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Coming soon: Crucible Leadership is becoming Beyond the Crucible. Stay tuned for updates!

Discover Your Second-Act Significance: A First Look at Our First E-Course #134

Warwick Fairfax

October 4, 2022

We’re launching Beyond the Crucible’s first-ever e-course – Discover Your Second-Act Significance — in October. In this episode, host Warwick Fairfax and cohost Gary Schneeberger pull back the curtain of its creation, discussing — among other things — what each of them learned while filming the course. The hope is that by sharing what those who take the course can expect, they’ll discover a path to move from asking themselves “Is this all there is?” to a life that is everything they’ve always wanted.

 

To learn more about the Discover Your Second Act Significance e-course, and to sign up to receive the latest updates, visit www.secondactsignificance.com .

Highlights

  • The expansion of Crucible Leadership (2:10)
  • Our first-ever e-course (3:25)
  • How the idea of an e-course was born (4:37) 
  • What the e-course contains (9:07)
  • What Gary learned (14:06)
  • What Warwick learned (26:36)
  • The “aha” moment about fellow travelers cemented by the course (36:29)
  • An exhortation for those who take the e-course (43:24)
  • The value Warwick sees in adding e-courses to the Beyond the Crucible universe (48:52)
  • A question from the course worksheets to ponder (51:37)

Transcript

Warwick Fairfax:

Welcome to Beyond the Crucible. I’m Warwick Fairfax, the founder of Crucible Leadership.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

One of the things this eCourse talks about is we get to the point, “Is this all there is?” We realize there’s more to life than baseball records. It’s really that the pivot is to doing something that sings to your soul, but also is something that you believe does make the world a better place in some way, be it big or small, but big to your heart, big to your soul, and that’s what we talk about as a life of significance, life on purpose dedicated to serving others. So the end goal is the same, how you get there might be different. It might not be a crucible, it may be more of a feeling stuck, is this all there is moment, but both paths, you want to get to a life of significance.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Did you catch the word Warwick said at the start of that, eCourse? There’s a lot more conversation about that subject, about this new opportunity for you, our listeners, to dig more deeply than ever as you chart a course to a life of significance. Hi, I’m Gary Schneeberger, co-host of the show. We’re expanding our brand and launching Beyond the Crucible’s first ever eCourse, Discover Your Second Act Significance, in October, and we pull back the curtain of its creation in this episode of the show.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Our hope is that by doing so, by sharing not only what you can expect from the course, but what Warwick and I learned from it while filming it, that you’ll discover a path to move from asking yourself, “Is this all there is?” to a life that is everything you’ve always wanted. It’s an offbeat episode to be sure, but it couldn’t be more on point with what we’ve endeavored to do since our founding.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

I say it’s going to be offbeat, listener, because this is a truly historic episode in the life cycle of Beyond the Crucible, in our little Beyond the Crucible universe. We’ll get into all those details or at least many of them as we chat, but the headline here is we are expanding. Beyond the Crucible and Crucible Leadership has been since its creation, first and foremost, primarily a storytelling brand. Don’t worry. That’s not going to change. Stories are and will remain our bread and butter, but we’ve got some additional meat for the sandwich, you might say.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

We’re moving beyond sharing crucible stories with you, sharing just crucible stories with you to giving you new assets and offerings to help you navigate that critical journey to a life of significance in the wake of setbacks, failures, and dissatisfaction. We have an exciting new offering we’re debuting this October, in fact, drum roll please, our first ever eCourse. That’s pretty exciting, isn’t it, Warwick?

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Absolutely. It’s been quite a journey to get here, which we’ll discuss, but yeah, it’s been an evolution in terms of where we’ve come from to have an eCourse, our first ever eCourse. A lot of work went into it, but it’s been quite the journey.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

That first ever eCourse, listener, is called Discover Your Second Act Significance, and it’s designed to do three things. It’s designed to, A, guide you on a journey from feeling stuck or in pain to beginning a journey of discovery to awaken your passion. B, it’s designed to help you craft a vision rooted in your talents and beliefs. And C, it’s designed to unleash a more fulfilling life for you that leaves a legacy you’ll be proud of. As listeners hear this Warwick, some of them are probably wondering, “Why the change? What, in a big picture 30,000-foot level view work, prompted this change in what we’re going to do?” Change is a bad word, this addition to what we’re going to do, to the mix of what we’re going to do. What prompted it?

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Yeah. It’s a good question, Gary. Basically, brands and visions, they evolve. I’ve often used this, actually, used this analogy in the eCourse in which I talked about Walt Disney. He didn’t have this big vision of Disney World and even full length animated pictures. His vision was started off in the late ’20s and early ’30s to produce animated cartoons that were more compelling. That was the extent of the vision.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So way back when, my vision originally was if my story about growing up in a 150-year-old family media business, $2.25 billion takeover, listeners, as familiar with that story, and originally, it was if my story can help others, then I’m happy to share it. I wrote a book, Crucible Leadership: Embrace Your Trials to Lead a Life of Significance. That came out in October last year 2021, and it has comprised of my story, members of my family, stories from historical faith and inspirational leaders.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So the original vision was publish the book, and then that expanded from there into a blog, we wrote about various subjects, social media, then this podcast, Beyond The Crucible, sharing my story and lessons I’ve learned, but also stories of others. Then as we did this we thought, “Well, if the podcast and the things we’re learning, if we can put this in an eCourse, then that’s something that will be good too.”

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So it evolved from just my story to stories of others and how can we use my story and stories of others to help people and then help people not just in the book and podcasts, but in workbooks and now an eCourse. So it’s really evolving to a point where we want the material at Beyond the Crucible to be able to help others in very practical, tangible ways.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So it’s really, it’s not so much a big shift, but it’s a gradual evolution of the brand from my story to how can people use my story and the stories of others, and what we get into in the eCourse, the refining process to help others bounce back from their worst day to lead a life of significance. So it’s really been an evolution of the brand or the vision.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

From behind the curtain, if you will, how this grew, where this idea was birthed, really, came from our most recent podcast series, the Second Act Significance series. The stories from those guests were so inspiring to us that we could just see it, right? I mean you could see it, couldn’t you? You could see that there was a curriculum of sorts in some of the learnings we had from what those folks that we spoke with talked about how they were living a life of dissatisfaction. They were feeling like they were playing out of position. They were feeling like there had to be mortal life than what they were going through, and they shared their journey of how they found that. Something clicked for you and for the rest of the team that said, “There’s a deeper learning here that we can present to people, right? This is an opportunity for us to present deeper avenues of learning to folks who have engaged with us from the beginning.”

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Absolutely. As we were listening to this in recording and then listening afterwards, we began to think, “Gosh, the guests we had on Discover Your Second Act Significance, the podcast, there were some common themes, and we often talk about how do you bounce back from your crucible, but this was different. How do you bounce back from being stuck? I think you coined a phrase of like, “Is this all there is?” How do you, say, copyright Gary Schneeberger, but how do you bounce back from “is this all there is” moment? That’s extremely common. You could be stuck in a job 10, 20, 30 years and it’s like, “I don’t like this.” You might have days and your worst moments, not every day, in which you say, “I hate my life,” and that maybe not be quite that vivid, but you have moments where you’re thinking, “This is not fun. I feel like I’m in prison.”

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So we thought there is another level of learning that we can put together in an eCourse with worksheets and some very practical tools to really mine the wisdom of our podcast guests and the learning here at Beyond the Crucible in a way that helps our listeners at another level. So we just, as we listen to it, thought, “This whole concept of second act significance in how you get unstuck and how do you get beyond the is this all there is feeling, it just seemed to almost call out for an eCourse, for a deeper level of learning.”

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Right. So the eCourse, as we said, is coming in October. More details will follow. It is made up of three video modules that contain roughly one hour long videos to watch. There’s also more than, and this is my favorite part of it, there are more than a dozen worksheets, you hinted at them a little bit, for attendees to download and work through. Don’t think of this as, “Oh, no.” Don’t hit stop and think this is homework. It’s not homework. It’s something that work that you’ve said many times. It’s soul work in a sense. It’s digging deep inside how you’re wired and what you’ve learned from your past and charting a course for a vision that will lead you to a second act of significance.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

I’ve got to believe, Warwick, after founding this brand, this has to be one of, I mean, I know getting your book published was enormously exciting, but this has to be one of those really exciting pivot points for you in that you’re taking the learning to the next level. You’ve been a storyteller, you are a storyteller on the show, whether you’re talking about your own story or you’re interviewing people, but now, you’re moving into this, I mean, we had a team meeting today as we’re recording this episode. One of the members of the team referred to you as having moved into a teacher mode, and that wasn’t puffery. That was the things that you’ve extrapolated that have been presented that this eCourse will advance. They’re truly teaching moments, aren’t they?

 

Warwick Fairfax:

It is, and it’s something that we’ll talk about later. On Friday, you, Gary and I presented in the Washington DC area something not quite the same as this, but it was also teaching around Crucible Leadership and how you get beyond your worst day. This was for coaches, executive coaches. Again, there was a lot of teaching in there combined with stories. So yes, it’s an evolution. This particular eCourse, what we love about it is it’s three parts, but it can be available to anybody. It just takes the learning and the stories, especially with the worksheets, to a whole other level.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So what we’re about here at Beyond The Crucible is all about helping you get beyond your worst day, having a vision that you’re off the charts passionate about, and leading a life of significance, a life on purpose dedicated to serving others. Yes, stories, hopefully, my story and the stories of others in the book and the podcasts are helpful, but to get to just a more concrete level of exactly how do you do this, in this case, how do you get beyond the is this all there is moment when you’re in your cubicle or as we’ll talk about later, I have my own cubicle moment, which we’ll discuss, how do you get beyond that? We’ve got some very practical tools.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So the bottom line is the more we can help come up with actionable material that helps you, the listener, get beyond your worst day, get beyond the is this all there is moment, and that makes us, frankly, feel more joyful and fulfilled because we’re helping you have more practical tools to get where you want to go, to get to a place where your soul truly does sing. Maybe it’s like a symphony. Maybe it’s like the hallelujah chorus that they sing at Christmas. It’s like Handel’s Messiah and all that. A little off track here, wasn’t that in the Diehard movie? I’m pretty sure there was-

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Yeah, at the end.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

There was the hallelujah chorus.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Yeah, when the vault opens at the end and the bad guys-

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Exactly.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

… for a moment get their hands on those bearer bonds but not for long, the hallelujah chorus goes off. Yup.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So I guess the point of the story is we all want that kind of chorus echoing in our brains and our souls as we achieve our life of significance. That’s the chorus you want to hear. Hopefully in some small way, this eCourse will help you get there.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

One of the things that’s really interesting about the course, when you do something like this and many hours went into preparing this course from many members of the team, not just you and I who host the eCourse, but one of the great things about this process is that as the people who see the sausage made as it were, we watch it a lot. We watch rough cuts of it and we watch barely almost finished cuts of it and then we watch final cuts of it.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

One of the things that really hit me about this, and it’s interesting that you brought up that conference that we were just at in DC because that was a worthwhile, very helpful course for coaches, and there was a price tag affixed to that, and there was value, I think, we would both say, there was great value that was delivered by that. Watching this eCourse, even though I’m involved in it, watching it develop, watching it, going through the worksheets, doing the work, there’s great value in this course, isn’t there?

 

Warwick Fairfax:

There really is. We’re going to get into this a bit because, obviously, part of the goal of this is not just why we did it, but a behind the scenes look, which we’re discussing now, and as well as some things that we learned. So for me, one testimony to the value of it is when you and I, in a sense, to a degree gone through this eCourse and we’re getting value from it already.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Right, and that goes back to the vision that you set out when you founded all of this, right? You had a vision to help people. I would imagine watching this eCourse, developing this eCourse, and then proofing it, watching it as it plays back, watching it take shape from the level that those who attend are going to be able to see has to be enormously fulfilling because what it represents, right Warwick, it’s a continuation. It’s an addition onto. It’s a growth of your vision, your vision that was birthed out of your own crucible.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Yeah. There’s tremendous satisfaction in feeling like not just my story, which is there in part, but just the learning that we’ve developed over the course of time at Beyond the Crucible, including the learning we have from our guests. I learned something every episode we have of Beyond the Crucible that is very meaningful to me. I’ve learned so many things. Not to bore you with all the details, listeners, but just a couple things. We had Mike and David Charbonnet on our very first podcast, and David Charbonnet was a Navy Seal that was paralyzed in a training accident, and his dad was a Navy Seal. How do you come back from that? He was as good as it comes from his dad’s perspective as a fellow Navy Seal.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

I said to him, “Boy, I felt like what I went through with the family business was nothing compared to what you went through.”

 

Warwick Fairfax:

He said, “Warwick, your worst day is your worst day.”

 

Warwick Fairfax:

That was a gift for me. It’s like, “Wow, you mean it’s not a competition? You mean it’s okay for me to feel like it was pretty painful to me?” So I guess there’s so many things, but we’ve had other podcast guests that said what they went through was a blessing.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

I mentioned her all the time, but Stacy Copas, who was an Australian woman at age about 13 dove into an above ground pool in the suburbs of Sydney and this diagnosis of quadriplegic and suicidal, substance abuse. I mean, all sorts of things she went through, but over time, she now speaks and coaches, and she now says what she went through was a blessing. How can that be being diagnosed as a quadriplegic? Her point, again, this is her truth, would be that the person she is now, she wouldn’t be that person without what she went through, which made her, to some degree, a different person. Just she’s learnt so much.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So all that to say is what we’ve tried to do is combine the learning that Gary and I are learning from our podcast guests, from thinking about some of these issues and then putting it together in a way that provides concrete learning with worksheets and specific steps that can help you not just get beyond your crucible, but lead a fulfilling and joyful life, a life of significance. So it’s very exciting to be able to put all this, the learning of not just us but so many others together in a format that can help you. So yeah, it’s very fulfilling.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Speaking of the learning, let’s talk a little bit about what we learned because I think one of the things that speaks to the value of something that is designed to educate you in some way is if you as the creator of it learn, and I use this as an example and I’m sure this happened for your book too. I recently published a book on the films of James Bond, the James Bond film series. I wrote and researched all the stuff in that book and when I read the book after it came out, I was like, “Dang, that’s pretty insightful,” or “Oh, I forgot that,” or “That taught me something. I learned something.”

 

Gary Schneeberger:

When we can learn from those things we create, I think that speaks to the power of the learning that comes through it, and in this eCourse, in this eCourse, Discover Your Second Act Significance, we have moments like that and I’ll share one of mine. The aha moment for me where I learned something in doing this eCourse was after we finished the Second Act Significance Podcast series, I wrote a blog that recounted some of the key learnings that guests had shared from their experiences. I was reminded as I was doing that of a story of a man I knew more than 25 years ago in my youth, as they say, and he’s the 1958 American League Rookie of the Year, Albie Pearson.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Albie, I knew him because my spiritual father at the time was Albie’s, still is, Albie’s son-in-law. So I got to know Albie, and Albie told me this great story knowing I was a baseball fan about how as a boy he didn’t have a lot of friends. So he would swing a bat and he would pantomime games and he would fancy himself, imagine himself hitting a home run in the World Series to lead the Yankees to victory.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Now, for the vast majority of young boys, and I did some of that myself, for the vast majority, that’s just a childhood pipe dream. That’s never going to come true, but it actually happened for Albie, sort of, right? He wasn’t playing for the Yankees and it wasn’t the World Series, but he did hit a home run against the Yankees, but here’s the moment that he told me about that stuck with me for 25 years. As he was rounding the bases, he sensed a voice speak to his heart and it asked him a simple question, “Is this all there is?”

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Albie was a Christian and as he was growing up dreaming about playing in the big leagues, he felt that God was asking him to, “Join my team,” maybe to be a pastor, but Albie didn’t think much about it being focused on wanting to play baseball until he was rounding the bases having hit that home run. That was when that came back to him, the question of is this all there is made him realize that there was something more for him, something more in line with his vision and his values. So Albie became a pastor after his baseball career ended, and he worked with disadvantaged youth for 50 years.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

It’s funny to me in the actual eCourse work, we don’t mention Albie by name, which is strange, but we do talk about that feeling of is this all there is that so many people experience when they’re not fulfilling, they’re not in lives, jobs, careers, circumstances that are fulfilling as they hoped. I realized smack in the middle of recording the eCourse that the journey we were guiding people on when it comes to second act significance is not so much as we say all the time from setback to significance. It’s something a little bit different.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

It’s not about moving from failure or setback, I realized the journey when you feel stuck, maybe even stuck when you’re living a successful life and unfulfilled, it’s a little different. Out of my mouth while we’re recording the eCourse popped this phrase, “Going from is this all there is to this is all I want.” That was an incredibly powerful moment for me, moving from dissatisfaction to satisfaction. That’s one of the things, one of the chief things this course not only talks about but helps people map out and pursue and grab and achieve, right?

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Absolutely. Yeah, I mean that’s one of the exciting things about this course because we talk a lot about crucibles, but this is a little different. This is you’re in your cubicle, is this all there is? Albie Pearson, great example, he’s doing great in baseball, but it’s like, “Okay. Is this all there is?” I mean, it reminds me of somebody that we covered during our summer series, Lights Camera Crucible, and Roy Hobbs in The Natural. He had a is this all or is moment? He might have even used those words when his longtime girl from back in Iowa, I think, was he from, Roy Hobbs?

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Yup. He was from the farms of Iowa.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Gosh, what’s her name? Not Glass, but it’s-

 

Gary Schneeberger:

I’m going to say the angel of light because I can’t remember her name either.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Iris. Iris.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Iris, there you go.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

There we go. Yeah, there we go. He’s in the hospital after somebody tries to poison him, and it’s like he was out of the game for years, and he is going to get maybe one more game. He’s like, “Gosh, things sure didn’t work out the way I thought they would because I could have been the best there ever was. I go down the road of my town and everybody would say, ‘There goes Roy Hobbs, the best there ever was.'” Basically, Iris then, he didn’t say, “Is that all there is?” She said, “Then what?” “What do you mean and then what? For a baseball player, what is there more than the best there ever was? There is no higher pinnacle.”

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Right, than being the goat, right.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Right, exactly. Yeah, the greatest of all time. Absolutely. She made him realize, “You’ve inspired a whole lot of young boys, a lot of young kids with just your determination and coming back from years in the wilderness,” and he ends up going back to the farm with Iris and the son he never realized he had.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So I think one of the things this eCourse talks about is we get to the point, “Is this all there is?” and we realize there’s more to life than baseball records. It’s really that the pivot is to doing something that sings to your soul, but also is something that you believe does make the world a better place in some way, big or small, but big to your heart, big to your soul. That’s what we talk about as a life of significance, life on purpose dedicated to serving others.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So the end goal is the same, how you get there might be different. It might not be a crucible, it may be more of a feeling stuck, is this there all there is moment, but both paths you want to get to a life of significance. That’s where true joy and fulfillment, and that’s what Albie Pearson did, helping disadvantaged youth, and he’s had definitely a life of significance, a very joy-filled, fulfilling life.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Absolutely.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So it is a tremendous example.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

In the eCourse, we include several video clips of guests who were in our Second Act Significance Podcast series who talk about their learning moment. So in addition to you and I talking about and unpacking some of those learnings, those who take the course are going to be able to hear from the guests on the show, point them in the right direction, and that I think is, again, speaks to the educational value, the inspirational value of what we’ve put together. So Warwick, I’ve talked about what my big takeaway was from the eCourse that surprised me. What was it for you? What takeaway from the course surprised you as we were creating it?

 

Warwick Fairfax:

A number of things. Probably one of the first things that comes out is one of the fascinating worksheets we have is The Younger You worksheet, and it looks at what are the things that you thought you could do when you were young, when you thought everything was possible? Why that’s fascinating to me is that when I was growing up, I never thought about, “Oh, what is it I’m going to be when I grew up?” because I knew what it was, take a leading role in heading up the family media business. That’s what my parents wanted. That was almost ordained from birth. So the idea of what are your skills, what’s your vision, irrelevant question. It was all mapped out.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So I never thought back about, “Gee, what did I want to be when I was young?” I didn’t think about that at all. I thought I just needed to be this leading figure in this 150-year-old large family media business, but as I thought about it, what are the things that inspired me when I was younger? I thought a number of things. For instance, I’ve always loved science fiction. It was started by, I think, it was a 1968 film, 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick, really a pathbreaking film that was a lot of deep meaning and not the easiest movie to understand.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

I mean, there’s debates still to this day about the meaning of that movie, but ever since then when you saw technology that back then was just a pipe dream they had on this space plane, a space shuttle going from earth to the orbiting space station, you had on the back seats in front of you a TV screen that you could watch. Well, we have that now in airplanes, but I mean, thinking about it in ’68 is almost ridiculous. You had a talking computer, you had video conferencing. I love the brand names. It was a PanAm space plane, which is a large airline that went out of business a long time ago, but it used to be the US carrier, international carrier, the most prestigious.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

You’re flying international, you want PanAm. They didn’t have AT&T. It was Bell Telephone. It was just amazing. Then obviously, not obviously, but I got into a lot of other things. I read books by Arthur C. Clark and Isaac Asimov, two of the leading figures in science fiction literature. I’ve always been a big fan of Star Trek, every version for me, and there’s, of course, a lot of debate out there. My favorite is Star Trek: Next Generation with John Luke Picard, maybe because he was very philosophical a bit like my dad, so how I could see my dad in him, and I’ve also always loved history, whether it’s English kings and queens with my dad being a big Anglophile or I loved American history, so whether it’s books about Roosevelt or Lincoln, Washington. So just this idea of being very reflective and what can we learn from other people’s stories, that’s something that was back in my earliest years. I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer, a reflector.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So as we were thinking about that worksheet, it’s like, “Gosh, I learned a lot about myself that it’s easy now or easier to trace back some of my interests as a young kid growing up to what I do now.” There’s a direct correlation in my interest. Now, I never thought about that before. So that was a huge one. There were several aha moments, but that was certainly one of them.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Let’s play it out a little differently. Let’s say that the takeover of the family media business had succeeded for the long term, that you were and still are in charge of this big company, and you’re a businessman. I’ve heard you say it many times, you’ve never been a take no prisoners kind of guy like Warren Buffett or somebody like that, right? Imagine that that had succeeded. You’re feeling, “Is this all there is?” You do this worksheet exercise about what brought you alive, what inspired you when you were younger. You think about those things. That’s the kind of thing that we want those who take this eCourse to encounter, right? If they’re living a life that’s not fulfilling, to tap into those things that were fulfilling to them when they were younger because that can be an arrow pointing to where they should go, can’t it?

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Absolutely, because I wasn’t living a life that was filling me with joy. It’s a life of duty and obligation. It had nothing to do with my gifts, my design, my vision, what I was passionate about. It wasn’t even what my dad was passionate about. It was my great great grandfather, that is his vision, a noble vision, but it wasn’t my vision or my dad’s vision. It was just crazy stuff, but yes, I mean, hopefully, this worksheet can help you avoid some of the cataclysmic mistakes I made and not spend your life in service of somebody else’s vision. Makes no sense.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Now, another learning that you’ve talked about, and this is where I’m going to confess, I’m going to confess here on the podcast right now to you. I’m extraordinarily jealous that you came up with this phrase because I’m a word guy too and you’re the inventor of a crucible experience, but you also coined the phrase cubicle experience, which makes me jealous every time I see it, every time you say it that I didn’t come up with it, but talk about … That’s another thing, right? That’s another learning that as you were going through this course, you got a chance to unpack to see why that was so impactful. Talk a little bit about your cubicle moment and what that illustrates for people who will take this eCourse for how they can move beyond, “Is this all there is?”

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Yeah, absolutely. So we talk a lot about crucibles, but as we’ve discussed with Discover Your Second Act Significance, the eCourse, it’s about you could be in a cubicle, in an office, wherever, for 10, 20, 30 years and you’re having this is this all there is moment. Well, so for me, I reflected back to 2003, and for a number of years from about the mid ’90s, I was in Maryland where I live and I was working for an aviation services company doing financial and business analysis and I was getting good performance reviews, but I had a is this all there is moment. I was literally in a cubicle, little bit of a come down from running a two billion dollar company, but I needed something to do. I was desperate and I was pretty good at spreadsheets back in the day. I didn’t even have the best cubicle.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

For who live on the East Coast somewhere between Florida and Maine, there’s a freeway called I-95. It goes all the way down the east and seaboard, and it’s very busy because you’ve got enormous percentage of the population of the US live somewhere off that freeway. Well, I felt like my cubicle was like I-95 in terms of the corridor that went by. So it wasn’t even the quietest cubicle, which of course, it might have a bit back in the day.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So I guess my cubicle moment was, my is this all there is when I thought being a person of faith, I felt like I wasn’t using all the gifts and abilities that God had given me. It wasn’t about arrogance. It’s just I’ve got more to offer and I’m not using it all. So I went to a woman, an executive coach who did mid-career assessments and she said, “You have a great profile to be an executive coach.”

 

Warwick Fairfax:

I didn’t know what that was. Went to my first International Coach Federation Conference in Denver, and the rest is history, became a certified executive coach, and that was one of many small steps, which we’ll talk about that led me to where I am, but I just had this moment of I’m getting good performance reviews and getting salary increases and all, but I had this is this all there is moment and I quit. It took some degree of courage. Yes, we had some savings, but it’s like, “I’m not going to keep doing this.” That wasn’t a crucible moment. It was indeed a cubicle moment. I did indeed feel stuck, and I hadn’t really thought about that in quite as much depth before this eCourse and before the podcast series we had on second act significance.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Yeah, and there’s another key learning that comes in this eCourse, and let’s wrap up our here’s what we got from the eCourse discussion on this point because it’s one that I’ve noticed you’ve made a lot in recent weeks and months, and that’s this idea not just of fellow travelers but of having two different kinds of fellow travelers. It’s been fun to watch you as you’ve worked on this eCourse, as you spoke to that conference in DC. You now have solidified this idea of the importance of fellow travelers to there being two types of fellow travelers. That is, again, something key that’s going to come out in this eCourse for people, and it’s something that you have learned more deeply the importance of by working on this eCourse, right?

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Absolutely. Yeah. We talk about two types of fellow travelers. One type is those who encourage, and by the way, we have a blog that’s coming out. In fact, it should already have come out by the time this podcast comes out. So more details on what our fellow travelers that’ll all be in that blog. Basically, one kind is what we call encouragers, those who believe in us and support us. It’s easy to find naysayers, those who say, “We knew you couldn’t do it.” There’s a phrase in Australia they call the tall poppy syndrome. Basically, I love Australia, but there are some in Australia who anybody that achieves things outside of sports, it’s like, “Oh, I guess you think you’re better than us. What’s your problem, mate?” It’s like just because you want to achieve something doesn’t mean you’re looking down on other people. There’s nothing wrong with achieving things in whatever field of endeavor.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So encouragers, those who, yes, they might ask us tough questions but they believe in us, they support us. When we fall down, they pick us up. We all need encouragers. Life should not be a solo sport. We need people to help us.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

The other kind of people that can help us are what we call complementers, and by that we don’t mean so much people who give us false praise, but those who have complementary gifts to us. So none of us are designed to have all the gifts. We might be mathematical. We might be people that go step-by-step. We might be those who want to just jump first and then figure it out later. We’re all wired different ways, and you need people with different skills as we have on Beyond the Crucible. I’ve often sometimes somewhat frequently mentioned I think I write reasonably well, I’m a reflective advisor. Hopefully, some degree of wisdom is I listen to others and ponder and-

 

Gary Schneeberger:

You love selling, and you love selling.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

I was just going to say, and I hate selling and promoting. So obviously, you have a whole public relations background and you help me with that amongst many other things. We have a team that includes folks that love selling and are very good at it, and that’s okay. I don’t have to be good at everything. So fellow travelers, encouragers, and complementers are great. A lot of the folks that we interviewed on the podcast, Second Act Significance, had those. So you’ll hear more about that, but just realizing the importance of that in my own life was also definitely a learning from this eCourse.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Right, and all the things that we just talked about, from the Younger You worksheet, from the importance of fellow travelers, those things all baked into this eCourse, and there’s learnings associated with that. There’s ways to dig deeper. There are stories, for sure. Our podcast guests appear in this eCourse and talk about the importance of some of these very things that we’ve talked about, but the worksheets and the work that you do, we encourage people in this eCourse to keep a journal, to write down what they’re learning from the worksheets and from the sessions that they’re watching to take good notes, to reflect on those notes, to make sure that the learnings stay with them when the video’s done and that they can apply them.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

This is an important part too. We don’t say, “Okay. Here’s three one hour videos. Watch them all in one sitting.” No. We encourage those who take this course to watch one video at a time and then to spend a week on each module. There are three modules. So you’re looking at a three-week process at least because when you’re talking about something as important as finding significance in the next act of your life when you feel stuck in this act of your life, there’s no need to rush it. In fact, if you do, you might not do it exactly the way that you want to do it. This is designed for people, this course is designed for people to take it their own speed so that they can get through it and get the most out of it, isn’t it?

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Absolutely, and that’s why, as you said, we have, I don’t know, a dozen worksheets. It’s a lot of worksheets.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Yeah, there’s a lot of worksheets there.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

The worksheets, the learning, we’ve got a lot of things we flash on the screen as we’re talking. So we try to make it as actionable and as specific as possible to help you get unstuck from your is this all there is moment to, “My heart is singing because I have a vision that I’m off the chart’s passionate about that’s helping me lead to a life of significance and, oh, by the way, I actually have a team of fellow travelers that’s helping me get there and encourage me to get there.”

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So we try to be very specific about how all those steps will work so that you can indeed get unstuck, and that to use your phrase, which is very good, you’ll transition from and shift from, “Is this all there is?” to, “This is all I want,” which is another way of saying a life of significance because when you have a life of significance, you do indeed say, “This is all I want. I feel happy and joyful and fulfilled, and I’m blessed and I’m grateful.”

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Yeah, and that’s not just your story. That’s a story of many of the folks who appear in this course who tell their stories and there’s inspiration. It’s not just learning and action steps. There’s inspiration. Other people have done this. So it’s eminently doable and it’s not just the two of us who have done it, but also all the guests who appear and co-teach with us in this eCourse.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Here’s the warning part of all of this as we think about what’s next. Anytime, we’ve all had this experience, right Warwick? We go to a seminar, we really enjoy it, take a lot of notes, fill up a whole notebook, head home, we’re walking on air, we have the best intentions, we’re going to apply all these great things that we learned, and then life gets in the way. Our routines demand our attention, but here’s the good news. This course addresses that.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

How do we keep that from happening? What should someone thinking about taking this class be prepared to do to fight back against the tyranny of the urgent or of the ordinary as they pursue that second act of significance? What advice do you have for people who they’re all excited after they take this course, they can come back to this very podcast episode and they can hear your advice? How do they stay in the game? How do they make sure they don’t have a repeat of the cubicle moment? How can they keep moving, as you say, taking one small step forward every day?

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Yeah. I think it’s a good question, Gary. Part of it is leaning into, “Why am I doing this?” You think about the pain of is this all there is moment. Pain is very focusing in saying, “I don’t want to just sit in this cubicle for the next 30 years. I don’t want to be on my deathbed thinking about in those last few moments of breath that we’ll all have I left a lot on the table. I mean, there’s a lot of things I wanted to do and I didn’t do them.” You’re filled with regret.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So part of it is, think about the pain, but also think about the joy that would be to start doing some of these things. And so one of the things that we learnt is one of the critical things is just taking a first step because a first step will help fuel you into moving. One of the things, just a brief teaser, one of the folks we had on the podcast, which, obviously, a number of you have already listened to it, Eric and Emily Orton, Eric Orton was part of the Broadway play, Wicked. I think he was in the traveling production crew. If you’re on that Broadway play, you’ve got a ticket for life almost. It’s going to go on for a long time. He opened a small off-Broadway play. That didn’t do as well. His partner closed it.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So he’s in a temp job at the top of a skyscraper in Manhattan looking out over the Hudson River and he sees sailing boats go by, and he’s thinking, “I like to learn to sail.” Now, at that moment when you’re thinking about it, that actually was, as he relates, the scariest, toughest moment because he knew nothing about sailing. He doesn’t have that much money, probably not a whole lot of extra spare time at that point, got a family to help support, but once he took those sailing lessons, “You know what?” I can do that,” he ended up sailing around the Caribbean with his wife Emily and their kids and founding The Awesome Factory, how to make your dreams become reality.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

A couple things he just dig down deep, remember the pain, is this all there is moment. Think about how life could be, and once you start taking baby steps, “Hey, this can really happen,” it’ll fuel you to move forward, and as you have those fellow travelers, those who encourage you saying, “You know what? You took that baby step, you took those sailing lessons, that was fun, wasn’t it?”

 

Warwick Fairfax:

“That was so cool. I love it. Just being out in the water and I forget all my cares and just the wind and the sails. I don’t know. I feel like there’s something there. I don’t know where it’s going to lead exactly, but I just want to do it.”

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So really think about the pain, think about the future, your future vision. Have those people as fellow travelers and taking that first step. Probably of all the things, that thing will be so profound in helping you keep moving forward. If you don’t take any steps, that will tend to encourage you the other direction, but you take that first positive step, it will help turn this eCourse into something that will hopefully be one part of potentially changing your life.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Well said. To learn more about the Discover Your Second Act significance eCourse, get a pen, I’ll wait. No, you can come back and you can find it at the end of this episode, but to learn more about the course, visit www.secondactsignificance.com. I’ll say it again. I’ll say it a little more slowly, www.secondactsignificance.com. More details than we’ve given here because Warwick doesn’t like to promote too much, so we haven’t given all the details away here. You’ll find more details there. You’ll find out how to sign up, all kinds of details, and that will be updated as we get closer to the actual release.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

So Warwick, this time’s flown by. This has been fun and enlightening to do. This may be our first eCourse, but it’s not going to be our last. I’ve heard you say in a couple of times now as podcast series or ideas have come up in meetings or conversations, “Hey, that would make a good eCourse.” So as we close, what is the value you see for our friends as we add eCourses or webinars, as some call them, to our offerings right alongside the podcast, right alongside your blogging and speaking, our free online assessment? What’s the value, you think, as the Beyond the Crucible universe grows to absorb eCourses? What’s the value long term, short term and long term for folks by that expansion?

 

Warwick Fairfax:

Yeah. Gary, it helps make the learning actionable, more concrete, certainly at another level. I mean, we always hope that our podcasts and blogs and everything we do is actionable, but I just think it takes it to another level and it gives people very concrete tools. The worksheets are a great example in which you can take away, you can work on it. It’s really a series of steps in this eCourse from module one to module two to module three, each one building on the other.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

One of the things I would say when I’m coaching is vision is good, reality is better. So we don’t want you to just come up with your vision of a life of significance and that vision will grow and evolve and expand as we talked about earlier in this podcast with originally it was a book, now it’s blogs, social media, podcasts, speaking workshops, and now eCourse. It’s evolved and grown as all good vision should.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

So we not only just want you to come up with a vision for a life of significance, we want it to become reality. We don’t want you just thinking and dreaming about being fulfilled and joyful. We actually want you to be fulfilled and joyful. We want you living a joy-filled, fulfilled life. If in some small or hopefully not so small way, this eCourse, Discover Your Second Act Significance, can help you get there, then that would be wonderful. That’s our vision.

 

Warwick Fairfax:

The vision that we want to have become reality is that your visions will become reality and that you would lead a life of significance, that you would be unstuck, you wouldn’t be saying, “Is this all there is?” you would be saying, to quote Gary Schneeberger, “This is all I want.” That’s our vision.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

That Warwick sounded a lot like the plane hitting the runway. That sounded like the captain landing the plane right there. Good job. Before we go, though, I thought this would be fun. I want to present to you, listener, one of the questions from one of our worksheets for you to ponder as you think about the eCourse and whether or not this is something that you think you need, that you know you want. We have a worksheet called The Ideal Life Worksheet. One of the questions that it asks is this. As we close here, we ask you to ponder this question, and by ponder, that means think about. That means write some stuff down. Talk to some people who know you. See if they have any insight on this question.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

Here’s the question. The question is, what does your ideal day look like? If you had a planner and you could speak into being what your ideal day was, what would you write down? What would you want to see baked into your ideal day? Just writing that down is going to give you a whole host of things that will help point you toward that life of significance, that this isn’t all there is, there’s more. That’s where there’s more is at is what the answer to that question might be.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

So before we go, let me say it again. The website to learn more about the eCourse is secondactsignificance.com. Check it out. If you have any questions, there are forms on the website at crucibleleadership.com, where you can send us some questions that we’ll be happy to answer. Until the next time we’re together, remember this, crucible experiences are painful and difficult, we know that. We also know that cubicle experiences like Warwick has described, cubicle experiences can be frustrating, can be discouraging, can make you, both in different ways, make you want to, as Warwick has said many times, pull the covers over your head and just stay in bed, but neither one is the end of your story.

 

Gary Schneeberger:

You can learn lessons, you can apply those lessons, you can take baby steps, you can keep moving forward, and as you do that, whether you’re facing moving beyond a crucible or moving beyond a cubicle moment, the end result is the same, is rewarding, is not this is all there is, it’s all you’ve ever wanted, and that is a life of significance.