How to Stay Positive and Become Your Best Self – Mark Sephton, Best-Selling Author


It’s important now more than ever to maintain a positive attitude amidst the pressures of this sales season. On today’s show, we speak with Mark Sephton speaker, TV show host, and author of the best-selling 2014 book Inside Job about finding and maintaining joy at work and at home.


Jim Fitzpatrick: Hello everyone I’m Jim Fitzpatrick. Thanks so much for joining us on today’s show. Today we speak with Mark Sephton, speaker, TV host, and best-selling author of two books, one titled Inside Job and the other one is Plot Twist. Kind of give us the elevator pitch a little bit on yourself and the book.

Mark Sephton: Well I think my driver is influence and I think everything that I do is to be able to influence people in the right way I guess through my own mistakes, my own failings. For me, the things that I do now give me the opportunity to influence. I mentor entrepreneurs, I write books, I write articles, and I speak all over the world. As you said, I have a TV show called One More Round. It’s very much people focused, the ability to influence people. All through those platforms, I’m able to influence people through my writing, through my speaking, through my mentoring, and through doing interviews like this. I think we only get one shot at this life and I think the thing that drives me is realizing my ability to be able to help people become all they can be.

Jim Fitzpatrick: You recently published an article on our website, our magazine, The Difference Between Joy and Happiness. Talk to us about what the motivation behind that article was and what that’s all about.

Mark Sephton: Joy is based on what you know, so that’s your knowledge, that’s your truth, that’s facts, but happiness is based on how you feel. That’s why I wanted to make the distinguished between the fact that happiness is feeling based, it’s emotion based. That’s perfectly okay. We want to create these positive emotions in our life, but it means that even when life is tough and we hear the news of a friend like passing away that we’re still able to have joy at the core of our own mind and our life because sadly I’ve always said that life is a mosaic of the beautiful and the brutal. I wanted to write an article that was able to kind of give each its respect but also help people see the difference so that they can move forward in life because we never feel the same day to day. There’s always a shift and a change.

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s right. Why is it so easy for us to miss the difference between happiness and joy?

Mark Sephton: I think some people don’t even know there’s a difference. I think that’s one of the obvious and most simple factors. It’s something that doesn’t even enter into people’s reflection points. I think in life we’re either really passive, or we are really conscientious and intentional. I think the way that I try and live is very intentional. Things like happiness and joy and the difference is something that’s kind of come to my own mind through my ability to reflect. I think we live in a life or live in a world that’s all about feeling good. People say if it feels good then do it. There’s obviously some pros to that, but there’s also some cons as well. I think sometimes we’re driven so much by our emotion that we allow our emotions to dictate our choices, but sometimes we have to act first and then the emotion comes on the back end of that. I think the reason why people miss it is one because they don’t see a difference, and two I think people are just reactive to life rather than proactive.

Jim Fitzpatrick: To the person who feels like they’re lacking clarity or direction, what advice do you have for them?

Mark Sephton: I think when you lack clarity and direction it’s probably because you haven’t really experimented enough with the opportunities that are out there for you. I’m a big believer in staying in your lane, but before you can stay in your lane you have to know what it is that you are supposed to be going for in life. I think one of the things that I created within my mentoring business is a GPS system that I use on my clients, which is a bit like an internal MRI. What it does is it looks at beliefs, behaviors, it reveals efficiencies and deficiencies, and it helps people really see who they are through the eyes of somebody else, but also for them to have a greater revelation of themselves. I think a lack of clarity comes from your own ability to really know who you are and what are the platforms and the environments that you need in order to really come into your own.

For me, clarity always comes by me reflecting on those points where I am really kind of coming into my own. I guess the sweet spot would be a terminology that we would use. For me, it’s really about knowing yourself and knowing yourself takes time. I have this thing called Mark Monday where I don’t schedule sessions with clients. I take Mondays as a time to educate myself, to read, to journal, to reflect. It’s through my ability to be able to constantly check in with my feelings, check in with what I am going for that enables me to have the clarity of mind to move forward. One of the concepts that I use is manage your energy and not your time. There’s three filters that I use to manage my energy and not my time, which will help with clarity.

The first one is am I good at this. I encourage people to always ask themselves am I good at this. The second one is, does this excite me? The third one is will this take me to where I want to go? I think it was Steven Covey in his book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, he said: “start with the end in mind.” I think clarity comes from once you identify who you are and what you were put on Earth to do you can then say yes to those things that will take you to what it is you want your life to represent.

I said at the start of the show my expression of life, or my driver is influence. The reason I’d say yes to an opportunity like this to speak to you is because it gives me an opportunity to influence people in a positive way. I think that really helps with clarity because I know who I am and I know my mission. If people don’t know who they are, and don’t know their mission, that’s really where they’ve got to start. But I obviously have created a practical thing with Mark Mondays where I’m taking time to listen. If people are lacking clarity, you’ve got to start by knowing who you are and then knowing what you were put on Earth to do and only giving your energy to those things. If it doesn’t take you there, you might as well say no to it.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Sometimes it’s hard saying no to it, isn’t it?

Mark Sephton: Yeah because people are driven by guilt a lot of the time. People don’t want to say no because they feel guilty.

Whereas for me, if I’m saying yes to the things I should be saying no to, it really means that I’m diluting my energy and my purpose for the things that I should be just saying yes to. For me, there is a time to be selfish and that is really because you can only give out what you have. I think for me I don’t live in a world where I say yes to everything because I don’t. Literally, I have those filters. If it doesn’t fulfill those three, it’s a no. I don’t feel guilty about it. I’m doing it because I need to make sure that my life means something, otherwise, it’s just an approach. I always think that we have to be like a sniper when it comes to our ability to really focus in on what we want our life to represent.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Would you agree that a quick no is much better than a long drawn out let me see what I can do, maybe, let me get back to you when in reality you know that the true answer should really be no? I find myself doing that and taking too long to say no to the individual, or to the event, or to the circumstance rather than right off the bat saying nope I can’t do that, thanks very much for the offer though.

Mark Sephton: Yeah I think, why prolong something that you already know the answer to? It wastes everybody’s time. It’s still a no. You might as well just say no straight away and give everybody a break.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Right, rip the band-aid off as they say right. You talk about the reoccurring focus on personal development and self-assessment. What is a constructive way that someone can achieve that regularly?

Mark Sephton: I always say that the biggest weapon to personal development is reflection, your ability to reflect. Obviously, I mentioned Mark Mondays, but it’s really creating that time for you to be able to listen and reflect on the things that you do. For me I would say that the things that help me grow the most is when I have given a talk or something in life where I may have had a meeting, or maybe I’ve even just hung out with a friend, maybe I said the wrong thing or did the wrong thing, or missed something. It’s your ability to reflect after an event that I think has been the thing that’s helped me really move forward. The other part of that would be again the people that you hang around with. Jim Roan said that we’re the average of the five people we associate ourselves with.

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s right.

Mark Sephton: For me, that again is a massive part of your own development. I really believe that the people that have my ears are really the people that have to prove that I’m willing to allow them to speak into my life.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Good point.

Mark Sephton: There are times where I distance myself and I say no to people, and equally I have a tight core knit group of people who I allow to speak into my life because your mind is a muscle and it has to be worked out and it has to exercise. I think how do you affect your mind, it’s really through what you’re looking at, it’s through what you’re listening to, it’s through what you’re saying. A lot of my personal development really is about what am I giving my eyes to, what am I listening to, and what am I saying about myself. I think for me they’re the real essence of how to develop and move forward from where you are now to where you want to go.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Yup, that’s exactly right. Mark Sephton, very much appreciate your time today. This has been very enlightening. We appreciate it. Hopefully, we can have you back some more to talk to our audience about this very important topic of really getting to know yourself and finding joy and happiness from within.

Mark Sephton: Awesome. Yes, absolutely because the death of a friend, when you lose someone that you love, it just points again to the fact that we only get one shot on this Earth.

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s right.

Mark Sephton: Me, I want to be the best version of Mark Sephton I can be. Do I make mistakes? Yes. Do I say the wrong thing? Yes. Do I miss opportunities? Yes, I do. But I’m not going to stay in those points of reflection of unhappiness, but I am going to utilize what I’ve been given to the best that I can so that my life is not just an echo but it’s a voice because I think there’s a massive challenge there for people to realize that there’s so many echoes, there’s so many people saying the same thing, but it’s time to be a voice. The only way you can be a voice is to really know how you are and say it with conviction.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Well I couldn’t agree more. Thank you so much for the wonderful books and the tools that you’ve given all of us to help us find our own peace, and happiness, and joy. Again, thank you for joining us on today’s show. We very much appreciate it. Like I said, love to have you back for some more interview.

Mark Sephton: Thank you. I’d love that.

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