The Comeback Kid with Nate Dukes



Nate Dukes swings by on his podcast tour for his new book, “You’ll Never Change”. Nate shares will us steps he used to create his comeback and how he proved the ones who doubted him wrong.

If you experience self-doubt and struggle to create a vision for your future because of what others think, say, and do, then don’t wait for a second longer to listen to this inspiring conversation!


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Mentioned In The Episode:

📚 : You'll Never Change - Grab a copy of Nate's book!

🎙️ : Braving The Journey

💪 : Leanne Hill Fitness





Interview with Nate Dukes:

*has been edited for clarity


Calla: We're so glad you're here. We've been dying to talk to you.

Nate Dukes: I'm super excited for this. So listen, I have been on this podcast or I think I've been on like 46 podcasts in the last three weeks. And I'll tell you, not every podcast is created equally. Okay. And the level of intentionality that you have put into this is absolutely amazing. Just even just to get to this point, I am very impressed.

Calla: Thank you so much for that, it means so much to us.

Nate Dukes: Yeah, I'm excited about this.

Calla: Good. We saw you were just on our friend Zach's podcast, Braving The Journey, recently. So he stopped by the show before too, so I'm glad that you guys had a good conversation.

Nate Dukes: That's awesome. So I'm curious. How did this get started? How did we get here? How's the podcast going? Give me all the details.

Calla: Oh, my gosh, there's a whole series coming out about it. So, I don't want to give too much away. I'll be completely honest, started with a lot of loneliness on my end and needing connection and people as one does, and Leanne. She's in the business of helping people in her real career, which is as a personal trainer. (LeanneHillFitness.com)So we combined the wellness and the mental health aspect of everything and are trying to help a lot of people and let them know that there are options and access.

Nate Dukes: I love it.

Leanne: Similar to you.

Nate Dukes: Yeah, yeah, for sure. I love it. You guys are doing an incredible job. I've gotten to listen to a lot of the show. And so I'm really really impressed.

Calla: Thank you. Well, we really enjoyed your book, we devoured it Leanne used her highlighter, I use my tabs, as one does. And, thank you, first of all, for making sure that we got a copy of it because it was an incredible read. It's a cool book, you did a good job on the design aspect of it. I have to give you kudos for that. But in reading it, it's safe to say that the old Nate wasn't a very likable guy?

Nate Dukes: Well, old Nate was full of a lot of insecurities. And so they came out with me trying to become successful trying to become a person that I thought other people would like. But in my endeavors, I ended up developing a drug addiction and hurting a lot of people, and really destroying my life. So yeah, there was a moment, man I was in my I was probably 26. And I remember I just turned 26 years old, maybe 27. I was living in my parent's basement, my life had pretty much fallen apart at this point. And it was my birthday. And I remember thinking myself, there's nobody in my life right now that I actually think likes me. And I know my parents love me because they kind of have to, I don't know if they even like me. And it's not because it's anyone else's fault. But mine, I've given everybody a reason to do that. And now fast forward several years, my life looks very different span. I feel like I have an abundance of love, and I help more people than I'll ever hurt. And I'm just so grateful for the life that I get to live now. But, I had to go through this process of really forgiving myself and then breaking off some of those mindsets and patterns that I had, and then really building a new life. So the Nate that you're looking at now, man, like I've really built him brick by brick. It was a hard long process, but I'm so thankful that my wife gets the best version of me now and we have a beautiful life together.

Calla: We love that for her and you too.

Leanne: It is such a success story. In one of your chapters, you talked about creating a vision for your life. How did you start that for yourself?

Nate Dukes: So um, it started off... like this is a great question. How did I start creating a vision for my life? So I got inspired by personal development. Um, when I first Just got out of jail, I knew that I wanted to create a different life for myself, I just didn't know-how. And I knew that I wanted to create sustainable change. And if you ever, like tried to change before, either a diet or lifestyle habit, and then you try for 30 days, and then it just nothing clicks. And I got really obsessed with how are some people able to create longevity with their change, like sustainable change, and I wasn't. And so I really started doing a deep dive into personal development. And I took three to six months of really just absorbing new content and new information. And one of the guys that I came across like the kind of the gold standard in personal development is Tony Robbins. And that was his big thing is you need to have something that compels you every single day to wake up and get excited, something that's not just pushing you forward, but pulling you closer towards that. And this idea of creating a vision for your life, that it's something that I, I listen, if you want to go buy an airplane ticket right now and go fly somewhere, you can go and do that they'll sell you a ticket. But the question is, is it anywhere that you want to go. And until you get really clear on the direction of your life, you're never going to actually create the life you've always wanted. A beautiful life doesn't happen accidentally. It happens intentionally. And so to do that, we have to create a vision. And when you ask people this question, I don't know if we're recording the podcast right now... But when you start to create a life, when you ask people this question, what do you want your life to look like? Um, they give you very generic answers. And it's mostly because we've never really thought of this question before. And so we'll say things like, man, I just want to be happy. Or I just want my kids to be taken care of, or I just want the bills to be paid. And while intrinsically there's nothing wrong with any of that. It isn't specific enough. And so until we start to get very clear on where we're going, we'll never actually get there. And so I like to ask questions like, what do you want your legacy to be? What do you want people to say about you when you walk out of the room? And I know there's a lot of people that say, other people's opinions of you are of none of your business. And while I totally subscribe to that I do believe that I want to leave a good taste in people's mouths when I leave the room. I want people to say, you know what, he didn't get everything right. But man, he was passionate. And he tried really hard. And he cared about people. And then I asked questions like, you know, what do you want to pass down to the next generation? I think so often, we inherit mindsets from people, especially our parents, but people who have influenced us, and they inherit mindsets from their parents or people who have influenced them. And it's not until somebody says, and takes a clear look at some of those mindsets and says, Is this serving me? Or is this hurting me? Do some of those generational curses start to break off of families. And so I've just really made a declaration and a decision that says, my kids, my future generation won't have to experience some of the pain and the heartaches, and the negative mind the poverty mindsets that were passed down to me. Now I just want to be clear, I don't blame my parents for anything. They were kids trying to raise kids. But man, they didn't get everything right. And I don't know that I'm going to get everything right either. But I just know that some things have been done wrong, that I can fix. And so when we talk about creating a vision, you know, it's like, what do we want to pass down to the next generation? What does success mean to us? And this is kind of like a buzz statement. But I don't know that any of us have done a deep dive into it. And I'm here to tell you if success is just money, you are missing the mark 100%. There's so much more to life than just achieving financial wealth. Yes, I think that wealth can solve issues and solve problems in our life. And if you're struggling right now, I hope that you find a way to find yourself in a financial position that you're actually winning. I want that for you. But more than that, I want to see you create an impact in this life. I want to see other people's lives affected because of who you are. Because of the influence you have. Because of the stories that you share. I believe that our stories can change other people's stories. And so when we talk about creating a vision for our life, we have to ask ourselves, what's the influence that I want to have? What kind of impact do I want to make? What do fulfillment and success look like for my life? And I know I just shot you with a whole bunch of information, a lot of questions. But this is stuff that when I'm coaching people and we're working this is the stuff that we take weeks to start to dissect and work through because a lot of times we've never actually thought about how do I create a life that gets me juiced up, that gets me excited and it's a life worth living.

Calla: So you are going at it from a total education approach with like books and in finding the people who are living the life that you wanted to. And you might be coaching it now in a few weeks. But how long of a struggle was that for you? When did you feel like you were starting to get momentum into the traction where you want to go?

Nate Dukes: Yeah, so when I decided that I was gonna make some significant changes in my life, I committed I said, I'm gonna take one year, I'm gonna say, I'm going to take one year, my life and what could happen if I, if I became the best version of me emotionally and mentally? The best version of me, physically, I'm going to get a hold of my health, the best version of me financially because I had ruined my finances in my 20s. How do I become the best son? How do I become the best brother, the best friend, and I said, I'm going to commit one year of my life to do this. And the truth is, is that if it doesn't work, I can always go back to making negative poor decisions. I didn't know what my life could look like if I compounded some healthy, good decisions. And so I'll tell you, right around the six-month mark, I started to feel like man, this isn't just stuff that I'm hearing. But it's stuff that I'm internalizing and living and things started to click because here's the problem. If you're in the process of trying to change your life, right, now, you're gonna make some internal changes, and you know that you've changed, but it's gonna be a while before other people in your life start to see those changes, they know a version of you, that might not exist anymore. And just like any time, you get to know somebody, it takes time to build trust, to build consistency to learn who this new person is. And so I needed to give this some time and let the people in my life know that, hey, I am dependable now. I have made some changes. I don't live the same lifestyle that I used to. And now, fast forward several years from that whole process. You know, my life looks very different. And by the way, I just want everybody to know, that like transition process, that transformation process that takes place. It's not going to take one year, it takes a lifetime. And I'm still trying to figure out who is the best version of me like, what does he really value? What is the things that are most important to him, and, and when we're writing our visions, it's important to remember we're writing this and we're writing this in pencil, and not pen because there's going to be moments that I'm going to erase some things don't change some things I'm going to pivot, I think 2020 proved to us that we have to be able to pivot in our lives and readjust and change and, and so this thing takes time, the hardest four-letter word any of us are ever going to hear is wait. Because if you've created a vision for yourself, and now you've lined up your decisions, so you're starting to make some positive decisions that are in line with your vision, you have to multiply that by time and maybe some of you feel like, man, I have this great vision, and I'm doing the right thing every single day. But my life just doesn't look the way that I want it to yet. And I get that I totally understand that. But if you want right now go take a frozen burrito, you can pop it in the microwave, and it will be edible. I don't know, I don't know how good it's gonna be. But there is something to be said for like slow-cooked barbecue, and things that

Calla: Preach, that's my love language.

Nate Dukes: Things that have been taking a long time to cook, there's something special in that process. And so I just want to encourage you if you're making the right decision now, giving up never got you anywhere that you wanted to go. Right. So we are not going to give up this time. We're going to keep pushing forward, we're gonna allow the time to pass for us to get to where we need to go.

Leanne: Don't be a hot pocket.

Nate Dukes: That's right. Don't be a hot pocket.

Calla: Yeah, there's no impact there. There are a few things that stood out to me. So when you're I guess they can kind of go hand in hand because I'm sure that they will and know that there had to have been some overlap. But when you're coming from a place of addiction of struggle of not feeling like you have the correct skillset necessary to make these decisions. I'm assuming a lot of setting boundaries has to take place, which is extremely hard. I'm curious how you navigated that with people in your life, both past and present. And if they even had any overlap, and too in dealing with the addiction in the times of quiet, how did you kind of navigate that as well?

Nate Dukes: Yeah, so I just won't understand your question. So we're going to talk about boundaries for a second and then we'll talk about the moment sobriety the quiet moments.

Calla: Yeah. I'm going there today, I only have you for a while I want to learn.

Nate Dukes: Okay, for sure, so when it comes to setting boundaries, it's really important to know that this is a principle that I teach all the time, that who you surround yourself with, is who you become. And psychology will prove that to us that we are the sum total of the five people that we spend the most time with, we've heard this before, science will even tell us that you'll make the average amount of money of the five people that you surround yourself with. And so if we understand this principle to be true, we have to really take some personal responsibility and do a little bit of personal inventory. When we look at and what were the last five text messages that I sent, who were they to Who are the people that I go to when my life feels like it's falling apart? Who are the people that I look to when I need inspiration, who are the people that I look to when I just want to relax and have fun because they are constantly influencing me? And if I don't like the direction that their life is going, do I have the ability to limit my time with them. And that is something that is so so important, is limiting our time. And when we start to talk about this, it can go one of two ways people will say, Are you telling me to cut people off, or you're telling me to walk away from some people. And if you're in a toxic relationship, right now, this may be the permission that you need to walk away completely from it to say, the plan and the purpose that has been placed on the inside of me is greater than the direction that you're taking me in right now. And so I'm choosing to completely separate myself from you. This is the permission, this is the opportunity that you have to walk away from it. But on the other side of it, if you feel like you know what, I don't want to completely cut this person out of my life. I think of it like this, if your hands are full right now, it's hard for you to carry anything else. And so what we want to do is we want to start to let go of some of that time, just the time that we spend with some of these individuals, the text messages, the phone calls the hangouts, and you know, the people that I'm talking about, these are the people that when I get around them, I become a different person. I say things that I shouldn't, do things that I would have never done. Before I start allowing the negative thoughts to creep in. And while I'm obsessing about things that I don't care about. And so we want to just open our hands and limit the time that we spend with them. And you'll be surprised when your hands are open to receiving new things. New people will start to come into your life, with new experiences with new visions, with new opportunities for you to make new decisions. And so we just want to make sure that we're limiting the time with toxic people, and being open to receiving the people who are healthy in our life. setting boundaries is so valuable and so important. And I know that a lot of people struggle with that. And so the very beginning intro step that I teach is just saying, let's just start to limit time. That is one of the most basic and simple principles is let's just limit the time that we spend with these people who are hurting us.

Leanne: You talked about people or relationships as being your the investor or the invested. And I just thought that was so black and white. And it makes perfect sense because there are people who you can pour and pour and pour into and it's almost like, they're I think I heard this on Joe Rogan, like, like emotional vampires. Yeah, just keep taking. And you do you have, I mean, you will run dry if you don't limit those people and limit your time with them. They don't have to be cut out, but the time thing is perfect.

Nate Dukes: And this is more of an art form than it is actual science. So like this is gonna, there's gonna be some give, there's gonna be some take. And then it's not always just black and white of Oh, yes, this person I need to completely block out of my life and this person, I'm limiting to 15 minutes a day. It's gonna be like an ebb and flow type thing. But once you start to know yourself, and you do it some check-ins of like, hey, how am I doing psychologically after that conversation? Like, where am I? Where's my headspace at after going on this journey with this person? Am I okay? You can start to take the steps that you need to say, you know what, it's probably best that I don't invest all of my time with this person, or I just say here's the block of time that I'm willing to give up for them. And then on the flip side of that, having someone that you're pouring into, can be so rewarding. I think that one of the superpowers that people miss out on is is giving and pouring and loving another human being with who you have no vested interest in so whether or not they succeed or fail, adds no value to my life. I'm just mentoring or caring for this individual because Cuz, man, somebody, was willing to do that for me. And somebody will the reason why I'm here today isn't that I'm so great truth be told, I just was willing to listen when somebody was talking, I was just willing to take the action steps that someone laid out for me. And so now I want to do that for other people because that's actually what fulfills me is helping other people get to where they want to go. So being an investor, or willing to be invested by other human beings. And so I hope that answers when it comes to setting boundaries and caring for people. But if we want to just pivot a little bit and talk about the quiet times of trying to try to figure some of this stuff out, it is so important that you are willing to just sit and do nothing with yourself. I had to go on this journey of figuring out do I even like who I am. Because there are parts of me that, that have done some terrible things that I didn't ever want to do. But when you're put in the wrong place, with the wrong headspace, you never know what is possible. And so there I was in the wrong place with the wrong space doing things that man that's, that's not who I ever wanted to be. And so I went on this journey of what does it mean to actually forgive myself and love myself again. So I had to have a conversation with three different versions of me. I sat down with past Nate, I sat down with present Nate, and then I sat down with future Nate. And, you know, Tim Ferriss will say that everything we want in life is on the other side of an uncomfortable conversation. So I was willing to get uncomfortable, I was willing to get uncomfortable with me. And so I looked at past Nate and all the things that he had done wrong. All the people that he hurt, and all the lies that he told. And I looked at him and I said,

I still love you, and I care for you. And I forgive you, and then something else would pop in my head that I did wrong. And I had to repeat that whole process over again, and, and just remind myself that I forgive myself, and I love myself, and it's okay, and who you were, is not who you are now. And just because you've made some mistakes, it doesn't mean that you are a mistake. And so I figured out how do I love myself again, and what's his process and was his journey. And now, I'm so thankful for that, because that's actually where my self-confidence comes from, is because I do love myself again. And, and then I had to look at the present, Nate. And I had to encourage him because, at this stage of my life, I felt like there weren't a whole lot of people who had seen the changes yet. And I hadn't given them a good reason to believe in me. And so I started to coach myself and build myself up and say, you can do this, I believe in you, we're not going to give up. And I began to inspire myself. And then I looked at future Nate. And I said, whatever it takes to give you the life that you deserve, I'm willing to do it, I'm willing to start at the bottom, I'm willing to build my life back brick by brick, I'm willing to be uncomfortable, I'm willing to try hard, I'm willing to learn the new skill set, I'm willing to do it because you deserve a life that is so different than we have now. And so then once I went on the journey of like really understanding and loving me again, then I was able to actually sit and be quiet with myself. And that that was so important. And spending time with you is so valuable. Because if you can't spend time with yourself, I feel like you're probably running away from yourself. And we need to get back to this place where we're we're okay with us. And we're okay with who we are. And we don't need validation from outside sources. Mel Robbins says validation is for parking, and I don't need it from anybody. Do you know what I'm saying? But the quiet times will allow us to do that the quiet times allow us to explore those areas of ourselves in our mind that maybe we have quieted that we've shut down that we've put aside. And it's not until we're willing to go deep into those places. And we actually can uncover man, there's some hurt and some trauma and some things that I've gone through that haven't told anybody about I haven't even looked at myself I haven't even processed through yet. I think a lot of our decisions and our fears come from the fact that we've experienced some pain in our past. That why I don't know why as human beings, we're so good at just closing that off. It's like our own protection mechanism in our brain that just says we're gonna we're not going to talk about Yeah, I'm not gonna bring this up, nobody to know that I did that crazy thing in college. I don't want anybody to ever hear about it. But man, that stuff doesn't just disappear. It manifests in our life in different areas and our behaviors and our decisions and our negative habits and And so it's not until we explore those that we can begin to heal from them.

Leanne: In the beginning, though, that had to be hard the forgiveness part because it's like, you can look at your past self, and you might not be far enough removed from that or experienced enough or done enough in what you consider good things to think of yourself as actually changed and look back at that person and say, I forgive you and you do deserve better. Like, how how? I guess looking back, it probably sounds easy, like, okay, I did I started with this. And then I did this, and then I did this. But in the beginning, when you are almost trying to convince yourself like I am not that person, how did you get through that?

Nate Dukes: Well, you're exactly right in what you just said, I had to convince myself, I had to constantly reinforce and remind myself that I am not that same person anymore. I knew what my life looked like when I did the wrong thing and when I made the wrong choice, but I didn't know what my life could look like if I made the right choice and did the right thing. And so it was a constant reminder, it was every single day of "that's not who we are, we're going to be honest, we're going to tell the truth, we're going to try hard, we're going to be consistent, we're going to try and be disciplined." But in the beginning, you have to consistently remind yourself, you have to constantly put it in front of you, you have to, it's almost like it becomes this mantra that you're telling yourself every single day. That saying, "fake it until you make it", was really what it was for me. I'm just going to continue telling myself this every single day until I believe it, you are worthy, you are loved. And I did not believe that in the beginning, I had no reason to believe it. And it wasn't until I constantly reinforced it over a long enough period that I looked back. And I said You know what? That is true. Because the reality is, no matter where you're at, no matter how far you fall in, there is nothing that you've done, that you can't come back from, you always have an opportunity to redeem yourself to change your life. If you're willing to go on that process and journey, it's just going to take some time, some reinforcement, and then get around the right people surround yourself with the right people who will encourage you, I, some of us, it's going to feel like we are a plant growing through concrete. So you understand that analogy where it's like you're the only one that's trying to grow.

Calla: That's my symbol.

Nate Dukes:

And nobody, nobody else around you is willing or wanting to win. There's gonna be people that come up in your life and listen, the popular term for them right now is haters, right? So haters are a sign of significance. So anytime that you do anything of value, anything of wonder, anything great in life, you're always going to come up with some opposition, you can reference any single YouTube video that has more than a million views on it. If you go through the comments section, every single one of them is filled with people that have nothing but negative things to say. They are keyboard commandos. And the reality is, is they are the loudest voice, but they don't doesn't necessarily mean that they're the most popular voice. And so you're going to come up against people who have negative things to say about you, it still happens to me from time to time, because there are people from my past who only know a version of me that doesn't exist anymore. And so what we want to do is we want to understand that these people are a little bit of fuel for me, they're a little bit of a kick in the butt for me of saying like, They're a flag that says you're on the right track, you're doing the right thing. Just know that there are going to be people that come up against your growth. And so when we see this plant that's growing through concrete, and when we transplant it into a place that can dig deep roots that we can water it, I can get sunshine, it has a chance to thrive, you don't look at the plant that's not growing well and say there's something wrong with you. You're a mess up, your mistake, you move it to a place that it can begin to thrive, you get into an environment that has a chance to succeed. And you watch as it blooms into this beautiful flower. So I always think that a change, especially when you've made some serious changes, a change in location or a change in social circles or, or even just a new experience, a new job setting, if it's possible, can benefit a person to getting on a path for a new life.

Leanne: You brought it up a couple of times, about consistency and that was one of my favorite chapters of the book. And how it just kind of creates credibility with yourself and then with other people. Can you explain that a little bit?

Nate Dukes: Yeah, and this is something that it took me a really long time to figure out because, as I said in the beginning like you try something for 30 days, you get on a 30 or 60-day challenge, but you don't actually stick with it. And people notice that, like, if you've ever had someone come up to you that like tells you their hopes and their dreams and the big idea that they have, but in the back of your head, you're just thinking yourself, man, I just don't, I don't think it's ever gonna happen. I don't see I just don't see it for that person. It's because they don't have any credibility built up with you. Because they haven't done anything to actually prove that says, hey, I'm capable of executing on my dreams. And the way that you create credibility with other people, the way that you create credibility with yourself, is through consistency. And it's so simple. And it's sometimes it's easier said than done. But doing what you say you're going to do, is a game-changer. So when you say I'm gonna wake up at 6 am, tomorrow, and you don't do it, what you're telling yourself in your brain is, is I don't follow through on what I say I'm going to do. I never can get up when I want to I'm I always make mistakes. I'm not capable of doing it. But when you actually do the thing that you're saying that you're going to do, all of a sudden, your brain goes and kicks in and goes, yep, we do the hard thing, because that's who we are. And we start to show up for ourselves. And we build this self-confidence of like, Hey, I'm a person that's capable of doing hard things. Because let's not pretend that life isn't hard. Man, it is, it is so difficult to get through sometimes between the stress and pressure of trying to just get our bills paid or, or the family dynamics or the friendships that we're trying to maintain or, or our romantic life or, and then and then don't, don't throw in social media. And don't let me see somebody else doing better than I am. And I'm scrolling and I'm comparing myself and life is hard. It is difficult. But man, human beings were so resilient. And we're so much capable of doing the hard things, we just need to remind ourselves of the strength that's been developed on the inside of us the strength that we're going to need in the next seasons of our life. And that's only developed through being consistent through showing up and doing the things that we say that we're going to do.

Leanne: That was a big thing for me. I didn't realize I wasn't showing up for myself, because nobody knows that except you. Half the things you say aren't out loud, you know, probably more than that 90% of what you're thinking, you know, stays in your head. So nobody necessarily knows that I told myself, I was gonna wake up at six. Yeah, no one's gonna know if I don't follow through on it. But I did. And so it did affect my self-esteem and affect my self-worth, like, you don't believe that you're worthy of change, because you don't think you can do it. Because Oh, here you go again, trying to change. And remember what happened last time, you know?

Nate Dukes: And then you just get stuck in this sight on this thought power that just says I, I'm never gonna do it, you'll never change. You're not good enough. You don't deserve it. Nobody likes you. And I think that the loudest voices are oftentimes the ones that are in our own heads. We will say some hateful stuff to ourselves. And I just want to, I want to change the stigma on what could our lives look like if we started to be kind to ourselves again, and encourage ourselves because we hit the problem is, is we see the ugly parts of us. And we don't like it. Most people don't see those ugly parts. Most people some people do my wife she smells the morning breath. Okay, she gets the ugly parts of me. But most people don't. But man I do. I see the ugly parts. I see the parts of me that I'm frustrated with that I'm annoyed with. That I wish we just get it together. Or why can't you just figure this thing out? And, and we'll be so hard on ourselves. And I get it, I understand. But man, there's something special about saying, Hey, you know what, you're doing the best you can when you actually are. And you, I believe in you. And I know that it hurts right now. And I know that it's painful right now. But we're going to see better days ahead of us. Because sometimes if you don't encourage yourself, there's not going to be someone else in your circle in your corner right there to give that encouragement when you need it.

Calla: A lot of them are tired of dealing with your stuff. I mean, for real, that's why you can't go to family all the time. That's why you can't go to your closest friends all the time. There has to be like you said those people in your circle that you can pull from and that can invest in you and things like that. Those that aren't going to have your background necessarily. Do you know what I mean? They're not going to have the emotion to guide it. You need other people to kind of guide you that don't necessarily know everything all the time.

Nate Dukes: I want people in my life that can know me, -K-N-O-W know me. Know what I've been through, Know I've experienced, Know I struggle with that, then I also want people that will NO me, and oh, no, Nate, that resentment doesn't look good on you. No Nate, you shouldn't be out that late. No, Nate, you shouldn't talk to your wife like that. I need both sets of people, people who know me, and then people who will "no" me. And it's so important that I have people in my life who are more interested in and who I am than being friends with me. And so I just want to unpack that a little bit. So like they're, they're, they're more invested in me as a person than they will ever care about how much I like them. Because if Sometimes a person gives you a hard truth, you might not look at them. So favorably, or the fear might be less than our friends. They don't want to see us suffering. They don't want to see us in pain. And so oftentimes, they won't tell us like, bro, you're messing up right now. Or you need to get together or I don't know what's going on. But this ain't This ain't right. Our friends typically don't lean into that very much. And so I want people in my life who have that card, who I've permitted to that say, hey, call me out on my Bs, let me know when I'm not doing the thing that I said that I was going to do. It's so powerful to get a hard truth from somebody you look up to.

Leanne: I mean, get one of those stadium fingers, cow, you can just shake at me.

Calla: On it, I will order right after this.

Leanne: So funny. You talked a little bit about selfishness and how you can't have selfishness and fulfillment together. Can you elaborate on that one?

Nate Dukes: Yeah. And this stems from when I was a business owner in my 20s. So my idea of success was how much money can I make? What can I do that when people look at me, they say, wow, what are the things that will impress other people? So I had gotten involved with a barn restaurant that in the beginning, it was failing, but we turned it around into something that was pretty successful very quickly. And now I had access to more money than I had ever seen in my life. Now, this wasn't a life-changing amount of money, just for me, I was the poor kid growing up. So for me, this felt like the world. So I had a really nice car, I had an apartment with high-rise ceilings, I was in social settings that I probably would have never had access to before. And I thought that all of this stuff was going to make me happy. I thought that once I got to that, that place, that I would finally be okay with who I was. Because the truth was, is there was this chubby, insecure kid who lived on the inside of me, that I didn't know how to handle I didn't know how to deal with and so I thought that becoming successful or numbing those feelings numbing that pain with pharmaceutical drugs was going to be the answer for me. And so it wasn't until everything came crashing down that I realized that success or being selfish. And by the way, those are not to those who don't go synonymously I think that there can be plenty of successful people who are not selfish at all. But I also think that that I mean, I don't know about you, but I know a few rich people that are miserable. That that how money is an amplifier. So if you have a lot of money, and you're a terrible person, you have more to be terrible with. But if you have a lot of money, and you are this loving, caring, generous person, you just have more resources to do all of that. And so I was the type of person that was trying to be successful and selfish at the same time. It was all about me, me, what can I get? How can I build up the empire of Nate Dukes? And it wasn't until that all fell apart that I realized that I'm actually not interested in success at all. Really what I'm searching for is fulfillment. And sometimes we'll label it as I just want to be happy. But being happy is if I win, I'm happy if I lose on sad, so I want to actually eliminate happy altogether from my vocabulary. What was the word that I'm actually searching for is fulfillment, and that comes not from what I can get. But man, what can I give? How can I help? How can I be of service? How can I contribute? What impact Am I making? And here's the thing, if I can make an impact and be successful at the same time, why not have both men that is a beautiful life. I know I've named dropped in twice now. But Tony Robbins says, "Success without fulfillment, that's actually failure", and so I don't want to go down the I don't want to fall into the trap of saying, Man, I've amassed all of this wealth, I've become massively successful, but I feel like I'm not contributing. I feel like the people People in my inner circle, they don't know me, they don't love me. I don't care about anybody else's feelings, but my own. That my friend is a life that feels a little bit like a failure. And so selfish people will ruin the world. But I'm here to tell you right now that selfless people can change it. And I want to be one of those people that's willing to be selfless and make an impact and change. Maybe, maybe not the entire world. But man, if I can just change my world if I can just change the world of the people that are closest to me. That's enough for me.

Leanne: What made you flip that switch? Was that like in prison when you had time to think when everything kind of fell apart?

Nate Dukes: Yeah, absolutely. So um, when I was in jail, that I was a pod-style facility. And so we shared this pod with 16. Guys, there were eight bunk beds, there were three tables, there were two toilets, but there were no windows. And the only opportunity that we got to get out was once a month, they offered something called church service. Now, I wasn't interested in going to church, but man, I was interested in getting out of that pod. And so we walked on this long hallway and off the left-hand side, there was a cinderblock room with 16 folding chairs set up. And as we walked in, is old guy walked into, and he pulled out this old guitar. And he, he said to us fellows, the only difference between you and me is that I never got caught for the things that I did. And he starts to play the song Amazing Grace. And it goes Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me, I once was lost. But now I'm found I was blind. But now I see. And I looked around the room. And there were 16 guys who had hurt people who had taken advantage of others who had done some really terrible things, with tears streaming down their face. And it's hard to describe this moment, but I wasn't worried about the things that I had done in the past. I wasn't worried about how was I going to get out of there, I was worried about my future. But this overwhelming sense of peace just sat on me at that moment. And that pressure that I had put on myself for so long, really started to lift off of my life. And at that moment, I just remember thinking to myself, if it is possible to change, I want to because this is not the life that I want to live anymore. And so now I've made this internal decision that I want to change. But I'm still stuck in jail. And so I've got plenty of time to figure out Nate, who is the person that you actually want to become. And I spend a lot of time really starting to dissect what were the things that got me here, what were the choices that I made that led to the life that I have right now. Because the reality is, is that all of our lives, every one of us the life that we have right now. It is based upon the decisions that we've made. It is a direct reflection of the choices that we've made in our life. And I don't want you to buy into the fact that you should have known the right decision or the wrong decision. I just think that that that's a little messy conversation to get into. But I do want us to understand the power of our decisions, the things that we do every single day, it matters so much. And so when I started realizing that man, these negative decisions that I've made led to the life that I have now, I asked myself this very simple question, what are the decisions that I have to start making to live a more fulfilled and better life? And one of those was, man, what would it look like if I started helping people more than hurting them? It sounds very basic, and cliche almost. But that was the starting point for me to say, I don't want to live this selfish life anymore, actually want to start to be more selfless. And you'll be surprised when you start to see the results of that when you start to see the change in other people in your life. It's almost like this reinforcement, this positive reinforcement that happens and now I feel good. I'm helping other people. And I want to do it again and again and again. And so all of a sudden, that's just who I am now, on this person who is selfless and not selfish.

Calla: Were you navigating this with anyone while you were in prison? Or was this all just like a solo-like journey trying to figure this out?

Nate Dukes: So when I was in jail, I was really by myself. I knew that I wanted to figure out how to like change my life. And it didn't happen until I started to get out. Once I got out. Now I had access to podcasts, which by the way, I think are a great platform for people to experience new wisdom, new information, have access to conversations that they probably wouldn't have access to. And so I started really, I started allowing myself to not just listen to Some music in my headphones anymore. But what are YouTube videos which by the way, YouTube can be this dark black hole that we fall into? But it also could because cat videos will catch me up every time.

Leanne: I understand.

Nate Dukes: But it can also be I've heard it referred to as YouTube University. Yeah, where you can learn anything on YouTube. And so I started allowing new wisdom in my life. And once this new wisdom God in man, it started to resonate with me. And then it started to come out. And I got involved. So when I was trying to change my life, I knew that I needed to get a mentor, I had never had one before I never let I thought that I could figure it out on my own like I was smarter than everybody else I had, I was dealing with some ego issues back in my 20s. But now I know, that's not the truth.

Calla: Been there.

Nate Dukes: So I wanted to let someone in who had a different perspective, speak into my life. And one of those person's names, his name was Brad. And he did this amazing job of poking at things in my life that I didn't want to be poked on. And he, he invested in me in a way that nobody really had done before. And a good mentor will take you places that maybe you don't want to go, but you desperately need to go. And by the way, if you have somebody in your life that is mentoring you right now, but you're not taking their advice, you're not listening to them, or you're not actually allowing them to speak into it. You're not just wasting your time, you're also wasting theirs. And so we want to start to allow the right voices in our life because then we can start to make the right choices in our life.

Leanne: Yeah, that was a really beautiful moment in the book, when the words from Amazing Grace, like really, like hit you hard that I've heard, so I don't go to church now. But I did go for like a season of life. And, um, a lot of the message that they drove home was Grace is easier to find when you're struggling, like, you know, because you're in search of that forgiveness and that extra support. But when life is going great people kind of just forget about it and throw it to the wayside. So how is Grace playing a role in your life now that you're the new Nate?

Nate Dukes: Yeah, for sure. And so I am a man of faith, I don't talk about it. Unless somebody invites that conversation. I'm not interested in pushing my belief systems on anybody. But I do have a Christian background and a faith that I lean into it. And some people, some people call it luck. Some people call it karma. I just choose to believe that God's grace and His hand is on my life. And Grace is defined as undeserved, or unmerited favor. And so if we look around, and if we're honest with ourselves, there are some really good things about our life right now, they may not all be perfect. And there might be some hard things, and we might be struggling through certain aspects of it. But some things are going really, really well in our lives, if we're honest with ourselves. And so I just choose to believe that God's grace and His guidance is on my life, even when things are especially when things are bad. But even when things are going well, you know, I have this fundamental belief. And I learned this from other people in my life by this fundamental belief that God wants me to do well, he wants me to succeed he wants the best for me is that I listen, grown up as a kid, I always thought that God was this big person in the sky that was waiting for me to mess up. And as soon as I did, he was going to punish me. And I just, I believe that is a negative view of God. And now I'm so thankful that my viewpoint of God has changed. Because I feel like man, like every single day, I get juiced up to have this connection in this relationship with him, because he's guiding my life every single day. And that doesn't mean it's always easy, doesn't mean it's perfect, and it's pain-free. It is oftentimes filled with more pain and more problems, because I'm not just dealing with my issues, but other people's too. But I'm telling you, I have access to a different solution to the same problems I used to have. I don't have to just rely on my own strength. I have someone else's that's available to me. I don't just have to rely on my peace, of peace that comes from a greater source than my own. And so yet Grace is something that's important in my life as I navigate Who is this new Nate?

Calla: Where do you feel like you're being guided currently? Do you mind sharing?

Nate Dukes: Yeah, for sure. So right now I lead hundreds of volunteers at my local church and I'm so thankful for that opportunity. And I love that I get to do that. I was a very messy person when I walked in. And some people were willing to get messy with me. And so right now I feel like the direction of my life is, it's, it's, it's not necessarily it's changed, but it's definitely elevated, especially with this book coming out. So they say, a good book is the conversation that you have over and over and over again. And I feel like the big question that I get asked all the time is Nate, how do I create my own comeback. And so I've gotten really obsessed with helping other people create the life that they've always wanted. And I tell people all the time, I'm not here to teach you how to overcome any sort of addiction. I think that there are plenty of 12 step programs that can do a much better job than I ever could. But what I want to do is I want to inspire and teach people that we can actually create a life that I don't want to escape from a life that I don't want to hide from a life that I don't need to take something or drink something that will allow me to escape from the fact that man, I'm living this very beautiful, powerful life. And so what I've gotten to do lately is I've done a ton of in-person, and online speaking, I've been on this podcast tour where I've been getting to meet some incredible people just like you and sharing this message. Most have been doing a lot of coaching with people to help them figure out that their life isn't too messy to change. And if there is something inside of them, or a vision or a dream that's gone dormant, something that they haven't tapped into, then we can actually start to pull that out of you and allow you to walk in a passion, walk in a purpose walk in a direction that you've always been designed to walk in. And so I don't necessarily know what the next five to 10 years of my life looks like, I know that I would love to continue to write books to inspire people to coach and to do some speaking. And this is I really do believe this is just the beginning of where ultimately, I'm gonna land.

Leanne: Well, that's what I really loved too, was that you didn't just write your story, you gave challenges and action items at the end of every chapter for people to try in their own lives that they can apply and make the changes that you went through yourself. Well, so

Nate Dukes:

if, if information changed us, we would all be rich and skinny. But it's not that easy, okay? So we want to start to take action on this stuff right away, because it's the action that will ultimately lead to the changes we need to make, truly the new decisions will lead to new people will lead to a new life. So action is so vitally important. So those challenges are designed to get you to not just say, wow, this is a really good chapter, this is a really good book, but how do I start to apply this right away? To my life?

Calla: Yeah.

Leanne: Do you have a chapter or a challenge that was the hardest for you to write?

Nate Dukes: So one of the hardest ones and one of the most important chapters is the one where I talk about gratitude. Because there is this ego that I constantly battle in this selfish person that tries to take over every once in a while. But gratitude and before we write this off on as another gratitude list, or here's a gratitude guy, like just hear me out, okay? gratitude reminds us that what we have is enough, but more importantly, that we are enough. And I want to get into this practice, every single day, I look at things and look in and examine my life and say, What are the things that I am so immensely grateful for? Because gratitude, it's a superpower that some of us haven't tapped into yet, and it doesn't necessarily change our world. But it will definitely change us. And gratitude has, you know, it's so hard to be angry and grateful at the same time. It's so hard to be mad and resentful and grateful at the same time. And so I just really believe in the power of gratitude and harnessing that power and applying it to my life.

Calla: I want to know more about when you purchase a book because part of it goes to different recovery centers. Can you talk a bit about how all that comes together?

Nate Dukes: So one of the things I'm so thankful I get to do is I get to go to different rehab and recovery centers and share my message. And so I've developed this Pay It Forward program, where you can buy a book for yourself. But if you want to buy a book for someone that you've never met before, and actually be a part of their comeback story, I go to these facilities and I give these books away for free to the people who really need it the most. And I don't this is I tell them I say this is not a gift from me. This is a gift from someone that's never met you, but man, they believe in you and you should see the reaction when they get these books and there's this guy Craig who said when I read this book, it felt like a Somebody understood exactly what I was going through for the very first time. And Dan Hanna, he said, I read this book with tears in my eyes because I felt so full of hope. And so I want to be able to give this book and get it in the right hands. And so if you want to partner with me, you can go to you'll never change.com slash pay it forward. Or if you'd like to pick up a book for yourself, you can always find it on Amazon, you can just type in, you'll never change or Nate Dukes.

Calla: Amazing. Where else can HTC community find you and get connected with you?

Nate Dukes: Yeah, so I am on Instagram @whoisnatedukes And that's a question that I've been asking myself for years. I'm still trying to figure it out.

Calla: Genius handle I love it.

Nate Dukes: But you can also find me on Facebook, you can just type in Nate Dukes.

Calla: Amazing. Thank you so much. Do you have another one?

Leanne: I do.

Calla: You always throw one in there at the end.

Leanne: I know. But I have to ask that. We talked a little bit when we were talking about YouTube and stuff. But you said in your book that everything that we consume develops us. Do you have any favorite books or podcasts that you're listening to right now that you get insight from?

Nate Dukes: Yeah, absolutely. So I am a big personal development guy. So I mean, we're going to talk about Impact Theory, Tom Bilyeu, Brendon Burchard obviously Tony Robbins, he's the OG of all of this. If you cannot find your way to get to a Lve event, man get into an immersed live events, books that are coming out right now that I'm a big fan of Atomic Habits came out. There's this book called Driven that I've been listening to on Audible right now. There are, listen, you can literally just google personal development, and you're going to get a slew of powerful, powerful people. But that's just on the practical and things on the spiritual end of things. If you're interested in developing and looking at your faith, more man, get connected to a local church, if that's your flavor, but there's people like Craig Groeschel, there are people there's t by T.D. Jakes is an amazing, amazing voice in that community. And, and you can find all of this stuff by literally asking what any one of your local pastors, I'm sure that they would love to have a conversation with you.

Leanne: Thank you so much, Nate. This was great.

Calla: Yeah, thank