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A Life Changing Moment with Joe Caruso
27th February 2023 • Seek Go Create - The Leadership Journey for Christian Entrepreneurs, Faith-Based Leaders, Purpose-Driven Success, Kingdom Business, Entrepreneurial Mindset, Leadership Development • Tim Winders - Coach for Leaders in Business & Ministry
00:00:00 01:07:07

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We’ve all had our low points where we think that moving forward is impossible, where we don't know if we can push through. These moments are life changing and are often the catalyst for great change for many people. However, you don't need to experience a cataclysmic event to start changing your life. You can change, be a better leader, and pursue success today.

For Joe Caruso, his life changing moment made him redefine success. In this episode of Seek Go Create, Joe shares how he chose to learn more about himself rather than let himself go in the face of cancer. He talks about his deep dive into studying the simple truths in life and how he used these to redefine life. Learn about the power of the narrative and better understand how Joe inspired change through his journey.

Start your life changing journey when you tune in to this episode of Seek Go Create.

3 Reasons to listen:

  1. Be inspired by Joe's story as he goes from dying to learning what it means to live.
  2. Find the best approach to studying new life changing ideas.
  3. Discover the power of telling a story and how narrative wins.


About Joe

Joe Caruso is an author, business adviser, and speaker. He is a renowned expert in leadership and individual and collective mind development. Joe is also the founder of Caruso Leadership, where he uses his expertise to create change within businesses and organizations.

Joe went through his cataclysmic event at eighteen when he was diagnosed with "incurable" cancer. That pushed him to start studying life from the works of philosophers, leaders, religions, and ancient cultures. Using what he learned, Joe wrote the best-selling book The Power of Losing Control and will release his new book, Narrative Wins, this year. 

Learn more about Joe and his journey when you visit his website. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Episode Highlights

[03:16] Learning More About Joe

  • Joe lives his best life and enjoys what he can do. 
  • He promised to hone his mind and fulfilled that promise by studying for himself five hours a day, five days a week.
  • Joe learned how a leader could understand their mind and the individual and collective minds they influence.
  • Leading isn't managing. Being a leader means understanding how people think individually and in a group to help them move forward.
  • Joe didn't like to study in the past. Now he's focused on learning more about himself.

[07:41] Same, but Different

  • All people have similarities, but each mind has a unique experience and a different way of defining everything.
  • Only you can understand who you are and where you are. You have to seek answers about yourself.
  • However, most people choose not to because they're scared.
[08:32] "I live my life to the best of my ability to help myself and other people and enjoy it." - Click Here to Tweet This

[11:40] What Joe Almost Missed

  • In 1978, Joe was in excellent physical condition when he got sick and was diagnosed with a then "incurable" cancer.
  • People told him to prepare for death. When Joe realized he would die, he understood that he would miss out on the life other people would find.
  • Joe pushed through with surgeries and risky, experimental chemotherapy. Despite the odds, he survived and kept his promise to study.
  • He then put his thoughts into words, creating a life changing book.

[17:08] A Different Joe

  • Joe was confident in himself. However, being diagnosed with cancer and undergoing experimental treatment humbled Joe.
  • Humility is the key to learning.
  • He wouldn't be the same person if he didn't experience this struggle to survive. 
  • It taught Joe humility and pushed him to tap into his curiosity.
  • You don't need a cataclysmic event to do something life changing for yourself.

[18:44] "We don't pride ourselves to our lessons. we humble ourselves to our lessons." - Click Here to Tweet This

[23:55] Making Memories

  • Joe tells the story of how he once ran into the lead singer of the Bangles. 
  • He shares how, afterward, another guy approached him to talk. He had recognized him as part of the band that played at his wedding.
  • Joe was part of someone else's significant memory.
  • Remember that you never know when you're making someone else's life changing memory.

[28:28] "You never know when you're making someone else's memory. Keep that in mind." - Click Here to Tweet This

[28:36] Learning to Study

  • Books are one way to learn. The Story of Philosophy was the first book Joe picked up.
  • He chose this book because he wanted to learn timeless human truths.
  • As you understand, you need to filter through the many voices. Practice healthy skepticism and think about the new ideas you receive before accepting or refusing them.
  • Being a skeptic is like eating hot mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving. A new idea can be too much at first, but as you hold it in and let it cool, it's easier to swallow and digest.

[36:42] The Life Changing Power of Your Narrative

  • Joe remembers when his family would gather, and he would listen to his father tell stories. He was a great storyteller and Joe's best friend and mentor.
  • It is challenging to understand something in your mind all by itself. It helps to contextualize it.
  • The narrative wins. The stories you tell yourself often determine what you like or don't like.

[42:59] The Importance of Concision

  • The narratives you tell can be short. You can tell a story in as little as six words.
  • Joe recalls when he met Earnie Shavers, a heavy-hitting boxer who fought well against Muhammad Ali but still lost.
  • Earnie and Joe talked about what Ali told him. With two words, Ali could convey that Earnie wouldn't beat him that night.
  • That was the power and concision of a story.
  • The best leaders can tell the right story to the right audience at the right time.

[50:07] "Quintessential leaders tell the right story to the right person at the right time in the right way for the right reason." - Click Here to Tweet This

[51:40] Understanding Stories

  • A Rolodex is a rotating card file device that stores cards with business contact information.
  • These days, people read less and have difficulty understanding stories.
  • The fastest way to unite people is through common hatred. People showed that they were good based on how bad another person was.
  • Joe was picked on in the past because those people wanted to look cool.

[54:24] Learning to Tell Life Changing Stories

  • Every meaning you create and every story you tell revolves around you. Learning more about yourself can help you better understand the stories you tell yourself.
  • Another story Joe tells is how the Caruso surname ruined a road trip with his brothers. He contextualizes it by explaining the origins of their surname.
  • Memories are only sometimes correct. Stories are also embellished to emphasize certain parts.
  • Talking to the minds of others is vital for a leader.
  • Study how to use metaphors and storytelling. That's the language that the mind understands. 

[59:19] "Study how to use metaphor and story because that's how we think. You got to talk to the mind in the language the mind understands." - Click Here to Tweet This

[01:00:41] The Four Rules of Engagement

  • When people speak, some try to entertain while others inspire. The rules of engagement can help you talk to inspire.
  • The first two rules of engagement are that everyone is always right and wants to be right.
  • The third and fourth rule says you can't change a person's mind. You can only help them shift their perspective.
  • You can start this shift by providing context. With this context, a person can choose to change their mind.

[01:07:25] The Importance of Seeking

  • Seek here, then you can see there. 

Enjoy the Podcast?

Seek Go Create is for anyone seeking excellence, moving towards success, or creating something new. We share life changing topics, stories, and conversations that allow us to rethink how we live, work, and lead. Remember: you don’t need to wait for a low point in your life to start making a change. You can reach out, right now, and make a positive change yourself.

If you were inspired and educated by this episode, feel free to subscribe to us on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, or Spotify so that you never miss another episode. Also, share this episode or what you've learned today on your favorite social media platform.

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To growing and becoming all we are created to be,




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