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Going Through Life At Our Highest Level with Doug Bench

You're in for an extraordinary treat because we are talking with Doug Bench. He's one of my most favorite people. He has an amazing story, having gone from lawyer to judge to entrepreneur to educator and having started many different adventures. He is an avid Ohio State fan and we talk about that.

We talk about his dad being a former professional football player and being coached and mentored by Woody Hayes, and Woody Hayes actually staying at the house. I know for a lot of the WealthFit Nation, you might know what all that means and for special diehard football fans, you're in for a treat because he takes us and shares that. I thought that was incredibly special.

In addition, he talks about the mindset that his dad instilled in him at an early age. You'll discover that he lost his dad very early on but before he did, his dad gave him some incredible advice about how to go through life. How to keep learning, keep growing and keep getting after it, which has led to his incredible journey and his path.

The other thing I want to share with you about Doug is he's read over 100,000 pages of scientific research on the brain. I equate this to 300,000 pages because it’s like you read a book and that's pretty simple and straightforward. However, you read brain science. There are words in there that you’ve got to go look up. It's triple the amount of work, if not more. He reads that because of a life incident that occurs. It led him down a whole path that we all now can benefit from. He talks about how we can achieve at the higher levels backed by brain science. Maybe some of you have heard this before, but there is science behind it and he talks about that. He walks us through how we can achieve at the highest levels on his findings.

You're going to hear a couple of times about death in this show. You definitely want to have the stomach for it. You'll see and discover how he has used that as the foundation to create new things in his life, his own death, his mother's death and how that has been important. Something you should know about Doug is he's got the pedigree of an attorney, a lawyer, a judge and yet he's got the chops as an entrepreneur. Someone that is truly passionate about educating and learning in life and that's one of the valuable lessons he gives.

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It's January 12th, 2015, Arlington, Texas. The opposing team is favored by seven and starting for them is a Heisman winning quarterback who helped take out what could have been the best team in the land, Florida State. However, lining up on the other side of the ball is now Dallas Cowboy, Ezekiel Elliott. Your Ohio State Buckeyes would take the College National Championship that year. Doug, you're one of the biggest Ohio State Buckeyes’ fans that I know. Have you always been that way?
Yes. My father eventually became a minister before he lost his life and he played football for Cleveland. He went to undergraduate school at Bowling Green. He played football atBowling Green. They had a young coach there that left shortly after and went to Army to be their coach. The guy's name was Woodrow Wilson Hayes. He taught my father how to snap the ball on long snaps for field goals and punts. Basically, that's what my dad did. He took me to my first Ohio State game when I was ten years old. I blessed it that we would have lousy seats. We were in the end zone of the open end of the horseshoe. Every scream and yell in that stadium would blast you right in the face. It just got me so high that I wanted to go back every year.
My dad would take us to a game every year and Woody Hayes would come speak at our high school athletic banquet and stay at our house. I used to sit up on the balcony with my feet hanging over, listening to my dad and Woody Hayes, talk about war strategies, general patent and all kinds of things until the middle of the night. I wish I'd have been older to understand it all. I've got a son who went to Ohio State. I got a law degree at Ohio State, my daughter and her husband and three grandsons live about three miles from the stadium. I'd pretty much say there aren't many Buckeye fans bigger than me, but it hurts when they lose.
Doug, I'd be remiss if I didn't ask. What's up with the “The?” When fans talk about The Ohio State University, there's that emphasis. Is there some story behind this?
Not really. Nobody made a decree it's going to be “The Ohio State University." The Board of Trustees did it and then some athletes just started picking up on it. It just got carried away. Every time on a foot pro game, if somebody’s from The Ohio State, they'll throw that “The” in there. I never heard of it when I was a kid or growing up there in Columbus. I don't know other than that.
You mentioned being a lawyer. You went to The Ohio State University and you got your law degree there. You eventually would become a judge. I never asked you this, what was your specialty?
As a lawyer, I started out as the very first lawyer in the State of Ohio to advertise fees. I did so before it was lawful to advertise fees. I did that on purpose to cause a controversy. I wanted to be the test case to go to the Supreme Court not allowing lawyers to advertise was a violation of the First Amendment. There are a couple of lawyers that ran a law clinic out in Phoenix who beat me to the Supreme Courton it. They became friends after that and they advertised fees for a clinic in Arizona, which is where I got the idea. We did storefront law and all the simple things, but we charge about one-tenth of what the downtown Ivory Tower lawyers charge. We built up quite a clientele and quite a bunch of enemies in the Ivory Tower law offices.
After a while, other lawyers started referring tough cases to me. We won several very tough cases. I relished taking cases that no other lawyer would handle or that four or five lawyers had rejected. I love that. We became a trial lawyer and one of my best friends as a lawyer became the presiding judge. He and I used to houseboat together all the time at Lake Cumberland in Kentucky. He asked me to do a favor. There was a judge elected and about six weeks later, unfortunately the Court of Appeals judge passed away. This guy that just got elected, got picked and moved to the Court of Appeals. My friend said, “Doug, would you please fill in that judgeship?” I did it as a favor to one of my best friends. I liked it for a year or two and then it wasn't fun anymore. Lawyers like to play games. I didn't allow that in my courtroom. We went on from there.
One of the cases that sticks out to you, one of those tough ones that was referred over. Do you have any that stick out in your mind as something you’re proud of or something that was interesting?
A guy came into my office. He had been shot in the temple. He was an FBI agent. He was studying to take the bar exam and when he got shot, he got amnesia. The question became whoever shot him, do they have some liability to him? They did but the guy who shot him was a security guard at a hospital and had not a lot of assets to attach if he was found liable for the gunshot. My guy was leaving a bar, probably heavily intoxicated. He was weaving on the road. The security guard was on his way to work at the hospital, 11:00 PM or 2:00 AM, I forget. The security guard was in full uniform, including weapon. When he saw my guy weaving, he went up and forced him off the road. He went back there and said, "You're not driving anywhere. You're intoxicated. Hand me the keys." A fight ensued. Somehow the security guard's gun went off into the temple of my client. He recovered. The security guard drove off and left him. Another motorist found him and took him to the hospital. He survived. He had gone to five other lawyers trying to get them to represent him. They all rejected the claim for various reasons.
One, they thought the security guards got no money. We could maybe win this case, but what would he recover? Nothing. All of them rejected it. That's when he came to my office. I listened to his story and said, "This guy just lost four years of law school education." That has some substantial value. Is there some deep pocket I can get to? Our argument was accepted by the court. I took the case and we went to court and argued that because the hospital did not provide the security officers a locker room or a place to store their weapon, they had to come to work in uniform carrying their weapon. My argument from that then became he was on the job when he left home. That would make the hospital liable, which had very deep pockets.
We won that lawsuit and got a very large amount of money. What's so outstanding about this case that turns my stomach to this day, he had gone to another lawyer. Mind you, he was shot in the brain. He wasn't working on full functionality. He went to another lawyer while his case with me was pending and he filed bankruptcy. He didn't tell me. Apparently, he either didn't tell the other lawyer about our lawsuit or the other lawyer was negligent, probably both. The court took all of the judgment except $5,000 that they gave to him for lost wages.
I petitioned the court to get my attorneys fee because I worked my fanny off in that case and we had a big long trial. We had witnesses to pay and all kinds of things. The judge was a friend of mine. He said, "Yes, we're going to give you your fee," which was large six figures. Dustin, put yourself in my client's shoes. He's the one that got shot in the head. He's the one that can't remember anything he learned at law school. He gets $5,000 out of a multimillion-dollar judgment. I get six figures for a fee. Do you suppose that would tick him off just a little?
I think so.
Me and six or seven or eight other lawyers, judges, prosecutors and public defenders would get together every other Tuesday and play poker. This one particular Tuesday night, the poker game was to be at my house. They all came into the house with two things under their arms. One is a twelve-pack of beer and the others a can of quarters. We'd play quarter at any poker. I got this phone call from a friend of mine who is a lieutenant at the Sheriff's Department and said, "Doug, do you know so and so, and how do you know him?" “Yes, I know him. He was a client of mine.” He said, "Would you know of any reason why he'd want to kill you?" I said, "He's probably pretty pissed off. Yes." “We have it from a very reliable source that he has gone to a bar and were soliciting people to burn your house down.”When the guy he solicited found out that I had young children, he backed out and went to the police.
He said, "We believe that he is preparing to come try to burn your house down." I said, "When?" He said, "Tonight." I said, "Are you crapping me?" He said, "Don't worry about it. We've got two guys at your place right now. Look out to the East, look out to the West." There were two unmarked cars there, who I recognized the guys. I called them my poker buddies and said, "We might want to cancel poker tonight. This guy's supposed to come and try to kill me." They said, “No, we're not cancelling. We're all coming over there for the action." I said, "Okay, but leave your beer at home." They didn't. Here they came about two-thirds of them with guns. I was going, "Oh my God." I called my friends at the Sheriff Department. I told them I had a couple of judges, a couple of prosecutors in my house, all with weapons, “Please watch my house.”He had been working for a doctor who fired him and they caught him after he set fire to that doctor's office. He was on his way to my house with two five-gallon cans of gasoline. I had to testify at his trial. I felt so sorry for him, but sometimes the law doesn't work right.
I've heard your share of stories throughout the years. That's the first time hearing that one. That was a good one. We met when you were doing contracting CEU stuff. You had retired. You had left Ohio and now you were down in Florida. You had started a business in contractor CEUs. What prompted you to come out of retirement? Were you bored?
I was very blessed with my law practice. After I was a judge, I went back into private practice. Being a judge did nothing but build up my practice when all these other lawyers were complaining about me. I was very successful. I had young children. We had a son who was not planned. He came along ten years later andI said, "My two older children, I was a lawyer. I was working twelve, fourteen, sixteen hours a day, I'm not doing that with this son." I retired at age 44 and made a mistake. I asked my children, “Where do you want to live?” A dumb question to ask kids in the middle of the winter in Ohio, "Disney World, dad." We moved to Orlando. I thought I had enough money to live on, but that never works out. I saw in the paper where this guy had continuing education classes for contractors and he was looking for an instructor.
A huge part of my law practice was construction law because it’s interesting. I had no intention of doing construction law whatsoever, but when the controversy started over me advertising fees when it wasn't legal to do yet, there was a press conference and the presiding judge was asked by a reporter. It was on all the TV stations. They ask the presiding judge, "Judge, do you believe in what this young lawyer, Doug Bench, is doing?" He said, "Absolutely not, I don't believe in it. The law is a profession, not a bunch of plumbers, brick-layers and roofers.”Rodney Love was his name. He couldn't help me anymore because that brought every contractor, roofer, plumber, swimming pool contractor in a five-county area to my office because what do you mean we're not a profession? I'm going to that lawyer. That was perfect. We got swamped with construction cases. We did construction law plus our trial work and that's how we got into the construction knowledge.
I called this guy. I said "I'm bored. I'm playing golf every day." You’ve got to keep your brain active as you well know. I said, "I'm going to go teach. I love teaching. I'll go teach for him." I'm a slow learner. It took me three years to figure out I could make a lot more money if I did it for myself. I broke out on my own. I'm now in our 21st year of doing that and I love it. We've seen over 70,000 contractors. We advertise to them through email and Facebook and I didn't even know how to get on Facebook. My grandkids had to show me. It's all worked out tremendously. We go on a couple cruises with them each year. If we get enough guys to go, the cruise line pays our way. My wife likes that. The next one is to Alaska. We're excited about that. We've got 60 contractors going with us. That will be a blast.
In the 21years of doing it, what's been some surprising lessons in building out that contracting CEU education business?
The word that pops into my head is differentiation. You taught me that. You've got to set yourself apart. In Florida, there are 323 state-licensed providers of continuing education for contractors. I have the second largest CE business for contractors in the state of Florida. We did not get that way by doing what everybody else did. Everybody else was doing it in two days. Taking a break every hour, having a lunch hour, doing it in two days because you’ve got to get fourteen credit hours every two years. I said, "How can I set myself apart?" I started reading a rule and the rule said each hour of continuing education shall include 50 minutes of instruction time, classroom time. I said, "Not 60 but 50. 50 times 14 isn't 14 hours, it's less than that.”I read on down in the fine print of the rules where it said that the instructor may use up to four minutes of each hour for administrative matters. An hour credit isn't 60 minutes, it's 46. I said,"If we start at 6:30 or 7:00 in the morning, which these guys are all used to being up at that hour, can I get it done in one day?”They're all driving these big F250 pickups or Duallys or whatever that gets about six miles to the gallon. They don't want to drive back for a second day. I did the calculations.
If we started at 7:00, we did not take a lunch hour and they agreed to bring something to snack on and go straight through. We could get it all done in one day. I sent out emails. You helped me design postcards to mail out to these guys that were twice the size of anybody else's postcard that said, "All in one day, no kidding." Our business tripled as a result of that. The key to me was a differentiation. Treat them as you were they. Meaning there are a lot of professors, so to speak, or a lot of lawyers that think they're aloof to the common man. I am commoner. I acted like one and these guys, they trust me after all these years and we have a lot of fun too. We throw a lot of humor into it. Setting yourself apart, that was the big key for me and now just about everybody's doing it all in one day. I was the first. We've got the most business.
Doug, you've built this business and when I met you, you always have these ideas. You always seem very entrepreneurial. I wanted to ask, as an attorney, you had your own practice. That's entrepreneurial for sure. You went into judge and then you went back. It seems like you've been starting businesses or monetizing ideas at a faster pace looking at it now. Why do you think that's changed for you in your life? Are you excited by opportunity? Do you love making money? Why do you think this has changed for you?
Two things. Number one, if I can use a word, I'm a money whore. I am very much motivated by making money. My wife thinks that's a wonderful thing because she's an expert at spending it on horses, donkeys and rescue dogs. The other big key was it started with my dad. We lost him when I was thirteen in a car accident. There was one of the best lessons I ever got from him. He was a pro football player in Ohio, so everybody knew my father. He was 6’5”. Here comes his son, Doug. I'm sure he's going to be a good football player too. They invited me to go out for the freshman football team when I was in the seventh grade and I made the team. One of the things I learned, Woody Hayes taught my dad how to snap the ball on punts and field goal tries. My dad taught me how to do that.
I got to play on the freshman team as a seventh grader on every punt. We didn't have a field goal kicker then. The starting center got injured. I was going to be the starting center in the next game. I was scared to death. I was a little guy. They're all these big guys. I'll never forget it, my dad because I was whining about it to him, he said, "Shut up, get your ass out there and screw up. That's how you get good. Get out there and screw up." This is from a minister. Then I was no longer afraid to screw up. That I learned at a very young age. I carried that with me into being different as a lawyer, being different as a continuing education provider.
This life-changing event, life entrepreneurial, accelerating event occurred in my life when I lost my mother to Alzheimer's. She raised my sister and brother and I. After we lost my dad, she put all three of us through college. She was a registered nurse and she was entrepreneurial on her own. She did other jobs in our little town in Ohio. It was just astounding that she got us all through college. When I lost her, that was horrific to me. She had Alzheimer's. We saw it coming when she would have to hold on her lap a list of her grandchildren's names and what they look like and their ages, so she could recognize them when they came to visit.
We lost her and that scared me. For one thing, I hardly even knew about what Alzheimer's was and I certainly couldn't spell the word. I was afraid it was going to hit me. I started reading everything I could get my hands on about the human brain. I learned that from my dad, “Get out there and screw up.” That's how you get better and how you learn. I got it from my mom because she learned so many different things to make money to put us all through college. The first book I bought was called The Owner's Manual for the Brain. It was a godsend that that's the first book I read. I bought that one because it was a thickest. It was like 600 pages. It was published in 1993. I was reading it in 1999, six years later, and all through his book he kept saying, “Here are some new discoveries that are going to be made just in the next five years with the new brain imaging equipment they're developing that could help people achieve at a much greater level. You're going to be able to see a brain operating in real time, a live brain. Not studying dead brain tissue, but looking at impulses traveling through a brain in real time.” I'm going, "He said within the next five to seven years, and his book was written in '93. I'm reading it six years later. It must be happening right now."
That just excited me to no end. I started looking for other books and research studies. I arranged to go to California to a conference, a brain symposium every year in January out of the Jonas Salk Institute, which I learned about in my research where twenty of the world's leading neuroscientist are doing their research. I kept reading these things, that they were discovering about how the human brain works, neurogenesis and many other things. About how you can form new brain cell connections throughout your entire life, not just when you're a child. I'm going, "If I put this into action, I can pretty much do anything I want to do. Nothing anymore is impossible. Get out there and screw up."
I started noticing that my brain was working better. That's when I came up with this idea for all in one day classes where we could shorten the breaks and skip the lunch hour. All those ideas started popping into my head as if it was magic or something and it wasn't. What was happening is I was applying without consciously knowing about the things I was learning in all these scientific studies and research. I said, "I've got to share this information. I've got to help people revolutionize their own brains functioning because I'm learning you can achieve anything with what they learned about the brain." I started having a couple of seminars where I build up a system they could buy from me. I had a couple of seminars andI didn't sell a thing. I lost money on both the first two seminars. I couldn't understand it because I was a good teacher. I taught high school science before I went to law school and I was teacher of the year. I know I'm a good teacher. What's wrong with these people? Aren't they listening to me?
I didn't know how to teach or how to sell when I teach. I had a good friend from Naples, Florida who knows you and knows your former partner and said,"You need to go see these guys."I said, "Who are they and where are they?" They're in Tampa. At the time, I lived in Orlando so that was not very far. I went over and learned how to sell. Our seminars about the brain started doing phenomenal. We've written four books. I'm working on book number five on the brain now. Revolutionize Your Brain! was my first bestseller. The biggest bestseller was the next one called Do It Yourself Brain Surgery. That's been going good. We've been doing seminars all over the place, speaking for some big names across the country like Mark Victor Hansen, Jack Canfield, John Assaraf and Les Hewitt. We love helping people. When I get an email from one of these contractors that says,"I bought your system and you're not going to believe what I did with it." I get goosebumps hearing about how it helped them come up with a moneymaking idea. We're now over about 120 people who have made over $100,000 or more from the information we learned and shared with them. It's been very rewarding.
You've read over 100,000 pages of research. It's one thing to read 100,000 pages of anything, but the research I think takes almost 300,000 I think is that the media terms in that work. I think it's funny, you've got this book called Do It Yourself Brain Surgery. You've got all this data in your head. You've looked at all these things. What would you say some of the big key takeaways or the big things that people can take away from your knowledge? What are some things to help us achieve at a higher level?
In our first book, we put together sixteen revolutionaries and some not so revolutionary, but you had to hear why they work. That was the big key to me. Everybody always says, "It's all about the mindset. You’ve got to have a positive mental attitude." I say crap to that. How do you do all that? How do you get a positive mental attitude? It's very easy once you apply brain science technologies. For example, one of the most exciting books I read was called The New Brain by a neuroscientist named Restak.
This blew me away. It was one of the books I was reading at about 3:00 in the morning. I was sitting in my leather chair in the bedroom. My wife was in bed, sound asleep. I read it and it just blew me away. He said, "The scientists are making such phenomenal discovery with the new brain imaging equipment. It means that if you stimulate your brain, no matter what your age, your brain can form new connections. It will increase the total number of connections you have in your brain and increase your capacity for achievement." Are you kidding me? You're not who you think you are. You are who you really are. If you know how your brain works, you can make it better and achieve an unbelievably higher level and it starts so simply. We've got sixteen steps.
Step number one is supersize your greeting. All you have to do is every day, every person you greet, even if you're in a crap mood, even if you got diarrhea, I don't care if you got the flu, every person you greet, give them a positive greeting. No matter what. Even if you don't believe it, because scientists learned that five-sixths of your brain believes what you tell it, not what's real. Only one-sixth of your brain, the conscious part knows the difference. Five outweighs one. If you tell yourself you're fantastic, you're terrific, you're tremendous, you will become fantastic, terrific or tremendous. Those are two of the biggest takeaways, in my opinion.
Not to mention the fact that this neurogenesis, which is what it's called, when your brain forms new connections through stimulating your brain, that means you're creating new connections. I'm 73 years young. I got brand new connections in my brain that were formed yesterday and the day before that. That's a way to avoid Alzheimer's, to keep creating new brain cell connections. It's astounding once you learn how your brain works. In Revolutionize Your Brain, we give them the sixteen steps that are based on brain science. We give them the brain science discoveries it's based on. In the second book, Do It Yourself Brain Surgery, there are 101 short little chapters that are all steps you can take, not all at once, over the rest of your lifetime to greatly improve your achievements and keep it going that way at the higher level. You know the old adage, “If you don't use it, you lose it,”which is true. You’ve got to keep using it.
Are you of the camp that we're only using a very small percentage of our brain?
No. Explained, we are using 100% of our brain all the time or else you're dead, number one. Number two, none of us is using the total capacity what our brain has to form new connections and do new things. That's the key there. You're always using your brain 100%. It would be nice if that 100% worth 300 billion neuron connections instead of 20 billion. The other 80 you killed off by drinking Jack Daniels or something. You can form new connections. It's called neurogenesis, birth of new brain cells and we teach you how to do that.
I was very fortunate to see the Florida ranch and see the horses when you talk about your wife having a fine taste for horses and rescue dogs, which was a treat. Along the way you always had this vision, this dream to have a ranch out West. You did that and at the ranch, you ended up turning that into a business but not before something crazy happens along the way. Will you talk us through that?
That ranch in Colorado was a dream for a number of years. Our work with the contractors and our bestselling brain training books allowed us to buy a dream ranch high in the mountains of Northern Colorado. It's almost 7,000 feet in elevation and we had it for three years. It was phenomenal. All the grandkids came out for Christmas, the year the Buckeyes won the championship. The day I went out to resurface the deck, something horrible happened. I couldn't do it. I thought I was having a heart attack. I went in and laid down. I couldn't breathe. I laid down for 45 minutes. I went back out and tried it again. I couldn't do any work. I did that for three days until my flight back home to Florida.
When I got back home, my wife asked me how the deck looked and I had to fib to her, "It looks great. I think I have to go get a checkup at the doctors because I'm getting up there in age and I haven't been in the doctor in a long time." She said, "Okay." We went to a doctor in Gainesville who did all kinds of tests and he came back into the room and shock myself. The first thing he said was, "Is your wife with you?" I said, "She's out in the waiting room." He said, "You might want to have her come in." Those are words you don't want to hear from your doctor.
He proceeded to tell me and my wife that I had chronic bronchitis, asthma, emphysema and COPD. I had known about emphysema because my mother before her Alzheimer's she had emphysema. She had hay fever for years and it developed into emphysema. I knew about that, but I didn't know anything about COPD except that commercial that had an elephant sitting on a guy's lap. I asked him what it was and he said, "It's chronic pulmonary disease. It's a deterioration of the alveoliin your lungs. I have to tell you, there is no cure. If something else doesn't take your life first, it's a terminal disease." That shook me and my wife up pretty good. The first thing I was demanding from him was,“How long have I got?” Doctors don't ever want to tell you that. They do not want to tell you that. I forced him to. I played my lawyer role, prosecutor role in and he told me, "An average is around twenty months, but that's only an average at your current condition." That was pretty shaky news. On the way out, he told my wife that she should start getting my affairs in order. I went home to die. All this positive stuff I had in my head, it doesn't always work on yourself.
I came home to the farm here in Florida and I sat and watched the horses in the back pasture waiting to die. Unknown to me, my wife was spending six, eight hours a day, sometimes four hours in the middle of the night on the computer doing research. What she discovered after about four months of research, I was diagnosed in April of 2015. In September, my wife without telling me, discovered that cannabis oil, the oil from the freaking marijuana plant could combat COPD. Now me, I was a prohibitionist. I put over 300 people in jail for marijuana offenses when I was a judge. I thought it was a devil's weed. It was addictive. It led people to harder drugs. It was a gateway drug and all this crap that our government was feeding us about cannabis.
My wife knowing I was a prohibitionist, she went out to our ranch in Colorado, without telling me why she was going out there. Her reason was that Colorado's a legal state for cannabis. She bought some cannabis oil and illegally brought it back to Florida. She showed it to me and said, "I want you to take some of this." I said, "What is it?" She said, "It doesn't matter what it is. You just need to take some of this." "No. What is it? I’ve got to know what it is." She said, "Essentially, it's an essential oil. I've been studying online. It may help your COPD, don't you want to stay alive?"
We fought for six days. I said, "I'm not touching that stuff. It's illegal. Get out of the house and take it with you." On day seven, my wife comes down the stairs carrying a suitcase. I said, "What are you doing?" She said, " I'm leaving." I said, “What do you mean you're leaving?” She said, “I'm leaving.” I said, “Won't you help yourself?” She said, “I'm going to go live with Molly and the kids down in Orlando.” I said, "You're kidding." She said, “Watch me.” On day seven I said, "I'll take it. What do I do? I'm not going to take it during the daytime though. I've never had this in my mouth ever and I don't know what's going to happen. Am I going to get high?" She said, "I don't think so." I said, “You don't think so?” She said, “Shut up. You're going to take it.” On the seventh night sitting on the edge of the bed, she got out of a tiny little BB sized drop of this oil. She put it on my finger. She told me to put it under my tongue. It tasted like crap. I was sitting there waiting for something to happen. Am I going to get high? Am I going to start giggling and say stupid stuff? You know all the myths about cannabis.
I looked up and there was my wife staring down at me. I said, "What's going on am I acting silly?" She said, "Doug, it's 8:00 in the morning. You just slept eight hours for the first time in over a year." I said, "You're kidding." “No, you didn't wheeze. You didn't hack. You didn't crackle. You didn't cough. You slept like a baby.” I said, "I'll take another drop." That started it, taking cannabis oil, which at the time was illegal. It wasn't yet lawful in Florida and here was this retired judge, who put people away, now committing a felony on a daily basis to try to save our life. It was six months later, five and a half actually, at the end of February in 2016, I went back to that doctor after every night taking a drop of cannabis oil under my tongue. High THC cannabis oil, but a small drop so I wouldn't get high.
I went back to that doctor and he was shocked, perplexed and amazed. We did all the same test when he diagnosed me, and he came back in and said, “You are asymptomatic. You no longer have any symptoms of COPD. I can't find any scar tissue. I can't find any progress.” He says, "What are you doing, Doug?" I said, "I'll tell you straight up what I'm doing. I'm breaking the law on a daily basis and I'm not stopping." That was the last time I went to see that doctor. I have been doing it every night since. I've never been high and my wife says to me, "We've got to tell the contractors," because I see 5,000 to 6,000 contractors year. They've got to know that this thing that our government says is evil may very well save lives. I said, "I can't tell them in class. If I tell them, I could lose my license with the state, I have to be licensed to teach that course."
We decided it was worth the risk if it saved one life. We started telling the contractors in class and they started emailing me, emailing my wife about their relative that has this disease that needs help, “Can you educate them? Can you get them some of that?” The answer always had to be, “No, we can't get you that. It's illegal.” Knowing we could get it for them in Colorado, but it's still illegal to bring it back to Florida. After we had told about three or four classes, this6’5” contractor comes up to me with tears running down his cheeks saying, "Doug, can you please help us? Our daughter has intractable epilepsy and she has 20 to 25 seizures a day. Anyone of which could kill her, could you please help us?" I just said, "Yes, I can help you."
I had a daughter my own at one time. I'm getting emotional about it. We violated the law and we got her parents to Colorado, to our ranch and it gave us another idea. We started having retreats at our ranch where people from Florida would come out and we'd bring in a doctor. We take them to a growth facility. They learn everything about cannabis as a medicine. We even brought in these entrepreneurs who infused coffee with CBD oil. It's fantastic, it's helpful, beneficial, a pain reliever and everything else all at the same time.
We've been doing seminars all over the state, my wife and I. We've done webinars for over a year. Thousands of people who have been on our webinars to learn about cannabis as a medicine, not stoner cannabis. Anybody can abuse anything, anything from sugar to apples to Oreo cookies to cannabis, anything can be abused. We're talking about using it as a medicine. I have been totally symptom-free now since February of '16. Way past the date I was supposed to be dead but that's not going to happen. We've got another seminar down in Naples, Florida. We're going to have standing room only there. We'll have a doctor there to help educate. We go over the important things about cannabis as a medicine, including the history of why it's illegal. You know me, I'm writing a book on it.
Doug, your life is amazing. What you've done, the reinvention, the things you've started, the experiences you've lived in. I'm curious because you've had reversal in some areas of your life on things you believed in and put people away for, what advice would you right now give your younger self? What would you say to your younger self now knowing what you know?
Number one, never ever stop learning. Have an insatiable appetite for learning, always continually learn new things. I am so glad especially getting hit with this COPD. Had I not studied the brain, I would have been so negative every day, but I studied the brain and knew how you can form new connections in your brain to overcome anything negative. One of our techniques is called stomping the ants. We all have automatic negative thoughts that come into our nonconscious brain, which is five-sixths of our thinking. It almost always overpowers the one-sixths of the conscious brain but if you know how the brain works, you can keep that from happening. Never stop learning. Learn how your brain works and get out there and screw up.
Doug, I appreciate your time. I could talk hours because you have amazing stories to share. For folks that want to stay up on everything that you're up to in the world, where can folks find out more?
We're in a process right now of totally redoing our website. I'm going to direct them to our Facebook page called Rethink Green. It's a Facebook fan page. We have a second one called Doug, The Brain Training Guy. Those two pages on Facebook will give them a ton of information. I’ve got to warn them though, if they want to learn about cannabis and they go to Rethink Green, you better have a footlong sandwich or two because you're going to be seeing some tremendous information, research studies, reports and videos on there that will help people understand this miracle medicine called cannabis.
Doug, thank you big time. I appreciate who you are as a person, your desire to learn and your willingness to share and say, "I've done things wrong a lot in my life and I keep screwing up and I keep getting better and marching forward. Thanks again for being on the show. Thanks for doing what you do
You're welcome, Dustin.

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