In this video, David Laroche shares with us the 7 key points for living an extraordinary life that he identified by interviewing more than 60 American celebrities, authors, speakers, Olympic athletes, etc.
This results in a simple (but arguably difficult 😉) 7-step process for living an extraordinary life! Find out from reading/listening below:
The book we talk about in the video: Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl, concentration camp survivor
Text (literal) Transcript of the 7 Steps for an Extraordinary Life Video:
Olivier Roland: Hi David!
David Laroche: Hi Olivier!
Olivier Roland: David Laroche is a motivation expert and a speaker; you give talks all over France, Europe, and soon all over the world. I found David to be quite insightful on all these issues of self-confidence, motivation, etc. I would like to know today, David, if you could quickly give us the 7 key points to get to the next level?
David Laroche: Well, it’s a question I ask myself all the time: What makes the difference between those who started as ordinary people but lead an extraordinary life and ordinary people who remain within an ordinary life?
I have identified 7 common points in all the interviews I have done, whether in France, the United States, among American leaders, high-level athletes, and Olympic champions. What are these 7 steps to an extraordinary life? For me, the first step is to first clarify what is important to me. If I don’t have a clear idea of what goals I have, there is no reason for me to be motivated.
I have people who come to me and tell me that they have no motivation, and that they don’t like to make an effort. It is never a about motivation and effort; it is about the goal of “what” and then “why”. Why do I want to earn a million euros; why do I want to start my business?
The difference is my relationship with things. I don’t know any athlete who, while doing push-ups, says: “Goddamn this suck, goddamn this sucks…“ It makes so much sense to him that he does it. I don’t know any hiker who, in the mountains, when he sees a big rock in front of him, says to himself: “How come there’s a damn rock there?” He knows why he wants to go to the top of the mountain and therefore the relationship to the rock is completely different.
There are a lot of people who are creating blogs, businesses, but they don’t even know why. There is complete work…by Simon Sinek, among others, who has studied how the “why” is the source of motivation. If we take Martin Luther King, and we take away his cause, his “why”, he no longer has the same charisma. So, you already have to know what is important to you, and why it is important. You have to find something that motivates you to get up in the morning.
We get up, we want, for example, like you, to help people to start a business, and that goes beyond the marketing side, it has meaning. I go to bed at night and I’m glad I did this certain thing. And generally, the secret of the “why” is both a “why” for me and for others.
If it is only for others, as in the case of all these people doing humanitarian aid, if there is one person they have forgotten on this Earth, it is themselves. They only feel good as it relates to the ill-fate of others. Or people who are centered only on themselves and who find that there is no meaning in their life. The key is to always ask yourself: “What am I doing for myself and for others?” That’s the first step.
The second step is once I know where I want to go, it’s to know where I am. And on that, all the GPS agree: point of departure and point of arrival. This is the question we ask a lost friend: “Where are you going, where are you?” It’s that age-old question of who am I.
Steve Jobs is very clear about the gifts he has. How am I going to be able to harness the gifts I have and what is important for me in the present to get there? I like to say that I have the same goal as another person, who am I, that determines the path. As you say, for example, for you, you are sympathetic to “The 4-hour week”. It’s not the same way to achieve your goals when you want to have a lot of free time as when you say to yourself, I want to work 12 hours a day. I don’t know what is better, although I have an idea of what is better for well-being.
If I don’t know what’s important to me, I may find myself building a business that can be successful, but that I hate.
Olivier Roland: Which is not very interesting.
David Laroche: It’s a bit dumb.
Olivier Roland : It would be self-sabotage in that case.
David Laroche: Generally, we are very much inclined to burn out because we wonder why we do things. So, the first question here is: “What is important to me now, who am I?”
The first thing to identify are values, those of freedom, love, surpassing oneself, motivation, etc. — we have the impression that we all have the same values, but not in the same order. For some, surpassing oneself is more important than well-being. For others, it is the pleasure of learning, which is not the same as success. It is the fact of understanding, of analyzing. We have things that are levers, which are important to us. Generally, when we feel bad, it is because our highest values are not nourished. And when we get into shitty relationships, it’s because other people’s high values are our low values.
Typically, in a couple, one will have freedom as a high value, the other will have security as a high value. One person wants to change the vacation spot whereas the other would like to go to the same chalet as the last 4 years.
If it’s a corporate partnership, there will be problems. Even in relation to my clients, if I do not have the same values, I will not be able to communicate with them because the words I am going to use will annoy them.
Third step, when I know who I am and where I am going, it is like the hiker, he better know where he is. On the map, we look for where we are and where we are going. There are entrepreneurs who come and tell me: “I’m looking for an action plan.” I play down the word ‘action’ because it is not the most important. Along the way, the ideas I will get have nothing to do with the ideas I had six months ago. The ideas I may have now are a thousand times better than the ideas I had four years ago.
What interests me is my approach with checkpoints, but I need to know precisely what my next step is. As you say, what am I going to do with this training in the week, not in a month. And better, what am I doing tomorrow? And I talk a lot about that in my training, you have to find the baby step forward that is right for you.
I help people who are sometimes close to suicide, people who are brilliant, who go in front of 4,000 people on stage. Clearly, if I’m the one who is providing them with the baby steps, it’s not going to be okay. The person must say to himself: “This is where I am, what can I do to challenge myself?” The key is, if I challenge myself too much, I’m going to be put off. There are two possible consequences: I don’t go for it — it’s a bit like wanting to learn to swim by jumping in the water. I tell myself that I’m not going in — or I jump in the water and then I am traumatized. It’s smarter and more self-respecting to say to yourself: “I know I’m going to get there, but for now, I’m just going to remain at the water’s edge.”
Same for blogging, my challenge for the moment is not to make a blog that is a big hit. Tonight, I’m just going to make a video that I post, even though it’s not perfect. Besides, people can see my first videos, they’re not great. I was told not to post them, but I knew it was the best I could do at the time. Three months later, I was told that I should remove the old ones. No, I’m not going to take them down. Earlier, we were with Osama Ammar. The reason he came online with me is because he saw my old videos and saw that I didn’t take them down.
Don’t wait to be perfect, just take that baby step forward. I was extremely shy; I raised my hand once in class. No one would have thought I could give talks just from me raising my hand once in class. On the other hand, people will admire the fact that I am going be seeing Bernard Tapie. What is admirable is not going to see Bernard Tapie, it is these initial baby steps, just like when you created your business at 19, it is the little thing that athletes do to start off. And a last metaphor, it is the fantasy of wanting to beat Mike Tyson, by entering the ring.
Olivier Roland: That’s your fantasy?
David Laroche: No, no.
Olivier Roland: That’s a shame, that would have been awesome.
David Laroche: No, that’d be a sure way to screw things up because I would take one hit and it’d be all over. I have to ask myself the question: “Is he at my level or just above?” That is the third step.
The fourth step is to move a little faster. I need to have better self-esteem. If internally I have the best technique in the world, but I consider myself shit; in front of my banker, if I’m shit, then my project is shit. Externally, I am going to tell him that my project is great, but internally, I am telling him that my project is terrible.
If I don’t have a little love for myself and for what I’m doing, it will be a little difficult. It’s like buying a packet of cereal that says, “this product is harmful” or “this product is crap.” No one is going to buy it. An average self-esteem is a product that is blank. Before convincing others, I must first convince myself that I am an opportunity. People want to know how I got to meet Anthony Robbins. Before telling myself: “I am an opportunity for you”, I convince myself internally: “I can help you out.” I am not at your level, you are just a little further along the path, and there at my level I can help you.
So, it’s all about working on self-esteem. To share a few keys, it is the idea of looking for the benefits in the disadvantages. There is a book, Dr. Frankl’s, when he was in the concentration camps. Basically, the core idea is: “What are the advantages of the disadvantages in my life?” If I can see the advantages in my height, my skin color, it changes.
Olivier Roland: This is what Dr. Frankl experienced in a camp in Auschwitz. So, we can hardly have a worse experience. He explains how he managed to make sense out of that experience. How he managed to survive psychologically and physically by trying to always get the positive out of it. If he could do it under absolutely horrible circumstances, it puts all our everyday problems into perspective.
David Laroche: The secret is to ask yourself: “What is the thing I like least about myself?” For example, I have the case of a lady who was beaten by her parents. The 55-year-old tells me that she has never loved herself in her life. After doing exercise, without a makeover, she tells me that she is beautiful. This is what I call the lagged advantages of the disadvantages.
This is the person who has a helium voice and who today makes voices for children and who goes to bed feeling like he is helping children laugh.
I have a friend who is disabled from birth, who first walked at the age of 12, who was told he would not speak and who today is a speaker in large groups of the CAC 40. When he tells me that he has managed to see the advantages of his handicap and that he has managed to build with it, it’s easy to think that you could do the same, no matter your height, your skin color, and that’s wonderful. As a result, it gets rid of the excuse of: “that’s why I can’t do it.”
Olivier Roland: And that helps us find beautiful positive things in our life to bounce back.
David Laroche: A concrete example in which I did it is my age.
Olivier Roland: How old are you?
David Laroche: I am 24 years old. I believed that, in the world of coaching, there was no one my age, that we were in a period of crisis. And I heard that personal development was saturated. I told myself that, given my age, I was screwed. In fact, the more I believed it, the more people in my environment would tell me: “Don’t you think you’re too young?” And the more I tried to find the advantages for myself. I found 40 or 50. People started talking to me in different ways. In the month following this exercise, “Le Progrès”, a newspaper in Lyon, came to see me saying: “David, it’s amazing, how is it that you are so young?” The outlook of others changed because my own outlook changed.”
As a matter of fact, we have a mutual acquaintance named Romain, the head of Air Detox, he came to see me because a friend was criticizing me. And the fact that I’m comfortable with what you might think of as weaknesses or disadvantages turns into an advantage.
And clearly, if we take disability, for example, we have two people who are at the same level, but one of them has a disability, which one do we admire more? The one with the disability. We have two people who generate a million euros. One has millionaire parents, the other started from zero, which one do we admire more? The one that started from zero. The media will talk about them, which will help them rise faster. The relationship to their weaknesses changes completely. Life has given me this and my role is to transform it.
Moreover, the people who have an impact, whether in marketing or in health, are people who have transformed their challenge to help others. Today, you help bloggers, why? Because you had a blog that was a big hit. Sébastien the marketer told himself internally “I created a business thanks to marketing.”
I think there is a fantasy in blogging, which is to tell yourself: “I am going to convey to people things that I have not even mastered myself.” That’s why I believe a lot in the things you say. I’m a newbie, and look, I’ll confirm my stuff myself.
Olivier Roland: It’s a good positioning when you start a blog, when you have no skills. I’m just starting out, I’m a beginner, I’m transparent to my readers, but I will progress as I go; you will be able to follow my progress, and we will all improve.
David Laroche: That’s the mistake I made at the start. It was to make people believe that I was older, when it was obvious, and that brought me a whole lot of challenges in relation to that.
Olivier Roland: Today, do you give talks all over that still bring together several hundred people?
David Laroche: The average age of my clients is between 40 and 50 years old.
Olivier Roland: Your age doesn’t bother them?
David Laroche: On the contrary, they come to see me because of that. I realized what the advantage of being young, dynamic, tech-savvy, of being fresh, of having a different outlook on the world was. Besides the fact that subconsciously, if David can do it at his age, me, with all the experience I have, I can do it. Clearly you have more experience than me, you can do it.
Other people that I assist who are 60 years old feel very comfortable with it. I am not a preacher. I tell them: “You have understood even more things than me, but in terms of unleashing your potential, I can help you.” And that was the fourth step.
The fifth step to move forward is emotional management. There are four basic emotions: fear, disgust, sadness, and anger. It’s like painting; we mix everything. There are four pleasant emotions: joy, peace, love, and desire. I think there is just one mix-up to put a stop to, it’s people who talk about negative or positive emotions. For me, it’s bullshit.
I love what Thierry Janssen says, he’s a surgeon. He says it is only electric current, why would there be negative emotions. There are pleasant emotions and there are unpleasant emotions. And the most fascinating thing is that as long as you think they are negative, for me it is one of the big challenges of personal development, there is the myth of the positive.
I meet people who have read all the books on positivism and who are even more frustrated than before because there is a rejection of being angry. I no longer allow myself the right to be angry; and I cut myself off from emotions and I bring upon myself some illness. As soon as you realize that unpleasant emotions are just signals. For example, fear, people who are afraid, they run over there.
If I have a choice of two opportunities, and one of them scares me more than the other, which one do you think I want the most?
Olivier Roland: The one that is scarier.
David Laroche: Fear is not only “danger”, but also “opportunity.” And to go further, I will use fear by telling myself that if I am afraid of that, this will perhaps indicate my first action. For example, right now, I am developing humor in my talks.
Clearly, preparing bits scares me. The idea is not to transform my lecture overnight with prepared bits. Can I open up with more humor? I feel I can do that. As a result, fear guides me with these little actions. And if it’s still too much, what can I do that’s even smaller? What’s great is that I won’t forget the action, it’s right after that.
Anger, for example, indicates very clear information, which is that the rules of the game are not OK. Usually, when you’re angry in a relationship, there’s a feeling of not being respected. As soon as I see it like that, I say to myself: “OK, I have some things to get clear with the person.”
Olivier Roland : Let’s say that unpleasant emotions are good indicators. There is something to change, but it is not in itself negative. It wakes us up, it nags at us, it makes us think about ourselves.
David Laroche: And that helps us move forward. The example I give is: “Would you like to drive with the red lights hidden?” In the short term, it’s great, but it will bring serious problems. These are all the people who cut themselves off from unpleasant emotions by thinking that you have to be positive.
I don’t believe that our role is to not have unpleasant emotions, but just to remove them quickly and transform them. I’m angry, I’m jealous, what does that tell me? If I’ve been through 10 relationships where I didn’t feel jealousy, and this time I do, it’s because: 1 – maybe, I love this person.
2 – I have to work on my self-esteem. Or perhaps develop my communication with the person. They are signals. I don’t know of any airline pilot who flies while covering the lights. That’s the emotional part.
The second part is the entire mind mental preparation. This is the way to condition yourself, to create energy. You told me you do meditation. It’s all this emotional world that you can develop to be centered or to create energy or motivation. There are some who are more high energy oriented, who will exercise, etc. That was the fifth key.
The sixth, to move forward, are relationships. Here, I see two things: one the ability to connect with people, you told me about the book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People?” The ability to sell oneself, to connect with people, to bring positive things. Each person I meet, I try to bring them value, without wanting to expect anything. It transforms relationships.
Even in terms of seduction, rather than seducing the person, for me, I just tell myself that I’m going to make sure they have a good time. The pressure goes away, because in general when we are afraid, it is a fear regarding our ego. We are not afraid when we are centered on others.
Sometimes, I get scared when I go on stage, I say to myself: “Why am I doing this? Do you take the stage to be admired?” Of course, I like to be admired, but that’s not why I go on stage. It’s because I give people the opportunity to believe it’s possible, it starts now. And that’s the most important. So, I take action.
The second dynamic of relationships is the well-known breeding ground. If I’m an amazing seed, but I’m in shit soil, I’m not growing. So, I believe that our role is: “Whom can I meet, whom will I part with to inspire myself?”.
And here I am uncompromising. If, at the restaurant, I am not feeling inspired with the person whom I’m with, but I’m with them just because it’s my best friend, there are questions to be asked.
Lots of studies show how much this influences us. 99 depressed people around us will make us depressed, 99 enthusiastic people will cheer us up.
The last thing is the name of this winning attitude called “evolution”. In fact, I was really frustrated at first when I was doing my interviews with inspiring people. I said to myself, that they have goals, they know what they are, I know who I am, I have my goals, I take action, I manage my emotions, I develop my self-esteem, and there’s still a blockade… it’s a bit of the slogan… I’m going to make a veiled reference to… to earn more…
Olivier Roland: From Sarkozy?
David Laroche: …To earn more, you have to work more. And in the short term, that can work. If I put actions in place, I will generate. But inevitably after a while, I have 24 hours, so, I will run into a blockade. I could see that I was taking action after action, and that there was something wrong. I told myself it’s because they have habits that I don’t have. Clearly, if you are more successful than me at blogging, it is because you have habits that you don’t realize.
Hence, “Winning Attitudes”. I told myself that if I develop habits, in terms of breathing, posture, in terms of my management of money, of my relationships, that will change everything. And here I believe that our role is to take a single key and say to ourselves, I will apply it for 21 days.
Similarly, there is a fantasy with the 21 days, it is the idea that I will apply it for 21 days and then it’s over. Personally, I think it’s just like ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’; it’s just the first tier.
I like to use the highway metaphor. It has been 20 years since I’ve used the highway in one direction, and I have the illusion that it is the jungle. I made a small path; my brain will prefer to take the small path rather than the highway. I just created a path, where there was a jungle. Now is better than before. But the highway is still there. I will have to use the path for a year, for it to turn into a road, then a main road, then a secondary road, to one day having another highway, but there is still another highway that is there. And if I were careful to keep my promise, this highway will be taken over by nature.
I see two tiers, one at 21 days, the other at one year. But I would like there to be this limit saying that you’re home free at 21 days. Now is better than before. But if I’ve been standing like this for 21 years, it may take a while before it becomes a habit to hold myself upright, breathe differently, etc.
There it is, the 7 steps, and if you apply them, you will undoubtedly get to another level.
Olivier Roland: That’s what I encourage you to do…Thank you if you’re still watching this video, it means that you are still motivated and interested in this topic. Among you, if there are any who are skeptical, I invite you to be so in the right way. Don’t take your skepticism as an excuse to do nothing. Rather, take it as a goad that will push you to test and see if it’s true. Make it an experiment. These are 7 extremely clear steps that were given by David. Tell us the results in the comments!
David Laroche: One last message of support: find something and take action! If you watch this video and you say to yourself, it’s great just to be in the party and share solutions, that’s no good. You tell yourself that you’re going to apply this thing here and the question you should ask yourself is: ‘What are you going to do that you have never done in the next 7 days to change your life?’
It can be in your relationship, just go say something you don’t say, ‘I love you’. It may be in terms of your company; you need to call someone or show up in person. What is the thing you’re unfamiliar with that you’re going to do to go to another level? There you go, just that and you’ll see, it works.
Olivier Roland: Thank you David for sharing this advice for living an extraordinary life. You got the message, now apply it! See you soon for more adventures.