A Brilliant Bad-Ass Leader You Should Know [#4]

Author and Speaker, Rob YanokThis year, I’m once again introducing you to a few of my favorite peeps in an interview series called A Brilliant Bad-Ass Leader You Should Know. Each of these folks offer sage advice & provocative perspectives that will shake up your thinking so you can be your biggest, most-brilliant, successful self too.

Here’s the first 2019 Bad-Ass that needs to be on your radar: Rob Yanok.

Imagine being a world-renowned speaker & preacher known as a Possibilitarian who just happens to have a best-selling book titled, Your Ultimate Comeback, along with a few “hidden” tattoos under his straight-laced blazer & bow tie and you’ve got Rob.

Yep, Rob’s multi-faceted and super cool [father of five and huge dog lover too] which is why he’s launching this year’s Bad-Ass series.

Check out my quick interview with Rob.

AmyK:  Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?

Rob:  “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” Marcus Aurelius. And then I have one of my own quotes, “Creating abundance is not about creating a life of luxury for everybody on this planet; it’s about creating a life of possibility.”  #robberbs

AmyK: I’m sooo with you on this…prosperity preaching is not my cup of tea. Yes, money is a fantastic form of energy to make good things happen, however, more importantly to me, is our abundance in relationships, in service & generosity and with creating and being open to possibilities. A focus on becoming our best selves as we serve others can make us wealthy indeed. Was this something you learned early in life?

Rob: When I was younger I was always thinking about the future. Planning what I was going to do in the future. I wish I would have paid more attention to TODAY. The future looks to the past and says, “Carpe diem”—”Seize the day!” Thich Nhat Hanh said, “Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment.” 

AmyK: I love this, I agree with this and yet, I gotta admit, I still struggle with this too many days.  I turned 47 recently and am filled with this sense of urgency, this rush, and yet, when I slow down, when I breathe… it all seems easier, it all seems to flow better. What has keeping Thich Nhat Hanh’s quote in mind given you now?

Rob: I realize every moment of every day is a gift from God. I live life. I take in the moments, experiences, people, etcetera.  Eighteen times a minute I breathe, 25,920 times a day – FREE OF CHARGE by the way – and that is amazing to me. I want to make today count. Time is a precious gift. Time with my family, time with God, time with myself, and time helping people. What I do today – my future will thank me for it.

AmyK: In my keynotes I frequently say, “Life happens one conversation at a time and the quality of your life is a direct reflection of the quality of your conversations.” Who we are conversing with and connecting with today is crafting our life next week. What’s one more gem you can share right now to significantly ignite brilliance in someone’s biz or personal life? 

Rob: Jack London eloquently described life when he said: “I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy permanent plant. The proper function of man is to live, not exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them, I shall use my time.” Our greatest enemy is not death, but a life unlived! Live life passionately. Do your business passionately. Remember, nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm and passion wrinkles the soul!

AmyK: I can see why you’re a world celebrated speaker. I just got goosebumps. I feel blessed to have been given a passion at an early age. I love teaching & learning and it has fueled just about every moment of my professional path which is why to this day I still love what I do. I also know that some folks are still struggling to find their passion or have a passion, but can’t quite figure out how to pursue it. What’s one habit you might suggest they consider?

Rob: Well, If you don’t break the tensions of daily living they will break you! So I have created a daily habit of waking up every morning early to spend time in silence, prayer, meditation, and reading. I make sure my day begins with God and myself. I create a rhythm for my life by what I do first thing in the morning. My mornings used to be chaotic. Waking up rushing around, watching news on TV, that would set the pace for the rest of my day.  What I do now changes everything. C.S. Lewis once said, “The moment you wake up each morning, all your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists in shoving it all back, in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other, larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in.”  I think we need to get still in the morning and plot our day with discernment.

AmyK: In addition to morning stillness, what’s one thing you’re doing in 2019 to set yourself up for success?

Rob: Jim Rohn once said, “The greatest value in life is not what you get, but what you become.” You “become” by what you read, what you listen to and who you connect with. I make sure every day that I am reading motivational, inspirational, business and self -help books, listening to good podcasts and watching videos that inspire and motivate me. Then I make sure I connect with the right people in my life on a daily basis through coffee, or lunch, a video chat or phone call. Our lives move at the speed of relationships.

AmyK: Amen.

You can learn more about Rob, buy his book and start creating your very own ULTIMATE COMEBACK. Follow him at @robyanok.


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