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We all know that we only have one life and that we need to make the most of it. For some, this means spending time on their health and wellbeing, while others prioritize their finances. But what happens when time is precious, and you can’t do both? Which priority should take precedence?
After two sudden, unexplained cardiac arrests at a young age, author and personal development specialist Ryan Lindner began to explore different perspectives with his clients that come with any profound, life-changing event because if you aren’t living, you’re dying.
Ryan has a book called “The Half-Known Life,” where he challenges the conventional thinking of success, identity, and personal change. Through his experiences, Ryan believes that priorities change when time becomes precious.
When we realize that time is precious, we often change the way we think and act. Bob and Ryan discuss the mindset shifts that occur when met with adversity; how we transform and begin to fully appreciate what we have and make the most of every moment. The clock has already started ticking.
Ryan’s book “The Half-Known Life” offers a fresh perspective on personal growth to help you get out of your head and into your life.
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Connect with Ryan Lindner
The Half Known Life:
What Matters Most When You’re Running Out of Time
“I’m going down now,” I said to a young woman a few seconds before the darkness-my first cardiac arrest. As I returned to work as a behavioral coach, it became maddening to hear about all-consuming, everyday problems and misguided priorities while I fought to merely remain conscious.
Click to Read Full Transcript
Bob Wheeler: [00:00:00] Welcome to another episode of money you should ask where everyone has something they can teach you. I’m your host, Bob Wheeler. In this episode, we are going to explore why we do what we do when it comes to money as a CPA for the past 30 years. Wait, let me say 25, because that makes me sound younger. I have seen it all when it comes to money and emotions.
And if you think I’m talking about my clients, I’m not, I’m talking about myself. My relationship with money has been, and sometimes still is an emotional roller coaster. Maybe that’s something you’re also familiar with. Good news. You and I are not the only ones. Our next guest is going to share their money, beliefs, money blocks, and life challenges as well.
Buckle your seatbelt and enjoy the ride.[00:01:00]
Our next guest is Ryan Lindner. After two sudden unexplained cardiac arrests at a young age, he began to explore different perspectives with clients that come with any profound life changing event, because if you aren’t living, you’re dying. He also has a book called the half known life where he challenges conventional thinking of success, identity, and person.
Through his experiences. Ryan believes that priorities change when time becomes precious. Ryan has conducted thousands of coaching sessions has led operations for a major leadership and organizational change company and manages learning and customer development projects for companies to reshape their experience.
Ryan Lindner: welcome to the show. Thanks for having me Bob. Happy to be here. Yeah.
Bob Wheeler: So I’m curious. You seem pretty young now. A couple of cardiac arrests early on. That’s gotta be pretty scary. And [00:02:00] I would imagine, as you said, life changing, it
Ryan Lindner: absolutely was, it was totally unexpected, no family history I’ve been in wellness my entire life, so always ate well, made sure I got enough sleep, all that non-smoker and so forth.
And. Yeah, really unexpected. And I was back at work. Five days later, I was in a position at the time I had started a new role and had no paid time off. I had just a temporary insurance policy and I was back to it five days later, connected to all these wires as I was in sessions with clients. And it dramatically changed the dynamic of those sessions.
Bob Wheeler: And you talk about that when you know, time is precious priorities change. Can you say a little bit more about that?
Ryan Lindner: Yeah. If you ask someone what their priorities are, most people will tell you, oh, it’s family it’s work. It’s this. But the problem is that most of us don’t actually reflect those things.
We don’t actually do those things. And I’ve had all kinds of clients over the years. I’ve had psychologists as clients, I’ve had military leaders. [00:03:00] And one thing I learned is that we’re all just people and we can’t see ourselves necessarily. So things tend to snowball and get outta control. My job over the years has really help people explore that, explore those blind spots and help get them unstuck so they can actually reflect more of those things that are important to them.
Bob Wheeler: And when you were younger, what was your priority? What did you wanna be when you grew up? What did young Ryan project or wanna project into the.
Ryan Lindner: Actually, I didn’t know, growing up, I thought I wanted to maybe go into the military or when I was real young, maybe a pilot, but outside of these sort of peripheral sort of goals, I didn’t have any real sense of direction.
I had no idea what I was gonna do really, even leaving college. I thought I knew, I thought I would go into wellness and, but there was a lot of uncertainty with that. And for a long time, I felt like I was. [00:04:00] Aimless and maybe a late bloomer I was surrounded by people who knew exactly what they wanted to do and seemed to find success earlier than I did
So I had some really unhelpful mental chatter about that feeling like I was maybe behind the ball and that continued pretty much throughout my entire twenties into my thirties was really feeling. Where do I fit the stuffy corporate culture did not feel like a fit for me. I had worked in wellness for a number of years, but when I began my career, that was very difficult financially.
It was very difficult to sustain that. And so it was only years later that I fell into coaching and working with organizations. But that was not apparent to me when I was younger. I didn’t know that was a career option. And I fell into it. Okay. So there was a lot of fumbling and falling down before I found my footing.
So there’s hope
Bob Wheeler: for [00:05:00] people yet, if they haven’t planned it all out by the time they’re
Ryan Lindner: eight , there is plenty of hope. And some people do feel like this seems like they have it figured out at eight, but that was not me. Yeah. So not
Bob Wheeler: by a long. . And what was your childhood like in terms of money? Did your parents talk about money?
Did you come from a lot of money? Were there any beliefs that your parents shared about money or didn’t share about money? What
Ryan Lindner: was that like? It wasn’t talked about really at all. We were just standard middle class. I had wonderful supportive parents and they were of the belief, as long as you love what you do.
And then it was a question of that’s all great and all, but I need to make some money. And support myself. And what do I love, actually, I wasn’t even sure about that. But they were great in terms of being supportive of it. But in terms of my knowledge of money very limited. Very limited.
Bob Wheeler: I can only imagine that if I had just had a major surgery and I needed [00:06:00] to go back to work in five days, because I don’t have any financial net to save me, that’s gotta add some stress.
And I’m wondering if you can talk a little bit about that. Realizing, oh my God, I’ve gotta go. I don’t have a choice, even if it kills me, like I got nothing. That’s gotta be a scary
Ryan Lindner: proposition. Yeah. I felt like at the time I had finally found my dream job after years. For years, I took every odd job I could.
I did very difficult sales work door to door type sales. I did. I could tell you all stories about I painted fences. I made trinkets in my home and sold them. I I did every possible job and when I finally found my first coaching role, I loved it. But again, I was there only a month or something like that.
So before all the benefits kicked. Then the medical bills start rolling in and you have that [00:07:00] panic of how can I do this? Cuz it’s a tough spot to be in where you have to choose you want to do what’s the best for you health wise, but it’s health versus finance. Like it shouldn’t be like that.
So yeah, it was just me muddling through it and times were tight. Times were really tight and it was just living very minimally for a long.
Bob Wheeler: And did you have a preconceived idea of what success was and how it ought to be then dramatically changed? What was that process and why is it important to share this message with people that there might be a different
Ryan Lindner: way?
Absolutely. I did. I felt like success is what the people around me had, but not. And I had friends and I knew what they made. I knew what their careers were and I just never felt like I would fit into any of those roles. I had friends in big corporate jobs and it just wasn’t for me, not that there’s anything wrong with those.
It just wasn’t for [00:08:00] me. And I felt like the industry I was interested in at the time, it was very difficult to make ends meet with that. So I felt definitely that internal conflict, but then I realized success is just a word And for me. It’s about how I changed a lot about how I thought about money as well, when you’re living minimally like that.
I didn’t care about having the fanciest car or any of those types of things. It was, I thought money would be a wonderful tool. It would be a wonderful tool for me to get where I was going. And what I discovered in the coming years was, and this is great. I think for people to hear as well is what is success for?
You may not be something you’ve thought of. It may not be something has even occurred to you. I think when we’re younger, we’re under a lot of pressure, especially as we leave school or something, we’re under pressure to think of the title in our minds of the role that we’re gonna have. You are this that’s you.
And I think we put too much pressure on ourselves to make [00:09:00] ourselves into this role and what I work with clients, I help them understand you’re not a role, you’re a person, which is great. And my specialty is transitions. And it’s really helping people pivot pivot shift. I help people change careers.
I help people leverage the skills that they have. And it’s likely that your path could be something that you haven’t thought of yet. And you really need to rethink the word success. And what does that mean for you? And for me, it’s about having a life that’s peaceful about having a healthy relationship with money where I can use it as a tool.
And not compare myself to others so much. That’s really important as well.
Bob Wheeler: Yeah. And when people are pivoting, are most people pivoting because they’re unhappy. Are they pivoting because they’ve been, let go, why do I come to Ryan? And now you’re gonna help me find a better path. You’re gonna actually help me tap into my potential or something that might be more fulfilling.[00:10:00]
What’s my impetus.
Ryan Lindner: I’ve seen all of those instances. One very common one I’ve worked with a lot of people is they go through sort of an identity crisis, say you’re a soldier. You’ve been a soldier for 30 years in the military. Now it’s time to find something else, but they were a soldier and that’s what I am.
And then now what. Because I don’t know what I am now without that. You’re still you and chances are your spouse or family. They don’t call you. Sergeant is my guess. Maybe they do. I don’t know. You’re still a person and you don’t have to create yourself into this other role.
You’re just you and you’ll be yourself tomorrow as well. So the important thing is, what do you like? What are you interested in? Start there. But yeah, I work with people with job loss as well, unexpected job loss in some cases, and what’s next and. There’s so much usually anxiety involved with that.
There’s a lot of identity sort of crisis involved with it, but oftentimes if you get people to open their minds a bit and not have any [00:11:00] preconceived notions about what this next role is. So in other words, don’t be dead set on I’m doing this because again, there might be something that you haven’t thought of yet and you wanna just be open to it.
And that’s what I help people. Yeah.
Bob Wheeler: And what prompted you to write a book? You wrote this book and it just one day you woke up and said, I gotta write this book happened over time. What was that process like?
Ryan Lindner: It took me about 10 years. So again, stick with it, everyone.
Bob Wheeler: your friends all had six books out, right?
Ryan Lindner: were, yeah, Uhhuh, but yeah, it went through different iterations and I’d work at it. And then that was just the life cycle of it. It just took me that long from when it was initially just a seedling and just growing it over those many years. And that’s when my event happened. It was a little bit over 10 years ago, now, 12 years, something like that.
For me, I grew up as an introvert. Still am an introvert but I grew up with [00:12:00] really bad anxiety as well. And that’s one of the things that drew me to coaching, I think, is being just interested in it for myself. And again, as I said, I never knew it was a career option, so I fell into it.
And I think me expressing myself and working with clients, I think I’m much better in writing, doing that. So that’s what kind of led me to it is I think I could communicate it better that way. Yeah.
Bob Wheeler: And I wanna touch on this a little bit, because I think people sometimes have a misconception that if someone’s an introvert, they’re not gonna be able to actually speak to anybody ever.
And clearly you are doing that. Can you tell me a little bit about, of that struggle of wanting to keep it more inward and yet pushing yourself to go out and be more of an extrovert? Sure.
Ryan Lindner: I think working with a lot of the clients that I’ve worked with, I felt like from what I could tell my anxiety was always some of the worst anxiety growing up and [00:13:00] introversion than even any of my clients.
On the Myers Briggs scale and all that. I was always on the extreme end of the introversion and my clients, I think would be a little bit surprised by that because I wouldn’t seem introverted when speaking to them. But introversion is different than shyness. I’m not shy. I don’t have any issue talking strangers or approaching or anything.
Introverts just recharge their batteries a little bit differently. And I think the way that I made the shift and really overcame a lot of the anxiety and I’ve spoken in front of super large groups and executives and so forth. We hear all these tips and self-help about picture everybody in their underwear or these crazy things people recommend.
And there’s tons of books on it, of tips. But I think the shift for me was when I stopped thinking about it as something I need to fix as something that was wrong. Because if you look at all the tips it’s yeah. To master it, [00:14:00] just do this and do that and think of this beforehand and have this mantra or.
And for me, it was, I just stopped thinking about it as something wrong. And if you own it, if you own your, I introversion a lot of that fear type stuff. The anxiety dissolves a little bit because suddenly what if you even love it about yourself? And eventually I say, you know what? I love my I introversion.
I love it. I wouldn’t have it any other way because introverts, sometimes they make great leaders. They’re introspective at. Sometimes they’re certainly approachable. And there’s just a ton of, same with extroverts. There’s certainly things about extroverts that are uniquely special about that. But again, if you stop thinking about it, something that’s to be fixed own it and maybe even love it about yourself.
Then a lot of that fear just dissolves. I think part two of that is practice, right? If you become used to something and a lot of introverts people with anxiety, sometimes they live in worst [00:15:00] case scenarios. It’s like in their mind that mental chatter of, oh God, people are gonna judge and this and that.
If you just realize that in most situations, The stakes are pretty low . Yeah. If you have a bad work meeting, the worst is that it was a bad meeting and someone gets upset about it, but in most cases, the world’s not gonna end. And so take a deep breath. You’ll be okay. And move forward.
Bob Wheeler: Yeah, absolutely.
So I wanna go back to after operation health scare, lots of medical bills. How do we go from that to being in a place? And maybe we’re not, I don’t know. I’m just gonna assume here that we’re more at peace with stuff or that things have gotten better. What was that journey like? And what is that
Ryan Lindner: journey like?
Since that journey, I’ve had several of my own businesses. I’ve worked for big organizations and it’s a very different situation, thankfully, but it’s easy to look at someone who has found success and [00:16:00] think. It was just an overnight thing. You just don’t know what they went through to get to that point.
And so for me, it took about three years really? And I tripled my income and I was promoted several times and I also, someone might say he’s in the same industry. I shifted industries like three or four times within that period. So it can be done. It’s just about how to, I would say understand what, in terms of the career market.
What is needed and how to build your value to match that. In other words, you’re talking about resumes, interviews skills you need to acquire. How can I build my value and have a good value proposition in a way that I can communicate and allow myself to shine and know exactly what I need to say and do to achieve that, if that makes sense.
And I work with people for weeks and weeks navigating.
Bob Wheeler: And when your money tripled, did [00:17:00] you change your spending habits? Did you now go out and get a nicer car, get a bigger place to live? Did anything change? And if it didn’t, how did you control the urge that many people have to say, oh, I have more money.
I need to get rid of it quicker. So I get back to my, the bank balance. I’m used to or whatever it might be.
Ryan Lindner: To be honest, I think the lifestyle improved a little bit, but I would say 90% was okay. I have a tool now. And I think for a lot of people I’ve worked with six figure owners who are still paycheck to paycheck.
But for me, I started to use it as a tool and I looked at you got your liability column and you got your asset column. So how can you use it in a way that’s gonna help you down the line? And that’s how I thought with it is there are some things I’m interested in, which is great. But is that going to build up that asset column or is that more of a liability?
Bob Wheeler: How [00:18:00] often do you think about money and finances during your week?
Ryan Lindner: Every. every single day, multiple times.
Bob Wheeler: And what comes up? Is it more of how’s my spending today? Is it more, oh my God, I don’t have it. What’s gonna what are those thoughts that come up when you’re thinking about money are most of ’em very conscious, intentional.
I’m curious. Cuz all of us, we have these conversations, whether they’re conscious or not, we deal with money. All the. I
Ryan Lindner: would say, I think of it more like I run it like a business in other words, I’m thinking ahead a little and I’m saying every day, okay, this coming Friday, I need to move this money here.
This money there. What do I need this for? What’s coming down the road. It’s a continuous process. It’s not a, oh, you get your paycheck next Friday. And you don’t look at it. It’s a constant awareness of what’s going. Yeah.
Bob Wheeler: I think sometimes people hope that when they figure out some of their money [00:19:00] stuff, it’s a one and done.
Yep. I’ve figured it out. Okay, great. Now I’m on autopilot. No, it’s like when you’re driving, you have to keep adjusting for the bumps or the detours. And it is something that we have to. Consciously think about if we wanna get where we’re going financially. And for me it as a relationship for me, it’s my relationship with money.
It means I have to be involved. Relationship means there’s some, it’s not just over there, this thing, but I actually have to interact with, I need to. Look at my bank accounts, I need to figure out if I do have to move money, am I gonna make an investment? Am I saving the way I wanted to? Am I spending without checking in that I’m outta control, things like that.
And yeah, the good news, bad news is it’s something you have to do for the rest of your life. If you wanna stay. On top of your finances because there will be hiccups. And I think sometimes people wanna know that no, I just solved it [00:20:00] and I can move on. It’s just like anything else you
Ryan Lindner: gotta work it.
Absolutely. And I think when I’m making choices, is this essential? Is this gonna help me now? How is that gonna help me? And. Yeah, I’m not afraid to take a risk but I think a lot of people, sometimes they stick to what’s safe and familiar and I’m not afraid to take a risk, but it’s going through those questions.
How is this gonna help me? Do I feel like this is gonna help me grow and improve financially as well? Yeah,
Bob Wheeler: absolutely. Ryan we’re at the fast five. And so we’re gonna shift it up a little bit. We are at the fast five brought to you by cube money. A cash envelope system made easy, realtime financial awareness without the hassle of tracking expenses and carrying cash.
For more information, check out the link on the show notes. Ryan, here we go. We’re gonna go down and dirty. All right. There’s a lot of money riding on these answers. Do you have any financial regret?
Ryan Lindner: No in that I had to learn certain [00:21:00] things to get to the place I am. Now,
Bob Wheeler: who are your heroes? My parents.
Is there any one big thing you are hoping to save for right now?
Ryan Lindner: I am very interested in real estate. So I’m going in that direction. Yeah. Awesome.
Bob Wheeler: Is there anything that you will buy impulsively without even thinking about.
Ryan Lindner: I spend way too much money on overpriced lattes. And sometimes I’m ashamed almost, but three times a day.
I know that seems a little bit heavy on the lattes there, but
Bob Wheeler: Have you ever just thought about buying a really fancy espresso machine? Maybe it would pay for itself? No,
Ryan Lindner: I have that, but I can’t replicate it, but. I think of it. It is not a huge expense, but it’s a leak in the boat. And
Bob Wheeler: absolutely.
What would be one word to describe yourself?
Ryan Lindner: I would say resilient, maybe
Bob Wheeler: And is there anything you wished you had known or learned sooner [00:22:00]
Ryan Lindner: that it’s okay to just be who I am and be a quiet nature guy introverted and not always try. Make myself into what I thought other people wanted, cuz it never worked out when I did that.
Bob Wheeler: Awesome. All right. We are at our M and M moment, our sweet spot money and motivation. Do you have a practical financial tip or a piece of wealth wisdom you could share with our listeners, something that’s worked for? You.
Ryan Lindner: For me, it wasn’t all about the traditional advice in terms of just save or it’s all about the 401k.
Not that’s bad. But there are so many different avenues you could go and just open your mind to them. Yeah. It’s all about living your life and using money as a tool. And there are many ways you can do it. So just open your mind and don’t have any preconceptions about.
Bob Wheeler: Yeah Ryan as we’ve been having this conversation, I really appreciate the fact that [00:23:00] you have this awareness that time is precious.
Tomorrow is not promised and you got a dose of that early on. And most of us think we get to postpone that, but the reality is we don’t know. And so if we wanna live our fullest life, we need to. Actually live it with intentionality in the moment, instead of just waiting and seeing if it works out, I like really what you were saying.
And I think it’s so hard for many of us to just actually be good with who we are. Yep. We don’t need a fix. Okay. I’m slightly awkward. Oh, I’m slightly. This I could have been taller. This is what I am. This is how I’m gonna show up and then just show up the best you can with what you got. And there’s no need to apologize for.
The more, we can accept who we are. I’m not gonna be the loudest voice in the room, or I’m not gonna be the person doing this or that there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s a place for each of us. And the fact that you had this awareness that, oh, my friends were doing all these things. [00:24:00] Yeah, that just doesn’t fit and being okay.
And trusting that you actually know what’s a fit and not a fit versus everybody telling you. No, you should really probably do this. You need to get out more often and speak up a little, whatever it is. And I think that’s so important for so many people out there that think they can’t. Move forward or have full success because they’ve defined success as being able to be loud, being able to be seen, being able to articulate, and we all get to show up how we show up.
And so I just appreciate that you’re reaffirming in the way I interpret it is that we get to just actually be who we are and not
Ryan Lindner: apologize for it. Of course. You don’t know how your story plays out and you don’t know how their story plays. I’ve seen maybe that successful person earlier in your life, maybe they hit some bumps where at a time where you were successful.
You just don’t know, but it’s like that saying comparison’s the thief of joy. Yeah. And I feel just [00:25:00] stop worrying about that again, you don’t know how your story plays out. So absolutely. Ryan, where can people find you on social media? Where can they find you online? Where can they find your
You can go to my website. It’s RS Lindner.com, R S L I N D N E r.com. And my social media links are on there as well. Or you can go to my book site, half known life book.com. That’s half known life book.com and it’s all about how we see ourselves.
Bob Wheeler: Awesome. Ryan, I appreciate you not being an introvert today and coming out and, or being an introvert and still sharing your story.
So thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure and we will invite our listeners to check out all of your good
Ryan Lindner: stuff. My pleasure. Thanks for having me.
Bob Wheeler: All right. Thank you.
We hope you enjoyed this episode. Did you learn something new about [00:26:00] your relationship to money today? Maybe you have a friend who has some financial blocks or beliefs that are holding them back. Please share this podcast. So they too can get off the roller coaster ride of financial fears and journey towards financial freedom.
To learn how to have a healthy relationship with money. Visit the money nerve.com. That’s nerve not nerd. We’ll be back next week with another perspective on money and the emotions that bind us.