EPISODE 69: “This Is Your Greatest Cause of Suffering”
How many things, ideas, people and emotions have you “attached” to yourself? How many of these things have brought you anguish and despair?
Buddha once said, “The cause of suffering is attachment” and that’s obviously what I’m talking about in this episode.
I see people angry for years over their past circumstances, past relationships, lost dreams, lost physical property and the list goes on. All of this is attachment.
In this episode I talk about:
And, like I say in every podcast description, much more.
Working with a shaman for many years, letting go of attachment has been one of the biggest lessons in the forefront of my life. It can be a challenge and also very liberating.
As we all know, it’s so easy to attach to things, people and ideas around us, and in the end, many of these things come to be our suffering.
I enjoyed doing this episode and hopefully you can see yourself in many of the examples I used.
Attachment is suffering.
You're listening to episode number 69 of the Transform your Life from the Inside Out podcast. And this episode I talk about what the Buddha said is "Your greatest cause of suffering, which is attachment." If you're suffering anywhere in your life, it's most likely because you are attached to something. So keep listening.
Hi, I'm Jim Fortin, and you're about to start Transforming Your Life from the Inside Out with this podcast. I'm widely considered a leader in subconscious transformation. And I've coached super achievers all around the world for over 25 years. Here, you're going to find no rah rah motivation and no hype. Because this podcast is a combination of Brain Science, Transformational Pychology, and Ancient Wisdom all rolled into one to take your life to levels you've never thought possible. If you're wanting a lot more in life, to feel better, to heal, to have peace. Mind, the field powerful and alive and to bring more abundance and prosperity into your life. And this podcast is for you. Because you're going to start learning how to master your mind and evolve your consciousness. And when you do that, anything you want then becomes possible for you. I'm glad you're here.
Your Attachments Are Causing Your Suffering
So we're talking about attachment. I remember many years ago, when I was a hypnotist, I had this client, and she said, You know what, I am just so angry at my husband. And then she said, You know what, I'm really angry at my ex husband. And then she went into this diatribe and tirade about how angry she was. And he was this and he was that and he was, so and so on a horrible husband and all these kind of things. Now, listening to all this, I literally thought, okay,they're, they're splitting right now or they just got a divorce. And I said, I think this is what I said. I said, How long ago did you and your husband get divorced? And she said, Oh, we got divorced 10 years ago. Now, that might sound a little extreme to you. But when you really think about it, wow, this lady was attached to her ideas and she was carrying all this resentment and anger and all these things that really, they're not good for us. emotionally. She carried it for 10 years because she was so attached to the anger that she had for her husband.
It reminds me of an old story. These two monks, they weren't allowed to touch women, and they're out in nature and they walk up to a shallow river. And there's this woman standing there. And she asked one of the monks, she said, Could you please carry me across so I won't get wet. And monk, number one, picked her up, carried her across the river, put her down, and the monks went on their way. And they were quiet. And about 30 minutes later, monk number two who didn't touch the lady said the number one who did carry the lady. He said, You know, you know we're not supposed to touch women. How come you picked her up and carried her across the river? And monk number one said, I put her down 30 minutes ago. How come you are still carrying her? Which the second monk obviously had an attachment to his beliefs and stories about what they were and we're not supposed to do.
You know, we attached to all kinds of things which I definitely want to get into in this episode. Many years ago, this was a lot of years ago, I had to teach in St. Martin, which is in which is in the Caribbean, and it was all season and I bought a Rolex, I got a good deal, no sales tax, etc, blah, blah. I bought a Rolex. And I don't know it was a year and a half. Two years later, I lost it. And my brother in law, the shaman who I will talk about in this episode, lots and things that he's taught me about attachment. Because I'm no different than any anyone else in the planet for the most part, at least being born in United States, were literally taught how to be attached to things. But I lost the Rolex. And I remember talking to him and it was like 10 months after I lost it or something. And I said, Oh my gosh, I really love that watch. And he said to me along the lines of the Buddhist monk story, he said, you lost that watch 10 months ago, and you're still hanging on to it and you're still attached to it. So, that goes into this entire episode is that the Buddha said that our greatest cause of suffering is attachment.
So I asked you to look at the suffering in your life, and maybe not 100% but I guarantee that most of your suffering comes from being attached to things or ideas or people or emotions. And, I mean, we're attached to so many things that cause so much suffering. Something just popped into my mind as a matter of fact, and I'm glad it did is as I said, I'm going to talk about my my brother in law, the shaman and what he's taught me. Some things that he's taught me over the years. But he teaches me in dream time, or rather, I learned in dream time, I've created an episode on dream time, and I scratch the surface but you're more alive in dream time than you are an awake time. And presumably you're listening to this when you are air quote, awake, but you're really actually more awake when you're in dreamtime. Because in your unfettered consciousness.
And this was only about a year ago, I remember having a dream. And I asked him many times, I will when I need answers or whatever, I'll even text him and say, Hey, can you help me with this and dream time? And I had a dream, the last dream that I had I woke up and I started recapitulated my dreams. And one of the dreams was, he says, that you need to lose all attachment in your life. But let me go a step further here he goes, you need to actually even lose the attachment that you have to your own life. And I remember thinking, you know what, for many years, I've worked on letting go of attachment, not being attached to things, and people and ideas and all that kind of stuff we'll talk about, but I never thought about letting go of my attachment to my own life. And even that, you know, what, if you're not even attached to your own life, and all the things and all the things that happened in your life, then guess what, you will alleviate the suffering in your life.
And it just popped in my mind right now. I mean, as I sat down to do this episode, literally just popped him and I'm glad that it did. Because me that was a powerful aha, that as I alluded to here, I was many years being mindful of letting go of the attachment to things and ideas and people and emotions, but I was never aware of letting go of the attachment to my own life. So hopefully you find some value in that as well.
Now, I know I mentioned this recently on another episode, but when I used to live in New York City, and it doesn't matter, it's not germane to the story. But my brother in law, he called me and we were talking one day. And we were talking about expectation, which is also attachment. And he said to me very clearly, and I wrote notes, as soon as I got back to my apartment, I wrote it down, and I still have that piece of paper 25 years later. And he said to me, he calls me Jimmy. And he goes, you know, Jimmy, he goes, one of your biggest limitations is that you have so many expectations about the world, which is attachment. And he said, and I'm recapulating the story if you've listened to any of the podcast recently, and he said, when things don't work, like you want them to work, or people don't do what you think they should do, which is all expectation which is also attachment, he said then you get angry and you get all this kind of stuff and you get into foul mood and all this kind of stuff and a year later, look at that. And every bit of those expectations for me attaching to help people had to do things.
And like I've said before, I'm learning my lessons just like you are. Anyone that thinks they're better than anyone else on this planet. And you know what? There's been times I've been there as well. I mean, we're humans. We're learning our lessons. But everyone is here to learn something. We're all in earth school. And this has been a big thing for me over the years. This particular topic, I'm really enjoying this actually this episode, because I see so many people. So many people live unhappy lives, and it's all because of being attached to something.
Mainly, what I see people attached to is their stories. As a matter of fact, what I tell people in my coaching programs because we do a week on stories and identity and the stories around identity. What I see a lot of is what I call the unhappy space. And that space is the space between where you are, and the story of where you think you should be in life. And that disparity between where you actually are and the attachment to the story of where you think you should be, is what I call the unhappy space. And I see that and you know what, as I say that, and I share that most of you're probably looking at your own life right now and thinking, yep, that's exactly what I do. Because most of us don't accept life, for what it is and the moment, we actually get upset, because it's not what we expect it to be or what we think it should be in the moment, which means we're completely missing the moment of what it is because of the expectations and attachment to what we think that it should be.
So, that being said, What do you hang on to? Do you hang on to things, ideas, people and emotions. I get a kick,out of and I used to be the same way. But I get a kick out of when people say things like oh, own x, y, z or this is my net worth and Forbes magazine and all these magazines talk about what people are worth, etc. None of that's true. It's all an illusion because guess what, when you leave the planet you own nothing, nothing. You're only borrowing things when you get here. But many years ago, my mom got divorced from my parents got divorced when I was in college. And she remarried a few years later. And my mom left the planet about 10 years ago. But when she did the man she was married to my stepfather called me, I guess a year later or so. And he said, hey, he goes all of your stuff that your mother had your stuff, your mother had all of it, what do you want me to do with it? And it was everything from like my baby book when I'm in here in the US and I guess other places in the world. We have baby books, you know, it's like your first lock of hair and all your baby pictures and your little milestones in life and stuff like that. It was a lot of stuff from college and you guys know things that moms save, they're valuable to moms. And so my mom had all the stuff from the time that I was born. And my step dad said, What do you want me to do with it all? And I said, I want you to box everything up. And I want you to take it to the trash. And I want you to throw it all away.
Now, that might be shocking to some people. But for me, that's just past history. It doesn't exist. I'm not that person anymore. And why would I want to attach the things that are not me anymore? I see people that get attached to their cars and their homes. And you know what, these are just mechanical things. I mean, their material, their brick and mortar, but so many people not only attached to them, they attach their identity to things that they own, when they're actually none of those things. Being fully transparent here. I don't attach to a whole lot in life. But six years ago, I found this little I'm a massive, massive dog lover. I mean, I just I grew up with dogs, dogs. I'm it I quit doing what I did for a living right now and my passion and everything, I would probably open a kennel for stray dogs and get them adopted and all that kind of stuff. It's just a huge passion of mine.
I won't go into the story, even though it's an amazing story. It's quite literally serendipity. It's just a cosmic meeting. But I found a little black lab puppy in Oklahoma have some land they're literally 10 miles from nowhere out in nature. And he just walking down the road happily in the store is really phenomenal. I'm not going to go into it here, for time reasons. This dog, oh, my he stole my heart. I didn't want to keep them up first. But because I already had another another lab that was 13 years old. I didn't want to disrupt their life and I ended up keeping him and he became such an integral integral part of my life. And when he passed when he was five years old, and he had a brain tumor, and my brother in law, the shaman was here one night for dinner with my sister and this dog's name was Zach and Zach was sitting on the couch, and we were really quiet in the living room. And my brother in law looked over at Zach. And he said, you know, he's a really, really old for his species. And Zach came here to teach me things, which I won't go into into the set and this episode, but I'm going to tell you, he left when he was five years old, and I was devastated. I mean, just, I couldn't even talk about him for six months without crying. And this was again, this was like,five and a half, six years ago, but I was so attached to him, as opposed to being you know, what, what was he here to teach me? Let me grieve and let me move through it.
So, like I said, nobody's perfect, but I'm sharing with all of you guys, is that every time that I would think about Zach, I would start crying. I mean, I was just mega attached to him. And I would start crying. And the reason that I tell you that is because that was a lot of suffering for me, and I look back now and that was a lot of unnecessary suffering as opposed to being joyfully grateful. For having that time that I had with him and letting him actually and me share this time together on this planet. So the whole point, you know, circuitously here and I get there is what things do you attach to? You own nothing, nothing in this lifetime which I'll get to in just a moment.
Next people attached to ideas. I mean, jeez, look at the world that we live in look at here in the United States right now look at the political culture. Literally all this bickering and fighting is people just being attached to their political ideologies. And right now we've got, I would say, the left battling the right and even the far right, right now. And they're all attached to ideas and ideologies and about the Supreme Court and the next generation and all the stuff and they suffer and they have all these, they just consume their lives and all this stuff. Let me share a couple of thoughts with you here. Beliefs, people are attached their beliefs. And beliefs are nothing more than subjective evaluations that you created through your life experiences, things happen to you which are evidence, then you talk to yourself about it, you have a story about it, you have an interpretation, then you create a belief. And then people attach to their beliefs. And let me even show you to what degree that people attach to their beliefs.
Now, I mean this with a lot of respect and a lot of kindness, everyone's on their own path. And if you're a Buddhist or a Muslim, or you're Christian, or devout Christian, or Pentecostal, or spiritual, or whatever you are, everyone's on their own path. But what if I said for a second, you look at your most strongly held belief, and what if I said to you, and it could be for example, let's take religion, and I said, You know what, I'll give you a million dollars, but you have to relinquish all belief and that God that you have, or that religion or that spirituality or whatever it is, many people would say NO. Why? When it doesn't invalidate anything they believe or any of that, but I'm just sharing with you that that's how attached people are to their beliefs is we cling to them, which is attachment.
Couple of places I want to go here is my brother in law. His name, I call him Don Xavier, his name is Xavier, I've mentioned before Don is a Spanish sign of respect, Don Xavier. I was sitting with him on a journey one time and he said to me, just very humbly and very quietly, and it just hit me so hard, is he said that most people don't ask for truth. They asked for what confirms their beliefs. And I want you to consider that. Seriously, look at your own life. Do you really ask for truth? Or do you ask for what confirms the beliefs you already have? Which in itself is attachment.
On that note also, have you noticed how people not listening to the podcast. But if you noticed how people kill in the name of attachment, which is believe people name and they kill, simply for example, you could look at the issue of abortion, some people are pro-life some people are pro-choice. And by the way, cosmically, there's a whole different reason on a whole different energy behind this, which we're definitely not going to go into in this podcast. But look at people that bomb maybe an abortion clinic, they're they're doing it because they're so attached to this belief about the entire, the entire subject matter. I want to go a little further here.
My brother in law of course, being a shaman, shamans have shamans who teach them I mean to be like anything in life. If you're going to go to dental school, you're going to have dentists teach you how to be a dentist, you know. And shamans are the same and in shamanism is called the benefactor meaning the benefactor is the one that would be the the air quote teacher of the shaman apprentice. And my brother in law's benefactor who's a shaman told me many years ago. And this might be a little esoteric and hard for people to get their mind around. Not because you don't have the capability, but because it's so different for a lot of people. But he said, a different way of thinking.
But he said to me one time, he said, beliefs are archaic. And he said this a lot of years ago, and basically, I'll break it down for you. But if you look at the suffering in your life, the suffering in your life is caused by some belief. You have some belief about the way life should be like I talked about the stories earlier. I'll come back to this conversational loop that I just opened. But let's say for example, that and I heard somebody just say, I'm so heartbroken. I just today I just I'm so heartbroken. I just lost the relationship.
Well, there's some story and some belief about what relationships are what they're not why the relationship broke up. And there's a lot of attachment tied to that. You know,I want to segue here and I want to back up a little bit. I mean, we're human beings, we're learning our lessons. And if if I were transparent with you, which I'm going to be is what really lights me up is when I talk about concepts that are so far beyond what we've learned as human beings on this planet, because we're domesticated, so to speak, we're born on the planet. We're just immersed in this planet that is a planet that mediocrity for the most part, you look in the world around you and the things that people do in that comment that we live in a world of mediocrity needs no defense.
So we're indoctrinated with every bit of this. But when I was told, for example, beliefs are archaic. That's higher thinking and to be truthful, I'm still getting my mind around that all these years later. But the point was, is don't believe anything, observe everything clearly without the rose colored glasses of the belief. Now you have clarity in life. So hopefully that makes sense in the way that I explained it. But so many people are tied to ideas, and they are attached to ideas, and even ideas about themselves. For example, thinking I'm not good enough. That's not true. I mean, in the eyes of the universe, you're amazing. Literally, you're an extraordinary being, you can heal on all these things that you have, and you can manifest. But people get tied to these beliefs and ideas. And then they suffer as a result of the belief and ideas.
I mean, this is a deep rabbit hole, we could go down from this one quote and concept of letting go of attachment. And I'm going to back up here a little bit. The dream that I had, about letting go of attachment to my own life was liberating because we even get so attached about how things are supposed to work in life, and who's supposed to be in our life and how life is supposed to be. And when we just let go of that, it's so easy to be at peace. When we let go of that attachment. Now we can talk about attachment to people. So, attachment to people. When my mom left the planet in 2012, I somehow wandered. It was divine guidance. But I wandered upon this point that I framed and I'm had on one of my walls for a lot of years. And I want to share it with you because we get so attached to people. But anyway, here's the poem. And it's by Patrul Rinpoche.
And he says, the poem is this. No coming together can last forever. It will always end in separation. We are like inhabitants of different places gathering in thousands and even tens of thousands for a big market or an important religious festival. Only the part again, as each returns home. Whatever affection and relationships we now enjoy, - teachers and disciples masters and servants, patrons and their proteges spiritual comrades, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives. There is no way we can avoid being separated in the end. We cannot even be sure that death or some other terrible event might not suddenly part us right now. Since spiritual companions, couples and so forth might be split up unexpectedly at any moment, we had better avoid anger and quarrels, harsh words and fighting. We never know how long we might be together. So we should make up our minds to be caring and affectionate for the short while that we have left. To me that's a very well it's a powerful that I framed it and it's been on one of my walls in the house here for a lot of years. But we attach to people, many people do we attach to people and then for some reason, when that person Some leaves are life, which everyone's going to leave. Because that's part of the contract, before coming here is that you will leave.
And, I look at people's lives and I see people that are still sad, 10,15,20 years after somebody in their life left. I'm not begrudging anyone, we all have to do things in our own way. I just want to share that it's part of the contract is that everyone's leaving. So I asked you, and let's bring this down the ground level as opposed to a higher thought level here is, what relationships maybe have left your life that you're still lamenting over and you're still suffering from. But, it just popped in my mind, the 40 year old virgin if you've never seen them before the American comedy back from 10,12,13,14 years ago, when one of the characters Paul Rudd broke up with another character, and he couldn't get over her, and he used to talk about her over and over and over. I mean, that is attachment.
So my point is here, it's when comes to people. Who do you attach to? So just food for thought. Something else that I'd mentioned here is that people attach to emotions. And people don't even know that they do it. I mean, nobody walks, round for the most part and says, you know what, I'm attached to anger, or I'm attached to self pity, or I'm attached to fear. But in truth, that's really what people are, is they're attached to all these things. Not only that, and it's amazing, we're such complex beings, that it's partly habitual, is that it becomes habit. I mean, negative thinking can be habitual. But I want you to notice the things that you get into about yourself, and especially the counterproductive things. And the things that you get into over and over and over again, are quite literally things that you're attached to.
And then the counterproductive stuff, you're attached to it. And then what happens is you suffer for many years of your life. Because you're attached to that, I was talking about Don Xavier and then his benefactor. And I remember many years ago when his benefactor was talking to me. And he said to me, I'm going to paraphrase, but I remember the year is 1996. And he said to me, he said, You own nothing. You own nothing in this lifetime. And when you leave this lifetime, everything that you've acquired will be of no value, the physical possessions, the titles, none of that does have any value. The only thing that is of value is the personal power that you created while you were here.
So to give you a different spin on that, what he's really saying, is the only thing that I'm going to take with me on when I leave this planet, is what I have become, I own nothing else, therefore do not become attached to other things. Even as I'm recording this episode, I am literally being introspective, looking at my own life even saying, you know, Jim, where do you have attachments that you don't even know that you have attachments and then that goes back to the dream, which actually was serendipitous. And it popped in my mind, which tells me that I need to dig even deeper in my own life, when I had the dream about letting go of attachment to my own life.
So, I mean, these are, these are pesky little creatures, attachments, that is for most of us. Something that Don Xavier said to me many years ago also, and hopefully this will hit home and I'm hoping here it's my intention that many of you listening this episode will really take it to heart and examine your own life and look at what you're attached to. But I'd say start here, instead of saying what am I attached to look at all the places in your life that you suffer? And most likely, it's because you're attached to something, some story, some beliefs, some ideas, some person some emotion or some thing in your life. But remember, I was sending out talking to Don Xavier one day. And he said to me, and this was just a powerhouse statement.
He said to me, the more that you believe, the more that you have to defend. Consider that. The more that you believe, which is an attachment, the more that you believe, the more you have to defend. And if you look at people, let's externalize this, look at people that maybe even you do this, I don't know. But look at people that final about politics on Facebook, and they're ranting two days later, and that's rant got like 74 comments to it. I mean, the more that you believe that's why i said earlier is to believe nothing and to observe everything which then gives you more clarity, as opposed to looking through the lens of the rose colored glasses. So beliefs also our attachment. Neem Karoli Baba once said and this is what I want for everyone, but well, not what he said. But he said, attachment is the strongest block to realization. And what I want for people through this podcast or on my programs or whatever, what I really, really want is a realization for people. Somebody once asked me, they said, you know, Jim, if you could sum up what you really want for people,what would it be?
And this could also be my well, I'm not going to anyway, I'm just gonna leave it at that. They said, what would it be? And I said, What I want is if I can get people to free themself from themselves, that brings joy, because see when you're attached to all these ideas and beliefs and stories, about who you are and what you are, and all this kind of stuff, that blocks the realization.
I remember this client one time this just popped in my mind and I I'm just telling you guys verbatim the conversation. His last name was Hispanic. And a very, very smart guy very well spoken, very well educated, a multiple, seven figure earner. And he sold real estate. He was a Top Producing real estate agent many years ago, and he hired me as his coach. And in in the city that he worked in, it was predominantly and I'm just telling you guys, so please, this is just not me. So the city that he worked in, was upscale. It was it was upper income, it was a small town, and it was predominantly white. And the people who owned that company that he worked for, were also white, and I knew them very well because I coach them. And it just dawned on me he was so attached to the idea which was a huge block for him.
Because it caused a lot of a lot of self esteem in him. But he grew up in East LA, which was obviously ethnic, hispanic and etc. And he said to me, because he was so darn attached to this idea. He said, you know what, I'm just the poor boy from the wrong side of the tracks. And as I look back, I don't know, eight, nine years ago, whatever it was that I coached him, he was so attached to that identity, and it caused so much suffering and a lack of production in his life. So and it just dawned on me when I was talking about the quote from Neem Karoli Baba. Attachment is the strongest block to realization. So hopefully, as we've being one for this episode, you're starting to have some realizations and looking at your own life, a question for you, for fun here. The question would be, how would your life be different if you didn't believe anything that you currently believe? Consider that for a moment. How would your life be different if you didn't believe anything that you currently believe? And that thought scares the heck out of a lot of people because they think oh my Gosh, if I gave up XYZ belief, what would I believe? Who would I be? And that is all attachment to what I call self-ego.
So more than anything, I hope this episode has been one that is thought provoking for you and get you just to get off autopilot, take a step back, look at your own life. And again, where I want you to go is I want you to look at all the areas that you're suffering in your life. And you could even say for example, well, I am suffering physically I have physical something going on. What I want to point out because I have seen it I have seen people that have been physically ill and not feel well and still be very, very happy people. So what I would ask you is what are you attached to, even if you're physically suffering, because all the surges coming to mind right now for this episode?
So this tells me that this is kind of like just an inspirational episode, and then we'll wrap up here is my one of my grandmother's one time she wasn't attached to wanting attention from people, and the way that she manifests meaning all of our kids and our grandkids and the way that she manifested that is that if she was always in the hospital because she was a hypochondriac, if she was always in the hospital of some kind of ailment, meaning she was in physical pain, then what she got is she got the attention, oh, Grandma, and mom and all this kind of stuff from the kids, and the grandkids.
So the takeaway, what I want you to look at the takeaway is this is that attachment is suffering. And then I want you to look at your own life and see where you're suffering and see what attachment to either things or ideas or people or emotions, you have to that, what beliefs are you attached to? Because for many, that causes a great deal. If you look at that last comment, being attached to beliefs even causes a lot of suffering in people's lives. Okay, next episode is a Q&A episode and Rebecca wrote in I'm going to actually not read it to you now, but I'll read her entire question on the next episode. But the gist of her question was, and I picked this because I even had some people write in and say, Jim, could you talk about this?
The gist is this. She goes, I have a good life and a good husband, but I'm not happy in my marriage. What do I do? And I'm going to tell you from the amount of people that I coach and interfaced and work with, number one here in the United States, we have a 53% divorce rate, which tells you a lot of people are not happy in their relationships. I'm going to dig a lot deeper into that in the next episode, but I do know that a lot of people and I have been there in my own life. So I'm going to share that with you guys. I'm not there now. And I've been in the same relationship for 18 years, which is very healthy, very good, very empowering and very supportive.
However, the amount of people that have a great husband or wife I mean, they're good mom or dad. Good provider, whatever, a good homemaker, whatever it is that they are. They might have a wonderful husband or wonderful wife. But they're not happy in the marriage. And she goes on in the question, which I'll get into the next episode is, is there something deeper happening at a spiritual level that I'm missing out on, and that's also contributing to being unhappy meaning she feels like there's something air quote not right. And she felt that way from the very first time she walked down the aisle, because she got married because she thought it was what she was supposed to do. Anyway, I went into some some lengthy explanation there. But that applies to a lot of you. So the question is, I have a good life and a good husband, but I'm not happy in my marriage. What do I do? And we will pick up that question on the next episode. Okay. Thanks for listening, and I'll catch you later. Stay well and make it a great day today. Bye bye.
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