One of the quickest ways to become your best version is to model yourself on people who have ‘made it’. For Adrian Starks’ that is Les Brown. Many things about Adrian remind me of Les Brown – his smile, his confidence, his unquenchable thirst for knowledge and obsession to help people be their best; the memorable and motivational messages he posts everyday on his social media platforms.
Up until just recently I had no idea who Adrian Starks was. Without getting all guru I am convinced we came across each other through the Law of Attraction. Like attracts like. Both Adrian and myself are on the same path – working towards fulfilling our purpose of helping as many people as we can become their best version in all areas of life.
One of the criteria for Success Talk Magazine is the interviewee must be serving themselves by serving others. As you will discover, Adrian Starks not only meets that criteria, he gives it a whole new meaning.
So grab a coffee or drink of choice and the enjoy the following interview.
Thanks for doing interview Adrian. You’re known as Adrian ‘The Champ’ Starks – I’m curious, how did that nickname come about?
Thanks for the opportunity, Michael.
I was given the nickname “champ” by my uncle as a very young child. I was a very high spirited young boy with a lot of energy and the ability to say “no” at the drop of a hat. I loved adventure and never backed down from a challenge. I loved to give my best and became very disappointed when I was not able to. My uncle also believed, as well as most of my family, that I was different and was going to be someone great. He could feel it and just respected my tough spirit and unwillingness to give up on anything I attempted. Thus I inherited the nickname ‘champ.’ To this very day he still addresses me as that name when speaking with me!
You studied Exercise Science/Biomechanics and now you’re a speaker/author/coach – what made you say “Stuff my university degree…I’m going to help people be their best version in life. “
I wouldn’t say I stuffed it so to speak! I was able to use it throughout the years in order to work at multiple health facilities and a major hospital.
There is a point in your life when you feel unfulfilled and tired of being in the rat race just to make ends meet. I realized that I had the ability to change lives with my own creative authenticity but still felt like I was not living my own words so to speak. I wanted to be in the arena of speaking and writing and by being mediocre and just being comfortable paying bills, I came to a realization that every year ended the same.
A little money saved up but no fulfillment that made me want to get up in the morning and give that Champion attitude. I wanted to travel the world, inspire my way and have options as well as more control over my life.
This hunger moved me into ACTION.
What have you written as an author and how can readers get a hold of your work?
I am in the process of writing and publishing my own book. I am a co-author in the book entitled FAIL (Faithfully Allowing It Leverage). I am one of 5 authors contributing to this wonderful masterpiece of how to deal with failure in your live. My chapter is called “Life’s Golden Moments”. It is through challenges (life and comfort zone) and facing them head on that we shine like gold, because it is in those moments where we discover what we are really made of. You know Michael, we are way more valuable than we assume ourselves to be. FAIL is an international best seller and can be found on Amazon.com.
The caterpillar got tired of being on the ground. It got tired of just being at the level of its life where it’s at its lowest…it knew it had to get higher.
Travelling on planes, going on scary rides and up tall office buildings, etc. don’t scare me… anymore.
I used to struggle with heights and would have mild panic attacks; on one or two occasions I even froze up from fear. I overcame this fear by creating and doing Next Level Comfort Zone Challenges. I’m interested to hear your perspective on fear as a coach and/or how you would coach someone through something like this?
The issue with FEAR is that it is mental. Now I am not saying that if you are facing a very dangerous situation or person where immediate harm could come to you, to just embrace it because it is mental.
Use your better judgement and remove yourself from the situation or person that could bring you harm. But if you are scared to participate in something because you are just unaware and frightful of the outcome, I would say to move into action despite that fear.
We must either act or retreat. Most of us have fear because of coming out of our comfort zone. We fear what we can’t see right away or control Michael. Find someone to do that very action with you. That could also help.
The idea is to act upon that which you fear. So even if you just get on a smaller ride as you mentioned the roller coaster before, that would be a step closer to the big ride. Sometimes we just need to take on a smaller portion of the challenge to gain the confidence to take on the overall problem.
For example, I took swimming lessons at age 32 because of an accident I had as a child while trying to learn how to swim. Eventually I had to tell myself to just get back in the water and learn.
Now when you have someone teach you, they always start on the shallow end. So I am saying if the fear is too great where it is immobilizing you, which it shouldn’t, start in the shallow end of your challenge and embrace it a little bit at a time.
You caught my attention with your video ‘A Caterpillar’s Dream.’ I found the message behind this very powerful and very true: The caterpillar got tired of being on the ground. It got tired of just being at the level of its life where it’s at its lowest…it knew it had to get higher. Walk us through the process and what it was that made you say, ‘hey, I need to make a video and get this message across?’
I understand that motivation and inspiration has been around for quite some time. Everyone learns or gets inspired or fired up differently. When I was younger one of my goals was to be a film producer because I loved the idea of an idea developing into a story. So I decided that I wanted to bring my authentic self and create my own arena of inspiration with the gifts, interests and talents I have.
The first video we completed was called of course “You Are A Champion”. The second video sparked from a poem I wrote over 3 years ago called “A Caterpillar’s Dream”. This poem was discovered as I was going through a journal which I do from time to time to do an evaluation on how I’ve developed and grown.
Then I thought about the caterpillar wanted to become a butterfly. Then Michael, my ideas starting rolling and the creativity of my mind took it from there. I thought of the butterfly feeling alone and crawling on the ground. Well, we have all been there at some point in our lives, right. So I knew that the butterflies and caterpillars of our human race could relate.
Who is your biggest influence?
Les Brown, Bruce Lee and Maya Angelou.
What scares you and what steps are you taken to overcome the fear?
It scares me to leave this world not giving my best Michael. I have so much inside of me that I am discovering and unfolding. I Just hope I get it out to the world before I die. No one has figured out how to get out of life alive! The steps I take each day is to make it my business to do something of value that brings my authenticity to the forefront. That could be a speech, a post on social media, coaching someone one, reading (which I do everyday) or working out to take care of this body because it is in indeed our vehicle to our journey and destinations of success. So, I make sure each day I take some action that brings me a level of fulfillment.
What are three life events you recall that have had the greatest impact on your life?
Earning my black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
Traveling to Africa and across the world by myself
Deciding to take on my dream of becoming a world renowned inspirational speaker and author.
What’s your biggest challenge right now both professionally and personally?
Personally, I would say is learning to completely “trust my feelings” about things. We tend to think more with our mind and less with our heart. As the great Les Brown would say “that when there is an argument between your mind and your heart to follow your heart”. We all do this where we rationalize more than feeling the truth that moves us or as we would say “our gut instinct”. Tony Robbins said something that struck me and that was that he controls his mind and does not let his mind control him. This is what I am constantly improving on and it is working!
Professionally I would say juggling a 9-5 while pursuing the dream. When you spend 8 hours of your day working on someone else’s dream, when the clock stops and you punch out the first inclination is to rest. We must be persistent in order to go the distance. So I have to get my butt in gear and tell myself “No it is not time to rest but instead invest”. The only time I need to rest is when I get in bed to go into a restful night sleep. So I don’t watch television during my work days. That is idle time that I apply to the development of myself, which is difficult at times.
What does success mean to you?
Success is having a goal or idea that you pursue with love and patience. In the midst of this the outcome is who you become. Many people assume that when you have all the money, time or options that you are a success. Success is different for everyone. I believe success is a journey of some goal or idea you are seeking to obtain. As you develop more skills you begin to attract more things that match your level of understanding about yourself. Success is what you make it to be.
How do you handle rejection?
I don’t take anything personal and I don’t assume things or create a story for myself about the disappointment. The first thing I tell anyone is have self -respect and love for yourself. Know that you are doing the best you can with what you have now.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made and what did you learn from it?
I gave my power away by not pursuing my life’s work to speak and inspire some time ago. I thought by just being normal and settling for less than what I actually deserved from someone that life would treat me well. Well, Michael, life will move on us at times. When I experienced failure I was lost for a while because I did not have a plan for myself. But it is when we become lost, when we find our true selves. I learned the term “take care of yourself”. Before we can care about others or the world we must first learn to care for “ourselves” and take 100% responsibility for our lives.
What book are you reading?
I am currently reading “The University of Success by Og Mandino” and “The Magic of Believing” by Claude M. Bristol
What books/You Tube videos would you recommend?
I recommend The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want To Be, by Jack Canfield, The Seasons of Life by Jim Rohn; Wake Up and Live by Dorethea Brande; Candide by Voltaire the Great; and The Road to Your Best Stuff by Mike Williams
What’s next for you?
Speeches across the world and creating live events and workshops. Continue working on leaving a legacy and serving myself by serving others: We are all “Champions… winning is in the DNA.”
“Believe The Champion In You”- Adrian Starks
Ways you can connect with Adrian
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