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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - Breaking Mental Barriers, Working Out, and Embracing Your Strengths

Steven Furtick - Breaking Mental Barriers, Working Out, and Embracing Your Strengths

Steven Furtick - Breaking Mental Barriers, Working Out, and Embracing Your Strengths

Craig Groeschel: Pastor Steven Furtick.

Steven Furtick: Pastor Craig Groeschel. How are you?

Craig Groeschel: I am fantastic.

Steven Furtick: Did you cold plunge yet today?

Craig Groeschel: I did not. Did you cold plunge today?

Steven Furtick: No. Did you eat grapefruit yet today?

Craig Groeschel: I ate grapefruit with sugar yesterday.

Steven Furtick: Protein powder yet today?

Craig Groeschel: Protein powder this morning with electrolyte additive.

Steven Furtick: Do you ever put electrolyte powder on top of a protein bar and call it breakfast?

Craig Groeschel: Microwave it, put it on top of a protein bar and it's lunch

Steven Furtick: So it melts a little bit like a little extra icing.

Craig Groeschel: 10 seconds in the microwave.

Steven Furtick: I love that. I'm gonna try that.

Craig Groeschel: So, congratulations.

Steven Furtick: Thank you. You talking about my book.

Craig Groeschel: We talked about this book for years.

Steven Furtick: And it's here.

Craig Groeschel: "Do The New You".

Steven Furtick: Yeah.

Craig Groeschel: Six Mindsets to Become Who You Were Created to Be. Congratulations. Like sincerely, it was kind of walking with you as a friend through the process. It's a grueling thing writing a very personal book.

Steven Furtick: Oh, no, no, no. We're not gonna oversimplify. My first book was only ever written because of you. You remember that?

Craig Groeschel: I would say, I thought this book might have been written because I got in your face, but I don't remember the first one.

Steven Furtick: So we have to go all the way back because for those of you all that don't know, Pastor Craig is the most efficient human being alive. So back when we first got to be friends, you would call me sometimes on the way home and you'd be like, "All right, I have eight minutes. Like you'd give me the clock that we had". And one day you called me and I'm like, "Probably only has seven minutes today". So I'm like, "What's up? You're talking real fast," and you're like, "Hey, hey, slow down. I called you 'cause wanna help you get your first book done and I'm gonna introduce you to who you need to be introduced to, agent, all of that". And then fast forward to the last few years where I've been saying I can't write a book, I don't have another book in me, I'm not an author, I'm not literary, I'm just gonna preach and that's it. And but you never made me feel bad. It was just like, as I watched you put out eight books a year...

Craig Groeschel: Whatever.

Steven Furtick: My competitive drive kicked in and I'm like, "If I can't outbench press him, he's not gonna outbook me and outbench me". No. But seriously, thank you. Thanks for having me on today to talk about the book and whatever you choose to talk about. I mean, it means the world.

Craig Groeschel: Well, actually holding this book, it makes me emotional because I think it was in the POUND. We probably should talk about the POUND at some point. And then I think once in my gym that we had kind of you gotta do this thing conversation. So seeing it here...

I think the real conversation went down in Oklahoma.

I think it was, I think it was in Oklahoma.

It's like where you said...

You have this way of kind of like asking the question, which is like a great leadership principle. It's very counsely, it's very therapy-oriented. So you said, "Are you gonna have a book out this time next year? Are we still gonna be talking about the book and why you can't write it"? And that's big, man. That's why I love being friends with you. I remember one time we had a similar conversation about taking more time off, like, I need to take more Sundays off. And we both kind of pushed each other like, are we gonna talk about this until we're 78, die of a heart attack in the pulpit? Are we gonna take more time off?

Yeah. Well, it is true. There are so many different ways we pushed each other. And that's one of the ways you helped me was to pull back some... I think you said something like if there's a little bit less of you, you'll actually be better and things like that. Anyway, I do wanna dive into the book with mindsets. But first, you brought up cold plunge. I wanna start with something fun 'cause you look pretty ripped right now. Some people are listening, they can't see it, but just take my word for it. Pastor Stevens looking relatively ripped.

Would you like to say more about that?

I wanna talk about the POUND because if we could do... One thing is I give people a visual of the POUND. First of all, what is the POUND? And they don't wanna talk about mindsets going into the POUND.

Okay. Okay. Christie, go get the poster board in my car. I brought it just in case you wanted to talk about this. I know not everyone can see it. I hope they'll lead this part in because it'll be great for the video, but I've never showed it before, what I'm about to bring in. And I'm really glad I grabbed it before I left today.

So what is the POUND?

It stands for...

And it's amazing you brought up, by the way.

Yeah, I'm getting there. I'm getting there. It stands for the place of ultimate natural development. And the whole fact that I had to name it kind of shows the thing because it's a little workout room in my house. And the POUND was born once again largely because of your influence. An example, I just remember one time you came to Charlotte to preach for me and it was like, okay, I've got to not only work out once every two weeks, like look at him. And every excuse I have, like, well, the church is growing, well, your church is growing. You had two times as many kids as me. I had three. You have six. So what I did, man, I never considered myself a workout person. And I would even say that, like, if I had a good workout streak, I'd go, "Well, I'm not like a workout person or anything. I actually hate exercising. I don't do squats. I don't do leg day". I had all of these kind of constrictions on myself. And I remember taking these, you know the Bowflex SelectTech, this is not sponsored, but he dumbbells that are adjustable weight.


Do you remember when I had those in the POUND when it was very...

I do, I do.

Very raw.


All that was in there, like those little Bowflex SelectTech and a bench and a pull up bar. And I started, what I did, I made a star chart and I named it the POUND because I'm like, "I've gotta make this fun. I've gotta build this into my life and I gotta have people come over to make me do it". So the boys would come over and buck and chunks and the whole crew, people that work here, they'd come and we would do four workouts a week or whatever. And we made t-shirts and stuff, and it got to be fun and add a little equipment. You would send me a dip bar or something like that. I remember you sent me that for one of my birthdays. So what I wanted to show you though, this is the actual star chart that I had to put on the wall because I figured if I'm gonna become that kind of person, and that's kind of one of the stories I tell in the book, "Do The New You," it's like I have to do the thing that I would do if I was that person. And so it's very corny, right? I'm not showing you that I have a star chart. And if you can't see it, it's like got different colored stars based on the kind of detail.

If you can't see it, this is just purely amazing. You should probably listen to this completely all the way through. Then go to YouTube just so you can see the POUND star chart.

Yeah. Well, what I'm holding up is just like it's the most fifth grade thing in the world. I literally give myself gold stars for working out. But you teach this stuff, man. I listen to the podcast, it's like you're so much better at all the terminology, the atomic habits, and I know you had that guy on, and the things that you do to reward, I don't always know the vocabulary for it, but in that area of my life, I needed it to reinforce something that wasn't natural to me.

So let's dive into that because the book, it is very, very, very good six mindsets to become who you're created to be. So let's say back then, and honestly you were not in great shape. A lot of people today would say, "Man, I would like to eat better. I'd like to get in better shape". And so somehow you had to change your mindset in it. For the listener, let me tell you a little bit what it's like to work out in the POUND. First, we walk into the POUND and there's gonna be some kind of rock music that I pro...

Led Zeppelin 1, 2, 3 or 4. Which one do you want?

Yes, it's probably gonna be Led Zeppelin. There's gonna be probably a little bit too much pre-workout going into it. We're gonna start with a 60-second...


60-second hang,.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

We're gonna get stretched out. Oftentimes there's gonna be a plan, like there's gonna be someone wrote we're gonna do.

We'll write it up on the white board.

Eight reps of this, five rep of this, this much, this much, this much, this much. And then there's gonna be a whole lot of brainstorming, a lot of groaning, a lot of sweating. Tell me about the mindset. What does that do for you otherwise? Besides like now you look fantastic and you're healthy, what does that do for your mindset?

Thank you. And I'm not a paragon of fitness. I drink diet Cokes. I'm not the most strict person in the world. I don't wanna give the wrong impression. I'm not starting my beach body, bible body, P120X thing. That's not the point of this. The point of it is, it's an area of my life. Everybody has one where I considered myself to not be one of those people. You know what I mean? That could apply to anything, though. I'm not an emotionally communicative person. I can't say my feelings. I'm not a creative person. And I would love to talk about that phrase later. I'm not creative. But for me it was like I'm not a workout person, I'm not an exercise guy. My family, we ate this way. I don't eat that way. All right, so, so, okay. So what did you exactly ask me?

Yeah, so...

Oh the mental part, the mental part.

The mental part. What does that do? What does that do to your mind?

Oh, it does everything. Because like this morning when I was doing that, the workout, I was thinking about us sitting here together and I was thinking about, hey, I'm gonna get nervous going on there. I haven't talked about this book yet. You're the first interview that I've been able to do. I know people will be watching it at different times or listening at different times, but I started thinking about not just how can I get through this, but I'm like, "Oh, I'm gonna get to see Craig today. That's gonna be fun. What could come up? What might come up? I wonder if he's gonna do this. I wonder could I mess with him"? And then I have little notepads all around and I've learned this over time. Like when my body is engaged and my mind is free to play around a little bit, it will go find a sermon idea, it will go find a phrase. And I don't always know where it goes, but I'll try to capture it in the moment. And I don't think people understand how much God tries to speak or if you're not very religious, just how much inspiration tries to come in moments where we get our guard down. So like 15 dips in and your guard's down a little bit and you're flowing a little bit and maybe a little bit of pre-workout assisted. Ideas start to pour in. And I would say the biggest benefit of that time for me is the creativity that comes, is the clarity that comes, and is the energy way more. I don't wanna look bad when I see myself on a video. I have to look at myself from preaching videos all the time. So that's definitely a motivation. But I would say what comes that I don't even see coming during that time is just as valuable.

I agree totally. And so I'll probably butcher what you said, but you said something like when my body is engaged, my mind is free to play around.

Yeah, exactly.

And just for kind of our leadership community right now, in no way am I saying or would Steven be saying, everybody needs to work out, you gotta be in the gym, you gotta throw weights around. Like, no, no, no, no. But I would say to improve your leadership and to be mentally healthy and good relationships, you need something to do with your body or some kind of habit that disengages your mind from the normal stuff to give your mind time to play around. And that's one of the reasons why I talk about it a lot. I feel like working out contributes to my spiritual life, my mental health. I think the physical part is definitely a benefit, but it's almost lower on the list of priorities of the benefits that I get from it. And and it's a lot of fun. You do it with people that you love. And we've had some of our best ideas when our body was engaged and our minds were free to play around.

Yes. And the other thing is like when my son Elijah, my oldest who's in college now, came and wanted to start working out with me, it became like our mentorship time together. And I know I'm blessed to be able to do that. Not everybody has that availability. But I mean, some of the best stuff I put in his heart was in the POUND. And it was not showing him like technique on incline bench press or something like that. But just having that space, and I'm totally with you, you may not need that, but you need something. Because there was a time in like 2013 where I was going through a lot with just the publicity of the ministry, some certain things that were kind of rocking me inside. And that workout became a place every day that I knew I could go control something, win at something. And I think it kept me very grounded and I probably need to branch out from there and find other things. You've been talking to me about that a lot, like expanding the hobby. But it's been big. And you know what, I actually tell in the book, I say... I realized the other day I caught myself again saying to someone, this is about two years ago, "Well, I'm not really a workout person," and I stopped myself mid-sentence and I did the math on how many star charts and times I went down to the POUND and did my workout some better than others. And it was something over 2,000 workouts. And I'm like if you're not a workout person after 2,000 workouts, yes, you are. And that's one of the big things that I wrote the book to show people "Do The New You" is like sometimes you become something that you never saw yourself as. And it takes you a while to catch up with who you are, how God sees you and who you've become.

So talk to me about that. Let's say someone says, "Well, I'm not really a person that prays regularly. I'm not really a person that has good interpersonal skills. I'm not really the kind of person that eats well. I'm not the kind of person that's good with my money". And then they start trying to get there. Talk about the when do they become good? What's the process look like? I'm not good with money. And then you work really hard at it. When do you become good at it? Give me a nugget from the book that helps me understand, how do I get there?

Okay. Okay. Nugget from the book. It's a old motivational quote. Nobody knows who first said it, but it goes like this: If you argue for your limitations, you get to keep them. I really, really love that quote.


If you argue for your limitations, you get to keep them. So I took that quote and I thought about it for weeks and weeks. And then I thought I need to add something to it 'cause I'm a preacher and a pastor, so I'm always gonna come from that angle. So then I expanded it like this. If you argue for your limitations, you get to keep them. But if you gree with God about your potential, you get to grow into it.


And so it's not one day I was a white belt, then I was a yellow belt. Am I going in the right order? I don't know how the belts go. White belt.

If you're 14, maybe it's a little bit...

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. One day I get this next belt, and now I'm a brown belt, now I'm a black belt. We wish that it worked like that in areas of our life that it was clear. And I know for me, when people say just do you, a lot of times we'll go to speak somewhere and we'll ask the person. I know we've talked about this a bunch. Well, what do you want me to speak about? Or how can I serve you best? You wanna understand...

Share what's on your heart.

Share what's on your heart

Be yourself, be you.

Be you. And that sounds so good, but it triggers this cascading thought for me, like, which me do you want me to be? And not because I'm a hypocrite, not because there's something horribly hidden that I don't want to bring into the space or that I'm an actor, but there are different modes. And I was thinking of it like this. I didn't put this in the book, but I should have. Think of you like a menu. I was thinking that you are a menu. So if we say I'm gonna watch Netflix tonight, well, that's a pretty broad thing. There's a lot of stuff on Netflix. I can watch a documentary on Netflix. I can watch something that wakes me up at three in the morning, thinks somebody's coming to kill me on Netflix. I can watch. I can watch something inspiring, entertaining. But the point is, you doing, you thinking that you fully know you is a trap. And that's why I don't like these phrases. I'm not saying that they're bad, I just don't like them. I don't like the phrase, do you. Even though I think that uniqueness is a virtue submitted to God, I think that sometimes we worship our uniqueness to the exclusion of our growth. Meaning like, well, if I step out and become like that, if I speak up and I consider myself shy or if I branch out, that's not me. How do you know that's not you? So now we go into like this thought of how do I know when I am a person that prays? You pray right now and you just became a person that prays. All right, so here's another one. I go through this constant creativity battle of feeling like I'm not a good songwriter and I've written some really good songs with some really great people, but I noticed that I'm not a good songwriter. And for you it might be I'm not a good mom. I'm not a good manager. I'm not good at speaking in front of people. I'm not organized, I'm not disciplined. We categorize all these things, right? So I'll say, I don't know if I'm a good songwriter, I don't know if I'm still called to write songs. And you know what cures it? Going in and writing a song because if I went in to write a song today, I am a songwriter today. And my little phrase, man, that I love so much is do the thing that you would do. And I love the phrase. I wish I could like put it up on a screen, but do the thing that you would do. And the phrase works a lot of different ways. You know how much I love wordplay. That's like my love language. If you were a prayerful person, what would you do? Well, do the thing that you would do if you were a prayerful person. If you wanna become a prayerful person, do the thing that you would do if you were patient. If you were sensitive enough to go apologize, go apologize. You want to be the kind of person who isn't stubborn, do the thing that unstubborn you would do. And I love the phrase too because it can mean do the thing that you would do. I'm not trying to be schizophrenic here saying that there's a different you, like you're not one person. I am saying, though, that the Bible talks about an old self and a new self. And in that context, it doesn't mean which one came before or which one came after. The old self represents who I am not submitted to God, not walking in the ways of God. And I can get back there really quick even though I'm a new creation. The new self, the new me, that's a decision that I make moment by moment. It's not something that happens once and it's over. So I'm always choosing which me to bring, like which me am I bringing to this interview with you today? The one that wants to give and really be in the moment and speak. Or am I mailing this in? Which me am I bringing when I wake the kids up in the morning? You could ask that question over every area of your life. Which me am I bringing in this room? Okay, I'm walking in this meeting right now. I know the people that trigger me in there. So I need to bring the me into this room that is able to move through those moments. And I think it's a huge revelation for most people because we live in a just do you, live your truth? That's a trap because you don't fully know you yet. Only God does.

So talk to me about this. We got a lot of people that would say, yeah, I'm listening to this podcast because I want to be a better leader, but I'm not really a leader yet. And so maybe they're younger in their organization, maybe they feel like they don't have the right education and they're in an environment where they might feel insecure. and you're gonna talk to them about a mindset of doing leadership-like things. If you're gonna help them see themselves to become a true leader, kind of what are the things you would say to yourself in a moment of insecurity or what would be some things you would do or advise them to do that's gonna help them create the muscles that give them the forward movement, that give them the confidence to say, I'm not trying to become a better leader, I am an effective leader?

You are to me a great example of this by the way that you first start with leading yourself. I just watched the way that you lead yourself through a day. I watched the way that you lead yourself through negative emotions. I mean, you've been sharing a lot lately in this leadership podcast even about the steps you had to take that were drastic when you came upon this situation where you realized the way I'm doing it is not sustainable. And I don't think we have any idea how much actual autonomy we have in leading ourselves and how much that overflows into the way we lead others. But the second thing is this, be careful of a limitation that you place on what leadership is as you define leader. And I'm gonna give a real personal example. I hope this is okay, man.

I hope you do because I feel like you're talking to yourself right now. I mean, this is good. Yeah, please.

Yeah, no, I am, I am and I'm gonna go there 'cause I wanted to share with this audience today that by the textbook definition, there are times where I consider myself I'm not really a leader, I'm more of a preacher. Okay? And where is that coming from? Even though this church, Elevation Church, that we started has grown, even though I'm responsible for all of these different parts of the ministry, why am I saying I'm not a leader? And let's stop and just pause and say that phrase in itself is the limitation of language. When you said I'm not a leader, something came to mind when I said leader, but leader is a very flexible fluid term. And there were times in 2014, 2015 where me and you would get on the phone and I would say, "What you been doing this week"? And you would've maybe had board meetings and produced a lot of content and things like that. And then you'd go, "What did you do"? And I'd be a little embarrassed 'cause I'd go, "We've been in a house in the mountains on a songwriting retreat," and you never made fun of me. But my own insecurity projected that you were probably thinking that's not what real leaders do. Real leaders don't write songs. They empower others for the true essence of leadership, is not that which you are able to do.

That's what I was thinking.

Oh yeah?


Yeah. Maybe, I don't know.

Not at all.

You've been talking about that.




What you would say to me though, whatever you thought, you would say to me, "That's really cool that you make space to do that". And what it did, it fanned the flame of we wanna talk about uniqueness, doing you, it helped me to see that my definition of leader was limited. And we all define based on what we saw modeled. So if my model of leadership is you, Craig Groeschel, well, you are very, very efficiency-oriented. I've thought many times, like if Craig was in this songwriting session, he would put his head through the wall, he would be so bored. We have been talking for 90 minutes about whether to say oh praise the name or praise the name, whether we're gonna say the word oh, he could not handle this. And in my mind, because I respect you so much as a leader, I would think real leaders don't care about whether the word O is there or not. Real leaders don't go to the mountains in the middle of the week. But guess what I mean? That was a part of the calling that God had placed on this ministry and my life. So I want you to be very careful about defining yourself in a way that minimizes the actual potential that you have. And there's another word I'm looking for, I can't think of it right now, but it's in a way that you diminish. That's what I wanted to say 'cause that's got alliteration, right? Don't define yourself in a way that diminishes you. Like, oh, I'm not a real leader, I'm more creative, then be a creative leader. Creativity is leadership. That's the thing I wanted to tell you about from earlier too. When I first started the church, there was a guy named Tyler who was our volunteer graphic designer. And we had not had a Sunday morning service yet. We were still trying to make sure we had a place to meet. And me and Tyler went to go check out this building one day, and we were coming back and he was driving his truck. And we had just moved to Charlotte. We didn't know anybody. And I was so insecure about the whole thing of like... And there's a lot of people who wouldn't know my story. I mean, we moved here with eight families to Charlotte to start Elevation Church. We had very little underwriting. There were some people who helped us, but there was no guarantee, there was no net. And there were just moments where I would tell the team, like, "Bring somebody next week to our launch team meeting. You need to invite somebody. We need to bring outsiders in". They're like, "We don't know outsiders. We are outsiders. We just moved here three weeks ago," and it would be so discouraging. So I remember riding back with him one day and he was driving and I said, "Hey, I have an idea for a series". And I remember what it was. It was very 2005, so it was cool back then. I was like, "I want to use the keys of a keyboard and each key is a different spiritual skill. Like shift is one, control. We talk about surrender, escape for things you wanna get out of". And I don't remember the name of it, but I was like, I said, "I know I'm not creative, I'm not a creative guy, but I just wanted to float that idea to you". And he says, "Didn't say anything from..". But he's like, "Yes, it's a great idea," he said, "But can we go back to that thing you said, I'm not creative"? He said, "You are one of the most creative people I know. And it actually hurt me to hear you say that. And I wish you would never say that again, at least not around me, because I don't really like to hear you talk that way about yourself". I think you would be surprised how many things you say, I'm not a creative, I'm not a spiritual person, I'm not a Bible reader. And if you will check those things that you say out loud about yourself or inside to yourself, you'll probably locate the places where you have assumed that the way you saw it done is the only way it can be done. And for you that are saying, I'm not a leader or I'm not a good one, again, let's expand your definition of what that is because you are going to either argue for your limitations and you stay that way, or you agree with God about your potential, and day by day you grow into it and it unfolds.

So do you think there's ever like the point at which someone is saying it's I'm not this, do you think that in some cases, or maybe in many cases, that's where some of the best potential is buried?

Meaning that God uses their illness or meaning that there's an insecurity because they're actually called to do it in their faith.

So we've been friends for a long time. I've watched your journey. And I watched you early on say a million times over, well, I'm just not a leader like you are. Am I doing this wrong? Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And underneath you now is one of the strongest churches in the world. You're probably the most listened to preacher in our lifetime. I'm just gonna say it too, the songs that come out of Elevation, you're the driving force behind it. And you don't say that much, but you are the creative genius and you got a team of people, but you are the driving force. You have Elevation Worship. You're probably on tour right now as a podcast is coming out, I'm guessing, and you'll do cities across the nation and the stadiums are full in every city you go to on, on and on. That does not happen without amazing leadership. And it took you years to even acknowledge that you are a leader. And then you had to kind of even give yourself permission to be a different type of leader. I honestly think that when I'm working with people that are growing in their understanding of what's inside of them, that sometimes the greatest potential is buried underneath their perceived limitations.


You could say that better, but you know what I'm saying?

No, I can't. I'm nailed by that. And maybe at a different level even than how you're saying it. I'm saying maybe the fear is there to keep you from tapping into it. And this is my spiritual belief. I know we all have different spiritual beliefs, but I want to give it to you from my heart. I think maybe that if you believe in the devil, if you believe in the enemy, or if you just believe in, like, some people call it resistance, different people name it in different ways. Let's don't worry about what we call it. If there's something in you that's gonna bring good into the world, if there's something in you that's gonna help people, if there's something in you that is going to refresh others, if there's something in you that's going to build something amazing and there is an enemy, and I believe there is, then why wouldn't he do everything he could to convince you that you're not that? Now, here's what I don't mean. Go try out for the voice even if you can't sing. Go try out for the NBA and you're 38. You should probably just buy a ticket and watch somebody do it. And we can get into this kind of delusional thing where we think, oh, well, if I was the boss, I would do this and that. And I'm not advocating that just whatever your mind is most afraid of is what you're called to do. But I like what you said because sometimes that fear actually points to something that is inside of you. That if it's fertilized, if it's grown, if it's watered, it will actually become the most powerful part of you. So, yes, I absolutely agree with you that while we think that our confidence is the greatest signifier of what's significant about us, sometimes it's our fear. Why am I so scared to do this but yet the opportunities keep coming? Why do I tell myself I'm not a leader, but people seem to listen when I talk? Like that's what I wanna ask you. Are people around you saying like, hey, that really helped me when you did that, wow, that really was a blessing? And do you downplay it? Calling it humility, but really it's just fear. Really, it's you not wanting to step into something you're not certain about.

I think it's incredibly powerful. And I just wanna say, even to those who are listening right now, and I pray you hear this, feel that there is more in you than you can imagine. There are leadership gears. There's levels of creativity. There's empathy. There's compassion. There is more in you than you can imagine. Steven, it's been fun with you to... I think you were, oh gosh, late twenties when we met and just didn't know what you're gonna do the next day and to watch all of the different levels and gears come out. It's been a blast. I wanna highlight, I think, my favorite in of your six mindsets. I like this one, maybe because I need it because I've struggled in this area. Number five, my joy is my job. There is hard work and happiness. Are you happy as a leader? What do we need to learn about this?

Well, I got it from the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson on a documentary. He's had a lot of mental illness challenges and he looks over at the documentarian and goes, "I found out happiness is hard work. It's hard work to be happy". And so I really took that as one of the whole mindsets in the book. We were going around the table with Abby and Elijah and Graham on vacation and Holly's there, and I said, "Let's play a game. Who's the happiest person"? And my joke was none of them said me, none of them mentioned me. And I started getting kind of like insecure about it. Then I'm getting defensive. I'm like, "Well, if I was just happy dad all the time, we wouldn't be here on vacation, would we? Happy dad can't pay for the meal 'cause he's out being happy". And it wasn't some crazy moment, but it just got me thinking about how we could break down happiness a lot of different ways. But I'm not really here to talk about joy versus happiness or temporary versus external. I'm really talking about taking responsibility to own your emotions. And I would say that's a daily thing for a leader. Because what leader hasn't walked into an environment fired up about something, right? Like, oh man, I was doing my workout this morning and I had my pre-workout. Or I was listening to Bach and walking backwards. Or I was cold plunging like Wim Hof, or I was I was on a retreat and the Lord showed me this, or I went to this conference or Craig Groeschel leadership podcast. So now you're excited, you bring it into the room. Maybe there are people that you're in charge of. Maybe it's people you have to convince who are supervisors and you start sharing it, and it's icy. But what about? And I have this little creative phrase like don't show your embryos when you have an idea, but it's not ready to be shared yet. You need to develop it 'cause there's no pretty embryos. And how many times have I shared an idea that what I wasn't really able to articulate? And the people are confused and I think that their confusion means that they don't accept the idea or they're lazy and really, I just need to paint the picture better. Okay, so what does that have to do with my joy as my job?

That's a great analogy because I've done this so many times. I've come in with an idea that I know is pretty good, but I can't explain it yet. And I've confused almost... And to use a very cruel term, almost aborted the embryo, meaning like there was almost no chance for a birth because that wasn't developed enough.

Right. That's why I don't talk about sermons too much. Like I'll send you a text and say this is my title, this is my scripture. And we have fun going back and forth about that. But I don't want to talk about it too much because it's still cooking and I don't know it yet. And then you take an idea. Let's say you wanna start something. I know a lot of church leaders listen to this, and I know a lot of people outside of the church are applying these leadership principles that you give every week. So it's the moment when you have something that you're excited about, you share it, you expect everybody else to instantly go to 10 with you. You expect everybody to instantly volunteer to make it happen. And the moment they don't, what do you feel? Rejection. What do you feel? Anger. Because you want to cover up the rejection, so now you're angry. So now you draw back. So now you go tell yourself they didn't like my idea. They didn't understand your idea. And when you own your emotions, like I put all of these mindsets in the book in the form of mantras, and I know that's like a weird term to some people. I don't mean it in an eastern way, just sayings, affirmations.

It's memorable. Yep, I like it.

Something you could put on a post-it note, right? Because for me, the technical term resilience doesn't really fire me up. So I had to figure out how to preach to myself, to myself. I wrote these for me. I wrote them for others, but I wrote them to myself. So my joy is my job. It's walking in the room and knowing like I have to bring the energy that this idea deserves. And if their energy isn't there yet, it is my job to learn how to move this room. If I walk up on a Sunday morning and the congregation looks like they put NyQuil in the communion cups, it's a good preacher joke, and I'm going, "Well, they don't get this, they don't like it". It's my job to really bring the energy that I feel like God has called me to bring. Same in every meeting. Same in the conversations with my who I'm trying to lead the. The same if I walk in this room to do the interview today and you didn't get much sleep, or you didn't eat your grapefruit or whatever happened or didn't happen. And it's my job to still bring the energy that I need to bring. I want you to let people's energy or lack thereof control you less as a leader. I want you to really believe in what it is that you're doing and building and to begin to understand that it is your responsibility, not for their reaction or response. You can never control that, but you never lead down to the level of the lowest energy in the room.

That's good.

You never preach down to the level of the lowest energy in the room. And that's what I mean by own your emotions. That's what I mean by my joy is my job.

So I'm really excited to ask you more about this because you're one of the best that I've ever seen at creating energy in the right direction. And you talk about, hey, you just do it. I'm going like, how? So if you walk into a meeting and there's not much energy or they did have NyQuil in the communion cups, can you talk through a little bit about, are you preparing your mind before? Talk me through what do you think, what do you do? How do you say it? How do you create excitement when they're bored? How do you bring a sense of emotion when there's not? Talk to me about the technique, the mindset behind creating energy in a room.

Okay. I love this, by the way, I don't know if we're almost out of time. I'm not in a hurry. I'm having so much fun today.

Let's keep going.

Okay, okay, okay. So it would depend on the room, right? I was in a songwriting room a few days ago and all the writers were great, experienced veterans and stuff like that. And in all of these examples, I'm gonna use to answer that question, what do I do when I'm in a room with one person or with 20,000 people? What do I do when I'm in a room and it's not moving like I want it to, and I feel that shutdown thing happening? What do I do? First off, I don't always do it right. But in every case that I do get it right, it usually starts with staying playful. And I know that's a little unexpected, but if I lose my playfulness, it's over.

So are you playful going in or do you have to pick it up in the middle of it?

Playful doesn't mean silly. Playful doesn't mean treating it like a joke. Playful doesn't mean, hey everybody, what did the carpenter say to the chicken? That's not what I mean. But a lot of times, I'll watch this happen where we're in a songwriting room and I'll tell you it's going nowhere, it's going nowhere. And all of a sudden, you turn on. I have a karaoke mic in the room and I start going like... ♪ Never been better than a hell of soul ♪ ♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh ♪ Now, I'm not doing for the whole 10 hours. Nobody would ever wanna write music with me. There's times where it's very quiet and there's times where I'm checked out. But I'm telling you, whether it's loud or soft. Like the other day, I said, "Sorry, I'm late," middle of a songwriting session. Guy in the piano, he's great songwriter, goes, "Huh"? I said, "What will we say next? ♪ Sorry, I'm late ♪ We weren't trying to write a song about sorry, I'm late. I knew it wouldn't end up in the song. What comes next"? That's way better than sitting in the room going like, "I just wanna write a song about the holiness, the heaviness". Like there's a time for that. And I've had very heavy moments of creativity, sermons, all of that. There's holy moments. But I know when I'm stuck, something's happening that, like, I have completely lost touch with the fact that I love doing this, that I get to do this, that this is exciting. And if it doesn't move me, if I can't get back in touch with that little kid, part of me that is excited, everything that I'm gonna produce is gonna feel like product. So when it does, when I'm going, is this any good? Is this making sense? Is this going to be good? If I stop thinking of product and start thinking of relationship, that's the second thing. Not just being playful, but shifting my focus away from the product. Is it good or bad? Which is judgment-oriented versus the connection in that moment. Like, let's just try something, let's be a little vulnerable here. The vulnerability piece is huge too, man, because sometimes if I'm in a room and I'm going and I think the gear that I need to be in is more like you all aren't getting this, you all are bored. There's a time to do that. As a leader, I've done that too. But there's also a time to just open up and slow down and tell them what's really going on. So I will always think, like, if they're not getting it, let me go deeper. Let me slow down. Here's another technique. I'll throw my voice. I have other (indistinct) maybe for a second. I'll move different. I'll use a lot of space in silence like (Pastor Steven humming) So what I want to get you to see whether I'm talking about playfulness, connection relationally, you have tools when you find yourself in those moments. Most of us don't know where our tools are. And so we just get in a meeting, it feels weird. Somebody doesn't like our idea. They say something that offends us. Yep, we shut down. But you have tools. You don't have to just shut down. You have other options for how to move through that. Will you use them or not? Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. But it was life-changing for me to even realize I had them.

So let me try to restate and summarize and even add a thought or two to what you said because I've seen you do this a million times. A leader walks into a room, a preacher walks up on the stage, you've gotta make a presentation, whatever it is. And a few minutes in, you recognize they're not paying attention. There's no energy in this room. What do you do? First of all, you have to recognize it, meaning you don't just plow through whatever you had planned, but you recognize that you have to be aware that what you're saying isn't the most important thing, but how they're feeling. Doesn't matter if you say it right, if they don't hear it, I always tell our leaders, if you can say it, but that doesn't mean they hear it, believe it or will do it. You can say it, but it doesn't mean they hear it, believe it or will do it. So you're not just trying to say words, you're trying to create action. So you recognize there's not energy in the room. So what do you do? You do something different. You said you've got tools, you got all sorts of tools. You could say, hey, let's take a break. You could put on some music, you could do a little dance. You could pause. You could change a voice like this. You could start clapping and do the karaoke. You could ask a question. You could go right on the board, but you're gonna do something different. And you're gonna be very focused on what they are feeling, what they are hearing. And then if you can engage them personally, maybe you go deeper, maybe be transparent, maybe you share a vulnerable moment. If you can bring them in, you can do something with it. So just because you said it doesn't mean they heard it, believe it or will do it. You're not trying to say something, you're trying to create movement. So well done.

All right. I am right in the center of this right now. Let me give you something that I never told you, I never told anybody except Holly. I was reading where Jesus in the Bible told Peter to go fish for the temple tax. It's a very obscure Bible story. But Peter comes in and they're like, "Why doesn't your master Jesus pay the temple tax"? And Peter comes in and asks Jesus the question, but Jesus shifts it and he goes, "Peter, what do you think"? I believe that's the most powerful tool you have as a leader is that question. Not those four words. Yeah, four. Not those four words. Like that could be robotic. What do you think? And what do you think, Tony? And what do you think, Priscilla? But that spirit, that is an unlock. In songwriting session, that would look like how you hear it. In a leadership session like... Which film? Let me feel that. You see it different? Does that fire you up? There's many ways to tap into that energy. But the fact that Jesus wanted to know what Peter thought and we as leaders think we have all the answers, that's a huge one. That is one of the biggest tools. If you can engage that, what do you think? You open up the room, you open up the person.

So here's some different ways to ask it. Scale of 1 to 10, 1 is horrible, 10 is exciting. What number? Give me a color that tells me how that makes you feel. What's one word that comes to mind when you think about? Does this make you wanna shout, cry or vomit? Literally questions like that. We're engaging people in the conversation in the end. Then like what Andy Stanley says, one of the greatest delegation tools is just the two words saying, you decide. Someone comes in and says, what do you think about this Pastor Steven? And if you trust them and if you're ready, say you decide and hand it off to them. And that creates engagement in the process.

How do you like it? How do you like it? How you like it?

What'd you think? Yep.

Is that dumb?

One of the questions I ask when I'm looking for feedback on a message, I walk through them ahead of time. I'll say, on a scale of one to a hundred, how good do you think that is? No, no. How close do you think it is to being ready? And so they'll say 99 or they'll say 60. And that's a way of getting them to tell me 60 means it's not very good. And they're not gonna tell me, "Hey, Craig, that's not very good," but "Hey, how close is this to being ready to go percentage-wise"? They get engaged. "Do The New You". I wanna ask you a question that we've talked about pretty much everything.

We've covered it all.

Almost, but off just in regular conversations, pretty much almost everything anybody could ever imagine. Something we've never talked about. I want to get into your mind on the mindsets. We have a lot of leaders and it's really fun to hear. I got promoted at work and now I'm in a new job. Thanks for the podcast. They're growing in their level of success. Most people look on and say, "Man, I would love to be more successful. I'd love to have more influence". And I think you would be able to say there's a lot of blessings, a lot of responsibilities. It is a very honor to have influence and reach and success. But does it ever come at a cost? And the answer is...

Everything costs, not doing it costs, doing it costs.

Everything cost. Can you talk about a mindset? And what I love about the book is like you're really personal. As your friend, I like this book because it's like you're telling your story of how you've grown through it. What's a mindset x When someone gets more successful, it can become more lonely, you could take more hits, you feel more leadership weight, more burden. What goes on in your mind as your influence grows? How does your mindset need to change to stay healthy, to stay happy, to stay effective, and so honestly to stay in the game when a lot of people crumble?

Yeah. What we've talked about so many times is things that used to be goals just become baseline expectations.

Right, yep. What used to be great is barely acceptable.

Yeah. I told the story and I can't remember the numbers, but I told it for years to explain it this way. We were doing offering one time and we were wanting to raise $3 million and we thought that would be amazing and 3 million would be a miracle. And one of my staff members was texting me before the offering, 1 million would be kind of disappointing, two would be great, three would be a miracle. And we raised 3, 400,000 or something like that. Wow, that's amazing. That's a miracle. The next year we did the same offering and I texted that staff member and said, "What do you think we'll raise"? And the text back said three would be a disaster, four would be good, five would be amazing and a miracle. So last year's miracle was this year's disaster. That little story, I know you feel that in your bone marrow because how many times have we talked about the idea that it's not just it's lonely at the top or woe is me? I've accomplished everything. Like there's a lot I haven't accomplished. Yeah, there's a lot of things that you still want to accomplish. It's not so much we're full of ourselves and we've done it all. It's the feeling that, wow, I can get in a survival mode real quick.

That first time you preached at the age of 16, all 100 people told you it was amazing. Now, you preach for a hundred thousand people and no one says anything 'cause it's just...

Is this a podcast or a therapy session?

You're just expected to be good. You're expected to get results and all leaders feel that.

But you know what, man? Like I heard a quote one time. The proof that you're good is that you're taken for granted.

Mm. The proof that you're good is that you're taking...

If they said.

So right now, if you could see right now, I've got all these people that are really good back here in this podcast room. They're nodding. I guess, man, I hope you don't think I'm taking you for granted because...

Hey, Jay, Migs, you're doing great in there. Hey everybody, you're doing great.

I'm sitting there watching on the corner of my eye, and they're all nodding as you say that

When nobody appreciates you, that means they expect you because you have set an example by your consistency and you're gonna get less compliments the more consistent you are. I'll prove it from a home example. I used to make the kids waffles once a month. Holly made one or two meals a day every day, unless we went out or...

You were a hero once a month and they didn't care.

When dad makes waffles, right? So what you don't wanna chase is people's praise. I'm working on a thought right now. I wanna share this with you anyway because I may teach it soon about the leader's relationship with praise and my working theory. There's bible verses for it, but it's not just a Bible thing. If you don't want to be destroyed by criticism, you can't be addicted to praise either. And somebody asked me recently, how do you deal with criticism? I'm like, "Hey, everybody likes me. Nobody doesn't like me". And they're, like, ha ha ha. But seriously, how do you deal with it? Some people can't stand you and think you're the anti-Christ and how do you deal with that? I'm like, "Well, it hurts. I hate it. I don't like it. I see it sometimes". A lot of it is about consumption, like not getting in dirty streams, not wading into stuff that is going to be toxic formulator. But a lot of it is this, if I want to adjust my relationship to criticism, I have to adjust my relationship to praise. There are two sides of the same coin. And if I need their affirmation for anything I'm doing, like, be careful when someone says, "Oh, you're such a good parent. I can tell your kid, Bobby, is so amazing and respectful," well, guess what, your other kid, Blaze, might not be so respectful. And if the proof of your good parenting is your kid's behavior in that moment, or the proof of your good leadership is that the church grew this month, or if the proof of your good leadership is that everybody's happy and morale's high, then when morale's low, then when attendance slows, you are tied to that as your source of validation. So I wanna encourage you...

And yesterday's success doesn't feel as successful today.

The yesterday's success doesn't feel as successful. It buys you. Okay, I'll ask you. How long would you say it buys you of feeling like good self-esteem? Okay, I'm good, I'm good to accomplish something big, like release a book or preach a great sermon. How long would you say that feeling lasts?

So I remember the first time our church hit a thousand people. I remember turning out of the street on my little Honda Accord turning north to drive home. And I had about a half a mile of what I would call like just a dopamine spiritual rush of excitement. And when I pulled through the stop light half a mile later, it started diminishing and it was just like, there it is, now it's gone. And so now there's been hundreds or thousands of other milestones like that. And the dopamine hit is lower and the drive enjoyment is shorter. Meaning it doesn't do it.

And it sounds depressing. Like we're saying that we're not grateful. It's not that we're not grateful,

We cannot live by it. You'll die by it if you try to live by it.

How many sermons have you preached that you thought that was one of the worst sermons I ever preached? And then a year later, somebody tells you, "Hey, that one you did," and you're like, "Oh, that one. I remember that one that was terrible". That really helped me.

What I get a lot of times is they'll tell me, "Hey, when you said this, it changed my life". And I'll sit there and smile and go, "Thank you". And I'll say, "That was a Pastor Steven Furtick quote". So that actually happens quite a bit. That's just a whole another thing.

That's funny. You remember when I ripped off your whole confessions of a pastor series when we first met?

I think so. And you remember when I ripped off your Don't Stop At Six? But I did give you credit for that.

That's funny, man. I mean, the whole idea of this, okay, when I get there, I'm going to feel, The mindset I wrote about in the book, I'm gonna give you the six mindsets. I'm not stuck unless I stop. Christ is in me. I am enough. That's the one I wanna land on. But I also have with God, there's always a way. By faith, I will find it. There's God is not against me, but He's in it with me, working through me, fighting for me. My joy is my job. And God has given me everything I need for the season I'm in. For me, none of the other five work without the second one, Christ is in me, I am enough. Because if enough is something I'm chasing, I'm gonna bring it full circle. Now, when we started, we talked about the phrase, do you. That's a trap because there is more inside of you. There is greater effectiveness. There may be books. There may be ideas. There may be a ripple effect of who you're going to impact. And it may not be celebrated publicly, but that doesn't mean it's not real. That doesn't mean it's not possible. If I don't start though from Christ is in me right now, I'm enough, I made by God, I'm called to be here, then you're going from the trap of do you to the treadmill of future. And I call it that in the book. You're either in the trap. That's just who I am. I just accept it, deal with it. I drink too much. That's just who I am. I blow up, I go off the handle. That's who I am. That's a trap. You can grow, God can change you. But to chase this version of you that is like someone else that you don't really even know, you're just emulating something that you have an image of, that's a treadmill and it's exhausting. So I wanna bring you back to the idea out of the trap, off of the treadmill and get the truth into you that I say "Do The New You," N-E-W, right? But I also am calling back to an Old Testament scripture from Jeremiah 1 where God says, "Before you were born, I knew you". And that's amazing to realize, K-N-E-W, that you that God wants you to become is the you He already knew. So He is not going to ask anything out of you as a leader that He didn't plant in you. It might be a seed right now. It might be so small that you can't even really recognize it. It might be buried beneath dirt. You might still be struggling with your own addictions. You might still be struggling with your own pessimism. You might still be struggling with your own debt. You might still be struggling with your own communication, nervousness and sweaty palms and all of that. That doesn't mean it's not in you. God's not calling you to be something out there somewhere. And if you get it, whatever you think it is, it'll last you through the stoplight. It'll get you a half a mile from the church. And if you start from a place, wait, I am coming from abundance because I have Christ in me, then you're freely giving. And I don't preach this to you or to anybody else because I've mastered it. I preach it 'cause I need it. I have to tell myself that all the time, I'm very driven. You are too. We're wired. I think that's why we're leaders. I think that's good about us. But if I don't start from enough, I'm never gonna get there.

No. And I want to hold up the book again. It's called "Do The New You". And I want you to get this book. In fact, I wanna give some away for our YouTube audience, and maybe you're listening somewhere else, you wanna hop over to YouTube. We're gonna give away five books. And why don't you type in the comment section if you want it, type in I want a new mindset. Type that in the comment section, I want a new mindset. This book is personal and it's grounded in scripture. It's transformational. I've watched Pastor Steven live this. Together, we've kind of worked on what are the mantras in our life. The other day, I was kind of sinking in what I call a content black hole. And I just said to scripture over and over again, this is the day the Lord has made, I will be glad and rejoiced. And then I'd say it with a different emphasis and I'd say it louder. And like why am I gonna gripe when I actually get to create content that changes lives? And so over and over and over again, that's what this book is gonna do. It's gonna give you some handles, some language, some frameworks, some images to create than your own mindset that'll help you be more faithful and discover that there's more in you. Steven, it's been a blast from the first time we had lunch and you were sitting across from me like a...

Well, we met in the bathroom.

Did we meet in bathroom?

Yeah. The bathroom of Life Church.

Was I nice?

Technorati Furtick.

Oh, that's right. You went to number one on Technorati. And I don't even remember what Technorati was, barely...

Amen. I believe God is good that He hooked us up 'cause we were going out there and your team Bobby and everybody was amazing. And Sam and Jerry all came in there and spent the day with us 'cause we didn't know what we were doing. And this is what people need to know about you. I was going out there and I would never have thought to ask to get a meeting with you. I was so thankful that anybody from Life Church would meet with us. And one of my guys looks at me before we go and he is like, "Are you gonna get to meet Pastor Craig"? And I said, "If I'm supposed to, I'll bump into him". And there you walk in the bathroom. So I'm not saying just hang out in bathrooms and wait for your destiny. But it's cool, man. I was really touched that the way the scheduling worked, that I got to talk to you for the first time about this book. It's been eight years since I put a book out. You've been a voice in my life that has preached these things to me. I say them differently than you say them, but I think everybody needs a friend like this where we can call each other. I want to encourage every leader. If you don't have somebody that you can call that can say the thing to you that the true you, the new you really is capable of. How many times have you watched my sermon at 9:30? And when I got back from preaching it, there was a flood of text messages from you telling me the stuff that was good 'cause you know I'm gonna go back and beat myself up and go, "Man, I didn't hit it like I want". So I just want to thank you not only for that personally, but half of my staff is fed by this leadership podcast. This is an amazing thing.

Hey, tell the other half about it.

The other half is about to get fired anyway. I don't care. But the truth of the matter is, it's a real resource for a lot of us. You distilling things in the unique way that you do so that we can have handles, so that we can apply it whether we're just starting or whether we're seasoned. Just the range of (audio cuts out) And thank you for being my friend, letting me share this.

Yeah. Well, it's been a blast with you and thanks for sharing your heart on this. And thank you for doing the book. It's going to change lives. "Do The New You," please grab it wherever books are sold. And have a great ice plunge tonight. Do not stay in so long that you have to crawl out.

It's happened before.

It's happened before.

It might happen tonight.

It's happened before.

But I know that if I don't get out and if I don't make it out, that the last podcast I ever did was a great success.

It was a great success. If this is helpful to you, please share it. Invite others to subscribe and go ahead and tag Pastor Steven Furtick or tag me if you post on this. And someone from our teams might repost it. How are we gonna close this out? Let's see. People got better today maybe.

Yeah, I hope so.

And what happens? What happens? Who wins? Everyone wins when the leader gets...

The leader gets better.

Get better. Better.

When the leader gets better, everyone wins. Unless the leader gets so much better that the leader decides to fire all the people that aren't any good.

Then it was a bad day.

That would be bad for the people who didn't get better.

But this is a good day.

This is a good day.

"Do The New You". "Do The New You".

Do it.
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