SEP Episode #58: Magic Words That Can Change Your Life With Mark England

 

On this episode of The Story Engine Podcast, I interview Mark England Live! Mark runs Procabulary, a business which creates fun, easy to use tools that help you achieve victory over things such as procrastination, distraction and self-doubt.

Today we talk about how the way we speak influences everything we do and how evolving your speech can transform your life in profound ways.

What You Will Learn On This Episode


  • Defining Abracadabra
  • Conflict Language
  • How Speech Affects Identity
  • The Pillars of Architect Language 
  • Upgrading Your Core Language

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode


Enlifted Course

Procabulary Save $100 w/ Discount Code: nextlevel

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Core Language Upgrade

 

Transcription


Kyle Gray:

Hello, and welcome to The Story Engine Podcast. My name is Kyle Gray, and we have a very special show for several reasons. I think this is the first show that we’ve had a guest come back for a second time on the podcast, and we’re doing a special video podcast with a live audience with Mark England. Mark, thank you so much for joining me today.

 

Mark England:

Hey buddy. Thanks for having me back.

 

Kyle Gray:

So Mark, you are involved in a lot of different things. You’ve had a lot of adventures. And when you are just at an event or introducing yourself to somebody, how do you introduce yourself? How do you come across? How do you bring out your story?

 

Mark England:

It depends on my mood. If I want to have a longer drawn out explanation of what we’re doing, I say we, I mean my business partners and Procabulary. I talk about us as storytellers. And when I want to keep it a little bit short, I just say I’m a teacher. Because both of those are true. And yes, the storytelling part. It’s important for me to be able to demonstrate an ability to use my words in certain ways. First and foremost to myself. And then when it comes to the talks we give and our clients, it’s a skill that people are lacking. And it comes from our educational background.

 

Mark England:

I was a teacher before I got involved in the good attitude business, as we like to call it. And on both sides of that conversation when I was coming up in the public school system and when I was getting a degree in education, I didn’t have any classes, or courses, or conversations even about how my language was affecting me. As in the stories I was telling myself and the identities that I was creating. And that’s what we do now. We do it for the general public and we also have a company that we do that for the fitness industry too. So it depends. It depends.

 

Kyle Gray:

So, I’ve seen some of your work and I’ve seen the impact it has. And one of the things I love about your form of storytelling, it’s useful, it’s practical. It can be applied in how I work. It can be applied in my relationships, how I interact with my partner, and how I interact with myself. And you’ve put together a system that makes this kind of language different, different kinds of language and different kinds of stories, really clear. It brings a lot of things forward that is invisible to most of us. And will you just kind of lay the framework of the different kind of language that you have really explored and helped people work with?

 

Magic Words That Can Change Your Life With Mark EnglandMark England:

Sure. If I may tell the story of the key that brought a lot of this together for us. And that was the first time I was introduced to the concept of abracadabra. I was living in Ecuador at the time. I’d always fantasized about renting, getting a house in a remote part of somewhere and going there and writing a book. And I did. And while I was down there, we were at dinner with some very good friends. And one of the guys at the table knew I was involved in the language game. And he said, “Hey Mark, do you know what Abracadabra means?” And I said, “Yeah, magic.” He said, “No, no, there’s much more to within that. Abracadabra is, it’s Aramaic. It means, it translates to with our words we’re creating, with our words we influence.”

 

Mark England:

That was a big deal for me, because it gave me a lens to see language through. So there’s only so many ways I can upset myself. And when I started doing one on one coaching, it was in a very simple environment. Two chairs, two people facing each other. And I paid very close attention to what they were saying, but also how what they were saying was influencing them. And there have only been a handful of things that have captured my fascination in life.

 

Mark England:

Martial arts has been one of them. Storytelling has been another. So I started taking notes about what words did what to people. And I noticed these patterns more and more in the conversations I was having with my clients. And also in the conflicts I was creating for myself in my own life. So we in the Procabulary system, we mapped out a subset of the English language, and we call it conflict language. And there are three main pillars to it. Negations, talking about what you can’t do. What isn’t possible, what shouldn’t happen, what’s not going to work out for us. It’s the style of language people use for worrying. And then there’s projections, which it’s how people place blame externally. And then also soft talk. And that has at the core of 80% of all the problems, and issues, and conflicts that I’ve seen in my private practice and with people using Procabulary. And like I said, also, this pertains to me 100%. I was talking to Dallas before in the break and he said that I’m always, everything that I say comes back to me too. I’m always coaching myself, my future self. So as I’ve gotten more comfortable with words and the stories that we’re creating, I’m learning a lot about myself too. It’s helped me tremendously.

 

Kyle Gray:

With some of this conflict language, can you give us some examples of each of the three types of conflict language? And then tell us what’s happening within those. And I think just saying the words, a lot of people just feeling them, can experience them. But what’s really going on?

 

Mark England:

Sure. So abracadabra really is such a big part of this. And with our words, we’re influencing aspects of our experience of ourselves, or our identity. And we like to focus on four. So I tell this story a lot simply because it puts everything on the table in a short amount of time. I’ve shared this on your podcast. We’ll do it again now.

 

Mark England:

I was coaching a young man, we were brought up to do some sales training in a company in Canada. And we did some one on one coaching afterwards. And I was in a room, we were facing each other in chairs. And he said, “Mark, I can’t keep focusing on my past.” And turned around twice that fast and looked behind him. And just like you’re looking at me right now, obviously you saw me do that. So did everybody in the audience. He didn’t know if we did that. And I pointed it out.

 

Mark England:

I said, “You know you just turned around and look behind you, right?” And he goes, “Really?” I said, “Yeah, what did you see?” And he had to stop and think, which brings up another interesting point. Our language influences us so fast. And yet he stopped and thought about it. He said, “I saw myself all alone and on the couch.” That’s two. I asked him how he was feeling. He said anxious and a little bit fearful. And then I asked him how he was breathing. So with that sentence, I can’t. Keyword right there. Keep focusing on my past. And when he said that, do you think he was focusing on all the nice parts about his life and where he’d come from? No. He’d brought all of the problems and just set them right there in front of him to look at once again, and stressed himself out. So with his imagination, here’s the four parts. And we like to look at this as legs of a table. So these are the four supporting legs and the table is our identity.

 

Mark England:

One of them is our imagination. He made that picture of him on the couch. The second is his physical body. His words influenced his physicality. And if anyone has seen someone confidently present, you’ve seen their words influencing them in ways. If you’ve seen someone talk about anything and they’re doing this a lot and doing this, that’s the other side of the coin. So two, imagination and his physical body. His emotions. He was anxious. And then his breathing. He put himself in a stressed state and trapped his breathing up in his chest.

 

Mark England:

Now back to school, I didn’t have any classes on how my language was influencing my imagination, or my physiology, or my emotions, or my breathing. It came down to spelling, grammar, and definitions. And our language is so much more alive in us individually and culturally than that. And that’s what the study of Procabulary and Enlifted is too. It fascinates me to no end. It takes me to the edges and limits of my intellect, and I really love that.

 

Mark England:

Another example. So that’s an example of a negation. I can’t keep focusing on my past. I don’t want to spend all my money this weekend. We’re not going to keep having so many arguments, Kyle. So what I’m doing is I’m forcing myself to focus on the worst case scenario, whether I want to or not. And then the other pillar, there’s three. There’s a projection. “He’s always controlling me,” or, “She never lets me think for myself.” Or, “The government’s always on your back.” What those statements do is that there is a he or she or something in there, and then myself. And the way the language is set up, the syntax of it, it forces me to create a victim and a villain picture in my mind. And I know no one that likes to be victimized. Yet I do that to myself in my imagination, and it has a cascading effect in my experience of myself, the way I feel. The way I breathe and the way I move. And then soft talk. So if when you invited me to come on the show or invited me to come here, which we very much appreciate, I said, “I think we can probably make it out there sometime.” What are you going to do? Look for somebody else, because I’ve got commitment issues. Whether I want to be solid in my ability to move forward in my life or not.

 

Mark England:

I watched a good friend of mine, he was talking to someone. He’s very good at what he does, really good at what he does. Someone was talking to him about bringing him on for a presentation. And he goes, “I think we can make some decisions about it at some time.” And it just stopped right there. The person goes, “Okay.” And the conversation changed. And one thing I’ve been thinking about a lot is opportunity. There’s sayings about opportunity because it’s such a valuable thing to be able to cultivate. Opportunity knocks, it doesn’t nag. And it shows up in opportunities real. It shows up in work clothes. We have to be able to see it. And all of the things that we’re talking about. I’m no scientist. I’m not a psychologist, a psychiatrist. I have no degrees in any of that. I’m a language enthusiastic. Okay? And for the people that want some more scientific meat on the bones for this conversation, look up something called the reticular activating system. This in my personal and professional opinion is one of the most valuable things that people can study when it comes to what we allow ourselves to be able to see, and how we eventually end up seeing ourself.

 

Mark England:

So I told this story on the podcast, and I’m going to add a couple of other ones to it. My car got stolen August, 2017. I’m going to make this short too. And walked out the door. My car’s gone, called the police. They’re coming. Then I call my dad. I said, “Dad, car got stolen. I need the farm truck.” The farm truck, which is a mint condition, 1985 Ford F-150, two tones of Brown. My dad bought it off the showroom floor. It stays out the farm underneath the canopy. It’s awesome.

 

Mark England:

I started driving that car around Richmond, Virginia. And within a matter of a day, I started seeing more and more Ford F-150 of that same make and model. Most people have had that experience.

 

Mark England:

Our reticular activating system, it’s a very old piece of hardware. It’s responsible for finding things. And if someone grows up and they hear their parents say a couple of times with some emotional charge to it, “It’s just so hard to get ahead these days.” Or, “People are only ever out for themselves.” Or, “I could have been so much farther ahead than I am right now.” Let’s just pretend that they hear those five sentences, five times before they’re 10, with some emotional oomph. That goes in there and it limits their ability to see things. One of my mentors, he said, “We create our opportunities.” And I agree with that, and we also create our ability to see opportunities. And if I’m thinking that people are always out to get you, then my reticular activating system takes that as true, especially the stuff I get emotional about. And it overlays a veneer on everyone, and I’m going to have trouble picking out the people that are competent and transparent, and capable, and would be worthwhile to go into a business venture with. Or maybe a personal relationship.

 

Mark England:

Women are only out for one thing, or guys are only out for one thing. Pick your idea. Our language is constantly influencing the lens of what we see, and how we see ourselves. And most people’s language, it works against them, Kyle. And that really is just a learned behavior. We’ve inherited our language, our language is an inheritance. And we’re teaching people to have better conversations with themselves about themselves.

 

Mark England:

And Lord knows I needed that. I was the consummate victim for a number of years in my life, let’s just say 15. And it crescendoed in a foreign country, Thailand. And I was a very bitter person for a while, and it took me a matter of years until I started working out the pieces of what was actually going on in my storytelling process. And once I did, that was the beginning of me valuing my mind or my language, the conversation I have with myself and what I say to other people.

 

Kyle Gray:

Now you’re hinting at a change here, we’ve kind of gotten the bad news. This language, if we don’t use it intelligently. A lot of us, there’s lots of common pitfalls that we fall into with what we’re saying, what we’re doing, and our work, and our relationships, and even in our own ramblings what’s going on in our brain.

 

Kyle Gray:

So you have another kind of language. We’ve examined conflict language. Can you show me, what’s the solution? How do we move forward now that we, how do we upgrade this language?

 

Mark England:

Phenomenal question. The counterbalancing subset in the Procabulary system, there’s a lot of great systems out there. This is just how we’ve named things, and yeah. So we have conflict language. And over here, this is the art and science of stressing ourselves out. Over here, we have architect language. And it also has three pillars.

 

Mark England:

So story time. I know you’re into stories. Once that young man said, “I can’t keep focusing on my past,” and I made some highlights of his experience, helped him see some things. I said, “Get out of pen and get out a piece of paper.” Two of the most powerful tools in my opinion, that are available to us pretty much everywhere. There’s a lot of pens and there’s a lot of pieces of paper in this room right now. Those are magical instruments by definition. I can recite the definition of magic if you want me to.

 

Mark England:

And I had him write that statement down. “I can’t keep focusing on my past.” And I asked him, I said, “Well if that’s what you can’t keep doing, what can you start doing?” And he had to think, which is great. And he looked up where a lot of times where we get our inspiration from. He said, “Focus on my future more?” And he said it like a question, “Focus on my future more?” Went up like this. And I said, “Yes. Now, make a statement out of it.” “I can focus on my future more. Yeah, I can. I can.” And he wrote that down, and three things that he needed to work on in the next three months to improve his job. And one of them was having monthly lunches with his mentor. Two was taking a course on closing, because this was a sales conversation. And three, it was just get out and network more. Okay?

 

Mark England:

Right there, that’s the art and science of focusing on what we do want. So cans, wills, haves, shoulds, coulds. Those are affirmations. Then we go to the projections. The projections over here. That’s the victim and the villain mental imagery. And over here we have reflections. So she made me agree with her. When I recognize myself, and we had a conversation, someone asked Dallas, “How do you know when you’re upset?” I know when I’m upset when I’m breathing poorly. Okay? That’s one of the ways. I’m locked up. I’m all tense. I’m like, “Wait a minute. There’s one of the red flags.” She made me agree with her. I take out the she, because I know what words do what most of the time. And I put in I. I made me agree with her. And now I’ve got two stories to choose from. Now I have choice. When I blindly believe every single thought that shows up in my head, rough draft, I’m setting myself up for problems. Same thing. I ended in plenty of rough drafts in high school and I’ve never got better than a C. Okay? But, I did hand in some second and third drafts. Okay?

 

Mark England:

It’s the same thing with our conversations that we have with yourself. First thought that shows up. Okay, yes. How, how well formulated is that thought? Oh, well I am making those pictures and I am getting those kinds of feelings, and I’m breathing up here. So let’s redraft it, take out the she’s and he’s and the government and put it in and see how much more accurate it is. Because a lot of times it is. You’re going to have a hard time making me think about anything. At the end of the day, I make me think about what I think. And that is a very empowering and inspiring revelation. Because otherwise, then I really would have a problem. Most of the time I’m just confused about what I’m doing to myself. And then the third pillar is solid talk, and it’s simply taking out the soft talk keywords. Thinks maybes, mights, possiblys. Some days, hopes, tries. It’s almost like.

 

Kyle Gray:

I think that one’s the most common one. I think it’s so easy to slip in. It’s so easy to just say some of those words, and it makes you feel a little more comfortable. But I think conversation is full of soft talk.

 

Mark England:

That’s where we begin the conversation. If I’ve only got a short amount of time to talk, I’ll bring up some of these examples. And I’ll say, “Just take a couple of these out.” Because in most people’s language and for whatever reason, the younger generations use it even more. And it’s a fun conversation to have. I’ll start it by saying, “Ladies, what would you do if a man came up and he said, ‘I think I might want to actually take you out on a date one day, maybe.'” And they all do the same thing, which is giggle. And they’re like, “Oh gosh.” Take those things out and watch what happens. There’s an energetic emotional reaction in us. We feel more solid, and sturdy, and capable. And that’s a good thing because most people want to feel that way as opposed to prolonged bouts of indecision, which is its own flavor of stressful. So if we use our language in just a little bit more of a conscious, constructive, considerate way, we get to architect our internal world first. And that’s a great place to start, in my opinion.

 

Kyle Gray:

When we are using this architect language, there’s several big realms of opportunity. We’ve given some examples of how we can speak to this for ourselves, and our own language, and our own dialogue. There’s a few examples of relationships. And one really big one where this is taking place and can because a lot of stress, and can in some cases be the rise or the fall of a company is where we work, and how we work, and how we communicate with each other. Right now, where this is being filmed, we’re in a startup that’s based on foundational ideas of really documenting exactly what you do, and having that be extremely clear. Can you tell us some examples of what are some of the common pitfalls that we see in our workplaces, and what are some of the ways that we can transform those to improve the satisfaction of work, but also our productivity?

 

Magic Words That Can Change Your Life With Mark EnglandMark England:

Back to the soft talk again. Most people, their use of soft talk and we have a number of women clients. They bring up the desire to be assertive, yet comfortable. Okay? And when we talk about remediating and taking out the soft talk, it brings up a sense of anxiety in them most of the time. Because they don’t want to come across as pushy. Okay? They don’t want to come across as other words that we could use. There is an expressed need to be liked and accepted. Yes, I understand that. But most people tiptoe around issues at work and they do it to a fault, and they do it accidentally with soft talk. So becoming more solid in their speech. What I’ve noticed, and I have two companies that I’ve co-founded. Is that the more solid people are with their language, the better boundaries there are. The more clear the goals are, the more clear the roles and accountabilities are. And when that goes up, misunderstandings and miscommunications go down.

 

Mark England:

And then another great way to derail progress in work environments is gossiping. Okay? When someone gets their head around the projection, reflection conversation, gossip comes way down. Because you’re really only ever talking about yourself. Most people have been in groups or at least witnessed someone that likes to consistently bring up negative situations at work. That is, well I’ve already said it. It’s very disruptive, extremely disruptive.

 

Mark England:

The San Antonio Spurs, they’re a model organization. And they have been very vocal about and very selective about who they bring in. And a common misunderstanding is that we can bring one negative person into a group, and the positivity of the group will uplift that negative person. It’s the exact opposite.

 

Mark England:

So having a way of creating a culture in a work environment where people are taking responsibility for the stories they’re telling themselves and a way to check themselves before it goes like this. That’s really how it goes a lot of the times when we take just a couple of extra moments. And I’ll talk about that in a moment.

 

Mark England:

That’s a huge bonus for the overall vibe in a working environment. All of this goes for our personal lives as well. And then let’s talk about where we want to go, and the process that we need to commit to get there. Okay? Which is affirmation. Okay?

 

Mark England:

We’ve watched groups and organizations radically transform their ability to be productive, and work well together, and cohesive, and have a good time. That’s really one of the pulses to take in my opinion for companies and organizations, how much phone are people having while they’re producing? And when we’re watching that, we’re watching real magic happen in my opinion. You’re talking about rhythm. You’re talking about consistency, talking about building momentum. There has to be, whether it’s consciously created or just the right group of people get together at the right time, there has to be a uniform, unified way of using language. If we talk about group identity or any of these larger parts of the conversation. If we want to get practical, then we have to get down to a granular conversation about what words are doing what. Because then, it is. It’s practical. I can practice this. I can practice this way of thinking of speak.

 

Kyle Gray:

Speaking of practice, which this does require practice. And it requires not only just being aware of the words, but there’s an irony to saying there’s conflict language and then there’s architect language. Because I think being in conflict language in some ways, especially soft talk. Avoids being confrontational or expressing who you are and what you’re trying to stay, and hide, and be like.

 

Kyle Gray:

This is something that’s very common, a common issue. And I think your observation on younger generations having more and more soft talk, I think it’s a factor of the world and environment we’ve grown up in. And there’s always a different opportunity to focus on.

 

Kyle Gray:

So developing our architect language requires us to say what we want in a way that leaves us open for rejection, or criticism. And these other types of languages are being specific and being positive. They require us to get out of our comfort zone. And what are some of your ways, or maybe some stories of people that you’ve worked with in working this muscle of being confrontational or being authentic, and really being true in your language?

 

Mark England:

Got it. the way that we recommend starting, the place we recommend starting here. And I’ve been giving this particular piece of advice for the past two years. I’m going to do it for another eight more and see what happens. This is how comfortable, keyword, I am with this piece of advice. Is for anyone that wants to get a better understanding of what words are doing what, slow down their rate of speech by about 15 to 20%. And it will give you a lot more space, so to speak. You’re going to breathe better. Which makes you a better listener right off the bat. And then you’ll have the mental real estate to connect the dots between what words are doing what.

 

Mark England:

We coach a lot on presentation skills, and we’ve got a lot of success stories just in that one part of the conversation of people going from insecure to confident on stage, which is a massive leap. And then from there, going confident to comfortable. That’s where we want to help people get within themselves about what they’re saying. So when one of our most recent clients, she’s in sales. And she very much appreciates her higher ups. Their ability to say what they mean and be okay with it. Before she signed on with us, she was using a lot of soft talk to dance around the issue, to hopefully make everyone feel all right while she was feeling disconnected and disempowered in herself. And what happens is that people will socialize these ideas with themselves, their ability to speak directly, solidly, affirmatively, with comfort. That’s the sweet spot. That’s very much the sweet spot. I was in slow classes.

 

Mark England:

I’m the poster boy for this stuff. If someone had told me when I was 16 years old, 15 years old, that when you’re 42, you will have given X hundred amount of presentations, and you will have done these kinds of talks, and you’ll be the face for two communication companies. And you will actually look forward to getting in front of cameras and speaking with people. I mean, I was in classes for people that were just straight up slow. Okay? I would’ve laughed at that. And the fact that it’s a reality is a testament to the, well, I’ll say it again.

 

Mark England:

The reality that our language is powerful and we’ve got ways of using it. I never considered this stuff. No one in my family ever considered these things. So me doing this on my own in one sense or at least starting this path at one point in time.

 

Mark England:

Here’s where I’m going with it Kyle. If I can do it, anybody can do it. I have fun on stage now. I’m comfortable on stage now. Where before, I remember my first presentation was to 12 of my friends and it felt like I was sweating electricity. That’s not fun. So it’s a skill. And just like anything that you’ve gotten better at, whether it’s writing books, giving podcasts, rock climbing, hanging off a ledge with just a pinkie hanging on a rock. Whatever it is, we can get better at it. And storytelling is what it is. It is a skill.

 

Kyle Gray:

So it’s interesting you mentioned a juxtaposition between yourself at 16 and yourself now. And you’re the same person, but what you see as possible, what you see as even fun or comfortable, or where the opportunities are, have changed. And this reminds me of something that came up over a dinner conversation last night. There was a statement that you made that I’m not going to say as most likely. But identity is the most powerful tool in your life, or the most valuable asset that you can work on. Can you unpack that for me and show us how we work that?

 

Mark England:

Sure. The universe has a sense of humor. I was asked that question, “What’s your take on identity?” Two and a half years ago. And it was during a podcast. It was not live. And I knew what the guy was going to say before he said it. And I had no access to that information whatsoever. I had nothing to say. I totally blanked. And I stood there and I looked at him, and I looked away, and I looked back at him, and the other guy on the show goes, “This better be good.” I was like, “We got to stop, because I do not know what to say right now.”

 

Magic Words That Can Change Your Life With Mark EnglandMark England:

So they did, and we talked about other things. Three months later, I’m on stage at TEDxRVA giving a TED talk on the difference between the current definition of identity and our experience of identity. So hardy har har. The current definition of identity, we have a lot to say about this. The current definition of identity, and this is Webster’s, is the fact of being who or what a person is. Great, thank you. Now, does anyone here listening to this see themselves as they did when they were five? No. Everybody sees themselves differently. So we’re not facts. Our identities are not facts. They’re ongoing, fluid, flexible processes. And we participate in these ongoing processes with the language that we use. And it’s my personal and professional opinion. Take it or leave it. Is that our identity, how we see ourself. Also known as the conversation we have with yourself about yourself. And the language, the words that we use to create the stories that create our experiences, that pattern our identity. And there we are, here I am.

 

Mark England:

It’s the most powerful influence in our life. It’s the master key to personal and professional development. Understanding that identity is flexible, and understand that certain words take us in this direction, certain words take us in this direction. Certain words help me open up my breath. That’s a large part of the reason why we’re standing here, or sitting here today is that we got on a podcast in functional fitness. We had something to say there is that hey, these words are constricting your breathing. And the way you breathe while you work out is very, very important. We got on and unpack that for a couple of hours and they were like, cool. And that just fascinates me and this gets a little bit out there. Like I previously said, it takes me to the limits of my intellect.

 

Mark England:

Am I Mark, am I the character Mark England? Or, am I the ability to create the character of Mark? One is a static thing. The other one’s a process. To the best of my observation, I am much more of a process. Because I could have a different name, you could take this exact same hardware and put me in, what were we talking about this morning? Mongolia. Give me a different name and a different language, and I’m going to have a completely different process going on. Completely different experience. And pro in Procabulary, it doesn’t stand for professional, it stands for process. Process language. We want to help put people in motion in themselves, and help them focus more on what they want, and less on what they don’t want. And take responsibility for the things that they need to so they can grow. Okay? In the ways that feel good. And to stop humming and umming and erring, and thinking, and maybe-ing. And, “I might be able to do that one thing, but if only those three things would happen and that one person didn’t say that to me when I was nine.” And all these things. Take that and shrink it down, and make some moves, man. Because losses, the L’s are coming. Life throws curve balls, and everybody takes losses, and sometimes they’re big.

 

Mark England:

This is one of my favorite sayings is, “I would rather be trampled in the stadium than be a spectator in the stands.” I’m an average guy through and through. I go for things. If I have any superpower at all, I go for stuff. And when I mess up, I go and lick my wounds, and dust myself off, and take a shower, and drink a cup of coffee, and get back in there. It’s like I know that about myself.

 

Mark England:

And I’ve learned to do that. I learned to do that. I was not that way as a kid. And that skill developed as I changed what I said to myself. I used to trash talk myself to try to get a great result out of myself. I’d say things that I would hunt someone down if they said them to my nieces. But I said them to myself. Because it’s me, I can say these things to myself. Hopefully I’ll get a good result. It didn’t happen. Didn’t happen. I train wrecked myself. I was a kickboxer, and I blew out my knee a couple of times and then hurt myself. Because looking back on it, knowing what I know now, there was no other way that could have turned out. And I’m glad it turned out that way, because I like myself now. Even when things were going real well in that whole thing, I didn’t like me. But I kept the lid on, barely.

 

Kyle Gray:

Wow. That is just a really powerful avenue of transformation. And it’s interesting to kind of question, even the boundaries of where I really begin, and what’s around me? But it’s encouraging to know and to see we don’t have control of everything that happens to us or what’s going to happen. And one of the only factors that we really do have control over is the story that we’re telling about the situation. But that’s how we move forward and we create that identity, that unfolds the life before us. And I think that that’s really incredible. Mark, it’s been so much fun exploring all of these different elements of language with you. And I want to open it up. We have time for one or two questions. But do you have a closing statement to send us off with?

 

Mark England:

I do. It is officially my favorite quote. And we just finished up at an Enlifted training. We took 20 athletes through our online program. Instructor led, myself and Mike Bledsoe did. And as we were getting to the end, people were having a much greater skill. They developed the skill of being able to laugh at themselves more. They were gaining great benefit from it. People were, I’ll leave the miraculousness of it out of it.

 

Mark England:

And towards the end, I started using this quote, because it pertains. If you laugh at the devil, he will run away. If we laugh at our boogeyman. Because that’s what happens if we take this conversation far enough with the architect language. And that feels so much better than wasting a weekend blaming somebody for things that I’m actually doing to myself. And yet I have very little ability to articulate things in a different way. So I only have one way of storytelling. You know the power of storytelling as much as anybody. And having options is fun, man. There it is.

 

Kyle Gray:

Thank you. Any questions here?

 

Mark England:

What inspires me to continue to do this work with people with the language? Feedback. So there’s two sides of that street. Feedback is one of them. With the course that we just finished up. And it’s amazing what someone with just a little bit of understanding of the language game can do for themselves and other people. One of our students came back and said, “Hey, I just wanted to share this. I am a K-9 handler police officer. And we got called to someone, got called to a home. They were having, this person was having a legit nuclear meltdown. And I would’ve taken them to the hospital, the psychiatric ward, wherever they would have taken them. But I’ve got a dog in my car, so I just spoke with them on the corner for five minutes. And this person was using a lot of binary language. Always, and nevers, and projections. ‘These people are always messing with me and they never give me a chance.'” And they were getting really inflamed. Just take out conflict language, take out conflict and put in inflammatory. Inflammation language. Okay?

 

Mark England:

And the police officer listened, very important. And then said, “Are they always doing that?” And the person goes, “Well, no not always.” “Okay. So sometimes?” Procabulary 101. Person took a breath. The idea is getting socialized in them. Ping pongs around. Yeah. Okay, cool. Better story. “Yeah. They’re sometimes doing that, and then sometimes life is actually okay.” Take out the actually. “Life is okay.” “Whose life?” “My life. Okay, my life is okay sometimes.” That happened in two minutes, which is a very different story than always, and never, and blame throwing, and just locked up. So much so they couldn’t breathe. Hence, they were having a panic attack. Hence, they called the cops.

 

Mark England:

Panic attacks, those are story issues. Those are language issues. Most of the time. Again, I’m no doctor. So I get feedback from that and I’m like wow, that is just magic. The definition of magic is the ability to apparently alter the course of events using supernatural forces. It’s not the ability to do it. It’s the apparent ability to do it. And that guy helped this person. They were going over here, and the person, the reason why he sent the feedback is that the person that they helped. He said, “We rarely ever get positive comments from the field. This person sent me a hand written letter.” So I see that and I’m like man, that just gives me so much.

 

Mark England:

And then on my side of the street, and I’m learning always. I’ll always be learning. How good can I get at telling the story of story? In conversations like this, how good can I get? Don’t know. Want to find out. Take out want to, put in will. Will find out. That’s why I have a 50 year goal. It’s written down. I have a 50 year goal. I give my last presentation, it’s in March, 2057. I would’ve been in the game 50 years.

 

Mark England:

So I have feelings. I want to know what it feels like to get on stage with 50,000 people. I’m currently at 500 ish presentations. I’ve spoken in front of 1,800 people and really enjoyed it. What do I have to do to myself? What kind of person do I have to become? What kind of things do I have to let go of and bad habits do I have to curtail, and sacrifices do I have to make time to create the thing over time that gets me on stage in front of 50,000 people and I feel comfortable there? I want to know what that feels like.

 

Kyle Gray:

I love that we got the definition of magic in there too. We’ve got to close the loop on that. I was wondering about that when you mentioned it earlier.

 

Mark England:

Yes. Yes. It’s called core language upgrade. It’s our foundational training. It’s an online training, 21 days. 10 minutes a day. Video, little quick quiz, and some questions. We built it for busy people, because we found the only people that want to develop storytelling skills and use their words in more effective, productive, constructive ways are people that are already doing a lot of other stuff. It’s like the old saying, you want something done, ask a busy person.

 

Kyle Gray:

I’ve got to say I’ve gone through that course too. And it’s so incredible how simple it makes and clear it makes all of these different words and languages. And it’s very easy to start noticing and transforming that. We’ll definitely have a link to that in the show notes for anybody listening in. Mark, thank you so much for joining us. Can we get a round of applause?

 

Mark England:

Thank you.

 

Kyle Gray:

Thanks for listening to the Story Engine Podcast. Be sure to check out the show notes and resources mentioned on this episode and every other episode at thestoryengine.co. If you’re looking to learn more about how to use storytelling to grow your business, then check out my new book, Selling With Story: How to Use Storytelling to Become an Authority, Boost Sales, and Win the Hearts and Minds of Your Audience. This book will equip you with actionable strategies and templates to help you share your unique value and build trust in presentations, sales, and conversations, both online and offline. Learn more at sellingwithstory.co. Thanks for listening, and I’ll see you next time.

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