How To Answer Why Did This Happen To Me? with Aaron Keith Hawkins

Aaron was a Police Chief, Husband and Father when he experienced a close call with death. After realizing he could have suffered a heart attack, mini-stroke or aneurism he experienced a change in his life. He shares his journey through more than a decade of personal growth and a shift from surviving to now living an intentional life that is thriving.

Throughout his career, he was often asked, “Why did this happen to me”?  He shares his experience answering this for himself as well as how he helped others navigate through this process to understanding. Listen: Here




A Trip To The Hospital

Aaron’s life direction was changed in one night when he woke up in pain. He had realized in about 10 seconds that he couldn’t walk it off and had a light bulb moment in the realization that his family may possibly find him on the floor in the morning.

He asked his wife to call 911 just before collapsing to the floor. At the moment he was checking out, he experienced a wave of regret as if someone slapped him across the head and told him to look at all the missed opportunities he had experienced. Aaron made a promise to God that if he let him live, he would change.

After a short stay in the hospital, Aaron was allowed to go home. They sent him for testing for a couple of weeks and he did receive a full recovery in his health. In the end, he was not given a certain diagnosis although they suspected he experienced a mini-stroke.


He felt guilty when he came to the realization that he had been coasting through life instead of thriving through it. Aaron found it difficult to shake off the regret he felt. He didn’t know what he needed to do differently and that was the beginning of a decade long journey through personal development. He had felt that something changed and knew he needed to take a step in a different direction. The biggest changes he made were

  • Moving from living life to fit into living life to impact others and for his loved ones
  • Going back to school and finishing his Graduate Degree in leadership
  • Reading Tony Robbins, Unleash the Power Within
  • Began reading books in Personal Development, Human Performance and Motivational Development.

“When I changed the way I started showing up in the world it really changed the way I felt about myself, the level of gratitude that I had for the people around me and my perspective about what I was influencing in my life.”

 The more he learned about the world of Personal Development, Motivational Theory and Human Needs Theory, the more he learned it and applied the changes relationships evolved in

  • Career
  • The relationship with his wife
  • His relationship with his daughter
  • Friends.

Being in Law Enforcement allowed Aaron to use everything he was learning every day. It increased the success he had helping others. His position allowed him to deal with people on what could have been their worst day ever.

Light Bulb Moment

One day Aaron’s Wife asked him what he loved about his job. He realized that he loved teaching. He loved getting someone from point A to point Z. It was a lightbulb moment that he needed to teach others from his learning. He took the following steps

  • Picked up Brendan Burchard’s book
  • Built a website
  • Recorded a Podcast episode
  • Stepped out of his comfort zone, terrified for each first
  • Coached someone
  • Began doing Social Media on his own

Using what he went through, he encourages his clients to share something that scares them and tells them to go do it.

Aaron knew his Law Enforcement career was coming to an end and began to really grow his Social Media, website and podcast. Today he helps people get clients using LinkedIn and now has somewhere around 15k followers.

Hitting The Wall

If you have had something happen in your life that has left you feeling like you hit a wall Aaron shares some advice. Choose why you think it happened. He believes that we get to assign the reason and meaning to what has happened and no one can tell us it is right or wrong. If you have hit a wall

  • Decide what the meaning is
  • Decide why it happened.
  • Don’t let anyone tell you if it is right or wrong
  • Make it a good reason.

The Fear of Public Speaking

Aaron has a physical reaction each time he presents a key-note. Just like riding a roller coaster, there is a fine line between fear and exhilaration. He feels safer working on a Swat team than standing on a stage. He tells us he is never safer than when he is with his team.

Despite his workplace success he still experiences the physical fear when he begins speaking including, a racing heart and sweaty hands.

Favourite Book:

Man’s Search for Meaning by Dr. Victor Frankyl

Favourite Podcast:

The Brendon Show by Brendon Burchard

Aaron’s Bio:

“Aaron Keith Hawkins is the inspirational author of Million Dollar Influence, a leadership keynote speaker, podcast host, LinkedIn sales trainer, and influence expert. He thrives on helping others improve their business and personal lives by mastering the skill of authentic influence, personal leadership, and value-based decision making.

Aaron completed his graduate studies at the University of Oklahoma where he majored in Administrative Leadership with a focus on Professional Coaching. He’s also honoured to be a rare alumnus of the invitation-only FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. In addition to being an entrepreneur, Aaron spent over 2 decades as a public servant, serving as a Police Captain in his New Jersey community. He and his wife of 23 years currently live in New Jersey with their 13 year old daughter.”


Vision with Geoff Hughes

Life is full of twists and turns and ups and downs. For our guest today, there has been no exception. He shares the story of his life; from being raised by a Single-Mother on Welfare to becoming an unfulfilled millionaire to his current life that is filled with a successful business and family.

He tells us how he bought his Porche 911, the car he had always dreamed of. However, having a home and becoming a Millionaire was not fulfilling. Geoff shares his journey through the realization that the vision he had created for his life didn’t include happiness.

Through this journey, he shares how he was able to create a deep and meaningful vision for his life and see it come to fruition.

Topics Discussed:

  • How to create a deep vision for your life
  • Changing your sub-conscience mind
  • Finding success with meaning in your life

In this interview with Jeff you will find out how he created the life of his dreams and some tips on how you can too. You can listen to the whole Podcast interview: Here 

Resources Mentioned:



What is Missing with Doug Holt

Mindset Monday with Doug Holt

What do you do when others think you have it made but deep inside you still feel like something is missing. You long for more than the life you have right now, what do you do?

Doug’s Story

Back in 2007, Doug was one of the youngest business owners on the main street in Santa Barbara, CA. Owning an elite private training gym, a fitness magazine, and doing consulting for several companies. By all accounts he had it made… but he wasn’t fulfilled.

That’s when Doug made a dramatic shift and began to ask the question:

  • If you put down the last few years of your life into a book would it be a book you’d even want to read?
  • Better yet would it be a page turner?

If not, it’s time to make a change and a change is exactly what Doug set out to make… and he did.

Meet Doug Today

He has been traveling with his family for 4 months. His 17-month son is his life and his goal and mission is to be the best possible husband and father he can be.

Doug wakes up in the morning and journals, gets some work done and then spends a lot of time with his son. He runs 6 companies and the journey he shares today is all about how he made his business run around his life and not the other way around.

The Journey

Doug grew up an entrepreneur and it started in Orange County California where he grew a garden in his backyard and sold the produce door to door. He has always been that way and gave a lot to charity. Two cornerstones in his life were Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy.

He was one of the youngest business owners and was running three business at the time. He ran a magazine, was consulting and ran a networking group that consisted of some celebrities and business people.

From the outside, he felt that something was missing and went to his mentor to share this. His mentor told him to, “buck up” and be happy with how lucky he was. It didn’t sit right in his stomach so he went to a coffee shop and started writing.

The turn around point 

Doug asked a powerful question in his journaling, If someone followed him around for the last couple of years of his life and wrote it down, would it be a best seller, a book Doug would be interested in reading, a page turner? The answer shocked him, it was NO!

Doug took an honest appraisal of his life and noticed that he was stressed and that his time away from work was lonely. He decided he wanted to have a family and time to spend with them and when he consulted his mentor he was told that he couldn’t have both.

Observing others, Doug noticed that others in the business world weren’t happy with their family life and he knew he wanted to have both. I asked him how he overcame being given this advice, advice being given by extremely successful people in life and business, neighbors of Ellen and Oprah.

The Quest

He went on a quest that lasted about four years and attended seminars, had coaching and mentoring and took it all in. He started piecing it all together like a puzzle. He gamified it into where he could get wins and figured out how he could make his business work for him. He sold the studio that required him to be there in person and took his businesses online. It required a lot of hard work and utilization of processes and systems to make it successful.

He shared with his mentor and his mentor was very happy that he was able to create the life of his dreams.

The 90-day game plan

Doug created the 90-day game to help gamifie your own life. You an find it at

The interview is available to listen to on Anchor: Here 

Parting Words


Frustrated, Stressed & In Debt to The Abundance Mindset with Nate Ridgeway

Welcome to the Synergy Mindset Podcast, Mindset Monday Edition.  Nate Ridgeway is here to share about the Scarcity Mindset vs. the Abundance Mindset.  We will find out what the Abundance Mindset is and how can we adopt an Abundance Mindset?

Nate is a Husband, Father, Entrepreneur, John Maxwell Certified Coach, Pastors’ Son, the Leader of Life Tribe and also has an amazing Second Chance Story. On his website, he says that he is grateful for his second chance at living life wisely and well.

He grew up, The Son of a Preacher Man, that was also, The Son of a Preacher Man and he was also The Son of a Preacher Man. Being the 4th generation involved in church ministry and it taught him to love and value people and how to build things.

Whether you are building things or peoples lives it is in Nate’s DNA, in his blood.

Not an Abundance Mindset

Nate shares that he was not always living with an abundance mindset and started off his family in debt by putting the hospital bills on his credit card. They took vacations and paid utilities and at one point got to 50K credit card debt on high-interest cards.

He had the wrong mindset about life, got up to 247 lbs, was totally stressed out, hated life and ended up wondering how he ended up overweight, broke, and frustrated. He has massive desires to make a massive impact in the world and he was not making an impact at that time.

Nate was given the name, Life Architect, by a dear friend of his that had a branding firm and put the story in front of his face. He showed him how far he had come and how he was helping people to re-engineer and redesign their lives. This really played to the DNA of his heart.

A Change in Life

When he realized change needed to take place in his own life it began step by step. He experienced frustration while he was trying on his wedding/funeral suit and it just wasn’t buttoning and he punched the mirror in frustration. It as a wake-up moment of the physical state his body was in. The next was when he went to a financial coach and they uncovered his $600.00 a month Starbucks Habit. He tells us that when you are accountable and you really want to move from scarcity to abundance you are willing to take those kinds of, “spankings” from a coach.

His mindset was a scarcity mindset because he had a lack of abundance in his mindset to be honest with himself and know how to use whatever resources were available to him. He was not in abundance because he had money to spend at Starbucks, he was in scarcity because he was using money that he could have put towards his debt so that he could move towards abundance.

Moving toward abundant living is knowing how to use your resources; time, energy, money, a skill, talent or the gifts that God has given you responsibility. 

The Power of a Coach or Mentor

You have to be willing to submit to a coach if it is going to be effective. There are many coaches and areas of coaching and Nate feels that the coaching fit is special. He recommends taking the time to find a coach where the relationship is the right fit, someone that can help you get what you are looking for. Find someone that has done what you want to do or has been where you want to go.

Listen to the whole interview to find out what those steps are and hear the rest of Nate’s Journey. Find out how he developed a Rockstar Abundance in his life and how it has allowed him to make a massive impact in the world. You can hear the whole story on the Podcast: Listen Here

Nate’s Fav Book:

The PodcastNate’s Listening to:


The Mindset to Perform with Katrina Froese

When I went to the Place Maillardville Community Centre for a community event I was drawn to the Princess table and shortly after her performance began. My son and granddaughter were very excited and it didn’t take long for a huge crowd of people to come over. Many were filming and taking pictures as she performed.

What really captivated me was how she sang as if no one was in the room. Her eyes were on the kids and the performance was spectacular. I reached out and asked Katrina Froese to share her story on the show so we could all learn the strategies she learned to be a successful Professional Princess.

In this podcast interview, we explore the journey she went on before she opened her business. her mindset while she is performing and more. You can find out more information about the work she does or book a party for your own children or class by clicking on the links below.


Military Training Near Death Experience in Iraq

John served 13 months in Iraq, with the USA military. He had numerous near-death experiences. Today he shares the most prominent one with us, and the effects it had on him.

After his time in the army, he was able to find his passion and created EntrepreneurOnFire, a 7 day a week podcast. He interviews top and successful entrepreneurs and has was awarded Best Of iTunes in 2013.

From there, John and Kate created an amazing forum of podcasters from around the world, called Podcasers’ Paradise,  and were featured in Forbes magazine.

How To Podcast For Profit ($2M Sales In Year 2) With Entrepreneur On Fire John Dumas

I listened to an interview he did with Ryan Holiday about Stoicism. I have been touched by learning about it, and although I could go on and on about all the good that John is doing in the world, I will let you hear in this interview for yourself. What a truly inspiring and amazing person John is, but most importantly to me, he was my first mentor in the business world, and I wouldn’t have created the podcast without his guidance.

Stay tuned after and I will share a review and a few words with you.

 Near-Death Experience

John was deployed to Iraq for 13 months. In his platoon, 4 soldiers gave their lives in sacrifice, to defend the U.S.A, and bring freedom. John saw first hand, “freedom is not free.”

John had a sense of foreboding before his very near death experience. At about month 12.5 of his 13 month period in Iraq, he was sent for training. He had a bad feeling about it.  They were sent for training in a room, at a base, watching powerpoint slides for an hour, and he could have watched the information over skype from safety.

They had to travel two hours down a road, known as RPG alley. RPG stands for a rocket-powered grenade. They were going in a slow-moving convoy, which was very appealing to the Iraqi army.

John had to follow orders, and about halfway there, a massive explosion shook his Humvee, spun it around in a circle and blew the back-end off. The big convey truck behind, slammed into them at full speed, further damaging the vehicle. John had a big gash under his chin, the lieutenant next to him was basically unconscious.

It was an IED. improvised explosive deviceThe firing started and there were bullets flying everywhere.  They had to jump to another vehicle.  The lieutenant suffered a concision and had to be flown in a helicopter, all the way to Baghdad. Then his helicopter was fired at. He had a really messed up experience. This was all because one person high in command wanted to feel important, and forced everyone to attend this training in person.


From this near-death experience,  the entrepreneurial seed was planted.  It never lost its grip, and years later, still with the same mindset, John has turned it into a good thing, and taken control of his own life.

They proceed as nothing happened and continued their training. John had a bandage placed on his chin, still bleeding and continued as if nothing happened. Then they took the slow trip back to the base, about 5 hours round trip.


There is no special training, but they try. The military thrives in war, battle, winning and taking the fight to the enemy.

It comes up short re-integrating soldiers into society and the civilian world. It comes up short giving the soldiers support getting through these traumatic experiences and having a normal life after and post-military.

John tells me it is not really the militaries job. Their job is to take the fight to the enemy and win. If they dedicate a lot of resources to other things, you might not win. If you don’t win then nothing else matters.

John tells me, “don’t begrudge the army, especially not the US army, for being the most powerful military in the world. There is a lot of reasons why the US military is the best and is great. The reality is you can’t be perfect at everything. Just like being an entrepreneur, you can’t be perfect at everything.


John has learned, with things he struggles at or is weak at, to bring in virtual assistants or partners into the business that thrive in areas that he doesn’t. This can be valuable for all entrepreneurs.


He was still employed by the military, still an officer for about a year and a half.  He never had any strange dreams at a conscious level. He had unexplained night sweats. For the first 6 months, he was back, he would wake up drenched in sweat. The bed would be soaked, so much so that he had to take a shower and change the sheets.

In hindsight, it is so obvious that it was all that stress and anxiety and death that he saw over the 13 months, that he had to push off to the side in order to survive and remain sane.

At the time, he wondered what was wrong with him, he thought he may be sick or have a disease because he was having terrible night sweats.

John tells everyone listening, “If you’re going through a similar experience, it is probably your body trying to burn off and get rid of that unbelievably pent-up anxiety.”


John was a traditionalist for so long. He thought his route to happiness and success was high school, college, army, law school and then corporate finance. By the age of 28 he found out that these things weren’t bringing him success or happiness because he didn’t have any passion or inspiration for them.

He spent the next 4 years of his life, (from the ages of  28-32) really struggling and trying to find that passion or inspiration that would allow him to pour his enthusiasm into something. It didn’t come easily for him. It was 4 years of failing and struggling trying to find what that thing was for him.

He started to surround himself with the right podcasts, audiobooks, and right people and the right mentalities, where he did have his aha moment.

Since then, he has been able to pour his enthusiasm, passion and his fire into something that is completely his own, and that he is completely passionate about.

He feels very blessed to have found his aha moment. He would like to impart to anyone listening or reading this interview, that it is not easy to find your aha moment. It is not easy to find your passion.

“Don’t worry if you are struggling, that is part of the journey, just know that it is so worth the actual aha moment, that you want to continue the struggle. It is worth it.”


I am so grateful to hear my mentor tell me that he feels I am creating a podcast that fills an important niche. (Blushing now)  He encouraged me to continue forward and take the next step.

This is an amazing benefit of podcasting. Here is some amazing advice about the next step, and you can use it too!

Create a tribe and creating a mastermind where people that are having these same experiences can come together and engage with each other. They can ask questions, give support, give advice, give guidance, share ideas and things that have worked as well as what didn’t work. That is how people are going to be able to grow and get past near-death experiences.

If John had something like this, he could have clung onto, back in 2004/2005 when he was really struggling with his near-death experience, it would have been amazing.

It is almost 10 years ago, and it is still easy for him to recall. It never goes away but it is really important for people who have just experienced it, to have a resource to go to.

You, fabulous listeners of our show, can take this advice in any niche, and apply it, and do it.

I shared with John, that when I was in the hospital with my heart issues, I couldn’t find any support groups on Google, and I could hear his voice, telling me I should start one.

That was his story with EntrepreneurOnFire. He wanted to fill the void, of needing a 7 day a week podcast, with new content to listen to.


You need to work your creative muscle by doing this over and over again. It may not come the first few times, but keep on doing it over and over again, and you may be surprised by the results.



The army did have a reintegration program. They were voluntary, and John never did go to them. At the time he was a decorated combat Veteran coming back from a year of war, and he felt invincible. He regrets not utilizing them and wishes he did.

If you are going through this, John encourages you to look around.  Go look at,  if there are no groups in your area, create a meetup, if only one person shows up then it is a success, “You can create a tribe with one!!”


Thriving Despite a Rare Lung Disease with Nicole Wipp

Today we are speaking with Nicole Wipp whom has been diagnosed with Lymphangioleiomyomatosis, a rare lung disease. She has been thriving and helping others despite the difficulties she has faced. 

Her Worst Health Moment 

Nicole spent over 30 days in the hospital and was diagnosed with a rare lung disease. She was told she would have a lifespan of up to 8 years and she never allowed that belief to enter her mind. Many others living with this have not survived and Nicole had some survivor guilt to work through. She faced post-traumatic stress and was able to find a mindset of gratitude and thanksgiving.

It takes courage and requires the vulnerability to share a personal story with the emotional and physical challenges that one has been through. If you find these stories helpful please reach out and encourage our guests or thank them for their bravery.

Her lowest moment was when she was told that it was mostly in her head by her doctor. It was before she had to have surgery to remove fluid that kept filling up her lungs and it felt very scary and dark at that time. She had a chest pipe put in and a bronchoscopy and she felt so horrible and didn’t know what her life was going to look like. There was a lot of fear because she didn’t know what was wrong with her and she told her Mom and Husband that if her life was going to be like this she wouldn’t want to live.

The Turn Around Point

Nicole is a research subject at a Government research facility that really drives a lot of the medical research. The doctors told her on her second visit that they can’t even tell she is sick. This was good and bad as she never expected to be told that and at the same time it caused a bit of survivors guilt. Once she was able to mentally work herself out of that place, she found extra meaning to associate with everything she does.

A Closer Look

What about you changed the most from this experience?

Nicole has a greater deeper appreciation for what she has and less on what she doesn’t know. She is a very driven person and being competitive drove her most of her life, now she doesn’t worry about it anymore. She is much more at peace with who she is now.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

“Never stop taking care of yourself. An experience like this shows you that in order to take care of others you must take care of yourself.”

Share one of your personal habits that contributed to your healing.

She doesn’t allow anyone to dictate how she feels about pretty much anything. She was told the prognosis was a 5– 8-year lifespan and she would not believe it to be true.

Her Resource

She mentioned this podcast and other inspirational stories have helped. She told us that when you are going through a hard time, knowing that other people have gone through them even though they are hard, even though it doesn’t make her feel better, it helps to stay grounded and get through.

Grand Finale

What are you passionate about today?

Nicole is passionate about helping people find their strengths and work doing what they love. She told us that there are a couple of tools that will help you get started finding a way to live a life that makes you happy. Strengths Finder, put it into use right away, she sees people leave it on their computer for too long.

She tells us you can find out your strengths by asking your friends and those close to you what they see you are good at. How can you take away the things that suck the life out of you and do more of what you love? You can listen to the whole audio to hear her talk more on this topic.

Parting Guidance

Be the best person you can be. Be proud of the person you are. Usually, the things that are most valuable to us are the things we take for granted. Don’t take your self for granite.


Every Day Is A Second Chance Community

Concussion Survivor to Healing Others with Terri Lawton

Terri Lawton: Bicycle Crash and Concussion Survivor to Healing Others 

Terri was given a second chance at life after she was hit by a truck while riding her bicycle. She had a backpack full of flowers that she had picked for her, then boyfriend, now husband, that just may have saved her life.

Unfortunately,  she was not wearing a helmet and ended up with a serious concussion that left her having to learn life all over again. The neurologist told her it would take 14 years to recover.  Amazingly she completed her schooling and recovered within only 11 months. As she created a life-changing program to help others, she ended up healing her own brain. You can listen to the audio interview on the Podcast: Here

If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury, concussion, PTSD or have ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, a reading problem, Schizophrenia or Alzheimer’s, then this interview explains how the program she created may be able to make a big difference in your life.

*****  An amazing bonus to this interview was that I was able to see the joy this work brings to her. Teri is a scientist and whenever she was explaining the brain to me, she looked alive, excited and passionate!! This I hope for each of you, may you find work that lights you up and makes you shine*****

I am pleased to introduce Dr. Teri Lawton. She is a mother and a Scientist that has dedicated 40 of her life to her studies.

After being hit by an Edison truck,  she suffered trauma that left her unconscious for 48 hours. She had not been wearing a helmet and suffered more damage. Teri had to learn how to go through every developmental stage again and relearn life again.

Slowly she learned to redo all these tasks.  She healed very quickly and was able to take her Ph.D. Dissertation and passed with flying colors. She healed her own brain finishing her software program, although she had not realized it at the time.

There was a lot of static and crosstalk and Teri felt the myelin had shattered in her brain.  By doing her program, it enabled the supportive tissue in the brain to repair itself. It enabled the pathways to be reestablished.

Teri helped many people who have had brain injuries and speech problems to overcome them and then they wanted to know how she was able to make such amazing progress.

This attention has spread the news of this life-changing program, you can see movies that explain it all at

For the veterans that listen on this show, she is trying to help people at Camp Pendelton . She believes this can make PTSD go away. I would be very interested in learning more about this myself. Should any of you check it out, please let me know your experience.

They have payment plans, and their main goal is to help people, so they want to make it affordable for everybody. I have not used this myself, however, Dennis from The FIVE Minute Bark Podcast has been using it, and it was his show that I first heard about this. You can hear the interview on episode 15  on itunes where he had been using himself.

Helping with Dyslexia

Dyslexia runs in their family. Teri noticed her daughter showed the signs at 5 years old. Since she was always on the computer, Teri’s daughter wanted to be in her experiments.

It was when Teri’s daughter commented that she must have healed her own brain, that Teri realized the neurologist had told her it would take 14 years to heal her brain. Her brain had recovered in 11 months.

She ended up helping her own daughter overcome Dyslexia and improve her reading and by the end of first grade, she was the best reader in the class. Her teacher was amazed and it aroused curiosity, that curiosity led to the program helping another child. In only one week that child took off and there have been many more since.

I am such a big advocate of reading and this has really caught my attention. Imagine that this program makes it to every child that is struggling with reading? How could it change the quality of their lives, the teacher’s lives and our communities as a whole?

To hear the rest of the interview just click the link below. I hope you find it as interesting as I did and would love to hear your comments below!


Dr. Teri Lawton

CEO, Founder, Director of Research
Perception Dynamics Institute

Early Childhood Parenting Institute
P.O. Box 2206, Del Mar, CA 92014
(310) 903-6009