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208: The Incredible Stories Of Resilence, Blessings And Overcoming Adversity Of Aaron Young
Episode 20821st July 2022 • The Beyond Adversity Podcast with Dr. Brad Miller • Dr Brad Miller
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Aaron talks about his unique life experiences and how it has all led him to a place of wisdom that is far and wide. He is all about communicating and exploring the human condition and sharing it with everyone.

He does this all through Catalyst Coaching Australia, his Business and Life Coaching program.

Aaron grew up in a very chaotic, dysfunctional, and terrifying environment. His mother was an addict and to this day suffers from a myriad of mental illnesses which in turn led to him suffering a serious amount of neglect.

At the age of five, he was abducted by a local and he suffered through a molestation attempt. He spent a day thinking he was going to die because of this experience. However, this experience shaped the rest of his life.

He spent a lot of time overseas and did a lot of different jobs for the US and the UK military. Eventually he fell in love and left everything behind and ran of with his loved one to South Africa and ended up getting married there.

He spent a lot of time with wildlife because of his innate ability to attract animals and his close proximity to Kruger National Park.

They eventually emigrated to Zimbabwe where he got into the hunting industry. After witnessing the shooting of an underage leopard, he vowed to turn his life away from hunting and into conservation.

Aaron eventually went into farming because conservation doesn’t pay the bills for him due to the reason that it doesn’t make any money. Due to how he ran his farm, he made a lot of political enemies causing him to leave his farm and hide due to death threats and other terrible experiences with the government.

However, he was eventually arrested. This was because he refused to play by their rules. He spent a ton of time in prison and until now hasn’t seen his children again.

Episode 208 of The Beyond Adversity Podcast is a must listen for anyone who’s been through a lot of childhood neglect, horrendous life experiences and adversity. For all those who have given up hope and stopped fighting the ever-coursing river called life. Remember that there is always hope and that you should never give up. Do not be embarrassed to ask for help because there will always be one that would try to reach out and assist you in hardship. Even if there is no one, you still have yourself and all you have to do is pull yourself through and out of it.

“The Beyond Adversity Podcast with Dr. Brad Miller is published weekly with the mission of helping people “Grow Through What They Go Through” as they navigate adversity and discover their promised life of peace, prosperity, and purpose. 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CatalystCoachingAust

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/catalyst_coaching_aust

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aaron-young-catalyst-1a4058232/

Transcripts

Dr. Brad Miller::

Our guest today, Aaron Young has had a series of dramatic and very interesting and in many ways,

Dr. Brad Miller::

unique life experiences he's going to share with us and in our conversation today

Dr. Brad Miller::

and I'm not going to steal any thunder from him, I'm let him get into it.

Dr. Brad Miller::

But other than to say that it's all led him to a place.

Dr. Brad Miller::

His life experiences have led him to a place of wisdom that is far and wide.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And he is all about communicating and exploring the human condition and sharing that with you.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And he does that through his program called Catalyst Coaching Australia.

Dr. Brad Miller::

We'll say more about that a little bit.

Dr. Brad Miller::

But we welcome to Beyond adversity, Aaron Young. Well, Aaron, welcome.

Aaron Young::

Thank you, thank you very much always, to hear an introduction

Aaron Young::

and hear people's perspective of the buyers and stuff like that is really kind of cool, very humbling.

Aaron Young::

Never really considered myself a person who would ever do this.

Aaron Young::

And so every time I sit here, I have this incredible beautiful, I guess,

Aaron Young::

universal moment of gratitude, where I'm like,

Aaron Young::

How lucky it was that I can turn these things from my life into this?

Dr. Brad Miller::

Well I read about you a little bit here.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And I was amazed not only by the experiences, that I want you to share here in just a minute,

Dr. Brad Miller::

what your attitude towards them, and how you were able to

Dr. Brad Miller::

turn really some pretty challenging things into some benefits to you.

Dr. Brad Miller::

But let's just start in kind of your background of the get some context here.

Dr. Brad Miller::

You ended up you are from Australia. But you've had various experiences

Dr. Brad Miller::

in other continents and other things that have happened in your life experience.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And I guess let's just start in your childhood.

Dr. Brad Miller::

You had some really dramatic things happened growing up, didn't you?

Aaron Young::

Yeah, I did. And it's interesting to talk or talk about as if I wasn't a coach.

Aaron Young::

And that was I grew up in a really chaotic, dysfunctional, terrifying environment

Aaron Young::

is the way I'd say it without my coach's hat on and that was my mother's an addict,

Aaron Young::

suffers from, suffers to this day still from quite every myriad of mental illnesses.

Aaron Young::

Which led to a serious amount of neglect, which is not a word I use lightly.

Aaron Young::

And the reason I have to use it is because at age five,

Aaron Young::

I was abducted by a local and there was an attempt of molestation.

Aaron Young::

He obviously didn't realize when you bitten off, and I fought.

Aaron Young::

But the problem was, as a five year old, I'd be dumped in the bush,

Aaron Young::

I had no clue where I was, and I spent a day literally thought I was going to die.

Aaron Young::

So why go into detail with that is because it shaped the rest of my life.

Aaron Young::

That moment that feeling of death, and also that threat of If you tell anyone, I will kill your family.

Aaron Young::

Those two things and I see you talk about it now it's interesting to feel that in the child flare up,

Aaron Young::

and that you know, that connection that's still there.

Aaron Young::

That little mean, it's in there. And that strength, but I tell you it took me a long time

Aaron Young::

to get through and understand that abduction took me a long time

Aaron Young::

to get through and understand my mother's behavior.

Aaron Young::

But in those two situations, I was led on a journey to ask questions.

Aaron Young::

And that is where I can see the blessing and biases

Aaron Young::

I'm like I don't want to change it. If someone said, Could you go back?

Aaron Young::

No, because I wouldn't be sitting here doing this right now. I'd be in a nine to five.

Aaron Young::

I wouldn't have had the adventures

Aaron Young::

and I wouldn't have the children I have you know, so much would unravel.

Aaron Young::

No, I wouldn't change it is am I sweating? Do I feel it?

Aaron Young::

Yeah. But in that feeling is my human experience.

Aaron Young::

That's, that's what I'm blessed with.

Aaron Young::

And when I share that, and someone goes: 'What are you serious?'

Aaron Young::

You can talk about an abduction as a blessing,

Aaron Young::

then they might take that deep breath in and go, maybe I can do it.

Aaron Young::

If that's not a blessing then I don't know what is.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And then it seemed like you that, first of all, I'm sorry that happened to you.

Dr. Brad Miller::

But I'm amazed that you're able to take this experience

Dr. Brad Miller::

and the other ones we're going to talk about here

Dr. Brad Miller::

and to see them as a blessing that is a gift that you're giving to others right now,

Dr. Brad Miller::

by the choice that people can make the choice

Dr. Brad Miller::

that people do choose how they approach when bad things happen.

Dr. Brad Miller::

There's a book I read a long time ago called when bad things happen to good people.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And bad things do happen. We know even right now, as we speak,

Dr. Brad Miller::

there's a war going on in Ukraine. And there's, you know, the COVID crisis thing

Dr. Brad Miller::

bad things do happen to good people for no fault of their own,

Dr. Brad Miller::

but how you're going to deal with it.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And many people end up in a ditch somewhere stuck in life,

Dr. Brad Miller::

and the choice you can make is to get unstuck.

Dr. Brad Miller::

So out of this also then you navigated through life in such a way

Dr. Brad Miller::

that you had many adventures and opportunities

Dr. Brad Miller::

and seems like some things fell in your lap that were good.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And some things came to you that were pretty bad.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Tell us a little bit about your experiences that kind of lead you

Dr. Brad Miller::

for instance to end up in prison and eventually an accidental conservationist, things like this.

Aaron Young::

Okay, yeah, well, these two events create I guess in a massive sense of wonder.

Aaron Young::

But what they also did, and you know if anyone's ever heard this term in a child was

Aaron Young::

they produced an inner child and me that was incredibly strong.

Aaron Young::

And this is where these blessings honus into warriors or whatever you want to call it.

Aaron Young::

And so there was a sense of wonder the world and I looked at the world very differently.

Aaron Young::

But I also looked at it from a very childlike perspective.

Aaron Young::

So I took big risks, which you can see as a positive,

Aaron Young::

and as you said, you can see as a huge negative.

Aaron Young::

I got to the point where I had to own my life and I couldn't blame mom.

Aaron Young::

I couldn't blame early childhood.

Aaron Young::

But I still had, I guess, unseen goes to driving force in my life that went big.

Aaron Young::

So I ended up traveling a lot from very young age.

Aaron Young::

Spent a lot of time in Southeast Asia in the South Pacific on the islands.

Aaron Young::

And then eventually pushed a little bit further

Aaron Young::

and ended up into the into the Middle East for a few years,

Aaron Young::

where I ran pretty much every sporting and entertainment event you can think

Aaron Young::

for the shakes out of the UAE and Qatar for a few years.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Are you kind of what, an administrator or some sort?

Aaron Young::

I built the stadium. So I went out, I built stadiums for the Rugby Sevens tournaments,

Aaron Young::

the British golf tournament. And then also did a little bit of work

Aaron Young::

with the US and the UK military. A little bit of work with all sorts of really cool,

Aaron Young::

wonderful stuff while I was there. But then as I was happened to do,

Aaron Young::

and this is a consequence of my lack of understanding of my childhood,

Aaron Young::

at this point in my life was I would fell in love,

Aaron Young::

which I was trying to do relationships was the one sort of lingering hangover for me

Aaron Young::

that I didn't really comprehend about myself.

Aaron Young::

And I packed everything in just as I was about to work.

Aaron Young::

The first Abu Dhabi Grand Prix would have been my life changing moment,

Aaron Young::

would have set me up career wise for life, but I fell in love and ran off to Africa.

Aaron Young::

So landed in South Africa first ended up getting married in South Africa

Aaron Young::

and landed myself right next to the Kruger National Park.

Aaron Young::

Kruger National Park was heaven on earth for me,

Aaron Young::

I literally spent six months of my life next to lions, elephants, leopards, you name it.

Aaron Young::

Every species on my doorstep. I was 40 minute drive from the gates

Aaron Young::

and I had this innate ability to attract animals.

Aaron Young::

So people would go to Kruger for years locals to see a leopard.

Aaron Young::

In my first trip there. I saw two, I saw line after line after line.

Aaron Young::

And what happened was I got this connection with the natural world that I'd had previously.

Aaron Young::

But now was a completely different game.

Aaron Young::

Especially elephants. And that all sort of come unraveled a little bit further down the track.

Dr. Brad Miller::

So you've been employed, it's just natural park. I just want to kind of get a context here.

Aaron Young::

No, this was purely in the early stages is purely holiday.

Aaron Young::

Yes, just me living in South Africa close to the park,

Aaron Young::

spending as much time in and the more I spent, the more I wanted to be there.

Aaron Young::

At the end of that period, we emigrated north into Zimbabwe,

Aaron Young::

which is country just north of South Africa.

Aaron Young::

And this is where my love of wildlife started to

Aaron Young::

turn into more of a passion and there was more of a purpose to it.

Aaron Young::

I ended up dabbling in and working with a couple of guys in the hunting industry.

Aaron Young::

Now in Africa, full stop hunting was still considered ethical,

Aaron Young::

I was around hunters. I was off the thinking that they were telling the truth.

Aaron Young::

What I what I slowly learned about the hunting industry is that it was literally basically all lies,

Aaron Young::

I get some anti poaching for the hunting industry in Mozambique.

Aaron Young::

And then I really found out that it is utter rubbish that hunting is a destructive force in Africa.

Aaron Young::

And it is taking and destroying the last of what's there in the name of money.

Aaron Young::

I don't blame many of them.

Aaron Young::

Africa is a continent that produces some incredibly crazy stuff in his justice situation,

Aaron Young::

and people reacting to their little bubble.

Aaron Young::

And that's what happens with us as humans,

Aaron Young::

we react to that bubble around someone's new scope of outside.

Aaron Young::

So after my last adventure, which was witnessing the shooting of a underage leopard,

Aaron Young::

I vowed to turn my life from hunting into conservation.

Dr. Brad Miller::

So that was a pivotal point for you.

Aaron Young::

It was big. I worked in that tour 12 days with two texts and clients.

Aaron Young::

And what I saw was, again, people who had no clue what they were doing.

Aaron Young::

They really didn't understand the ramifications of it.

Aaron Young::

I saw the money and I saw these hunting outfitters at the top of it,

Aaron Young::

raking in all this money under the adage that they're helping the local communities.

Aaron Young::

They weren't. They were basically feathering their retirement nest

Aaron Young::

because they knew that eventually, there was going to be nothing left to shoot.

Aaron Young::

And they knew it. It was harder and harder. Hunts were being unethically driven.

Aaron Young::

They were shooting at night they were burning huge tracts of land to drive animals.

Aaron Young::

There was nothing left. Well, so and it was, but it was again,

Aaron Young::

it hurts me to talk about and remember it and sell as a part of it.

Aaron Young::

But it wouldn't have driven me to be the conservationist that I was,

Aaron Young::

and that I may still end up going back into now.

Aaron Young::

And that and the world needs more of that.

Aaron Young::

We need more people with that sense of purpose.

Aaron Young::

And so sometimes you got to go in and see that thing, you've got to live it.

Aaron Young::

You can't be against something until you've actually experienced it really

Aaron Young::

otherwise, you're just an armchair critic.

Dr. Brad Miller::

So you had a moral moment,

Dr. Brad Miller::

a moment when you were connected to something

Dr. Brad Miller::

greater than yourself, greater than the dollar or the money at hand.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And you had a sense of different purpose

Aaron Young::

Yeah. And my daughter was also literally at this point, about 14 months old.

Aaron Young::

And I took these last photos. And when looking at them,

Aaron Young::

I realized that that was not the legacy I wanted to leave my daughter.

Aaron Young::

And to that day, those photos are still in Zimbabwe, which we'll get to why,

Aaron Young::

but they're on a laptop, which I gave to my daughter when I last saw her.

Aaron Young::

Okay, so eventually, at one point, she's going to see those.

Aaron Young::

And I'll have to answer for it. And the truth is,

Aaron Young::

I don't have a problem with that I don't want to hide.

Aaron Young::

But does it make me feel good? No.

Dr. Brad Miller::

That's what these were photographs with you with the, with the hunters,

Aaron Young::

Me with the hunters, me with the trackers.

Aaron Young::

And I think maybe one or two with me with this leopard.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Things you're not necessarily proud of. But you're owning up to it. It's a part of who you are.

Aaron Young::

I have to, it's part of the journey.

Aaron Young::

And realistically, when we hide things, and when we lie, it makes us sick.

Aaron Young::

One of the biggest problems we have as humans is with this super ego.

Aaron Young::

And this outward society telling us things must be perfect.

Aaron Young::

We hide so much, and to hide is to lie,

Aaron Young::

just so people think a lie is when you say something out loud, that is untrue.

Aaron Young::

But at times when you don't tell something that is true for you, it's the same.

Aaron Young::

It's a lie. They make us sick.

Aaron Young::

And I learned that through working with addicts is

Aaron Young::

when you lie, you corrupt something inside you.

Aaron Young::

We need to find that place of honesty for ourselves for personal growth.

Dr. Brad Miller::

So some of this whole process, you got involved with some unsavory folks.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Not only in the hunting industry, but other places that somehow landed you in jail.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And that was another big time transition for you. Was it not?

Aaron Young::

Yeah, big time. So I left the bush, I'd worked with vets.

Aaron Young::

I was working with elephants closely, I'd become an elephant behavior specialist.

Aaron Young::

I was the go to guy to move problem lines all around Zimbabwe.

Aaron Young::

And then I had another son born. Now I wasn't making money in conservation.

Aaron Young::

There is no money in it, I was spending my own money.

Aaron Young::

And I had to move into something that actually paid the bills.

Aaron Young::

So I went farming. Now in a nutshell, your listeners probably won't know much about Zimbabwe.

Aaron Young::

But in early 2000s, there was a war. Anyone have lighter skin color

Aaron Young::

was literally told if you don't leave the country we'll kill you.

Aaron Young::

They killed a lot of farmers, the rest of them fled.

Aaron Young::

I went farming in that country. Obviously, as a man that has lighter skin.

Aaron Young::

I took my Crusader mentality from conservation into farming.

Aaron Young::

And I created an incredible model farm out of a farm that was debt ridden and ready to go bust.

Aaron Young::

The problem with my attitude in conservation,

Aaron Young::

which was ignored because I was doing good and not claiming credit for in farming.

Aaron Young::

I was a problem politically. So long story short, lots of guns pointed at me,

Aaron Young::

lots of death threats, lots of insanity. I had to leave the farm.

Aaron Young::

And then the politics didn't leave me. So I hid. And eventually, they came knocking for me.

Dr. Brad Miller::

So you got caught up on hope corrupt system

Dr. Brad Miller::

that eventually spiraled out of control and you got sucked into it?

Aaron Young::

The problem was I'm not corrupt. And I wasn't born into that world.

Aaron Young::

So I refuse to play by their rules.

Aaron Young::

My attitude was there was this idea within Africa of acceptable theft or acceptable loss,

Aaron Young::

and that is there is always going to be theft in Africa.

Aaron Young::

You just have to put up with it. No, I didn't believe that in rebuilding these countries.

Aaron Young::

That that was an attitude we can continue. And I believe that it had to be tackled.

Aaron Young::

And so I tackled it. So if you stole on my farm, you are gone.

Aaron Young::

If not, you're rehabilitated. If not, I had citizen juries, so the staff dealt with themselves.

Aaron Young::

So I tried to bring back and reassemble that tribal connection

Aaron Young::

of how they dealt with their own issues.

Aaron Young::

Instead of it being dealt with by the police and it worked.

Aaron Young::

The problem was is then everyone started turning away from politics.

Aaron Young::

They were all saying we don't need politicians to do this.

Aaron Young::

Look what this guy is doing. Now, obviously politicians don't like that sort of thing.

Aaron Young::

A white guy talking into corruption or

Aaron Young::

white guy saying those theft and it working was the worst thing for them.

Aaron Young::

So anyway, I ran ahead. I hoped I realized at one point that I pushed too far.

Aaron Young::

But by that point, they were at me. They got me and threw me in prison the first time in 2018.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And you have said in some of your some of things I've read about you.

Dr. Brad Miller::

You said that the African prison was the best thing that ever happened to you.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Yeah, tell me about that. How that doesn't sound like a very pleasant thing to happen.

Dr. Brad Miller::

I've visited prisons on many occasions. And I'm the retired pastor.

Dr. Brad Miller::

So I've been to visiting for a lot of folks in prayer. And so, not places I like to be.

Dr. Brad Miller::

In fact, I've been in a prison in South America visiting people.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Not in Africa, but South America, but a third-world, I'll put it that way.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And so I know there's a huge difference in how people are treated in different prisons.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Tell me more about what you meant by this is the best thing that ever happened to you.

Aaron Young::

Okay, it's trying to keep this short. This is a book in itself now.

Aaron Young::

So when I first went in the system, they tried to break me.

Aaron Young::

They wanted me out the country, they didn't want me in prison.

Aaron Young::

So for two days, they'd beaten tortured me, I refused to go. I wasn't leaving my kids.

Aaron Young::

They eventually booked me and put me in. So the first couple of days again,

Aaron Young::

it's this idea that challenge hones, you know, in those two days,

Aaron Young::

there were moments I thought I was going to die.

Aaron Young::

And I had to stop and I guess go inward and say,

Aaron Young::

I'm a big believer in meditation and breath, work, and all these sorts of things.

Aaron Young::

So I just practice the basic simple stuff of what I knew.

Aaron Young::

I wrote through it with this idea that if I stick this out.

Aaron Young::

I'm going to get to see my kids again, I'm gonna get to see my kids again.

Aaron Young::

Once it started to unravel, that I was possibly in prison for a long, long time, I guess.

Aaron Young::

And this goes back to my early childhood.

Aaron Young::

I started to apply the reality that I've gotten this far, and nothing had killed me yet.

Aaron Young::

So this experience of fronting was gonna kill me.

Aaron Young::

And again, this is all a process. This isn't just like, I snap my fingers.

Aaron Young::

And all of a sudden, guys, I had this beautiful perspective.

Aaron Young::

Every day was a new lesson was a new person,

Aaron Young::

I met an Ethiopian guy in the cell who'd been in there six years,

Aaron Young::

a political prisoner hadn't been charged.

Aaron Young::

And instantly, we spoke and this guy was, not Ethiopian you see on television,

Aaron Young::

six foot two, 105 kgs, a monster of a man, light skin, look more like an Egyptian.

Aaron Young::

And instantly we talked about culture.

Aaron Young::

Then I looked around me and realized

Aaron Young::

I was surrounded by an African from every single African country that was.

Aaron Young::

Burundi, Gambia, Congo, Ghana, and there was enough English,

Aaron Young::

that I all of a sudden got a lessening culture, which was just astounding.

Aaron Young::

And because I was white, I could smuggle food in now.

Aaron Young::

It wasn't a lot, I would get the odd loaf of bread.

Aaron Young::

So what I was able to do is now connect with these guys

Aaron Young::

and actually help feed them help guys who were sick by getting garlic and ginger boarding.

Aaron Young::

All of this just unraveled and unlocked after four days, which was terrifying.

Aaron Young::

You know, like no food, no water, being beaten, don't know what's next.

Aaron Young::

No one knew who I was. I just started to look around, I started training the staff.

Aaron Young::

How to box, how to do close combat techniques.

Aaron Young::

Something in me took my entire previous life's experience and said,

Aaron Young::

You can't let this you can't sit in a corner and die here.

Aaron Young::

You can't, I'm a survivor. And you're gonna need to stop here

Aaron Young::

and be really cautious and say this to people, my story sounds big.

Aaron Young::

Don't think you've got to go to African prison to understand what I'm saying.

Aaron Young::

This is relatable to every single person.

Aaron Young::

I am no different to any other human being on the face of the planet.

Aaron Young::

In some respects, I made some really bad mistakes you might have handled better.

Aaron Young::

So don't think, Oh, this guy's this in any way. You are no different.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And everybody's got their drama, you know, whatever it is.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And it could be for some like, person going through a divorce

Dr. Brad Miller::

could be just a debilitating drama, and their own deal.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And your case you would read this life threatening drama.

Dr. Brad Miller::

But still, it's drama, nonetheless. And you were made some choices then.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And this is part of what I'm interested in with you, Aaron.

Dr. Brad Miller::

It's the choices you made then to draw upon your past experience

Dr. Brad Miller::

and apply it to your current crisis at hand in order to get through the other side. So go with that.

Aaron Young::

It's understanding that the moment is bigger, I guess what it is,

Aaron Young::

is being able to look back and go hang on, you know.

Aaron Young::

We forget sometimes as humans, we get caught up in the moment.

Aaron Young::

The emotions are so overwhelming,

Aaron Young::

we completely forget that we've been through tougher stuff before.

Aaron Young::

We forget their past experiences, and we forget the lessons.

Aaron Young::

You know, one thing with humans is we've got into these of forgetfulness.

Aaron Young::

And sometimes it's at these moments,

Aaron Young::

and this is what cope to sort of do is remind you that you're way stronger,

Aaron Young::

and way tougher and smarter, more resilient than you ever, ever understand.

Aaron Young::

And I had to constantly bring myself back to that.

Aaron Young::

Remember, when you were a kid, look where you are now use that strength.

Aaron Young::

That inner child that has taken all those huge risks

Aaron Young::

in that adventure as an ability here and also to help.

Aaron Young::

I was helping people surrounded by poverty.

Aaron Young::

To watch people eat in an environment where food is thrown on the floor.

Aaron Young::

And it is literally like a pack of wild dogs to be able to come that

Aaron Young::

with my own personal energy and get them actually all wadded up.

Aaron Young::

So people got to feed fairly, to be able to walk around that prison

Aaron Young::

with my head held high in no fear of danger after my initial four or five days was like a coming of age.

Aaron Young::

Almost sure that's where when I make this statement,

Aaron Young::

the best thing that happened to me is more relatable to this idea that for me, I come full circle.

Aaron Young::

And I had to go to an African prison to do it, which is kind of sad, really.

Dr. Brad Miller::

I gotta hit pretty low place in order to rise out of it.

Dr. Brad Miller::

He chose to go right to rise out of it and so I want you to fast forward now

Dr. Brad Miller::

a little bit from this situation to kind of where you're at.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Now, I know you've gone through all kinds of stuff here.

Dr. Brad Miller::

But you've made some choices that's kind of led you to a better place.

Dr. Brad Miller::

You got your challenges I know but a better place where you're starting to make contributions are there.

Dr. Brad Miller::

What do you think are some of the decisions or the actions or

Dr. Brad Miller::

what you did to help you navigate through all this stuff and come to a better place?

Dr. Brad Miller::

What are some of the actions that you took?

Aaron Young::

The simplest one that I can talk about, and I'm going to say simple,

Aaron Young::

and I really want people to listen to this,

Aaron Young::

because this word that I'm going to use gets hammered about really easily.

Aaron Young::

But people need to understand the potency and the power of it.

Aaron Young::

That is gratitude. Gratitude is a muscle.

Aaron Young::

As we get older, it seems to be a muscle, we flex less and less.

Aaron Young::

Gratitude needs to be worked, you need

Aaron Young::

and I needed to wake up every single morning and to this day right now.

Aaron Young::

Because my kids are still back in Africa,

Aaron Young::

I need to wake up every single day and flex that muscle.

Aaron Young::

I need to start my day with a simple gratitude list that doesn't just say

Aaron Young::

I am grateful for something, but goes into the depth of why I am grateful.

Aaron Young::

Because gratitude is a feeling gratitude isn't a mental process.

Aaron Young::

We've been caught up in these books and movies,

Aaron Young::

which say I am grateful for write a list for 30 days.

Aaron Young::

That's not gratitude, that's a mental repetition thing that every time something bad happens,

Aaron Young::

you just tell your brain to tell you it's not. It's not bad, it's not bad.

Aaron Young::

You need to really get into the feeling of it, that chemical reaction like happiness,

Aaron Young::

or joy, gratitude is a feeling when you work that muscle every single day.

Aaron Young::

All of a sudden, you start looking around you and reconnecting with the world

Aaron Young::

and with people in ways that I just, we've become foreign to us as adults and it's so simple.

Aaron Young::

This is like 5, 6, 7 minutes a day, it's not like an hour.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Let's go into that just a little deeper here. You say you work the muscle of gratitude.

Dr. Brad Miller::

So you know, if we're going to work our muscles to build our biceps or whatever,

Dr. Brad Miller::

we're going to do 50 curls, or, you know, 20 push ups or whatever it is and get our diet in order.

Dr. Brad Miller::

What are some of the disciplines?

Dr. Brad Miller::

What are some of the ways what is your protocol, if you will, for your gratitude?

Aaron Young::

Okay, so literally, I wake up early in the morning.

Aaron Young::

That is my number one rule that I teach to everyone, I wake up five o'clock.

Aaron Young::

That's the first thing with any client is I get them up earlier before everyone in the house.

Aaron Young::

The next thing I do is drink half a liter of water.

Aaron Young::

And again, this all sounds really silly and a little bizarre,

Aaron Young::

but understand that this process has taken me through everything I've been through to here.

Aaron Young::

The next thing I do is I write my gratitude, and I slow down

Aaron Young::

and I try and get into a state where I'm looking out at nature if I can, or looking at a window.

Aaron Young::

And I write my gratitude slowly, with intention and purpose.

Aaron Young::

And I make an extra special point and the energy goes into why I am grateful.

Aaron Young::

I push for the feeling, I don't stop until I get that for some, it's easy.

Aaron Young::

For some it's not, it's a practice. After I do that, I meditate, I do a little bit of breath work.

Aaron Young::

And a little bit, literally five minutes, 60 seconds of breath work.

Aaron Young::

I stopped to connect with the water around me.

Aaron Young::

What I learned to see was, there are always miracles.

Aaron Young::

Like right now the color green is planted on my desk.

Aaron Young::

They're everywhere. Life never takes the miracles from around you.

Aaron Young::

You choose to take them away from yourself by how you see the world.

Aaron Young::

And if you slow down your mind enough to be able to just look around you look at my office.

Aaron Young::

Whatever it is that you can see, there are miracles, there are so many miracles.

Aaron Young::

And it's it's absurd how much you can connect with

Aaron Young::

when someone can give you that that sight because all it is

Aaron Young::

is retraining your eyes to look up and see what's really around you.

Dr. Brad Miller::

I think you're describing here, Aaron is just a lot of practices and disciplines

Dr. Brad Miller::

that help people to shift where they're at

Dr. Brad Miller::

from a sense of lack and what you don't have to a sense of understanding

Dr. Brad Miller::

and realization and noticing what you do have.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And sometimes that comes even to inflection of voice and tone of voice and things of that nature.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Just a very simple one that I use with some people.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Sometimes it's just a phrase, oh god this morning, you can wake up and go,

Dr. Brad Miller::

Oh God, it's morning, or you wake up and go, Oh, God, it's morning.

Dr. Brad Miller::

You know, tone and inflection.

Aaron Young::

The Power of Language. Power of language is an incredible thing.

Aaron Young::

I teach people this, you know. Try and understand and define very simple things like that.

Aaron Young::

Like what's the first thought that enters your head in the morning.

Aaron Young::

Write it down and have a look at it. And look at exactly that.

Aaron Young::

Because we've also created a society where there's two parts of us.

Aaron Young::

There's the outward one that we sell to everybody

Aaron Young::

because that's what society has asked of us to do.

Aaron Young::

And social media sort of is making a little bit worse.

Aaron Young::

Then there's the inner and it's the inner that we really need to spend a little bit more time looking at

Aaron Young::

because it's that inner that's making the choices for us.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Transformation, the inner life is a key part of it.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And so go there with a little bit what are some of the things that you have done

Dr. Brad Miller::

to connect, to have a sense into something greater than yourself.

Dr. Brad Miller::

You mentioned for instance a minute ago

Dr. Brad Miller::

about your connection to wildlife and to conservation.

Dr. Brad Miller::

It seems to me you had an inner life moment there.

Dr. Brad Miller::

But how important is it to be connected

Dr. Brad Miller::

to something greater than yourself in order to have life transformation?

Aaron Young::

It is the greatest thing ever.

Aaron Young::

And I'm pause because this is where I'm very cautious with how I talk to people.

Aaron Young::

Because once you start talking about this, for a lot of people,

Aaron Young::

they're shut down the spiritual side of us as humans is equal to the heart, body and the mind.

Aaron Young::

Yet we seem to have sort of swayed away from it also disconnected from it.

Aaron Young::

We have disconnect from it. For me in the what I teach people,

Aaron Young::

simply don't get caught up if they're fearful of religion is that nature can be religion.

Aaron Young::

So for me, it's a case of going outside and having a look at like I said, the miracles.

Aaron Young::

Why acknowledging miracles, you start to acknowledge the spiritual side.

Aaron Young::

You can start to look for me barefoot, I go stand on the grassroots way.

Aaron Young::

And I feel that water, I feel that connection to the earth, I look for that.

Aaron Young::

If I want to look at my connection to higher power, that's where my trust comes in.

Aaron Young::

My child, two children not being here, again, like gratitude. I have to practice trust.

Aaron Young::

I have to sit there and look at the situation and say that I trust that God is going to,

Aaron Young::

at some point, reunite me with my kids.

Aaron Young::

And then I have to trust the reason for why they're not with me.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Things like belief and trust are sometimes not tangible,

Dr. Brad Miller::

but they can still be real, if we really, you know, lean into those.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And that's transformative when you when you do that,

Dr. Brad Miller::

and I love what you're sharing here, Aaron,

Dr. Brad Miller::

because you're talking about some of the physical things you take.

Dr. Brad Miller::

You're getting up early is a physical thing. You know, having a having a discipline,

Dr. Brad Miller::

a five to seven minute discipline is a physical thing.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And then you have a practice of breathing and meditation.

Dr. Brad Miller::

So those are physical, what they are inter integrated with your spiritual life or your inner life.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Whatever you want to say. And then then the the part that I've went to,

Dr. Brad Miller::

and then you talk about your disciplines here,

Dr. Brad Miller::

I want to talk to you a little further about the disciplines,

Dr. Brad Miller::

about your everyday life now about how this you know,

Dr. Brad Miller::

in your career, or your practices or your family life, whatever.

Dr. Brad Miller::

How does what you've experienced now, impact in your day to day life?

Dr. Brad Miller::

What are your habits? What are your practices? What about your daily life?

Aaron Young::

Okay, the simplest one here, and it's like when I talk about gratitude,

Aaron Young::

so I use the word simple up because it is simple.

Aaron Young::

And the biggest one is breath, it's the word breath.

Aaron Young::

People again, as soon as I say this, they tend to zone out a little bit.

Aaron Young::

What do you mean, I know how to breathe when I went into prison the first time

Aaron Young::

and I'd been breathing and using a lot of breathing exercise for 20, 25 years,

Aaron Young::

from my early martial arts days. But when I was going in the first time,

Aaron Young::

and they took me into the courtrooms and I knew now that there was a potential

Aaron Young::

I was going to serve 10 plus years in prison,

Aaron Young::

I connected with my breath again, and you just see or you heard me do it.

Aaron Young::

Then what happened was I realized that to keep myself calm in what I was about to head into.

Aaron Young::

I had to maintain disability to keep my body calm.

Aaron Young::

As you just mentioned before, heart, mind, body.

Aaron Young::

So there are four parts of us that we try to strive to keep in balance.

Aaron Young::

Breath is the bridge, when you breathe, when there's a stressful situation.

Aaron Young::

And when you develop it is a trigger a natural trigger to stress.

Aaron Young::

What happens is your mind just instantly comes down a notch.

Aaron Young::

So right in front of my house, now there's a car accident.

Aaron Young::

And as a person engineer, if I run into that situation, wound up intense.

Aaron Young::

I'm going to be very little help. If I regulate my breathing, and just watch my body,

Aaron Young::

that natural trigger, I come down a notch. That's as simple as that.

Aaron Young::

If I can give anything away that you can do in your daily life

Aaron Young::

and I train people to do is to learn 10, 12 times a day, every hour on the waking hour,

Aaron Young::

you learn to just breathe deep into your stomach.

Aaron Young::

What happens after 30 days, 60 days is you don't have to remember to do it anymore.

Aaron Young::

Your body starts to say okay, I got this stress.

Aaron Young::

And you don't have to do it that loudly. People won't notice it.

Aaron Young::

Don't be embarrassed by this. If I stop and breathe, people are going to look at me funny.

Aaron Young::

No, they don't you won't do that.

Aaron Young::

Eventually, your body will just naturally have this trigger that says stress, anger, whatever it is, it is your trigger.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Yeah. And when you do that, when you're able to control your breathing

Dr. Brad Miller::

and have a little cognizance of it, then you can that application of that

Dr. Brad Miller::

can help you to be more productive or more in the moment

Dr. Brad Miller::

or deal with whatever crisis whether whether it's minor or major.

Dr. Brad Miller::

You had some pretty major things you have to deal with but you know, everyday crisis.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Hey, one of the biggest things going on right now is anxiety, you know.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Anxiety and depression, that sense of meaninglessness.

Dr. Brad Miller::

I have another notice that Google had a end of the year thing in the year into the year 21,

Dr. Brad Miller::

where they said the biggest searches that they had on Google,

Dr. Brad Miller::

any of the top search was how to heal, you know how to heal people.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Because obviously, that means there's a lot of hurt.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And that is out there. And people are saying they want they're searching for how to heal.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And so I just think you have some things going on here.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And so let's apply it now, Aaron to other people, you've had this experience.

Dr. Brad Miller::

You've had these dramatic experiences anyway, you cut it.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Your experiences are dramatic compared to many other people.

Dr. Brad Miller::

But you've handled them in such a way that you keep saying

Dr. Brad Miller::

that you see them with some good that has come out of prison.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Some good that has come out of even being separated from your children.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Some good that's come out of the other challenges that you've had.

Dr. Brad Miller::

But the important point here now, and why you're here with me today,

Dr. Brad Miller::

at least, least why I want you to be here today is how you can speak

Dr. Brad Miller::

into the life of other people how your experiences can be helpful to others.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And I believe, when we do that we are serving out of love,

Dr. Brad Miller::

we're serving our true caring, compassion, for wanting to serve humanity.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Not out of arrogance, or trying to make more money or whatever it would be,

Dr. Brad Miller::

but out of service and of humility, not hubris.

Dr. Brad Miller::

So tell me a little bit of what you offer to people.

Dr. Brad Miller::

What can people get from you that can be helpful to them,

Dr. Brad Miller::

to navigate whatever adversities they're going through?

Aaron Young::

Well, what you get is two words, it's simple and sincere.

Aaron Young::

I'm not a salesman, you can look behind me,

Aaron Young::

I don't do the shiny backdrops and the fancy lighting.

Aaron Young::

And that is because of what you just explained,

Aaron Young::

I got to a point where I understand very clearly

Aaron Young::

that my life was a series of blessings that were given to me to give to others.

Aaron Young::

And that I could very easily turn it into a case of six-figure incomes

Aaron Young::

and selling like all these coaches are, that's just not who I am.

Aaron Young::

And if there's one thing I'd bring sincere up is I want to live a sincere life.

Aaron Young::

I want my children to have an example or a leader in their lives.

Aaron Young::

That is what he says he is, and doesn't have that disconnection

Aaron Young::

between the outer version of me and the inner version.

Aaron Young::

That is, it's highly important because if I'm anything before,

Aaron Young::

I'm a career man or a man or a prison person is I'm a dad.

Aaron Young::

That is my number one priority in life

Aaron Young::

because God blessed me with these children and these little souls to lead by example for

Aaron Young::

and if I have a legacy, it is what I leave in them.

Aaron Young::

Because they are the next generation, which then shape the next generation,

Aaron Young::

which and then shape the next generation.

Aaron Young::

And so for me, my number one motivator is to help parents

Aaron Young::

or to help people who will become parents to be better versions of themselves.

Aaron Young::

So that when those little souls are blessed to them,

Aaron Young::

they understand the importance,

Aaron Young::

they understand the responsibility that we have not a fearful responsibility,

Aaron Young::

not a shameful guilt, not be scared of it,

Aaron Young::

but to embrace that you are the leader in their life,

Aaron Young::

and that it is on us to do the best we can for ourselves,

Aaron Young::

so that we give them the very best opportunity to live their lives,

Aaron Young::

and not carry the junk that we may have either been given,

Aaron Young::

we created ourselves or however.

Aaron Young::

It doesn't matter whether it was childhood trauma, or adult trauma, we need to own it.

Dr. Brad Miller::

So you've got something to offer parents,

Dr. Brad Miller::

particularly you've mentioned about your daughters who were separated from you.

Dr. Brad Miller::

I know you have a young child as well as in your life right now.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And so obviously, this is very important to you right now to leave a legacy.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And I'm just picking up on the thesis simplicity, and authenticity,

Dr. Brad Miller::

and a commitment to a deeper life and the gratitude.

Dr. Brad Miller::

So tell me about if there's been you know, you have a coaching program,

Dr. Brad Miller::

but has there been people in your life who have you've had some influence on

Dr. Brad Miller::

or had a connection with that you've seen some change with

Dr. Brad Miller::

or some transformation happen. I'm just interested in hearing

Dr. Brad Miller::

perhaps some sort of a testimonial, somebody that you've worked with?

Aaron Young::

Yeah, look, I think this this catalyst business has been with me a very long time.

Aaron Young::

But I think coming back to Australia after the last time I left Africa,

Aaron Young::

I started working more closely with men.

Aaron Young::

And now I don't want to just work with men because I find I work better than him.

Aaron Young::

But I've got a local group of guys is about seven or eight of us

Aaron Young::

and I started teaching meditation and breath work to these men

Aaron Young::

and these are guys who have never ever encountered this type of stuff.

Aaron Young::

It was kind of weird and kind of foreign to them.

Aaron Young::

And what I did was, I turned these very simple tools into something

Aaron Young::

that they brag about and talk about with other men.

Aaron Young::

That is the nature of who I am. I am that catalyst of I change one man's opinion of something simple,

Aaron Young::

like getting up early breath gratitude, dictation. He becomes his own voice for that.

Aaron Young::

So there's a ripple effect, I become a part of the community as a whole,

Aaron Young::

just by being me and teaching them. So, for me, it's this men's work.

Aaron Young::

And I am going to start a couple of men's groups here in the next month,

Aaron Young::

that is where I seem to be pulled towards

Aaron Young::

because men appear to be shrinking quite a bit and very uncertain of where their role is in the world.

Aaron Young::

At the moment, it's kind of kind of a scary place for a lot of them.

Aaron Young::

So what they're doing is they're shutting shutting down,

Aaron Young::

they still got this out of prisons, and they go to the gym,

Aaron Young::

and they go to work, and they pay the bills.

Aaron Young::

But this internal part of them this warrior that, you know, we came from tribes.

Aaron Young::

That part of us that is in there seems to be really completely lost.

Aaron Young::

And the more we suppress it, the more we see alcoholism,

Aaron Young::

the more we see a lot more addiction, we saw more anxiety and depression.

Aaron Young::

And what society is teaching us to do is just to suppress it more.

Aaron Young::

So take the pills, you know, go see this person and talk about this door every week,

Aaron Young::

but we don't see many people talking about the really simple tools that will help you.

Aaron Young::

And then if you help yourself, you will help a guy you work with.

Aaron Young::

And if you find that self honesty, and that ability to talk about your experience,

Aaron Young::

and say, I feel this, I did this, then there's that ripple effect. Again, you teach others.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And that's what it's all about is that? Well, I believe, at least when you share out of love and of gratitude,

Dr. Brad Miller::

and you'd see that multiplied that is when it is really gratifying.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Our gratitude becomes gratifying.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And that's what it's really all about. So let's wrap this up.

Aaron Young::

So, for me it is, spot on. I can go back to my accomplishments as a coach,

Aaron Young::

and I can make a lot of money. And it's worked in the past.

Aaron Young::

But what I tend to find is when I'm actually serving,

Aaron Young::

like you've just said, with that sincere compassion and grace, and that connection.

Aaron Young::

My life may not be as full of cars and money.

Aaron Young::

But I can tell you I sleep way better at night, I see the world in a much better light.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Well, I'm over the belief, Aaron, that there is you know, basically,

Dr. Brad Miller::

we've had this pandemic of the COVID for the last couple of years.

Dr. Brad Miller::

But I believe there is a pandemic of meaning less that's in our world,

Dr. Brad Miller::

and those who can speak meaning full pneus into people's lives and help that to happen.

Dr. Brad Miller::

That is such an incredible need.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And so I'd like to wrap this up by one bit of advice that I'd like for you to kind of

Dr. Brad Miller::

put in your mind's eye that or maybe a man is listening to us here today.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Maybe he's got a young child and he is something in his life is amiss.

Dr. Brad Miller::

You know, he is had issues, maybe it's substance abuse, maybe it's a divorce,

Dr. Brad Miller::

maybe it's depression, or maybe he's had COVID, maybe he's got relatives in Ukraine,

Dr. Brad Miller::

who are you know, any number of things that are going on with his life,

Dr. Brad Miller::

and he's in a bad way, a bad place?

Dr. Brad Miller::

What just, you know, you've had people speak into your life and life experiences that have changed you.

Dr. Brad Miller::

But what would you say to that young dad to right now that might be a helpful piece to in their life?

Aaron Young::

Yeah, something came to mind as a snippet. From my first time in prison.

Aaron Young::

I was about five days in. I had someone that I worked with,

Aaron Young::

and as you just said, someone who spoke to me

Aaron Young::

and helped me incredibly to say a lot about my life that I needed to from her perspective,

Aaron Young::

and it was kind of confronting, so I'm going to warn you that it isn't a rosy statement,

Aaron Young::

she managed to get herself into the prison.

Aaron Young::

And in the viewing Archie yoed across this gauge, she's about five foot, in her 50s.

Aaron Young::

And she screamed because she had to be heard of the 1000s of prisoners.

Aaron Young::

You're exactly where you're supposed to be.

Aaron Young::

And I literally almost fell to my knees in tears.

Aaron Young::

And before I could do that I stood bought uprightness smile back at her.

Aaron Young::

And I realized that she was dead right?

Aaron Young::

Now your life may not be a prison right now, but it might be something that you could do.

Aaron Young::

You feel the same amount of grief that I did in that position,

Aaron Young::

but it's not at the same monumental size or scope, it doesn't matter.

Aaron Young::

There is always hope. There is always, always hope.

Aaron Young::

And when you're in a challenge that is going to forward you

Aaron Young::

and it might not feel like it at the time

Aaron Young::

and you may be sitting there already your knees about to hit the ground.

Aaron Young::

And that is to look up. Remember, you're not alone. You've got this far.

Aaron Young::

And this challenge, this overwhelming feeling that's gripping you.

Aaron Young::

Nothing lasts forever. It will pass and it's what you do with it.

Aaron Young::

Once you get past and through that other side of this.

Aaron Young::

This monumental feeling is what shapes you. It's that choice.

Aaron Young::

And you've got people we live in a world where you can reach out,

Aaron Young::

you can find me I don't charge to talk to people and help them through a tough time.

Aaron Young::

You can reach out. Reach out. You've got this man right here doing what he's doing here.

Aaron Young::

There is always your ability to choose to ask for help.

Aaron Young::

Don't be embarrassed. Don't be fearful of the idea of being authentic, being sincere.

Aaron Young::

You can always find it if you choose.

Dr. Brad Miller::

A good word to speak in the life of someone who I know is

Dr. Brad Miller::

going to hear this word is going to be helpful word of gratitude and hope that you are not alone.

Dr. Brad Miller::

His name is Aaron Young, and you can find him at facebook.com/CatalystCoachingAust

Dr. Brad Miller::

A-U-S-T for Australia and he is going to be helpful to your life and connect up with him.

Dr. Brad Miller::

We thank you Aaron Young. for being our guest today on the Beyond Adversity Podcast with Dr. Brad Miller.

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