Ep. 42 Conversation with Paul J Nadeau- The power of Compassion

Does love have the power to save your life? Listen to the incredible tale of Paul J Nadeau whose compassionate approach helped save his life when he and his colleague were face to face with terrorists in another country.   As an experienced criminal interviewer, Paul shares his ideas on how to use compassion to get people to feel safe enough to open up and tell the truth.  Do not miss this inspiring conversation on the power of love. 

Gissele:  [00:00:00] hello and welcome to the Love and Compassion podcast. We believe that love and compassion have the power to heal our lives in our world. Cool. Don’t forget to liken, subscribe for more amazing content. Today we’re gonna be talking about how to end hate with kindness, respect, and love with Jay Paul Nado. Who spent more than 30 years working with victims of crimes and perpetrators and learning from top experts.

Over the course of his career, Paul has talked hostage takers into giving themselves up and murderers into admitting their crimes. And because of his extensive training and his unique approach to connecting with people of all walks of life and under different circumstances, his life was saved by a terrorist during a terrorism attack in the Middle East.

Paul is a bestselling author, a mental health strategist, and was the Canadian Mental Health Association’s first choice as keynote speaker in 2019 for their fourth annual conference. He’s [00:01:00] a regular guest on Sirius xms Talk Talk Radio, a consultant to World News Networks such as C N N, the National in CP 24 for his expertise on terrorism and global hostage crisis.

He’s a screenwriter and accomplished keynote speaker on topics of negotiations, conflict resolutions, and mental health. Paul is also the host of Inspire Us. Paul is also the host of the Inspired US podcast. Please join us in welcoming Paul. Hi Paul.

Paul: Hi Giselle. Very nice to see you. How you doing? I’m good.

Gissele: How about yourself?

Paul: I’m doing well.

Gissele: I was wondering if you could tell the audience a little bit about your childhood and what led you on this journey.

Paul: Absolutely. Well, you know, I, I was raised, in a home where there was a lot of violence.

My father was a, a violent alcoholic who used to beat my mother, my brother, and myself regularly. I grew [00:02:00] up not believing in myself. I had low self-esteem. I suffered from depression, and something happened in grade seven that really was the pivot point for me. Up until then, I had no belief that I would amount to anything.

my teachers were even telling me back then that you’ll never amount to anything. What are you doing here? And it was that kind of environment way back when in the sixties. So, in grade seven, I started to like girls, and there was one teacher that. He put me on the spot. What he did was, and I don’t know if he did this deliberately, Gissele, but what he did was he announced to the classroom that we were all going to have a test, and he expected everyone to pass.

And then he pointed at me, he said, except for you, Nadeau, I already know you’re going to fail. That was so humiliating and embarrassing to me. I, I felt every eye on me. And I remember going back home and just crying that weekend and just, kind of examining my life. And I, I opened the books for the [00:03:00] test and I didn’t know how to study because I’d never really applied myself to, to do that.

My mother tried to get me to study, but my little mind just didn’t want to. And I, I did that for the weekend. I just looked over my notes and I went in the next week and I wrote that test. And you know how we have these two little voices in our hands? Yeah. One voice is supportive. We’re the other one is not.

It’s like a little devil. Mm-hmm. . And the little devil was telling me, you’re, You’re not gonna do this, you’re not gonna pass this test. He’s gonna humiliate the heck out of you. And the other one was saying, you know, the stuff, like, just answer the questions. Once I had written the test, I handed it in. And what was customary in this teacher’s, class was that he would announce the, the student with the lowest grade.

first he would announce the, the, the grade, and we would walk up and pick up the paper. I was conditioned to pick up the paper all the time. Like the first one I’d get outta my chair, walk over. So on this day, he started to call out the [00:04:00] names, and I wasn’t first, second, or third. And I thought, okay, this is, this is interesting because again, those voices right, he’s gonna wait until the very end and he’s gonna humiliate you.

That was the one that was really kind of banging on my head. . As it turns out, there were three students left and it was my cousin and another, girl by the name of Gisele and the two, yeah, . And the two of them always competed for the highest mark in, in, in the class. And my cousin was next to be called up and then me.

So that was a defining moment. I was the second, last to be called. I had the second highest grade and I didn’t take the walk of shame. I took a very proud walk to the front of the classroom and I started to believe in myself that if I could do that, what else can I do? And I never looked back. What got me onto the police, force was about the age of seven and, and the number seven really plays a role in my life.

Mm-hmm. , it just seems that [00:05:00] number seven pops up all the time. When I was seven, my father beat me and I was on the ground after the beating. And I remember looking up at him and just thinking, when I grew up, I’m gonna be a policeman. So I can arrest you and people like you, and that always stayed with me.

Now, when I was 17 again, I, my father killed himself and he killed himself with the same rifle he killed Santa Claus with when I was about eight. And, I just remember after his death, just following through with the decision to become a police officer, and at the age of 21 joined the police department.

shortly after that, I became a detective. I worked in the Special victims unit. I became a hostage negotiator, international peacekeeper, professional interrogator, and just, I just keep moving forward and there’s so much to do once you believe in yourself, Gisele. And once you believe that you can attain and you shoot high, we were talking about stars earlier.

Shoot for the stars and just see where it [00:06:00] lands because if you don’t try, you won’t. ,

Gissele: yeah. Oh, thank you for sharing this story. There were so many parts that really resonated with me.

one of the things that resonated for me about your story was that you became a policeman in order to arrest people like your dad.

I went into child protection to protect people like my mom. And so what do you think it is about children that we have kind of, we feel this responsibility for parents?

Paul: You know, I, I, I can’t answer that, but I, I do believe that at times we allow our circumstances to define us. Yeah. And we shouldn’t, we sh we should define our circumstances.

Never let our, our circumstances de define us. However, I, I’ve heard so many people who have become psychologists, psychiatrists, or whatever, and they did so because of their childhood. and watching their parents argue and not getting a sense of who they were. I, we rise to the challenge to, to become these better [00:07:00] people.

And it’s so nice to do that. some people don’t rise up. Mm-hmm. , they just let their circumstances really define them and, and they never get out of it. And years of therapy later, they’re still not well because they didn’t make the choice to rise above and say, you don’t define me.

My, my abuse in the past does not mean that I’m gonna become a serial killer. It doesn’t mean that I’m going to be a loser. Doesn’t mean that I’m gonna be whatever. No. I am going to choose for myself. And that is the motivation that so many people need. They need to believe in themselves. And only when you believe in yourself, will other people believe in you.

Gissele: And that has been kind of our experience in terms of the more that you love and accept yourself, the more that you can love and accept other people. Yes. and so one of the things also that I really enjoyed about your story was that, you know, when you became a policeman and then you became a detective, and then you were doing these, this, you know, special stuff, the approach that you use with [00:08:00] all of your work seemed to be one, of non-judgment, of, of listening to the stories and seeing the humanity of people.

how did you get to that point? How did you decide that that was the approach you were going to use with people rather than the traditional approach that sometimes we have in these systems, which is, you know, judge separate,

Paul: isolate.

Isolate. Right. What a wonderful question. Gisele. Oh, thank you. For me, you know, my father a, a as as he had a, a Jekyll and Hyde personality.

but he sent me out at the age of 12 to find a job so that I could pay room and board and, at the age of 12, I had to lie and say I was 16 and I’d be a busboy and that kind of stuff. But I learned how to speak to adults and ask for what I wanted, how to negotiate. I really learned a lot of those key things.

My mother also, God bless her, my mom was just a beautiful woman. Hmm. And when I was about eight or nine years old, she used to sell encyclopedias. Mm-hmm. , like, yes, encyclopedia is our thing of the [00:09:00] past folks. we used to have them, Britannica, encyclopedia Britannica. Yeah. And, my mother used to buy them and then she would sell them for a profit, but she was so busy taking care of the home and we had, different roomers who were, living in the basement.

So, She would call into this, this radio station and sell her her, like, they’d give her about two minutes to talk and she’d say what she had. Mm-hmm. She started putting me on the phone and here’s this like eight year old kid saying, I, we’ve got encyclopedia and my mom has, you know, and so I learned how to, how to really come into myself there, what made me kind of shift and treat people, the way that I wanted to be treated.

But not only that, there’s a golden rule rule, treat others the way that you would like to be tru treated, but then there’s the platinum rule, and that is treat people the way that they want to be treated. Mm-hmm. Two years into my, my work, about the first two years, I learned two very important lessons.

The first one, and, and I probably knew these before I joined the police department, but they [00:10:00] solidified when I joined number one, we are more similar than we are different. the moment I began to imagine what it must be like to be approached by a uniform cop or a detective. you know, if you were the victim of a serious assault, a, a sexual assault, whatever, what would it be like to have a detective walk in and start asking you questions?

Mm-hmm. , put yourself in that person’s shoes. How would you want to be treated with dignity and respect? You’d wanna be treated carefully. That lesson really embodied me. It it just like treat people, you know, like you, you’re going to, you’re going to be able to reach them because they are so similar to you.

They laugh, love, and bleed in the same way. They have the same worries everybody carries a cross. Everybody goes through something. So treat them the way that you would like to be treated and that much more. Then the second lesson that I learned, that I carried with me throughout my career was you get what you give.

Mm-hmm. , if I give you love and respect, [00:11:00] I’m gonna get love and respect likely in return. However, if I give you the finger on the street and call you a name, I’m likely gonna get that back, or maybe even worse. So the way in which you, you treat others is usually the way in which you’re going to be treated in return.

And that has been really, a lesson for me that changed everything. As a police officer. I got confessions, from killers who were told by their lawyers, don’t you talk to the detectives? You say that you, you know that you’re exercising your right to remain silent. All that kind of stuff. Mm-hmm. yet I didn’t walk in to talk to a murderer.

I walked in to talk to a human being. And I wanted to get to know who that person was and, and what motivated them to do what they did. And everybody’s got a story. Mm-hmm. . And once you allow people to tell their stories, it, it just opens the gates and it creates this, this beautiful bridge in which you connect with another human being.

So that’s been my [00:12:00] philosophies and that’s what got me here.

Gissele: Hmm. Oh, I love that you said that. I love your platinum rule cuz it really resonates with, me in, in the work that we do. because we, we look at compassion from the sense of it. It comes from a place of non-judgment and allowing all things to be.

Yeah. and so what happens with compassion in these feelings is that a lot of people think that they’re being compassionate, but then they still force their will on other people. They still need people to change. Right. Like, you know, they still, people need people to do a specific thing and that they feel it should be done.

And so that’s why I love your platinum route. Thank you rule. and it also reminded me of a story that my sister told me. So my sister’s a nurse,

 she also is atheist, but she would sit and pray with people. She would just give them respect and love, and she would say to me, It’s amazing what people share with you. Like they tell you there’s skeletons in their closet and she’s like, she was just not prepared for that.

All she was was just bearing witness to another human being and giving the most that she could [00:13:00] of herself with that love and kindness. But she said the exact same thing. She says, people will tell you things that they’ve never told anyone, and she was just not prepared for that. So what you said really resonated with me, and I remember the, her stories.

Paul: Yeah. Oh, that’s sweet. Because it, it’s so true. People open up to you when they feel that you are listening to them Yeah. And that you, that they matter. Mm-hmm. And the moment that they feel that people will open up and people will mm-hmm. , they, they, they will do things. So it’s great.

Gissele: Yeah. It’s from that place of like non-judgment, right?

It is. what helps you have non-judgment? Like, especially like what helps you when you may be triggered. Like, it’s easy for me not to have judgment when I am not triggered , but when you’re triggered sometimes you’re like, Ooh, it feels a little like a hard edge. What helps you kinda shift out of that into, okay, I’m gonna li in listening

Paul: mode.

Yeah. Well, I just don’t allow myself to get triggered. Okay. I, I, I don’t take things personally because if [00:14:00] somebody says something, horrible to you, then you have a choice. Eleanor Roosevelt said that, nobody can make you feel bad unless you give them permission to, and Victor Frankl who wrote, man’s Search for Meaning, which is a, an amazing book, he said that, between stimulus and response, there is a moment.

And in that moment we get to choose our response. And it’s so true. Is that, We don’t want to be reactors, like we wanna be responders. Imagine, first responders who go to the scene of an accident if they were first reactors. They get out, they go, oh my goodness, look at all the blood. What am I gonna do?

You know, we don’t want that. We want people who are focused, they jump out. They’re first responders. They say, okay, we got this. We should become our first responders. We respond and not react. And so, don’t allow yourself to be, personally attacked because it, it don’t take it personally that it’s, it’s very simple.

Imagine [00:15:00] that hurt people, hurt people. And if they say something to you that is hurtful, instead of reacting to it, you may want to just ask a question. Are you okay? Is everything all right? Yeah. Where’s that coming from today? You know, and just, just allow it just to not consume you, but you. Respond as opposed to react.

So I, I really don’t let that happen to me. Hmm.

Gissele: Yeah. So you must have a good, kind of emotional regulation, system, right?  because often what I have found, in my journey has been that, or even growing up, even with my parents, like in the people that I have seen is, or the adults in my life, is that they required us to behave, or children to behave in order so that they can feel at peace.

So people that need to control environments need the external to be peaceful. In order for them to experience peace, they need other people to change their behavior in order for them to feel happy. Whereas when you have a solid internal regulating [00:16:00] system, or you can find that peace from within the chaos outside of you doesn’t shake you because you have a good foundation.

so what helped you kind of have that good foundation?

Paul: Well, I, you know, I, I’m good. I think. , I would attribute a lot of that to, my police experience. Mm-hmm. where things were happening all the time. Something could explode in front of me. Like people could get violent, everything. Yeah. And I, and I had to keep my cool in order to deescalate the situation.

Mm-hmm. . And when you condition yourself to, to respond and not react, as I said a little bit earlier mm-hmm. , it, it, it becomes a pattern of yours. It’s like, okay, so if I’m dealing in a fight, like I’ve been in a lot of fights and I couldn’t lose my cool, I had to, I, I, I had two. To keep my cool mm-hmm. and I had to do my very best in order to deescalate and, and stop what was [00:17:00] happening.

So I, I think I got conditioned, you know, time and time again. Is that okay? I, I’ve got this and I, I still, every once in a while, I have to remind myself, you’ve got this and it’s just a natural response that we get scared or we get intimidated or whatever. But you. That’s when you take a, a deep breath and you put your shoulders back and put your chin up and say, I’ve got this.

And I, I love that philosophy is that I remind myself when I get nervous or nervous and excitement are the same emotion. And, so if I’m nervous, I say, no, I’m excited. And just, here we go. We’re gonna do this. And I think that people need to adapt that, to their lives when they’re afraid of presentations.

For example, you know, a lot of people who speak in public, they’re, they’re nervous. They say that it’s one of the worst feelings. you know, they, they rate it as one of the, the worst, but turn that nervousness into excitement. I get to do this. Not I have to do this, I get to do this. I [00:18:00] get to speak.

Whatever it is that you’re nervous about, you get to do it. Yeah. So, I, I, I think that’s one of the ones.

Gissele: Oh, that’s a great reframe for sure. Thank you. Yeah. Because then helps you transform the energy from one of, like, anxiety and like, Victimhood to one of empowerment and autonomy, right? I get to do this. I, you know, I get to share my story.

I get to be here. Yeah, I

Paul: love that. And I love what you said about like energy. You used the word energy. It’s true. Like we are energetic beings. Yeah. Like we are energy. And what we put out into the world again, is, is what people are going to receive. So if you are, low on your energy, you’re not confident, you’re shy, whatever it is, people are going to receive that energy and they’re going to treat you likely accordingly.

They’re gonna judge you. And people do, judge. But if you are able to raise your energy level and just say, listen, I am as worthy as anybody else. I’m amazing. And, and this is [00:19:00] a morning ritual where in which you talk to yourself and you really set the tone for the day mm-hmm. . And you remind yourself just how special you are, that you’re here and that you’re grateful to be here.

Your energy’s gonna be up here because I’m gonna make it. So, and then that way you bring this high energy into the world and people will receive that high energy and they’ll notice you. And I, I, I, I think that that’s just amazing that we get to choose our energy.

Gissele: Yeah. Oh, thank you for reminding our audience of that.

because it is so true. I think that we don’t realize how our beliefs and our thoughts are getting us to a specific vibrational alignment, and then how we then attract all of these experiences. We don’t want to. So we do get to choose. one of the things I’ve heard from people, is that they find it sometimes hard to have those beliefs about themselves.

Like, you know that you’re worthy and you’re lovable, and, and you are, you know, wonderful and, and amazing, because of the negative messaging that they have heard maybe throughout childhood or, but some of their teachers, like this is the people that, that, [00:20:00] that they don’t, they don’t choose to say, mm, no, I’m making a choice.

what do you think might help them, start to take steps towards that, towards feeling more, worthy, I guess.

Paul: Yes. Again, what a beautiful question to ask. I do believe, I, I, I like to tell people that there are three time zones, in our life. There’s the past, the present, and the future. Yeah. The past, what happened five minutes ago, 15 years ago, 20 years ago, is gone.

I cannot go back and change that. And when I, if I do examine it, I don’t wanna stay there long, because if it’s something bad, I don’t wanna pack my bags and go to the poor me hotel. Like, poor me. I was, I was traumatized by a father, an alcoholic father. Poor me. If I go to the poor Me hotel and I check in, then in the hotel they have this Yme Lounge and the Yme lounge, they, they, they give you these drinks at half price, and you go and you go, poor me.

Why has this happened to me? Well, guess [00:21:00] what? Your past is your past and much of what happened to you. If not all is not your fault, and the moment that you tell yourself the beautiful, story with Robin Williams, Goodwill Hunting. Mm-hmm. , you know, there, there’s this beautiful scene in which, you know, Robin Williams is, is just reminding, you know, Matt Damon, the character Matt Damon played, that what happened to him was not his fault.

So we have to remind ourselves, Hey, that was not my fault and I cannot wear the victim label. , because I’m not a victim. I choose that, that word choice, that six letter word is amazing. So don’t live in the past. Mm-hmm. , don’t live in the future. Plan for the future. Absolutely. You know, make these great plans.

But remember that in a moment everything can be taken away because we, we discovered this with Covid 19, didn’t we? Everybody had these plans. I’m going on holidays, , everybody

Gissele: had all these lofting plans they’re gonna do, and 2020 came and it was like, Nope. Not doing any of that. . That ain’t

Paul: happening to you in your homes.

Yeah, exactly. [00:22:00] So you are not in control. Why worry about the things that you are not in control? What are you in control of? Mm-hmm. , you’re in control of this moment right now. I get to talk to Gissele . Mm-hmm. . And I am on, you know, your show. This is amazing. I get to make a new connection here. Mm-hmm. , I get to choose how I’m feeling.

I’m feeling great. Mm-hmm. , because I get to talk to you. So this is the most important moment of your life. Mm-hmm. . And we were all born equal. It’s not like somebody was born to be better than us. No. We have to believe that we are as worthy as everyone. And to answer your question more specifically is that we condition ourselves so.

Bring this into your daily routine in which you wake up and, and you take a few moments to be grateful. Grateful. Number one, that you woke up, grateful that you have a family, grateful that you have a roof over your head. Grateful that you have your health, that you have somebody who loves you, that you love something.

So take that, that moment to be grateful and then, [00:23:00] As we get ready for our day, we’ve picked our clothes for the day, we’ve picked our, you know, I’m gonna be wearing this red shirt, I’m gonna be doing this, I’m gonna be doing it. Mm-hmm. . Okay, this is what I’m gonna be wearing. Why not go into the closet of your mind and just walk into that bright closet where there’s love and faith and servitude and all those things, and pick the attitude that you want to bring to the world.

Mm-hmm. so that you’ve, you’ve already conditioned yourself for the day. You’ve said, nothing is gonna get to me. Somebody cuts me off, I’m in line. Somebody cuts me off. Whatever. I’m on the highway, whatever. That’s not gonna bother me. I get to choose my response. Mm-hmm. and I get to choose that. I’m gonna face this world in, in a loving and supportive way, and that I’m gonna be the best I can possibly be.

Mm-hmm. . And we, you know, a lot of people blame and shame themselves for things that, that have happened or they’ve done in the past. I just wanna remind everybody that you are not the person you were. [00:24:00] 10 days ago. You’re not the person that you were five years ago. You’re standing on the shoulders of that person.

Mm-hmm. , we are a work in progress and we get to choose, like, if we have hurt someone, then it’s our responsibility to ask for forgiveness and then to forgive ourselves because we’re not those people. We won’t do that again. We’re going to be these new creations every day, and we get to choose how we’re going to welcome this world and what we’re gonna do to welcome it.

So yeah, that’s, that’s, oh,

Gissele: that was so good. I felt that , I love that analogy of, you know, we pick out our clothes, we pick out the thing, we can pick out our mindset, we can pick out our beliefs. And I think what you’re really talking about is, you know, through our beliefs and thoughts, we kind of create these, these habits and then these identities.

And, you know, we walk around with these, I’m a victim identity. I, you know, I, this happened to me identity. And we feed those identities and choose them every day, but we’re not realizing we’re choosing them every day because it’s easier to [00:25:00] choose them. And I think what you’re inviting us to do is really shift out of those identities and create new habits, new habits of, I’m gonna choose my mindset today.

Like I choose my shirt. I’m gonna choose what I’m gonna allow to get to me, you know, when I’m driving on the highway, I don’t need to, you know, if a person needs to cut me off, and by all means, please go ahead. You must be in a hurry before you’re getting to. And so that’s, that’s helping us bring our power back.

Take our power back, because so often we give our power away to other people to determine how we feel about ourselves and each other. So what a great invitation. ,

Paul: Gissele , we didn’t rehearse this, but you’re touching on so many incredible things that I resonate with. you, you’re, you’re so right. I’m gonna give an example.

Yeah. when things happen to us, we, we, we can choose to kind of put a sticker on it. We’re meaning making machines. Yeah. And when I look back at. My time in the Special victims unit working on cases of sexual assault and child abuse, [00:26:00] when I spoke to a victim who was completely traumatized, and, and you can understand why.

Yeah. But then, but then they would attach this label to them that they’re victims. They must have done something wrong to have had this happen to them. Their power and control has not been taken from them. It’s been shifted to the, to a side of their brain where they just can’t see it. Yeah. So my job, remember, I, I put myself in the shoes of, of the people that I was dealing with and the victims I was dealing with.

And this would be the tone of my voice and how softly I spoke and how much I reminded them how, how great and special they are. And after a couple of meetings with a victim, if I felt that they were still feeling the victim, mentality, I used to bring in two t-shirts and one t-shirt. It said, victim.

And the other t-shirt, it said Survivor. And I said, today you get to choose one of these [00:27:00] T-shirts. You don’t have to wear it, but whichever one you choose will be worn in one way or another. It will come out in your relationships. It will come out in the way that you feel about yourself. What happened to you was not your fault.

And you do not have to pick the victim. You can pick this super survivor, you can pick this one and say, you know what, you don’t get to take that from me. Yeah. I get to re, I get to redefine my life and I get to do this and it’s not, it’s not my fault. So you, you pick and everyone would pick that survivor’s t-shirt,

Yeah. And then I would get, I’d get a call a couple weeks later, detective Nadeau, I’m wearing the T-shirt and I feel so good. And that was just, yeah. Yeah. Because in these little minds of ours, We can put ourselves down or we can lift ourselves up, and it’s really just fine tuning that thing. Yeah. And I wanna remind people that sometimes it’s not [00:28:00] enough just to say the words.

You’ve gotta bring your physiology into it. You’ve gotta believe it. So if you’re standing in front of a mirror saying, I’m not a victim. I’m not a victim. Mm-hmm. , I’m not a victim. And you’re, you know, you’re slouched down. There’s no energy there. So use the physiology, bring yourself up and just start to shout it out as though you were dancing.

You know, it’s just amazing what we can do with a little bit of physiology and positive talk and self-love. Just remind ourselves that we we’re an incredible human beings. Well, but what is it? 4 million or whatever, sperm we’re, we’re competing for the job that you got. , you know, like, come on, you’re here because I don’t know, it’s sporty million.

I, I have no idea. But you’re here and you’re here for a reason. Mm-hmm. , you know, the meaning of life is to, is to find your gift. And the purpose of life is then to share it with others and everybody. A gift to share with others, and it’s your responsibility to just find what that is, to share it with the world and just remember that you’re worthy [00:29:00] to do it.

You know?

Gissele: Yeah. Oh, so good. Well said. Yeah, and I love that because it helps us kind of shift that perspective that we’re broken. That’s probably one of the things that I hear the most in my work is like, you know, sometimes people feel like they’re broken, like that, they can’t get to that point. And so that shifting, that the survival really does help them be willing to go there, be willing to see themselves and reimagine themselves in a way that, I think it’s, it’s really getting them towards the path of bring, getting back their autonomy.

Yes. what I do love about your work though, is that you not only show compassion, in love and kindness to people that are victims, but also perpetrators. you’re willing to see them in, in a different perspective. I was wondering if you could share with the audience your story about how, love and kindness, saved your life.

Paul: Oh, absolutely. soon to be a movie. And, really? Yes. Oh, that is amazing. Yeah. It’s in the works. And, that’s, congrats. Well, thank you very much. Yeah, yeah. Go ahead. Appreciate that. [00:30:00] In, 2005 during the Iraq war, can Canada didn’t send soldiers to the Iraq war. We sent peacekeepers and our police service was, asked if we would participate in peacekeeping missions and a list of different countries were provided to us.

And when I saw Jordan, I thought, yeah, let me go to the Holy Land. This would be great just to, yeah. experience it. And plus the position was one of a teacher and I, I was teaching at the time. Mm-hmm. , I was teaching police officers and I thought this is a great fit for me. So I was, I. Accepted by the United Nations to become a peacekeeper, and I was deployed in 2005.

And again, I imagined what it must be like for all these Iraqi police cadets. There was, it was called the Jordanian International Police Training Center. Mm-hmm. . It was a, the largest police academy in the world, just outside of Iraq in the desert, about 150 kilometers away from the Iraq border. [00:31:00] And every eight weeks we got 3000 police cadets.

ranging from the age of 16 to 65. Wow. And there was no way for Iraq to, to vet the cadets mm-hmm. , they were in such desperate need of mm-hmm. of men, of police officers to help save their country or defend their country. They were just grabbing them. So we were given, young men and, and older men who had mental illnesses, who were frail.

some of them were university, graduates, whereas others had never learned how to, to read or write. Some had never left their home for even one night. And now, wow. 3000 cadets, away from home during a war. And I thought, how would I want to be treated by my instructor? Mm-hmm. . So I came up with, an introduction and I’d.

And I had a, a language assistant who would translate for me. And I said, my name is Paul and it’s an honor for me to be here, to share my experiences with you. And I’m hoping [00:32:00] what I provide you, you’ll be able to use back in your country. And it’s an absolute honor for me to be here. I’m here to treat you with dignity and respect, and I would expect the same in return.

As much as I’m gonna share with you, I would like for you to share with me and I’m gonna make this class fun. And so this was my opening line or my little monologue that I would give them, and I made it fun for them. We had Sunnis and Shiites in our, in our classrooms, but we also had terrorists who had infiltrated the academy just simply by wearing a police uniform.

Mm-hmm. . And it was so easy for them to do. Now they’re being paid to be there for the eight weeks and trained on explosives, self-defense, all this. We tried to, to identify. The terrorists. And once they were identified, of course they were removed, but some of them were able to go underneath and not be, not be found.

One student, I had about 60 [00:33:00] students every two weeks, that would come with me and then they would leave and they’d go, to another classroom for two weeks. And that’s the cycle. But one student had this bodyguard and, it wasn’t unusual to see, men with, with their bodyguards because depending on, on their tribe and their village, they may have high status.

So it wasn’t a big deal. And he took particular interest in my viewpoint about the war and what we were doing there. Mm-hmm. and we had tea and so we developed a friendship and. He left the classroom and about a month later I applied for the job of advocate and counselor for the academy and I got it.

And so it was a beautiful move out of the training branch into helping to support, these cadets and many of them. I was trying to get them better food, more time to leisure time, that kind of stuff. And also, I would have to determine whether or not, a cadet was in, condition [00:34:00] I i in a good condition to remain if, if they weren’t mm-hmm.

Because maybe they, maybe they had been sexually assaulted in the dorm or they were suffering from a mental illness. And I would go, to, to the commissioner and I would say these men have got to be redeployed to their, their country cuz they’re, they’re not good here. Mm-hmm. . one cadet came in because part of my job was just to listen to them, because many of them were sad.

Many of them, like, I’ve never been away from home. I’m lonely, I’m sad, I’m broken. And I would try to encourage them and see if they could, you know, put out a little bit longer because going back home wasn’t that easy. Mm-hmm. one cadet used to come in just to, to talk and he said, Mr. Paul, there’s going to be an attack and it’s gonna be from within the academy, and, internationals are going to be killed.

And I said, well, thank you for, you know, thank you for that. And I went to our security and they already were aware of it. But when you’re on mission or if you are a soldier, you can’t go home [00:35:00] because it’s gonna get heated. You keep going about your job, you’re alert. You have to be more alert. And this is what we did and.

Had a partner, a finish officer by the name of Yadamo, who was about a, a foot taller than I was. Just a beautiful human being. I, I love this guy. And I remember we used to get to the academy before all the other internationals because we had toe, the, the, the dean, the whoever ran the academy to give papers and to talk about who’s gonna go back home.

So we did that. And out of his office, just as the sun was rising, we were walking through the desert and from behind one of the buildings, about 40 armed cadets, carrying rocks and sticks and everything. They could get their, their hands on belts, whatever. They rushed us and they surrounded us. And Gisele, I, I really believed in that moment that those were gonna be the last moments of my life because they were hooting and hollering.

They were [00:36:00] starting to push. And I remember my partner right before the attack, he just, patted me on the head and he said, this is gonna hurt little buddy. And I said, yes it is. And I was thinking about my daughters and thinking I may not see them again. Mm-hmm. . And they reached in and they started to grab us and started to beat us.

And we were fighting for our lives. And just as this was starting, I remember getting knocked down and I could hear one voice from behind the crowd yelling, Mr. Paul, Mr. Paul, Mr. Paul. And he yelled something else in Arabic. I couldn’t make out what he was saying. I didn’t have any, any translators there. And, suddenly the whole crowd just parted like the, like the Red Sea.

And I was kind of getting my focus back. And I looked for the face of the person who had put a stop to the attack. And it was that cadet that I had met earlier. Hmm. And he came, he had the biggest smile on his face. And it really kind of, I’m looking up, he’s got this smile on his face and he reaches over and he [00:37:00] takes me by the arm and he pulls me up and he says, Mr.

Paul, you’ve gotta go. It’s not gonna be a good day. And so my partner and I were, allowed to leave and we rushed back to our office. We called the security, but a stop to all the other, internationals from entering the academy. And we left and our lives were spared. So I can say that not only did I fight terrorism hand to hand, but my life was saved by a terrorist.

And I don’t think too many people can say that. Yeah. So that’s the story. And it, when I looked and reflected back on that Gisele, it was the way in which I treated him and the way in which I treated all the cadets with that dignity and respect I spoke of. And non, non-judgmental, because some of the terrorists don’t want to be terrorists.

They’re given no other option. , their families will be killed. They’ll be killed if they don’t do that. Yeah. So I wanna remind everybody that once we put a label on someone, this is a homeless person. They must be a loser, they must be [00:38:00] this, they must be, this is a prostitute. She must be this, she must be that.

This is what, when, when we stick a label on someone, a negative label, I don’t see who they are. They’re just like you and I we’re more similar than we are different. They’ve got their, they’ve got their broken pieces. We all got our broken pieces, but they’ve got a story just as you do. So why judge them?

Why not try to understand them? Not that, that’s my message to the world. Hmm.

Gissele: And it is such a powerful message and a message that we believe on this podcast in particular, we, I’ve had stories where I’ve showcased people that, you know, like they were facing situations like you, and they chose to turn.

Towards and to love, people that have used even respect. I can think of like Daryl Davis, he used, he went to KKK people as a black musician and leaned in and said, why do you hate me? Just I’m not trying to convert you. I’m not trying to judge you. I’m not trying to hurt you. I’m just trying to understand and got 300 KK [00:39:00] people to leave the Klan.

but our natural inclination is to want to punish because when we are hurt, we wanna hurt.

When we are upset, we wanna lash out. And if you look at the systems we’ve created, and I love this part of your Ted, I believe it was in your TED Talk. The systems we’ve created reflect the level of consciousness that we have, and they reflect how we act. When we’re hurt, they isolate, they separate, they judge, they punish.

 in order for us to change, that has to change.


and so what are your thoughts in terms of how these, how this consciousness has led us to create this sort of extremism or has contributed to this racism and extremism and all that we kind of see in the world?

Paul: I think I could answer that by saying that, my experience with many of the, people who were, antisocial and, who had chosen to become gang members or [00:40:00] just criminals or whatever, , when I looked into their lives, into their past and took time to talk about who they were, what made them up, it’s amazing how we, we all need to be seen, heard, validated, loved.

And if you are abused and that’s all you know, is this abuse, then you feel that rejection, I’m not loved. And so as you grow older, you wanna find a group of people who will accept you into their clan, into their whatever it is. And oftentimes if you have this, this terrible feeling about yourself, this, this victim mentality that then some groups will not accept you.

And so you might go to a gang and they’ll say, Hey, you’re welcome. And there’s your home, or you welcome as a terrorist, you’re welcome as this or that. They welcome you into a tribe, and then you adapt to your environment. You feel that you are [00:41:00] accepted, which is what everybody wants to feel loved and accepted.

And we need to break that cycle and just remind people that they, they are worthy of, of whatever it is that they put their heart and soul into, and just not judge as, as easily as we do, label people. I’ve got a problem with labels. I, I I, I don’t know if this happened, to you in, in school Gisele, but remember those posted notes, you know, where somebody would write, you know, something like dummy or something like that on, on a posted note, and then would come and slap you on the back and then you’d walk around and people would laugh because you’ve got this label.

Isn’t that what we do? Isn’t that what we do? We lay this up? Yes.

Gissele: We just don’t put the sticky note. I

Paul: think so. . Oh, no, no. What do we do? Sticky notes up. Yeah. We, we do, we do. And we just need to break that. We need to break that. And I remember I walked in to talk to, a biker, 300 pound biker, big man. And he had some information about, a, a killing a murder.

And I was going in to [00:42:00] talk to him about, about this to see if I could get him to, to give us the information that we needed. And the moment I walked in and I said, w which, which I, I said to a lot of criminals, most criminals, Hey, I’m here to treat you with dignity and respect. And I, and when I said that to him, his head was down.

And the moment I said, I’m here to treat you with dignity and respect, he looked up at me, this 300 pound biker, long hair, big beard, just tears in his eyes. And he said, nobody has ever said that to me. Nobody has ever said that to me. And then he gave me the information I was looking for. We all need this feeling, this connection.

And if we’re willing to give it to those that we feel, you know, maybe don’t deserve it because of their behavior, but if we can break through that barrier and just open up, then we get what we give. It’s what I said a little bit earlier. If you give this, you’re likely to get [00:43:00] it in return. So if I give you this compassion, this love, this non-judgmental, approach, then I’m likely to get that in return.

Because as much as, you know, criminals say, okay, I’m the criminal, but you’re a cop. And there’s, that’s the wall is here. Not, no, no, no. Let’s just chisel this wall away. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Let’s just, you know, I’m a person, you’re a person. I’ve got a job, you’ve got a job. You know, that kind of stuff. Right? Yeah. I think that goes a long way.

Yeah, for

Gissele: sure. It’s, it’s interesting to me, you know, that we always attribute people’s hurtful behavior as who they are, right? Like, you know, this person is toxic, this person is hurtful, he is a, you know, but when we hurt other people, we say, well, this is my behavior. It’s not who I am. Right? At least you don’t wanna believe that’s who you are, but we don’t give people the same benefit of the doubt.

and so one of the things that I like to talk about is, is that it’s, our behavior is not who we are, [00:44:00] right? So we behave in different ways, and we all have the capacity to choose to behave in hurtful ways. We have to choose. To act in different ways. We, like, for me, I have to ch I choose loving compassion every day.

I don’t always get it right, but I choose it. And, and I make that conscious choice, like putting on my, you know, I’m gonna put on my mindset today. Yeah. and so, and I think that’s what people don’t realize, because when people start to feel like you mentioned homelessness, when people start to feel like they’re viewed a specific way, they adopt that identity and they don’t believe they can change.

Yes. And I think that’s the, that’s the challenge.

Paul: That’s, it’s, I love what you just said there. True. It’s so true. I, if you’re in a dark hole mm-hmm. , and this is what you become familiar with, then it’s learned helplessness. Yeah. You learn to adapt to this environment. I can never get out of here, you know?

Mm-hmm. , I can’t, I can’t. This is who I am. I’m just [00:45:00] unlovable. I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m broken. And this is what I, I become conditioned to. And it’s like the experiments that were done on, on dogs years ago, which, they, they would bring a dog into a cage that was electrified. And, so the bottom was electrified.

There was a, a little tunnel leading out of the, the cage. Mm-hmm. into an un electrified, box or, or a cage. And the dogs would come in and they would, the, the experimenters, the scientists were watching, and the dogs would jump up and jump up, and some of them would see the, the way out, and they would go and they were safe.

But to those who were in that panic mode, and they just kept jumping and jumping and jumping, what they noticed was after, maybe a few hours or whatever that the, the dog would become conditioned to, their environment would lie down. And this became the reality. It’s like being. An abusive relationship, somebody who is the victim of domestic violence, it happens so often that they, they don’t [00:46:00] see the way out and they, they think, this is just my life as a kid.

When I was being abused by my dad, I didn’t see a way out. That was just my life. Everybody must have this. And I, I remained in that state of mind. Mm-hmm. , because I didn’t know any better. And so your point about, you know, how people, adapt, to this, how they learn to become helpless and to adapt to the environment that they were thrown into or, or whatever circumstance got them there.

But they’re there and they say, well, there’s nothing more I can do. Well, there is, and we, we know because we can reach out to people, who can shine their light into us. Leonard Cohen, the great musician. Mm-hmm. he’s passed and a great Canadian musician, hallelujah was his song, right? Mm-hmm. . He wrote a song back in the nineties called Anthem, and I love this, this lyric from it.

He said, there’s a crack in everything, but that’s how the light gets through. Mm-hmm. , and we’ve all had our [00:47:00] cracks and our breaks. Some people have had our breaks. We, we have a light within us that we can pour out of our cracks into the cracks of others to support them. And equally they can do that. So let’s be open to receiving the, the guidance, the encouragement, and the help of others and let’s go and mimic that behavior and give it to other people.

Cuz we’re not broken folks. We can, we can take those pieces and we can, we can solder them with gold, which is something the Japanese used to do. Yeah. And just made it, I love that heart. Stronger. You are it. And start believing that you are and you will become what you believe. Yeah.

Gissele: Ah, thank you for sharing that.

one of the things that I have found in my journey, and I know in the people that I work with, is the, the fact that they really have a hard time. They can’t. have that level of non-judgment or acceptance or openness or curiosity until they do that for [00:48:00] themselves. Until they’re able to, hold space for their difficult emotions to have, love and compassion for their anger and all of those frustration emotions.

And when they start to love themselves and, and fill up their cup or put their own oxygen mask on first, then, and only then can they be open and curious about other people and to be able to do that. what do you think the role of forgiveness is, in terms of being able to, to help us with some of those difficult emotions like anger or shame or guilt like, and how has forgiveness helped you in your journey?

Paul: Forgiveness is not always easy to to give. Right? Yeah. Forgive for, oh yeah, for the giving. Forgiveness is for the giving. Mm-hmm. , you know, so I’m going to give you this, this, this idea that, the transgressions or whatever has happened, they’ve happened and let’s just leave them behind. The rule of forgiveness really is to.

Recognize again, that we’re more similar than we are [00:49:00] different from other people. So everybody’s going through their hell, everybody’s got a cross to carry, and, and sometimes they don’t know how to handle it. And so they’ll, they’ll say something or do something to you that you’ll take personally and, and you’ll take this in and say, wow, I’m not that way.

And oh gosh, why would you ever say that? I, I feel so broken. Well, you’re giving them permission to hurt you. You just like get Roosevelt said. Don’t give them that. Don’t give them the satisfaction. Recognize that they may be going through something that you have no idea about.

You know, I walk down the street and, and there’s dozens of people in the downtown area here and everyone’s got a story and somebody may be the victim of sexual abuse at home. Another person may have lost a loved one. Someone may have just lost their job. Other people are gonna lose their homes. And I just have to look around and all, everything is happening to these people.

So if something happens where a [00:50:00] person is mean to me, or they intend to be mean to me again, let me reframe the, the, the thing. They’re not mean to me. Like nobody can break my heart. I, I do that on my own. Mm-hmm. , nobody can hurt my feelings. they didn’t hurt my feelings. You hurt my feelings. No, no, no, no, no.

I hurt my feelings. I’m the one who chose to feel this way. It’s my responsibility. And a lot of people say, well, I have this relationship and he broke my heart. Or she broke my heart. No, no, no, no, no. Nobody did that. They didn’t go in and crack your heart open mm-hmm. and did that to yourself. It’s the way in which you, you chose to attach meaning to this and not.

Choosing the right way to look at things. So forgiveness, we owe it to ourselves and we owe it to others because we’re humans and we’re, we’re imperfect people living in an imperfect world. But the way in which we, we bring this imperfection to the world makes it that much more perfect because we get to choose the best [00:51:00] versions of ourselves.

And by forgiving others, we can also forgive ourselves because we’re, I look at my past and I’ve hurt people, and I, I didn’t mean to, and maybe it was unintentional, maybe it was intentional, but I had to go back mm-hmm. And just truly ask for that forgiveness. And once I had asked for their forgiveness, I had to then forgive myself.

Mm-hmm. , there’s this beautiful, Hawaiian prayer. It’s,I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Its the Ho’oponopono, that’s it. That’s it. Yes. Yes. I’ve

Gissele: used it. Yeah. It

Paul: works. Yeah. Oh my goodness. I used it. yes. And it works, and tears will actually pour. Mm-hmm. You. Mm-hmm. And it’s just beautiful. So Yes. Ask for forgiveness and forgive yourself.


Gissele: yeah. Yeah. The, the hoon, I always, I don’t always pronounce it right. Theono Pono, I think it’s what it’s called. Yeah. Ho

Paul: Oko. Oh,

Gissele: yeah. Like, it’s, I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you. Mm-hmm. . I’ve used it with myself and I’ve used it with other people that [00:52:00] I have. Yes. I felt like I have harmed.

Yeah. and so, yeah. Yeah. I, I did wanna ask you kind of a leaning question. Sure. and that is, were you able to find out your dad’s story as to how he became, like how he, kind of got to that point where he was so hurtful?

Paul: Yes. And that again, you know, I, I, I’m a work in progress. Gissele , we all are, we all are

We all are. And, and I’m always learning different things. And for the longest time, yeah, I think I had a hard time forgiving my father. And then I realized, you know, he even had it worse than I did cuz his father used to, he was a, a violent alcoholic as well. And they lived in, in Quebec, in, in, the northern part of Quebec, in rural area.

And, I remember my, my grandmother’s stories about how she had to take the children, my father included, and run out in mid-winter to a barn several hundred feet away where she had [00:53:00] clothes and food stashed because, my grandfather had a rifle and was going to shoot them. Because in a, in a drunken state, and I can only imagine how, how my father was treated and broken.

People often break people. we, we talked about that earlier. Hurt people. Hurt people. And I don’t think my father ever had the, that was years and years ago. There wasn’t therapy as, as easily accessible as it is now. There wasn’t anybody who would listen and you had to keep your story to yourself. , you know, if you were in, in a good Christian home or, or Catholic home, you don’t go tell everybody your stuff.

Mm-hmm. , you just keep it to yourself. You’d be a big boy. You don’t cry and you just suck it up. And, you know, I imagine that that years of, of abuse in my father, he just couldn’t handle it. he had a mental condition. He just couldn’t handle it. And I do believe that, yeah, his illness is, is what contributed to, the [00:54:00] abuse that we suffered.

So once I realized that everybody’s got a story, remember everybody’s got a story. Why is it that they’re behaving this way? I think I understand now. You know what, dad, I forgive you and, you know, I, I, I’m so sorry for everything that you went through mm-hmm. , because I can’t imagine what your life was like and yeah.

There was, I

Gissele: realized something interesting as you were talking. It’s so funny that your dad was terrorized by his father. You know, he terrorized you and you went into terrorism,  you know, when you went to study like terrorism,  it’s very healing. That’s, that’s a really, that’s what came across my mind.

I’m like, oh, because to live in that circumstance must been terrorizing. Like, to be constantly in that fear, in that, in that environment of like, your home is not safe and therefore internally you don’t feel safe. No. and so, yeah, I can only imagine that, that that kind of, that, terrorism at home, right?

Like that, can be a [00:55:00] very, wow. It can be very frighten.

Paul: It, it is for a lot of people and we just gotta realize that, we, we have to examine, and, and not just, accept we have to really, use our minds and question. Mm-hmm. , this is not my life. Yeah. I don’t have to stay here. Mm-hmm. I’m in this abusive home.

I don’t have to, I’m in this abusive relationship. I don’t have to, I am, you know, I’m conditioning myself to, to reach for the bottle, to pour away, all of my, my sadness and stuff. No, you don’t have to, you know, life is full of choices and you are not your circumstances. You define your circumstances, so, yeah.

Mm-hmm. . . Oh yeah.

Gissele: Yeah. And the other thing I was thinking about as well was that, it’s interesting, a lot of like, it, it seems to be like there’s huge shift that’s happening, in consciousness and in in awareness, you know? And, and people that, you know, were alive during the time of war. There was a lot of scarcity.

There was a lot of fear. my parents’ generations didn’t believe in therapy. Like, you don’t tell anybody [00:56:00] your business,

You know, what will people think? And there was all of this value in external, like what people perceived and all of this misconceptions. And now when you see this newer generation that wanting to talk about mental health, wanting to, addressing, wanting to talk about loving ourselves and loving each other,

 you know, I believe, and I could be wrong, so correct me if I’m wrong, that one of the things you had mentioned in your TED Talk was about the power of belief and believing that we can get there.

I was wondering if you can, talk a little bit about how belief can help us, hopefully, create a more loving and compassionate world.

Paul: Absolutely. Again, another wonderful, brilliant question, but yes. You know, when we start to believe in ourselves and, and I, I spoke about my grade seven pivot moment, that moment that shifted everything for me.

I started to believe in myself.

when you start to believe in yourself, like the grade seven pivot moment for me where I started to imagine.

I was not [00:57:00] a loser and I could do things and I could accomplish things, and then I pushed myself. Belief helps you to push and open the envelope, and the more that you believe in something and you do your very best to make it happen, the more successful you will you will be. So if we believe in the goodness of others, we’re going to approach them with goodness, and we’re going to bring this, this energy out.

And. They’ll receive the energy that we give. And so we could really make a change in this world if only we sat down and started to listen to each other’s differences. Because you, you can imagine if we were all the same, we’re not, we’re born in a particular country. we’re given, a religious belief often, you know, by, by where we were born and beliefs of the community or the country or whatever.

And they, they may not coincide with your own, but they are entitled to their beliefs. And just as much as I am, I, I can’t, I can’t say somebody, well, you can’t [00:58:00] believe that. Come on. You know, like, you can’t possibly believe that that’s wrong. Well, it’s my opinion, right? In my opinion. And. What is it? Two bucks or five bucks?

We’ll get you a coffee. You know, like it’s, everybody’s got one. But, no, the belief is strong. It’s like, I believe I can lose 15 pounds and I truly believe it. Now, what must I do to make that belief a reality? I must do the work. I must exercise. I must change my, my eating habits. I’ll go fasting. I’ll do this and I’ll do that cuz I believe in it.

I see it, I visualize what it’s going to be like. I see myself 15 pounds lighter or 50 pounds lighter or whatever. I see myself getting that job. I see myself getting that date. Whatever it is, when you start to believe and you, you, you make it happen because you manifest it. And your, your belief system is one in which you will not accept anything lower.

Mm-hmm . If you are truly [00:59:00] committed, then you will make it happen. And I’m a believer in that, I, I believe that there are so many wonderful opportunities out there. I tell this in, in many of my talks. I say, I do not want to be visited by the ghost of missed opportunities on my deathbed . When I’m on my deathbed.

I don’t want these ghosts coming in and going, you know, Paul, we whispered something in your ear mm-hmm. , that you could write a book and you kept saying, no, no, no. Mm-hmm. , let me show you what it would’ve been like if you would’ve written that book, or if you would’ve asked this person out, or if you would’ve become this that you wanted to become, but you never tried.

I don’t wanna be visited by those ghosts that make me feel bad about the life that I’ve lived. I wanna be visited by the ghost of rock and roll, who go, dude, that was so awesome. What are we gonna do next time to come? This is great. Yeah. What’s next? What’s next? What’s, this was a ride, man. What ride are you taking us on next?

Mm-hmm. . That’s


Gissele: what, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I love that. You mentioned manifestation. Also a big believer in manifestation. I think where people get tripped up [01:00:00] though is when they don’t see it, right? So you set your intention and you’re like, yeah, I’m gonna ride all, you know, all these things. I’m gonna do all these amazing things in, where is it?

And so the belief has to be strong enough. Your vision has to be strong enough. And that’s the, the thing that I felt from you. You don’t take no for an answer, which is you stop paying attention to what is not out there, and you hold onto the vision and then it comes into alignment. But a lot of, like a lot of us, and I say we, because we’re interconnected, we’ll say, well, it’s not there, therefore it’s not a reality.

Oh well, , right? And in this environment where we are with, you know, instant gratification, we expect our manifestations to be just there when we desire them. But if we manifested everything we thought we could create some chaos for ourselves, , some real negativity. So it’s kind of a blessing that we don’t, but I love how you said about, you know, hold onto your vision and stick to that vision and don’t take anything less than your vision.

Because then, then you won’t get visited [01:01:00] by that ghost that’s saying

Paul: Yes. And there’s, there’s a bunch of ghosts that will visit you. But , you know, for me it’s, it’s a matter of, of trying and, and just visualizing and saying, I’m going to give this my best shot. And it may not happen. It may be that you’re giving it your best shot, but you just don’t have the talents and it’s okay.

Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. , because those ghosts have missed opportunities, are not going to give you a hard time for having tried for having your best forward. And you may find something that was even better than the first thing that you tried. Mm. It may be maybe a relationship. Oh, nope, that one didn’t work out because it wouldn’t have worked out.

Yeah. We see this, but we’ve got this other person for you. And whatever it is that, that belief, that manifestation, it takes work. It’s not gonna happen overnight in many cases. Mm-hmm. and for me, writing the books, I had no desire to write a book. Mm-hmm. . And people kept saying, Paul, you got such interesting stories, you gotta write a book.

And I said, no, no, [01:02:00] no. And then I found myself in 2013, just in between jobs and thinking, what am I gonna do? And I don’t like to have idle time on my hands. It just, yeah. it, it’s lonely when you have that. Right. And so I thought, why am I, yeah. Yeah. So this whisper came to me, Gisele, it was a whisper, and it said, write a book.

And I, I listened and I said, get away. You know, like, and then mm-hmm. , the whisper became louder. And I do believe that we, we have whisperers. And this whisper was loud enough that I, I, I thought I said okay. How do I do this? So I went to a bookstore and I picked up a book on how to write a book, . And

Gissele: that’s so great.

That’s what they’re there

Paul: for. Yes. But here’s the thing, read the whole book. I only read 40 pages , and I thought I knew Good year. I thought I knew it, and so I started to write. But the thing was, and here’s the big. Is that I was not committed in the very beginning. I would write for an hour, I’d leave it for two weeks, I’d come back, I’d write [01:03:00] for another hour and a half, maybe two hours, cause I was bored.

And then I would come back three weeks later and I’d look at it, and this was a pattern because I, I didn’t want it bad enough. Ask yourself, how bad do you want it? Mm-hmm. , how bad do you want to achieve this? Are you ready to put the work into it? And I remember after about eight, nine months, may, you know, even a year, I had a bunch of writing that didn’t look anything like a book.

Mm-hmm. . And I had to go back and read from the very beginning to where I left off. And that could be 50, 60 pages just to catch up to where I was. And I thought, are you committed or not? Is this gonna happen or not? Paul, how bad do you want it? And so I wanted to be accountable. Mm-hmm. . So I went to social media, Facebook, and I thought, okay, I’m gonna do this.

I’m gonna type out, I’m writing a book. and I pushed the send button and I shared it, and, I thought nobody’s gonna say anything. And then I got about 20 people saying, it’s about time. Can’t wait. . [01:04:00] So there’s my accountability, when’s it coming out? And then I put a date on it and I became a committed writer, which meant that I sat down for four and a half, five hours a day, and I wrote at least one or two sentences that popped out that resonated, and then I completed it.

And had I never listened to that, to that whisper, I wouldn’t have, I, I self-published my first book and I thought, okay, it’s out there. I’ve done it. I’ve, I I did it, I’m done. Yeah. Yeah. But then, As, as this, this world can suddenly change everything for you. Yeah. And in a, in a New York second, your life can change.

It’s for the better. And you gotta have this faith, this, this beautiful faith. Mm-hmm. , one of the 40 people who bought my book, turned out to be an editorial director for Harper Collins, one of the biggest publishing houses. Amazing. Yes. Yeah. And he invited me for coffee and I said yes. [01:05:00] And, he pulls out my book and he slides it on the table and he says, we wanna publish this worldwide.

And I said, yes, you do. Yes, you do. And the, the contract was, was created and now the book is available worldwide. But let’s believe in this, this thing, this faith. Let’s have faith that, that the world is conspiring for us. Paranoia is the belief that the world is conspiring against you. Pronoia. It’s opposite is to believe that the world is conspiring for you.

When you start to believe that the world is conspiring for you, every good thing is gonna happen. Your life will change because your energy will be broadcast and you’ll be attracting what you give out. Remember, you get what you give. And if I have this belief in myself that, Hey, I’m gonna make this happen.

How bad do you want it? I want it real bad enough. Give you a small example. I have a guitar here in my home. Mm-hmm. . And I’ve had it for about 30 years and. Collecting dust . I [01:06:00] wanted to learn how to play it, and it was hard and I thought I wasn’t committed. Yeah. I didn’t want it bad enough, so I never learned how to play it.

But those things that I want bad enough, oh my goodness, you ain’t gonna stop me. I’m gonna make it happen. Mm-hmm. , I, I, you know, if the door is closed, I’m gonna take a chainsaw. Just break it down, you know, I’m gonna get to where I wanna be because I can, and each and every one of your listeners can do the same.

Mm-hmm. , the moment that you have that belief, which you talked about so beautifully yourself, is that belief is, is not enough. It takes work. And if you are looking at it and saying it’s not happening fast enough. , examine yourself. Mm-hmm. Socrates said, an unexamined life is a life not worth living. And from time to time, and I, I write about this, I, I say from time to time, every two weeks or so, in the very beginning, take a sheet of paper and just put a, a line through it.

And on the one side, write down the things that are working in your life and on the other side, write the things that are not [01:07:00] working on your life. And then be brutally honest with yourself when you take a look at the things that aren’t working. This relationship is not working. Am I doing my part or is it a relationship that I need?

Whatever is not working well, I’m, I’m 50 pounds overweight. Okay, well, how bad do you want it? Are you going to put the label that I’m. To do what it takes to make that that change where I can put the things that’s not working from that list onto what’s working. Mm-hmm. and remember this, Lao Tzu, said the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Mm-hmm. . And I’ve added to that. The idea is that we keep moving forward, we keep taking those steps. So the journey of wherever you wanna be begins with you taking the first step and then the second and then the third, learn how to run, learn how to master that course because it’s your course to master.

And that’s what I would have to say about that as first got would say. And that’s all I got to say about.

Gissele: And that is a beautiful, beautiful way to end the podcast. so final [01:08:00] question is where can people find you? Tell us about your books. Tell us about your websites so that people can go check you up.

Paul: you bet. Thank you so much for that. Yes. You can reach me if you just Google my name, Jay Paul Naau, or Paul Naau. I’ll, I’m. In several places on the internet. My website, I have two j paul nado.com and that will bring you to my website. I’m a keynote speaker and, and I love doing that. I’ve had a great year speaking, so you can, you can reach me that way.

My email address is there. You can reach me that way. inspire us is my podcast and just, yes. easiest way go to the web, Paul Nadeau, or J Paul Nadeau. You’ll see. You’ll see everything. Yes. And

Gissele: your books are available on Amazon and anywhere where people purchase books.

Paul: Pretty much. Yes. yep. my, my first book, which, I called it Hostage to myself, but Harper Collins, called it Take Control of Your Life.

It’s available in many, many bookstores across, north America and it’s available everywhere. You can buy books online. [01:09:00] And the other one is available through Amazon. I’ve got two. One is, dam, just ask. It teaches people . Yeah. Dam. Just ask. A lot of people don’t ask for what they want in life. Yeah. That they’re afraid.

The fear, I go into another topic. It takes

Gissele: courage. It takes courage because all the limiting beliefs come up and then you go, oh, maybe not. Right.

Paul: So it takes courage. Exactly. Exactly. So this book will teach you how to get that, that courage damages out. It’ll teach you how to negotiate. The other book I have is, the Badass Guide to Conflict Resolution, how to Deal with Conflict.

Cause a lot of people look at conflict and they avoid it. Conflict is opportunity. It’s an opportunity to create a better relationship to understand that other person gets back into the talk. So I, I’ll end it there. But you know, when you look at conflict through a different lens, you look at it as an opportunity to really listen to the other person, Stephen Covey said, seek first to understand and then to under, to be understood.

And if you carry that into your work, as a [01:10:00] salesperson, as a negotiator, listen to the other side first. Listen to the person you’re in conflict with. Maybe it’s a loved one that you’re arguing with. You shut your mouth. Listen to what they have to say. Ask and and then speak and when you understand. So

Gissele: that’s me.

I love that conflict is an opportunity for us to come closer

Paul: together. It is. It’s to build a bridge to really understand. Well imagine. Soldiers at, at war, and they’re faced with conflict all the time. They may be even in conflict with the people that they, they, they’re, trooped with mm-hmm. . And yet they’re sup They’re going to help each other.

They’re gonna listen to each other, they’re going to get through it, and they become closer because of the conflict. And, and that’s how real relationships, can be developed by understanding the other person and looking for the opportunity to get to know you better. What is it that you’re struggling?

What is it that I’ve said or I’ve done that makes you feel this way? Can we talk about this? I really wanna understand your side, and I, I, I will not say anything. I will not judged you. I’m just gonna shut up and [01:11:00] listen to you. , you speak first. Mm-hmm. And then, yeah. So thank you.

Gissele: Yeah. Thank you so much. And thank you to everyone don’t forget to, tune in for another episode with a Love and Compassion podcast with Gisele. Thank you.

Paul: Thank you, Giselle. It’s been an

Gissele: absolute pleasure.

Thanks. Oh, me too. Thank you so much for being on the show. .

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