Dave Hurst of ‘Achieve Any Dream’: “Practice reframing”

Practice reframing. Train your resilience every week before the ‘big event’. We are creatures of habit and our brain will follow the thought patterns we use repetitively. This is why positive thinking is so important. Like training a muscle, it will become our default. Try this for resilience: practice reframing. Every time someone upsets you […]

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Practice reframing. Train your resilience every week before the ‘big event’. We are creatures of habit and our brain will follow the thought patterns we use repetitively. This is why positive thinking is so important. Like training a muscle, it will become our default. Try this for resilience: practice reframing. Every time someone upsets you or something doesn’t go our way, focus on a) breathe deeply and wait a few seconds and b) try to choose a response that is empowering to you, or let the energy go if you need to. Try to avoid being reactive.

In this interview series, we are exploring the subject of resilience among successful business leaders. Resilience is one characteristic that many successful leaders share in common, and in many cases it is the most important trait necessary to survive and thrive in today’s complex market.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Dave Hurst.

‘Dave Hurst is a mindset expert, the founder of the Achieve Any Dream self-development platform: a movement to grow, connect and give back to the world. He helps people overcome fears and blocks and create a powerful mindset to achieve any purpose, dream, or mission. His mission is to authentically help over a million people discover their empowered, vibrant, alive, free, superhero version of themselves.’

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?

More than twenty years ago, in my teens, I stumbled upon a tool that would change every moment for the rest of my life. It was the discovery of the power of mindset.

I grew up in southern England, and I remember as a kid always being so determined to be the best I could be. I always had that fire and motivation deep inside. My parents are wonderful, the nicest people I’ve known. We were raised with love and taught the fairytale dream of getting married, having kids, and living happily ever after.

In my teenage years, I was driven by sport and played ice hockey as a goalie, which is super rare in England. As the years went by I was so driven to be as good as I could, and I stumbled across a goalies-only magazine about skills and technique. By one single page of each issue mesmerized me. It was all about mindset and confidence.

It blew my mind, opened the doors on mindset and how it can dramatically change our outlook and performance. It was the key to unlock the ability to bounce back after letting in a bad goal or deal with away crowds jabbing at me.

Shortly afterward I discovered a sports psychology book called ‘In Pursuit of Excellence’ and very quickly realized this can be used to help every single area of my life. I found myself creating and manifesting new opportunities such as semi-pro hockey, starting and selling a business, and moving to Canada. I noticed I could bounce back quickly from things, and positive thinking and a deep inner quiet confidence was building up every year.

Not only that, I would always attribute that mindset as the powerful spark of how I met my beautiful wife-to-be shortly after I moved to Canada. The first night we went out for a drink, she challenged me to an ‘on the fly’ half marathon, as she was doing the full marathon. I hadn’t run for many years, but my mindset and energy of the situation gave me the belief I could accomplish anything… so I said yes and took action. She thought I was joking until I sent her a picture of my race bib the next morning.

It’s just a powerful example of how one powerful mindset decision, or the way we are resilient in a tough situation and choose to empower ourselves, often will dramatically change the course of the rest of our lives.

That sports psychology book was probably the start of a 25-year journey on exploring the power of mindset and how we are always in control to choose powerful perspectives.

Twenty years later, my first really big life challenge would appear as I discovered overnight that my six-year marriage was over and I was faced with a new challenge. This time, it was to suddenly create a brand new life, opposite to the one I had planned and dreamed of.

This was just three years ago, but here’s what’s really interesting to me: It actually was so much easier than I ever expected, I quickly realized it was all those years of building mindset and an internal self-belief that guided me through it all.

Even within days, with my ‘planned’ happily-ever-after life turned upside down, I realized that this was an amazing opportunity to create whatever life I wanted to. It felt like an inner rock of mindset and self-esteem I had been building for years, in case I ever needed it, and now was the time. I remember many moments through that tough period of how many times I used the skill ‘breathe, reframe, choose an empowering perspective.

I truly believe mindset, perspective and resilience saved me many years of recovery, and helped navigate my daughter through it all and create a ‘blended’ family with my previous wife and everyone new involved. We have a beautiful close connection now and have the greatest respect and teamwork for each other.

Sometimes, life is life, and that really is part of the beautiful journey. We need the pain and stress, to realign and find our true journey. It’s so much more painful to be trapped in something that’s not true to your soul.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

One funny story for me I’ll never forget is going from a roller hockey goalie that no one had heard of, in England, to suddenly joining a semi-pro ice hockey team. I was a strong goalie in roller hockey, but the funny thing is on the ice, I could barely even ice skate. It’s a great example to me of manifestation through mindset.

I heard there was a spot on the team, and so after reading a lot about the power of mindset I turned up for every summer fun training camp that there was, hoping to get noticed. I knew my lack of ice hockey skill could be overpowered with a positive attitude, showing up with big energy and confidence. Stars aligned and I got a spot on the team, which honestly to me felt something 10 times beyond my level. I was playing with heroes from my childhood that I would cheer on from the sidelines as a 10-year-old.

My first game was a testimonial game for a local legend that was leaving, all of the big names in my childhood dreams were there, and suddenly now I was on the ice in goal, against them. It was my first time playing in front of a real crowd, with loud music pumping through the arena, and our names were announced as we skated out. It fueled my soul.

I remember being so overwhelmed I went for a long drive before the game and nearly didn’t show up because of the pressure. I’ll never forget, parking up somewhere random, and pulling out that sports psychology book that got me through so much. I read a chapter about adjusting my state of mind… using the breath to discover an energy that was not too high, and not too low. This is really what is well known as a flow state where you are barely thinking and your subconscious is on autopilot.

After 30 mins visualizing and breathing, I drove to the rink, went into the dressing room with my childhood heroes, and played my heart out in a state of bliss and flow I’ll never forget… and somehow… it felt easy. No thoughts, just complete flow, and a moment I’ll never forget.

Sport is a phenomenal teacher: mindset, confidence, teamwork, resilience, fitness, and flow. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

It really taught me, we are always in control of how we show up, how we react, and how we choose to respond.

Like Victor Frankl says from the book “Man’s Search for Meaning”: “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

The Achieve Any Dream platform firstly is built on a very real and authentic level from my story and experience, and the real stories and successes of many people I have met. It’s literally a reflection of all of the empowering mindset tools I used to guide me through my journey. I see our world panicked by distraction, of things like social media, rising anxiety, and mental pain. We create more expectations and pressure on us than ever before. Happiness and meaning are taught to us in the form of social hierarchies and value systems, grades at skill representing our worth, or all the material things we own.

Instead, isn’t everything at its core about how we feel inside right now and the internal meaning in our minds that we give to things? And that’s something all of us can choose the most powerful perspective for us. In essence… creating happiness

One of the most unique things about the Achieve Any Dream platform is our combination of learning but also a huge focus on stepping into action and getting out of your comfort zone. Inspiring and life-changing education and wisdom has been around for so many years to solve all of our life challenges and empower us, but there is something that is needed inside us to be able to translate that information deeply, through our subconscious, and turn it into action in our own lives.

For me, I know there are many times when I’ve consumed so many books, motivational events, courses, and inspiring quotes on social media to temporarily boost and inspire us. Within hours, our motivation seems to return right back to where we started and we start again the next day trying to seek more motivation. We are living in a phenomenal information age. The real life-changing results, however, always come from taking that education and stepping into action, with courage and consistency.

For me, the last few years I’ve really focussed on habits. We often create goals and dreams, but rarely break them down into tiny achievable specific action steps. We need to focus on bite-sized pieces of action with huge consistency to really make dramatic changes in our lives and head towards those dreams.

The beautiful thing is, with tiny habits or actions, we are easily able to be resilient and ‘get back on the horse’ the next day if we have an off day.

I think that’s what makes Achieve Any Dream platform extremely unique. Action outweighs the learning component, and we also focus on the mindset skills to grow from that action, such as converting our failures to growth moments.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I did have a great role model in my teenage years that introduced me to the importance of positive thinking which really helped me trigger the exploration of mindset and sports psychology.

I actually have a huge appreciation for this technology age. I feel like I have many virtual mentors available all the time such as Tom Bilyeu, Jay Shetty, Vishen Lakhiani, and many others… on demand. It’s very much a daily ritual to learn online on YouTube and online courses to constantly build my mindset skills. I have grown so much through this and am constantly developing my ability to step into fear and tension, and seeing that as an essential life skill.

One time, I went to an incredible conference called Powerful-U where Jay Shetty spoke about forgiveness. This single talk was life-changing for me. I came back home from that event and was able to let go of some pretty negative blocks in my life that I was blaming external people for. Jay helped me take responsibility for it and realize the power of forgiveness was completely inside me. The effects of this, and letting go of the stories that were getting me stuck, was almost an overnight flip of the switch into freedom and empowerment.

I think we often overlook as well how much our kids can be our mentors to us, through their amazing playfulness, freedom, and creativity that we are often blocked from as adults. They are so much more present than us. I learn from my 8-year-old girl all the time because I try so hard to be present and tuned in to learn from her. Seeing the world through her eyes is magical, such as the immense joy of just riding her bike through the biggest puddle.

I often feel like an adult we have limited creativity and are programmed to respond with the correct answers to questions, rather than find new, more creative, questions. She will turn questions into more questions, along with unlimited imagination I can tune in and go explore with her.

As adults, we are mostly taught limits and play within sets of rules, whereas kids are still unlimited. Often, we will have deep ‘adult’ conversations about world issues and I’m always blown away with her thought processes and powerful new questions.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

I would define resilience as our mental training and skillset to automatically bounce back quickly, and the ability to see adversity as a powerful opportunity to bounce back and grow stronger.

In this light, we are able to turn failure into a positive advantage. We can use the energy from the adversity and find the message inside to learn from. Over time, this helps us turn fear into a positive, as we have the skillset to bounce back faster and faster from every failure. To me, this is the accelerated path to growth and so much freedom. A place where we boldly can step with courage straight through every fear in our path and fast track to our goals and dreams.

Courage is a massive component of building resilience. The more we experience ‘failures’ (I like to call ‘growth lessons’), the more we build our resilience like any other habit.

If we live in our comfort zone all the time, we rarely experience adversity. When it hits, we haven’t got the skill set or experience to deal with it well. Our ego kicks in and we blame ourselves and others, and the recovery is so much harder. It often costs us years of our life and damaging consequences.

These days, I can really experience fast growth and resilience, by deliberately spending a lot of time on the other side of my comfort zone, stepping into my fears every week.

My dream is to help as many people as possible develop mental toughness and emotional awareness to see our own patterns that self-sabotage us. Not only can it help you manifest and achieve your goals and dreams, but it can positively impact every person in your life, and give you the faith that you can deal with anything in the future.

When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?

There are so many inspiring stories such as J.K. Rowling. She was divorced, depressed, and penniless and her Harry Potter manuscript was rejected by many publishers. Today, she has sold well over 500 million copies of Harry Potter, not to mention the wonderful inspiration to so many kids and adults.

However, my mind jumps to the sheer courage of Richard Branson in risking his life in so many adventures in the face of courage to be fully alive. I have amazing respect for Richard Branson’s spirit… he wrote, “My attitude has always been, if you fall flat on your face, at least you’re moving forward. All you have to do is get back up again and try again.”

I admire the number of bold failed attempts and huge successes in Richard Branson’s journey, not one without a “Never give up” spirit to try something new again with incredible boldness.

I think a massive part of resilience is to have the courage to fail upfront. It’s a lot easier to live incredibly boldly when we already have the skillset to move on from anything and not be attached to the outcome.

When we live fully, with successes and many failures, we live a life of no regrets… but also leave a legacy that goes beyond us. Our bold stories live on forever beyond our years.

I’m also reminded that just one person’s drive, courage, resilience, and dreams can change millions of lives.

Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?

I don’t remember anyone, in particular, telling me it was impossible, but throughout building my ‘Achieve Any Dream’ platform and vision, I have seen many doubters including some people so close to me. Sometimes it’s really rare for others to see the vision and energy inside us until there is something to measure in the real world. I think we all experience people that doubt our dreams, and knowing how we can use our mindset to convert that doubt into drive and energy can be a powerful experience.

I’ve turned down investors and advice from business people, to stay true to building something deeply authentic as they weren’t aligned with the values or my mission. It has been challenging to keep determined over many years, adapting and building a dream that one day will positively impact the mindset of millions of people.

I’ve heard of the entrepreneurial journey often feeling lonely, and I think we have to be extremely careful of the people we surround ourselves with, and all aspects of our environment. Does it serve your dreams? Do the people around you lift your energy and light up your fire, or drain your passion away?

I truly believe if it’s physically possible then nothing is impossible, and we can always expand those physical limits through our mental beliefs and internal vision. Just look at the famous story of the 4-minute mile: a psychological barrier that was once broken by Roger Bannister in 1954, and since that breakthrough it was quickly broken again and again as the mental barrier of what’s possible had been removed. Once it was considered hopelessly out of reach.

Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?

Absolutely the biggest challenge so far for me was navigating through the end of my marriage, and making sure my young daughter was still her inspiring self, and it was very sudden. There was the conflict of 2 scenarios: either working things out and staying together or essentially building a brand new life that was never expected.

I think one of the most important things for me was being able to quickly reframe my perspective of the whole story. I realized that it would be a powerful growth opportunity to face all of my weaknesses and step into my power. In many ways, I think the comfortable beautiful married life was an excuse to stay small, even hide away in a bubble of happiness, but not a true sense of growth and being fully alive. That, I think, is what we were both craving internally.

After a key moment where I was able to switch the perspective from the current painful story and zoom out to the story of my whole life and my daughter’s whole life, it gave me instant clarity. This was just one painful chapter in a long beautiful story, and seeing that from that greater perspective showed me clearly that all I had to do is let go, and move onto the next chapter. It was a lot easier to do that than I thought it would be and books and virtual mentors helped immensely.

I had some great mentors on stage at a motivational event at this time such as Tom Bilyeu and Jay Shetty. Tom taught me about the power of finding a way to take responsibility for as much as I can and all that really matters is “the energy we have today, for the next version of us tomorrow”. Jay taught me on stage about forgiveness and how it was all about internally letting go. Both of these philosophies give us power and control.

I look back now and am so grateful for going through this setback and I would absolutely choose it again every time. It’s been the most incredible teacher to me that’s boosted my life in endless ways, and unlocked the journey to Achieve Any Dream, and helping millions one day.

I’ve seen with so many, it truly is the trauma and pain that holds the energy to unlock our greatest potential, and opens the door for us to discover our deepest, most vibrant, loving self.

The amazing thing is we all get to architect any stunning next chapter of our life that we wish. Happiness, love, and gratitude are internal choices. Everything is a choice inside us.

Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?

Rather than a particular experience, I think of building up resiliency as something we can do every week… building it up through many smaller events until it feels like this powerful rock inside us that we know is always going to be there whenever we need it. Every single adversity I face I focus on flipping it to a positive perspective: ‘even in this struggle, what am I grateful for?’. I practice growth opportunities: ‘what can I learn from this right now?’ and flip the switch. Over the years, through mindset education and practicing in the real world, it’s become an automatic response.

Even when Covid hit, and the media in panic, I remember being panicked and being aware of that feeling and noticing the physical impacts in my body. Quickly, I returned to my core response of ‘How can I help people?”, “How can I grow from this adversity?” and tried my best to choose the most powerful perspective. Every adversity is always an opportunity for us all to adapt and grow.

I think we can remind ourselves as well this is not just for the large problems in our life, but we can practice resiliency and choosing perspectives that empower us with smaller events every day, every week. We can train our resilience, just like going to the gym.

Yesterday, my vehicle was towed away as I accidentally parked in a bus lane. I could feel the frustration and energy getting drained away as I saw the tow truck drive past with my vehicle, but I could feel what was happening internally through emotional awareness. I told myself to flip the switch before the frustration built up: ‘there is nothing I can do to change this, and I am not going to let the day be a write-off’. I ended up having a surprising and deep chat with the Uber driver on the way to the tow truck lot, went out for a nice meal, and the rest of the day turned out to be very inspiring.

It’s a reminder to me, that we always have a choice in our response to adversity. If we practice that ‘choice’ every day to choose an empowering response it becomes our new habit, we rewire the response in our brain. One day, when we have to face a big challenge (and of course we all always will have to), we already have the mental training of how to deal with it with powerful resilience. Sometimes, this can be the difference between a week of recovery or years of pain.

Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.

5 Tips to incredible RESILIENCE and bounce back from ANYTHING | EMPOWER Yourself

  1. Practice reframing. Train your resilience every week before the ‘big event’. We are creatures of habit and our brain will follow the thought patterns we use repetitively. This is why positive thinking is so important. Like training a muscle, it will become our default. Try this for resilience: practice reframing. Every time someone upsets you or something doesn’t go our way, focus on a) breathe deeply and wait a few seconds and b) try to choose a response that is empowering to you, or let the energy go if you need to. Try to avoid being reactive.
  2. Practice or learn about emotional/self-awareness. For most of my life, I was mostly aware of my thoughts and the thousands we seem to have every day like a pinball machine, but I was never aware of my emotions and how physically my body was feeling. It’s only in the last few years I’ve realized that emotional awareness is really the key to understanding all of our patterns, negative self-talk, and toxic self-sabotaging behaviors. This really helps me catch the tension and fear as it arises, and helps me develop more resilience to flip the perspective switch quickly. Yoga can be a beautiful way to develop grounding, breathing, physical benefits, and being present in the moment.
  3. Practice facing fears and tensions/conflicts rather than avoiding them. If we avoid every fear and stay in the comfort zone we will never build up our resilience. As a society there are many fear triggers everywhere we go from social media, to fear of missing out, to some fear-based media and advertising. I think we have been trained to see fear as such a bad thing, but like anything in our mind, we get to choose what it means.If we train ourselves to see fear as an opportunity and step out of our comfort zone often, we quickly discover all of our goals, dreams, freedom, and expansion are on the other side. Life actually becomes easier when we build resilience to fear and build up our ability to deal with anything without being heavily emotionally attached. It’s beautiful to unlock that freedom of knowing you can deal with anything and really all it takes is the repetitive habit to step into fear. You can do this in small ways every day… ten thousand 1% improvements make an incredible compound difference in our life.
  4. Let go of rules, attachments, and expectations that don’t serve you. “Attachment is the root of all suffering” — The Buddha.
    Growing up with amazing parents, we were taught to be nice and respectful to everybody. A few years ago, counseling through the breakup of our marriage, I was asked the question ‘Who is Dave?’. I quickly realized that I didn’t know how to answer this question and that was a huge realization for me.
    -The best I could think of is ‘I’m a really nice guy and positive’. It didn’t empower me and I was lost. What was my identity, values, boundaries, unique characteristics, passions, and dreams? What was my purpose and meaning? This question changed my life, and it was the clue that on top of my true power, freedom, and identity, was many many layers of society’s rules, attachments, and expectations. I believed I had to go through education, be nice to everyone, get married, have kids, buy a house, retire and live happily ever after.
    -While that’s beautiful, these days life rarely goes this way. This story is taught to us everywhere we go, especially in movies. When that story breaks, our whole world is rocked because of the powerful attachments and expectations we had. We made a bold future prediction to be happy together forever. However, life curveballs and adversity are guaranteed, for all of us.
    -These days, I can fuel my resilience through minimal attachment, and focus on just fully experiencing life and find love not just in one place, but everywhere I look. I focus on abundance through nature, family, work, music, exercise, adventure, and play, rather than a single attachment with many expectations.
    -In many ways, I feel like I need the ups and downs of life, and all we need is powerful skill sets to deal with fear and setbacks. That’s where our most powerful and beautiful growth lies.
  5. Never forget fitness, movement, and nutrition. Without a core fitness, especially as we get older, it makes it that much harder to bounce back from the end of a relationship or use over-eating and drinking at outlets after painful setbacks. For every single breakup I’ve ever had, my first response was to use fitness and nature as my way to unload. I can process and release a lot of tension through such a positive and constructive outlet. Nature is a healer, and the more we tune in to nature and gratitude it becomes exponentially more healing. I will always maintain a good fitness level, it won’t matter if I’m 50 or 70+. Right now I’m 42… but I feel 25 in mind and body thanks to constant fitness every month for my whole life. For me, this is a major component of building resilience and maintaining a positive mindset.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I love this question as it’s close to my heart and something I’m building right now.

In all of my research, no matter whether it’s a sport, business, relationships, or any life challenge… mindset, connection, and resilience are always a massive component that dramatically changes our future.

My dream is we can build a movement together as we all grow to empower us to understand and tune into our greatest unlimited mindset strengths. The ability to convert this into action to achieve any dream that helps the world and gives back, while letting go of a lot of the anxiety and ego traps we are all taught by our environments and upbringings.

The only way we can create a massive positive mental effect in the world is to grow and remove the communication barriers between us. As we unlock our own potential, we can inspire and lift the energy and self-belief of all of those around us through authentic and vulnerable connections. Our energy and how we show up can have a massive impact on so many people.

We are all people, in the tough challenge of life, trying our best. We have massive new technological challenges all around us in social media and technology, and like anything in life, it’s beautiful in many ways and damaging us in so many other ways… losing our identity of who we are and a constant battle against distraction, gain status through likes and comments, and impress people in a virtual, filtered world.

I have great dreams to create various events and festivals where we come together for inspiring talks, but also connect step into action and team together with synergy to help not only have self breakthroughs, but get incredibly innovative and creative in solving some of the world’s biggest challenges.

We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂

I would love to have lunch with Vishen Lakhiani, Tom Bilyeu, and Jay Shetty and thank them. These mentors have virtually had a massive shift and impact on my life and allowed me to unlock my dream to create a platform and movement to help one day a million people.

I believe this is why mindset work is so important, not just our work internally, but to know that the energy and way we show up every day impacts every stranger we meet and interact with, our family, our kids, and spreads to future generations because of that impact. One person interacts with many thousands of people in our life, so how we show up is so powerful.

No matter any past trauma, every one person has the power to inspire and impact so many.

The power is in our ability to grow, align with our soul and show up with 125% energy every day, so it becomes contagious and healing to everyone around us.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

I would love for anyone to reach out to me anytime at https://www.instagram.com/achieveanydream/ or our videos on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx7tAu3b8C0y5C4QZ8jYc1w. We have an inspiring video blog on our website at the top of the article.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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