#23: Jason Parker


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At age 3, Jason enrolled in his first skating class, and by age 6, he was playing in the youth hockey league. “It didn’t take long for everyone to notice – I was one of the fastest skaters on the team, and after seeing my sister come home with handful’s of shiny speed skating medals, I was inspired to try the sport myself.” Jason finished his first race in grand style; falling four times and finishing dead last – but that didn’t stop him – it FUELED his motivation and became an important life lesson (it doesn’t matter how many times you fall down, but how many times you get back up)! Jason rapidly improved, and at age 12, he competed in his first Canadian Championships!

20-plus years of training and commitment has rewarded Jason with hundreds of honors and successes. “I raced in 65 World Cups and 10 World Championships – over 130 international races overall.” (making Jason one of the most accomplished and experienced speed skaters in Canadian history).

Find out more about Jason Parker at:
wwww.jasonparkerspeaks.com

Stefan Aarnio: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the show Respect the Grind, with Stefan Aarnio. This is the show where we interview people who have achieved mastery and freedom through discipline. We interview entrepreneurs, athletes, authors, artists, real estate investors, anyone who’s achieved mastery and examined what it took to get there.
Today on my show, I have Jason Parker. He’s hailing from Alberta, Canada. Love Jason, he’s an Olympic silver medalist. I have so much respect for him. He is also like the mayor of the municipality he’s from, and got a book coming out. He does some coaching, some mastermind, some speaking. Jason, welcome to the show Respect the Grind. Thank you so much for joining me.

Jason Parker: Well, thanks a lot, Stefan, for having me.

Stefan Aarnio: Oh, I’ve got to say I love the title, he’s like the mayor. He’s like the mayor; what did you say, you were running for office again right now?

Jason Parker: Oh no, actually I got elected again in the fall for my municipality, and so take care of a whole bunch of residents. It’s just something that I kind of do on the side, and just another thing to contribute to the community and help make a difference.

Stefan Aarnio: That’s awesome. You’ve got to love what you do. Now Jason, for the people who don’t know you very much, or don’t know you well at home, can you tell the people at home a little bit about yourself so they know a bit about your story?

Jason Parker: Yeah, absolutely, and actually before I get into that, if it’s all right, I want to, you know, first I’m honored to be here and I wanted to make sure that I touch base and let people know that I know a lot of people have probably heard athletes speak before, and I don’t want this to be the Jason show. I want this to be like the Olympify your business, Olympify your life show, so I want this to be about you and your audience, and just try to give all the value I can to help take people to a higher level. That’s what everything is about when it comes to Olympifying.
So, the fact that you know your audience, that you are here listening to this, I assume that that means that they want to go to a higher level, that they want to be able to achieve something more. They either want to be able to improve their business, or even actually go to another level in life, am I right?

Stefan Aarnio: Absolutely, I mean this show is mostly listened to by entrepreneurs, real estate investors. I’m sure a lot of those people are also athletes, you know, artists, authors. I mean, I’m sure a lot of renaissance men and women, multi-talented people, listen to this show, but I’m think one thing everybody wants is they want mastery. They want to go to the next level. You know, it’s one of the things that people are always looking for. I think they’re never going to stop looking for the next level, you know? No matter what technology does or what society does, people always want to be the top of their game.

Jason Parker: Yeah, awesome, so then we’re going to be a really great, great fit here. I mean, because all I want to be able to do is to be able to provide value to help, what I refer to as Olympify, and take people to that next level. So when I talk about Olympify, I mean going to the highest levels. I work with high performers and high achievers and help them to become top achievers, just like what I did in my sport.
The one thing that I want to be very clear with is that my responsibility is to the audience and to the people that follow me and the people that follow you. I know that the people that follow you have a great deal of respect for what you’re doing, and so in that process, I may piss off some people, fellow athletes and that sort of thing, because I’m going to be talking about some things that may be counter intuitive. A friend of mine, James Bledmore, he calls things a hashtag backwards, so I’m going to be thinking about some things, ways of thinking, that may be different than what people are used to. Does that sound cool?

Stefan Aarnio: I want the controversy, Jason. Bring it, man, let’s hear it. You know, it’s the world of Internet, the world of content, the world of podcast is always better when it’s spicy, so you know, make it spicy, make it interesting. One of the things people love about the show is that although I do hit some questions over and over again with some people, mostly it’s organic, you know? So, if you’ve got some interesting things, make it spicy for the people at home. I want Jason Parker to be the number one most favorite episode of this podcast.

Jason Parker: All right, well, I’ll do my best. Well, and so like I said, a lot of people have probably heard athletes and Olympians speak before, and I don’t want this to be motivational. I want to actually give you some solid content, but I will obviously share a lot of stories and things, but all the stories that I will share, I will build a bridge and make sure that it is implementable in business, and helping you take your business to the next level, helping you to take your life to the next level.
So with that, yeah, so I guess my background is I grew up in Saskatchewan. I was born and raised in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. I was a hockey player growing up. There was no such thing as speed skating. I was one of the fastest hockey player on my team, but I didn’t have very good hands, and so I realized that I was never really probably going to make it to the NHL and make it to the highest levels. I came across this sport of speed skating and thought, you know, I always wanted to go to the Olympics. That was my dream, and so that’s kind of the route that it took me.
It had been a really interesting journey. I started when I was 11 years old, and like I said, there was no such thing as speed skating in Yorkton, so what I actually did is I had a video tape of the 1988 winter Olympics. What I’d do is I’d come home from school and I’d plug in that video tape, and I would watch the best speed skaters in the world perform. I’d close my eyes, and I would imagine and I would visualize what it would feel like to skate with them. I’d imagine, visualize that, and I’d go downstairs in my basement where I had these mirrors set up on the wall, and I would recreate that feeling that I had visualized by watching those best skaters.
I in essence actually taught myself how to speed skate. I didn’t have a coach, I didn’t have teammates, and I didn’t have a place to train. I would race against my fellow competitors on the weekends. I would travel to race, and so from there that’s how I got my sport and kind of got going with my sport of speed skating. Kind of the takeaway from that is that what I want people to know is that where there is a will, there’s a way.
You know, we’ve all heard that before, and I had a desire that I wanted to go to the Olympics, and I chose speed skating and no matter what, I was going to figure out a way to get there. It wasn’t an easy journey by any means. I missed the Olympics three times. I was the alternate for four different events, and so I’m sure what you can imagine is, you train with people. You train for 20 years of your life and spend up to six to eight hours a day, six days a week, 11 months out of the year to achieve one specific goal. You see that goal just lost in the dash of a second.
One of the Olympics I missed by 7/100 of a second, and one of them I missed because I got really sick before Olympic trials. It was devastating, the fact that I had to watch my teammates, the people I grew up with and trained with, I had to watch them achieve my Olympic dream. But the bottom line for that is that you know, we have to listen to what we have inside. You know, there was something inside me, even though I had family members and friends that were saying, “Hey, you know, when are you going to give up on this dream? You keep on being devastated. You know, this is 12 years of Olympics that you have missed. When are you going to quit and grow up and get a real job?”
Basically, there was something inside of me that was telling me that I had something more that I wanted to accomplish, and that I was meant for more. My last year, that’s when things kind of came together and I made a lot of realizations. So that’s, you know, when it comes to business, when it comes to achieving anything, I’m a big believer, I do not believe in failure. For those of you that are listening to this, you might want to write this down, is that there is no such thing as failure. The only way, there’s only two ways that you can fail in my books.
The only way you can fail is either if you fail to learn, so if you keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result, that’s the definition of insanity. We’ve all heard that, so if you fail to learn from your mistakes, or if you quit, and so those are the only two ways I believe that failure exists. In my mind, if there’s something that you want to achieve, there’s something you want to go after, if you want to go to a higher level, there’s certain things that you need to do to be able to get there. We can maybe touch on that a little bit later, but I have a formula for kind of the things that you need to do to go there.

Stefan Aarnio: Wow, so Jason, one thing I’ve got to always ask, man. I mean, I had Mark McKoy on this show. He was a hurdler, a gold medalist in the 90s, and you know, things like track and field, things like speed skating, things like biathlon, these are, like my parents used to say to my brother, he wanted to be a wakeboarder or a snowboarder, and we didn’t have money. We were a house poor, lower middle class family, and like to be a wakeboarder, you need a $250,000 boat. My mom would say, “Well look, Nick, why don’t you go be a rower? You could get in the Olympics.” And for my brother, you know, the glamour of wakeboarding was more powerful than the idea of being an Olympian. You know, like right now we’re in the hockey playoffs as we’re filming this, and like Winnipeg is playing I think tonight against National Predators.

Jason Parker: Tonight.

Stefan Aarnio: Yeah dude, representing Canada. Everyone’s like, “Oh, hockey’s so awesome, hockey’s so awesome.” You know, out of all the things, why speed skating, man? I mean, speed skating, I used to be a volleyball player. Volleyball has no glamour. There’s no NBA of volleyball. Speed skating; why speed skating, of all things?

Jason Parker: I kind of fell into it, actually. In 1986, Yorkton hosted the Saskatchewan winter games, and my mom was involved very heavily in the organization of the event. To be able to, in hosting the event they wanted to have people participate in all the different sports, and so Yorkton, they actually started a speed skating club in Yorkton and my sister, who was a figure skater, she started speed skating. She actually did really well, and actually she competed directly against somebody named Catriona Le May Doan, which you probably are familiar with. Your listeners that are around the world, she’s actually a two-time Olympic gold medalist in speed skating.

Stefan Aarnio: Wow.

Jason Parker: My sister raced against her every year, and she didn’t beat Catriona, but she competed against her and she did very well. Basically, she would come home every weekend with these medals. I was an 11-year-old hockey player, and like I said, I wasn’t that great a hockey player. I just saw an opportunity. She was winning these medals. I’m like, “Man, I want to win medals, too.” That’s kind of how I got into it, and my first race was in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
I went out there, and so I had the hockey player mentality. I wanted to go there, and I wanted to badly to win my first race. I thought, “You know, how cool a story would this make if I actually won?” I was freaking out, I was scared out of my mind. My heart was just like jumping out of my chest and was just pounding, and I had butterflies. My family was in the stands. You know, my sister was there watching, my older brother was there watching. I had met this cute girl earlier on at the competition before, you know, so she was up there watching, too.
I get out to the starting line, and just did not know what to expect. I had these crazy long blades on that I hadn’t really worn very much, and so I go to the start line, and the gun goes off. I got off to a really good start, and actually I was winning my first race. It was incredible. I thought, “This is insane, my dream’s coming true.” I get into the first corner, and this was in short track. I get into the first corner, and I never realized how hard it was to skate on those blades, you know? Now, the blades that I skate on in my career, 17 ½ inches long, but when I was a kid obviously they weren’t that big, but still, they were a lot different than a hockey skate.
I get into that first turn, and what do you think happened? Well, I crashed. You know, I bang, hammered into the boards, and I got up and still had the desire to win my first race, so I got up and took off as fast as I could going down the straightaway, and got to the next corner, and I crashed again and so got up. The race was two laps. There’s four corners. I fell four times and I came dead last, so that was my first experience with speed skating.
This was a really kind of unique lesson. There was a lot of lessons that came out of this, and actually I’ve come up with 11 lessons I learned from my first race that I can actually help you make massive amounts of money. If your audience is interested in anything like that, I can give you a download for that and we can do that sometime, or at the end, or put in the show notes or whatever. I learned a couple, a number of really, really key lessons from that first race. The first one is, let me ask you, how do you fall four times and still finish the race? What have you got to do?

Stefan Aarnio: You’ve just got to get back up.

Jason Parker: Yeah, and I know it’s a really simple lesson, but it’s a lesson that a lot of people forget, because you know in life, in business, we fall down a lot. We hit the boards hard a lot of times. I know that probably you’ve experienced that. I’ve heard some of your story. I know your first house, you know, you fell down hard but you kept getting back up, and that’s the thing. Business, life, sport, it’s not always easy, but I look at these things as that, well, let me really throw you a curve ball here.
I’ll tell you that, you know, a lot of people think that winning an Olympic medal is hard, and I’m actually here, and this is one of those things, those hashtag backwards things, that a lot of my fellow athletes will probably be not very happy with me for saying, but I think actually winning an Olympic medal was easy.

Stefan Aarnio: Why is that? Is that because you trained and prepared so well that you had all the preparation done and it was just easy like that, was that it?

Jason Parker: No, look at it from this point of view, is that I got to do something that I was passionate about. I got to do something I loved. I had the opportunity of representing my country for 12 years, at 75 world cups and world championships around the world. I got to stand on the Olympic podium with a sense of pride of having achieved something, a goal that I set when I was 11 years old.
The summer before that Olympics, I had just finished my third training camp and I was mentally, physically, emotionally, I was just destroyed. Our coaches were just hammering us so hard, and I came to a breaking point. This was June of 2005, so just before the Olympics that February. I was supposed to go to another training camp in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. My bag was sitting on the ground, and I just could not bring myself to put any clothes into that bag, because I had thought I’d given everything that I had to give. I was just at my end and I just thought, “You know what? I think I’m done. I don’t think I can go on anymore.”
I broke down and I cried. I started thinking like, “Man, I’ve had this amazing career. I’ve won these world cup and world championship medals, and I just don’t think I can do it anymore.” My wife, she was my fiancée at the time, came in and she asked, “What’s wrong?” She’d never heard me cry. She’d never heard anything like that. I explained to her and she’s like, “You know what? Yeah, I totally support you. You have had an amazing career,” and so I am very blessed to have an amazing wife.
You know my wife very well, and she has one of the biggest hearts. She’s one of the smartest people, one of the most giving people, and she actually had one of the biggest impacts of my life in this moment, that I’m going to share with you right now. She told me, she said, “You know what, Jason? I absolutely support you. You have had an amazing career, but will you ever look back on your life and wonder what if?”

Stefan Aarnio: Oh, oh, this is the moment.

Jason Parker: What if? You know, “What if you would have gone to that training camp and not given up on that dream? Would you ever look back on your life with regret?” The question was, absolutely, so just to bring this all back to how I said that going to the Olympics and winning an Olympic medal was easy, it is easy because it is a lot easier to go through that six to eight hours a day, six days a week, you know, for 20 years, dedicated. The things that we did to our bodies, people cannot even imagine. We are pushing ourselves on the brink on a daily basis of vomiting. We are doing everything we can to basically break down our bodies and build it back up, but that was easier than what it would be like on my death bed at the end of my life and wondering, what if?
So from that day, I decided, you know what? “You’re absolutely right,” and then I made a huge realization, is that for most of my career I was focused on why I wanted to go to the Olympics, why I wanted to have that experience, why I wanted an Olympic medal. It was then that I realized, it’s not about me. It stopped being about me. I started thinking about, you know what? If I had that experience, think about the people I might be able to impact. Think about the difference I might be able to have. Think about the people I might be able to inspire to go to a higher level, and make more of a difference, and make more of a life for themselves, to Olympify their lives, instead of living a life of mediocrity, going to that higher level and really deciding and persisting and living life, as opposed to just trying to survive life.
And so thanks to my wife, I continued on and obviously you know the rest of the story. I did go to the Olympics. It did not happen the way I visualized it. It did not happen the way I envisioned it, but it happened none the same, so that is something that is huge. You know, people listening to this, if nothing, look at the fact of where, what you’re doing right now. Are you passionate about what you’re doing? Are you loving what you’re doing?
Now, if you’re in business, you should love what you’re doing, right? There’s nothing I love more than being on a stage in front of a group of people, being able to inspire them, being able to educate them, being able to give them lessons and things that I learned through my struggles, through the hardest times, the biggest challenges. There is nothing better than that, because right now I feel that we need people that are going to push us and challenge us to go to a higher level, because we hear about all this doom and gloom in our economy.
You know, I live in Alberta, and all we hear about is the oil and gas industry, and how the economy is in this terrible place and there’s all this unemployment, and the pipelines that the federal government isn’t allowing happen. All this stuff, it’s all doom and gloom. I believe that we can create our own economy through our own minds, through our own thoughts, through what we want to be able to create, and I want to live my life and I want to make a difference and an impact, and I know you do too, and that’s why you have me here today.

Stefan Aarnio: Mm-hmm (affirmative), now you said something really interesting in there Jason, and I love the words “what if,” you know? You said the pain of training, the pain of doing the six to eight hours a day, the pain of discipline there, is not as much as the pain of regret. Now, my book coach, Tammy Kling, who coaches me, I wrote two books in January. I’m now getting on my fifth book, sixth book this year, I might do seven, get up to seven this year, because I’m look a book Olympian over here.
She said to me, “Hey,” she got her intern to e-mail me. Her little intern said, “Stefan, we want a letter to your younger self,” and I blew off the intern. Then she called me herself and said, “I want a letter to your younger self.” I wrote a letter to my younger self and I said, “Look, young Stefan, I only have two regrets in life. One is what if, the things I never did, and the other one is didn’t do soon enough.” Didn’t do, and didn’t do soon enough. Now for you, I love how you’re using the darkness of that what if in your mind. With that aside, Jason, what regrets do you have in life, you know, even though you’ve been an Olympian, even though you got the silver medal, even though you’ve done all these other great things, what are some of your regrets?

Jason Parker: What are my regrets? Wow, you know, I think one of the biggest regrets that I did have was that I didn’t focus enough on … I didn’t get clear enough soon enough on the end goal, because that’s what, you know, when I talk about what the big change was for me, when I started focusing about how it was not about me, it was about the bigger picture, that was one of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t get clear enough on that earlier, because that’s when everything fell into place. This is a huge lesson for people to realize, is that you know, you’ve probably read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey.

Stefan Aarnio: I’ve tried to three times, and I’ve never finished it, man. I’ve tried, I’ve really tried.

Jason Parker: Well, one of the habits is starting with the end in mind, is starting about what it is that we want to create and looking at what that is. So quite often, we limit ourselves so much and so this is one of my big regrets, is that I had limited myself. I had a lot of struggle for a great deal of my life, a great deal of my career, around a couple items. One is deservingness, and one is not being enough, not being good enough. It’s interesting, because as I’ve been reflecting and going through some … You know, I’m always challenging myself. I’m always trying to go to a higher level, and so I’ve been, I just made this realization recently that there was a story that had been playing through of my life that I kept on repeating, and that has become part of my identity, and that was that I wasn’t good enough.
You know, when I was a kid I had a paper route, and when I’d deliver the papers, sometimes I struggled when I collected from the people, you had to go door, when you delivered the papers, every month you’d have to collect for the papers that had been delivered. I had a lot of people that didn’t want to pay me, because they’d said they didn’t get the paper or whatever. This was obviously in some of the more challenged areas of where I lived, where people didn’t have a lot of money.
So, I started creating this story that, well I know obviously I don’t deserve to get paid, because I’m not doing a good enough job or whatever. I created this story when I was a kid, and this story had played on throughout my life about deserving this. So, over the last while I’ve been doing a lot of training on subconscious reprogramming, and just ways that you ultimately move forward.
Going back again, like you say, to the regret is the fact that for too long I was focused on myself instead of what it was I wanted to create, and I didn’t spend enough time also, that the time focusing on myself, I didn’t spend enough time of blowing through some of those belief systems, and creating the life that I really wanted to do. That’s now what I really focus on. That’s what I coach my one-on-one clients with. That’s what I help them get through, is getting clear on that, teaching them how to do visualization properly, because most people don’t do it right, so a lot of people say that doesn’t work, but you know, it does work if you do it correctly.
We tend to limit ourselves, and even still I find myself, I do limit myself to what I can do and what I could have done. I look back now, knowing what I know now, is that I could have had so much better career, I could have achieved so much more in my sport, but I also look back and I understand that it’s okay, because everything happened the way it was meant to be. I look back now, and this is something like going back to … Let’s talk about challenges again for a minute, is that you know, I’m a firm believer that we spend far too much time trying to focus on how life is hard, as opposed to challenging ourselves to go to higher levels, so there’s a big difference between hard and challenging, in my mind.
You know, hard is something that it’s like, you know, oh, you think this thing is … Hard has a negative connotation, and challenged can go either way, depending on the person’s identity. If one person, you can talk about if they have a challenge, I never used the word problem, I always used the word challenge, because when you look at challenge, challenges in my mind, my identity says challenges are meant to be overcome. When you rise to the challenge, you rise to the occasion, so I love the word challenge, because challenge forces you to be better.
I often say, and this is another thing if you’re listening to this, you might want to write this one down, is that I’ve been quoted as saying that challenges are the universe’s way of testing us to see how badly we really want it. Challenges are the universe’s way of testing us to see how badly we really want to accomplish whatever it is that we want. A lot of people will think of this challenge and they’ll either fall from the challenge, or they are scared of the challenge, because most people are just trying to survive life. Instead of creating the life that they want, we’re trying to survive life.
So it’s scary, and it’s going to be scary for a lot of people, so this is another hashtag backwards thing. What I’m going to be telling you is that if you want to go to a higher level, you need to focus on challenging yourself on a regular basis, because like I’ve said a couple times now, when you challenge yourself, it forces you to be better. You think of an athlete, you think of what I did, six to eight hours a day, six days a week, 11 months of the year for 20 years. I was always challenging myself. Like, let me ask you, Stefan, I know that you do a lot of health stuff. I know you work out and you do a lot of things like that. When you work out, is your goal to do the same weight and the same number of reps every single time you work out? Are you going to have improvement if you do that?

Stefan Aarnio: Well no, you’re going to be sideways. You’ve got to go up, or you go down. You’re either getting better or worse. That’s how everything is, business, love, health, working out, fitness, sports, whatever. You either go up or down, there’s no sideways.

Jason Parker: So why don’t people take that same philosophy to their life, on a daily basis?

Stefan Aarnio: Oh man, I don’t know. There could be any number of things. I mean, limiting beliefs, low self-esteem, you know, living in a haze, not woken up. There could be any number of reasons. I think people, I coach people all the time. We’re both coaches I guess, coach people all the time and I think it’s amazing that I can put a guy in a 12- to 18-month program and he can be a superstar at the end, and you can put a guy, you know, maybe he’s a superior guy in the same program, and for whatever reason, his work ethic, or his focus, or you know something just isn’t firing for this guy and he’s a dud, but he’s better on paper and I don’t know why.
I’ve been coaching people for years now, and I used to be sad about the 50% of people that would sign up and do nothing. I used to be sad about that, but now I just know it’s part of the game, you know? 50% of people just drop out of university, 50% sign up and do nothing, and I can’t speak why those people do nothing, because I never know who they are. When people sign up, I can guess, but I’m never right. I’m never right with who’s who, because it’s an intrinsic motivation, right, Jason?

Jason Parker: Yeah, absolutely, so do you want to know what the difference is, what I believe one of the biggest differences between Olympian and an everyday person?

Stefan Aarnio: Would love to know it. Would love to know it.

Jason Parker: And if you’re listening to this, this is another thing that you know I urge you, write this one down, because this is something that can really have a massive impact on your business and your life. Olympians, every single day, Olympians wake up with the intention of being better that day than they were the day before. I’ll say that again. Olympians wake up every single day with the intention of being better than they were the day before.
They don’t, obviously we don’t always accomplish that, but we always, we don’t get up with the intention of being worse that day. We don’t get up with the intention of just trying to get through the day. We get up with the intention of, how can I be better in this workout? How can I get stronger for this workout? How can I do my nutrition better? How can I recover better from my workouts? Every single thing, how can mentally I be stronger? Every single thing we’re trying to do, we’re trying to be better.
Everyday people are just trying to get through the day, survive. So if there’s one thing that you take away from me being on this podcast today it’s this, is that I want to challenge you to wake up every single day now, and have an intention for your day, something that you want to create, something that helps move you forward and take you to a higher level. Whatever that intention is, is totally up to you, but you need to intend something that you’re going to improve upon in that day.
Ideally, you want to have that thing wrapped around what your most important values are, what it is that you’re trying to create in your life. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing that I start thinking of when my feet hit the ground is first, obviously I’m grateful to be able to have another day on this planet, to be able to make a difference and move forward. Then, obviously I have two amazing kids that are the center of my universe, and they’re absolutely everything to me. The first thing that I ask myself is, “How can I be a better dad and husband today?” That’s my number one value, that’s my number one priority, is how can I be a better dad and a husband?
That’s my focus going throughout the day. Do I always achieve it? No, but it’s more important to have that intention and move forward with that, as opposed to not thinking about it at all. See, the thing is, most people never have any intentions. It’s just survival. It’s just a survival instinct, so the next thing I start thinking about is, “Okay, so how can I serve people better today? What can I do more? What can I create more?” Like you, I have my black diary that I journal in, that I brainstorm.

Stefan Aarnio: The black book, dude. The official black book, right here, branded. This is my product, man.

Jason Parker: And so yeah, so every day then I started thinking of, what can I create? What can I do better? What can I improve upon in my messaging? Then obviously, you know, when I look at some Olympians in life, is that you can’t be a top achiever without also taking care of your health. For me, very, very few people know this and I’ve never shared this in a podcast or an interview, and I’ll let your audience in on a little secret, is that I’ve actually … So keep this in mind, is that here, you know, I was a high-performance athlete. You know, it was pretty much the highest level you can get, and I had had during my career and just post my career, I’ve actually suffered two minor strokes.

Stefan Aarnio: Wow.

Jason Parker: So when you think of athletes, quite often we have this … Well, all of us, we have this entitlement mentality with regards to our health, is that we feel entitled to wake up tomorrow. We feel entitled that we should be able to continue doing the same things that we’re doing on a daily basis, without understanding that we need to do things to be able to maintain and improve our lives. So the third thing of my intentions that I look at, okay, what can I do better today that will improve my health?
Because I go from being somebody, like you think of an athlete, think of an Olympian, I mean we think of ourselves almost like superheroes, because we do superhuman feats that very, very few people on the planet can do. I mean, hey, like I even wore the tights, just like Superman, all the superheroes, they all have their tights. You know, I wore my uniform. I was like a superhero, until I experienced that fear, that all of a sudden, because I had started letting things … Well, in 2004, I was still competing when I had my first one. I was misdiagnosed. It wasn’t diagnosed until something like 2012 was when I finally find out that I have a congenital heart defect. I have a hole in my heart that I was born with, that had never closed up, and so I won an Olympic medal with a defective heart.

Stefan Aarnio: So you could have been gold. If the hole was closed, you would have been the gold.

Jason Parker: Yeah, so this is just such a key thing, is that we have to have intentions of how we can make our lives better. If you’re going to be a top achiever, you’ve got to take care of your health too, so I look at ways that even, it’s crazy, you know obviously I’m a little bit different type of person, and most top achievers are. I imagine you’ve interviewed a lot of them. You probably see that they’re all, they think a little differently, you know?
Obviously, an Olympic medalist thinks a little bit differently than the everyday person, and so these are just some of the things that we do to be able to reach those high levels, and we make it a priority in our life. Most of us don’t prioritize our health, and no matter what area, what you’re doing, what your focus is, what your goals are, if you don’t include health in it, you know you’re going to be in big trouble down the road. One thing that I mentioned is, sorry, I tend to go on tangents, Stefan, so if I go off too far, just bring me back or if there’s a question, you know, write it down.

Stefan Aarnio: I’ll get the cane, I’ll just pull you in, man.

Jason Parker: One thing that I wanted to talk about is, you know I’ve talked about Olympifying. One thing, I want to define Olympian for you, is that I honestly believe that every single one of us has an Olympian within. I believe that every single one of us has the potential, the opportunity, the abilities to do incredible things. The way I define Olympian, most people define Olympian as somebody that has participated in the Olympic games, and so that’s not the way I define Olympian. The way I define it is, an Olympian is anybody who chooses to persist, without exception, until they achieve something amazing in their life, and that can be in any aspect of their life.
That’s why I believe that we can all be Olympians, and we can all be Olympians in life, so that’s why the people that I work with, my clients, I call them my Olympians, is because they’re trying to become better. They’re trying to go to those higher levels, and they’re trying to accomplish something in their own life that is amazing. Because you think about this, how many people, we’ve talked, I’ve mentioned a bunch of times, they’re just getting through every day? They’re not living their life, or they’re not loving their life, so like really, what’s the point?
If you’re not loving what you’re doing, if you’re not loving your life, if you’re not happy, you need to do something different, you know? So, listening to this podcast, and listening to the Respect the Grind podcast is one of those things that is good, that you’re doing different, so make sure that you keep doing this, if you’re listening to this. But so, Olympians, it’s something, I have this whole vision and this goal of creating an Olympian movement, for people that are high performers that want to become top achievers and become amazing, and live amazing lives. It doesn’t have to be making 10 million dollars a year to live an amazing life, or to be an Olympian in life. It can be, you know, just something being able to be a better parent. It can be anything. What that is for you, that’s all a matter of you deciding, you defining, but you getting clear and you moving forward on.

Stefan Aarnio: Let me ask you this, Jason. I used to have a sales trainer, his name was Bob Molle. He was an Olympic silver medalist for I think wrestling. I don’t know if you know Bob. He’s up in Calgary, actually not too far from you. Bob used to train the sales guys, and you know, sales, lots of training, same with athletics. Those two things really train themselves back and forth really well. Now, Bob used to say the difference between a guy who’s making the Olympics and a guy who barely doesn’t make the Olympics is a journal.
The guys at home who are journaling, you know, they’ve got the coach, they’ve got the athletic ability, they’ve got the body type, they’ve got everything, like the weight, they’ve got the dieting, but the guys with the journals are the guys that make it in, and the guys without the journal are the guys who don’t make it in. Can you comment on that?
Jason Parker: Yeah, absolutely, and you know I’ll even take that data a step further too, is that one thing that I have talked about for a long time and I’ve got really committed to is I have two journals, actually. This is my ideas and thoughts journal, and then I also have my victory/gratitude journal. Every night before I go to bed, I go through and I list off three victories that I had for the day, and then I list three things that I’m grateful for.
Here’s the reason why I do that, is because as we go through our lives, and as we go through and are trying to progress and trying to move forward in our business, obviously we’ll come to times where things will be more difficult, and we may struggle, and so we may start to get down on ourselves. One of the powerful things that I found is that when you have a victory journal, you can go back, because we tend to really minimize our accomplishments and minimize the things that we’ve done, and we are our own biggest critic, I find, a lot of the times. I know I was anyways, and if you’re like me, there’s nobody that’s harder on me than me.

Stefan Aarnio: Oh, yeah.

Jason Parker: This can lead to a lot of big challenges. Is it okay if I give you a quick story here?

Stefan Aarnio: That’s what we’re here for.

Jason Parker: Okay, my first senior world championships was in Nagano, Japan, in February of 1997. My first full season on the world cup circuit, so I was this young kid, nobody had ever heard of me, and I go to this world championships, and I win a bronze medal. So, let me ask you. What do you think, when I crossed the line, so I beat my hero. The people that I had visualized, the people I had watched in those videos and imagined myself skating like, I had beat my heroes on that day. But what do you think the first thing that crossed my mind was, when I crossed the line and found out that I won a bronze?

Stefan Aarnio: Well, why not gold? That’s what everybody wants. They say, “Oh, you got a bronze medal?” I think Nelly the rapper, he says, “I am number one, because two is not a winner and three nobody remembers.” So you know, if you’re number one, you’re on the Wheaties box. You get the Nike endorsement. Everybody loves you. Number two, two is not a winner and three nobody remembers, so you probably wanted the gold.

Jason Parker: Yeah, so that was the first thing that went through my mind is that, well, I did this wrong, this wrong and this wrong, and if I would have done those things right, I might have got a silver or gold.

Stefan Aarnio: Yeah, let’s not even talk silver, let’s just go right to gold, man.

Jason Parker: Yeah, exactly, so but this is what happened, and this is going back to us being our own biggest critics is that, and this goes into a little bit of, I don’t know how woo-woo you are, or how deep you get on some of this stuff, because I haven’t really heard a lot of your podcasts. The subconscious mind is a very, very powerful thing. All of us know that we have a subconscious that people refer to as different things, but the subconscious mind.
Over time, so when we’re our biggest critic all the time, and we’re always looking at, after we have a big accomplishment, and we instantly go to the critical of all the things we did wrong, the subconscious mind is eventually it’s going to be like, “Dude, what’s the point? Why am I doing this? Why are you working this hard? Why are you torturing yourself?” Then what it’ll do is it basically, it will sabotage you and it takes you out of the game.
This is something that I learned in my last season. I finally made this realization, and it made a huge difference. If you’re listening, this will make a huge difference for your business and for your life. The secret is that every single accomplishment you have, anything, so no matter how big or how small, even if you’re not happy with it, and this is something when I speak, you know, I used to always, as soon as I’d come off the stage I’d be like, “Oh man, I forgot to say this, I forgot to say that,” and blah, blah, blah and all this. I used to be going and defaulting into critical.
So now what I do is that, no matter how good or how bad the speech goes, I first focus on, okay, what were the things that I did good? What did I do well? What difference did I make? What was something positive, some positive takeaway? In anything that you’re doing, in any business that you’re doing, if at the end of your day you look back on something good that you did, and you identify that and then you find something else good, and so thoughts tend to spiral. You know, if you have negative thoughts, those negative thoughts tend to spiral, right? You end up down a vicious, downward spiral, circle.
Whereas if you start thinking positive thoughts, you will start spiraling as well, and so you’ll start thinking more and more positives. What this helps you do, so basically anytime, to use the example when I was training still, so I would train and whether it was a good practice or bad practice, at the end of it I would say, “Okay, what did I do good?” I’d identify those things, give myself a pat on the back, so I’d recognize it, acknowledge it, and then I’d celebrate it, and then I would go into, okay, so what could I have done better?
Not, what did I do bad? Not, what did I suck at? But, what can I do better? So you focus on doing that, and you do that time and time again over time, and you’ll be able to help to reprogram your subconscious mind, and your whole identity, for higher levels of success. This kind of circles all the way back to the victory gratitude journal that I do, is that when you’re struggling, you’re having difficult times, you can go back and you can look at all of your victories. Then you can realize, “Wow, you know what? I’ve come a long ways. I have done a lot of good stuff,” because we tend to forget our victories.
We remember our failures or our, you know, all the things that we felt like we did poorly. We have no issues remembering that a lot of the time, but our successes and our failures, we tend to forget. This is something very, very powerful, acknowledge, recognize and celebrate your successes, document it in your victory and gratitude journal, and this will help to reprogram your subconscious mind for success.

Stefan Aarnio: So I’ve got to ask you, Jason, you’ve got a victory journal, and then what’s your other journal? So you know, I’ve got two journals. I actually made my own journals. I had these custom made, and I sell them. This one’s called the black book. This is negotiating, it’s your meetings, so whenever you do a meeting, it’s your who, what, where, when, why, how, next action, phone number, like you know all your meetings. Every time you do a meeting, you get a new page, so you’ve got a log of everyone you met and what was said. My other journal is called HPJ, high performance journal. It’s three goals, daily, monthly, weekly for 90 days. You know, it’s really simple, so we’ve got a goal-setting journal and I’ve got my negotiation journal. You’ve got a gratitude/victory journal. What’s your other journal?

Jason Parker: It’s my idea and vision journal.

Stefan Aarnio: Oh, okay, so I’ll call that my dream book. I’ve got a dream book too, that’s a different book, and then I’ve got my vision plan for my life, so I’ve got four documents. So, tell me about yours.

Jason Parker: Yeah, so it’s like basically, I try to keep it with me all the time, and if I don’t have it with me, I use Evernote to be able to take notes in my phone. It’s basically brainstorming, you know, like when I listen to podcasts, and when I listen to things, I keep this right by and I’ll stop things, because if I have an idea, you never know when inspiration is going to strike. When you have that idea and you want to roll with it, because I mean I’m always trying to create content, just like you’re always creating content. You produce a huge amount of content, and so we need some way to be able to capture that.
What I find is actually, we tend to rely too much on technology in this day and age, and there is nothing that helps to be able to communicate or establish communication or re-establish communication, and implement and incorporate it into your being, better than actually using a pen and writing. It must have something to do with the motor patterns and how the brain works and the synapses.

Stefan Aarnio: It’s muscle memory, man. It’s muscle memory, and even like a fountain pen, I use a fountain pen. It scrapes, or it cuts the paper, and you feel it better.

Jason Parker: Yeah, and I like blue ink versus black ink, because I just like blue a lot better. It’s more visually appealing.

Stefan Aarnio: That’s what I’ve got, too. You know it’s for real when it’s blue, right?
Jason Parker: Yeah, exactly, so I just think it’s so powerful, because you’re able to, as you start writing, you start journaling in your journal, things start flowing and you end up on tangents. You end up being able to get more clarity, or just brainstorming, like last night, I came up with, as I was thinking about, I realized, I remembered that I had this podcast today and just started thinking. I just came up with five steps that I’m probably going to turn into a course.
I totally don’t even know where it came from. I was listening to a podcast, and it just triggered something so I turned off the podcast, stopped everything that I was doing, and just started writing and came up with, you know, five steps that’s something that’s totally unique, that I’ve never heard anybody talk about before in the high performance stage, or personal development, and something that I think is going to be something really cool. I’m going to roll this into a program here, and you know, help people to incorporate a lot of this stuff.

Stefan Aarnio: That’s fantastic. Now Jason, switching gears a little bit, what do you think causes failure in the lives of people? Because you know, we’ve been talking about achievement, success, high performance, winning the medal. What causes people to fail? Like out of all the things that you see, what do you think it is is the base root?
Jason Parker: Their thoughts; it all comes down to what people are thinking. You know, again when you apply it to sport, I can very vividly remember a lot of times where, if I was going into a race, if I wasn’t in a good frame of mind and what I was telling myself wasn’t positive, I never had a positive outcome with that race. It’s the same thing in our lives, is that what leads to failure is that, let’s actually go here, is that everything that we tell ourselves is a made-up story. You know, everything, our mind tends to … People don’t realize this. People think that they are their mind a lot of the time, and they let their mind run amok and basically run their life.
People don’t realize that they are not their mind, that they are them, and their mind is a tool. Our thoughts are a tool to help us create, to help us achieve. What happens is that people get this chatter. You know, you’ve heard it referred to as the monkey mind, that it just goes and goes and goes and goes. The thing is, so if everything we think is just a made-up story, why don’t we make up stories that we want? You know, how do we know that this is true, is that you look at the same, two different people can have the exact same experience happen to them, and they can react completely different because of how they think. This is-

Stefan Aarnio: Right, well, they can even invent a totally different experience. Two people have the exact same experience. One person says this is the worst, one person says it’s the best, exact same thing.

Jason Parker: Absolutely. I’ll go back, I had an experience, September 19th, 1999, I was going out for a training ride with two of my teammates, and we were heading out from the Olympic oval. We were going west to Calgary, and we were going through Canada Olympic Park. We were just entering Canada Olympic Park, and it was a wicked windy day that day. The wind was just blasting us, so we were only doing like 10, 12, 15 kilometers an hour maybe, so we were going slow.
So here, I was kind of goofing around and wanted to try and cheer my teammates up, because they were kind of a little bit down by the fact that we were going to be just getting blasted on this ride. I was kind of laughing, at Canada Olympic Park they have all the flags at the park there, the ski jump, and so all the different nations. The flags were just whipping, right, and they’re just going crazy.
I turned back and I was leading two of my teammates. I looked back and I pointed up at the flags. I looked back at them and I said, “Hey, you know, at least we’re going to have a wicked tail wind coming home.” Right as I said that, all of a sudden I was flying over my handlebars, and I landed on my shoulder. They just installed these speed bumps at Canada Olympic Park that hadn’t been there the last time we rode through, and because I wasn’t really paying attention, I hit one.
Because I only had one hand on my handlebars, it just caused my front wheel to turn and I flipped right over and I landed on the back of my shoulder. When I got up, I instantly knew that I had shattered my collarbone. I broke it in three places. It was just like shattered. I look at my one teammate. I said, “Oh, I just broke my shoulder.” She kind of started freaking out a little bit. She’s like, “No, no.” I’m like, “Yeah,” and so the first thing that starts going through my mind is my season. I’m like, “Oh man, I can’t believe this is happening. I’m supposed to leave for a training camp to Colorado on,” this was on a Saturday, we were supposed to go on Monday.
“My season is going to be done,” and I started all this negativity, and then I took a deep breath and I stopped. I started thinking, I’m like, “Okay, well obviously, I can’t change the situation that’s happened. This has happened, I can’t change it. Yeah, it’s broken, it sucks, yeah, whatever, but thinking this way is not going to move me forward.” I started thinking like, “Okay, I can’t change it. All I can do …” So I mean, we can’t change what happens to us a lot of the time, but we can always control how we react to what happens to us.
And so, what I could control was my thoughts at that point in time, and so I changed my thoughts to thinking, “Okay, you know at this time of year, it’s broken. It’s happened for a reason,” because I really believe that everything happens for a reason. I looked back, I started thinking of all the previous years at this time of year, I always ended up kind of at that over-training level, because we’d be pushing so hard. Quite often, I would get sick at that point in time.
I started thinking, I’m like, “Okay, you know what? Yeah, it’s broken. I can’t change it. I guess maybe I just really needed the rest and recovery right now,” and so I started, I flipped, so I changed my thinking from that negative, you know, “My season is done. Why did this happen to me?” That victim mentality, and I switched it to all of a sudden becoming empowered, and started looking to the positive side of, well, how can I move forward? You know what, Stefan? You know, I went and had the x-rays done. Yeah, it was broken in three places. The doctor told me, he’s like, “Oh wow, when you break a bone, you break it good.” This is the only bone I’d ever broken. He told me, “You know, it’s going to be eight to 10 weeks until it starts to heal.”

Stefan Aarnio: Oh, my God.

Jason Parker: It was bad. They couldn’t do surgery, they couldn’t pin it, they couldn’t do anything. They just basically put me in a sling and said, “Good luck,” and they said, “Here, take all this ibuprofen, X amount per day,” and they sent me home. Well, I read this research that ibuprofen inhibits the formation of cartilage and collagen, so I decided, okay, well, I’m not using that, so I didn’t use any pain medication. In five days, I had full range of motion. I was able to lift my hands above my head. It was still broken. I could still feel it moving, but I was pain free. After 10 days, I was back on the ice, and it’s the arm that I swing. You know, you’ve probably, in long track speed skating, you see that quite often we only swing one arm?

Stefan Aarnio: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jason Parker: Well, it was the broken one that I had to swing, so I was back on the ice anyways, but you know what? In eight weeks, so doctor said eight weeks it was supposed to start to heal. In eight weeks, I was in my second world cup of the year, and I was back in the top 10 in the world. I ended up having one of my best seasons of my career.

Stefan Aarnio: Wow, I love that, how you just flipped the situation around with gratitude. You said, you know, “This is supposed to happen. This is my opportunity to heal. This is my opportunity to, you know, pull back.” I’m kind of in a thing like that right now myself. I wrote two books in January. It takes a huge amount of energy. It’s like what, May right now? I’ve got to pull back, but I’m having the negative thoughts about pulling back, because I’m a grinder. I like to grind, and you know, I love what you’re saying. Just flip that switch, change that. You know, Jason, we’ve got to wrap up here. Two more questions for you that I love asking everybody I have on the show. Number one, top three books that changed your life?

Jason Parker: Top three books, oh man, this is an awesome one. You know what? One of the first books that changed my life was my very first personal development book that I ever read. It was called Dare to Win, by Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield. I think it came out before they started doing the whole Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

Stefan Aarnio: Wow.

Jason Parker: That was a big turning point for me, because it actually, I mean this isn’t as related to business, but that book is the main reason why I am with the most amazing woman on the planet, my wife. I had gone through two just awful relationships, and one I was destroyed from. I was with this one girl for four years. You know, she was lost. She wasn’t able to … She was just not in a great place, and in 2000, the Sydney Olympics were taking place, September of 2000, and she decided that she wanted to go and work at the Olympics.
I totally supported her. I said, “Absolutely, you go and do your thing.” Well, she was gone for two weeks. We’d been together for four years, been living together for two. She was gone for two weeks. She had cheated on me with somebody else, and I allowed her to convince me that it was all my own fault, that I was a bad person, went down this huge, vicious, downwards, and went from ranked second in the world to hardly making the team.

Stefan Aarnio: Wow.

Jason Parker: Life just went to the tanks, and then I got into another relationship and it didn’t go very well. But I came across that book, and in that book it talked about, and it’s kind of funny because it’s more about a woman’s story, but these girls or these women, they all went through these bad divorces and bad relationships, and they all decided to go off to this cabin in the woods and spend the weekend. They’re like, “Well, let’s write about what our ideal man that we want.”
This one woman, she wrote like 10 pages about the ideal person that she wanted to be with, and focused on that and visualized it, and she ended up, yeah, she found and married that dude and so I’m like, “Well, what have I got to lose?” I did the same thing, and manifested my wife right before that. So, that was the first book, was Dare to Win.
Actually the second book, and this is funny because this isn’t a business book either, it’s called The Mastery Of Love, by Don Miguel Ruiz. I don’t know if you’ve read it or not, but if any of you, if you haven’t read it, it is a really easy read and it will give you insights into life that will make a huge, huge difference. So, before I got into my next relationship, I had read that book and I went through a real, a lot of self-realization. I got to a place where I was totally happy, 100% happy and content with who I was as a person. I did not need somebody else, so I was like totally happy, you know, in love with myself and just in a great, great place. Then, I read this book and it basically reinforced a lot of the things that I had just gone through. What do you think happened right after I got it, you know, shortly after I was in this place in such a great, great position, what do you think happened?

Stefan Aarnio: I don’t know, you got the girl?

Jason Parker: Met my future wife.

Stefan Aarnio: Right, exactly.

Jason Parker: And so just powerful, so the third book, hugely impactful for me, oh man, there’s so many. There’s so many books that are awesome. You know, actually another big one is John Demartini, The Breakthrough Experience. I just shared the stage with him a couple weeks ago. For those of you who don’t know John Demartini, he’s one of the main people in the hit movie The Secret, just an awesome, awesome guy.
One of the things that he talked about in that book that was huge, actually a number of things but two quick ones, if it’s okay if I share them for your audience, one of them has to do with loss. You know, I lost my dad a year and a half ago, and I know a lot of you listening to this may have gone through different losses. It can be people that you loved, or maybe a job, maybe an item. But what he talks about was a different perspective and way of looking at things, and that’s anytime you actually have a perceived loss in your life, is that loss is going to come back to you in another way, another avenue.
If there’s certain characteristics or certain things that you feel that you have lost by having lost that loved one, it is going to come back into your life if you are open to it, if you allow it. If you block yourself off, obviously that won’t happen, but if you allow it, that will come back into your life, and so we never actually have lost. It goes back to the story, that loss is just a story that we tell ourselves, and it’s a perception.
Another thing that he talked about in that book is, I love movies. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love, love movies. For the longest time, I would feel very guilty about taking the time to watch a movie, because obviously they can be long. I think it was in this book that John talked about it, and what he talked about, if you choose to watch a movie, what you do is watch with intention. If you choose to watch TV, even if you’re not watching the Jets came tonight, I don’t know what else you’re going to be doing, but you have to be watching the Jets game tonight.

Stefan Aarnio: Dude, I won’t even be a Winnipeger anymore if I miss the Winnipeg Jets game. They’ll kick me out, man.

Jason Parker: But watch the game with intention, so if there’s a point in time in the game or in a movie that you’re watching, or a commercial that you see on TV, if there’s something that triggers an emotional response in you, whether it’s positive, negative, whatever, any sort of emotional response, make a note of it and then journal on it and look into it. So, the first time I did that, and the first movie I watched was actually, I love, I’m a huge superhero movie guy. My favorite superhero is Captain America, and so I saw the first Captain America right after reading that chapter in the book. It was on Netflix or something, and I watched it.
I actually came up with a whole idea for a book from that, because of that fact. It’s a matter of going back, like I said, the difference between Olympians and everyday people is, Olympians wake up every day with the intention of being better than they were the day before, is that we need to have intentions throughout our day. One of my intentions is that I like to have inspired conversations with people. I try to find and seek inspired conversations, and so I have the intention of having inspired conversations. By having that intention, what do you think generally happens on a daily basis?

Stefan Aarnio: Well, when you set an intention, it happens.

Jason Parker: Yeah, so I get my inspired conversations, and we need inspiration these days. If you want to go to a higher level, you need to be inspired. You know, what I love about, and John actually talks about this and I think it’s in the same book, inspiration. The difference between motivation and inspiration, that’s why I don’t believe in motivational speakers, because I don’t think motivation works. Because motivation is an external thing, and as soon as you walk out of the seminar or walk away from the speech, motivation starts to go down. So, what people need is they need inspiration. Just like the word says, inspiration, in, inspiration comes from within, so we need to find those things that inspire us, so it can be movies, it can be whatever, but we need to seek inspiration on a daily basis, to be able to move forward in our lives.

Stefan Aarnio: I love it. Zig Ziglar says inspiration wears off daily, that’s why you’ve got to bathe and you’ve got to get inspired daily, motivated, inspired.

Stefan Aarnio: One final question for you, Jason, and this is another one of my favorites. I ask everybody this. What is the one thing that young people, millennials, Generation Z, what do these people need to succeed today? Because this generation, I’m a millennial, you know, totally different than previous generations, a little bit more entitled, more technology. What do we need to succeed amongst everything else?

Jason Parker: One word, responsibility. We need to accept responsibility for our own lives and for our own success. If we’re able to really focus on being responsible, and we take, we step into that characteristic and we incorporate that into our being, you can truly achieve almost anything. You combine that with commitments, and you’re going to absolutely rocket to success. You know, one thing that, I learned a big thing about commitment through my career here as well, because for the longest time, so there’s a huge difference between dedication and commitment, and this is something I think a lot of people miss.
This is something that, you know if you’re listening, you’ll want to make a note of this too, is that quite often we are dedicated to a lot of things in our lives. We’re dedicated to our jobs. We can be dedicated to our business. We can be dedicated to work. You know, we can be dedicated to our kids, and so dedication basically is where you show up every single day. You know, that’s kind of the way I look at dedication, is that you know, you show up, and you always, always show up, and you always do the work. You do what you need to do.
Dedication will not get you success. Dedication is important, is a component of having success, but dedication will not get you success. Commitment will. The difference between commitment and dedication is when you commit to something, there is no road, there’s no turning back, you know? Like, Napoleon Hill talked about it in his book Think and Grow Rich, is that you know, the burning of the bridges, or the burning of the boats. You know, you burn the boats. They had to win the battle if they wanted to live, so they burned the boats.
That’s the thing with commitment, is that we need to make a decision of what it is that we want to do. That’s the thing, is that most people do not decide. They never decide what it is that they want. They don’t get clear on it, they don’t decide, and they don’t move forward. Some of the training that I actually do, I go through, there’s five steps to be able to achieve anything that you want. The first thing that you need to do is you need to decide what you want, and then you need to become that person. You need to decide who you want to be, then you need to work on becoming that person. You need to believe that you can achieve what it is that you want to do, and then you need to release.
This is a key thing that a lot of people don’t do, and this is something that I learned throughout my career, is that in that last year, I also realized that it was okay if I didn’t make the Olympics. I was going to be okay, that I was still going to go on and achieve amazing things, and make a big impact and make a big difference in the world. I had to release it. I knew I had to be okay if I didn’t achieve it. I mean, obviously I was going to do everything in my power to make sure that I did everything right, so that I was successful and that I could achieve it, but I had to know that I was going to be okay, and leave it up to a matter of faith. Then, so decide it, become it, believe it, release it, and then you will achieve it, so you need to take inspired action on being able to move forward on those things. You do those things, you can accomplish anything it is in your life. If you miss any of those things, you won’t have success.

Stefan Aarnio: I love it, Jason. You know, thank you so much for being on the show today. Now, if somebody wants to get hold of Jason Parker, or wants to get your book, which I keep asking you, man, we’ve got to get this book out, come on, bro. If somebody wants to get involved with Jason Barker, how can they do it?

Jason Parker: Well, you can follow me on my Facebook page, it’s at Facebook.com/JasonParkerSpeaks. You can search JasonParkerSpeaks. Instagram is actually JasonJDParker. I don’t know how I ended up with that one, but and then my Website is JasonParkerSpeaks.com. I’m going to be coming out with more and more content. I’m actually working, like I said, I’m working on a new program that I’m going to be launching here in the next couple months, and you know, I’ll be able to forward it on to you if anybody’s interested. I can definitely forward a link to be able to get on a waiting list for that.
I just want to be able to do everything I can to help Olympify people’s lives, and take people to a different level. Because you know what? Bottom line is, most people, when you learn things, is it okay if I go into one other? This is another hashtag backwards one. Do we have time?

Stefan Aarnio: Let’s do it.

Jason Parker: Okay, this is something that I think is one of the biggest mistakes that most people are making right now, is with regards to the information. I think that we are taking in, and people are going to be upset when I say this, we are taking in far too much information. You know, like I talked to a lot of people that they talk about how they read a book a day or a book a week, and they’ve done this for an extended period of time.
You know, that’s awesome, but the thing is that every single bit of information, we are bombarded with information on a daily basis. You know, there’s thousands of things that we see via commercials and boards and advertisements and everything. Every bit of information we take in, our brain has to process and deal with. Like you think about your computer, when you have a whole bunch of apps open on your computer at the same time, what happens to your computer?

Stefan Aarnio: It doesn’t work.

Jason Parker: Absolutely, it crashes. Our brain works the same way, and so I think that we actually need to take in less information, but here’s the thing, is that yes, we need to take in a little bit less information, but what is more important? So, you’re familiar with the acronym ROI. What is ROI?

Stefan Aarnio: Yeah, return on investment.

Jason Parker: Absolutely, so you know, most people that are listening to this, if you’re listening to this right now, I’m guessing that you probably want to improve, increase your ROI, am I right?

Stefan Aarnio: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jason Parker: So, if you want to increase your ROI, increase your SOI. You know what SOI stands for?

Stefan Aarnio: I don’t.

Jason Parker: Oh, I created it, so that’s probably why you haven’t heard of it yet. Your speed of implementation, so if you think about, when I was training, I had two coaches that would be with me on the ice every workout that I had. I would go and do a set of something, and I’d come over at the end of doing that set and I’d stop and I’d talk to the two coaches. They would give me feedback on what I could do to improve, so they would give me information, and then I would go right after that, and I would go do my next set, and I would try to implement what it was that I had learned. So, was my speed of implementation high or low in that case?

Stefan Aarnio: Well, you’re putting it out right away, it’s good.

Jason Parker: Yeah, so it’s super high, so that’s the thing is that it’s more important for us to increase our speed of implementation than it is the amount of information that we’re taking in. So realistically, like people, we need to focus on really incorporating these things into our being and taking in, so taking in a little bit less information but really, really focusing and implementing it.
So, it’s a matter of, like you’re going to want to listen to this podcast, you know, at least a couple times, because there’s going to be a lot of stuff that Stefan shared that is going to change your life, and hopefully that I’ve shared that will change your life and be able to make a huge impact. But, you will have missed it if you just listen to it once. What you need to do is, you need to listen to this a bunch of times. You need to take some notes, and you need to focus on incorporating this into your life. Because I have shared with you things that if you do them, if you choose to do them, will change your life and your business, and that’s my goal. If will help you to be able to have an Olympian life. I hope I was able to deliver. Stefan, is there anything else that you’d like to know, or anything else I can help you out with?

Stefan Aarnio: Just one, I just want the people at home to connect with you, Jason, so you said it was JasonParkerSpeaks.com?

Jason Parker: Yep, you bet.

Stefan Aarnio: All right, thank you so much for being on the show, Jason. You know, it’s been a real honor having you, man. I really appreciate you living it, you doing it. You have the hardware, the silver medal at home to prove it. I really appreciate it, man. Thank you so much for being on the show, Respect the Grind.
Jason Parker: Yeah, thanks a lot for having me, man. It’s been an honor to be here, and you’re doing so many awesome things, I hope people keep listening because you’re changing people’s lives, too.

Stefan Aarnio: Thank you.

Jason Parker: Go out there every single day, and live your Olympian life today.

Stefan Aarnio: Love it, thank you, Jason, good bye.

Jason Parker: Bye.

Stefan Aarnio: Hey, it’s Stefan Aarnio here. Thank you for listening to another episode of my podcast, Respect the Grind. Now, if you liked the content on this podcast today, you are going to love my new book, Hard Times Create Strong Men. Now, we live in an age right now where the men have become weak, society has become weak. The mindset has become weak. What does it mean to be a man?
Now, whether you’re a man or a woman, you’re going to find value in this book, Hard Times Create Strong Men, which reveal the philosophy and the power of what it takes to be strong in today’s market economy. Go ahead and get a copy of Hard Times Create Strong Men at HardTimesStrongMen.com/podcast. That’s going to give you a special offer just for podcast listeners. That’s HardTimesStrongMen.com/podcast. Get the book, you’re going to love it. It’s going to change the way you think. I’m Stefan Aarnio, Respect the Grind. We’ll see you on the next episode.