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Ted Talk 207: The Power Of Gratitude: The Secret Key To Personal Growth And Resilience

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Let’s take a break and reflect on gratitude. In our busy lives, it’s easy to overlook its power. Gratitude isn’t just a quick thank-you—it’s a whole mindset that changes how we see things.

In today’s special episode, Ted delves into the profound impact of gratitude, sharing personal insights and experiences that have shaped his journey.

He will talk about how gratitude goes beyond words and how it became a guiding force in his life following unimaginable tragedy, shaping his resilience and growth.

He will share insights into adopting and nurturing a mindset of gratitude in our daily lives, will reveal how practicing gratitude influences not only personal well-being but also relationships and success, will talk about how gratitude serves as a catalyst for personal growth and much more

Listen now as Ted shares his profound insights on gratitude, offering a roadmap to transform our perspectives and lives!


You’ll learn:

  • How gratitude goes beyond simple expressions of thanks and becomes a lens through which we perceive life
  • How gratitude became a guiding force in Ted’s life following unimaginable tragedy
  • Insights into adopting and nurturing a mindset of gratitude in our daily lives.
  • The ripple effect of gratitude: How practicing gratitude influences not only personal well-being but also relationships and success
  • Understanding the multifaceted impact of gratitude on mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being
  • How gratitude serves as a catalyst for personal growth, resilience, and a more fulfilling life
  • Insightful tips and practices to integrate gratitude into your daily routine for lasting positive change
  • And much more…


Related Episodes:  

Ted Talk 61: How to Find Gratitude in Your Hardest Moments 

Ted Talk 115: Let The Christmas Spirit Ring! How Holiday Gratitude Can Make Us Happier And Healthier 

218: The Power Of Gratitude 


Links Mentioned:

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Podcast Transcription: The Power Of Gratitude: The Secret Key To Personal Growth And Resilience 

Ted Ryce: I want to wish you a happy Thanksgiving, and in this episode, I want to do a more personal story. And if you've been listening to this show for a while, you know how I got started in health and fitness.

But if you're a bit new and you've only heard the more glamorous side of things—how I lived in Miami Beach and worked with celebrities like Robert Downey Jr., Ricky Martin, Richard Branson, and so many CEOs and entrepreneurs over the past 24 years I've been doing this—you may not know how I got started in health and fitness and why I'm so passionate about it.

And my hero origin story, if you will, started with a tragedy, a family tragedy. When I was 19 years old, I was studying neuroscience in school. That's what I wanted to do.

And my nine-year-old brother disappeared one day while my parents were out of town. And after several months of really hell, not knowing what happened to him, we found out that he was kidnapped and murdered.

And it was a famous case in Miami. In fact, if you look up my brother's name, Jimmy Ryce, you can read a bit about it. I'm not going to go into the details here, but if you're interested, you could read more about it.

And when people hear that and read this story—which I want to warn you, it's quite graphic and intense and it will disturb you—but it's there if you want to read more about it. And when people learn the details of the story and then think about how I show up and how their perception of me in life or from meeting me, they always tell me, "I'm so surprised that's your story. I would have never guessed."

And in today's episode, I want to talk about how I got to this point. Because when people do hear my personal story, the most common question that I've gotten over the years is: how do you get through something like that to get to a good place? So that's what I want to talk about today.

And if you're just tuning in, welcome to the Legendary Life Podcast. I'm your host, Ted Ryce, health coach and expert who's coached entrepreneurs, executives, and other high performers. Been doing this for 24 years, as I stated earlier. And this isn't just a career for me. It's a calling. It's a passion.

Because one of the ways that I've been able to get to a good place in life—because it's not just my brother that, I mean, the whole story is just crazy. And if you, you know, Google my name, don't Google my name, Google my brother's name, and the whole story will come up. If you Google me, what comes up is a lot of podcasts and things that I've done. But if you Google my brother's name, Jimmy Ryce, or my dad's name, Don Ryce, you can read a bit more about this story. And so, my sister committed suicide. My stepmother died from a heart attack and my dad died a couple of years ago, poor health.

And man, let me tell you, the turmoil that happened when each of these tragedies took place, it wasn't easy to get through. But I learned something really powerful after my brother was murdered.

And what had happened is, as I said, I was studying neuroscience in school that I wanted to either go into medicine or become a neuroscientist. Thankfully, I would have been stuck in a lab, probably doing research and hated it, had I gotten a PhD in neuroscience.

But none of that happened because I dropped out. I couldn't focus on school after my brother got murdered. It wasn't something I could do. And this was before anyone—like we have this talk, this conversation about trauma now, although when I hear people talk about it, I think they don't really understand what that means and what, you know, I think it's over.

I think people use that term without really understanding what that means. However, for me, what I went through, it was traumatic, as you could imagine.

And one of the things or the thing that started to turn my life around was I started exercising and I felt better. I noticed that even though when I exercised, it didn't change my external circumstances, I felt better anyway.

And as I got in better shape, as my muscles got bigger and stronger, and as my body fat got lower, and as my cardiovascular conditioning got better, I felt better. And I thought, I'm onto something here. Because I won't go into the details of what I went through after my brother's death, but it crushed me in every way possible. It crushed even my hopes about the future and crushed my beliefs about humanity.

And through exercise and focusing on my health, I was able to come back from that. And maybe you can relate as well.

Maybe you started to realize, hey, it's nice to look better and that's great and certainly can boost your confidence. But the real power in exercise and health in general, focusing on your health is you can feel better.

You are always one workout away from feeling better and that workout, it could be a walk outside. You can lift weights in the gym, could be a spinning class, could be so many things and you feel better no matter what's going on in your life.

And it was so powerful for me that I wanted to make it my life. And the way this happened, by the way, I was working in a job I really didn't like. I was working in receiverships and bankruptcies. There was a property in one of the worst, most violent areas of town in Miami.

And this is the late 1990s here. So very different than Miami now. Feels super safe in Miami now. I was just in Brickell, if you know where that is. I could walk around at 3 a.m. and not worry about that, worry about anything then. But this was back in the late 1990s. It was different.

And every day I came home from this situation and, you know, I felt bad for the people who were living in that area and what they had to go through on a daily basis.

I also felt bad for me because every day I came back, I was like, it's better than having no job and having no money. And I had nothing, I had nothing going for me. I needed to work. I had no savings.

I had no money. Um, yeah, I had to make something happen. So, I did it. However, I, as I came back from spending the day in this really rough area of town, doing my best to do right by the people I was taking care of in that apartment complex that I was running while it was being—what would you call it?—decided on in court? It was in a receivership.

I was also coming back and feeling like, man, this is really rough. And so, I would hit the gym in the building that I was living.

And I guess I should mention this: where I was living, where it was also in receivership, but it was a multimillion-dollar building, a millionaire's row in Miami Beach, 51 Seacoast if I remember correctly, and I was paying $500 a month for a 1,250-square-foot apartment.

So, I was in the worst area or one of the worst areas of town in Miami for most of the day that I would come back to this luxury apartment. And we got a deal there because it was in receivership. And, by the way, I say "we" because I had a roommate.

And I was only paying $250 a month, and my roommate was paying $250. And there were some problems with the apartment that I won't go into, but we didn't have a working kitchen. In fact, one of the issues was that the kitchen sink in the kitchen, the pipe would ooze. Not sure if it was sewage because it didn't smell, but it was oozing something. It was totally disgusting.

But as a 20— I think I was 21 at the time, because I became a personal trainer at 22—it was the best thing I had going for me. But man, that ooze, it was crusted over on the kitchen floor, it was just crazy. So anyway, I say that because I would come back to that building and while my kitchen was a mess, the rest of the apartment was quite nice.

And there was a good gym there. And it was in that gym where I was working off my frustrations of the day and really of my life, that I met personal trainers. And I was like, personal training, I'd never heard about that before. It's not something that they tell you about the career, or at least they used to. You didn't learn about personal training at the career fair in high school. Not where I went to high school, at least.

And I was like, you show up to the gym wearing tank tops. And there was a woman working there too, Malva. I believe she was Colombian. And I forget what the guy's name is, but he was Australian. And he would always show up in tank tops. She was always in a sports bra and workout shorts. And I was like, so you show up and you help clients get in shape and how much do you get paid for that?

They got paid $75 an hour for that. And for me, I forget how much money I was getting paid at the time, but it was not much. It was okay, it wasn't terrible, but it was at least less than half of that, for sure. Maybe $20 or $15 an hour.

And I made a leap. I ended up quitting that job. I did save up a little bit of money and I became a personal trainer.

And that's the story of how it happened. I got hired at the first place I interviewed at, which was the Eden Rock Hotel and Spa in Miami Beach. The hotel is still there, I don't know what the spa is.

And when I got a job at the hotel, they told me, "Listen, we hired you as a personal trainer, but really you're not going to be able to personally train anybody for two years." So, what they told me, they told me in the meantime, I was going to work on the floor, which there was a cardio room upstairs. If you've ever been to the Eden Rock.

And sometimes I would be in the cardio room, I would adjust straps on the machines for people and wipe down their sweat. Or I was in the gym below, putting away weights and generally looking after people in the gym downstairs.

And I didn't care. I was so happy to be, it was such a better environment. Although that would have been easy to achieve going from the worst neighborhood or one of the worst. I don't think it was the worst neighborhood in Miami, but one of the worst, top three worst neighborhoods for sure in the Miami area.

And now I'm in this, the hottest gym is what it turned out to be. Little sip of tea there, the hottest gym in Miami Beach. And it was just an incredible change. I was so excited, even if I had to be there at 6 a.m. sometimes to open up the gym. Oh, it was hard getting up at 5:30 to rush over and get there at six. But I started training people anyway. I started, I didn't care if I was going to get paid or not paid for it. I didn't care. I just knew it was the right thing for me. And interestingly enough...

I helped so many people for free that I guess someone asked my boss about it, the spa director, and said, "Listen, I want to train with this kid." And he came to me one day and said, "Listen, people are asking about you. So, we're going to waive that two-year probationary period, I don't know what he called it. We're going to waive that period and you can start training people right now."

And then I got my first clients. And that's how I got started in this business. And maybe a year after that, I got certified as a health coach.

And one of the things that I'm doing right now is this. What does this have to do with gratitude and thanksgiving? What I'm doing right now is, how often is it that we focus on where we're not in life? How often do we think about the future and say, "I don't have the house that I want or I don't make the amount of money I want or I don't live where I want or I'm not with the person I want to be with or I'm not, you know, whatever the case may be."

I'm not going on the type of vacations I want to go on. I'm not driving the type of car I want. You're focused on what you don't have.

And I think there's some good, I think that's good to a certain extent. You want to set goals and you want to continue to grow. The trap is when you never look back and see where you came from.

So, you're constantly measuring. It's like looking at the horizon and saying, "that's where I want to be." Except if you've ever noticed, if you—let's say you're on a boat and you move towards the horizon, you never get there. It just keeps moving with you. And so, you never arrive, and that can be a rough place to be. Versus looking back from where you came, and thinking about it for a moment. Because there is a version of me.

Even though right now, sometimes I struggle probably like you do. I'm not grateful for all the things that I have. In fact, I reluctantly went to a business event in Jamaica and then had to fly over to Cancun and set up for Playa del Carmen for a few months.

So, in a hot— I mean, you know, hot, it is hot temperature-wise, but it's also a hot place to be, a popular place to be during this time of the year. I'm like, "man, I wanted to stay in Europe." And we all kind of struggle with that, at least I do.

And I have to check myself and say, you know what? But think about that 21-year-old version of yourself who is just happy to make $12 an hour, sweat on cardio machines and putting away people's weights.

What would that guy do to have the life that you have right now? By the way, a great book on this is "The Gap and the Gain" by Dan Sullivan.

And the gap is what we just talked about, always focusing on the future, always focusing on the goalposts that you set for yourself, but as soon as you hit the goal, you just move the goalpost further. And so, it's this constant, "oh, I achieved this. Okay. What's next? Oh, I achieved the next thing. Okay. What's next after that?" And again, you want to keep doing that? You want to keep evolving as a person. I believe.

Tony Robbins says this is one of the six human needs is growth, and I agree with him. And it's one of the ways that I've either avoided ruts in my life or have gotten myself out of ruts. It's one of the ways that I've avoided falling into the trap of, "Oh, my life is terrible. My brother was killed. It's not right. It's not fair. The world isn't right. People are terrible," whatever, you know, not going to say I don't struggle with those thoughts sometimes especially if you scroll through social media too much.

But setting those goals is one of the things, it's like I've grown so much as a person and I continue to grow and it's just this great feeling. So, it's good to have the goalpost and to keep moving it.

You can't, or another thing Tony Robbins says, and I'm not a huge Tony Robbins fan, but I guess he's influenced my thinking and my life a lot, as he says, "you can't sit too long at the table of success." You need to keep moving. And at the same time though, we need to make sure we focus on the gain, what Dan Sullivan calls the gain.

Measuring backward. How much have you grown from, for me, I'm 46 now. How much have you grown in 25 years? Did I do that right? No, I did some, I added too many years there. So, oh my gosh. So, 21, I'm 46, so 25 years. 25 years. So, I've grown quite a bit beyond my wildest dreams, in fact worked with celebrities.

Pop bottles with models in the club in Miami Beach. Got really sick of that to be honest. And the yacht trips. Sounds cool, but after a while you're like, "I'm just getting drunk and everybody else is getting drunk and we're all escaping from our problems."

And then another thing happened, I realized as a personal trainer in Miami Beach, I think about the shift that I made in 2018, where I left it all behind and moved to Thailand to go full-time into this podcast and into my online coaching business. It completely changed my life doing that.

Actually, I could even go back before that and starting this podcast changed my life. And I don't think I would have made that move in 2018 if I hadn't started the podcast in 2013. Can you believe I've been doing this podcast for 10 years now? Crazy.

And one of the reasons that I bring this up is that I did this gratitude exercise. And I want to tell you something, you hear a lot about gratitude and journaling and journal, what are you grateful for? I'll be honest, I'm sure it's great, I haven't done it yet. It's not a practice of mine.

But what I do is I make sure I put myself in situations like I did last week when I was in Jamaica with my business coach.

And he took me through a goal-setting exercise and it was like this, and it really got me to reflect on how far I've come. And I'd like you to take a moment reflect on your life, you're probably already doing it. The gap in the gain, such a powerful concept and contrast certainly worth doing, writing down where you came from instead of what you don't have in life, right?

The goal-setting is always, again, about what we don't have, what we're striving for, and again, that's important but make sure you measure backwards too. One of the most important things that you can do, and it puts you in such a better place because the truth about high achievers, let me know if this resonates for you, I am not, you may hear some of my, you know, the celebrities I trained or, you know, moving to Thailand and building my business, maybe you're impressed by it, maybe you're not, and that's okay.

But the problem is I'm not impressed by it because I don't really think about it too much. I think about, you know, I woke up today, what do I have to do? I got a ton of stuff to do. "Oh man, I got a ton of stuff to do. I really want to just kind of take a day off, but I already took some time off, but I was in Jamaica." You know what I mean?

We get into this talk, this narrative, this story that happens in our head about just what we have to do, what we have to do, the daily grind and we get lost in it.

But going back, going to that event in Jamaica and going through that goal-setting made me realize, whoa, I've really come a long way.

And I learned something else from the goal-setting exercise because not only did I measure backwards and think about where I was 10 years ago, like the big 10X milestones when I went from working in that rough area of Miami to becoming a personal trainer in the hottest gym in Miami Beach. That was a 10 X jump. And when I started my podcast and all of a sudden I was having conversations with some of the biggest, most important people in the health and fitness and biohacking in industry, as well as entrepreneurship.

That was 10X too. And then I moved to Thailand, 10X. Then I hired my business coach when I finally figured out, because when I was in Thailand, by the way, I went through periods where we'd run our coaching business, but it wasn't like, "here's the thing that we're going to do, we're going to do coaching." And it was in Thailand that Giselle and I decided on that path forward. That was a 10X moment.

And then when I hired a business coach, 10X moment, got me to change as a person. That's what 10X versus 2X means. Another great book, by the way, that's the one I'm listening to right now by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy, I think is the other person's name who co-wrote it. Fantastic book, by the way, I'm listening to it on Audible.

So, what I want to ask you now is I want you to think about some of your biggest moments in your life and measure backwards. And what I'd also like to do is I'd love to hear your stories if you want to share them.

I'm on Instagram @ ted_ryce and I'm on Twitter, which is my number one platform or X, it's now called X, feels weird calling it X, I'm on X. It's like what X what is that? Uh, you know, not X, but I mean, you know, the app formerly known as Twitter.

I would love to hear your stories and how this hits you, and anything that you want to share with me. You can just mention me on something that you post, or you can DM me, and I'd love to hear from you.

And I want to wrap things up. But before I do, I want to also thank you because you listen to this podcast, you have helped me. You have helped me have these conversations with the amazing guests who've been on the show over the years.

You've helped me to keep going. Because of you, I've had purpose. Because when you reach out to me and let me know that you appreciate the show and it's made a difference for you, or if you've said reached out and given me a compliment on an interview that I did and shared how it affected you in a positive way, or if you've left us a review on Apple, on Apple Podcasts or iTunes or whatever it's called, Apple Podcasts, I think. If you've left us a review.

I just want to give you a heartfelt thank you because without you, none of this would have been possible.

And I want to even thank you, probably not listening, but even the people who've been critical of me over the years. I want to thank you. Probably not listening. Probably stopped listening a long time ago, but I even want to be thankful for them because I read all the reviews.

I read all the criticism. Now, if it's just a personal attack, I just delete it. I'm like, "oh, this person needs some help" and beyond my coaching ability to give it. But if you've given me some feedback, really appreciate that as well. So, to all my American listeners, I want to wish you a happy Thanksgiving.

Make sure you take a day off your diet and just enjoy it with your family. And to all my other non-American listeners, I really appreciate you. And I want to tell you that I'm grateful.

And that's it. So again, I would love to hear from you if you want to share something with me. I would love to make this more of a community, and the best way to do that is to reach out to me on social media. So, we'd love to hear from you. That's it for me.

Have an incredible holiday, and I'll speak to you soon.

Ted Ryce is a high-performance coach, celebrity trainer, and a longevity evangelist. A leading fitness professional for over 24 years in the Miami Beach area, who has worked with celebrities like Sir Richard Branson, Rick Martin, Robert Downey, Jr., and hundreads of CEOs of multimillion-dollar companies. In addition to his fitness career, Ryce is the host of the top-rated podcast called Legendary Life, which helps men and women reclaim their health, and create the body and life they deserve.

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