Ed Mylett is one of the premier business leaders, peak performance experts, and motivational speakers in the world. Mylett’s initial dream was to play major league baseball. He got the chance when he was drafted, but a catastrophic injury led to his baseball career’s premature end.
“It was devastating to me at the time. I really never conceived of doing anything other than playing baseball,” Mylett confessed to Jay Shetty. “Like many people, my first dream just literally died, and it knocked me back. It took me a little while before I recovered from it.”
Mylett now has a passion for mentoring and coaching others on what it takes to become a champion.
Mylett invited Jay Shetty to his home to discuss being present, the power of intention, what it takes to dream a second time, and how working in a group home changed his trajectory and what he valued. Mylett will guide you through the moments that lead him to find his true passion.
Life Doesn’t Happen TO You, It Happens FOR You
Mylett acquired some skill sets growing up with an alcoholic father. Although he didn’t know it at the time, these skills would later serve as the framework for his future success.
“When my dad would come home - when he would - I'd have to deduce really quickly,” said Mylett to Jay Shetty. “I’d have to look at him and be present. Which Dad am I getting? Am I getting happy, sober Dad who wants to play with me? Or am I getting drunk, kind of angry, disconnected, mean Dad? So I built these skills as a young man because of my dad's drinking, being present with people, and assessing them. That's a unique thing that I developed because my dad drank.”
Mylett went on to explain to Jay Shetty that his father eventually became sober. While he was at his first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, Mylett’s father got him a job at McKinley Home For Boys.
Mylett found himself at the McKinley Home for Boys with no idea what the job entailed and no experience. He walked into a room of ten 8- to10-year-old boys who were wards of the court. Their parents were dead, incarcerated, or had molested them, and Mylett had to become their big brother and father figure. He was there for school work, special events, and the daily aspects of life.
Although Mylett did not have that same kind of childhood, he knew what it was like to be a little eight-year-old boy and be fearful and scared. This allowed Mylett to connect with the boys.
“And so ironically, the entire time, God, the universe, life was equipping and preparing me for that moment,” Mylett said to Jay Shetty. “If my dad's not an alcoholic, I don't learn to assess people. He's not at a meeting that refers me, I can't connect with these boys when I get there. So eventually in life, the dots all connect if you stay vigilant, you stay after it. And at that moment, my life changed.”
Dreaming a Second Dream
“What does it take to dream a second time?” Jay Shetty asked Mylett. Mylett thought before responding.
“What it took for me was to find my actual home, my actual passions in my life,” said Mylett to Shetty. “And I thought what I wanted was to be rich and famous and successful, and all of those things, but a great convergence of experiences happened that put me in a position where I was humbled.”
The McKinley Home for Boys is where Mylett altered his path and his plan. He discovered that he had unique talents he had not utilized in his baseball career.In realizing that baseball may have been a dream that was not his own, Mylett feels it was something that was kind of given to him. He just sort of took it and ran with it and was decent at it. But it wasn’t his true dream.
ay Shetty agrees that adopted dreams can come from others, and oftentimes what you are chasing may not be what you want to chase. Mylett agrees and tells Shetty that he believes he was not intentional about what he really wanted early in his life.
Mylett expresses to Shetty that he thought if he played baseball and made it to the professional level, that would make him happy. When Mylett stripped it down though, he discovered that his joy actually came from serving others and making a difference in other people’s lives.
“Honestly, it shocked me, because I really had never even conceived it would be something that would fulfill me,” Mylett said to Jay Shetty. “Why would working with kids fulfill me? No one knows. It's not on TV. Nobody broadcasts it. You don't get a lot of money for doing it. Why would that be my dream? Yeah, it's the thing that filled me up more than anything I've ever done in my life to this day.”
Mylett states that he believes everything happens FOR you, not TO you, and oftentimes dreams show up in unique packages.
Blissfully dissatisfied is an oxymoron that sounds like real life, according to Jay Shetty. Mylett agrees.“We all want bliss,” Mylett said to Shetty. “We all want happiness, but blissful dissatisfaction means don't conflate happiness and satisfaction. They're two different things. Most people confuse them.”
Mylett often sees people make the mistake of delaying their happiness. People become stuck in the mindset that if they let themselves be happy before they reach their goals, they will lose their drive.
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” said Mylett to Jay Shetty. “What you're doing is robbing your brain of dopamine. When you don't celebrate your victories, when you don't enjoy it, you are heading right towards a place called burnout.” Shetty felt what Mylett was saying and agreed, as he has experienced this in his personal life.
“Blissful dissatisfaction, long version, just simply means this: you can live blissfully and still want to achieve and have an incongruence between what you know you're capable of and where you are,” concluded Mylett.
Mylett likens your identity to a thermostat.
“Just as a thermostat regulates the temperature of a structure regardless of the outside conditions, your identity, self-worth, values, and truths you hold to be true about yourself, or your personal identity regulates your life,” Mylett said to Jay Shetty. “It's not the external conditions. It's the internal thermostat that governs your life. It will govern everything.”
Often in life, you’re going in the right direction, finding success in the areas of fitness or money, and a few months down the road you’re right back where you started.
“You’ve turned the air conditioner back down to get life comfortable where you believe you deserve it,” Mylett tells Jay Shetty.
How do you make the change to get your internal thermostat back to where it needs to be? Mylett believes the answer is simple - the power of people. Surround yourself with the people you want to influence your life. The ones who will help alter your internal thermostat to the temperature you want it to be.
“I protect the proximity of people around me,” Mylett explains to Shetty. “It doesn't mean I don't have people in my life that live at lower temperatures. Of course I do, but I manage their proximity to me. Suppose you have people in your life who are blood and can't leave your life and take your energy. You need to evaluate their existence in your life. Most of them, you can assess their proximity, how much you let them affect you, how regularly you communicate with them, and how close they are to you. That's where they have influence over you.”
“You can't change the people,” Jay Shetty agrees. “You can change the proximity.”
Huge Reasons and High Standards
Jay Shetty lives his life with huge reasons but admits that he has had weak reasons or no reasons at different times in his life. He asks Mylett to expand on his thoughts about having huge reasons and high standards.
“The one thing I found is that people think they have reasons, and they're very general. Specificity is one of the rarest things I can get from people,” Mylett tells Shetty. Mylett believes everyone needs a specific emotional, compelling reason to do something.
Mylett tells Shetty that he is physically fit for a massive reason. He had a heart attack at the age of 30. When Mylett’s doctor asked if he wanted another man to walk his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day, Mylett’s specific reason to change his life became his daughter’s wedding day.
“My big specific reasons get me to take actions I otherwise wouldn't take,” Mylett confesses to Shetty. “Find the specific reasons for the things that you want. If you can anchor and link them together, you will discover the standards that you set for yourself.”
Finding Your Skillset
Every day, people plant seeds they may never get credit for, but there would not be a harvest without those seeds. Use your talents and skills, applying the knowledge you have, even if you think it may not make a difference.
“There are all kinds of skills that you need to identify in yourself, and you were given those skills to make a difference in the world, to do something great in small ways and big ways,” Mylett shares with Jay Shetty. He urges viewers to remember it’s their choice.“We are all called to do something great,” Mylett says. “You can decide to turn the page and write a new chapter in your life and become a whole new character.”You should live every day chasing the ultimate version of you. Be present, take the lessons you have learned, and apply them to your life. Make your reasons specific and intentional. Identify your skill sets, expand on them, and control the proximity of those around you that you want to influence your life.
More From Jay Shetty
Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on “Ed Mylett & Jay Shetty ON How To Pursue Your Passion” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at jayshetty.me.
Take my new quiz to discover your deeper purpose.Take the Quiz
Looking for greater meaning? This quiz shows you how to live with purpose every day.Take the Quiz