If you are enjoying the content, please leave a review!
April 14, 2023

197. Consiciousness, Lifestyle & Community with Craig Bruce

197. Consiciousness, Lifestyle & Community with Craig Bruce

Happiness Solved with Sandee Sgarlata. In this episode, Sandee interviews Craig Bruce.  Craig is a former burned out global executive who struggled with exhaustion, poor sleep, inconsistent food choices and just feeling confident in his own skin....

Apple Podcasts podcast player badge
Spotify podcast player badge
Google Podcasts podcast player badge
Castro podcast player badge
RSS Feed podcast player badge

Happiness Solved with Sandee Sgarlata. In this episode, Sandee interviews Craig Bruce.  Craig is a former burned out global executive who struggled with exhaustion, poor sleep, inconsistent food choices and just feeling confident in his own skin. He was so driven that his global lifestyle started to impact his health. He has since transformed his health and changed his lifestyle though the use of science-based behaviors. Now, as a High Performance Lifestyle Consultant, he empowers high-performing business leaders and entrepreneurs to achieve even more success in their life without sacrificing career & key relationships. Craig holds a MBA from Vanderbilt University and a business degree from UNC Chapel Hill. He previously worked as a partner at Hewitt Associates for over 25 years. He has also worked as a Health Coach & Educator for the Equinox Sports Club Los Angeles and owns his own high-performance lifestyle business. He’s partnered with hundreds of clients to ignite their energy and live a life with even more clarity, intention and integrity.

Connect with Craig: http://linkedin.com/in/craig-bruce-b44766146 

Text Ignite to 26786

Connect with Sandee www.sandeesgarlata.com

Podcast: www.happinesssolved.com






00:00:10 This is happiness solved with America's happiness. Coach Sandee Sgarlata.

00:00:21 Hello everyone and thank you for joining me today. I'm so happy you're here. I'm Sandee Sgarlata. I was born in Virginia Beach and raised in the Baltimore Annapolis area and had very humble and tragic beginnings. And as a result, my life was a hot mess.

00:00:37 Thankfully, 33 years ago, I got my act together and since that time I have dedicated my life to serving others and raising awareness that no matter what you've been through, you can choose happiness and live the life of your dreams. Happiness Solved is dedicated to giving you content that is empowering, motivational, inspirational, and of course, a dose of happiness. It's my way to give back to the world and share other people's stories. This thing called life can be challenging and my guests share their amazing stories, wisdom and life lessons that demonstrate anyone can choose happiness. You see, happiness is a choice and the choice is yours.

00:01:17 Today's episode is amazing and I am so grateful for you. Thank you for listening and don't forget to leave a review and follow me on social media at Coach. Sandee Sgarlata. Enjoy the show.

00:01:35 Craig, so great to be talking with you. I love you so much, my friend. How's everything going today, sandy, I've been looking forward to this so much. I just love what you do and God knows the world needs a little more happiness. I know, right?

00:01:51 I know we do, for sure. So I love everything that you do and I love your story and I know I've heard it before, but I want my listeners to hear it. Tell me about your back story and I want all the details. You've got plenty of time. Are you sure we have enough time?

00:02:11 We do, we have plenty of time, but I want to hear what was that big turning point for you because it was very profound. Well, first of all, thank you. And thank you for this opportunity to really share with your listeners a little bit about my journey or adventure as I like to call it. So, Sandy, for 25 plus years I led the life of a busy global executive and 2.5 million mile on one airline and a million miles on another and I actually bragged about that. Well, it sounds glamorous.

00:02:53 It does. And it was all good until it wasn't, right? And as I look back now, I was living but I was not alive. Yeah, just imagine you're boarding your return flight home one night and it's been a 15 hours day and as my southern grandma would say, I was sick as a dog. Yet I had pulled off the meeting and I still probably had another three to 4 hours before I got home.

00:03:31 And so I got settled into my window seat and the flight attendant approached me and I thought she was going to ask me what I wanted to drink. But instead she bent down and said, you look horrible. Oh, gosh. And I turned and I stared at my reflection in that tiny little window and I just started crying. These emotions that I had not felt just welled up.

00:04:05 And I said to myself, Craig, you're a grown man and you're crying in public. Your life sucks.

00:04:14 Stop it. And yet, Sandy, to everybody else, I was killing it. But the truth was I was killing myself. So much so that the next day I landed in the my doctor's office and she ordered bedrest. But do you know what my version of bedrest was?

00:04:34 Can only imagine. It was my laptop, cell phone, and conference calls from my bed pretending to follow her orders. And it was in that moment that I really realized that my current lifestyle had become my new normal. And it was killing me. And something had to change.

00:04:54 And what had to change was that I had to become an advocate for my own health and well being. Yeah, well, how long ago was that? That was eight years ago. Wow. Yeah.

00:05:09 Well, you look incredible today. Thank you. Turn back the clock. Yeah, exactly. Well, thank you.

00:05:17 What I did was I just went on this five year I eventually retired from the management consulting job that I was doing the role, and it had been an amazing career.

00:05:32 And I went on this journey just researching, went back to school researching science based solutions for the mind and body. And all my learnings really became best practices that I use every day with my clients and really transforming their lives. Wow. Well, I'm so glad that you had that awakening. Right.

00:05:57 Because really, that's kind of what it was. It was like you woke up, you woke up. And the big titles and the traveling and all that, it catches up with you. Yeah. I often say to my clients, a fish doesn't know it's in water until it's not, or a bird doesn't know it's in the air until it's not.

00:06:30 I had not thought about it as an awakening, and I love that. I think that I think that's really truly accurate. Yeah, well, for sure. Because I feel like we all have that moment when we awaken, and sometimes we have more moments. My moment was 33 years ago, but I'm still having those AHA moments the older I get, and it's like, okay, and we can keep striving to do better for ourselves.

00:07:01 For sure. Yeah, absolutely. It's that growth mindset that I think that Carol Dweck, in her book Mindset, she really talks about that growth mindset, of continuously growing, of really looking at every opportunity as an opportunity to get better, to believe that growth is just not innate that you can actually learn how to grow and develop yourself and looking at every opportunity as again, an opportunity to get better. And when you fail, you fail forward. And I think clearly that's been one of the reasons for I believe my success is having that growth mindset.

00:07:59 Oh, yeah. I mean, for sure. Because if you're not growing, you're just stagnant. Yeah. What's the alternative?

00:08:07 Yeah. Death.

00:08:10 Yeah. I heard I went to a retreat the first weekend in January of this year because I needed to reset, like, press that reset button after the holidays, and I just moved and all that stuff. And she was talking about making lifestyle changes. Right. And a lot of people never lose the weight or quit the high powered job because it is a lifestyle change.

00:08:36 And she made a good comment. She goes, well, death is a lifestyle, too. Wow. Yeah. How powerful is that?

00:08:43 Absolutely. Yeah. What lifestyle do you want? Because I don't want death. I mean, we're all going to get there someday, but I want to make the most of it while I'm here.

00:08:54 For sure. Well, and it's so interesting because my clients are our age. So over the age of 40. Yes. And they they're high performing business leaders and entrepreneurs.

00:09:12 Right. And and they can buy anything they want. They can travel, they've done. They've they're very successful in their career, and yet at some point, maybe they have this awakening. Maybe that's what it is.

00:09:27 But they reach a point where they say, what about me? And what's next for me? And I love those conversations because our generation is redefining the word retirement. It's not our parents retirement. It's not our grandparents retirement.

00:09:49 We're living in an age where our generation is generally doing well financially and wants more out of life than just a career. And so there's this reinventing of ourselves, as David Brooks mentions in his book The Second Mountain, or the book Strength to Strength. It's really about who do you want to be and how do you want to show up in that second phase of your life? And those are really, truly amazing conversations to have with people. Well, yeah, because we're living so much longer now, and I think a lot of people, they don't really want to retire.

00:10:45 They just retire from their corporate job, and then they do something else. Yeah. And that's something else. What I find, and as with myself, is there needs to be a purpose for that. Yes.

00:11:00 And so the conversations that I have with my clients are really around what's your purpose? What's your passion? What's your expertise? And let's figure out kind of what that next chapter of your life can look like. But first we got to kind of fix some of the lifestyle issues, right?

00:11:24 Well, I remember when my father retired, he loved to work, loved to talk to people, and he loved playing golf. So he got a job at a public golf course, working in the pro shop. And he would have so much fun because every day he got to drive all the golf carts back up.

00:11:44 And it's my little bit of spending money that I can spend on whatever I want to spend on it wasn't much. He probably made $300 a month. It was nothing, but it gave him purpose, and he loved it. He loved it, and it was just that little something. He's got to do something.

00:12:02 Yeah. So what I have found in coaching over the last seven years, in coaching hundreds of high performing business leaders, is that there are really three areas that we focus on to really move people forward in the direction that they want to go in that second chapter. And the first area is what I call consciousness. Many people call it mindset, but I call it consciousness because I believe it's a state of being. Oh, yeah.

00:12:36 And I know you and I have talked about this before, and we've been in some meetings where you've talked about consciousness. Mindset, a state of being, frequency. Yes. Right. For me, consciousness, that first area is really about who you want to be and how you want to show up every day.

00:12:57 Right. And in most cases, it's redefining who you are and how you want to show up. And it involves three other areas. It involves growth, so having that growth mindset, it involves clarity, so getting clear, and it involves intention. Yes, for sure, because it's really whether I love that we both work with high performers.

00:13:28 I work with athletes. You work with business leaders, and it's really kind of very similar. It's all kind of intertwined. But those three things the growth, clarity, and intention have to take place. No matter who you are, no matter whether you're a high performing business leader or just a small entrepreneurial solopreneur, you still have to do everything, think about their growth and your intention, and have that clarity.

00:13:52 Yeah. The lack of clarity is so big, though, because if you don't have the clarity, you can't do anything. It's so true. So one of my mentors, Michael Bernard Beckwith, who oh, I love him. Yeah.

00:14:07 I'm fortunate enough to have been part of before I left La. Well, everything's online now, so I'm part of the Agape Spiritual Center, which he founded in Los Angeles, and he says, and I love this quote he says, with intention, you have design. Without intention, you have default. Right. So let's be intentional about living the life that we've all worked so hard to build going forward, because you're right.

00:14:41 We are living longer. The technology I mean, in five to ten years, the technology that could keep us living longer and continuing to make a contribution to society. It's truly exciting. It really is. I mean, who would have thought, even 15 years ago that we would be holding a computer in our hands?

00:15:06 Yeah. And the power, by the way, too much. Yeah, we do hold it way too much. But yeah, it is. It's crazy.

00:15:14 It's crazy. I mean, I've I've joined Zoom Calls in my car on my computer, and I logged, joined the hotspot on my phone to get the WiFi on my computer. And I'm like, this is crazy. I'm sitting in my car and I'm using my computer.

00:15:29 Totally. So consciousness is the first area. The second area is lifestyle. And for me, that involves how you nourish, how you restore and how you move your body. And so in working with my clients, we build out morning rituals.

00:15:48 We build out evening rituals. We look at how you're nourishing. And I use the word nourish intentionally because it's not just about what you feed your body, right? And I've heard you say this too. That's why we're so aligned, my friend.

00:16:09 I know, right? The way you nourish your body, it's the way you take care of your body, how you restore your body. And then also it's also how you move your body. And all the conversations around lifestyle, there's so much science out there and there's so much misinformation. And so I think the value that I bring to clients is that I've culled through all of that and know the stuff that worked for me.

00:16:47 And then we begin to apply the science and build out morning rituals. So, for example, we know that in the morning, your morning ritual really sets you up for success for the whole day. Oh, yeah, right. And so a couple of the things, the science based habits that we know will truly enhance your day is one, get up at the same time every day and don't hit that Snooze. We know that you want to hydrate before you caffeinate and most people reach for that cup of coffee.

00:17:26 And then we also know that if you can get some sunlight in your eyes, that that really resets exactly. Resets the circadian rhythm. And even for folks and I lived in Chicago for 25 years, so I can say this even in the wintertime in Chicago, when you don't see the sun for 30 days, you can still get bright light that will restart that circadian rhythm and just the hydrate before you. Caffeinate has been a game changer for people and their energy level because we get dehydrated during the night for multiple reasons. Oh, yeah.

00:18:07 And for me, I hydrate. I'll have a cup of coffee, and I'm very sensitive to caffeine, so I can't drink very much coffee. And then I'll drink about I always season with my huge water bottle. I'll drink two of these with electrolytes in it. Yeah, love that.

00:18:25 So it's about 48oz with electrolytes. And I do that in the first part of the day because you just need to add that to your system because of the dehydration. Because coffee people don't realize that, okay, you say you need so much water every day, but if you have a cup of coffee, you need to double the amount of true water that you're drinking after you drink that. Yeah. So here's another little interesting tidbit, is that if you can hold off on that coffee for at least an hour or two after you wake up, because what happens is that there's a chemical in our body called adenosine, and that actually begins in the morning when we wake up, and it promotes sleep.

00:19:15 Caffeine inhibits the production of that. So that's why if you could wait an hour, at least an hour or so, then the production of that adenosine has already begun. The other thing that most people don't realize is that part of your evening ritual. My evening ritual actually starts middle of the day because I don't drink coffee, but I do drink green tea and black tea. And so you should stop all caffeine by 02:00 p.m.

00:19:49 In the afternoon.

00:19:53 And that was a mistake I was making when I was working. I thought I was extremely healthy because every afternoon I'd go down and have a green tea full of antioxidants and little did I know what that was doing was it was blocking that adenosine and therefore it was impacting my ability to get into deep sleep in the evening. Because the caffeine lasts up to 6 hours in your body. So those are the kind of little science based habits that we build into rituals for my clients that have tremendous impact on their energy level. Yeah, for sure.

00:20:36 I love that. And I haven't been able to have coffee. I mean, I drink one cup of coffee in the morning and that's it. But I had to stop drinking coffee past noon ten years ago. I just couldn't sleep.

00:20:48 It was affecting it so much. All right, so what's the third thing? The third area, and this one surprises a lot of people the third area is community. Oh, yeah, I love it. And community for me, involves yourself.

00:21:02 It involves the relationships that you're involved in, and it involves your career. So those are the, in my experience, the three major spheres of influence that we have ourselves, all the relationships and our career. And the conversation there is really around what's important to you. What are your values? What are your non negotiables, and how do you then communicate those values and those non negotiables to your tribes so that you don't get derailed?

00:21:50 Right?

00:21:55 I'll share with you my number one secret that I've that I've discovered over the last eight years and working with these high performing business leaders and entrepreneurs is that you got to set boundaries. And we suck at it. And we suck at it. It's interesting. I had a conversation with someone recently and they didn't like the word boundaries.

00:22:16 And I understand that because it has such negative connotations. They said, what about rules of engagement? And I go, oh, I love that.

00:22:26 Whatever works, right? Brene Brown says clear is kind.

00:22:37 I'll share with you a story about those conversations. Don't have to be confrontational. I was working with an executive back east in New York and mid forty s, and he two kids. And when we went through the exercise and the discussion about what's important, what are his values and his non negotiables, his health was first, his family and his career, in that order. The reason his health was first because he realized that if he didn't take care of himself, he couldn't take care of his family.

00:23:18 Right, and he couldn't work right. And so he would get up every morning, three or four mornings out of each week, and he would go to the gym, and then he'd come back and he and his wife would get the two kids who were under the age of ten ready for daycare and school. And then he would drive them to school in daycare. And this was his time with his kids. And a couple of mornings out of each week, he would always get a call or a text from a colleague, and he would either text back or he would answer the call.

00:23:54 And at some point, as we were having conversations, he and I, about how he was getting derailed, this scenario came up, and he was really frustrated with it. And I said, well, have you ever had a conversation with your colleague? He goes, no, he did. And guess what his colleague said? His colleague said, I'm cool with that.

00:24:17 The only reason I sent you a text or continued to call is you always called me back. Right. So he was there able to set a boundary or a rule of engagement that he was not available until 08:30 a.m., because that was family time. And his colleagues said, I understand, of. Course, and I think that most people do, and especially here we are, pretty much post COVID.

00:24:43 I think during COVID a lot of us really learned because we all started people weren't going into an office, they were working home, and you've got the dog, you've got the kids. And I think people have kind of lightened up a little bit and it's like, you know what I need this time. Well, that's great because I've had so many conversations with so many amazing people. And when it comes to your children, that's where I'm like the biggest advocate of, like, they only have one shot at being a kid, they get one childhood, and you want to give them the best opportunity that they have. Yeah, absolutely.

00:25:28 These are rewarding conversations. I think what I find is that once we get some of the basics around lifestyle, some of those habits implemented, and they see an increase in energy, they'll see changes in body composition, if that's important to them, then the conversation begins to turn to, okay, so what else in my life needs nourishing? And it turns to, well, that's me. Yeah, I need to ignite me, which is actually those are the really rewarding conversations to have. Yeah, well, I love that consciousness, lifestyle and community.

00:26:19 And that is so just I'm going to call this episode that too cool. Awesome. Good. Yeah, I love that. So I think, if I'm not wrong, didn't you just roll out a new program that you're offering?

00:26:35 Yeah. I'm in the process of launching my ignite. You community. Ignite you. Okay.

00:26:42 I love it. You community, which is a community. That my mission right now in life. I'm driven by a mission of building this inclusive community where high performing business leaders and entrepreneurs, just like your listeners, embrace their uniqueness and soar in all aspects of their life, I'm in the process of launching that community. And, yeah, it's, it's, it's, it's, it's great.

00:27:15 It's great. We're beginning to have those conversations as a community. That's great. And it's going to be so beneficial to so many people and, yeah, we need more people like you in this world that really care and really make a difference. And not only that, you're somebody you walked the talk, you lived it.

00:27:37 You're not just somebody that woke up during COVID because there's a lot of those imposters out there right now. It's like, oh, I think I'm going to do this. No, you were hit rock bottom. And I'm using air quotes. Right.

00:27:52 It was your bottom for you, that flight attendant who kind of hit you upside the head. Right.

00:28:02 I wish I knew her name because I would thank her personally popped in my mind, even though at the moment it didn't feel that way. Of course not. And you know what? Sometimes thank goodness that she had kind of the nerve, if you will, right. To say that.

00:28:25 And it sounds like she just had sometimes I don't know, I'm going to get a little woo woo here, but maybe she was like a guardian angel and something spoke through her that was like, I need to tell him this. And thank goodness she did. Yeah, absolutely. Because here you are today and it's incredible. Thank you.

00:28:48 So where can everybody find you and is there anything else that you want to share that we haven't talked about thus far? Yeah, I guess I would just say and this is part of the conversation and the counsel I always the coaching I always say to my clients is, one, it's about progress, not perfection.

00:29:12 And two, small hinges can swing big doors. I like that. So I would say that. And I'm sure we'll put some stuff in the show notes, but people can reach me by typing the word Ignite, ignite to 26786. And you can download a complimentary copy of my Three Secrets to Ignite You and Live Limitlessly now.

00:29:48 And then there's also my website, which is Evolvehealthandlifestyle.com. Awesome. Well, I will make sure that that text Ignite to 26786 is in the show notes as well. So if you're listening while driving, just wait until you pull over and take a look at that. Craig, so great to see you and I love working with you as part of the mentor studio, and we're just going to have such an amazing year together.

00:30:18 I just know it. We are. And again, the mentor studio brought us together. It's about community. It's about elevating, finding the right peeps, finding the right community so that you really just co create together.

00:30:34 And I feel like that's what we're doing. Yeah, for sure. Without question. Thank you so much, my friend. And it was just such an honor to finally have you as a guest, so thank you.

00:30:46 My pleasure. Thanks.

00:30:58 I certainly hope that you enjoyed today's interview. Thank you so much for joining me. And as always, I hope that you and your family are healthy and safe and that your lives are filled with peace, joy, and happiness. Take care, everyone. Want.