In this episode, meet Lion Goodman, a leader whose near-death experience kick-started five decades of research into the nature of consciousness, developmental psychology, spirituality and healing.
At the age of 26, Lion was shot in the head four times.
He has since created the Clear Beliefs Method of trauma-informed therapeutic coaching, which he has taught to more than 500 coaches, healers and therapists around the world.
This powerful practice can eliminate a client’s limiting or negative belief from their subconscious mind, heal a childhood wound, or resolve a trauma from the past in a single session.
You will take away more than a great story from this conversation.
This is an actionable understanding of beliefs and the mind which can change your life forever if you’ll do the work.
So press play and let’s chat… because OH MY GOODNESS he got shot four times!
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WATCH EPISODE 083: HOW 4 BULLETS TO THE HEAD (& SURVIVING)LED TO 5 DECADES OF CONSCIOUSNESS REASEACH (& THRIVING) WITH LION GOODMAN | TRANSFORMATIONAL COACH
LISTEN TO EPISODE 083: HOW 4 BULLETS TO THE HEAD (& SURVIVING)LED TO 5 DECADES OF CONSCIOUSNESS RESEARCH (& THRIVING) INTERVIEW WITH ZACH’S DEBRIEF
HOW 4 BULLETS TO THE HEAD (& SURVIVING)LED TO 5 DECADES OF CONSCIOUSNESS RESEARCH (& THRIVING)
What does it mean to be transformed? What is transformation?
This is a really important question and I want to take a moment with you to explore it, because the word transformation comes up in coaching a lot.
I looked up the definition of transformation. It’s a noun that means “a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance.”
It also has secondary definitions.
“A metamorphosis during the life cycle of an animal.” or in physics, “the induced or spontaneous change of one element into another by a nuclear process.”
I like this emphasis on the external, “a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance” because the evidence of a true transformation in your life is something that we can see.
I do believe, and I’ve seen it over and over and over in the engineering leaders that we work with at OACO, that it begins as an internal process, but the evidence of transformation is visible.
I can remember back when I went through my time of extreme burnout and hitting rock bottom in my own engineering career.
Yes, I still had a good job. I was still employed, but I was having no fun. I was not happy. I had no energy, no enthusiasm, no vision, no goals.
Everything had come to a stagnant, stuck, depressed, unhappy, angry, embarrassed place.
And from the outside looking in, you might have thought I was just grinding it out, just doing my job.
On the inside I felt miserable.
On the outside it was reflected during that time of burnout.
Maybe you can relate to that. Or there’s people working around you who look like those walking dead, the zombies walking around the office just trying to crank out the work.
Well, for me, I began doing that inner work, that inner metamorphosis of healing, recovery from the grief of my divorce, recovering from broken systems, bad habits and blind spots in my own approach to life, both at work and at home, and slowly made changes.
Slowly changed my mindset, slowly took action in new ways, set up new boundaries, replaced relationships that were not serving me with relationships that were.
Little by little the metamorphosis started to take place, and I emerged from that season of life a new person.
But here’s why I call it a true transformation in my own life, because the evidence in form or appearance was a dramatic change.
I experienced rapid promotion in my career, five promotions in five years. I doubled my income. I had success in my side hustle businesses.
I found and married the woman of my dreams, and I’m happily married to this day, to Johanna, who’s absolutely amazing.
I had more fun in the office than I’d ever had before. Built amazing teams, built amazing products, and it was the things that you saw in my life on the outside were completely different than during that time of burnout.
I experienced a true transformation, and I wonder if you need that in your life today.
If you’ve never experienced that, would you just imagine for a moment, what would a transformation look like for you?
What do you actually want to transform?
Is it a better leader, a better husband or wife, a better father or mother, a better athlete?
What would the thing be?
I really do believe that a transformation in you is possible, and that at times it’s exactly what we need.
But that’s not true for everybody every time.
Maybe you’re in one of those great places in your life today. Everything is working. You’re absolutely happy. You’re crushing it in your career. You’re hitting your goals and things are good.
But even if that’s the season you’re in today, I want you to take this message to heart.
For yourself, for your loved ones, because eventually, I believe we all come to seasons where transformation is what we need.
There’s going to be a time in your life in the future where you’ll be ready for something new.
Your purpose and passion will shift towards something different that you want to create.
In our careers, this is really common. After we get to a certain level, we’ve had a certain number of years of experience, maybe for you that’s director or vice president, and you realize how much you’ve been given.
And out of that spirit of gratitude for how far you’ve come, there’s a transformation in your life that will happen where you begin to focus less on your own promotion and success and more on giving back to the people who are coming after you.
Becoming that mentor, becoming that role model, and really leading in the spirit of generosity towards helping future generations of engineering leaders to come up and make their impact in the company and in the world.
That’s a form of a transformation.
It’s a thorough and dramatic change in formal appearance in how you show up every day at the office.
So I don’t want you to think this is only for recovering from burnout. A transformation may simply be shifting from one industry to another, shifting from a focus on personal growth and development to leading and transforming the people around you.
But regardless, the inner work that leads to an outer change that’s dramatic and permanent.
Once you become a butterfly, you stay one. That’s another great sign of transformation. It’s not a temporary transformation, it’s something permanent. It’s something that you enjoy for the rest of your life.
It doesn’t mean trials and suffering and other challenges may not come, and that you may not need to transform again in the future in a different way.
But the things that I discovered and learned back during my divorce and rock bottom burnout season, I’ll never have to relearn those lessons again. The transformation there is permanent.
Even if I fall off the wagon of a particular habit or particular attitude, I already know exactly how to pull that back together.
So do you need transformation? Do you want something In your life? Is it time for a dramatic change and form or appearance?
If so, then let’s get to work.
Begin now. It’s not gonna get here any faster by waiting.
And I’ll tell you if one place you can begin, we would love to have you join us at Happy Hour.
If you haven’t heard about Happy Hour, it’s a really fun time where we take the same powerful content. Of our coaching programs for our private clients, and we bring it to you.
It’s totally free. You can bring questions and ask those live to me.
During happy hour, we bring in guest coaches sometimes to speak to their zone of genius. It’s a really fun way to connect and engage with the Happy Engineer community.
So if you’ve never been to Happy Hour and you want to join us, it’s a great way to put the spark and the first step toward your personal career transformation.
As always, get out there, crush comfort, create courage in your career and life, and let’s do this.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- Lion Goodman’s Website
- Lion Goodman on Linkedin | Facebook
- Do you need help in transforming yourself to a successful career and a balanced life? Book a FREE Career Clarity Call now!
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:
Please note the full transcript is 90-95% accuracy. Reference the podcast audio to confirm exact quotations.
[00:00:00] Zach White: Welcome back, Happy Engineer! I am here today with Lion Goodman. Lion, I am really excited for this conversation. I told you before we hit record prepping for this and learning about you and your story was so inspiring. So thank you tremendously for making time and being generous with us today to be here.
[00:00:18] Lion Goodman: Well, I am equally excited, let’s dive in.
Expand to Read Full Transcript
[00:00:21] Zach White: I can’t wait Lion. I really want to go back to something that caught my eye when I was looking at your LinkedIn profile I wanted to know your background in terms of education, and I saw your undergraduate degree from University of Colorado Boulder, and I had no idea what it was, consciousness Studies, and I was reading what she wrote there and I was like, wow, this is really interesting.
[00:00:45] So I, I’m wondering if you could share with us, What is a Bachelor’s in Consciousness Studies and how did you end? Going there?
[00:00:56] Lion Goodman: Well, first of all, it was one of the first degrees granted in that field, so there wasn’t a precedence for it. I created it out of whole cloth and the university had a program for people like me who would otherwise rebel, and they said, well, if you wanna put your own major together, go ahead and do that.
[00:01:12] Just give us the professors in the classes. So I basically put together everything I wanted to learn in every department I could think of, including dance and mime and and sciences. aerospace engineering and I, I just took everything I wanted to take and studied everything I wanted to study, and I got my professors to say, yes, we endorsed this.
[00:01:32] So I got the degree. Specifically, it’s in physiology and human consciousness. Uh, today we would call it consciousness studies.
[00:01:40] Zach White: That’s so amazing. First of all, just to do that I think is awesome to, to step into university and say, Hey, I think I’ll just pave my own way from a blank canvas. I don’t know very many people who’ve ever done that.
[00:01:53] And I’m curiously like, was that something you knew you wanted to do on day one when you stepped into, the University of Colorado Boulder, or was it something that evolved through your freshman year to say, I can’t find anything that fits me and I’m gonna go create it? Or how did that come to. ,
[00:02:09] Lion Goodman: I was very lucky to meet in my freshman year, a teacher named TD Lingo who had three degrees from the University of Chicago, had been in World War II as a gunner on the front lines and had left the war asking the question, why did I have to kill my brothers and sisters?
[00:02:28] And he went to the University of Chicago to get that answer and, and one of his teachers, the answer’s in the brain. We don’t know exactly where, but we know it’s somewhere in the brain. So he went and did his own study and had his own consciousness exploration and, uh, sort of ecstatic experiences. he built a school, the mountains of Colorado with log cabins in a pump well, and, and no running water.
[00:02:52] and I attended that school in my first year. of college, and he was saying, consciousness is the thing we need to study. That’s where the answers are. What is it? What is the nature of human nature? What is the nature of human motivation? Why do we do the things we do? Why do we kill each other? and so he opened me up to those big questions of.
[00:03:17] Lion Goodman: and that’s when I went back and said, okay, I gotta, I gotta study everything that fits in this category because it’s the most exciting thing I had ever heard.
[00:03:26] Zach White: I love that maybe it’s hard for you to go back to what you were exactly thinking at the time Lion, but is what you’ve ended up doing in the decades since then with.
[00:03:38] Life and career. Is it anything like what you expected to do with a degree in consciousness studies when you set out on this path? Or has it been something completely different? I dunno. Put yourself back in your college days. What did you think you would be when you grow up doing that work?
[00:03:57] Lion Goodman: Well, there’s a funny story.
[00:03:58] Uh, so I graduated with this degree after five years of being in and outta college, and I sat in on. graduation ceremony, but I, I, there was nobody in my department because I was alone, so I just sat randomly in the audience one of the speakers, said, you know, for those of you who are graduating, you’ll go on to a great job.
[00:04:18] and I was, uh, kind of a rebel, so I yelled out, yeah, if you can find a job, and this guy turned around that was standing in front of me and he said, are you an engineer? And I said, no. He said, well, that’s why you can’t find a job. And he said, turned back.
[00:04:35] Lion Goodman: Oh, oh
[00:04:36] Zach White: man. Being an engineer and knowing, you know, the, the engineering leader who’s listening right now, we, I might have been that guy. Sorry. Line that was .
[00:04:44] Lion Goodman: That’s alright. It was quite a shock anyway. Nobody was hiring people with degrees in consciousness studies, so I didn’t know what the hell to do. Uh, and I thought about going back to graduate school or maybe e even getting into medical school.
[00:04:56] but nothing seemed right cuz I was, had this open mind of exploring everything. . so I just took a job that I could, which was being in sales. I started selling, I actually started a mail order catalog called the Quintessence Catalog of Consciousness Tools. And since I knew nothing about business, that failed in two years.
[00:05:16] Lion Goodman: And so then I went on the road selling. , whatever I could, jewelry and gift items, just to sort of get, get the travel bug outta me Sure. And explore the world. So I traveled a bunch of states between Colorado and California, until I realized, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, . So I was kind of lost.
[00:05:34] I was having a good time, you know, uh, being a hippie salesman. but, uh, it wasn’t until, I picked up a guy whose car had broken down in the Mojave Desert. and after three days of traveling with me, he pulled out a gun and shot me four times in the head. And that was really the, the key turning point for my life.
[00:05:56] Zach White: let’s just back up a second here. You’re traveling around doing sales. You, pick up a gentleman, hitchhiker. Where are you when this is happening? Is in
[00:06:07] Lion Goodman: Mojave Desert? Yeah. I was in the Mojave Desert. His car had broken down. Okay. And I was a good Samaritan and I’d stop and help people on the road cause I was on the road and I was just a nice guy.
[00:06:17] Sure. And so I stopped to help him and he said, oh, my car’s broken down and uh, just put $200 into it. And I, I don’t know what’s wrong. I said, well, I’m heading into la do you wanna ride? And he ended up traveling with me for three days cuz he had nothing better to. and I was nice to him. I gave him clothes and showed him some books and, grew to trust him and sent him on errands to gas up the car or wash the car, that kind of thing.
[00:06:39] And then at night we’d camp out somewhere in the, in the middle of nowhere. Oh man. And so the third night out I was in the back of the van, moving things around cuz it was very crowded. It was like a small rv. and he was in the front of the van and suddenly there was an explosion. And I felt something hit me in the.
[00:06:56] and I thought maybe the gas stove had exploded. So I looked up and the gas stove was intact, and I looked to my left and there he was with a gun pointing at me from the front seat. I realized he had shot me. Oh my goodness. It was a bit of a wake up call.
[00:07:11] Zach White: A a bit feels like an understatement line.
[00:07:14] So four. How do you survive that? Did what did they glance? Was it just a local caliber weapon? It didn’t penetrate the skull. Like, um, I can’t even fathom this.
[00:07:26] Lion Goodman: So the first bullet hit me, I didn’t know what had happened. It felt like somebody hit me over the head with a metal bat or something. And at first, I, was completely shocked. And I, I said, are you shooting at me ? Like, like, duh, you know? and then he shot again. And at first I thought he was warning me that he was just gonna take my stuff and leave me naked out in the desert, which would’ve been fine.
[00:07:49] At that point. I said, you know, it’s all yours. You can have it all. And I wasn’t attached to any of it. and then when he shot again, I realized, no, he’s, he’s not just warning me, he’s gonna kill me. Oh my goodness. So at that point, I had to decide, okay, I’m a sitting duck. He’s 10 feet away. there’s, I can’t defend myself, right?
[00:08:06] I guess I’m gonna die. I guess this is my time. I was 26 years old and I thought, well, okay, maybe, maybe that’s why I couldn’t see my future is because this was my. . And so I began to pray and connect with source, uh, in the way that I had been trained to do. And I was filled with this golden love light, and I was just, I was just flowing through me and I, I thought I didn’t want to die with, with any anger or upset or unfinished business.
[00:08:34] So I went back through my past and forgave everyone that had ever hurt me, including him, and asked for forgiveness of those I had. and by this time I was floating outside my body. I was in this golden light. I was looking down at this little band, and he shot again. Uh, and the, the second and third bullets missed me by fractions of an inch.
[00:08:54] Um, and so I was kind of amused, looking down, going, isn’t have an amusing event that’s happening down there. and I was really in this very expanded state and both expanded in time and space, and I could see the path of the next bullet coming through, hitting me in the temple and blowing my brains out.
[00:09:10] And I went, oh, okay. You know, this is the end. That’s all right. I’m going home. , it wasn’t a big deal for me. Wow. It was, it was a very peaceful place. and he shot the fourth time and my head was thrown violently to the right and blood was dripping down and I was back inside my body and I thought, that’s weird.
[00:09:27] I’m supposed to be outta my body, but I’m back here. And I had studied anatomy and physiology and, physical training and that kind of thing, so I was checking out my body. I figured, well, if the bullet went through, there’s gotta be something missing in. Whole self, you know what? My thoughts seemed to be intact.
[00:09:45] My body seemed to be intact. I could feel everything I could, move everything. So at this point, I, I thought, well, I’m back in my body. I’m gonna die. I might as well at least look my assassin in the eyes. Cause I was, I was perpendicular to him. and so I turned my head to the left and looked at him and he freaked.
[00:10:07] and he said, why aren’t you dead, man? You’re supposed to be dead. And I didn’t have a good answer for that question, . So I just said, here I am. And he said, that’s too weird, man. It’s too weird. It’s just like my dream this morning. I said, what dream? And he said, I dreamt that I was shooting at this guy and he wouldn’t die.
[00:10:23] But it wasn’t you. It was somebody else in the dream. And at this point I, I think to. Who’s writing this script and how did I get into the movie without signing a contract, you know? So, um, so I thought, well, okay, here we are. We’re in this weird situation. So I began talking to him. I figured if I could talk to him, maybe he wouldn’t shoot me again, and I didn’t know what kind of gun he had.
[00:10:47] Maybe it was a clip, maybe it was. You know, a cylinder. there were at least two more bullets that, that he could shoot me with. But if I, if I could just control him with my voice and very soft, even voice, maybe I could settle him down. Cause he was jumping around looking out windows and we were in the middle of nowhere.
[00:11:04] nobody would’ve come near it if they could hear it. So this began to cut a very long story short, an eight hour conversation. No way.
[00:11:15] Zach White: Yeah. . So you’re bleeding horizontal in the back of your van for eight hours, chatting with your wouldbe assassin, and then end up surviving. And, and I don’t know how many times you told this story, but here we are hearing this, like, wow, this is, that’s just amazing.
[00:11:40] I know to your point, we don’t have eight hours to recap that whole conversation, but if you had to boil it down to, you know, what happened in those eight hours, what’s the
[00:11:50] Lion Goodman: cliff note? Um, first of all, my story’s been published widely. It’s available on my website and a, a film award-winning film was made based on my story.
[00:11:59] So yes, I’ve told the story many times, many different ways. The bottom line is that it, I realized that I had been transformed and he had also been transformed. He started showing care. So I started, I was asking him open questions. You are an expert in asking questions. So I was trying to get him to talk and get him to care and at one point he let me out of the van and, we walked down this pond and he kind of held out the gun and he said, what would you do if I gave you this gun?
[00:12:27] And I said, I’d throw it into the. and he said, you wouldn’t shoot me. You, you wouldn’t try to kill me. I said, no, why should I, I’ve got my life. You’ve got yours. And he looked at me with a very strange look in his face and he said, man, you are the weirdest person I’ve ever met. . And I, I knew that was true , and I was probably the weirdest person he would ever meet.
[00:12:47] So we negotiated and talked and negotiated and talked, and we finally agreed to let each other go. I would let him go and not turn him in. He would let me go and he, he promised to never do anything like that. . And so we parted. We actually shook hands and I went and took myself to the hospital where the doctor informed me that two bullets had glanced off my skull.
[00:13:11] Zach White: Wow, lion. Let me pause for a moment and simply acknowledge. You know, you, the, the power of that story, your life, the amazing impact you’ve had since then in the world and continue to have today. And in a way I feel ill-equipped, like where do you go from there? It’s such a powerful moment and um, thank you for sharing that and I’m so glad that you were protected in that situation and it sounds like transformed a life in the process.
[00:13:41] And, and I’d love to. What he went on to go and do in the world. I, I hope and pray that it’s something extraordinary with the gift of a second chance that you gave him. Do you have any idea, were you ever in contact again or did he look you up
[00:13:53] Lion Goodman: or Nope. Nope. I’m kind of glad he didn’t. . Yeah, .
[00:13:58] Zach White: I think I would be too, but man, that’s just amazing.
[00:14:02] So as hard as it is to transition from that moment here you are. you actually moved into some work that’s really near and dear to the heart of engineering leaders and myself, for your first true career after that. So you want to tell us about where you went and how you got hooked up with coaching and, uh, executive search and all that work.
[00:14:23] Lion Goodman: Sure. Uh, first of all, I didn’t want to travel anymore, so dust in a while. Equation , I could imagine. So I was looking for a job in la I that’s where we ended up. And, uh, a headhunting company offered me a job and I went, yeah, sure. I, I don’t know anything about it, but I’ll try it.
[00:14:43] And that began a 25 year career in recruiting and headhunting, and I moved from contingency recruiting to retained search. And, uh, over those years, started my own company, turned it into a dollar boutique firm. and we specialized in healthcare informatic. and high level consulting and, a few other technical and, uh, marketing realms.
[00:15:08] and we were really good. And I was really good because I could read people. Yes. Now what I realized after that incident was that I thought I was psychic, but I was clearly not psychic if I didn’t know what he was up to. , I was not psychic, but I still could read people and I could match people based on who they were.
[00:15:30] Lion Goodman: Mm-hmm. Not just what their resume was. Cause I looked at over a hundred thousand resumes during that time You know, everybody had this, had an objective at the top of the resume at the time, and everybody’s objective essentially came down to I want to have more money and more fun . So, so I realized, all right, we’re all, we’re all the same, you know?
[00:15:49] so even during that time I was exploring consciousness because based on my experience, the primary belief I am, my body changed. I am not my body. Clearly I’m not my body. Cause I was outta my. And it had Mm, and I was still awake and alive. So, I began studying beliefs and psychology and consciousness even more deeply at night and on weekends.
[00:16:12] Okay. So I took over, over a hundred workshops and trainings in self-development and consciousness and psychology. Brilliant to further educate myself as well as, shaman practices and, spiritual practices. So I was really putting a life together. Got married, had a kid, you know, did the, did the householder thing.
[00:16:32] Uh, and finally when the dot bomb happened, uh, my head hunting business went down the tubes. By the way, it’s kind of ironic that I had my head hunted and then I became a head hunter. Gotcha.
[00:16:43] Zach White: I wasn’t gonna say that, but it did cross my mind. wasn’t sure if that was an appropriate joke to make. . I’m glad you made
[00:16:49] Lion Goodman: it.
[00:16:50] Yeah. Oh, and uh, so the dot bomb happened. All my clients went away. You know, there were the people available. They didn’t need head hunters anymore, so I was. , like, what do I do now? my whole careers down the tubes. and what I really loved all of that time was the consulting that I was doing to leaders.
[00:17:09] Sure. Helping them find the right kinds of people, building their teams. And so I turned to coaching. and I became a coach I was using everything I had learned about myself and about consciousness and psychology along with the standard career kind of counseling. And I had a really big impact on people because some people said, oh, I wanna find a job that does this and this.
[00:17:30] I said, but that’s, that’s not who you are. And they kind of realized, oh my God, that’s not who I am. . Yes. I’m just stuck in a loop. during that time, I realized that beliefs were at the core of everything. . Now, most people think of beliefs as an intellectual concept or construct like I believe this or I believe that.
[00:17:50] and that’s not what they are. They’re actually the infrastructure of the human mind. In the same way that neurons are the infrastructure of the brain, beliefs are the infrastructure of the mind. We put together our mind based on the conclusions and the patterns that we identify. hold onto and label in order to survive.
[00:18:11] Lion Goodman: So even a baby in the womb is picking up patterns. Uh, the baby can recognize the mother’s voice when they come out of the womb because they’re recognizing the pattern. And this pattern identification system becomes our belief system. But patterns and beliefs are not just ideas or mental they’re made of experience. And our experience is multidi dimens. we see here, feel, touch, smell. I identify people’s energies, micro movements of the face signals information. And so, uh, the whole nervous system is based on this very wide spectrum of input that we bring in and search for patterns.
[00:18:51] Yes, brain likes, patterns. So it can sort and find out and we eventually, we, we learn language, which is. Belief structure, right. That we can communicate across. And so our work is to clear beliefs, we have to clear them at the multi-dimensional level, not just the mental level. Mm-hmm. And a lot of belief clearing happens at the mental level.
[00:19:12] We’ll just change your belief. Just believe something else. Yeah. Or do this, do this affirmation a hundred times and eventually it’ll take, but it doesn’t because you have to clear it out. Complet. from the mind in order to free it from the free, the pattern from the system.
[00:19:30] Zach White: So lion this, let me back up one step.
[00:19:33] Being an engineer, I really appreciate the precision of your words around this, and I wanna come back to a couple of definitions and distinctions for myself and for the engineering leader listening. Make sure that we’re on the same page. So a lot of times what I hear from a. pop culture coaching audience is an interchangeable use of words like your thoughts, your beliefs, an idea, conviction.
[00:20:00] You know, that they kind of merge the whole realm of thought and the nervous system into this one wishy-washy thing. Maybe then distinguishing between conscious thought and subconscious or unconscious, patterns or processes of your nervous system. So, c can you come back then? Just redraw the boundary for us of what is an idea, which I see engineering leaders, especially living in the idea of the intellect and the ideas of our mind, the thinking versus what is a belief or a belief system.
[00:20:32] Where’s the. The line. Can you make that clear for us
[00:20:36] Lion Goodman: again? Sure. Well, um, engineers would love clear distinctions. Yes. The problem is, is that consciousness is what looks at the world and makes distinctions from the world. So when you start looking at consciousness, with consciousness, it’s gets very slippery.
[00:20:55] It’s sort of like when you put great point, try to look at a mirror with a mirror, you know, you get those infinite regressions, right? So, language is a system for communication and it’s an abstraction from experience. So I, somebody points out a dog when I’m a, a child says, oh look, a dog eat. Dog goes bow wow.
[00:21:16] And enough of that, and I start identifying the dog as an animal that’s called dog. It’s a word applied to the animal. The animal’s an infinitely complex creatures just like we are. It’s got its own personality in its own senses, in its own world that it lives in, right? But as soon as we put a label on it, dog, now I don’t have to get to know the animal.
[00:21:40] I can just identify it with the abstraction of the word. language is a belief structure. That animal is called dog right now. Another animal walks by and the child says, doggy. And mother says, no, that’s a cow. Cows go, Moo doggies. Go bow. Wow. Okay, now, now I have a distinction. Yes, but again, I haven’t gotten to know the animal from direct experience.
[00:22:06] I’ve gotten to know the label. All of the things you were talking about thought I did. Consciousness subconscious. These are all labels for a highly complex multi-dimensionality of consciousness. It is multi-dimensional. We’re multi-dimensional beings. Yeah, multi-dimensional experiences, but we can label certain parts of the multi-dimensional universe and put it in a box and call it something.
[00:22:34] Now that has a lot of very practical use. Look at what we’ve created with language and engineering and storytelling and the ability to communicate Very complex Yes. Concepts, with number and, and language. . But when you start examining consciousness, it’s not so simple. how do we talk about multidimensionality in a way that’s not multidimensional?
[00:22:58] Sure. We have to put it in the box. Sure. It’s sort of like saying, you know, what’s God? Well, as soon as I start talking about God and I have to use language to minimize what that is, in a way to communicate it to you, because there’s an experience of God and then there’s the talk. . Right.
[00:23:16] Zach White: This is a brilliant way to approach that, and I feel it in myself even as you’re talking now that engineering circuitry in me wants to, you know, well, but there’s got to be a set of words that properly define the thing we’re talking about, right?
[00:23:31] There’s a natural pull towards that. And I love what you said, if you use. Consciousness to seek to understand the consciousness. That’s a slippery slope. The mirror mirror pictures is a perfect one. So help us then, lion, as we unpack this and as you do the work you do. Now, you know, maybe I’ll take a pragmatic angle of the question because of that difficulty to put boundaries and distinctions in place on something that is truly complex and multi-dimensional.
[00:24:04] We may never come up with the right words to, to fully describe or understand it. How do we then use the understanding we have and actually create the change and get value from what we know about consciousness?
[00:24:18] Lion Goodman: Well, you may know that the statistician George Box said all models are wrong and some are useful.
[00:24:25] Yes. Brilliant. So we, we have to apply a model that is useful and. The model will make our language and our ability to communicate practical. And we can model consciousness. We can model psychology, we can model beliefs, we can model how the world works, physics and chemistry and biology. and then use language to describe it and then make practical use of it.
[00:24:50] So these are useful, wrong models. So which of the useful wrong models would you like to talk about? . .
[00:24:57] Zach White: Yeah. Well, For the sake of today. I know we had mentioned before we hit record that there would be some benefit of seeing some of this in practice and so maybe, you know, call it dealer’s Choice Lion. If you were going to present a model and then how it might be applied and we could do some practice or a demonstration of that right now, where would you take us?
[00:25:20] What’s an easy place
[00:25:20] Lion Goodman: to begin? Well, one of my favorite models of consciousness is to think of the. The sun is radiating in all directions, right, with its light, multiple frequencies, heat, light, things we can’t see and can’t feel, and, but they’re out there and we can measure them with, with our instrumentation.
[00:25:40] we’re made of the same stuff as the sun, hydrogen, hydrogen, you know, the, the same chemical makeup of everything, the earth, us fish, birds, sun stars. We are made of star stuff as, uh, , as was said. Awesome. . so consciousness is also everywhere in the same way. That space is everywhere. Time is everywhere and matter and energy are more concentrated in certain ways, but consciousness is another fundamental.
[00:26:14] Lion Goodman: It can’t be said to be something else other than what it is, which is consciousness awareness. So we are also made of consci. now in the same way we have the, that light of awareness coming out of us and we can direct that light of awareness. the word attention comes from the Latin odd 10 meaning to stretch toward.
[00:26:35] So we can stretch our attention toward something or someone, and then we have experience from that stretching toward now. If that’s all that there was, we would all have a complete, pure. , and valid experience of whatever we’re attending to. And that would be groovy. And every once in a while, someone has one of those experiences.
[00:26:59] You’re looking at something and suddenly you’re absorbed by it and yes, become it. And it’s kind of a, an awakening experience. Uh, but that’s not how it happens most of the time. Most of the time we’re looking through a filter. Mm-hmm. . So imagine a lens in front of our consci. and that filter when we’re born is pretty open and, and we can see clearly through it, but then we start getting programmed with belief.
[00:27:23] your name is Johnny. You’re gonna grow up to be a big, strong engineer. . Yes. Okay. Uh, we’re a family, right? And so that, that lens starts getting filled up with the beliefs that are of our parents, the beliefs of our siblings, the beliefs of our friends, then our teachers, then our culture, then our religion, and that lens starts getting very crowded and starts darkening like a cataract in the eye.
[00:27:49] Lion Goodman: And so now we can only see certain things through that lens. We still have pure awareness, but it’s getting filtered, both filter outward and inward. we see the things that line up with our filter, just like sunglasses filter out certain frequencies. so we only see certain things based on our beliefs, and we also become, you know, what we see.
[00:28:11] So we develop our own personality out of those beliefs. Yes. So this is the process. How consciousness works as a model for why beliefs get in the way of our lives.
[00:28:25] Zach White: Hmm. The quick follow up to that, you mentioned, you know, we are emitting, uh, in a way that energy we’re also receiving through that. It’s being filtered as things are coming into our awareness.
[00:28:40] Is it fair to say that the lens is always the same in terms of the filtering of what comes in and the projection of what goes out, or is it different meaning, you know, as we emit it’s passing through a different set of beliefs than what’s coming in? I’m curious your perspective.
[00:29:02] Lion Goodman: It operates both ways.
[00:29:03] That set of beliefs both creates who we are, how we show up, how we respond to the world, and it also filters what we can see and what we can’t see. Okay. So, that’s actually the leverage point. If you could change the beliefs that make up that filter. , you could change your experience. You could change who you are.
[00:29:21] You could change how you respond. You could change how you feel. You could change who you can relate to. You could change your politics. You could change your religion, you could change your spirituality. So that is the key leverage point in this perfecting of the human being.
[00:29:37] Zach White: Hmm, the power of beliefs in engineering.
[00:29:41] You have really interesting statement of almost. For many, uh, a paradox or dichotomy that doesn’t belong together. We tend to academically lie and use words like, what, what is a fact? What is true or what’s observable? The idea of what do you believe would almost be brushed off as who cares? Like it’s not about what you believe lion.
[00:30:06] It’s about what’s real. It’s about what’s true. So help us as engineer. to reconcile that idea of the role beliefs play versus the notion of something that is a hard fact or what’s real. Can you address that?
[00:30:24] Lion Goodman: Uh, absolutely and I love that question because I am a total fan of science and reproducibility and facts and all that.
[00:30:32] But from a belief perspective, a fact is a generally accepted. , okay. Uh, light can be split by a prism into the rainbow colors. That’s a fact, right? We all agree that that can be, you can reproduce it, so that becomes a fact, but it’s a belief actually. It only shows us a very tiny fragment of the light spectrum.
[00:30:55] Our experience is we see the light spectrum, but we don’t see all the rest. We’re not seeing in the x-ray spectrum where the microwave spectrum, but it’s there. Now we know that those things exist and we can create instrumentation to see it. But when you take a fact and you start breaking it apart, it’s actually a small bit of belief matter that has formed or hardened into a a fact that everybody shares.
[00:31:22] Okay. When you start really digging down, you go, oh my God, it’s beliefs all the way down . Okay. Yeah, I like that. But, but science has actually taken us out of that old, myth based and belief based structures of religion and culture. And thank God if there’s a God , thank God it has, because it’s given us the world.
[00:31:47] It’s given us this world. Right. and so, . When people talk about beliefs, they tend to talk about religious beliefs or political beliefs that aren’t fact-based. Science is a fact-based belief structure. This is how it should work. How many brilliant engineers have said, well, just because it hasn’t worked before doesn’t mean it won’t work this time, or just because these are the rules.
[00:32:12] Maybe there’s a way to break the. or let’s invent something that nobody’s ever invented before in order to gain more understanding of the universe. Hmm. Right. So you either have sort of a fixed belief system or you have an open belief system where anything is possible and now let’s figure out how to do it.
[00:32:32] Zach White: So you highlighted that the point of leverage is right there. It’s, it’s beliefs all the way down , we all have our lens. how do we become aware of what is the belief on the lens versus what’s passing through from the other side of the lens?
[00:32:50] and then maybe the follow up is then how do we change it? And I know we don’t have time today to go through all of Lion’s Incredible work. I mean, if, if the person listen, he wants to know more, like, go talk to Lion and pursue this, we’ll share those resources in a minute. but what’s the way to get clarity of what’s actually on the lens versus passing, passing through?
[00:33:11] Lion Goodman: My favorite way of. doing that is called the belief self-diagnosis. Where you ask you take a topic like science and you say, what do I believe about science? And you start, you ask that question and write down what you, something you believe and they say, what else do I believe about science? And you write that down.
[00:33:29] What else do I believe about science? You write that down and you keep asking the question over and over and over again. And then you look at the list after you’ve exhausted your mind with, a long list and you say, is that really. has it always been true or is it partially true? Uh, cuz science keeps evolving and, and we keep discovering new facts and new, new ways of, so every belief we have was true at a time.
[00:33:56] in some context, but it may not be true always. It may not be true in another dimension. It may not be true in, in the realm of spirituality, or it may not be true in the realm of, who knows ghosts, who knows . one of the beliefs of science is if you can’t see it and prove it, it doesn’t exist.
[00:34:11] Well, consciousness. Is tough to disprove because you have to look through those instruments Sure. With your consciousness. And you have to calculate your, your formulas with consciousness. So we know that consciousness exists, but you can’t touch it. Feel it? Mm-hmm. , identify it, put it in a box, label it or, or radiate it.
[00:34:30] Right? So what do we do with that? That’s the whole realm. Outside physical universe, that is another universe in some way, in some dimension, or. I don’t know what it is, , but I’m sure interested in finding out. So if you’re an engineer and you wanna go explore consciousness, come talk to me and we’ll, we’ll come up with no doubt some experiment, ,
[00:34:52] Zach White: no doubt.
[00:34:53] Well, and I think really this is an important point that every engineer faces at some stage of our journey, lion, is, there are things we are talking about, the simplest essence of the fact. Do have access to my own consciousness and that I’m, I’m able to think and I’m able to imagine and I’m able to, you know, use this faculty that can’t be seen, measured, et cetera.
[00:35:17] Opens the door to the fact that not everything is a, a quote unquote hard hard science.
[00:35:22] Lion Goodman: So let’s, let’s take another quick topic relationship. Sure. Please. Uh, relationships are, are very hard to quantify because we’re dealing with it. One complex human being in relationship to another hu complex human being.
[00:35:34] One of my favorite sayings is Life is simple. and then someone else walks in the room and it gets complicated. , , uh, I, I
[00:35:41] Zach White: say very similar things as jokes to my clients. You know, engineering and leadership is very easy until other people get involved, you know?
[00:35:48] Lion Goodman: Yes, exactly. . So, so we have to, so you can do the same thing with your beliefs about relationships.
[00:35:53] Let’s list them all down and see is this belief beneficial or is it detrimental to your relat?
[00:35:59] Zach White: Yes. So line, you had mentioned potentially doing a quick process in this conversation, and I know time is limited. Is that something you’re still open to doing?
[00:36:08] Lion Goodman: Yeah. And this is something that our listeners can go along with.
[00:36:11] awesome. So, beliefs create experience and experiences create beliefs. They’re somehow interwoven. uh, what I’d like you to do is to close your eyes for a minute and Sure. And feel what it feels like to hold the. There’s something wrong with me and I invite everybody to do this. Just say this to yourself as if it’s a hundred percent true and feel what it feels like to believe that.
[00:36:37] And Zach, what does that feel like to you?
[00:36:40] Zach White: There’s two things that I noticed right away. The the first one you is a almost violent reaction. Not wanting to believe it. Like, no, that that can’t be true. I don’t want that to be true. Mm-hmm. , and, and that was met with a, tense, tight energy in my neck. I actually felt my shoulders tighten up right as you said that line.
[00:37:06] But then the second, like right behind it as if the two thoughts were connected. , well, I wonder what it is. May, maybe it is true and there is something wrong.
[00:37:16] Lion Goodman: Mm-hmm. . And so when you say it to yourself, there’s something wrong with me. And try it on like you’re trying on an outfit of clothing, uh, at a store to see how it feels.
[00:37:25] And when you believe it. What does that feel like to believe it?
[00:37:30] Zach White: Gross. I don’t like it one bit.
[00:37:33] Lion Goodman: Mm-hmm. , do you notice any particular area of your body, that that feeling comes from.
[00:37:41] Zach White: There’s a weight on the front of my chest almost as if it’s pulling my sternum down. Mm-hmm. . my, my feet feel heavy heaviness in my whole body actually. And mm-hmm. , uh, shortness of breath.
[00:37:55] Lion Goodman: Good, good. And these are quite common, so everybody feels a little bit differently, but it, but that’s part of the common parlance of that particular bleach. Okay. So now take that off as if you tried on a suit of clothes that makes you feel that way and toss it to the side. And now try on a different belief.
[00:38:12] Feel what it feels like to hold the belief. I am a sacred and worthy being.
[00:38:24] Tell me what that feels like.
[00:38:29] Zach White: Yeah, it’s an empowering feeling. The picture on the kind of movie screen of my mind Lion was, more of a robe, a royalty being put on over my shoulders. Uh, you know, in, in my picture. It was put on by God. It’s just like, there it is on me. And standing tall. I actually noticed right when you said to throw off the other one that I took a nice deep inhale.
[00:38:53] You might have seen it too. I don’t know. Yes. But, yeah, there’s more energy. There’s a, a source within kind of waking me up.
[00:39:00] Lion Goodman: Beautiful. Now you can take that one off if you wish, or you can leave it on if you like it, cuz you’re always at choice about what you. . And so what you’ve done is you’ve demonstrated in a scientific experiment, almost anecdotal at least, that your beliefs create certain experiences.
[00:39:18] Yeah. And different beliefs create different experiences. So how is this useful? Well, I’ll tell a quick story. I, I walked into a party one night and I was excited about being there. It was gonna be a lot of people I knew. And as soon as I walked in the door, I felt. . I didn’t know what the hell was going on.
[00:39:36] I wanted to run out the door. But I, knew about beliefs, I knew about feelings. So I sat down right next to the front door and I closed my eyes I felt the feeling, cause you have to start with feeling it fully. Mm-hmm. and asked what belief are you? And what immediately came to mind was, I don’t belong.
[00:39:58] Now, I didn’t know what had stimulated that. That was an old belief that I had cleared many years before. But somehow it had gotten re stimulated. It might have been from the smell, it might have been from someone’s move body movement. It might have been from the sounds I was hearing or a voice got hearing, but something had stimulated that belief and now I was feeling it.
[00:40:19] And so I used my process of clearing that belief. I don’t belong here. And installing a new belief I belong. . I stood up and I was in a completely different party. People were warm and friendly and waving me over, and I, I had transported myself from one universe to another. That’s a practical use for this is asking what, starting with your experience and working your way back to the beliefs so that you can decide whether that’s belief serving you or not.
[00:40:47] Zach White: I’d love this and. Lion. We do some similar practices with our engineering clients that we work with at Oaco and showing them how practical, simple, powerful it can be. When you do, maybe you’re showing up for a big meeting, big presentation, and you catch yourself in that place with some panic or anxiety or fear about how this is going to go.
[00:41:13] To actually become aware how that’s showing up in the body, to then recognize I have a choice to think and believe and then feel and act differently in this situation. So for anybody who thinks this whole conversation is a bit woowoo, like the practical application of creating real results in the life that you dream about is astronomical, I just wanna echo and acknowledge the work that you do is so useful and to master that skill for yourself.
[00:41:40] The way you described you don’t. to go into a, an hour long psychotherapy session with your, coach or counselor to do this, you, can master some of these skills for yourself, I think is really tremendous. man, I would love to go on and on and on and I, there’s so much, but if there was one place outside of just kind of doing this quick to create evidence that this is true, but if there was a, a skill or a tool someone could use to start getting some me.
[00:42:08] benefit in their life. Is there something that you would start with or a simple low-hanging fruit tool or application of this that somebody might experiment with coming out of our chat today? .
[00:42:19] Lion Goodman: Well, I talked about the belief self-diagnosis process, and I include that in my pre eBooks, which is a way of getting to know your beliefs, uh, just uncovering and excavating all the beliefs that you’ve accumulated over your lifetime.
[00:42:32] And we have tens of thousands of beliefs that we’ve accumulated. Some are simple and don’t have much of a reaction like that’s a cat. Others are about the self and have a. impact, like, I’m no good or I’m worthless, or I’ll never succeed. Uh, and some are beneficial. I can figure out anything. And with enough study and practice can master anything.
[00:42:55] That’s a very positive belief. Yes. So by excavating and, and listing all the beliefs you have, you can begin looking at them and sorting them and recognizing which ones are beneficial to you, which ones are neutral. You don’t need to move those and which ones are, are interfering with your. and those are the ones you can concentrate on.
[00:43:13] Mm-hmm. . So that’s the easiest process I have. And then you can try on the beliefs just like we just did and feel what they feel like so you can recognize that feeling. So the next time it happens you can go, oh yeah, that’s that belief. Yeah, I’m little good at this and now I can process that and, and clear it.
[00:43:32] I love
[00:43:32] Zach White: that. I’ll just add to that statement. This does take work. It’s intentional, you must carve out the time do these processes and sit and. do the work on your mind, on your consciousness. It doesn’t just happen by listening to a podcast. So as much as maybe that’s not in service of people listening to the Happy Engineer Podcast, like I really want everyone to take away, this is something you need to carve out time and energy to go sit and do with.
[00:44:01] Purpose and, and using your attention intentionally to go and discover these things. So lion, where can people go to, you mentioned your resources like the eBooks, and you have, I know you’re actually an author. Several books people could go by and read What’s the best place for that engineering leader who’s with us today to go and plug in and learn more about you, your amazing work and how they can tap into all.
[00:44:24] Lion Goodman: My personal website is lion goodman.com and under articles you can read my near death story actually at the end you can watch the movie that was made based on my story. and I have lots of articles, knee books there. If people are interested in belief change, they can go to clear beliefs.com.
[00:44:43] Zach White: Okay? I cannot recommend highly enough that people go check. This work because it was super fun and rewarding for me to dig in. And the application is truly limitless in creating the career you want, but also the lifestyle that you want. So Lion, thanks so much for sharing that with us. We’ll put all the links in the show notes for everybody to find quickly and easily.
[00:45:06] Please go check that out. Uh, it’s right there for you. Lion and concluding I. Getting curious with people about questions because questions lead and answers follow. That’s true for engineering. It’s true in great coaching and the amazing work that you do, and if someone wants to experience better answers, they want to get more of the good life, so to speak, they wanna see these transformations in their beliefs in their life.
[00:45:35] What would be the best question that you would lead them with?
[00:45:39] Lion Goodman: I like to use the question, when I’m in the middle of coaching and someone describes a particular belief or particular situation, my question is, how’s that working for you, ? Because if it’s not working , you might want to do something about it,
[00:45:55] The other question is, what belief are you asking from your experience? What belief are you. Demonstrated with my story and actually tracking back and seeing what the belief is and where it first came from, because every belief came from somewhere. It came from some experience, and by going back to its source, you can actually remember.
[00:46:19] What the situation was that caused you to first believe that it might have been someone telling you that you’re a piece of crap and you don’t, you’re a waste of space. It might have been a teacher that said you’ll never amount to anything. It might have been, being beaten as a kid and coming up with a conclusion.
[00:46:36] So the source material is really important and if we track back, we can always find the source to any. that we want to clear out. And then we have multiple processes for actually clearing them, all of which are really interesting and purely experiential. So
[00:46:52] Zach White: Oof. Yeah. Alright. More reason to go plug in with Lion and his work.
[00:46:56] What belief are you? I think that is super interesting. I’ll be doing that today as I notice and experience things and, and feel today th Thank you so much. Truly appreciate you, lion. Just wanna acknowledge you, the work that you’ve done, how you’ve taken your life experience and shaped it into a body of work that is changing and transforming lives.
[00:47:18] So thank you for what you do. such an honor to have you on today, and we’ll have to do it again sometime in the future.
[00:47:24] Lion Goodman: Thank you, Zach. True pleasure.