routine. I've heard this from several of my guests that they do a morning intention, and then a nighttime routine of some sort. And I love gratitude. For me, it is everything. And sometimes, we do have to work hard to figure out what we're grateful for, but I realized that once you get into a place where you're happy, and you are in setting that intention everyday, and you are achieving things, gratitude just naturally just comes up inside of you. And so it's good to practice what that feels like, and what it looks like when you're not in that place.

“Life happens to us every single day until we start happening to life.” - Shirley Owens

Michael O’Brien: Oh, I love it. I couldn't have said it better myself. For me, at first it's hard, now it's just become just a natural part of my evening ritual. I still do it as I'm brushing my snags, that's what we call teeth in our family, but I can now find it throughout over the years. Just part of life, you're stuck in traffic, or a bad commute, and you can get all upset, and you can let that bad commute ruin your day. For me, I tried to shift in my perspective as quickly as possible, and say, okay, well what's the good in it? And so sometimes, the good in it is like, well, I can listen to my podcast a little bit longer, or I can listen to this music or this interview that might be on the radio, or or what have you, I just try what I find, and what I share with the people I work with, because a lot of times they'll ask: "Well, does anything ever get you upset?" And I'm like: "Plenty of things get me upset." But what I've found over time by exercising these muscles is that the intensity of me getting upset and the things that don't necessarily align to my values is less intense and they don't last as long. I can move away from them faster and into more of a mindset that allows me to bring out the goodness that I'm supposed to bring out into the world. Just like we all have goodness that we're supposed to bring out. So we can't prevent bad moments from happening, but we certainly can, we can respond to them differently.

“Once you get into a place where you're happy and you are setting that intention every day and you are achieving things, gratitude just naturally comes up inside of you.” - Shirley Owens

Shirley Owens: Right. We can find evidence in everything, right? When you say traffic, I was sitting at a traffic light the other day on my way to physical therapy, and I knew it's been awhile. I've had hip surgery, and it's been a few weeks since I've done physical therapy, and I knew that it was going to be a harder day. And anyway, I was just kinda thinking about, Oh, having a little of anxiety about what I'm walking into today. But then my husband, I drove by the hospital that he works at and he popped into my mind, and I just smiled, and I thought, Oh, I love that. That brings a smile to my face. I'm just going to think about him instead of physical therapy. So I feel like, like you say, when you exercise that muscle, sometimes it just takes over, and it's like one of those things where you aren't even paying attention and something negative comes up, but your body and your brain just fill it with something positive. And I do find myself, just often in the day like, why am I feeling so happy inside? Oh, yeah, it's my kids, or my husband, or my home, or the hummingbirds that are right by my head, or whatever, you know? I love that with practice, we really are able to just have that replace, and it kind of starts to come automatically. The other thing I wanted to talk to you about is, when we talk about doing and being, that's a huge part of who I am. I love that there is the separation between the human and the being, or the human doing in the human being. I'd love to learn a little bit more about your thoughts on that, because everything that I teach is about how we are being in our relationships, or how we are being in that moment. So I'd love for you to expand a little bit on that part.

“We can't prevent bad moments from happening, but we certainly can respond to them differently.” - Michael O’Brien

Michael O’Brien: Oh, I'd love to. Yeah. Well, in the early days of my life, really the early days of my career, I think I was a pretty good human doer. I was busy getting stuff done, and fast forward to 2019, and you ask a lot of people like, Hey, how are you doing? What? What most people say is, I'm busy.


Shirley Owens: Yeah.


Michael O’Brien: It's almost like we've over index on, we got to get working, we've got to get working, we gotta get working cause God, if we take a break people are gonna judge us. And I think some of that is just our own internal conversation that we have with ourselves, but sometimes, even in an entrepreneurial world where people are running, because we now we have more of a freelance entrepreneurial type of economy, you see so much out there. You've got to be doing everything, got do, do, do, do.


Shirley Owens: Right.


Michael O’Brien: And we don't spend enough time recovering. I'm a big believer that stress can be good, as an athlete, I know that stress does make me stronger and faster. We sometimes don't like it, but heck, we sign up for exercise classes, or P90X, or Peloton cycles on purpose because they're going to stress us out. Because we know it's good for us, but when the doing is chronic or constant and we don't have recovery, that's when we get injured, or we get sick, or we don't make good decisions. For me, part of being is being still, but in my memoir I give 20 ways of being, of just showing up--

“When the doing is chronic or constant, and we don't have recovery, that's when we get injured, or we get sick, or we don't make good decisions.” - Michael O’Brien

Shirley Owens: I love that.


Michael O’Brien: --and starting, number eight is be gratitude or be grateful. And you start doing the things that grateful people do, and make a stronger connection. So I was so busy doing, I was so much on my hamster wheel that, what I was missing out on, the thing is, I still had success, by every account, people would look at my career and be like, well, he's very successful.


Shirley Owens: Of course.


Michael O’Brien: But I was leaving a whole bunch of joy and happiness on the table, and other success because I was so busy doing with my head down, I was missing some important connections in my wife, and they weren't so bad that, you know, I was down by the river and a trailer, type of thing. Because sometimes we make our misery somewhat hyperbolic, you know?


Shirley Owens: Yes.


Michael O’Brien: But I think there's a lot of folks out their current day where it's just like, it's good enough. And with more intentionality with more being, it can be better than just good enough, and you can have more connection not only with yourself and who you are, but with the people that you love the most. And for me, what I learned is like, well, I can have a vibrant career. In fact, I do credit my accident and the lessons I've learned through my recovery of helping me get to the highest levels in my company as an executive on my own terms with a greater sense of being, and really certain more control on how I manage my energy and my stress reaction. I was happier, I was actually more joyful because I gave myself permission to be, and sometimes be still and be recovering and not constantly with this feeling that I had to be doing something to matter, right?

“With more intentionality, with more being, it can be better than just good enough.” - Michael O’Brien

Shirley Owens: Yeah.


Michael O’Brien: I know you run into this a lot. There's so many people who feel, in order to be more, they have to do more, or in order to be extraordinary, they have to do extraordinary things. And I come at it from a completely different place now. I used to once think that, but now I'm like, you're extraordinary right where you are and now we're going to be purposeful and trying to take that up to the next level, and you are great where you are and we're going to work hard on making you better. But it's not something that you're chasing. The starting point is different from a framework perspective for me.

“Your extraordinary right where you are, and now we're going to be purposeful and trying to take that up to the next level. You are great where you are, and we're going to work hard on making you better.” - Michael O’Brien

Shirley Owens: Right. And you're not saying that doing isn't an important part. I have kind of a funny saying and sometimes people understand it and some people don't, but I've always said, always, I guess for the last few years, 'you can do your entire life without being anything,' just can't be anything without doing. You can do, do, do, and never be anything. But when you are being, you have to also be doing. So it's interesting because I feel like I don't understand that, but doing, a lot of people just do, mark off that checklist, I did this, I did this, I did this, I did this, I feel accomplished. But when happiness comes to play, and you know, Get What You Want Podcasts, same kind of thing that you said earlier. When I get this, I'll be happy. When I get this, I'll be happy. When I get this, I'll be happy. And we never actually get there, and it's the same thing with doing. When I do this, I'll be happy. When I'll do this, when I do this, when I do this. But when you stop for a moment, and when you become something, and when you are being something, when I am being a mother, it's different than doing as a mother. Like I can make dinner, clean the house, but the kids, get them to bed, send them to school, but when I'm being a mother, I'm being love, I'm being what they need, and so it's different but then I still have to do those things.

“You can do your entire life without being anything.” - Shirley Owens

Michael O’Brien: Yeah, no, definitely you still do. Because I think success still requires, as cliche as this sounds.


Shirley Owens: Action.


Michael O’Brien: Action and a little bit of sweat. So it's not like all the concept of acceptance or gratitude, it's not about lowering our standards, it's about where we're coming at things from.


Shirley Owens: Right. So you feel way better doing those things when you first became the person that can do them, right?



Michael O’Brien: Absolutely. So now, my starting point, yeah, as my starting point is completely different, and now you can just go forward with much greater intention and bring the people around with you because when you're in this state of being, you can connect better with them. And I think that's like, it was so true back then, as I was recovering, I needed everyone around me, and started with my wife who is the head of my Peloton. But even current day, even more so current day that we need a Peloton around us that's diverse on multiple fronts to help us solve the problems of tomorrow. We just need that sense of community and belonging, and when we're being who we are as opposed to doing, it allows us to establish that connection much more powerfully.


Shirley Owens: Yeah, I love that. I actually have a Peloton Bike.


Michael O’Brien: Cool.


Shirley Owens: So I remember when I first heard about you and I'm like, Peloton Coaching. So he's a Peloton Coach? Because my only understanding was that was just the brand name on my bike. But it was really cool for me to look into what that actually meant, and then to see the whole program that we use, and there is like a community around you, you know? So I love that your business is Peloton Coaching, I love that. Tell me a little bit more about that, about your coaching business, and what exactly you do around creating this community around you.


Michael O’Brien: Yeah, I'd love, love it. Well, so we'll have to exchange leaderboard names. Mine is called My Last Bad Day.


Shirley Owens: I love it.


Michael O’Brien: I like to think as a leadership coach, I'm a mixture between Emma and Robin.


Shirley Owens: Don't laugh at mine, mine is love, spin, rehab, repeat.


Michael O’Brien: All right, cool. Well, we'll look each other off.


Shirley Owens: You'll laugh at mine. I have to give you my husband's if you want to see some doing, and some coolness. But I just get on there, and I ride all over the world.


Michael O’Brien: Very cool. Oh, that's awesome. That's very cool.


Shirley Owens: That's so funny.


Michael O’Brien: Yeah. So I came up with the name Peloton Coaching when I was in the hospital. There was a whole bunch of my medical team around me and I remember saying to my wife, I go: "They're like my medical Peloton." As I mentioned earlier. And for me, what I think we so need after we get done with the air, water, the basic needs that we have is we need community, we need belonging. And for me, the leaders I coach at their level, they get up to, maybe a VP level, director level, C suite level, and that old adage is lonely at the top, it's true for a reason. So here they've had community as they've worked their career at a young age. Now they get in their 40's, and this is a hard time because if they have a family, their kids might be getting older, and they're looking at empty nest land, and they get to a high level in the company and they realize that saying, it's lonely at the top is true. And they lose a little bit of that connection in terms of like who can they talk to? Who can they talk to about, just human things about self doubt. What I've found just through my own career but also talking to a whole bunch of leaders is that, even the leaders who seem so confident, they also have that conversation that we all have with ourselves where there might be a little bit of imposter syndrome, or doubt, or worry--


Shirley Owens: For sure.


Michael O’Brien: --and they sort of lose that community when they get to a certain level because they believe, like I once believe that leaders have all the answers. They have to be Wonder Woman or Superman at work. So I try to build community with them, and also try to help them build community with their team. So there's more trust, there's more collaboration, and we do a lot of work around just their overall, yeah, emotional intelligence, but conversational intelligence because ultimately things get done through conversation. One of the things I love about the format of your podcast, Shirley, is that we're just chatting, right? There's no script, it's just two people coming together, having a conversation. And when you think about anything in life, it starts there with more kinds of conversations are we having, and does it fit the situation. So I work a lot with them on that, and many of them have me come in to speak with their teams around, how we can live with more awareness, and community, and connection, and resilience, and gratitude. I have something called CARE, which is, connection, awareness, resilience and empathy, and how to build more of that into work cultures so we can be better for the people that we serve. And for me, I knew I was going to get into this line of work as I came out of the ICU. And I feel very fortunate, lucky, and honored to be doing this type of work because it not only makes a difference for the leaders at work, but I often hear from their spouses, or indirectly that they're better at home.


Shirley Owens: I love that, for sure. I worked in baseball for a lot of years, and I also had a business consulting firm, and I realized that really what is going on at home just feeds into everything else they do. And we often think that, right, we go to these business seminars, or we get coaching to be better at business and then realize, Whoa, we really are getting it to be better beings.


Michael O’Brien: Yes. Yeah. So that's, for me, that's some of the best feedback I hear is I'm talking to someone, say, Hey, my husband, my wife wants to thank you. And I'm like, okay, what? Where's this going? And they go on to share. Like, I'm better at home, I'm a better dad, I'm a better mom or partner because I'm being more at home, I'm more present, and I'm a better listener, and I have a stronger connection. So for me, yeah, the company pays for their coaching, but for them to make a difference in that other aspect of life so they have the energy for those that they love the most, that is such a great byproduct of the work that they're doing, which is just fantastic to hear.


Shirley Owens: For sure, for sure. So I always ask two questions on the show and one of them is, is there anything that you would change in your life, or anything that you regret looking back?


Michael O’Brien: I would say nothing. None, no regrets. I might have wanted to take singing lessons because I can't carry a tune. And I've always like, privately, growing up, I used to lip sync like crazy in my bedroom, in the mirror, and I so wanted to be able to sing. And now when we watch as a family, The Voice, or back in the day when American Idol was more popular, I would always ask my girls, I like: "Do I sing better than that person?" Like that was the worst singer around the show, and they're like: "No, you're worse than that person." So you know, kids do wonder as to keep you humble in life.


Shirley Owens: Yes, they do.


Michael O’Brien: So I may have wanted to take some singing lessons to be on tune a little bit better. But no, I think, the way I look at my life is that everything has shaped me into the person I am today. And I look back at my last bad day with a lot of gratitude because it really did help me shift my perspective in almost every aspect of my life.


Shirley Owens: Oh, I love that. I love that answer. I wish I could sing too.


Michael O’Brien: Well, maybe we'll both take singing lessons and we'll rock if we see each other in person, we can rock karaoke for like one night, one night of fame, yeah.


Shirley Owens: For sure, let's do it. Okay, the other question that I want to ask is, if you could leave our listeners with one piece of advice today that they could start getting what they want, just to start today, what would it be?


Michael O’Brien: It would be, making sure that you step into self care and time for yourself every day. I see so much of people wanting to serve, which is fantastic, I think it's awesome, it's what I do. And we're serving, serving, serving, and in some ways it's a hidden chasing happiness that, I'll be happy once I can make other people happy, and this self care notion gets into like, anyone who's taken a flight, we all know that we want to put our oxygen mask on first before assisting others. Especially as we think about how busy life is work and just our family lives, it's important to spend the least a little bit of time on you. It doesn't mean you're going to the spa or getting a back rub every day. It could be for some people, that would get expensive, I think for most. But it's just moments of quiet where you can be thoughtful, connect with your breath, recover, so you're treating yourself with kindness. So it gives you a chance to treat others with kindness as well. And I think it really does help prevent or at least minimize those bad moments from gaining too much energy and turning into a bad day.


Shirley Owens: Yeah, #true, that is so true. So how can our listeners get in touch with you? How do we get to learn more about not having any more bad days?


Michael O’Brien: Yeah, so the best bet is my website, which is michaelobrienshift.com, and there they can get a copy of My Last Bad Day Shift, which is the book where I share my actual routines and rituals to help prevent bad moments from turning into bad days, it's free, all they have to do is pay shipping and handling. And they could also sign up for my leadership lock there.


Shirley Owens: Awesome. Well, thanks for being with me today on the Get What You Want Podcast, and I'm super excited to take singing lessons now.


Michael O’Brien: Yes.


Shirley Owens: I'm excited to just get to know you more, Michael, I'm so grateful for you to be here today.


Michael O’Brien: No, I'm so happy that we were able to have this conversation, and I wish you nothing but success as you go forward with your podcast, and I know through each episode, you're gonna make a big difference in people's lives, and that's a really cool legacy that way beyond.


Shirley Owens: That's awesome. With guests like you, for sure, that's going to happen. Thanks.


Michael O’Brien: No problem. Thanks.


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