Craig Schulze interviews world- renowned behavior specialist, researcher, author and global educator – Dr. John Demartini.
Founder of The Demartini Institute, a private research and education foundation with headquarters in the USA, New Zealand, Australia, UK and South Africa, Dr. Demartini is a living testament to the capacity for triumphing over physical and intellectual limitations.
He has developed a number of breakthrough curriculums and programs that are offered in more than 60 countries, allowing audiences to empower and inspire their lives. By using his expertise in human behavior, Dr. Demartini offers courses live and online to help people create financial empowerment, enhance leadership skills, master business relations and nurture relationship success.
For over 45 years, has worked with entrepreneurs from around the world, empowering them to discover their values and live life in accordance with their highest truths. He coaches them on tapping into their personal creativity and genius to create innovate solutions that beat the test of time.
Featured on the famous “The Secret”, Dr. Demartini is an advocate of mindfulness and listening to the wisdom of our being.
He has studied over 30,000 books across all defined academic disciplines and has identified the greatest wisdom and most powerful tools within. He travels the world sharing them with people of all age groups, sectors and markets to influence the development of a better future for all.
The Early Years – Transcending Limitations
Dr. Demartini has a unique and inspirational story.
He was born with a physical deformity and learning impediments that at a very young age he was already conditioned to believe that he was never going to amount to much in his life.
“I was born with arm and leg deformity. My arm was turned in and my leg was turned in and I had to wear braces from a year and a half to four years old. I also had a speech impediment. I couldn't speak properly so I had learning problems. When I got to first grade my teacher eventually saw that I wasn't going to be able to do as well as the other kids and asked my parents to come in.” – Dr. Demartini
The teacher informed his parents that he would never be able to read and write, and that the only hope Dr. Demartini had was to get into sports.
Upon realizing that stark reality, his father took it upon himself to train him to be a hustler and become street smart. This experience shaped Dr. Demartini into a young entrepreneur who set up a business in the neighborhood to hold his own.
“He made me accountable at a young age. So, when I was nine, I had to pay seven dollars and 50 cents a week to live at the house to pay for clothing food and rent. He started charging me for it to make me face the real world and I ended up building a landscaping company with nine employees doing things around the neighborhood.” – Dr. Demartini
At 17, he hitchhiked all the way to surf the waves of California, pursuing his passion for sports. One day he almost died and as he lay in recovery at the hospital, he met a man who would change his life.
“I met an amazing man one night at a talk that inspired me and for the first time in my life after listening to him speak I thought ‘maybe I could learn to read and maybe somebody I could speak properly’.” – Dr. Demartini
Deep down, Dr. Demartini knew his calling was to travel the world and inspire others to overcome all limitations and transcend but in his own life, there was much to be done before this dream was to be realized.
In his darkest moments, he would recall his numerous failures and the voice of his teacher as she asserted that he would never read, write, or amount to anything.
The Value of Resilience & Determination
The road to success is littered with challenges and failures. Each experience is there to teach us something and guide us towards the right path.
A defining moment for Dr. Demartini was a conversation he had with his mother where he shared that he was beginning to believe the doubting voices in his life.
“I saw vision the night I met the teacher that inspired me in Hawaii. I saw this vision of me standing and speaking and I said to myself I'm going to master reading, learning and speaking, and I'm going to do whatever it takes! I'm going to travel wherever I needed to, pay whatever price, and to give myself some love. I'm not going to let any human being on the face of this this planet and not even myself interfere with that.” – Dr. Demartini
In moments of paralysis, it’s important to make crucial decisions to shape our lives. Dr. Demartini made the decision to be determined to succeed. That determination spurred him into action and allowed him to achieve beyond his dreams.
“I started memorizing 30 words a day in that dictionary over the next few years until that dictionary was memorized and I grew in vocabulary and eventually passed school and then went on to read 18 to 20 hours a day on anything and everything.” – Dr. Demartini
Determination and focusing our energy on what we wish to achieve is the fuel required to realize our passion. It empowers us to transcend limitations and endure every challenge with resilience until the dream is realized.
“You can't let the world on the outside dictate your destiny on the inside. When the voice and the vision on the inside is louder than all opinions on the outside – you can master your life.” – Dr. Demartini
Differentiating between Extrinsic and Intrinsic Values
Craig has always been a proponent of living life according to our passions and creating success in whatever way it means to us.
Dr. Demartini also advocates living in a way that is aligned with our values and higher purpose. In fact, he argues that every person has a unique set of values, like our fingerprints, and differentiates between extrinsic and intrinsic values.
“No two people ever have the same exact set of values because they're made out of the voids of perceptions that they've experienced through their journey. Whatever's highest on that value list is intrinsic and we spontaneously are inspired to fulfil it but whatever's lower on the value lists are extrinsic and they require outside motivation to get us to do it.” – Dr. Demartini
Intrinsic values are things we are innately passionate about and can easily find motivation from within to pursue.
Extrinsic values are things we may not feel so passionate about and usually requires outside incentives or fear from punishment in order to get through.
Differentiating between the two allows us to reflect on the activities we engage in which feel like intrinsic values. Intrinsic values point us towards the direction of our mission and finding the most meaningful, purposeful and inspiring thing we could pursue in life.
“So, we excel in our highest values and we tend to decelerate in our lowest. We're inspired from within and we don’t need outside motivation. It’s like a boy who loves his video games - nobody has to remind him about his video games but they may have to remind him to do his chores, his homework, clean his room and to motivate him or punish him somehow through reward or punishment in order for him to do it. But if you need motivation from the outside you haven't found your mission on the inside.” – Dr. Demartini
Dr. Demartini stresses that we should do the inner work on discovering our highest values and not give in to subordination and conformity. Giving power to others to decide how we should live our lives robs us not only of a well-rounded, happy life, but also of fulfilment and a sense of value.
“The way you find out what that real highest value is to look at what your life demonstrates - not your fantasies, not what you say - but what your life demonstrates.” – Dr. Demartini
To identify your highest values, look at the activities you do that inspire you, that you are disciplined around, that you visualize and wish to talk about with others, and the goals you pursued to fruition. This reflection exercise raises awareness around the way you spend your time and inspires you to do more of what lights you up.
Life as an Outer Manifestation
It is often said that our outer reality is a reflection of our inner perceptions, beliefs and attitudes.
As a human behavior specialist, Dr. Demartini believes that our bodies and outer lives give us glimpses into the deepest corners of our mind. Through mindfulness and awareness, we can interpret the various “symptoms” in our lives and begin to live in an inspired way.
“I really believe that our physiology, psychology, sociology and our outer theological constructs are offering us feedback to be the most authentic individual. Our brain is designed to help us become authentic to what's truly deeply meaningful and anytime we get distracted through conforming instead of being really focused we hold ourselves back and we create symptomatology. That is actually a feedback to let us know we're not being authentic.” – Dr. Demartini
Authenticity is an important value as it allows us to tap into our own higher purpose, thus get inspired by original ideas that make a real difference.
Craig always stresses on success being in the way that it means for the individual, highlighting how importance authenticity is when defining what success is to each person.
“You'll make a difference standing out. So, the breakthrough experience is about breaking through the barriers and the self-imposed limitations that we put on ourselves by trying to conform and give ourselves permission to go after what's extraordinary, what we really feel called to do.” – Dr. Demartini
Sustainable Financial Mastery
Success requires fuel in the form of energy to propel it into manifestation. However, Craig points out that different kinds of fuel can sometimes be used, such as anger, hate or the need for superiority, and that never ends well.
Dr. Demartini agrees that success and the pursuit of financial liberation must be driven by positive fuel such as love, gratitude, abundance and inner joy.
“Money without meaning leads to debauchery, immediate gratifications, consumption and sometimes addiction; but money with meaning leads to philanthropy - something you want to contribute to the planet.” – Dr. Demartini
Mastering money is to master the ability to earn it ethically and spend it wisely. Sustainable Financial Mastery is earning money doing what you love through finding people who are in need of your gift and who are willing to give a fair exchange in return.
“A true non-zero-sum game exchange is a transaction that's sustainable and builds momentum because both partners in the transaction want to continue. The mastery of that is the mastery of life. It's the mastery of relationships, spirituality and health. The same mastery that encompasses all of them are also mastered through finances.” – Dr. Demartini
Financial Mastery requires discipline, calm and control of the mind and emotions.
Without a centred presence in life, it is easy to get distracted by pleasures or even pains. It’s easy to get pre-occupied or carried away. And it’s all to easy to give up or give in.
“When we're centred and we have gratitude - which is not an emotion, its transcendence of emotion, a metacognitive state love, inspiration, enthusiasm, certainty and presence - these are transcendental states of mind that a masterful individual has obtained.” – Dr. Demartini
Developing Awareness around the Ego
“I find it quite fascinating when people don't see their blind spot towards their own ego and lack self-awareness.” – Craig Schulze
Human behavior has always fascinated Craig, and he asks Dr. Demartini, a human behavior specialist, to shed some light on the ego.
To better understand the ego, Dr. Demartini makes reference to The Freudian Tripartite Portions of the Psyche whereby the human psyche is divided into the ‘Ego’, ‘ID’ and ‘Superego’.
“When you're living by your highest value and you’re more objective and you have reasoning in the executive centre of the brain, that is called that the ego. When you're down in lower values and you have more desire centre of impulse and instinct, seeking prey, avoiding predators, seeking pleasure and trying to avoid pain - we call it the pleasure principle - you have the ID. It is the instinctual impulsive ungoverned animal behavior within us. Then when you compare yourself to other people and put them on pedestals and inject their value into your life, their outer authority give rise to the super-ego.” – Dr. Demartini
One of the ways to nurture a healthy ego is through living life to your highest values and staying true to your authenticity.
A healthy ego is humble and sincere.
A false or super-ego is conformist, defensive and arrogant.
The danger is that the super-ego limits us and creates false obstacles in our path towards our version of success.
“Wisdom is living by what's highest on your value list which does not in any way hinder your authentic self. The true ego is not something to suppress, it’s something to appreciate.” – Dr. Demartini
Turning Trauma to Triumph
“My whole book, my podcast, everything has been driven off a circumstance that happened on January 24, 2014 where my wife and I went into hospital for a regular check-up and were told that there is no heartbeat.” – Craig Schulze
The day Craig held his stillborn son in his arms he knew his life would never be the same again.
“I describe it quite often as an out-of-body experience. You were forced. You had no choice. You had to watch your wife deliver. You you're holding a stillborn baby, you know. You're signing birth and death certificates… So, it was just crazy.” – Craig Schulze
Dr. Demartini reflects on Craig’s out-of-body experience and identifies it as an instinctive, self-defense mechanism that takes place within the brain during extremely traumatic events.
“What happens if we're in a situation - a very traumatic situation that we're perceiving as traumatic where there's no way to run from it and there's no way to solve it - our brain will go into a freeze response and we feel, in a sense, a moment of powerlessness. It's a dissociation response.” – Dr. Demartini
During the dissociation response, the brain counterbalances the pain and imbalance it is experiencing with visions and inspirations. It allows you glimpses to your higher purpose and presents an opportunity for one to turn trauma into triumph.
That is exactly what Craig had done, choosing to use the experience as a catalyst for becoming a movement initiator and empowering others to make the most of The One Shot they have in life.
The question here becomes: “How can I use this experience as a catalyst to live up to my highest values?”
“How specifically can I use this right now ‘on the way’ not ‘in the way’. How can I use whatever is happening right now to help me fulfil what's most important in my life? What's the highest priority action I can do right now to take this real situation and turn it into an opportunity? If you do that, you'll use it to build and create a new story.” – Dr. Demartini
Every experience can hold keys to our growth and transcendence. During traumatic experiences, remember to continue to be grateful.
“Gratitude is the key that opens up the gateway of the heart and allows love to radiate out, inspires the mind, enthuses the body, brings certainty and presence and an awe and a gratitude for our existence.” – Dr. Demartini
Balancing the Wisdom of the Heart & Mind
We all ask ourselves which is the right choice – to be ruled by our minds or guided by our hearts?
Dr. Demartini makes the distinction between three “brains” that coexist within our bodies which we tap into depending on the circumstances surrounding us and our life mastery skills.
“There are three brains that they've identified. You have an enteric brain which has neurons and releases neurotransmitters inside the gut - the duodenum. Primarily you have a heart brain - there's neurons in certain regions of the heart which they've now confirmed. And there's also the brain proper and the central nervous system.” – Dr. Demartini
When we live life on impulse and just react without any thought or wisdom, we are operating out of our gut brain. It’s also the pleasure-seeking, pain-fleeing mechanism.
This is useful when we are trying to survive; however, it is quite limited when our goal is living life to our highest values.
To mitigate the gut brain, we use the brain proper to reason through situations and create objectivity that helps regulate emotional responses
“Objectivity means that balanced, even mind where equanimity occurs. The moment you are objective, the heart brain comes online and the heart opens. That is where wisdom is revealed and loved is pronounced.” – Dr. Demartini
The greatest advice Dr. Demartini received was to live his life in a way where love and wisdom were key guiding values.
“My cufflinks say Love and Wisdom. It's a reminder to make sure you open your heart and guide your life with your heart and use your brain wisely.” – Dr. Demartini
Dealing with Uncertainty
The COVID-19 pandemic shocked the world and forced instant change down all our throats.
Craig taps into the wisdom of Dr. Demartini to seek advice for those of us who are finding the situation challenging.
Dr. Demartini believes that those held back by COVID-19 are those perceive this to be a crisis situation.
That perception in and of itself spells doom and results in the manifestation of crisis where there could possibly have been growth, innovation and inspiration instead.
“Coronavirus is not the cause of anything. It's our perception of Coronavirus that's the cause of our reality because I have people who have wisely listened to what I've been teaching them and when they found Coronavirus appearing back in 30 March, they started writing down the upsides to what they thought were downsides and balancing it out. They used this experience as a momentum-building, innovative, creative time to do more extraordinary things in their life.” – Dr. Demartini
If you alternatively choose to paint the picture as one of grim luck and misfortune, the gut brain begins to rule and creates panic, dissociation and chaos.
“People that are in their gut who are avoiding pain and seeking pleasure - they're going to see the downsides not the upsides and are they going to fantasize about how it used to be or how they hope it would be. Or they see the positive sides without the downsides. As long as they're ungoverned, uncontrolled, unbalanced and not in equanimity, they're going to be chaotically distracted by the outer world. It has nothing to do with the outer world. It's their choice of perceptions of the outer world.” – Dr. Demartini
When it comes to dealing with COVID-19 and any uncertainty in our lives, it’s important to ask ourselves what our judgments and perceptions. From there on, it is your responsibility to consciously rewrite the story and redefine the outcome.
“It's the greatest discovery of our generation that human beings can also live their lives by altering their perceptions and attitudes of mind. All you have to do is ask the right question because the quality of your life is in the quality of the questions you ask.” – Dr. Demartini
Instead of asking “Why is this happening to me?” try asking “How can I make this situation work for me?”
The answers may just change your life.
What Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Dr. Demartini’s Story
There is a lot of wisdom to be gained from Dr. Demartini’s journey:
- There isn’t any challenge that you cannot overcome with the right amount of determination, resilience and passion.
- Don’t let the external voices cast doubt on your highest values and don’t let the internal voices rob you of your chance to create your own success.
- Put in the time and energy required to master the skills that will help you succeed in making your dreams a reality.
- Bring awareness to your day to day activities and identify the highest value activities for you. Those are the values that bring you joy and which you are intrinsically motivated to see all the way through to the end.
- Listen to your body and objectively reflect on your life. Circumstances and physiology create symptoms of the hurdles you need to overcome in order to live your highest truth.
- Nurture a healthy ego which is not afraid to be different and original. You will unlock your own creativity when you listen to your inner wisdom and eliminate the voices that don’t serve your highest purpose.
- Trauma offers the opportunity for transcendence. Ask yourself the right questions and remember to always be grateful.
- There is no dilemma over whether your life should be governed by your heart or mind. Find the balance between the two and you will unlock great wisdom.
- Your perspective is everything. When times are uncertain, ask yourself how you can rewrite the story into one where you come out on top.