Brian: Hello, hello and welcome to CatalystMLM,
I’m Brian Swichkow and today on the show we have Roderick Russell. Roderick is a professional
sword swallower, mind reader, stage hypnotist, and speaker who has performed in front of
hundreds of thousands and has been featured on Discovery Channel, Ripley’s Believe it
or Not, MTV, NPR, Genius World Records, and so much more. Thanks so much for being on
today. Roderick: Thanks for having me. Brian: So, many people may be asking right
now what a sword swallower has to do with Multi-Level Marketing. But your story is . . . Roderick: I should be asking myself that question. Brian: your story is rather remarkable and
inspirational for just that. And I mean, let’s start from the beginning because I know a
lot about it. And love every second of it. But I’ve heard people ask you this question
again and again and again and again. Actually a day ago I heard this question posed to you.
Which was, what possessed you to learn sword swallowing? Roderick: A damn fine question, and a well
warranted one. I was, I’ll try to keep it as concise as possible. I became interested
in sword swallowing, this is going to sound strange, because it was the next logical thing.
Yeah. I was going through a phase in my life where I was interested in pursuing sort of
my own limits as a human being. And exploring where the outer fringe of that experience
in my life was. And I had been engaging in progressively more dangerous avenues of self
exploration. Nothing too weird or anything like that. I guess sword swallowing is a little
weird, but. I was doing things to progressively challenge myself. And sword swallowing really
was the next logical thing. It seemed like one of those impossible things. One of those
things that I had never actually seen done live or in a book or on T.V. or anything like
that. I just generally knew of the idea of a sword swallower, as I think we all do. And
I thought, that just seems impossible. I mean how could someone ever do that. I think I’m
gonna try this. And I figured if I could swallow a sword, if I could learn how to do that.
What else could I do in life. Brian: Yeah, absolutely. Roderick: So, that’s really what started me
on the journey. It was my own personal exploration of my own limits as a human being. Brian: Yeah. Roderick: And how far I could push myself. Brian: And again, the next question. Which
it’s always the same next question. Is, you know, so you didn’t just go grab sword or
a butter knife and shove it down your throat. You know, it was progressive and you studied
and you know. So tell me a little bit more about that process of learning. Roderick: Well, I pretty much just did grab
a sword and shove it down my throat. No, no, I have to qualify that just a little bit.
There is no, I just picked up a blade and swallowed it moment. Because it’s a long process.
It took me a year and a half of constant daily practice. In order to get my first blade down.
And that was a short blade. That was only a foot long. Granted it’s still a foot, but.
It took a long time. But, whereas most people in this industry, do start with things that
are more non-lethal; they’ll swallow things, like they’ll try to, you know, dangle spaghetti
down their throat to try and suppress the gag reflex. They’ll coat hangers and pull
them out straight and try to swallow those. Because that’s not going to kill you. I mean,
unless you do something very very wrong. I actually, I went straight for the sword. I’m
a big believer in the specificity of training, and I figure I can already swallow a spaghetti.
So, why don’t we just go, straight to the sword. And so that’s actually what I started
with. Brian: That’s awesome. And, so, you know,
again, parlaying that into Multi-level Marketing is that so many people come into it thinking,
oh that’s not possible. I could never do that. I could never build that kind of income. And
then, they go into it and they try and jam a sword down their throat. And they say that
it’s not possible. Because they just stabbed themselves in whatever vital organ it was. Roderick: Right. Brian: And so it’s important to note that,
you know, it’s about constant training and pushing. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s
sword swallowing or Multi-level Marketing. It’s that there is that process. And I always
love the story of how you actually, and correct me if I’m wrong, how you swallowed your first
sword to the hilt. I was actually inspired by a co-worker. And tell me a little bit about
that story. Roderick: It was, it was. Your comment that
it’s the whole, tying it in with Multi-level Marketing, it is very important. Let me impress
upon you, I’m going to say this because it applies to so many different areas of life.
When I decided that I wanted to learn how to swallow a sword, I’m gonna say again, I
had never seen anyone do it. I had never, I had never seen pictures, never seen video,
nothing like that. I just knew if vaguely that it was probably possible, and I think
historically people have done it. That was my mind set. Like I think people have done
this before. So, if they’ve done it, there’s no reason that I can’t do it. Brian: Yeah. Roderick: And, it was a long long process.
But once I decided to do it, there was nothing stopping me. And it took, as I say, constant
daily practice, for a year and a half before I saw any success whatsoever. It was a slow
quarter inch by quarter inch process every single day. Three times a day like clockwork.
It was hard work. And I wasn’t seeing a lot of success. Not only at first but for a very
very long time. Like I said, a year and a half. I even traveled overseas to try and
do this thing. But what really kept moving me forward was the fact that I knew people
had done this before. Brian: Yep. Roderick: And they’re not any different or
better than I am. I’m perfectly normal, they’re perfectly normal. We’ve trained ourselves
to do these things. And I think the tying with MLM is that there are so many case studies
of other people having done this. There is no reason that you can’t do it too. Whoever
you are, wherever you are. Whatever you position in life is, there is no reason. Because I
guarantee you there is not only a story of someone else in a similar position doing it.
But there’s a story of someone way worse off than you doing it as well. So, if they can
do it, there’s no reason you can’t do it. It just takes dedication. Brian: And you told me once in, again, correct
me if I’m wrong, there’s only 50 or so professional sword swallowers in the world. Roderick: Yeah, it’s a fluctuating number
for obvious reasons. Brian: Yeah, yeah. Roderick: Yeah, it’s there’s probably between,
80 and 100 people in the world who might know how to swallow a swords. But I used the number
50 to refer to the number of full time professional performers, entertainers, people doing it
for a living. Brian: Right. Roderick: That number is significantly smaller.
But it’s we’re talking less than 100. But, working full time in the industry probably
closer to 50. Brian: Yeah, and you . . . Roderick: It’s a very . . . Brian: And you hit a wall. You know, and you
told me this before. Is that you hit a wall where you couldn’t, progress any further and
you needed help. And you started seeking out a mentor. Roderick: Yeah. Brian: And that’s where you mentioned the
going overseas. So, tell me a little bit more about that. Roderick: Yeah, I had been working hard every
single day. And I was making progress. It was very very slow. But I was measuring it.
That’s also a key. I think to success in anything is measuring it. I think you know that intimately.
I observe your behaviors quite often and you are obsessive about measuring everything.
It’s really cool because it really does lead to your success. You can see what’s working
and what’s not. And that’s what I was doing. Every single day I would put the blade in
I would clamp my finger down right at the point where I would either gag, or it hurt,
or I just couldn’t get any further. And I would pull it out and I would measure that
length. And it really was a quarter inch by quarter inch process. I, the first time I
put a blade in my mouth it went in five inches about to the back of my throat, and I started
gagging. I couldn’t get it any further. And I did that three times a day, for, four or
five weeks and then finally I, one day I pulled it out. And my finger, I measured it from
the tip, my finger to the tip of the sword. And it was five and a quarter inches. And
I was like, Yes! That’s the furthest I’d ever gone. Five and a quarter inches. And it took
over a month to just make that little bit of progress. Brian: Yeah. Roderick: So it was that slow going all the
way down my throat. And I finally got it down to about this level here. That’s where the
epiglottis is, the little flap that covers your trachea before it goes down your throat
rather than your esophagus rather than into your windpipe . And I, it just felt like my
throat disappeared. Like I was in this tube going down my throat. And all of a sudden
it stopped. Like I couldn’t push any further. There was no place to go. Which didn’t make
sense to me. Because I thought, I’m in my throat and that’s where I want to continue
going. Why did it disappear. But I just couldn’t get past it. And I, what I know now is that
I was running up against my epiglottis and I couldn’t get it closed. I couldn’t push
past it. And, so I thought, I need to work with someone whose done this before. Who can
give me a few tips, here and there. Obviously they’re not going to be able to do it for
me. It’s a very personal thing obviously. But they can maybe show me how to get past
these obstacles. Brian: Yeah. Roderick: And so I found a person over in
Italy. And flew over there and worked with him. And his advice to me was beautiful. Because
it solved the problem, but it did so in a remarkably simple way. Something that had
been available to me the entire time, but I just never thought to do it. Because probably
I was scared to do it, is probably the reason. But with his encouragement I actually did
it. And it worked and it blew me away. And that’s how I was able to push past that first
major obstacle. There were other obstacles along the way which I learned to negotiate
on my own. But that first blockage, was so immense. I thought there was no where to go.
This wall is so impervious. That there’s no getting around it. How could I possibly do
this. And with just one little simple piece of advice, I was on my, on the road past the
obstacle and it was all uphill, downhill. I don’t know what you would consider it from
there. Brian: Yeah. And that’s extremely powerful
because you know, walking through it step by step, you know, people in businesses they
often think that it’s going to be easy. And the people who think that it’s going to be,
you know, I’m gonna work for it and build it, a lot of times they don’t consider the
time that’s gonna be involved in it. Or they don’t measure it. And there’s definite steps.
And it’s definitely slow and steady that wins the race and your, you know, a quarter inch
at a time. And it’s extremely powerful because it makes it physical. Roderick: Yeah. Brian: And you know, people often say that,
you know, I can’t do this. And then they hit a wall and then they, they don’t go looking
for a mentor. You flew across the world to find a mentor. And in Multi-level Marketing
there’s plenty of mentors everywhere. You just, you know, have to look and find the
one that’s right for you. And ask them. Roderick: Yeah. Brian: So when you go, got back to the United
States and you had you know, been with your mentor, that was actually when you swallowed
a sword to the hilt for the first time right. Roderick: Yeah, getting back to your question
from several moments ago. Which I delightfully didn’t’ answer. Yeah, I guess technically
the first sword that I swallowed was in Italy. He gave me the advice, I followed his advice,
in that sucker went all the way down to my stomach. And it hurt like heck. But I don’t,
even though it’s technically the first sword I swallowed, it was a really really really
long sword. Brian: Right. Roderick: So I couldn’t swallow it all the
way to the hilt. And there’s something psychological in my head. It makes no sense at all. But,
unless I swallow it to the hilt I kind of don’t consider myself as having swallowed
the sword. The whole sword. You know, so, technically I guess I swallowed it over there.
But the first blade that I swallowed to the hilt which was a glorious moment for me. Was
also kind of funny because it was such a gender based silly adolescent thing. I was working
in an office at the time, and everyday at lunch time, I would take some time to myself
to practice the sword swallowing. And I had returned from Italy. I knew that I could get
the sucker down but, you know, you get back state side and you start trying to implement
it yourself. And you start running up against the obstacles again. But I knew in my head,
I’d seen it done now. He did it for me. I had done it myself. I knew this was possible.
I knew it was replicable. I just needed to get into the swing of the habit of doing it.
And I hadn’t yet duplicated the full swallowing. That was I able to accomplish over there with
my mentor. But I had a sword that I knew if this went down, it’s going to the hilt. And
so I kept practicing every single day again. And at lunch time I was just opening up my
office door. Because I figured it was best to do this in private. So I would close the
door, practice, and then I would open it. And this very attractive colleague, this woman
walks by. And she stops and she turns and she had no idea that I was doing any of this.
And she said, ah, what are you doing. Because she saw this sword on my desk. And I said,
oh, I’m just, you know, practicing sword swallowing. And she, what. And I said, yeah, I’m a sword
swallower, you didn’t know. I just sort of like, puffed up my chest and I said I’m a
sword swallower. Of course I wasn’t really at that point. I had a little bit of experience
but hardly any. And she’s like,oh that’s neat. Show me, I wanna see it. And I thought, oh
crap, what am I gonna do. Like now I actually have to swallow it. The pressures on. And
I tell you there’s no greater motivator than pressure like that. Or a deadline or I’ve
got other stories about deadlines and pressure too. But this was just, such an intense amount
of pressure. And I thought, okay, I’m gonna do this. But I’m gonna give a little excuse
first. And I tried to do this little cop out. I said, alright but you know I was just swallowing
it over lunch and my throats a little sore and it might be a little swollen. So it might
now go all the way down. Well, we’ll see. So I lick the sword and I pop it up. And I
put it down and it goes down and down and down and down and down,until click. The hilt
just taps, the metal taps on my teeth. And I have to remain completely calm while I’m
doing this, for obvious reasons. But I had just swallowed my first sword to the hilt. Brian: Yeah. Roderick: She doesn’t know it’s my first sword.
I know it and it’s in my throat and I can’t react. So I calmly remove it. And I just do
this kind of like, you know, do a little bow, like there ya go. Brian: Yep. Roderick: And she’s like oh wow, that was
amazing. I thoroughly impressed her. Continued to remain calm because I didn’t wanna, you
know, seem like I’d never done that before. And then I shut the door and I started jumping
up and down celebrating. And it was the greatest moment. But it took an attractive colleague
walking past my office for me to actually get that first blade down. So you never know
where your inspiration is gonna come from. Brian: Yep. Roderick: So remain open to it. Brian: Yeah. And the reason I asked that is
you know it’s interesting because a lot of people who start in Multi-level Marketing
or they’re going through it, they’re like oh you know, I can’t do that. Or they have
all these mental barriers. And one of my favorite quotes is, the only walls that you have are
those that you build for yourself. And it was interesting when hearing that story for
the first time is that biologically you always could swallow a sword. Roderick: Yeah. Brian: But mentally you weren’t ready yet. Roderick: Yeah. Brian: And it doesn’t matter what the, you
know, the inspiration was, but the fact is that you just hadn’t accepted that. You haven’t
allowed yourself to do it. Roderick: Yeah. Brian: That’s the, it’s really powerful. Roderick: Yeah, it’s all mental. And I mean
obviously with something like that there’s some physiological obstacles as well. But
it really all does just come down to the mentality. I hurt myself seriously once swallowing a
sword as well. And that was all a mental thing as well. It was at the point where I’d been
doing it for a number of years. I was very comfortable with it. And I thought, oh I’ve
done this a million times. I don’t need to worry about it whatsoever. So I popped the
blade up, down, back up, and I cut the entire inside of my throat top to bottom. The scary
thing is I didn’t know about it until later that night. Because the sensations involved
in swallowing a sword are kind of unusual. Brian: Yeah. Roderick: And it’s difficult sometimes to
tell the difference between normal sword swallowing discomfort and actual injury. But, the reason
that happened was because I lost my fear of the experience. I lost my mindfulness. And
now, on stage, to this day every, I’ve been doing it for over 14 years. Everytime I put
that blade above my head I make sure, that I feel a little bit of fear. And if I don’t
feel fear, I’m not going to do it. Brian: Yeah. Roderick: Another good little antidote here
is. I’m a runner, and I love the mental aspects of running. But one of the coolest things
I ever read, was, a couple years back. I read this study where they are trying to see the
impact of carbohydrate drinks on longevity and endurance running. And what they discovered
was that someone going for endurance while running feeling as if they’re at the very
end of their ability to keep. If they put a carbohydrate, like a sports drink in their
mouth, they don’t swallow it. They just put it in their mouth, they can run further. And
they’ve measured it and like, considerably. It’s not just a few feet. I mean like they
can keep going for a lot longer. Because the brain just thinks, oh, I’m okay, I have fuel.
It’s in my mouth. It’s no problem whatsoever. It’s not actually getting the fuel. I’m sure
there’s a little bit of absorption, but it’s not, they’re not actually getting anything.
The brain’s just saying, oh, I don’t have to limit myself. Because there is plenty of
fuel, it’s right there in my mouth. They don’t have to swallow it, they can spit it out.
But they can keep going as a result. Because the brain puts these limiters on us. And it
holds us back because it doesn’t want us to push too far into the realm of possibly hurting
ourselves. Brian: Yeah. Roderick: But the truth is, that distance
between, where the brain limits us and where we’ll actually hurt ourselves is so vast.
There’s a huge amount of space there. And it, usually is our brain and our mind that
holds us back from achieving what we want to achieve. So, push past the fear, or push
past the blockages. In my case, literally sometimes. And just keep going because it’s
gonna be a long time before you’re actually down and out. And that’s, that middle gap
is where the magic happens. Brian: Yeah, and I mean, in, I know you started
with swords. I think you started with sword swallowing. And then you know as I said before
you went into hypnosis, and mind reading. And you went on to recently create
which is all about the human body, both mind and physical body. Of making it perform at
the, you know, the utmost highest capacity. So, I know a lot of people accuse you of being
psychic or you know, all these things. And it’s purely based on science. So, you know,
tell me a little bit about how you got to working with that. Roderick: Yeah, well all the things that you
mentioned, the mind reading the hypnosis, all that stuff. It sort of, it’s been a lifelong
interest. The whole idea of human consciousness, and how much we create our world around us
through our beliefs. And how we can change our world. By changing our beliefs. As hypnosis
has always fascinated me. And not just that. I’m just fascinated by the very concept of
consciousness, what is it and how does it work. And I, when I was a kid I was interested
in things like artificial intelligence because I wanted to create an artificial mind. I thought
that was the coolest thing in the world. So I’ve had a big technology advance and technology
theme. But really my whole life’s been comprised of these philosophical questions and psychological
questions and explorations. Actually I got into the mind reading, much sooner than a
lot of the other things. And then that lead into hypnosis and I got certified as a clinical
hypnosis therapist. And I had a small office practice for a little while. And I parlayed
that into stage entertainment because I was already doing stage shows. And I thought,
I’d really like to put this hypnosis on stage. And, so I do that as well. And I do for probably
a decade now, or more. A wonderful stage hypnosis show. But what I’m doing now, it just sort
of launched. Is as you say, this thing called remarkably human. And I, I’m using all of
my lifelong interests, in the nature of human consciousness and human ability. And I’m exploring
that in an online venue, a blog. Soon to be a video podcast and a normal audio podcast.
It’s about pushing the human limits, it’s about optimizing your brain, optimising your
body, radical life extension. I’m fascinated by, like you are, about stories as well. I
love people who are doing amazing things. And I love the psychology that goes along
with that. I mean like jumping from the edge of space. What is that like? I mean, can you
just imagine sitting in a capsule and like opening up the door and just standing up and
looking out at this. Not like, it’s not like, jumping out of a plane where you see the land
underneath you. But it’s a planet underneath you. It’s like this round globe and you just
think, I’m gonna jump. And you do. I mean that’s just mind boggling. Or people who do
free diving and dive several hundred feet into the ocean on a single breath. I mean,
that’s, what goes on in their head. I mean the psychological aspects are fascinating.
And I explore those as well. But, really, what’s going on with the mindset in that,
and the psychology. So, that’s what I’m doing with the remarkably human. Is I’m doing my
own personal experiments and sharing them. And also talking with other people who are
doing remarkable things or have insights into these different avenues of how the mind, brain,
and body works. Brian: Yeah. Roderick: And, exploring it. Hopefully with
a vibrant community soon. Brian: And that’s, I mean, I’ll add links
below to the, you know a few of the videos that your reference. You know, the first one
was the red bulls stratus, I think stratosphere. Roderick: Yeah. Brian: But you know, it’s interesting because
you talk about, you know, literally jumping from the fringes of space. And diving hundreds
of feet underwater on a single breath. And swallowing a sword, and you know, doing all
these truly remarkable things. And still people in, again, Multi-level marketing have so much
trouble picking up the phone. Roderick: Yeah. Brian: And it seems like it’s you know, twenty-thousand
pounds, and they just can’t do it. And, you know, the same thing with talking with someone
that they don’t know. Or there’s all these mental barriers but the reality is, is that
with those mental barriers, with physical barriers, there’s always more capability.
So, for an action item. You know for people to move forward. You talked about, you know,
real, I, wrote down four steps. Is realizing that it’s possible,going inch by inch, measuring
it, and finding your mentor. And, you know, if someone’s looking for those action items
what would you say would be the first step to, you know, kind of have that realization
and that understanding in their own mind. Roderick: Have the understanding and realization
what, that it’s possible? Brian: That it’s possible, yeah. Roderick: It’s a tough one. It’s a tough nut
to crack because it comes down to really self confidence. And self worth and belief in oneself.
And, I’ll tell you that I personally, I have very low self confidence actually. When I
get on stage, I think I try to exude confidence, I think that carries. But I come from a very
bad background. A very very, really bad childhood. And that beat me down so much. That that very
thing is sort of what has inspired me to see, what’s possible. Because I kind of took sanctuary
in the library. And, I read a lot of books. And I read a lot of stories about other people.
And I realized that the life that I was living was only one option amongst millions. Really
limitless options. And I was reading these stories of all these other people. And I thought,
I’m kind of stuck in this position. This situation in life. But all these other people are doing
these other things, why can’t I do that as well. And it wasn’t ever a question of Im
held down so I can’t do it. It was more of, how can I get around this. But my self confidence
was really really low. So, I just, it was the bravery of saying, you know what, how
much worse can it get. Brian: Yeah. Roderick: Let’s try it. And so, I think for
a lot of people it comes down to that issue of self worth and confidence. Like, everyone
else is living these other great lives. Everyone else is successful in their business. But
I am not. And I’m not because of this reason and that reason and that reason over there.
But the truth is the only reason that you’re not successful is because you haven’t made
the decision to be successful. To not use excuses. And, I’m not saying, not accusing
people of using excuses in a bad way. Because we all do it. I mean, no matter how accomplished
we are. We still do it to a certain extent. But, that first, action item of realizing
that it’s possible, is just, step back, and realize. Be mindful, detach yourself from
the sensations that the emotions that you feel about your situation. The fact that you
may feel held back or held down. Or there’s obstacles in your way and that somehow there’s
something out there that’s holding you back. If you’re mindful of that rather than getting
lost in those emotions. Then you can identify them. And you can say, let’s tackle them.
Let’s get over them. Let’s overcome them. And you have so many case studies of everyone
in the universe doing that. There’s no reason that you can’t do it either. So, the answer
to the question of what’s the first thing to do. It’s just gain perspective really.
Realize that you’re not lagging behind anyone. You’re not suffering under the weight of any
more burden than anyone else. Brian: Right. Roderick: You’re just like everyone else.
And we’re all starting from, we have all different circumstances in life. But we’re functionally
starting from the same base. Let’s choose to be extraordinary and remarkable and shoot
for the stars. Just do it and don’t worry about failure. Because, like with the sword
swallowing. I failed, technically, every single day. For a year in a half, three times a day.
That’s a lot of failure. Brian: Yup. Roderick: But ultimately, I was successful.
And now I travel the world with it. And I love my life. And so, work on the mindset
and the belief in yourself. Brian: People have to learn how to push through
their own epiglottis. Roderick: Exactly. Hopefully not literally.
That would be dangerous. You might have to put a liability like disclaimer on this particular
episode. Brian: Oh, I’ll have that flash up somewhere
in the video. I’m sure. Don’t swallow swords right. Here. Wonderful. And thank you so much
again for coming on and sharing that. Because . . . Roderick: Yeah. Brian: it’s sword swallowing and you know
it seems outlandish to most people. But it is truly an inspirational story of just sheer
will. And drive and the ability to keep pushing and learn how to do it. So thank you and I’ll,
I’m gonna put all of your links below. Especially the ones to remarkably human. And have people
connect with you and follow along. I know you have a considerable amount of growing
groupies. So, I’m sure we’ll increase those number just a little bit. Roderick: Hopefully not the crazy groupies.
They can away. Fans I’m okay with. But if you’re crazy stay away. Brian: Wonderful. Thank you so much. Roderick: Thank you Brian. Take Care.