From Achieving The American Dream To Facing The Reality That Life Has More In Store For Us – Ep.58 – Serban Mare

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Episode summary:  Coming from Romania, Serban Mare had quite a journey coming to America. His original plan was to work here for a little bit to earn a good amount of money and then go back to Romania. But he was then faced with the decision to stay or go back. 

Serban went back to Romania for a visit and felt like he didn’t belong, yet he didn’t feel like he quite belonged in the United States as well. 

Where was home? 

He decided to take a chance and make a life in America because there were so many more opportunities to make a better life for himself and his family. 

After a while, Serban lived the American dream. He was making good money, owned a home, and had a wife, he had it all, but he felt like he was missing something. 

Was this all life was? What now? 

Serban was filled with questions and now how to find a higher purpose than just making money and living comfortably. 

Guest Name & Bio: Serban is an expert in personal development, self-help, and peak performance. He is a Professional Speaker, Certified CBT Practitioner, and Life Coach. 

As a Project Manager, Serban learned how to map out steps to escape the typical “work towards retirement life” and has engineered the path to a more authentic, joyful, and fulfilled lifestyle. Serban came to the United States with $200 to call his own and through adversity created a better life for himself and his family. 

Despite achieving the “American Dream,” he realized he craved deeper meaning and fulfillment. After undergoing his own personal transformation, he accumulated an abundance of knowledge that he desires to share with others on how to live a higher quality, passionate, and meaningful life.

Serban Mare

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[Nick McGowan]: Hey Serban, thank you for joining the show. Welcome, how are you doing man?

[Serban Mare]: I am fantastic thanks for having me, Nick.

[Nick McGowan]: yeah well i appreciate your reaching out I know we connected through a podcast match

[Nick McGowan]: making service in a sense and I was

[Serban Mare]: yep

[Nick McGowan]: telling you right before we hit recorded that i think there’s a lot that were

[Nick McGowan]: gonna be able to talk about it because we both have just this deep passionate I guess almost nerdiness

[Serban Mare]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: when it comes to mindset and really the way that we as people kind

[Nick McGowan]: of tick but one thing that i appreciate about having somebody like yourself on here

[Nick McGowan]: is that you’re not negatively from the u s and i know

[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: that there are a lot of times that i have guests that are on that

[Nick McGowan]: we just get used to certain ways that do things and how we kind of

[Nick McGowan]: had to work through things through life no i don’t want to take your your

[Nick McGowan]: story away or your thunder away from any of this so man why don’t you

[Nick McGowan]: give us a little bit context tell us what you do for a living and

[Nick McGowan]: maybe one thing that most people don’t know about you that’s a little odd or

[Nick McGowan]: bizarre

[Serban Mare]: sure i work right now my nine

to five is a program manager for a

[Serban Mare]: semiconductor company however the rest of

the time i may professional speaker i’m a

[Serban Mare]: motivational coach and i look to help

as many people as i can with

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Serban Mare]: like you said the mind set stuff

i and it’s good that you mentioned that

[Serban Mare]: i have a funny accent is

[Nick McGowan]: i

[Serban Mare]: because i came to the united states

two thousand five and culturally

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Serban Mare]: i was told from the beginning that

i missed must follow this particular footprint you

[Serban Mare]: must go to school you must get

your corporate job you must do all of

[Serban Mare]: these things and nick for the first

eight years of my life ten years in

[Serban Mare]: my america life that’s what i did

i just followed the boot print

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Serban Mare]: and i

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Serban Mare]: found myself after i think it was

twenty thirteen no i did the american dream

[Serban Mare]: i came here i worked really hard

got my diploma check i got the corporate

[Serban Mare]: ninety five job check i got my

four one check then

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Serban Mare]: well i’m going to start living and

going to parties and all of these things

[Serban Mare]: and of a sudden as i kept

not growing any more i just started you

[Serban Mare]: know there’s that saying if you don’t

progress you regress that’s how it felt i

[Serban Mare]: just

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Serban Mare]: i didn’t i didn’t feel whole and

i tell you there’s one instance where i

[Serban Mare]: met with a friend and haven’t seen

him in a few years and we sit

[Serban Mare]: down and he’s generally happy to see

me interested he’s like how you doing how

[Serban Mare]: is he going and that question i

don’t know at that moment just hit me

[Serban Mare]: hard because

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Serban Mare]: yeah was fine the job fine had

the house fine had my relationships were fine

[Serban Mare]: nothing was great there was there was

[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Serban Mare]: just something lacking something lacking and that’s

that’s where i struggled a lot and

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Serban Mare]: you know that’s that’s that’s that’s what

one of the reasons why as i got

[Serban Mare]: more and more desperate of not knowing

exactly what to do with my life that’s

[Serban Mare]: what set me on this path of

as your show it is a mind set

[Serban Mare]: path yeah

[Nick McGowan]: ah what’s the weird thing the

[Serban Mare]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: odd thing that people don’t know about


[Serban Mare]: yeah i was i was thinking about


[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Serban Mare]: one odd thing nick is in fourth

grade you know we were talking before the

[Serban Mare]: recording strange things that happened to us

in childhood

[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Serban Mare]: and fourth grade i was reading along

with the people in class i was we

[Serban Mare]: were going around the class and we

were supposed to read from a book and

[Serban Mare]: i misread something and you know the

kids in the class room just started giggling

[Serban Mare]: and everything and to make things worse

my teacher decided that it would be very

[Serban Mare]: appropriate to make fun of me which

[Nick McGowan]: uh uh

[Serban Mare]: made all the other kids laugh even

even harder and just i got super embarrassed

[Serban Mare]: and from that point i can tell

you that i have not read a book

[Serban Mare]: since that fourth grade only the ones

that i had to for school none whatsoever

[Serban Mare]: until i found the mind set

[Nick McGowan]: and that’s a that’s interesting it’s funny

i’ve joked with people that i hated to

[Nick McGowan]: read hated hated to read i didn’t

even like reading captions on that t v

[Nick McGowan]: like i didn’t want

[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: to read any of it at all

um and i know one hundred percent it

[Nick McGowan]: was because we were forced to do

something and if you’re forced to do something

[Nick McGowan]: you’re like well no makes me want

to not do it and more now and

[Nick McGowan]: now i find myself basically of six

to eight books going at a time a

[Nick McGowan]: couple daily reads and others that are

kind of you know the ones that i’m

[Nick McGowan]: working through um m but that’s that’s

interesting and especially for you to be able

[Nick McGowan]: to be in that spot and now

be in a different country a different language

[Nick McGowan]: being able to

[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: read things and not your native language

so are you now one of those types

[Nick McGowan]: of people were similar to me where

you’ve got a bunch of books all at

[Nick McGowan]: a time or do you kind of

move through them one by one

[Serban Mare]: i do have a library of books

at the moment but i tried to read

[Serban Mare]: them one by one and i m

because again lacking the

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Serban Mare]: the kill of reading for so many


[Nick McGowan]: m

[Serban Mare]: i’m very slow i’m very slow but

i know it’s a it’s a skill that

[Serban Mare]: i can develop you know i had

a fixed mind set prior to prior to

[Serban Mare]: starting to read and of course is

also the fact that you have to find

[Serban Mare]: the books that really intrigue you right

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Serban Mare]: then once

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Serban Mare]: i started finding the books that really

made me light up when i was reading

[Serban Mare]: them it was a different different way

of reading but i had that slinguere now

[Serban Mare]: you have oh i want that one

and someone tells you about another book and

[Serban Mare]: you start picking that up and

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Serban Mare]: i had three or four at the

same time and i find it very difficult

[Serban Mare]: to finish them just because of my

inability to read fast now i’m going very

[Serban Mare]: methodical

[Nick McGowan]: gotcha

[Serban Mare]: one by one

[Nick McGowan]: that makes sense you know it’s not

a race in that sort of way i

[Nick McGowan]: used to find myself being really jealous

of people that could just rip through books

[Nick McGowan]: but then

[Serban Mare]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: i thought about it i was like

you ripping through that did you learn anything

[Serban Mare]: m

[Nick McGowan]: like

[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: a couple of things like that you

didn’t read like the synopsis of it or

[Nick McGowan]: like on the back page and some

people will just will kind of do things

[Nick McGowan]: like that just to

[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: check it off the box sort of

like what you

[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: were doing where you said you came

over and you went after that american dream

[Nick McGowan]: to check off those boxes check off

those boxes and keep going thinking that happ

[Nick McGowan]: this is on the other side of

another one of those boxes so

[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: now that you understand that it’s not

all built in that what how does life

[Nick McGowan]: kind of look different than it did


[Nick McGowan]: especially being here in the states like

actually on that note i want to jump

[Nick McGowan]: to that like getting here to the

states what was the what was the idea

[Nick McGowan]: to come over here for what was

the plan of like i’m going o get

[Nick McGowan]: here and i’m going to do these

things and that journey to be able to

[Nick McGowan]: get here because that in and of

itself is a typical any that most of

[Nick McGowan]: us here in the states don’t ever

go through maybe we’ll move to a different

[Nick McGowan]: state within the continental us but not

have to go different

[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: countries and you know learn a new

language and all that so tell us a

[Nick McGowan]: bit about that about that story getting

over here

[Serban Mare]: yeah i think perspective has a lot

to do with many of the things that

[Serban Mare]: we do and when i came in

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Serban Mare]: two thousand five my plan was to

work for a few months and then go

[Serban Mare]: back home but then working a minimum

wage job for three months actually for the

[Serban Mare]: first month when once i got that

check and i realized that my paycheck

[Serban Mare]: is as much as i would make

in a year in romania

[Nick McGowan]: you

[Serban Mare]: i was like wow this is the

land of opportunities so it was now growing

[Serban Mare]: up i didn’t have we didn’t have

as a family a lot of money so

[Serban Mare]: looking at looking at it from that

perspective i thought man this is this is

[Serban Mare]: so much that i can do here

then i couldn’t do back home which made

[Serban Mare]: me want to really make my home

here in the united states the transition i

[Serban Mare]: can tell you that there’s as an

immigrant you go through these phases where you

[Serban Mare]: feel like home is home and you’re

you’re here but you’re just working

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Serban Mare]: because you want to get home but

then when you go home the first time

[Serban Mare]: i went i felt like an alien

there and it was this struggle between where

[Nick McGowan]: wow

[Serban Mare]: am i which one is my home

and i had to really make make a

[Serban Mare]: commitment and decide that i want to

stay here because this is where i can

[Serban Mare]: make a better life for myself and

my family

[Nick McGowan]: and how did you manage your mindset

throughout that feeling of my home isn’t my

[Nick McGowan]: home anymore my home is now somewhere


[Serban Mare]: yeah you know it was a lot

of interpretation because i had so many friends

[Serban Mare]: back home that i was keeping in

touch with and i wanted that belonging and

[Serban Mare]: making friends here but didn’t feel the

same because friends from back home i knew

[Serban Mare]: for i don’t even know some of

them i knew for twenty years but then

[Nick McGowan]: m m

[Serban Mare]: you know you kind of have to

make a decision you the staying in limbo

[Serban Mare]: is just detrimental

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Serban Mare]: to anybody you’re

[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Serban Mare]: you’re better off running in one direction

a hundred miles then standing still at the

[Serban Mare]: at the intersection because at least when

you run one direction you know hey i’m

[Serban Mare]: actually running the wrong wait i can

turn around and take another path but

[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Serban Mare]: if you’re just standing still at the

intersection you still don’t know and that’s that’s

[Serban Mare]: pretty much what happened at one point

i just settled i said you know i’ll

[Serban Mare]: make here home and if in ten

years i feel different then i can always

[Serban Mare]: go back home but never look back

it was it was a good decision oh

[Nick McGowan]: yeah it sounds like it has been

but it also sounds like your mindset

[Nick McGowan]: was starting ahead in that direction even

just getting over to a new country even

[Nick McGowan]: as somebody who visits a different country

that’s still kind of a typical than what

[Nick McGowan]: most people experience like i’ve been i’ve

been overseas a couple of tim and

[Nick McGowan]: i’ve had conversations with people that are

like oh man i’ve never or i couldn’t

[Nick McGowan]: imagine or you know anything like that

so even just to take that step out

[Nick McGowan]: outside of your comfort zone to come

over here and start to do these

[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: things and then for you to get

to a point where you’re like no matter

[Nick McGowan]: what i was there from here wherever

i’m at i’m still with me but i’m

[Nick McGowan]: still not happy so how did you

get on to that path of going al

[Nick McGowan]: right well i need to do something

different and starting to work

[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: on yourself

[Serban Mare]: yeah i think in many cases

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Serban Mare]: what drives us the most is a

desire and depending on where you are in

[Serban Mare]: your seasons of life or your desire

if it’s strong enough you will persist and

[Serban Mare]: go one direction or another and when

i moved to the united states my mind

[Serban Mare]: said was more of desire to amass

wealth because of a deficiency that i had

[Serban Mare]: back

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Serban Mare]: home where i had no money and

coming here

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Serban Mare]: money drove me for a really long

time like i said all those checked all

[Serban Mare]: those boxes were driven by my lack

of money my not having not having enough

[Serban Mare]: money to go to a restaurant back

home and come here that desire of making

[Serban Mare]: sure that i have that that draw

of money that that was the one that

[Serban Mare]: drove me for a long a really

long time until i did

[Nick McGowan]: m hm you look back at that

moment and kind of in point when that

[Nick McGowan]: happened when you were like oh these

paychecks aren’t making me super excited anymore

[Serban Mare]: uh yeah it definitely definitely was when

and i think it’s it’s been said a

[Serban Mare]: lot right at there’s a plateau at

seventy five thousand i think it’s for americans

[Serban Mare]: where

[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Serban Mare]: money is no longer bringing us happiness

and i literally hit that that number and

[Serban Mare]: i felt like like i had everything

i didn’t need to do anything else and

[Serban Mare]: the only thing i had to do

is party and feel good and be happy

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Serban Mare]: and come to realize that the more

i just stand still the more i was

[Serban Mare]: unhappy and

[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Serban Mare]: just a pet was forming inside of

me where i was wondering what else is

[Serban Mare]: there to life what is my next

season what do i need to do

[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Serban Mare]: and that frustration just constantly belled up

more and more where the money was no

[Serban Mare]: longer there and i didn’t even know

what was what was what else was out

[Serban Mare]: there because up until that point you

know it’s that blue print that i was

[Serban Mare]: talking about at the beginning

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Serban Mare]: is my parents told me hey you

got to get that four or one k

[Serban Mare]: and you got you got to have

a steady job but they haven’t said anything

[Serban Mare]: what are we doing afterwards

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Serban Mare]: once we once we hit that social

boot plane and we check all those box

[Serban Mare]: what’s next and you know that’s where

passion calling a purpose living a more fulfilling

[Serban Mare]: life that’s where i feel

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Serban Mare]: like it’s not being talked a lot

about those types of

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Serban Mare]: seasons in our lives a

[Nick McGowan]: ah

[Serban Mare]: that’s where that’s

[Nick McGowan]: it’s

[Serban Mare]: where

[Nick McGowan]: interest

[Serban Mare]: i ended up hm

[Nick McGowan]: it’s an interesting spot when you get

to that point where you go there’s got

[Nick McGowan]: to be more to it i think


[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: lot of people get to that point

in life and yeah i’ve heard of the

[Nick McGowan]: same thing it’s like seventy grand or

seventy five you get over that and it’s

[Nick McGowan]: a different appetite and i’ve experienced that

as well i’ve experienced

[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: different love so that where you experience

things and one of my friends said at

[Nick McGowan]: best he was like make loads of

money but what the our gonna buy another

[Nick McGowan]: shirt

[Serban Mare]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: it’s like that’s a solid point like

yeah what are you going to buy another

[Nick McGowan]: shirt but when you think about being

in that spot a lot of people get

[Nick McGowan]: to and they go i’ve got the

things i got the house i got the

[Nick McGowan]: wife i got the kids i got

whatever it looks like but they’re still not

[Nick McGowan]: satisfied or they’re still

[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: not being fulfilled that is just the

tip of the iceberg to start to look

[Nick McGowan]: at what is fulfilling what your purpose

could be and i think a lot of

[Nick McGowan]: people get honestly fucking terrified because they

don’t know and they’ve built

[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: up all this stuff behind them saying

well this is who i am i’ve gone

[Nick McGowan]: to school for this i’ve done this

thing and this is who i’ve made myself

[Nick McGowan]: to be

[Serban Mare]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: and sometimes it takes you shifting and

[Serban Mare]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: beat coming somebody different so in that

spot when you got to that point and

[Nick McGowan]: i know it wasn’t a one day

or two day thing but over that course

[Nick McGowan]: of time and being able to look

back at it now what sort of advice

[Nick McGowan]: would you give to somebody that’s kind

of in that spot right now they feel

[Nick McGowan]: like they’re close to that

[Serban Mare]: uh yeah there and like you said

it wasn’t it wasn’t a one moment thing

[Serban Mare]: it

[Nick McGowan]: yah

[Serban Mare]: was just a continuous build up of

something has to change it cannot go

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Serban Mare]: on like this and the biggest struggle

that i had is that i was constantly

[Serban Mare]: looking on the outside you know i

had my parents who told me i had

[Serban Mare]: society who told me what i should

be doing and i was still looking the

[Serban Mare]: for the answer from the outside what

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Serban Mare]: do i what what’s my passion how

do i develop

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Serban Mare]: this and it took me a long

time to understand that we have to look

[Serban Mare]: inwards it’s inside of us but we

are so distracted with social media and all

[Serban Mare]: these different posts and all these all

the distractions with sports and everything that’s happening

[Serban Mare]: outside of us that we we don’t

even realize that we must pause and take

[Serban Mare]: a second and look inside and i


[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Serban Mare]: know about nice but the first time

i did it was very uncomfortable to stay

[Nick McGowan]: oh yeah

[Serban Mare]: alone with my thoughts

[Nick McGowan]: terrifying

[Serban Mare]: you know what i’m talking about

[Nick McGowan]: yeah it’s it’s not a happy place

to be for the most point it’s it’s

[Nick McGowan]: funny i have this conversation different times

with clients with friends with guests um and

[Nick McGowan]: there are so many things that pop

up i’m not going to lie to you

[Nick McGowan]: man while we’re on this there was

literally a squirrel that ran up the tree

[Nick McGowan]: that’s right outside my window and my

dumb as self just went and looked right

[Nick McGowan]: over first thought i had was oh

my d d kicked in and went oh

[Nick McGowan]: look squirrel but being able to

[Serban Mare]: nice

[Nick McGowan]: catch yourself and pull yourself back where

i say that because it literally happened but

[Nick McGowan]: also jokingly

[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: where we have so many different things

that pull at us all the time and

[Nick McGowan]: i think

[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: we also enjoy that pull you enjoy

the notifications on your phone you enjoy look

[Nick McGowan]: facebook or i g or whatever and

kind of getting those dopamine hits but we

[Nick McGowan]: also enjoy not sitting in the ship

working through this ship

[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: now i’ve had a lot of conversations

with people that have done that work it

[Nick McGowan]: was because of what happened in twenty

twenty with covid and being stuck

[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: in the house and just being forced

to sit in a room by yourself or

[Nick McGowan]: with a spouse or whatever i think

and i both understand that it is like

[Nick McGowan]: a muscle where once you start to

work on it it becomes easier to do

[Nick McGowan]: but it’s still not always a pleasant


[Serban Mare]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: so when you’re in that spot even

now when you’re in that spot and you’re

[Nick McGowan]: about to work through something that’s not

super pleasant how do you keep yourself from

[Nick McGowan]: getting distracted without throwing

[Serban Mare]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: your phone out the window yeah

[Serban Mare]: yeah and and that’s that’s the that’s

the challenge right because sitting in the discomfort

[Serban Mare]: is uncomfortable and

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Serban Mare]: at first you know whenever i because

i look to meditate right the best way

[Serban Mare]: to just close your eyes and just

let let your thoughts go and i really

[Serban Mare]: thought that meditation is just some wool

thing and it was difficult just

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Serban Mare]: to stand still for five minutes and

that’s that’s the biggest challenge that we have

[Serban Mare]: at the beginning of this becoming more

self aware of what we want for ourselves

[Serban Mare]: not what others won from us is

to understand that there’s that people just running

[Serban Mare]: around you head and you

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Serban Mare]: have to kind of let it be

i sit with it for for some time

[Serban Mare]: and you said it well it’s a

muscle you have to train

[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Serban Mare]: to just observe the ball just rattling

inside your brain and the more you do

[Serban Mare]: you’ll notice that it’s going to slow

down and it’s going to get a little

[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Serban Mare]: more observable and the more you do

it the more you’re going to be able

[Serban Mare]: to recognize the thoughts that you’re having

in you know there’s so much of this

[Serban Mare]: negative ship that goes up

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Serban Mare]: and

[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Serban Mare]: in there

[Nick McGowan]: constantly

[Serban Mare]: that is

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Serban Mare]: it’s drowning

[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Serban Mare]: anything positive it truly

[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Serban Mare]: is because you know our primordial instinct

is always to go negative negative negative and

[Serban Mare]: the more you pay attention the more

you practice being aware and understanding your thoughts

[Serban Mare]: the more you’re going to be able

to recognize the negative ship toss that to

[Serban Mare]: the side

[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Serban Mare]: and just observe the things and ask

i don’t know as the universe ask yourself

[Serban Mare]: just ask that question what do i

want and the more you ask it and

[Serban Mare]: the more you’re able to eliminate the

negative the subconscious will can it can help

[Serban Mare]: itself right it’s going to look to

answer for that question and that’s when you

[Serban Mare]: start finding the things that really excite

you during the things that would have the

[Serban Mare]: potential to be a pass in

[Nick McGowan]: as close as it is the answers

are within we’ve all heard it most of

[Nick McGowan]: us have said it at some point

most people don’t live it all the time

[Nick McGowan]: now look perfection is not a thing

that i think any of us can achieve

[Nick McGowan]: and i know that i

[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: don’t live it all the time and

there are certain things that will pop up

[Nick McGowan]: where just to be able to be

aware of that hold it and then move

[Nick McGowan]: it in and of itself takes a

lot of work to be able to form

[Nick McGowan]: the muscle to be able to do

it and i think that awareness is the

[Nick McGowan]: key thing that you brought up because

once you’re aware of it you can do

[Nick McGowan]: something with it if you’re not aware

of it then you’re just literally being reactive

[Nick McGowan]: to everything i think some of that

may have come from and this is a

[Nick McGowan]: little bit of assumption but a set

up for the next bit a little bit

[Nick McGowan]: of that has come from you being

a project manager and working on larger

[Nick McGowan]: projects with tons of pieces and different

departments and all of that so do you

[Nick McGowan]: kind of incorporate how you work rough

out the day is also how you work

[Nick McGowan]: throughout your life

[Serban Mare]: yeah i definitely have i have so

many systems in place that

[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Serban Mare]: i think they make me successful and

i’m i’m always fascinated to people who don’t

[Serban Mare]: have any plans in their life and

they just they just do things as they

[Serban Mare]: come to me that that just sounds

stressful and just

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Serban Mare]: just like having a budget it really

helps you stay organized in not stress out

[Serban Mare]: when you run out of money right

in planning

[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Serban Mare]: and being organized in

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Serban Mare]: everything i think it has so much

value and this

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Serban Mare]: is i think it spilled from my

career into my personal life where now i

[Serban Mare]: do have speaking sundays or recording saturdays

or any kind of activity that i do

[Serban Mare]: i’m very structure with it because i

think you’re like me nick that we work

[Serban Mare]: or when we have consistent habits and

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Serban Mare]: that’s exactly what project management has done

for me

[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Serban Mare]: is like just stay stay consistent stay

on track and try to be try to

[Serban Mare]: have those routines

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Serban Mare]: scheduled

[Nick McGowan]: yeah that’s an interesting point uh i

think there are certain times where people will

[Nick McGowan]: kind of push away from that because

that’s not who they are they want to

[Nick McGowan]: flow and i’m one of those people

where i really enjoy the flow and be

[Nick McGowan]: able to move throughout things um and

then there are others that they have to

[Nick McGowan]: live by the guidelines that they

set like the day goes like

[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: this if it goes some other way

than all all craziness happens so there’s got

[Nick McGowan]: to be balanced to it you’ve got

to have a little bit of both somebody

[Nick McGowan]: said

[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: a while back about being productively lazy

and that just stuck with me because if

[Nick McGowan]: you think like even in the morning

you’re like all right well i’ve got gym

[Nick McGowan]: clothes and all of that if you

do it the night before and you’re pro

[Nick McGowan]: actively lazy that can be part

[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: of a routine or whatever that looks

like so i find that at least for

[Nick McGowan]: me i have chunks in the morning

in the afternoon or the morning in the

[Nick McGowan]: evening where there are specific things that

i get done within those times allow myself

[Nick McGowan]: sort of the bumpers through the day

to be able to move and play along

[Nick McGowan]: with the magic that shows up throughout

the day and be intentionally

[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: reactive with certain things but having those

[Serban Mare]: it’s

[Nick McGowan]: times

[Serban Mare]: awesome

[Nick McGowan]: you work through is a key thing

so when you think about

[Serban Mare]: m

[Nick McGowan]: the project management side that you have

and the systems that you’ve put in a

[Nick McGowan]: place can you look back let’s say

a couple years see the progress that you’ve

[Nick McGowan]: had because of those systems and are

there any that really stand out to you

[Nick McGowan]: where you’re like man if i didn’t

have this fucking thing i’d be an absolute

[Nick McGowan]: mess right now

[Serban Mare]: you know not even not even project

management related just in in general in life

[Serban Mare]: i i remember liking liking to work

out and that that was

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Serban Mare]: the thing that i was that i


[Nick McGowan]: m

[Serban Mare]: doing in the morning on a regular

basis but what i’ve managed to do now

[Serban Mare]: i have a whole routine in the

morning that i do because of my working

[Serban Mare]: out and it’s i think james clear

said this in atomic habits right where you

[Serban Mare]: tack on to existing habit another habit

so let’s say that

[Nick McGowan]: yep

[Serban Mare]: you’re brushing your teeth every night you

just listen to a podcast while you’re brushing

[Serban Mare]: your teeth there would be attack on

habit and those were the things that really

[Serban Mare]: helped me just be more mindful more

intentional with the things that really helped me

[Serban Mare]: grow so i was fairly consistent working

out but then in the morning now before

[Serban Mare]: i work out i must write three

things that i’m grateful for throughout the day

[Serban Mare]: that for me it’s it’s a way

to prime my mind it’s something that i’ve

[Serban Mare]: been doing for the last five years

and i probably don’t even realize how much

[Serban Mare]: value that is because the first

[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Serban Mare]: thing that we do when we wake

up is like oh what do i have

[Serban Mare]: to do i have to take care

of that problem oh all these negative thoughts

[Serban Mare]: just quickly zoom into our minds and

that carries throughout the day so the one

[Serban Mare]: thing that i know i did which

was very very beneficial for me is just

[Serban Mare]: those three things that are that i’m

grateful for in the morning and then three

[Serban Mare]: three main goals that i’m supposed to

achieve throughout the day then go work out

[Serban Mare]: and

[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Serban Mare]: after a while the once that habit

formed and i’m like well let me see

[Serban Mare]: if i can meditate for five years

for five minutes after my work

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Serban Mare]: out well i don’t really like meditating

but i like the son i went into

[Serban Mare]: the sane and i can’t take my

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Serban Mare]: headphones because

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Serban Mare]: gets too hot so

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Serban Mare]: i’m like

[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Serban Mare]: i guess i’ll meditate and you know

i started off with five minutes and i

[Serban Mare]: was uncomfortable and then i bumped it

up to ten minutes and you know now

[Serban Mare]: i’m at fifteen minutes but those of

systems where you have one main thing that

[Serban Mare]: you do and then you tack on

a few things for me i was instrumental

[Serban Mare]: to just just have better habits and

just be more successful on the things that

[Serban Mare]: really make em make me feel more

alive i don’t know make me feel happier

[Serban Mare]: the working out

[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Serban Mare]: it’s crucial for me i feel like

just getting that out of the way the

[Serban Mare]: first thing in the morning just pumps

me up and it just feels great then

[Serban Mare]: you have the other the other things

that are adjacent to it

[Nick McGowan]: a good point about the habit stacking

and being able to take

[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: upon something you’re already doing and just

add something to it and then adding the

[Nick McGowan]: reward to it what a great book

the concept there that are almost stupidly simple

[Nick McGowan]: like think about it as you read

through it at least i did this where

[Nick McGowan]: i was like yep makes ton of

sense i do some of that or i

[Nick McGowan]: don’t do some of that and then

being able

[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: to to add those things on i

think in certain ways it’s fun to play

[Nick McGowan]: the game you know play the game

of life where you go well i don’t

[Nick McGowan]: like to do this thing but it’s

good for me so how do i do

[Nick McGowan]: it and how do i do something

along with that like you had said with

[Nick McGowan]: the sona where you’re like well can’t

bring my headphones in i guess i can

[Nick McGowan]: incorporate this bit to it and in

[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: some ways kind of nerve out about

that and that’s that’s a fun thing to

[Nick McGowan]: be able to experience because everybody is

a bit different when it comes to that

[Nick McGowan]: but still being able to use that

principle how do you kind of keep stacking

[Nick McGowan]: to it without driving yourself crazy and

i’m glad that you also brought up meditating

[Nick McGowan]: five ten fifteen minutes at first you

started to almost say five years

[Serban Mare]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: and that’s how long

[Serban Mare]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: it kind of has at least taken

me to get to the point where i

[Nick McGowan]: can do a couple of minutes and

[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: be consistent with it there are times

where an i’m sure you gonta test where

[Nick McGowan]: you sit down here like i’m just

going to meditate thought thought thought thought thought

[Nick McGowan]: and it’s just constant but being able

to continue to work that now do you

[Nick McGowan]: find that you are you find that

you give yourself grace when you miss a

[Nick McGowan]: day or you so project oriented and

so into your system where you beat the

[Nick McGowan]: ship out of yourself for it

[Serban Mare]: that’s a very good question because i

used to do that yeah i used to

[Serban Mare]: be because

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Serban Mare]: because of all the habits taking that

i’ve done i had crap list of it

[Serban Mare]: that i wanted to get throughout the

day and i felt like i had to

[Serban Mare]: i had to do it and for

the longest time it was actually stress starting

[Serban Mare]: to stress me out because i haven’t

checked the list and i think it was

[Serban Mare]: only a year ago where i moved

it from i have to no i don’t

[Serban Mare]: have to i

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Serban Mare]: want to whenever

[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Serban Mare]: i can if you’re right if if

i miss a day or two now i

[Serban Mare]: don’t i don’t beat myself up all

of this stuff if it doesn’t give you

[Serban Mare]: energy if it doesn’t give you pleasure

you shouldn’t be doing it

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Serban Mare]: of course at first it’s it’s a

little bit of uncomfortable ness but my wife

[Serban Mare]: for example she she doesn’t like meditating

she goes into the sand and just just

[Serban Mare]: looks around and just sits there she’s

she’s not a big meditator and everybody is

[Serban Mare]: different we have to do things that

we enjoy right and this pressure of staying

[Serban Mare]: consistent there is a point that is

a limit to it that’s a good

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Serban Mare]: question and you have yeah

[Nick McGowan]: there’s definitely balanced to it no matter

what understanding that different people are different so

[Nick McGowan]: and i appreciate that you’ve been on

and that we’ve gone through a lot of

[Nick McGowan]: this stuff so far so what’s that

one piece of advice you give to somebody

[Nick McGowan]: that’s on their path towards self mastery

[Serban Mare]: m m i would say don’t bid

yourself up don’t think that everything has to

[Serban Mare]: change tomorrow all of all of the

things that we’re doing it’s it’s been baby

[Serban Mare]: steps

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Serban Mare]: at first and i kind of like

you know new year resolution you’re saying you

[Serban Mare]: know starting january first i’m going to

go to the gym and work out five

[Serban Mare]: times a day and i’m going to

eat only salad and i’m not going to

[Serban Mare]: drink any alcohol that’s that’s not a

way to do it anything that you want

[Serban Mare]: start slow like you said just try

to incorporate it slowly into your into routine

[Serban Mare]: and don’t beat yourself up because a

lot of times because we food is a

[Serban Mare]: very easy example right you stay off

and you don’t eat crappy food for a

[Serban Mare]: week and then you you let yourself

go in the weekend and you’re like wow

[Serban Mare]: everything is gone to hell now

[Nick McGowan]: uh

[Serban Mare]: i’m just going a

[Nick McGowan]: uh

[Serban Mare]: i’m going to go to

[Nick McGowan]: ah

[Serban Mare]: the buffet tomorrow now okay just start

slow and just be consistent i think the

[Serban Mare]: my super power is consistency and there’s

that that’s that’s saying right one per cent

[Serban Mare]: better each day

[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Serban Mare]: if we just applied that in ten

years it’s incredible what what we can achieve

[Nick McGowan]: great point that incremental growth um

[Serban Mare]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: it’s been a pleasure to have you

on here again i appreciate you opening up

[Nick McGowan]: and going through everything tell us where

can people find you and where can they

[Nick McGowan]: connect with you

[Serban Mare]: awesome discussion i thank you they can

find me on instagram is the best place

[Serban Mare]: my my name s r b n

m a r a just that’s my my

[Serban Mare]: handle i tried to put the wisdom’s

some quick reels something that i’ve learned and

[Serban Mare]: i am applying in my life and

i tried to share as much wisdom with

[Serban Mare]: others that i can so that’s the best place

[Nick McGowan]: awesome and all that will be in the show notes again thank you so much  for being on it’s been a pleasure

[Serban Mare]: same here thank you very much for having me

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