169: Thane Marcus Academy: Evan Interviews Thane About His Two Online Courses For Growing Self-Awareness And Developing Discipline
Exciting things are coming at the Thane Marcus Academy, and who better to share what they are with us than Thane Marcus Ringler himself? First time on the show, we flip the script as Thane takes a seat on the hot seat opposite his wife, Evan Ryan Ringler. He talks about the two online courses designed to help us grow self-awareness and develop discipline. Sharing his hard-earned and proven and tested wisdom, Thane takes us into his own journey of self-awareness and cultivating discipline. He tells us how it started for him, the lessons he learned from others along the way, and how it is packed within the two courses he’s offering to help us become better leaders and entrepreneurs.
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Thane Marcus Academy: Evan Interviews Thane About His Two Online Courses For Growing Self-Awareness And Developing Discipline
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For this episode, I’m excited because this is one of the unique and first time ever where the script has been flipped. My wife, Evan Ryan Ringler, is going to be interviewing yours truly on this episode. It was a fun conversation where she dives into grilling me and asking me the questions. They’re revolving around the two online courses that are coming out through Thane Marcus Academy. It is going to be offering a couple of online courses to help us take ownership and never settle.
This episode is all about that. It was fun to have my wife interview me. It’s a lot of fun sharing a bit more of my story with my wife as she dove in. This was not scripted. We didn’t even talk about it beforehand. I said, “I’d love for you to interview me about some of these things that are coming out.” If you are interested in these courses, we do talk about it near the end, but they are going to be available on November 15th. Right now, they are available for preorder. You will find in this episode, a discount code for that preorder that saves you $50 on each course. It’s worth looking into that and many more reasons. I’m excited to share these with you. I believe in these fully and wholly. I can’t wait to get them into your hands soon. I’m working hard to get them finished. Until then, please enjoy this short conversation and interview with my wife interviewing me on the show. Thanks so much.
Thane Marcus, welcome to the show.
Thanks for having me, Evan Ringler.
We are talking about two courses that you have created. I can’t wait to share and hear more about the origin, why you’re wanting to share them with people, and what your hope is for these guys.The key requirement and core competency for living a life of never settling is this idea of discipline. Click To Tweet
I’ve done a few interviews on my press tour, and I can already say that you are one of the best interviewers I’ve ever heard or seen.
What are the names of them? What are they about?
I’ve got two courses that I’m excited about. The names are alongside the rally cry that I have been passionate about this several years. It’s something that I feel has solidified over the years of working on personal and professional development. It’s this idea of taking ownership and never settling. We use it a lot in our daily lives and that’s been fun, but taking ownership is all about self-awareness. That course is designed to help us grow self-awareness, grow in and grow the skill of self-awareness. The second part of never settling is the key requirement and core competency for living a life of never settling. It is this idea of discipline, which is a requirement for choosing to not settle.
I love those two concepts. I have to share that when Thane and I started dating, even on our first date, one of the things, Thane gave me his pitch. It revolves around these two concepts of taking ownership and never settling, which I’ve heard him say countless times since then when he’s sharing the work he does and what that’s about. I remember a lot of things walking away from that date. One of which was this guy is determined and clear about what he wants to do and how he wants to help people. I love that about you, Thane. I feel you try to see and understand what God has instilled in you and why God has put you in places that he has. I admire your faithfulness and taking steps towards those talents, and using your experiences to help others for good.
Thank you, my lovely wife, that was beautiful and encouraging.
It is who he is to his core, folks. This is not a scam. Let’s jump into the first one of taking ownership and growing self-awareness. Where did that journey of self-awareness start for you?
It started at a point of failure for me. I mean by that is I had to be slapped into awareness. We all do in the sense that for a while, I lived a hypocritical life. A life with a lack of integrity and alignment with who I said I was. For about seven years of my life, I was saying one thing and doing another thing in my younger life, in my younger years. There was a breaking point in college where we had a golf team scandal, broke some school rules, and all this stuff came out. That was when I was forced into accountable awareness of letting other people see the inside of what’s happening, and then having to reconcile with whatever you’ve said doesn’t matter anymore because the actions are way different.
Your words now have no meaning. It’s breaking trust with people and having to work on rebuilding that. That started my journey of awareness. Awareness means that I’m honest with myself about how I’m living and what I’m saying. That was the first step for me. The next deeper step of beyond just mere integrity and alignment of my character. It comes into the deep dive of knowing the reasons why behind what we do at a deeper level, the key driver for me was definitely golf. The longer I played golf, the higher I tried to reach in the pursuit of golf. The more I had to self-discover to understand and optimize myself so that I could produce my best results in the golf course.Fear is never a good reason for not doing something. Click To Tweet
This process of when I was competing professionally, it was 3 to 4 years of self-discovery more than anything else. It’s just trying to learn myself as best as I can so that in any environment, whatever the pressure or setting, I could perform my best and unlock my highest potential, which is a never-ending pursuit. I didn’t reach the ultimate peak of. That’s where the reps and the training got instilled. Beyond that has been post golf and how that applies in everyday life. There are many nuances, layers and arenas. With us now being married, it’s a whole another level and arena of learning myself in a deep relational level. How that interaction brings out nuances of myself that I never knew before.
Thank you for sharing that. I’ll speak for myself maybe some others can relate. Self-awareness can feel daunting. It’s something I don’t want to lean into because it’s hard. You have to uncover hard things. Sometimes it can seem that will be a rabbit hole that will lead to this and to this. For putting in the work for myself, and with your help in marriage of walking through the deepest parts of who I am, etc. Having a partner that mirrors those things back to me, it is hard and it’s also not impossible. What would your encouragement be to those of us who are like, “It sounds great but I’m scared, I’m fearful or I don’t want to put into work?” What’s the benefit?
The first thing I always try to tell myself and others is that fear is never a good reason for not doing something. I have to remind myself all the time that fear is usually not the motivation or heart we ever want to operate out of. That’s where God is love and perfect love cast out all fear. In love, fear is cast out but in fear, it’s impossible to love truly. This tension of fear versus love is a good rubric to simplistically be like, “Am I operating out of fear of love right now? Is this my driving motivation? Should it be something that’s an underlying part of that?” You’re right. It’s hard to do this work. I think it’s scary because it’s hard to be real and see who we are.
Eric Hoffer wrote the book, The True Believer. It’s all about the nature of mass movements. What he points out is that the true believer, the participants in mass movements are usually the individuals that want to be a part of a greater entity that’s bigger than themselves. They want to take ownership or responsibility for their own lives or their own actions. That’s true to all of us at our core. Until we’ve gone on this journey or have gone through this path or began this journey, we’re not ending it. We’re going to be a part of that majority because it’s hard to take responsibility for our own actions. I was forced into it, thankfully. I can’t take credit for that.
I was forced into it by my own failures and then by the setting of my career pursuit. It’s available for all of us. It is an important thing to point out. The fruit of it is it creates alignment with who we want to be, which is the ultimate form of health or wellness and also peace. It’s living with alignment with who God made us to be. There’s a great book that also is helpful called Strangers to Ourselves by Timothy Wilson. It’s all about understanding the adaptive unconscious. It’s a deep dive, but he spends a whole book breaking down that 95% plus of our actions are controlled by our subconscious. We don’t control our lives, which can be incredibly depressing. He ends up the book by saying, “Self-awareness and pursuit are only as helpful as it leads to you living more in alignment with who you want to be or who you say you are.” This guy is a scientist and researcher. He spent this whole book writing on self-awareness and said, “At the end of the day, it’s only as helpful as it produces alignment and integrity within your lives, ultimately.” You’ll experience peace, wholeness and clarity by the pursuit of self-awareness, and like any worthy pursuit, it’s going to be hard. It’s going to take work and it’s not going to be fun all the time.
I love that way of thinking and the way you presented that. It made me think of times in college and maybe even in high school where it feels like you’re floating along and do your part of the wave of the crowd. With that, you don’t have to take responsibility or it’s easy to pass off, “This group was doing it. I didn’t choose to,” but you did if you were part of that group. It also made me think of Anthony de Mello’s work and how he’s crying out to us asking us to wake up and not just float through life, engage and be here. That’s exciting. I can account from our marriage and our relationship that I feel I’ve become more self-aware with your help and the mirror of what marriage is. It is hard and it also is very much worth it.
Another thing that came to mind is the Chris Heuertz quote that I love using, “If you can’t self-observe, you can’t self-correct.” What that speaking to is you have to see yourself well in order to steer yourself well. What we’re all about as humans and what we should encourage each other is to become good self-leaders. Taking ownership is always all about being a good self-leader. If we can lead ourselves well, that allows us to be good leaders of others. It doesn’t ever go the other way around. It has to be in order. We all have the ability to be good self-leaders. It’s less sexy as leading a group of people or following, or having the recognition, but the best leaders are the ones that are doing it for the one, for the few, for the no applause, for the no recognition, and behind the scenes. It’s a call that we’re all worthy of taking up and that we’re all capable of taking up, and that the world needs us all to take up.
I’m sure your experience is similar in the sense that when I feel I’m leaning into self-awareness, or owning the things that I think are flaws and shortcomings of experiencing anxiety and depression a little more. Owning it and leaning into it instead of trying to suppress it or seeing it as something that’s wrong has been freeing for me. It’s a process and a continual choice. That’s one example I feel has been helpful to embrace and say, “This is a part of me sometimes when I experience it. It’s not who I am.” It’s been neat and sweet to see how others have been empowered by sharing, or not pretending I don’t experience these things.In love, fear is cast out, but in fear, it's impossible to love truly. Click To Tweet
To encourage people reading, it’s something that takes work and it’s hard for all of us, regardless of where you are. Because I’ve been thinking about this for a long time and have created courses, and spend out time in this idea or vein of thinking, doesn’t mean it’s not work. I have a hard time getting myself to put in the work. That’s true always. For example, one of the things that’s a great practice for me is the idea of journaling every day. It is such a great and easy tool that is accessible for everyone. I benefit from it, especially in the morning time after my reading time.
I get to sit and journal for a bit, and write down some things. It can’t be that very long, but there are a lot of mornings where I don’t get myself to do that because I don’t believe in the value of that time spent on that endeavor, even though I know. I say that to say that it’s always going to take belief in convincing yourself that it’s worth it, especially in our achievement-based culture of the Western world. It’s flipping it on its head the reversal of what is commonly prescribed as success, but it’s a key component of it. It’s always going to take work. It’s always going to be challenging.
It’s worth it always, just how I liked your word about any worthy endeavor. Transitioning a little bit to the next course of never settle developing discipline. You are one of the most disciplined people I know, and that is not a bias statement. You can ask anyone who knows Thane. Tell us where this comes from, what helps you stay the course, and how your life benefits from your discipline?
I think the origin of discipline comes from the sports world, but also my over hypercompetitive nature as a kid. I hated losing in anything. I would do whatever it takes to win. That included practicing shuffling cards for a week in first grade so I can be the best card shuffler in school. I would often practice video game so I could be the best at those, not because I necessarily enjoyed them. I did enjoy them. Golf is a great outlet because that allowed me full control of success or failure. It is an individual sport. A lot of my drive was to be the best in that, which takes discipline but it was driven by this hypercompetitive nature.
The other aspect of it is being the youngest child, I was always wanting responsibility. I was always wanting to be seen as good enough, old enough and responsible enough because I’m always the last one or the late arrival around older people. That developed more discipline in me to be older and better beyond my years, and whatever it is. That’s driven some of it subconsciously. Throughout the years, golf is a main vein of it. As I got into professional golf, I realized that I couldn’t leave any stone unturned in order to be successful. The margin for error was small and the bar was so high between success and failure in that pursuit that I had to become as disciplined as possible in it. That started moving from physical into mental. That’s a much harder realm of discipline because it’s less tangible. You don’t see the results as clearly and it feels harder to make progress in. I remember joining groups with Cody Burkhart, who’s been on the show a couple of times. Check out his interviews if you haven’t. He’s a brainiac, nerd and brilliant guy.
He and his team helped me get on that journey of developing mental discipline in a more systematized way, including the practice of cold showers, which is a great tool for that. When I do interviews with people and they asked, that’s my number one tool I give out. Cold showers are something that you can do every single day that no one wants to do. It’s always something that you don’t want to do, but it has zero negative side effects. You get to practice something that’s uncomfortable, but good for you every single day. I think that’s only going to discipline as is. It’s an action that requires effort and intention. It goes back to this idea of if we don’t choose, we’re going to settle.
Our default is settling as humans. I don’t think there’s any human on this planet who doesn’t begin with the default of settling, meaning they’re going to go down the path of least resistance. It’s like water moving down the river. It’s going to go down the path of least resistance. If there’s a rock, it will just go around it but it’s keeping going down. We will all go down that until we make a choice, and then instill the effort to go upstream. That choice of the intention and the effort is the paddling up the stream to go a different path. Discipline is an upstream pursuit in that, so it’s taking the path of most resistance because we know it’s worth it. Now in my life, it is the key to what I’m doing. Being an entrepreneur and self-employed, you have to be disciplined. If you’re not, it’s not going to be helpful and successful for you or others. That works beyond just the hustle. It’s also in recovery, being disciplined to recover and not burn yourself out by pouring your whole life into something
Outside the realm of work and your endeavors. What has discipline given you?You'll experience peace, wholeness, and clarity by the pursuit of self-awareness. Click To Tweet
This is what discipline gives me and everyone else, and that’s freedom. As Jocko Willink says, “Discipline equals freedom,” because it allows our truth to free ourselves to be expressed in their fullness within the healthy expression of it. What I mean by that is that a painting is not a painting without a structure for that painting to go on. There’s no such thing as a painting without a canvass. It has to have that structure, in which in that structure, there’s full freedom. The painting may be anything, whatever you want to be, but it has to be in that structure to be a painting. Similarly, within our lives, when we have a structure for our lives to operate within, we can have the fullest and most free expression of ourselves within that, that will be good for us and others.
When we lose that structure, that full expression is usually harmful to us and for those around us. In general, in life, discipline then unlocks freedom where we think freedom is harmed or hindered by discipline. That comes from our childhood. Most of us as kids were disciplined. That’s always a negative connotation because it’s a consequence for a wrong action. Because of that, we start thinking discipline equals negative. We maintain that into adulthood. That’s real harm to our perception of this idea. By reframing or understanding that some of those origins aren’t true about the thing itself or the root of it. It was a different construct of that. There are two layers there, but it’s not a negative, it’s a positive. It doesn’t harm us, it benefits us.
Would it be fair to say discipline allows us to be our best selves? It helps us bring our best selves today to experiences. Who are these courses for? Could it be for a stay at home mom? Could it be for an entrepreneur just getting off their feet or someone in high school? Who would you recommend?
Those are three good examples. I like all of those. I’ve thought about it and the way I would describe who these are for, and what I often speak to or work with are people that have their surviving needs taken care of, meaning you’re no longer consumed by the mere struggle to survive. Your past your basic survival needs, and now you’re into life. What does it mean to do with your life now that you’re not merely surviving? You’re existing beyond surviving. That can be people in high school and college. They would benefit. It would be an early entrance into these ideas that are life foundational skills. Beyond college, in our careers and in our lives, we all get stuck in these patterns of settling or not taking ownership, which is making excuses, blaming other people, and waiting for a magic opportunity to arrive.
The age isn’t as relevant as those commonalities. It does apply to a stay at home mom. It does apply especially to entrepreneurs. It does apply to someone who has a 9 to 5 job and a family, but is still settling and not owning their responsibility as a dad or a husband, or even in their jobs. They’re doing the status quo, or even on the weekends. They’re not doing anything with their time. All of those things. It applies in such a wide array of situations because it is a core competency as human beings. I built them with the mind of this is something that will give you a process and a framework for growing self-awareness and developing discipline regardless of your place in life.
Speaking from my own experience, I feel those tools will be forever evolving and growing. We’ll always take work as a worthy endeavor. What are we signing up for? What’s the commitment? How many weeks? What do we get in the course?
They are both eight-week courses. At the end of the day, they will be self-directed. You can go as fast or as slow as you want. I encourage and I’ve set it up for it to be eight weeks because that gives you enough time, a length of time, and an amount of effort to make it stick. There is a community aspect of it, so all the students within the course will be able to interact with each other throughout it on this kind of Facebook type. It’s not on Facebook but through the platform. They will have a community aspect to it.
In each course, there is going to be an introductory video, where I gave a little preface for it. There will be the lesson itself where materials are provided. The information is taught through slides and my presentation. There will be a short quiz just to make those important key points stick a little bit deeper by remembering them. I’ll turn into journaling exercises and then additional exercises that will put into action what we just learn in a way to make it tangible and real, and to be able to see results from it. That’s the basic framework and there are some slight nuances on each capsule or lesson that will be different.Taking ownership is always all about being a good self-leader. Click To Tweet
They are able to be done and gone through independently, but also together. It can be a choose your own adventure. It doesn’t have to be taken together. You can pick one. Maybe you feel good about self-awareness but not so strong and discipline, choose a discipline. Choose your own adventure in that. I’m excited to get these in people’s hands because it’s been a lot of effort. It’s one of the things when you’re creating it, it feels like this will never end. I don’t know if anyone’s going to buy these. I don’t know if they’re going to be beneficial. I don’t know if all this time is wasted on my end. What if X, Y, Z, and all these fears doubts that gets in the brain. Those are subdued by getting it out into the world a lot of time. I’m excited about that.
I have seen bits and pieces but I’m excited to see the finished products. I feel I have my own self-awareness and discipline live-in coach with me at all times. I’m excited for you, Thane. I’m excited to look at it for myself also. What’s the cost? Is there a deal if I buy one? Do I get a certain percentage off on the next one if I choose to do both?
The baseline retail price for each course is $150. If you buy them together, you’ll get them both for $200. With the press tour I’m doing and the early launch, it’ll be available on November 15th. If you use a code preorder, you’ll be able to save $50 on that price on those individual courses. That’s a great way to incentivize to take an action. When you read this and it strikes a chord with you, it’s time to move. It’s time to make this happen. We sit around waiting for inspiration, but inspiration is momentary in fleeting. Motivation is that underlying resounding resolve that says, “I’m going to take action on this because this is who I am.” If that’s you and you’re reading this, I encourage you to use that code preorder and save some money, and move forward.
I would encourage you to do the same. Thane is the best. I am better because of him. I’m excited about how you’re going to impact others with this and equip others.
I appreciate that. It’s fun having you on the other side of the table figuratively speaking. It’s been fun having you direct and lead. You’ve done a great job with this interview.
Thank you. It’s been sweet. I have learned from the best. The final rally cry would be for all of you reading to take ownership and never settle. Where do I sign up?
The best place to go find these courses is at ThaneMarcus.com. There’s a tab up top that says Courses. You can click on that. You can also go to Courses.ThaneMarcus.com. That’s where you’ll be able to preorder both of them. There is going to eventually be a referral program. If you wanted to earn a little bit of money after you sign up or get into or take the courses, there will be a way for you to earn money back by referring it to other people and getting more people to sign up. I want to earn some money from this route but more importantly, I want to get it into as many people’s hands as possible. I believe that it’s going to be helpful. I believe that what our country and what our world needs is self-leaders. These are two key core competencies for self-leadership.
I am proud of you and I love you. I’m excited to hear how these courses impact others, how they’ve been able to implement self-awareness and discipline into their own lives, and what tools you guys have used to equip yourselves with those things. We all are on the journey and learning from each other. I’m excited to see what comes of it.
Thanks for the interview and it’s fun being with you.Taking ownership is always all about being a good self-leader. Click To Tweet
I’m proud of you and I love you, Thane. For all you, we hope you have an up and coming day because we’re out.
Following up with one last thing to note. If you would like to get a curated list of all the content I’m learning from, whether that be books I’m reading, podcasts I’m listening to, quotes I’m pondering or even some sermons I’m enjoying, In-Thane is a monthly newsletter that brings vetted content that I know you’ll enjoy. Just go to ThaneMarcus.com/inthane to sign up and you’ll be sure to receive the very next one. Each edition of In-Thane is released on the first Sunday of the month. This is just a once a month newsletter that I hope you enjoy and benefit from as much as I have. Here’s to learning and growing one day at a time.
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