Adam Hergenrother’s Mindset Formula to Unlock Business Success in Any Organization

Adam Hergenrother, a visionary entrepreneur and spiritual thought leader, delves deep into the synergy between personal growth and business success in this insightful conversation. Hergenrother shares his transformative journey from overcoming personal challenges to embracing spirituality as the bedrock of his professional endeavors. He articulates how business serves not just as a means to financial success but as a potent platform for profound personal development and helping others achieve their true potential.

Throughout the interview, Hergenrother’s insights illuminate the critical role of self-awareness, purpose, and the pursuit of spiritual growth in achieving business excellence. By fostering a culture of introspection and personal development, he highlights how businesses can transcend traditional boundaries, creating a ripple effect of positive change and empowerment. Hergenrother’s approach underscores the importance of aligning one’s entrepreneurial pursuits with their inner values and spiritual journey, paving the way for a more fulfilling and impactful life.

This episode is a compelling exploration into how integrating spiritual principles with business practices can lead to unprecedented personal and professional growth. Hergenrother’s narrative is a testament to the power of spirituality in transforming lives and businesses alike, offering listeners valuable insights into achieving harmony between their personal and professional lives.

Notable quotes

“The purpose of my life is to personally and spiritually grow so that I have less of me when I leave here.” – Adam Hergenrother

“We’re here, Earth is a place where souls come to evolve… And that becomes the why and the purpose of your life.” – Adam Hergenrother

“If you attach yourself conditionally to something that’s your why, if it’s not there, then you suffer.” – Adam Hergenrother

“I use every application of the world, the external world, in order to do that.” – Adam Hergenrother on using life’s challenges as growth opportunities.

Useful links

Reach Adam at:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adamhergenrother/
Book: https://www.amazon.com/200-Life-Spiritual-Meditating-Mountaintop/dp/B0CKD1MFYW
Podcast: https://adamhergenrother.com/podcast/

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Adam Hergenrother: Heart takes about 80 percent of the most rich nutrient oxygen from the body. So one could say that since the heart takes all of 80 percent of the most rich nutrient oxygen, it’s that it’s very self serving. It’s very self indexed. But the reality is,

Jessica Kriegel: It’s no secret. Many people are caught prioritizing the pursuit of material things over who they are inside. Our guest today, Adam Hergenrother, overcame early struggles with weight and drugs to rebuild his life from the age of 16. He directed his focus towards sports and positive thinking, which now informs his business philosophy.

Jessica Kriegel: Adam runs a portfolio of companies from construction to real estate and coaching businesses while publishing books and hosting a popular podcast. 

Adam Hergenrother: I always try to go into a meeting to make sure we have the right solution for the organization. That could be I’m right. That could be I’m wrong. I’m always willing to be in either side of this.

Adam Hergenrother: If you go get enough money, power, fame, authority, leverage, Whatever it is that you need to get, you have enough to go out there and control the situations around you. 

Jessica Kriegel: I’m Dr. Jessica Kriegel, and this is Culture Leaders, where we decode the magic behind the masters of movements to unleash the power of culture.

Jessica Kriegel: This is the story of Adam Hergenrother, master of a movement helping people find fulfillment. Called the 200 percent life. 

You’re listening to a culture partners production.

Jessica Kriegel: So Adam, what is your why? 

Adam Hergenrother: You know, it’s a great question. Um, I think about that in terms of it. I know Jessica, we’ve talked in before we jumped on about purpose or why. Um, and I think a lot of people were here as earth is a place where souls come to evolve. And so what does evolve me? And that becomes the why and the purpose of your life.

Adam Hergenrother: To me, a purpose or your why has to be something larger than something that can go away. And the only thing that doesn’t go away is who you are, ultimately who you are, the consciousness, your body can go away. You can lose your body. You can lose your ability to use different parts of your body. Your business can go away.

Adam Hergenrother: Your kids can go away. People, your friends and family can like you and not like you. And so if you attach yourself conditionally to something that’s your why, if it’s not there, then you suffer. And so for me, I always looking for what is the permanence of how we can bring our why and our purpose into everyday life so it actually rises above the part of the worldly life.

Jessica Kriegel: Were you always a spiritual person?

Adam Hergenrother: Not to this degree. I think we’re always spiritual individuals. It’s just covered up. And for me, early in my life, I covered it up with a lot of thick clouds and I used drugs, food, fuel, all that type of things early in my life as a way of trying to pretend somebody tried to be somebody that I wasn’t and trying to be a manipulator so that everyone would like me because I didn’t want to really face that.

Adam Hergenrother: Inwardly what it was and eventually at some point when I was about 15, 16 years old, I came to a point in my life where I was a hundred pounds overweight, failing classes in the recreational drugs. And I just, I don’t want to call it like an enlightenment moment because I think that’s reserved for masters.

Adam Hergenrother: It was just a moment of just a reorientation in my life. And I just, I woke up one day and I said, this is not why I’m here and I can’t answer it the same way. I can now that was at 15 

Jessica Kriegel: or 16 ou had that moment.

Adam Hergenrother: I was 16 years old and I remember coming home. I put Celine Dion on. She was popular then. So let’s be clear.

Adam Hergenrother: She was really popular. 

Jessica Kriegel: And I still love her. Exactly. 

Adam Hergenrother: Thank you. Thank you. And I put it on repeat. I remember I was in between like laughing and crying. And I just was really unhappy with my life, but not even unhappy with like how I looked at what I was doing. It was just like this deeper awareness. This, this, this, it was just like a dawned on me because it wasn’t like a voice.

Adam Hergenrother: It wasn’t like some, like somebody wrote a note to me and I read it and I saw it somewhere. It was just like this dawning that was like, this is not the point of your life. And so in that moment, it just also did shift me a little bit. And so I completely removed the friends that I was hanging out with because they were, they were just lost themselves.

Adam Hergenrother: They’re not really bad people. They were just lost. And now I ended up losing a hundred pounds in a year. I stopped doing things that I was doing and ended up getting into sports, which is why, you know, a lot of my foundation produces for sports because it gave me so much structure in there. But that was, and I also got into like that during that age, I got into really big into positive thinking, into vision boards, just trying to direct my into it.

Adam Hergenrother: And then as that kind of fast forward, I then got very, um, taken over by the ego into business. And I thought this for me, when people kept telling me, you got to go be successful at them. You got to be successful. And I’ve come and learned to define that what people really mean is if you go get enough money, power, fame, authority, leverage, whatever it is that you need to get, you have enough.

Adam Hergenrother: To go out there and control the situations around you so that you’re in your experience is one that you can control and that’s what people really mean when they go, go be successful. It’s really, it’s about manipulating the world people, places and things, the nouns right that are out there so that you can have this internal experience.

Adam Hergenrother: That’s not too bad. Or great, right? You’re just trying to get it the way you want it to by using the world, but it takes so much energy. It’s exhausting. It’s why people wake up anxious and scared and nervous because even if they get it that way, even if they get it the way you want it to, you’re still waking up going, I got to keep it.

Adam Hergenrother: How do I maintain this? What if somebody doesn’t like me anymore? What if somebody doesn’t like my Facebook or people even use Facebook anymore? I don’t know. Like, like whatever that is. And so you kind of, that’s, that’s what I’ve learned. And for me, that was the beginning four or five years of my business.

Adam Hergenrother: I went after that hard. I had this, this specific income goal in my head that as soon as I make 500, 000 in net income, I was going to have this fruit tree in my backyard that somehow was giving me this, this shock to your energy flow or juice every single moment. And for me, as I got closer and closer to that goal, I started feeling worse and worse inside.

Adam Hergenrother: And I realized in that moment, I remember actually this, this, I talk about this in the book, but, um, I remember being at a holiday party and I, my mom’s the most unassuming person. She could care less about money. And I was like, mom, I made 500, 000 this year and I was 26 years old. And she goes, well, that’s great.

Adam Hergenrother: Pass the ketchup. And in that moment, I realized she didn’t care, but there was a deeper part of me that said, well, do I even care? What am I even doing this for? And I didn’t have the answers and I didn’t like change instantly. I didn’t have this miraculous breakthrough, but again, it was another reorientation of my life.

Adam Hergenrother: And so in that moment I said, well, this can’t be the answer to making this inner experience feel better. I pretty much have everything that I ever had a goal. Remember goals have a beginning and an end. They’re not the purpose of your life. It can’t be because they come and go. So I’ve gotten those things.

Adam Hergenrother: So I need to stop making goals about the purpose of my life. And that’s the answer, a long winded way of answering your question for me. And in that moment, about 15, 16 years ago, um, I decided that the purpose of my life was no longer going to be about goals. It was going to be about to use business as a conduit for personal growth, to use life as a conduit for personal growth, to really, it’s beginning.

Adam Hergenrother: What you want is overrated. Sure. You get what you want, but when has that ever made you feel permanently? Okay. It never does. It trickles down and makes you feel some juice for a couple hours or a couple of days, and then you’re off to trying to manipulate the world again. And if you just repeat this pattern, once you get out of it a little bit, you look back and you go, man, that’s not the way to do it.

Adam Hergenrother: And the really interesting thing, and then I’ll stop is the minute I got out of my own way and well, for years, I kind of was like pretending to do that. And I really was like, still driven by ego or self concept a lot, but every moment I was consciously trying to get rid of this as much as I could and my business has started doing better.

Adam Hergenrother: I had more peace that it. It wasn’t dependent on my business performing a certain way, or my wife showing up the way I wanted her to, I just let people be free. And it doesn’t mean you don’t hold people accountable in business. It doesn’t mean you don’t have metrics or goals in business. It just means those things no longer consumed me in the way that I was dependent on those to get turned on inside.

Adam Hergenrother: And so that was, that was the Genesis of, well, there’s got to be something bigger in your life. And that became my purpose. 

Jessica Kriegel: It’s so interesting. So your story mimics my story quite a bit. I mean, there was always the number I had to make in order to feel okay. Then I started making that number and it wasn’t enough.

Jessica Kriegel: And for me, it wasn’t, Oh my goodness, I have to maintain it. It was more like, well, the number got bigger. Once I got the number, it just got bigger because I still don’t feel okay. And so it must not have been the number. It must be 1 million. It must be 2 million. And every time I got the number, I kept, I did feel worse and worse.

Jessica Kriegel: I was. Going deeper into drugs and alcohol in my adult life. I did not figure it out at 16 like you. I mean, I don’t even understand. I was 16 year old. You’re still playing video games in your bedroom. Like, how do you have that kind of a spiritual experience at 16? That blows my mind. I mean, and you actually, can we go back to that?

Jessica Kriegel: Cause you didn’t really say, you just talked about after you had this moment, you went home and listened to Celine Dion. But what happened before that, that made you think of everything differently? Yeah. 

Adam Hergenrother: Yeah, I think it was building up over time and it was just, I knew I was going down a path that I wasn’t supposed to go down and it just kept building and building and building and finally the first two weeks that I was a freshman in high school, it came to this head and I was like, what am I doing with my life?

Adam Hergenrother: And it just hit me and the people that I was hanging out with, unfortunately most of them are actually dead. Um, and they were just really bad. Again, there were lost people. I don’t blame them, but they were there. The really funny thing about this is I walked into school one day and I, I just, you know, I just walked away from them and they were so upset that somebody would walk away from them that they pulled a gun on me.

Adam Hergenrother: We had police there. They broke all the windows in my car for two weeks. It was like, this was back in 1996. So the world was a little bit different back then, but this was, this was, was happening in for about two weeks. They followed me. Finally, it came down and there was a huge brawl. My brother was in college.

Adam Hergenrother: So he came down to like 10 of his friends and We’re all there. And like, it just ended that day and they never talked to me again. I ever talked to them again before two weeks I was in, then I just floated because I didn’t have a circle. Right. And then I just, that’s when, was into sports and I started, um, realizing I was pretty good at that.

Adam Hergenrother: But for me, that, that moment was just, it was, it was building and building and building. And if I look back, I knew at some point, I just got to such a low point. I wasn’t really depressed per se. I was just like, man, like, this is not my life. So have you 

Jessica Kriegel: ever been depressed? That’s one of the questions I wanted to ask you.

Adam Hergenrother: I haven’t never worked to that degree. No, I haven’t. 

Jessica Kriegel: Oh, man. Uh, my best friend is depressed right now And I have been depressed in the past and when you are depressed it’s you can want To fix it. You can want to feel different. You can be willing to try anything and yet still these Affirmations don’t work people telling you to snap out of it.

Jessica Kriegel: It doesn’t work. It’s just it’s just brutal It was the 12 steps that got me out of it. That was the only thing that worked for me to get out of depression but it is just Sucking the life out of you literally, you know, so it’s interesting. 

Adam Hergenrother: Oh, I would 

Jessica Kriegel: I was depressed for probably the last year of my using and drinking and then probably the first six months of sobriety too, because, you know, when you stop drinking, you’re basically taking away the solution to the problem.

Jessica Kriegel: The problem is your mindset and the way that you think about life. The solution was drinking to make you feel better about it. When you take the Drinking solution away and you haven’t quite replaced it with a higher power solution. You just you keep wanting to die. At least that was my experience. Okay.

Jessica Kriegel: So here’s another question I had though going back a step. Well, first of all, I don’t know where you grew up. What town? 

Adam Hergenrother: I live in Stowe, Vermont. 

Jessica Kriegel: Oh, Vermont. Really? That’s interesting. So I also when I got sober Got rid of every single friend I had. I mean, literally, and I was 37, so it was a different experience.

Jessica Kriegel: It wasn’t, you know, brawling in the high school hallways, but, and I was a girl too, so it was much more catty snippets via text rather than the fight, you know, the fist fighting, but. It was the same thing when you are in a mindset like that, you surround yourself with people like you, because it also makes you feel better about yourself because, well, I’m not as bad as Susie or whatever.

Jessica Kriegel: Yeah, I mean, they’re even worse than I am. So I feel pretty good about myself, but sometimes it does take a radical shift in the people that you surround yourself with. In the program, they have a phrase which is surround yourself with the winners and the winners in the program are the people who have a ton of sobriety.

Jessica Kriegel: So all my friends now, they’ve got a ton of sobriety because they have what I want. Who do you surround yourself with now that have what you want? 

Adam Hergenrother: Yeah, for me, when I, um, I’ll take you back at that moment, it was, it was surrounding myself with coaches and sports, which is why I try to coach so much right now, because it was so impactful being focused on something else.

Adam Hergenrother: So that really shaped my life. Sports did early on, especially in high school. Um, today it’s, it’s mentors books. It’s audible like people that I follow. Um, and, and really it’s, if you want names specifically, like Michael Singer is a personal friend of mine. Um, I’ve, I’ve spent a lot of time with him. It’s been a lot of time with Michael, um, over the years and it’s, he’s helped me so much in my life, um, of, of, of kind of getting to different places, but it’s also, there’s a whole bunch of other people because people say all the same thing.

Adam Hergenrother: And in my experience, and I’ll personal growth, spirituality, whatever it is, everyone’s saying the same thing. They say it differently and people hear it differently. And for me, you know, Michael. Really kind of helped resonate with me specifically in his first book, the untethered soul, um, of just a way.

Adam Hergenrother: And then the surrender experiment, because I was building a business, right? I had a multi billion dollar organization. I still do. And it’s, it’s, that was like, I was like, well, what else am I supposed to do with my life? Right. And that’s, you know, went into a really deep path that way. 

Jessica Kriegel: I’m reading that book right now.

Jessica Kriegel: Funny that you should say that. I mean, I was just this weekend, last weekend, I was at a girl’s retreat with my best friend and her friend. And I brought that book. I thought it was Living Untethered. Is that, is it the Untethered Soul? Living 

Adam Hergenrother: Untethered is his most recent book. Okay. 

Jessica Kriegel: So that’s the one I’m reading, Living Untethered. And, um, the first 12 pages changed my life.

Jessica Kriegel: It wasn’t anything new. I mean, I’m in divinity school. I’ve been a spiritual seeker for many years now. It’s not like it was new information, but the way that he presented that information was so simple and so approachable and he basically said, there’s a you in there.

Jessica Kriegel: And that you has 3 experiences, something that you’re experiencing through your 5 senses, your thoughts and your emotions. And it was like, exactly right. Your thoughts, your emotions and the things that come through the 5 senses is all there is. And so when you’re having an emotion, which, Thank God I don’t have depression anymore, but I still get sad or anxious or whatever.

Jessica Kriegel: And when that happens, I now have the ability to leverage the tool. He also talks about on page 151. Look at me quoting pages, impressing myself, which is just the witness consciousness, which is, Oh, look, there’s me having an emotion. And. Uh, last year I had my very first panic attack where it didn’t feel panicky at all.

Jessica Kriegel: It was like a panic attack where my experience was, Oh, look, there’s a panic. Isn’t that interesting? You know, I mean, I wasn’t bothered. It was just the physical sensation, but there was no attachment to it and it was revelatory. Okay. So here’s the question. So we’re on the same level, right? You’re talking about Michael Singer, where I happen to have just read that book.

Jessica Kriegel: We’re having one of those synchronous moments right now. There are a lot of people out there talking about thriving in business who are spiritual seekers that are. Totally spiritually bypassing. And so maybe you could talk about what spiritual bypassing is so I can stop hearing my own voice for a second.

Jessica Kriegel: And then if you could talk about, cause I’m always trying to figure out, is this person spiritually bypassing? Are they really doing it for real? And do you think that, and how do you, how can you tell? 

Adam Hergenrother: Yeah, yeah, thanks. I mean, essentially, spiritual bypassing is like, people have some moment of awakening.

Adam Hergenrother: And then this is I explained this in like, the 4 phases of kind of spiritual growth. The 1st thing is kind of like, you had this honeymoon phase. It’s like, you had some meditation. You went to some retreat. Something happens and you’re like, Holy shit. I’m just a different person. I need to teach everybody about this experience that I’m having.

Adam Hergenrother: I am a spiritual seeker. I’m going to set a website. I’m going to go get this out there. Who wants to be a coaching client? I mean, this is, I mean, they just go out there and they are just, and they come from like a mean, well, right. They just like, I want to share this experience they had, but all’s it, all’s it did was the ego is a, is a massive shape shifter.

Adam Hergenrother: So it killed one life and created another one and instantaneously, you’ve now following your ego into this. Look who I am and let me share all those different things that i’m doing with it Then for me at some point though, most people all of a sudden something will happen and they blow up, right? They all of a sudden show they can they realize in that moment Man, I’m not very far at all.

Adam Hergenrother: I’m not very, I teach this. I used to teach it. This is our last year doing it. It’s called project you. And we’d bring in like 30 business leaders from around the world. They would fly in four times a year and we have weekly calls and people would come in in the first, first quarter that we, we would do it.

Adam Hergenrother: We would go through the spirituality. We’d kind of start walking people through there. People would be like, I hit it at him. I don’t even need to come back to the rest of the course. Like, this is like, I’m already set. I got, I got this. I got this. I’m going to be my own, right? Like I’m ready to go. Yeah.

Adam Hergenrother: Yeah, inevitably, and you would see them in their body language. They literally throw their arms up. They’re like, I’ve got like, this is like, I’m here, dude. Like, I don’t know what took you so long. Right. And you can, you can see it. And then instantly something will happen. They always come back and go, I’m not any worse.

Adam Hergenrother: I didn’t realize it. I go, hold on. You actually are very far. Because you’ve actually just went through a very important phase of your spiritual growth, which is first recognizing that there’s something more. And then number two, recognizing that you just got caught and you now are recognizing what it feels like to be velcroed to an emotion or thought or your ego.

Adam Hergenrother: So now you have some space in there. I think, remember, one of those powerful forms or, or, or moments in history, Is that moment before you engage with that disturbed energy? That’s where really willpower comes in because Jessica, there’s a point right before anger takes you over that you get to decide, do I want to willfully allow this anger to take me over?

Adam Hergenrother: And I admit once it takes you over, it’s not you, right? But you have that moment to be able to walk away. And most people have this and they don’t recognize that moment right away. And so they’re just glued to it. And when you’re glued to it, there is no space to make the moment, which is why if you’re not into this, people listen to this thing, go like, what are you guys even talking about?

Adam Hergenrother: I’m going to go use the world to make it feel like I want. So I feel better. And it’s when you start having a little separation, that’s when you have this ability to pause. It’s always called like relax, released and act. Our RNA, Michael calls it relax. Or surrender. I always call our RNA, which is you first relax.

Adam Hergenrother: And one of the things Jessica is that you don’t ever relax the energy because of anger has its nature. Anger is anger. You’re never going to relax anger. Well, most people do is like they can imagine like a cleared a pond, right? And if there’s no ripples in the pond and you throw a rock in the middle of the pond, it starts to create a ripples.

Adam Hergenrother: And you don’t like the ripples. So you go, I know how I’m going to fix this ripple. You jump in and try to smooth it out. Well, how well does that work? That’s what people do with emotions. Emotion starts to ripple up and they go, I don’t like the way this feels. I’m going to jump in there. And you start, why would Jessica say that?

Adam Hergenrother: How come she didn’t ask this question? How dare she not respond to me, right? Or how come that person do that? And all you’re doing is jumping in the pond and splashing it up. You’re making it worse. So in that moment, if you actually just allow the pond to have the ripple and go to the side and go to the end, it’s over.

Adam Hergenrother: If you allow the emotion. To come up and you’re you who’s in there witnessing that experience relaxes, you allow the anger or whatever emotion you’re experiencing to come up and come through and by the way, it gets more painful. The closer you allow it to come towards you. And as it does, eventually, it’s kind of like when your hand is numb, you don’t know when it’s no longer going to be numb or when you’re about to fall asleep.

Adam Hergenrother: I asked people like, how do you know you fell asleep? What time do you fall asleep? You go? I don’t really know because I just fell asleep. Yeah. It’s the same thing when an emotion releases, it just all of a sudden releases through you. And then you just, you no longer feel it. You don’t in that moment, recognize that it’s gone.

Adam Hergenrother: It’s only when you look back and go, Oh, I don’t feel disturbed anymore. I don’t feel angry anymore. And that’s the whole goal of, of real spiritual growth. And so the way you can tell somebody, if they’re spiritual bypassing is, are they willing to do that level of growth? And it’s very authentic. You can, you spend a few minutes with an individual.

Adam Hergenrother: You can see whether or not they’re willing to, they’re not perfect. They’re still going to have the human experience. It’s like the Dalai Lama said, somebody asked him, said, you still feel angry? He goes, I do. But for about three seconds, he said, it’s called the sacred pause. The energy is hit, but he’s like, it’s like writing on water.

Adam Hergenrother: It’s there for a moment. Then it’s gone. That is a state of consciousness called enlightenment, right? Which is where everything can be everything. Yeah. There is no dependency for it to be that way. And when you feel that way, there is no desire to turn the world. Some ways there’s inspiration, but that’s different than desire.

Adam Hergenrother: Desire is when you need something to happen a certain way. So you can feel turned on or better inside. Again, going back to that first definition of what, how most people classify being successful in life is so that I can control the situations so that my inner experience is the one that I’m looking to create.

Adam Hergenrother: Instead of just allowing the world to do its dance and being okay with everything. I was just on a podcast a couple of weeks ago and somebody asked me, I want my, my individuals to find in a business setting. I want them to go find their passion. And I go, I love that question. I love that you asked that, but why?

Adam Hergenrother: Why are you asking them to go find their passion? Why wouldn’t you rather be passionate about everything you do? Picking up the trash, dealing with a toddler that doesn’t want to sleep. Why, why can’t you bring that level in there? Because what you’re really saying is I can be passionate as long as I have the corner office.

Adam Hergenrother: I’ll get passionate as long as I have this. And now you’ve set yourself up for a failure in life because you’re just going to suffer. And I don’t mean suffer like you’re going through divorce or your business is bankrupt. You’re just, you’re going to feel not fulfilled. There’s going to be an itch that’s always going to be there.

Adam Hergenrother: The only way to get rid of that is to do the deep work. So the outer work is, is nothing tied to yourself. That’s why Michael’s original book called The Untethered Soul, which is the definition that you’re untethering yourself from the outside. Remember, money is money and joy is joy. If you tie yourself to one of those two things, you’re going to spend the rest of your life making sure they’re tied together.

Jessica Kriegel: Okay. So answer the existential question that’s been at the heart of my soul for the last three years, please, which is the following. I, I hear everything that you’re saying. I also saw my business take off as soon as I stopped caring about being successful, oddly, and it just felt so ironic because at that point I was willing to live in poverty for a moment.

Jessica Kriegel: Anyway, it was like, uh, I could be okay. I mean, I could be okay in any circumstance at this point. So why is it suddenly taking off? This is exactly the opposite of what I expected to happen. I thought I was going to become a social worker or something. So here’s the question. And I want to ask this thoughtfully.

Jessica Kriegel: I mean, There is also the voice in my head that feels like business is, is antithetical to the spiritual path, and there’s something very, um, takery, so much for thoughtful, but I mean, there’s something very, uh, Life sucking out of business and exploitative at some level in some businesses. And so I talked to spiritual leaders about what they do about it.

Jessica Kriegel: I had Ryan leak on the podcast and I asked him this very question and he said, well, he measures his business success based on giving goals. Rather than earning goals. So he wants to give seven figures and if he can give seven figures, that means he has to make enough to be able to afford to give seven figures.

Jessica Kriegel: And, and that’s how he balances it. It’s still kind of, there’s this mother Teresa voice that still exists, right? Like, why are you even in business? If that whole system is antithetical to the path. So have you spent time thinking about this and what are your thoughts? 

Adam Hergenrother: Yeah. Many years. Two ways. The first one is I think a lot of it, our culture, um, has assigned a certain image to businesses and to spiritual leaders and they’ve disconnected the two.

Adam Hergenrother: So in the beginning, it’s, it’s, I always, I wrestled with this question, 17, 18 years ago, very challengingly because I was like, well, how I like building a business. I enjoy it. And, and I’ll, and I’ll answer that the part of it, but I really, Want to do more of this inward spiritual growth. And so how do you mirror?

Adam Hergenrother: I don’t want to go hang out in the middle of a cave sitting next to a fire Indian style or setting haikus. It’s not even comfortable to sit in Indian style. Like I don’t even want to do that. 

Jessica Kriegel: I don’t want to sweat in a sweat lodge. That’s 

Adam Hergenrother: not what I want to do. Yeah. And so it’s one of the things, if you, if you ever get a chance to talk to Eckhart Tolle, one of the things he’ll tell you is that like, he’s like, I go, what is the most common question you get?

Adam Hergenrother: And he goes, why am I drinking coffee? No joke. Because he goes in the Starbucks every morning and he loves coffee. And so people see him in there and go, you shouldn’t be in there drinking coffee. And he’s like, why? And he drinks wine and he’s like, well, you shouldn’t be drinking wine. You should be in a white cloth somewhere.

Adam Hergenrother: Like again, so I think we, we, as, as individuals have this, this self Um, mirage, if you will, of what a business leader should look like and what a spiritual leader, and now we’re trying to mirror the two concepts we’ve created over years and together. And so that’s where the friction comes in. And so how you kind of make peace with that.

Adam Hergenrother: For me, it’s, it’s, giving is great. I love, I mean, those are wonderful goals that you can do this for me, it’s really my for, for business for me is an opportunity. To allow and bring training of this type of level of growth to all of my employees, to all of the people that work for me, and we have over a thousand people in my organization.

Adam Hergenrother: And so every time I get to have a spiritual convert, a spiritual conversation, personal growth conversation that allows to make their life a little better. That’s why I have a business. We’re really just a training, a spiritual training company disguised in a business. And so I use business as this opportunity to bring messaging like this to the people that are, that are running it and to help them and having fun along the way.

Adam Hergenrother: Right. If you just woke up and didn’t really do anything, I think we’re supposed to be active where some of us are. And if that’s your nature to be active, then that’s great. If you look at the animal life, right, which are likely closer to consciousness than we are because they don’t have the. Self concept telling them, which is why if you watch a dog or a cat, like especially 

Jessica Kriegel: dogs, no cats are not spiritually conscious.

Jessica Kriegel: I’m out on cats, but okay. Dogs. Yeah. 

Adam Hergenrother: Though, right? Like the, like the, the dogs totally like, they, I mean, you could yell at them and then they’ll turn around and come back and they’ll give you a hug, right? Yeah. And then they’ll love you to death. We keep that baggage inside. So if you, if you watch the animal life, there’s, you wouldn’t see a deer eating a rabbit, right?

Adam Hergenrother: Like, this is not there. You wouldn’t see like a hawk all of a sudden sitting down there, laying in the pond, eating lilies. So everything has its nature and just like every human is a different color, different shape. They talk differently. They have different personality. They’re going to show up and they have a different nature of it themselves.

Adam Hergenrother: If people actually get outside of what people think they should be or trying to design it based on your egoic self, you’ll naturally fall in line with what you should be doing. You’ll fall in line with what that looks like and every single thing will support you there and they’ll support you. And all the masters that have gone before will support you.

Adam Hergenrother: You realize you never do this alone. And it’s there. And again, some people may be in business and then no longer be in business. Some people may find themselves in business. Some people may find themselves having kids. It’s not that you set this preconceived conditions on it. And so you approach it differently.

Adam Hergenrother: And if you’re always willing to relax and release and ask the question of, of just sitting there of going, okay, I’m, I’m willing to handle anything. I’m willing to, whatever is there. Let me, I’d love to show up and help out. And that may take you to writing a book. That may take you to building a bigger business.

Adam Hergenrother: That may take you to selling your business and going and doing a bunch of inner work for a couple of years and then bring it to the world later on. It’s, it, we just, we need to make sure that we’re not designing our lives based on what the self concept or the ego wants, which I know that sounds. It, it sounds like people use those words all the time, but it really is just that it’s, it’s the ego is not bravado.

Adam Hergenrother: Like, look at me, I’m driving a Ferrari. It’s, it’s literally as simple as, I want my kids to behave a certain way. I want them to dress a certain way. I want my friends to act a certain way towards me. That’s egoic. It’s anytime that you’re using the outside world and now you’ve decided how the outside world should be is egoic, which is expectations of people, 

Jessica Kriegel: places, or things.

Jessica Kriegel: Yeah. I mean, mound. Expectations are just resentments in the making. Yeah. I mean, so my sponsor gave me an exercise to write down every time I’m emotionally disturbed. And then to identify what it is that was disturbing me. And every time it was an expectation, I went to the carwash 20 minutes before they closed and they wouldn’t take my car and I got emotionally disturbed because I’m like, I’m here 20 minutes, obviously you don’t close at five then you close at four 40 because I’m here at four 40 and I just realized, oh yeah, that’s just an expectation that they would take me 20 minutes.

Jessica Kriegel: And that’s all it was. All you have to do is turn around and drive to the next thing and realize that your expectation was the problem, not the carwash, you know? 

Adam Hergenrother: It’s funny, a couple thousand years ago, right? The Buddha came out and said, I figured this whole thing out. All life is suffering. He said, number two, all of the cause of all suffering is preference.

Adam Hergenrother: And that’s the expectation. It’s preferences. 

Jessica Kriegel: Yeah. And Michael Singer says you got two choices. You can accept and you can resist. Those are your two choices. That’s what you got. And it’s so much easier to say than it is to do, but. 

Adam Hergenrother: Yeah, 

Jessica Kriegel: I mean, that is the daily work and it gets harder and harder as you go. You know, it doesn’t get easier with practice. It gets harder because the challenges, the path gets narrower, right?

Adam Hergenrother: Are you familiar with some SCARAs? No. So, a samskara is an ancient Sanskrit term from about 2, 000 years ago, um, that they used to describe, I mean, every event that you and I talking right now is an event.

Adam Hergenrother: Your body is energy. Every event is energy. Everything that happens is energy. And I think whether you’re a scientist or philosophy or religion, everyone agrees that everything’s energy. So, a samskara basically is a stored energy pattern within you. And so this is why people have so much disturbance and I’ll just give me two minutes and I’ll share with us.

Adam Hergenrother: So what happens is you have an event that doesn’t meet your expectation. And you don’t release it. When you don’t release it, the energy is now stored inside you, which is why the circle is the most powerful form in the universe, because it can keep moving, but stay centered and stay still. So the minute event happens, you go, I don’t like this.

Adam Hergenrother: I can’t believe this, this carwash wouldn’t, you know, close at five o’clock. Like it says, you’ve now stored that inside you. So, Now you’re, you’re resisting now because you resisted the event. You’ve stored it in there. Now it’s blocking you from having your natural energy flow. And then when another, when you see another car wash, you’re driving by, it hits you and goes, see, that one’s open.

Adam Hergenrother: I have to make it. You keep reliving all these events and things about for all of your, you know, 40 years of your life. How many times you’ve stored all of this negative energy and then on the positive side, you store ones that you really like. There’s a lot more negative ones, but things you went to dinner with a group of friends and it was amazing.

Adam Hergenrother: You tell all your friends about it. And then you come back to that same dinner and it’s not the same music, not the same waiter. And you’re apologizing because it’s not the right thing. So again, you. You stored that positive energy in there. And so that’s why we wake up and go, I want the world to be a certain way.

Adam Hergenrother: And it’s based on this, this energy that we have that are stored in there. And as you start to relax and release, what you’re doing is you’re removing the store energy patterns. So you can just truly accept whatever is there. And so, so understand when you’re doing the deep work that relax and release, what you’re really releasing are these stored events.

Adam Hergenrother: They’d never made it through you, which is why they’re so painful because they were painful at the time. So you store them with pain. It’s like, if I give this example in the book, it’s like, if you had a, if you took a skunk and put it in your refrigerator and every day you came home and you’re like, it smells in here and you take Febreze and you have a cleaner come in every day and you try to mop every day to take the smell away and you’re like incense and candles.

Adam Hergenrother: Well, at some point in time, you can do all that work to try to take the smell away. But at some point you have to open the fridge and take the skunk out. And when you do, it’s going to be more powerful, more scent. But the minute you take it out and move it away, it’s gone forever. That’s why they call the releases the pain that ends all pain.

Adam Hergenrother: Because it truly removes the pain of what is in the first place. We have to be willing to go through it. 

Jessica Kriegel: Well, that’s doing your shadow work, right? And, I mean, some of us have more darkness than others. And I mean, I think that has to do with your childhood and how much trauma you did or didn’t experience in your childhood.

Jessica Kriegel: And so, for some, the path is longer or harder, let’s say. But ultimately, we’re all on, somewhere along on this path. And we’re Could be lifetimes. Oh yeah. Multiple lifetimes. I love that metaphor about who was it? Was it Ram Dass? I think it was Ram Dass and don’t quote me on that. Cause it could be someone else who said, you know, how many lifetimes, how long does our soul go through the different lifetimes?

Jessica Kriegel: And it said, well, imagine a mountain range and every 100 years, a feather goes across the top of the mountain range. The amount of time it would take for that feather to erode the entire mountain is how long you’re going back in the. Circle of life. I mean, that’s a trip, isn’t it? I love that image.

Adam Hergenrother: Beautiful. Because think about it is like, then it gives you a reason. Then you go, okay, then I’m here for something bigger than all these other things that I’m doing here. 

Jessica Kriegel: I want to, yes, and in the back of my head this whole time, I’ve also got this question I’m afraid to ask you, which is, isn’t personal growth fairly self serving?

Jessica Kriegel: I mean, like, who says that your growth is important? Why isn’t it to something other than about you? 

Adam Hergenrother: The heart takes about 80 percent of the most rich nutrient oxygen from the body. So one could say that since the heart takes all of the nutrients. 80 percent of the most rich nutrient oxygen is that it’s very self serving.

Adam Hergenrother: It’s very self indexed, but the reality is it takes all of that. And what it does is it distributes the areas that need it. So it could all can survive. And I think of the same way of you doing the, your inner growth is that you become a light for other people to do the air, their inner growth. And if that’s the purpose of life to allow other people to do their growth, which is what the whole point of relationships are, is that you come together and you work on yourself in business and in personal life, at least from my experience.

Adam Hergenrother: And so the deeper work that you do. You allow other people, the space to do their work. And now you’re all moving in a direction that opens up themselves to do whatever work they get to do while they’re here during this life. 

Jessica Kriegel: And you know, what’s interesting. I have a theory that spirituality will be at the core of the future of work because the, the spiritual work, the personal growth work used to happen in the town square, in conversations with your community, it used to happen in the churches and all of those places are.

Jessica Kriegel: Disintegrating, right? I mean, the church is dying. The town square no longer exists. We’re meeting digitally. Where do people still go though? Work. We all go to work. And where do we do the most learning and the most, unless you pursue higher education, once you finish. High school or college, wherever you go on your track, there isn’t a lot of personal growth that comes at you.

Jessica Kriegel: You have to pursue it unless you’re at work. There’s entire departments devoted to learning and development, devoting to devoted to personal growth in corporations that corporations fund to bring it to their employees. And I think that role is going to get. Even bigger with time. Cause it’ll be the only place where we can do it.

Jessica Kriegel: You know, 

Adam Hergenrother: I have a, uh, interesting theory and I actually feel at some point in time, maybe even our lifetime, uh, work becomes a choice. I think the world becomes so productive that you, and it’s not like people want to sit around. They never have for ages, by the way. Right. I mean, and for thousands of years, people have been leaving, know thyself clues inscribed in pyramids.

Adam Hergenrother: They didn’t talk about like, they’ll get what you want back in the day. Right. This is, it’s only been the most. 40 or 50 years that businesses have come involved. And now I think they’re in the next iteration where people literally, the world becomes so productive and that you can have your basic needs met.

Adam Hergenrother: That your work will be a choice, but that’s where you get to do the most growth. You’ll be able to actually bring, because no, it’s not going to, I have to do this. Now you can show up and be a different version of you. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to make more money or do different things, just a different version of it, because there’s going to be this basic uniform of productivity that’s met in our world.

Jessica Kriegel: Yeah, it’s so fun when you have that. I wrote a letter to my daughter to be read upon my death, you know, cause my dad wrote me a letter and I read it when he died and it was like the best thing ever. And I think I end it with like, P. S. Google, know thyself and have fun. 

Adam Hergenrother: That’s awesome. Okay. So 

Jessica Kriegel: we actually have a caller who has called, um, to ask you a question.

Guest Caller: My name is Leah Lindberg. I’m an executive coach with Keller Williams Realty, and I’m from Raleigh, North Carolina. Adam, when I think about you and I think about your companies from what I know and what I understand from the outside, looking in, I think about this focus and emphasis on truly being a whole healthy person in all areas of your life.

Guest Caller: Um, it doesn’t seem like we’re just focused on financial wellbeing. We’re also focused on mental, emotional, physical wellbeing as well. And. The little that I do know about you, I know that that probably comes from your own journey. Uh, interpersonally. So I’m curious if that is as big a deal within your company’s culture as it appears on the outside looking in and how you foster that with your, your teammates, your workmates, your co workers.

Adam Hergenrother: Thank you so much for asking that question. It’s a beautiful question. And again, as kind of we’ve. Answered that throughout the, uh, um, the time here business for me is nothing but a conduit for our ability to grow personally or spiritually. And so every time you have employees that have challenges, you work through them together.

Adam Hergenrother: You, every time you have a lawsuit that shows up at your desk, you get to, nobody wants that you get to relax and release through that and release part of that. So business is part of this opportunity. As you said earlier, Jessica, we just get to grow through it because you wouldn’t sign up for things that happen in business that show up.

Adam Hergenrother: Yeah. Either as a team or as an individual that you get to go through. Again, that’s part of the journey that we are doing this. It’s your heart. How you foster that is by being a leader. You have to be willing to, for me, one of the things that we do is every time we go into a meeting, I make sure that I’m not there trying to be right.

Adam Hergenrother: We’re trying to have the right answer. I always try to go into a meeting to make sure we have the right solution for the organization. That could be, I’m right. That could be I’m wrong. I’m always willing to be in either side of this. And if you get all of your leaders to show up into a meeting and start with the minimum of maximums of, we could do this, we could do that.

Adam Hergenrother: You find yourself arriving at a middle point that usually is the best solution for your clients, for your customers, or for the organization itself. 

Jessica Kriegel: I would love if you could share two or three concrete things. That you as a leader or your organization’s systems and processes do that’s different than what you see in a typical organization.

Jessica Kriegel: If, if you see your business as a conduit for spiritual growth of your employees, how does that actually look day to day? 

Adam Hergenrother: So one of the things we do is everybody that has direct reports, they answer what it’s called. These five questions. We have basically the five questions that somebody sends every day.

Adam Hergenrother: First question is, is what were your successes today? Right? Just to get somebody that says, okay, Jessica, what are your successes today? Number two is what were your struggles today? Right? What did you struggle with? Number three is how did you overcome it? And number four on a scale of basically 1 to 10, how are you doing right now?

Adam Hergenrother: Professionally and personally, like wherever you want to share there. How are you doing? And number five is a who’s your replacement or what is the next procedure or policy we need to put in place that allows you to grow more your role. And what you find is as you people answer all five of these, they’re doing their personal work.

Adam Hergenrother: It’s like a forced journal each day and they get sent to the leader. The leader responds to that. This isn’t a daily basis so that, you know, with your direct reports that you’re dealing with. They go, okay. I struggled, but I really struggled with my kids this morning. They didn’t want to get on the bus.

Adam Hergenrother: This is just real. I just had this recently, right? They don’t get in the bus. I keep trying to tell them to do something and they wouldn’t do it. So now I’m late. Now I’m feeling hurried and we get to work through that. That’s an opportunity to work on somebody’s. Okay. How did you handle this? How could we have done it differently?

Adam Hergenrother: Then it allows them to make and show up as a better version of themselves from a business standpoint. To me, that’s a structural thing that everyone can put in place, but you’ve got to be willing to allow people to share without any penalty of things. So we may like, what I mean by that is when it says, who’s your replacement at the bottom, they need to be able to put people that are better than them, knowing that they’re not just going to get fired tomorrow or whatever it is.

Adam Hergenrother: And for me, a leader that can hire better people is a better leader. And versus the other way, so many people try to hire people that are not quite as good as them so they can show the leadership how wonderful they did in that. When I look at leaders, I, I share this constantly. I want you to make a better hire than you that basically you would be fired if you just hired this person because that shows me that you actually have the ability to go out and hire and retain and attract talent, which is what leadership is really about.

Adam Hergenrother: Remember, leadership is not an abstract concept. It’s not, it’s a verb. It’s it’s leadership is getting other people to take a new level of action that benefits them in the organization simultaneously, specifically in a business context, right? So the five questions are a big one that we do. The other thing that we teach is for me every day that, and we do this remotely, we do this, whatever it is, how people want to structure this is whenever I get out of my truck every morning, I remind myself that I’m not here to get anything from any of my team members.

Adam Hergenrother: I’m not here to get anything from our employees. What I’m here to do is I’m here to show up and contribute to whatever the moment is in front of me. My personal why my personal mission, if you will, is to raise the moment that’s in front of me so that the moment is better off for having passed by my consciousness.

Adam Hergenrother: And so whatever that means, you could be picking up trash. You could be holding the door open for somebody at a grocery store. You could be serving and helping one of your team members through a challenging personal or business issue. And so you, we, we bring that level into the organization and that cohesiveness allows individuals to not, I don’t want to say like be themselves because when people say that, sometimes people are just being an asshole and they’re like, look, you told me to be myself.

Adam Hergenrother: Right. That’s not 

Jessica Kriegel: what 

Adam Hergenrother: they use that as like a badge of what they’re doing. And really they’re allowing themselves to understand their strengths and weaknesses so that they can come together and find solutions that benefit everybody. But you’ve got to, it’s real work. It’s real. It’s just being real. If you’re, if I’m irritated in a meeting, I go, look, guys, I just want to start this meeting off, let you know that I’m having a tough day.

Adam Hergenrother: I’m going to do my best right now, Jessica, but if I get a little irritated at this, I want you guys to know why. I mean, that’s literally what I would say in some meetings if I was feeling that way or whatever, you know what, we just had a really good month, made a bunch of money, so I got to be really careful because sometimes we’re doing that.

Adam Hergenrother: We may, I may say yes to a financial decision that I normally wouldn’t have because I’m on a high, right? Whatever it is, you just recognizing emotions that are within you and you allow everybody else to do that. Structurally, structurally within the organization. So you end up having this radical transparency.

Jessica Kriegel: Radical transparency. Okay. So what’s your philosophy? Here’s one of the things that I have suggested and that I believe in and have done myself is when a company has to go through layoffs, there’s this period of time where the, those in the know discuss. And debate, how many layoffs are we going to do?

Jessica Kriegel: How are we going to position these layoffs to the world and to the team? Who’s going to get laid off and who isn’t? And really most people, most companies know they’re going to do layoffs for three to six months before it actually happens. And a lot of people are left in the dark. Radical transparency in that situation would be telling people, Hey, we’re going to do layoffs.

Jessica Kriegel: And now here’s the counterargument that will create a lot of fear. Okay. Sure. When I worked for, I was the CHRO of a tech startup that had to do layoffs. I told everyone on my team that we were going to do layoffs about three months before we did, before we had even decided who would go. And I said to them, I don’t know which one of you may be getting.

Jessica Kriegel: Get laid off. I think some of you may get laid off, but I don’t know for sure. And I’m just letting you know, because I wasn’t attached to them staying and what that would mean for the team and the business and the headache it would create for me, I wanted to do the right thing. Now. One of the people on the team ended up finding another job and leaving.

Jessica Kriegel: At the end of the day, we would have laid her off actually. So it ended up working out, but the other guy who stayed had a very anxious three months. And so I’m not actually sure that that was the right decision. It felt like the right thing to do at the time. What is your thought on that in radical transparency and the balance of protecting people and also giving them free will to make a decision so that they can protect their financial livelihood and their families?

Adam Hergenrother: Yeah, that’s a beautiful question. And one of the most. Challenging ones to answer. Um, I think it’s, and I’ll answer it in a couple of ways. One, it’s situational too. I think there’s, there’s sometimes depending on, on being an HR, uh, is there any legal ramifications of kind of leaking information, different things that are out there?

Adam Hergenrother: Are you a publicly traded company that has certain guidelines? You have to do this. There’s different things that go on there. I’ll tell you the way we’ve handled it personally. Um, when the minute we realize that we’re going to have to do some level of layoffs in the organization, you will go to those individuals and we say, look, here’s the, here’s the situation.

Adam Hergenrother: We are going to be removing you or moving this position. Most of the time it’s a position if that’s the case and you have the opportunity to stay on until you find another job or we’ve, or, um, this, this happens. Or if we’re moving the person, like, for instance, I’m thinking of one personally that we just did recently.

Adam Hergenrother: We went to them and sat down and said, look, you can stay in the role as long as you want, as long as you’re showing up and the minute you find the job, you can leave or the minute we find another person, um, just understand that we will give, then give you a 30 day notice for what that looks like. And every time we’ve handled it that way.

Adam Hergenrother: People have stayed on for about a month, month and a half, and they’ve either found a job or we found somebody else to do it, but we’ve never had any blowback. We never had anybody sue us from those type of things, so we’re really just kind of being open from that, but you do run the risk of saying that and somebody walks out that moment.

Adam Hergenrother: You just have to understand those different things. But if you, there is a, if you’re doing like a, I’ve never had to do like a 150 layoffs or anything like that. So we’ve never had to do mass layoffs like that. And there are some legalities around those things. You could just take Elon Musk’s approach, which is just like, if we don’t get the organization together, everyone’s fired, right?

Adam Hergenrother: Like the company is, I mean, like he’s, he’s probably the most. Radical individual when it comes to that type of stuff. But yeah. 

Jessica Kriegel: Do you see the article? There was an article in the wall street journal yesterday or the day before. He’s doing a bunch of drugs apparently. And everyone’s really concerned about it.

Jessica Kriegel: I was like, yeah, that tracks actually. I am not surprised. 

Adam Hergenrother: LSD, ecstasy, cocaine. Like 

 Jessica Kriegel: cocaine. Yeah. He makes people sign NDAs when he throws parties so that they won’t tell anyone that he’s doing a bunch of drugs. I mean, someone must have leaked it. It’s like, 

Adam Hergenrother: have you read his biography? 

Jessica Kriegel: No, my CEO has though.

Jessica Kriegel: And he like loved it. He thought he learned a lot. I mean, he wasn’t, he’s not necessarily a big Elon fan, but it feels like something I should read. Have you? 

Adam Hergenrother: Yeah, I did. I felt the same way. It actually gave you a better understanding of why he does what he does. I mean, he’s a, one of the things that I love at the very end.

Adam Hergenrother: They, they, Elon’s giving like a, I think it’s a commencement speech and somebody asks him, how do I be Elon Musk? And he sat there for like three minutes, you know, he doesn’t say anything and they talk about this in the transcript and he said, um, I don’t think anybody should be Elon Musk. The amount, the immense amount of pain that I caused in myself every moment is next level and nobody should endure this pain.

Adam Hergenrother: And it was so real, like in that, like, that was, it was just like, he talks about in the whole book about just how miserable he is in his life and how nothing. So again, that’s, it’s, it’s, it’s. Yeah, he’s, he’s a wild catt. 

Jessica Kriegel: Yeah, totally. PR, trauma survivor, . I mean, there’s no other explanation for that. Kind of why.

Jessica Kriegel: Yeah, totally. I mean, I have so much compassion for everyone who, you know, just, you think now having chil child, a child, and I know you have children as well. You just see these little people with these little eyeballs and you’re like, wow. The amount of stuff. The people go through, I was just listening to a speaker tape this morning of a woman whose father would not let them play, giggle, or talk in his presence, you know?

Jessica Kriegel: And she grew up unsurprisingly to do a lot of self harm, you know? I mean, what is the experience? It’s just breaks my heart. Okay. Well, not to end on a complete bummer, but I have my last and favorite question that I just love this question, which is what is something that you don’t get asked in these types of interviews that you wish you were asked more often?

Adam Hergenrother: Why are people afraid of death? 

Jessica Kriegel: Okay. And so why are people afraid of death, Adam? 

Adam Hergenrother: I know where I was like, right. When you said we don’t want to end this last moment, I was like, Oh, but you know, I think about death probably 30 or 40 times a day and not in a morbid way. Uh, most people are still trying to get some special experience from life and they think death takes away their opportunity to have some special experience.

Adam Hergenrother: But life itself is the experience. Death just makes life precious in many different ways. So the minute you stop realizing that the experience you’re having is life, and it’s not some mental rehearsal of some image or some goal that you’re going to have. And once you have that, then life will kick in and then I’ll have that experience.

Adam Hergenrother: You start to utilize the opportunity of knowing that you’re going to die at some point in time in your future, maybe tomorrow, maybe in a hundred years, but you start utilizing this as an opportunity to, to not waste the moment. In the moment itself is. When you feel any emotion, you feel the experience that you’re having, that is the experience.

Adam Hergenrother: And when you do that, and you’re truly aligned with the moment that way of that experience, death takes nothing from you because there is nothing else that it can take from you. People only fear death because they are, they’re afraid that it’s going to take, they haven’t hit their moment yet. Well, what do you people stop needing to wait for those things and lean in to the moment that they’re experiencing.

Adam Hergenrother: And the more that you can do that, the more that life will unfold in the way. That is supposed to be for you and you have just way more joy and lightness and peace in your life. And that’s, that’s really what people are looking for is absolute freedom, which is the ability to walk through this world undisturbed.

Adam Hergenrother: They can walk through it. Things can happen mechanically. They’ll have to deal with them. It doesn’t mean you don’t act with them, but they don’t bother you. You don’t have suffering over the small things in life and you get to enjoy. Just about every single thing that happens or a minimum, you can always appreciate what is happening in your life.

Jessica Kriegel: That’s beautiful. There’s a song that my boyfriend just gave me on a playlist. He makes me playlists like every month and it, uh, it’s something about, it’s called, if we were vampires. And there’s a line in the song that says, if we were vampires and death was a joke, we’d go out on the sidewalk and smoke and laugh at all the lovers and their plans.

Jessica Kriegel: I wouldn’t feel the need to hold your hand because it is only because we know we’re going to lose each other, that we really embrace and want to hold onto each other. And if death was a joke, I mean, wouldn’t we just be fairly apathetic about everything because we wouldn’t be afraid to lose anything.

Jessica Kriegel: And that is the joy and the mystery of life at some level. Yeah. 

Adam Hergenrother: I mean, we’ve hit Disneyland, you come down here and there’s people that are all different. There’s animals. There’s, I mean, I saw, I read this thing on, they found a turtle back rock on Mars and it’s a rock that looks like a turtle and they’re all excited about it.

Adam Hergenrother: I’m like, there’s, it’s every single sort of animal that’s around you. There’s birds that sing to you. There’s you just deer that you’re not, I’m just like, what, like, just like we forget that, like, just stop for a second and look around. 

Jessica Kriegel: Yeah. And 

Adam Hergenrother: that’s the appreciate the moment that you’re in, whatever you getting to experience is a beautiful gift.

Jessica Kriegel: Yeah. That is the gift of gratitude, you know, and it’s not just making a list of things you’re grateful for, or even just being aware of things that you can be grateful for. It’s conjuring the feeling. It’s actually generating gratitude as an action verb, as a feeling in your body that really starts to change your life might.

Jessica Kriegel: Our CEO in our company, Culture Partners, every single meeting we have, we start with sharing gratitude because you can’t be in a negative headspace when you’re in gratitude, so we might as well start in a good headspace and then take the meeting from there, which I love doing that, you know, it also makes me feel seen as a person beyond the person who works at this company trying to accomplish a revenue goal, you know.

Adam Hergenrother: Awesome. That’s wonderful. 

Jessica Kriegel: Adam, this has been so lovely. Thank you so much for opening up yourself and sharing your words of wisdom and sharing your story. I have absolutely adored this conversation and it has been such a pleasure to get to know you. 

Adam Hergenrother: Well, thank you so much. I really appreciate all the work that you’re doing as well, too.

Jessica Kriegel: Thank you. Now, if people want to hear more or learn more about the work that you’re doing, where can they go? 

Adam Hergenrother: Sure. Yeah. Well, you can go to adamhergenrother. com or you can go to the 200 percent life on Amazon or the 200 percent life podcast. Um, that’s where you’ll, you’ll find a lot of the stuff that we’re doing.

Jessica Kriegel: Wonderful. Thanks so much, Adam.

Jessica Kriegel: Thank you for tuning in to Culture Leaders. I’m Dr. Jessica Kriegel, hoping you found inspiration in today’s story. If you enjoyed the episode, please leave a review and share your thoughts. And thanks for listening. 

Jessica Kriegel: To connect and learn more about today’s guest, visit the link section on this episode’s show notes.

Jessica Kriegel: Please be sure to connect with Jessica and the show at jessicakriegel. com. There you’ll be able to see all the episodes and learn more about transforming culture at your organization. This episode is a Culture Partners production. Until next time, keep shaping a positive culture. Thanks for listening.

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