Building a bridge between worlds, people, and cultures through leveraging technology, the spoken word, and the pen, Vernon Foster II is no stranger to adventure and defying convention. 

When the world valued specialization, he sought to become a generalist. Vernon opted to treat his 20’s and early 30’s as an experiment for building skills and honing his philosophy. 

Little did he know nor envision that his lifestyle would serve as a catalyst for creating a global movement and framework that would inspire others to follow suit.

Tune into this episode to find out what Vernon believes failure is.

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full Episode:

  1. Turning tragedy into triumph
  2. A bridge between worlds, people and cultures.
  3. Failure is the feedback used to steer our ship.

Episode Highlights

Who is Vernon Foster II 

  • Author of The 7 Laws of Mindful Living: A Soul Manual.
  • Apart from being a former DJ, he is an entrepreneur, speaker and coach.
  • He is no stranger to adventure and defying conventionalism.
  • His philosophy and lifestyle have been a catalyst for creating a global movement that inspires others.

A Gold Star kid 

  • His father was killed in action (Persian Gulf) when he was two years old.
  • He was met with disappointment and defeat of not growing up with a father.
  • Although this was a huge loss, he had members of his community who poured into him, which contributed to the man he is today.

His love for music 

  • Vernon loved music from a young age, and it continues to inspire him in different ways.
  • As an avid sportsman throughout his schooling career, he needed to find something to channel his energy and creativity after graduating from college.
  • He followed his curiosity and his interest as he needed to stay busy.
  • This led to his love of music, where he started his first entertainment business when he was 19.

Time is finite  

  • At 25, Vernon was acutely aware that time was finite.
  • He knew that he would not always have many chances and opportunities to do the things he wanted to do, so he followed the call of the wild.
  • He never wanted to reach a point in his life where he regretted not pursuing his dreams.

The experiment

  • Vernon treated his 20s and 30s as an experiment for building skills and honing his philosophy.
  • In retrospect, he admits that he didn’t know what he was doing. He just followed the curiosity that called from within his soul.
  • It led him down a road of wild adventures from backpacking across countries to failed startups, DJing for thousands of people, and crowd surfing.

Square peg, round hole 

  • Society is set up, so that round pegs fit into round holes. Vernon is a square peg.
  • He had the courage, wisdom, and strength to walk away from a career which in turn disappointed his parents.
  • He lived in a manner that was not poverty per se, but it was really below the means of what he needed.
  • This was a way for him to understand and define the role he wanted to play in this world and the impact he wanted to make.

We’re all soldiers of the same struggle

  • Vernon says that this is one of the biggest lessons learned during this period.
  • While our race or backgrounds may differ, we are all fundamentally the same.
  • We will experience frustration, pain, doubt, loss, hurt, guilt, shame, and blame no matter who we are.
  • It doesn’t matter who you are or what status you’ve reached in life. None of us are exempt from this.

Vernon defines failure 

  • Failure is data.
  • It’s feedback and information that we can use to steer the rudder of our ship.
  • If we’re sailing and heading toward rough seas, you probably shouldn’t sail in that direction. 
  • Instead, turn the rudder a little bit and go in a different direction.

Bringing humanity back into the algorithm 

  • Vernon’s mission and philosophy are to build a bridge between worlds, people and cultures.
  • He has been to many places, seen many things, and hung out with all kinds of people from all walks of life.
  • He found that if we listen, we will find a bit of ourselves or one of our family members in that person’s story.
  • Instead of focusing on what makes us different, we need to focus on what we have in common as it allows us to be more empathetic.

Reaching equilibrium

  • Everything that Vernon has learned so far has helped to give him more balance.
  • He now sees that it is good with the bad, tragedy with triumph, and wins with the losses; you can’t have one without the other.
  • Having that insight and understanding has made him think and move differently.

Artists create their best work in times of pain 

  • Vernon wrote his book when things were really tough. He had a cloud over his head that he just couldn’t shake.
  • The only thing he thought to do was write. 
  • He got up every morning, did his version of meditation, and wrote.
  • He completed his book by using a timer for 90 minutes, every day for roughly 60 days. He used the Pomodoro Technique.

The law of letting go 

  • You are not your baggage.
  • Although we all have baggage, no one wants to talk about it. We’ve normalized normalcy.
  • We first need to have the self-awareness that the baggage is there and then address it.

The law of self-love 

  • The law of self-love is twofold. It’s boundaries and understanding that you are worth it.
  • We’re our own worst critics, and we need to get to a place where we love and accept ourselves for who we are.
  • Vernon says that it’s important to have an anti-bummer squad. People who pour into you and show you, love.

Filling your cup first 

  • Some of us have walls up and cannot accept people pouring into us because of past experiences.
  • We need to heal and deal with trauma so that we can truly love and accept ourselves.
  • We have to be able to pour into our cups before pouring into the cups of others.

How does he want to be remembered? 

  • Vernon Foster II wants to be remembered for how he made people feel and for his generosity.

3 Powerful Quotes from this Episode

Emotional Baggage   

  • :30 – “For you to be able to increase the success rate of you surviving and getting there. You want to be able to carry as little baggage as possible. What we tend to do in life is any destination we’re heading. We’re trying to carry 10,000 pounds on our back.”

Lesson learned

  • 15:14 -“Fundamentally, what I’m saying is that no matter who you are, or the status that you reach in life, you’re always going to experience frustration, pain, doubt, loss, hurt, guilt, shame, and blame.”

Equilibrium  

  • 21:10 – “Everything that I’ve learned his has helped given me more balance, and to see that there is the good with the bad, tragedy with the triumph, there are the wins with the losses, you can’t have one without the other.”

About Vernon Foster II

Building a bridge between worlds, people, and cultures through leveraging technology, the spoken word, and the pen, Vernon Foster II is no stranger to adventure and defying convention. When the world valued specialization, he sought to become a generalist. 

Vernon opted to treat his 20’s and early 30’s as an experiment for building skills and honing his philosophy. Little did he know nor envision that his lifestyle would serve as a catalyst for creating a global movement and framework that would inspire others to follow suit. 

In the last 18 years, Vernon’s knack for adventure has led him to start an entertainment business at 19, two stints living in Central and South America, becoming an award-winning speaker, DJing and MCing world-famous EDM parties, and moving to NYC with two suitcases to help build a tech startup. 

His work has been featured at Entrepreneur, General Assembly, The Good Men Project, and Podcast Movement. Lastly, Vernon mentors and coaches a community of game-changers seeking to develop diverse career skills and dormant talents for good.

Connect with Vernon

The 7 Laws of Mindful Living
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Twitter
Linkedin
Youtube

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Thanks for listening,
Darrell