861. Defining Success on His Own Terms
“This is when the story really gets interesting because at this point, in some ways you might have described me as a typical Ivy League yuppie living in New York at the time. And I had done the Wall Street thing, I had my own business, and I was succeeding in much the way that culture and society expects one to succeed. I felt though that something significant was missing from my life. I wasn’t really satisfied. I was finding my success to be empty in many ways and I didn’t know why. And so, I bought a one-way ticket to Bangkok….”
Mort Fertel is the creator of Marriage Fitness, a relationship renewal system that’s been used by millions of people in marital crisis. People from all over the world schedule private tele-sessions with him by joining the Marriage Fitness tele-bootcamp. Over 3 million people have subscribed to his free report, Seven Secrets to Fixing Your Marriage. He’s the subject of Back from the Brink, a documentary written and directed by Torres Thomas, which chronicles people in marriage crises. Mort graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1987 and was the CEO of an international nonprofit organization. He lives with his wife and five children, including triplets, in Baltimore, Maryland.
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“We had a son who died and then we had twin daughters who died. It was really a horrible time and it threw our marriage into a crisis. And that’s how I got into this work. It really comes from a very personal place because when Ari and I reached out for help at a time when we needed it, we were horrified with the quality and the type of help that was being offered to us. … The traditional standard process of improving communication skills and learning conflict resolution strategies we just found to be silly and completely ineffective. And to make a long story short, at some point we decided, you know, this is ridiculous. I’m going to now express something that’s going to sound clear, but at the time it was not at all clear. I’m only now in retrospect able to express it clearly. But what we did was we put aside all the problems and issues and we just started to focus on behaving in ways and interacting in ways that built goodwill in our relationship. But it worked so well that when we got to the end and we were like, ‘wow, you know, we really feel deeply connected now that we got through this very difficult time,’ we felt we had a responsibility to try to figure out what we did right and see if maybe we could share it with others.”
The Most Powerful Lessons and Experiences?
1. I learned something very valuable (from working on the Wall Street trading floor). I really didn’t like it. It was really all about money. That was it. There was no meaning, there was no purpose. I couldn’t even really figure out what service we were providing that was of any value to anybody. I learned very quickly that as much as I wanted to be successful, I did not want my life and my career to be about money.
2. Materialistically speaking, lead very, very simple lives. Do not get caught up in chasing the acquisition of things because the more things you feel you need, then the more money you need to make and the more trapped you are in a job. One of the benefits is that you don’t have as much financial pressure in your life, and that gives you something much more powerful and much more valuable than money. It gives you freedom: the freedom to explore your interests and passions, to do work that you love to do, and to make a contribution in the way that you’re supposed to be contributing.
3. The real riches of life come in two places and in two places only. They come in our relationships, which don’t take money, and they come in the way we use our life to contribute to the progression of the world.
Connecting With Mort Fertel
The report “7 Secrets to Fixing Your Marriage” is available at https://marriagemax.com/. Over 3 million people have subscribed to his free report.
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