Daniel Budzinski is a serial entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and author of the book Purpose. He is the creator of Purpose Prep, a premier social and emotional learning content and solution provider serving K-12 school districts. Budzinski is also the host of The Art of Success Podcast and The Dreamcast Podcast.

Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?

I grew up in Detroit Michigan and my whole life was shaped by incredible experiences. When I look back with greater perspective and awareness I realize no matter the experience, painful, purposeful, full of passion, hurt, sadness or great dreams coming true, in the most boring moments and stressful, the moments of anxiety taking over the chemicals in my brain, depression and then the pinnacle moments, each one was an incredible litmus test of my beliefs.

Parents were amazing, I am one of five brothers and sisters.

What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?

Most of what you feel hurt about, offended by, frustrated by is often your ego, your perceived self. Get over yourself and realize you no longer have to be dominated or controlled by what you feel. Also just let go, let go of hurt, expectations, frustrations, and complaints about life, realize you are telling yourself a story, it may be “true” to you but it may not be the story you want. You can change that narrative and story so start to quickly realize the “how am I going to get through this” is two people talking, the conscious self is listening, the ego-self is the one speaking and he is speaking to the “I” which is the idea of you that you think you are that you live your whole life trying to keep alive.

The other is that literally whatever you want to be an expert in, you can, so go and become curious and fight to learn new skills and have fun while you build. Stop taking things so seriously and do what brings you life.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

Be balanced and be realistic. There is no work-life balance, only work-life integration. I think the best thing to do is to run your life like a business. Automate everything. So many times I had heard so much incredible advice as I ask 100s of questions to everyone I meet as I am genuinely curious.

The older I get the more I realize for every good bit of advice you have to filter through 10x advice that is just not realistic, applicable or useful. Some of it is full of pain, or negativity, some of it is filled with people’s disappointments and their expectation to fail which is the fear to try. Any recommendation that minimalizes or diminishes your ability or potential, any advice that considers your age, potential, earnings, or anything that is overly binary is often inaccurate. It may be useful but it may be inaccurate.

Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?

Life is a projected illusion of the delusions you’ve chosen to believe. It is reinforced through our families, culture, jobs, and our ego-self as well as societal unconsciousness. I found myself in a few consequences from choices I made, as well as a myriad of accusations from inaccurate sources about who I was. I was under a lot of stress that I believed was real, even though I knew it wasn’t it felt so real I couldn’t shake it and didn’t know if I would have found myself alive on the other side. I brought through because of my amazing family, wife, and kids. Another thing that changes the game is I LOVE my job and my work, my work helps me stay alive and sane.

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

Irrational persistence, constantly upgrading, changing, and evolving my beliefs, becoming very open to new ideas, and not having such a huge perceived expectation of what we define as truth. I keep strong on my convictions and I only do what I have a passion and belief in. These small things make a tremendous impact. Also just not being negative, unforgiving, and holding onto grudges, these things kill you, being authentic, vulnerable, and honest with how messed up you are and actively letting go is a game-changer.

What is your morning routine? 

Every day is different. I use to wake up every day at the same time, then shower, then leave. My life has evolved now that is very flexible to my living environment, due dates, did I stay up late last night working or enjoying life? I’ve learned that you often need less sleep than you think, if you stop being infatuated and verbally affirming your love for sleep, you start realizing that you will sleep when you need to. My morning routine is completely new each day. I do not sleep in past 8/8:30 unless I was up until 3 or 4 am working, so I always have some type of an alarm set.

What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?

Being curious and interested. Not interesting, but interested. It is very different, most people try to be interesting their whole life. They think they are so special and amazing and they waste their life building an idea of self to themselves and others. Being interested is focusing on others, being curious, and wanting to learn and grow. Listen, I get it that you are special, but when you really think about it, you are only special when you realize you are not special. You can only do something great when you realize you DON’T matter.

When someone thinks they matter they live their whole life trying to get other people to see that they matter. BUT when you know you don’t matter, you flip the physics rules and laws of nature and you live backward in time. Working out your predestination purpose. Your mission and mandate become so central to your focus that you break out of the idea of living in a society, where you buy a house, get a job, graduate and do incredibly calculated actions your whole life. That is fine if that is what you want, but if that is what you want then do it because that is 100% what you want and not what you’ve been fed your whole life.

DEFINE your day, DEFINE your week, month, year, and 5-10 years. People have always said how do you talk about 10 years out when you don’t even know 1 month out what will happen. I agree but being open and articulate about every aspect and not doing it to talk about it but actually live it because you believe it is the difference-maker. Don’t define it to have the answer, define it to allow yourself to ask different questions about your life, future, and potential.

This entire habit revolves around being purpose-centric about everything in your life. The dichotomy is planning to know you can’t plan for everything. Creating a life and purpose, knowing your life doesn’t matter as much as you wish it did. Making a difference even though if you don’t the world will go on. The truth is always found by knowing the non-truth and holding both in your hands while you walk each step of the path.

What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?

Stop believing that productivity is work. Productivity is focusing on a few very important structural and strategic aspects of your life and business. Get a few important things done a day, even one thing is a huge success.

What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
A New Earth – Eckhart Tolle – Allows you to see the real you, the “I Am” of you and the perceived self and how much of our life is spent upholding a version of us that is just selfish, fake, and angry. Allows you to surrender and get into “flow” which is the desired perfection state of human existence and inspiration.

Think and Grow Rich 1937 edition – Napoleon Hill – This book helps you realize that you can mentally reprogram yourself and create a desired state of existence and has incredibly controversial metaphysical, spiritual, and capitalistic principles that just provoke great thoughts and actions within your life.

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?

The best way to predict the future is to create it. – Peter Drucker

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. – Mark Twain

Stop being patient and start asking yourself, how do I accomplish my 10 years plan in 6 months? You will probably fail but you will be a lot further ahead of the person who simply accepted it was going to take 10 years. – Elon Musk – SpaceX, Tesla, Paypal, Nueralink, Boring Company, Hyperloop