This Disourse is a very special one, from a special friend.
Want to know more about our bond, read up here.
Michael Hewitt is a baritone opera singer and fitness coach. And he has some very cool things to share, which you’ll see in the upcoming interview yourself.
There’s some mindblowing, lo key, hardcore flexes.
Imo, he fits perfectly for the discourse, the past ones have been all with badass people.
I loved the very nuanced answers Mike gave us.
Without further ado, enjoy.
What is the book, or books you’ve given most as a gift, and why?
The Joy of Music by Leonard Bernstein;
Deep Nutrition by Dr. Catherine Shanahan
Beneath A Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan
All of these books would be a suitable gift for the same person. Depending on what we’re connecting on, these are what I recommend. Bernstein for art and creativity, Dr. Shanahan for actionable nutrition advice that is simple and effective, Sullivan because it is just an absolutely
incredible story, and his prose is art.
But really, I think I give these particular ones because I love them, and if I’m using my brain power to recommend a book to you, then I also love you.
Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?
Shogun by James Clavell
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas [What yall dont know is Mike enjoy the occasional Montecristo no.4]
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months, or in recent memory?
I stopped buying legal pads, and started using the XL Moleskine Pro Notebook for everything. It is a true pleasure to write in (who’d’ve thunk: all paper is not created equal!), and lasts forever.
Seriously, the one I used from August 2019 to August 2020 is halfway full….but I would’ve gone through three Mead 5 Star notebooks or legal pads by now.
And, they’re aesthetic in look and feel great.
But the biggest impact has come from the $97 I pay to Warriorapp.com every month. I wish I had been utilizing their system sooner. It’s crazy to think of where I’d be.
If you have a lot of fucking energy and personal power, but you’re disorganized as shit, it helps redirect your raw drive from bouncing to different shiny object into a laser beam.
How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a favorite failure of yours?
In the opera world, your primary voice teacher can make a very significant impact on your professional success.
When I was applying to graduate schools, I chose the school that had the teacher of most renown.
However, despite an existing encouraging working relationship, I wasn’t accepted to his studio…but was admitted to the degree program.
Another teacher there told me she believed in me and my talent, and would be happy to have me in her studio.
Not only was she incredibly kind and incredibly supportive, but she went to bat for me behind the scenes, helping me to secure the prime roles, Fellowships, and opportunities during my time at the school….accolades that typically went to students of this other teacher.
I suspect strongly she was a lever-puller for me getting the job that led to everything else in my career since graduating.
As far as a favorite failure goes…my first two years of fitness coaching. I was giving EVERYTHING I had to clients who would basically ignore me
Eventually, I realized the error lied with me, not with them, and that in order for everyone to feel like they got what they wanted, I had to level myself up.
So that pressure led me to getting as certified as I could in nutrition and fitness, and subsequently experimenting on myself with what I was learning.
If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it – metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions – what would it say and why?
Choose The Right Story.
Our lives are determined by questions we ask ourselves, and the stories we create to support them.
Choose one that gets you what you really want, and your chances for fulfillment go through the roof.
A few words, or a paragraph, IF HELPFUL it can be a someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?
“An awesome body should complement your life, not run it.”
“Your body is your business card”
Both quotes are my own. They mean, to me: don’t lose the forest for the trees, and that everything you do counts…so act accordingly.
Another one that has always rung true for me:
“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” – John Galt (Ayn Rand)
What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?
Energy spent to make my marriage a happy, powerful, supportive and secure space.
Time, money, and energy spent on coaches in fitness, business, and personal development.
What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?
Suburban Denver isn’t a place where I was exposed to much water-sport activity.
Until recently, I had been only 3 times. I’ve made getting on the water and letting it rip a regular part of my life, and let me tell you…major boost.
It’s hard to remember to make time for FUN. I’m blessed in that I think nothing is more fun than being onstage and pushing yourself, or learning how to master the kettlebell swing, or doing something with my wife…but if you want to show up strong in your business and your marriage.
you’ve got to do something that’s just for YOU.
As soon as I realized I had a gap in my life where I didn’t do anything that didn’t feed directly into business or marriage, I was like: fuck. Okay. What do I really think is fun?
Raising my adrenaline. And a jet-ski at 50+ mph floods my blood with it.
In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
“Act as if”.
This fall, I was thinking: there is another level.
Why don’t you start going harder?
Imagine a genie would you grant you your dream opportunity.
1) what would it be?
2) how would you want to show up?
The conclusions I came to?
1) If I bumped in to The Rock and Lin Manuel Miranda on the streets of NYC, and they said
“hey! We need a guy who can sing like Frank, act like Marlon, and be as charming on stage as The Rock – is that you?”
2) Ready for anything.
So, “act as if” that was run-in was guaranteed.
The next day, I got an email from a producer with The Titan Games, asking if I was still interested in being considered, since Season 2 had just been greenlit.
4 months later, I was talking about the connection between Music & Weights with my ol’ buddy Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the real world? What advice should they ignore?
Look back at college and think:
“how would I do this over again if I had the knowledge and experience now?”
Whatever you think of, starting implementing that immediately. That never goes away. Every Life Level has different challenges. The sooner you learn and implement the lessons you were supposed to be learning, the sooner you can get to the next level.
In other words, do you wanna keep having the same problems, or different problems as a result of expansion?
What are bad recommendations, you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
Any recommendation that implies there is only [one] way to do something.
Applies to singing, fitness, and life.
In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to – distractions, invitations, etc? What new realizations and/or approaches helped? Any other tips?
Cutting off dead-weight relationships.
The older I get, the more effort I make to be discerning about who I spend time.
In any interaction, there is unavoidable energy transfer.
I have spent enough time being in low places of self-doubt and self-loathing.
And I’ve paid enough attention to my patterns that the influence of exterior negative energy takes you down with it, with compounding force over time.
Obviously, I agree with the sentiment:
you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
This should be doubly heeded in online realms. Stop following people and accounts if they do anything other than establish positive feedback loops in your life. When you see how much happier, energized, and productive you are with a life constructed to minimize stress and maximize output, it’s hard to forget.
The reality is, you can have that every single day…if you just get firm about your standards for what you consume, and who you give and take energy from.”
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? What questions do you ask yourself?
If I’m feeling overwhelmed or unfocused, it’s because I haven’t planned properly.
I make time to revisit my notes and priorities, then get out my calendar, and set times to get things done.
In a perfect world, this happens at the daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly level. But I’ve stopped flagellating myself for not being perfect the minute I decide to do something.
I’ve spent most of my life at completely disorganized. So, if this week, I plan out my weekly schedule and get 75% of it done, that’s a win. Better than yesterday.
I ask myself: “will this move a needle forward?”.
And if it needs more evaluating, I ask “is where this needle would be moved to, where I want it to be? Do I actually want or need to move this needle?”
That’s it for today, hope you enjoyed reading this interview just as much I had putting it together and reading it myself.
Mike has such a cool mind, and gave such precise candid strong hopeful answers.
This post was part of the big cover story of August 2020. If you want to read the other posts go here: