How to Live an Extraordinary Life | Melanie Weinberger | TEDxKlagenfurt

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you are all here today because you have

a suspicion you have the idea that you

are capable of creating something

extraordinary of living an extraordinary

life and you're right you are and my

question to you is what does it mean to

be extraordinary when we think of people

who've lived extraordinary lives who've

given an extraordinary contribution to

the world you've changed the world maybe

we think of Elon Musk or Oprah Winfrey

or Mark Zuckerberg but what we're not

thinking about is what it's like to

actually be those people to be the

Creator to live their daily lives and if

you look up Elon Musk you'll see that he

talks about suffering from chronic

depression and he's not alone a third of

the world's entrepreneurs suffer from

extreme anxiety and stress and some

studies even show that half of them

suffer from this which means that being

an extraordinary creator a daily basis

doesn't feel good

so am i offering to you my suggestion is

that instead of waiting to be happy

instead of looking at what can I give to

the external world and then I'll be

extraordinary let's look at our inner

world let's create an extraordinary life

from the inside out

now when I started my entrepreneurial

journey I didn't know that and I wanted

to be a crazy successful entrepreneur

and build a company that made millions

of dollars have a hockey-stick startup

curve get on the cover of Forbes

magazine I also wanted to help people

and I started a corporate wellness

business and what we did was bring yoga

classes meditation and really

progressive education into the workforce

with the idea that we could bring work

back to life because as I saw it when

people went to work they sort of put

their lives on

hold and stop living you ever say to

yourself oh when I get home from work

I'll work out or I'll start that project

this weekend and then you don't do it

right so I aim to change that I aim to

change the world and I was going to do

anything to make it happen

and I did so as the founder of a

start-up you're sort of chief everything

officer so I was head of sales and my

buyer was Human Resources I went to

maybe a hundred meetings talking to

Human Resources teams telling them about

what we're offering and what they were

interested in their definition of

well-being was being as thin as possible

and if her people aren't overweight then

they're well and I was blown away by

this what it also meant from a business

perspective is that they weren't buying

right so my goal of being wildly

successful wasn't happening but I wasn't

going to take no for an answer so I did

whatever it took I launched a conference

so we could change the definition of the

marketplace of what it means to be well

I cold called businesses I knocked on

doors introduced myself some people

welcomed to me some people were like get

out whatever it took and the more I did

and did and did and did the less and

less and less I was feeling happy and

the less and less and less we made money

and I spun into a constant phase of

anxiety and eventually depression trying

to change the world so how do we build

an extraordinary world from the inside

out where do we begin

what is that the cool thing is I

discovered that there's a parallel

between building and extraordinary

business and building an extraordinary

life and it's a three-part framework and

if you follow along with me you'll leave

here knowing that on a daily basis you

are being extraordinary so I'm from I

live in Austin Texas and I joined a

startup accelerator program which is an

organization that helps startups get off

the ground and I sat in a class one day

with a brilliant teacher named Gordon

Doherty and Gordon was talking

how brilliant companies make really hard

decisions and what they use to do this

is something called their core values so

really great companies have a set of

core values and whenever they're faced

with should we do this or should we do

this they bump it up against their core

values it's kind of like their backbone

and if it hurts two or more of their

values they don't do it well it's the

same thing for a person you can discover

what your core values are and knowing

these you will not sacrifice what

fulfillment is to you what your

ingredients are for happiness and the

way you discover your core values is

first by asking yourself what do I want

so imagine you have a piece of paper and

you fold it in half and the left side

make a list of all the things you want I

want to be successful I want a family I

want a lot of friends a lot of money and

then on the right side make a list of

why you want those things and it's in

that list that you'll find your core

values now at the time I hadn't done the

work so I didn't know mine but I can

tell you now my core values include

feeling safe having fun

extraordinary health adventure freedom

but I was so focused on changing the

world I was living out here I wasn't

living from in here and so I was

sacrificing those things feeling safe

when I say I did whatever it took I

leveraged everything I had to be

successful I liquidated my savings

account my 401k I woke up one day and I

had a $15.00 on my checking account and

14 dollars in my savings account can you

imagine that and I still wouldn't let go

have fun every day I woke up I'm behind

we're not making enough money I'm late

I'm not successful yet no fun no fun for

me and then health well if you're living

in a constant state of anxiety here's

what it does to the body first of all

your thinking gets kind of funny

right so I'm gonna tell you about two

kinds of brain waves there's more than

two but I'm gonna focus on two one is

alpha brainwaves they kind of look like

this nice and steady

and an alpha brain you're calm you're

creative life's good

you're rational you're empathetic but

when you're anxious you are in beta

brain beta brainwaves some people call

this monkey break it looks way more

erratic and in beta brain I'm late I'm

not doing well we're going to fail I

don't know the answer and beta brain is

dangerous for entrepreneurs or big

creators because you actually can't be

creative you run in this constant

default loop if I'm not good enough I'm

not smart enough and you come up with

the same solutions over and over and

over and the same solutions don't net

new innovation right so it's your enemy

so you can't be creative next thing that

happens when you're sitting in anxiety

and you're in beta brain is your breath

starts to follow your body thinks this

fear is very very real these thoughts

are very very real failure is imminent

and you start breathing from here up

really shallow breathing using only 1/3

of your lung capacity you might not even

notice you've been doing it so you're

starving yourself from oxygen and then

your heart follows so very similar to

your brainwaves happy heart looks like

this and there's a metric developed by

an institute called heart math Institute

called heart rate variability and it's a

measure of stress and when you're in

that anxious state starts to get erratic

and when you're in that anxious State on

a daily basis

that's where chronic illness starts to

be born that's a constant state of

dis-ease and so what's worth it

what is worth working on every day if

that's possible the second part of this

framework is that you get to discover

your life's mission every great company

has a mission right a mission statement

of what we're going to chain

what we're going to do what's our big

why and you get one too and the cool

thing about mission is that it gets to

feel amazing and it's your truth the

only way you get this part wrong is if

you lie to yourself so the formula for

your life's mission is your passion

times your purpose so your passion is

when you feel most alive in the world

what is the thing that you do that you

love doing so much that you would pay to

do it

it could be dancing it could be playing

chess it could be writing code it could

be writing stories it could be teaching

and your purpose is if I could make the

world 1% different if when I was gone

this thing moved a little to the right I

would be happy that was worth it that's

your purpose my passion is teaching and

speaking and my purpose is to help

people make this distinction that by

building our inner world that's what

makes an extraordinary life so right now

I know that I'm on mission which is

awesome and you can have that too the

third part of this framework to living

an extraordinary life from within is

building a beautiful vision for how it

all comes to life so the first part the

beautiful vision is the tactical

expression of your mission so based on

my mission well I could become a

professor and I can teach classes on

building your inner world on mastering

and extraordinary experience I could

give a TEDx talk right there are a lot

of different ways that can come to life

and you might be asking well Mel how

could I create a beautiful vision and

not be thinking about the external world

at the same time you get two you get two

but the trick is not to attach to the

outcomes right create the beautiful

vision see it

but sit in the state of being instead of

the state of doing and to go back to my

first venture in my state of depression

you might be wondering how that ended

well I got I got the vision at my lowest

low I made the discovery

I mean I sat there thinking I must be

missing something that I don't even know

I don't know I think I'm pretty smart

I'm working so hard how could this be

happening to me and I read this book

called the power of now by Eckhart Tolle

and I realized that I was waiting to be

happy like dangling a carrot when the

company makes millions of dollars that's

when I'm successful when the growth

curve looks exponential that's when I

can be happy but actually I could be

happy right now and happiness and

fulfillment is an inside game and once I

figured that out I was like I have to

tell everybody everybody needs to know

this I I can't think of anything else

more important and so I created an event

about happiness I invited all the

companies I could think of in the city

of Austin Texas and I told them well

maybe about three months later I am

sitting in my kitchen in my pink pajamas

and this seems to be when I get all my

most important phone calls when

whoo-whoo-whoo under my pajamas and the

phone rings and it's a woman and she

said hi I need three wellness programs

for three different buildings in Texas

and went quarterly talks I want your

most progressive education I was like oh

my god yes yes yes who is it it's Google

every sort of stream right the customer

the logo I was through the moon emailed

my mentors called my parents we made it

and then the funniest thing happened a

week later week and a half later I woke


and I looked in the mirror and I was

still me my pink pyjamas were still the

same still woke up alone in my apartment

and I started to get mad wait a minute

where's the red carpet Google is my

customer why am I not on the cover of

Forbes why haven't I floated up to the

startup castle in the sky yet and the

twist of the story has a name it's

called hedonic adaptation and it's this

funny phenomenon with humans where when

something really good happens you get

happy but that happiness only lasts

about two weeks and then you adjust to

it the good thing is though if something

bad happens same effect so if you lose

your job or get a pay cut in about two

weeks you just do it and life goes back

to normal but within that paradox is the

reason that you can't invest what it

feels like to be alive in waiting for

certain milestones so the second part of

vision is not just how you accomplish

the mission but it's envisioning how it

feels to accomplish the mission

how it feels to be the Creator on a

daily basis that's the magic that's the

magic of living an extraordinary life

the feeling and if you ensure that you

hold up your core values you wake up and

remember your mission and you choose to

feel extraordinary you choose to feel

peaceful you choose to practice feeling

resilient that is how you live an

extraordinary life

so remember the most important business

you will ever build is yourself thank