GAP Brian Bill | Emotional Needs


In this episode, we have a very special guest. Host Glenn Bill’s brother, Brian J. Bill , joins us. Brian is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor. For those who have mental health issues, related to people with mental health issues, have addiction problems or are related to people with addiction problems, you’re going to enjoy and learn so much from this episode.


Show Notes:

2:59 – Brian Bill introduction

5:04 – Mental health; how to assess for a mental condition

10:36 – The 4 A’s – Attention, Affection, Affirmation, and Acceptance

11:16 – Attention

13:33 – Affection

19:38 – Affirmation

23:55 – Acceptance

27:25 – The emotional makeup of an addict

32:23 – Is group therapy as effective as one-on-one or is it depending on the person?

33:05 – Regulating your emotions

39:03 – Attitude lesson about birth

40:57 – Attitude lesson at 10

42:24 – Attitude lesson at 20

43:37 – Attitude lesson at 30

45:48 – Attitude lesson at 40

47:30 – Attitude lesson at 50

48:56 – Closing

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Brian J Bill, NCC, LMHC & LCAC – IU Health

Bridging The GAP For Broken People And Relationships

I want to welcome everybody to attitude booster number six, control your emotions. We all need that. Please remember to subscribe, rate, and review us on your favorite platform. We are so grateful to all of you, followers, for all the comments, emails, text messages, and reviews. It’s been humbling. I could not do this without people that follow and share me. The bottom line is the world is getting better one attitude at a time, not only because of me but because of every single person that does that.

Let me tell you something. In this episode, we have a guest that probably looks a lot like me because why? He’s my brother. We have my brother Brian J. Bill, LMHC and LCAC, which means Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor. Any of you guys who have mental health issues, related to people with mental health issues, have addiction problems or are related to people with addiction problems, you’re going to enjoy this episode.

Brian, welcome to the show.

It’s an honor to be here. Thank you, Glenn.

Brian, you’re a Licensed Mental Health and Addictions Counselor in Indiana. You’ve been professionally addressing mental health problems with youth and adults since 1990. You’ve worked in a variety of settings, including outpatient and intensive outpatient programs, partial hospitalizations, acute care, and residential treatment. You’ve been running into some people that need some attitude or that have some attitude or a lot of negative attitude or addiction attitude.

To me, all attitude is good. We try to make attitude a healthy attitude.

Let’s start with mental health. First of all, let me ask you this. If you had to define it, when you think of attitude, what does attitude mean to you? How would you define it?

To me, attitude is having an understanding that we can have healthy attitudes and unhealthy attitudes. Where are we in life with that? Also, having that awareness of where we’re going to.

You see on the mental health spectrum, there are healthy people and unhealthy people. We say attitude is the way you dedicate yourself to the way you think. We know that attitude also has to do with your feeling or emotions. The way you think affects the way you feel. I’m always like, “You’re thinking like that. How does that make you feel?” If I talk to people, I’m like, “You feel like shit because you think like shit.” When we talk about mental health and attitude and we talk about healthy or unhealthy, how could our audience, who are called GAPers, self-assess if they got a mental condition or if somebody they know or love has a mental condition? What’s a way to spot that?

We all have some mental health needs we need or need to take care of. If I could take a step back, we could help the GAPers understand that there’s a difference between feeling emotion and mood. When we look at those three elements and we’re talking about duration, the feeling comes real fast. It’s like the tide comes in and goes back out.

Your emotion lasts a little bit longer like 1 or 2 days. People say, “It’s been an emotional day.” What does that mean? What does that look like? When you get into a mood, you’re talking about a longer 3 or 4-day period. It’s like, “It’s been a mood this week.” We look at those three elements and where that is. We look at emotion, mood, and feelings, both positive and negative. We look at the intensity too. We’re looking at a spectrum there.

The people you’re working with are on a high spectrum.

It all depends. I’ve worked with couples. The number one complaint from women is, “My husband doesn’t connect with me emotionally.” It’s not a complaint. It’s like, “How do we turn that volume up for the men or people that are not in tune with those emotions and feelings?”

Talking about controlling our emotions, this is awesome. “He doesn’t connect with me.” That’s the number one thing we hear and that probably makes them pretty emotional. My guess is there’s a lot of damage and harm. We’ll get to the men and why they suck next, but for the women who feel like their husbands don’t connect or communicate enough, because they don’t control their emotions, does that cause problems?

I’m sure it’s not real positive when you tell them, “Obsessing about this and not controlling your emotions around this probably doesn’t help.” Let’s take the women there first. Do they get too emotional about it? What do you tell them? Is it, “Here’s what you need to consider?” Let’s say I’m a gal that’s pissed off because my husband doesn’t communicate and connect. Jason, you probably never had this problem.

Never once.

Brian, what would you tell these gals when it comes to controlling their emotions? Their feelings are real, but does it run away and cause more problems?

It’s not and the woman’s too emotional and the male’s not emotional. It’s not like the male is too emotional and the woman is not emotional. It’s that sometimes, people are a little bit more cognitive so they think more first. Other people are a little bit more emotional so that emotion comes in. What we teach people to do and you hit on this, is your thoughts impact your emotion. How do I get in touch with that, “What’s the thought,” but what’s the situation and trigger that triggered that automatic thought, which creates the feeling?

Your thoughts impact your emotions. Share on X

When you get into that work, you start getting into some change because people will come in. Let me give you a situation or trigger. Somebody cut in front of me. This is one when I do anger management with men. I’m like, “You’re not going to disrespect me.” We have to walk that back because that’s an emotion and a feeling that came in for a guy. It’s like nobody can disrespect you. When you tell people that, they don’t get it. It’s that thought that comes first. “I’m thinking I’m being disrespected.”

Do you believe that people cannot disrespect you?

I totally believe it. If somebody walks in my face and lubed on me in a group, it’s like, “I’m not doing your F in class.” I know that he was coming from a place of intense shame. He is being disrespectful because it’s his attitude he’s throwing at me. It’s like, “Why should I get caught up in that disrespect? I can’t disrespect myself.” If I got up and threw a chair at him, I’m becoming disrespectful. I’m not honoring myself with my behavior as a licensed therapist.

I was going to say that if a person walks up and pees on your leg, you would say, “No, that’s not disrespectful. He’s coming from a place of disrespect.” That’s why you’re enlightened and you have these letters after your name because 90% of us morons go, “That’s bullshit. That guy has disrespected me.” What a great lesson to learn. We become very emotional.

GAPers, what I’m hearing is especially people who feel disrespected, that’s more of an emotional reaction. It’s not controlling your emotions. Could you imagine what life would be like, GAPers if you never felt like anybody could disrespect you? If you walked out of this show and that’s the one thing you learned that I will never feel disrespected again, my guess is that’s probably very healthy for a person’s mental state.

Since we’re talking about controlling your emotions, we look at your emotional needs. I call these the four A’s. Everybody needs Attention, Affection, Affirmation, and Acceptance. When you don’t get those four A’s met, you get people that act out. They get it in some way, hence getting spit at, getting kicked at, and those types of things. They’re trying to get that met at a deeper level. A lot of our society was detached. People are thinkers or feelers. They can’t line the two up.

GAP Brian Bill | Emotional Needs
Emotional Needs: The four emotional needs: attention, affection, affirmation, and acceptance.


Let’s go through those four. The first one is Attention. People that do not control their emotions and fly off the handle are doing that because they’re trying to meet their emotional need for attention. Tell me what else you’re thinking about it.

Your early life experiences bring this in. If you had somebody that modeled anger and rage and got the attention that way, then you’re going to repeat the same pattern. What people will commonly say is, “I need to do something with this anger.” My first response is, “I don’t want to do anything with your anger. I don’t want to take that away from you, but I do want to get that in a healthy space.” When people rage out, that’s when a lot of harm is being done. Use your anger to cue you in so you don’t go up to another level. Don’t cause harm to yourself or other people. Don’t get into that rage.

I’ve had a couple of angry women. They’re like, “You’re not taking my anger.” I was like, “No. Let’s just think about this differently.” People will say they can’t control it, but with self-regulation, understanding what this anger is from 1 to 10 or it can be any feeling for that matter or emotion, then it’s like a paradox. You do feel a sense of control.

We went from attention and then we walked into anger. What’s number two or the second A? Unless you got something else you want to give us about attention.

How do people get attention? People get that in healthy ways or unhealthy ways. You keep hearing me refer back to that. I do that on purpose. We don’t shame people and we don’t get in the right or wrong. In the business world, it’s a lot different, too, but we try to make it a safe place so people can pour their hearts out and get a sense of this.

This is not a business show. This is a personal development show. That’s why we have you. We know that the more personal development that people get, the more successful they’re going to be, not only in life but in business. We’re coming from a place of safety. We want everybody to feel safe here.

The first one was attention. The second A is Affection. How do we get affection? We can talk hugs, pats on the backs, and high fives. It’s that affection that people display.

Booze, alcohol, coke, and marijuana, a lot of people get affection that way.

You can get it that way, but then it leads to addiction where you’re not getting your emotional need met. You’re getting the shame of yourself and you’re avoiding that. You’re numbing your emotional self. A little bit is okay. A lot is we’re in trouble. People lose themselves.

You work with a lot of couples, which is great. A lot of guys are saying, “She’s not giving me the affection I want.” A lot of women are saying, “I don’t get the affection I want.” My guess is they’re talking about two completely different things. Why don’t we go ahead and jump on that deal? Let’s work through that one. “I’m not giving him affection until he gives me affection.” Tell our GAPers how you work through that issue with people.

With couples you work with, have the man identify, “What’s affection for you? How is this done in a way that’s respectful where there’s consent, equality, and respect?” We look at those three areas. “Is affection more than sex?” Let’s be real. Some people will say yes and some people will say no. It all depends. How do you get those affectional needs met as a woman and a guy? How do you each water that in the relationship?

I always say to each couple, “You got to fill each other’s love tank. You can’t give yourself away and please the other person all the time and then you’re going to be empty. Your forays won’t be met. You’re going to usually develop an anxiety disorder or depression. We’re then going to work on that.” Not all the time. We look at that. What’s affectionate mean for different people? Also, being able to say that and put that on the table.

You’ve got to fill each other's love tanks. You can't give yourself away and please the other person all the time, because you're going to be empty. Share on X

The first thing that comes to my mind is, “No, bullshit. I want them to go ahead and empty their tank on my ass.” That’s what people think, but it’s not healthy. That creates some emotional uncontrol. When your tank is empty because you’ve been watering the whole time, you are probably not going to stay in emotional control.

You’re then going to get emotionally distant. You’re going to disconnect or turn away. That’s going to make the relationship go sour. Since we’re speaking guys or couples, learn what your partner’s affectional needs are. Maybe your wife wants a foot rub. That’s what she wants. Maybe you want to get in the sack, 50/50.

My wife likes me to work my ass off around the house.

Her love language is work.

Rake the leaves and clean the house. We all got it. What’s funny is a lot of times, your need for affection is probably oftentimes the thing that you hate to do most. Is that where it comes from? “I feel affection as long as you’re doing the shit that you totally hate doing because then I know you love me.”

You’re spot on. It’s all hardwired at an early age. It’s like, “Here’s how we give affection or here’s how we don’t give affection. These are the rules.” Your core beliefs are set at 85% by age 3. When the work comes in, you’re like, “I got to reboot this.” It’s not a character assassination on our parents. It’s a learning, growth, development, and self-help deal.

Our attitude coaches unfortunately for us are our parents, grandparents, guardians, or whoever it is. There’s no attitude checklist or how to raise a kid with a good attitude. Your attitude coaches are who they are. That’s why we have this show. We know that people are hardwired and crave love in different ways. We know that people, in order to receive love, have to behave in certain ways. That’s the hardwiring that goes into it. This show is here to help you identify how you’re hardwired.

We talked about Psychology 101. Whose love did you crave more, your mothers or your fathers? Whom did you have to be to get that love? That’s as basic as it gets. That’s one simple question to ask on how to identify that. Do you have another question that you might ask that people could ask themselves to say, “Why am I hardwired this way?” Is there anything else to that?

People don’t ask that question. They don’t look. They go through life blinders. These are called intergenerational family beliefs. They’ve gone on for long periods until they wake up and I say, “You got to break the trance.” “What’s the new trance?” This show is about, “Let’s break the trance. Let’s reboot this computer, which is our belief system, and get in a healthy direction.”

What’s our third A?

Our third one is Affirmation and this is one of my favorite ones. A long time ago, Glenn, you turned me onto a guy by the name of Zig Ziglar. I never heard about giving yourself positive messages before I went to graduate school. I jumped on full board with this guy. I learned that by the time a person’s 18, they’ve heard over 750,000 times, “No,” or, “You can’t do that.” That’s a lot of negative crap. Rebooting that and saying, “I get positive affirmations. Where do I get that? Where do I get people to fill me up?”

However, it is good to say, “Wait a minute. Give me other feedback too that can be corrective. Maybe not be too affirming, but let me learn from this thing as well too.” Affirmation is a great thing. When you get into that, you get into the self-talk. How do you talk to yourself on a conscious level? The change comes when you do this in a ritualistic and subconscious way and you’re then changing that belief.

You’re coming from the self-affirmation part of it. What about people that only seek affirmation from others? If they don’t get the affirmation from others, that drives them insane and they are not in control of their emotions because they’re not getting the affirmation they need. Talk to us about the disorders that are around not getting the affirmation you want from others or if you shouldn’t ever look for affirmation from others.

With people that are constantly seeking that, we call that co-dependency usually. They’re like, “I need somebody else to fill me up or tell me that I’m okay.” There’s a degree of that where we want, but it needs to come from within. If we love ourselves, not that we’re narcissists, we do in such a way that we can respect ourselves. Other people say that that can come and go, but our belief system and sense of self don’t hang on to what other people say.

GAP Brian Bill | Emotional Needs
Emotional Needs: Your belief system and sense of self shouldn’t hang on to what other people say.


On the flip side of that, certainly, some of our GAPers live with people, related to people, or might be this person that has nothing good to say to their partner, their friends, or anything. They constantly point out the negative. They are the antithesis of affirmation. That happens in self-talk too, which probably leads to suicide. They’re like, “What I’m focusing on is what I can’t be, can’t do, and can’t have. I’m depressed. I’m going to kill myself.” How do you deal with people that are very negative or never affirming of you as a person? They’re doing is criticizing and jabbing. They have mean-spirited comments. Some of our GAPers are experiencing this in their relationships. How do you help them through that?

A person has to want that help first. They have to want to change that. It’s been my experience of many years in this work that people are that negative and filled with anger. Anger is a secondary emotion. If you were to pull back the anger, you’re going to get to the core pain of a person. Somebody that angry is in deep emotional core pain. For anybody to share that deep emotional core pain, you need to have truth-telling and truth comes with two things, physical safety, and psychological safety.

Maybe they’ve never felt physically safe or psychologically safe. They’re like, “Let me keep everybody away. I don’t want to be vulnerable and to trust. F the world. I’m going over here.” People have a choice to do that. If you want to do that, that’s fine, but then what are the consequences? It’s pretty lonely and miserable. They’re like, “I have 93 cats that I’m living with instead of anybody else,” but it’s a choice after a period of time.

That’s where the hoarders probably get it from.

I don’t know how angry they are.

Why do you think people hoard?

I don’t have an expertise on that one. I haven’t watched too much of that.

What’s our fourth A?

The last A is Acceptance.

Talk to us about acceptance. These are our four emotional needs. This is why everybody does why they do things. This is why you say what you say, read what you read, and do what you do. You’re getting 1 of these 4 periods.

It’s all the time and it’s happening very quickly through nonverbal or verbal communication. Acceptance is all about, “Who accepts me? Do I accept myself first? If I accept myself first, then where do I get that acceptance from?” Is it healthy acceptance or unhealthy acceptance? Some people are living these emotional needs, but they’re just living it. That’s why I mentioned the unhealthy way because they haven’t found a way to get healthy and find that thing called inner peace.

How do you get inner peace? How do you dial people in? There’s somebody walking on the beach or sitting in the car that’s going, “I can’t find inner peace or acceptance. I don’t feel good about myself. I just went through a financial reversal or a personal reversal. I don’t accept myself. I can’t find inner peace and I don’t think I’m ever going to find inner peace. It gets worse. I’m out of control. I can’t control my emotions because I can’t accept myself.”

There are a lot of golden nuggets in what you said. A lot of times, people will come and feel lost and distraught. I’ve worked with suicidal people that have tried to commit suicide or attempted. They get to that point and hopefully, nobody’s there at that point, but I say, “Thank you for acknowledging the pain in your life. Thank you for losing $1 million,” or you’re divorced, have been in jail, or whatever it is. Acknowledge it because once you’re lost and you admit it, you can get on track.

How many times have we all been driving and been like, “I’ll find my way,” and we’ve been doing this for hours and is maddening? “I do a lot of hiking. I know where the trail is.” Two hours later, you’re like, “We need a compass. We got to admit we’re lost.” That gets into AA, NA, and all the recovery Twelve-Steps. You’re like, “I got to give up the control and the loss so then I can be found.” You then get that back in a paradox.

We did a good job covering some mental health fundamentals on emotional needs. We look at this LCAC or Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor. Let’s talk about this thing called addiction and the emotional makeup of addicts. I’m guessing most addicts don’t have a lot of emotional control. Why don’t you give me your blanket statement on the emotional makeup of an addict and if they do have control or not?

Addiction is a disease. If some of your readers haven’t heard this, it starts with increasing tolerant independence. “I needed one joint and I used to smoke on the weekend. Now, I’m smoking a half bag over a period of time. I needed 1 beer or 2 beers. Over a period of time, I need a case.” What addiction does to the emotional self is it numbs it and slowly turns it off over a period of time. That’s the way I look at it.

GAP Brian Bill | Emotional Needs
Emotional Needs: Addiction is a disease. It starts with increasing tolerance and dependence.


People do that for a variety of reasons like learned behavior, pain, pleasure or this is what society does. “I was eighteen and went to college at IU. I never grew out of it and I’m in my 60s.” Whatever it is, there are a million roadmaps into addiction, but usually, it’s a systematic desensitization process where it’s like, “I need a little bit more and more.”

My good friend, Mike Danton, says, “It then owns your ass. It’s a bitch.” When you deliver those hardcore lines, that usually snaps somebody else because who wants to be a bitch? Nobody, but the disease of addiction is controlling. It’s that horrible. I’ve worked with people recovering from heroin and meth addiction. They call heroin the devil. It’s no joke. It will kill you. I’ll ask in group, “How many people have overdosed and died in here?” Half of the hands will go up and say, “Yes. That much death and destruction is going on in our society.”

They haven’t died because they’re there.

Correct, but they’ve died mentally or emotionally. They’ve had Narcan or have been taken to the emergency room. The first thing that goes into their mind once they wake up is, “Where’s my drug dealer? You messed up my buzz and high.” Heroin is a nod so let’s go into a nod. People in recovery don’t get that right away. It takes maybe 3 or 5 months’ worth of saying, “I was that unhealthy. I wanted to go and it’s the first thing I wanted to go do.” I’m like, “You’re being real and honest. You can start dealing with this thing.”

Do they become addicts because they’re meeting these four needs? Is it true that if you’re hitting 3 out of these 4 emotional needs, that’s what causes addiction because you’re like, “This is filling all of my needs?”

That’s the trap. For people that have been through a lot of trauma or early horrible life experience, you do this addiction and it makes you feel whole again. It fills them up, but then over a period of time, it’s not fulfilling. It’s the opposite. It’s not just emotional needs. There are a lot of other things that go into addiction. If that were the case, we’d be millionaires. It’s a huge factor.

What is the worst you’ve ever seen? What’s the biggest redemption story? What I’m looking for is like, “I’ll never forget this one dude we worked with. It was this bad.” Maybe he wasn’t redeemed. Maybe he’s dead now. I’d also like to know like, “This guy was jacked out or messed up, but you know what? He beat it.” If we can hit one or both of those. What was this where you’re like, “This is disturbing. This cat is messed up?”

When I’m working with people, I look at how this disease has the person. I’m not shaming them saying they’re messed up.

You’ve got different words.

I want to be respectful of what they’re trying to do in recovery, but I have people who have come into the group shooting up and being high. I’ve had guys and women that have stayed up twenty days on meth, and it’s like, “How about we walk you over to inpatient?” They’re hallucinating and seeing things. They’re like, “Mr. Brian, thanks.” “Let’s get you over there, come back, get into recovery, get clean, get with a group, and do some beautiful work.”

In a way, it’s like you see the demons in people and this thing working. The beauty in that is like, “This is an opportunity for them to get well too.” There have been people that I’ve worked with that I found out later died as well too. That’s the reality and the nature of our work. You have to keep getting up and doing the best you can.

Is group therapy as effective as one-on-one or is it depending on the person?

Group therapy is the preferred modality for treating individuals recovering from addiction because you break that shame and get to go in there. It’s very common. You’ll have people that have used together early in life and they’re all in recovery in life as well too. It’s a beautiful thing.

Have you ever sat as you were treating people and said, “You got to do a better job of controlling your emotions?” Has that ever come out of your mouth in treatment?

No, because we use something different. They’ll say they’re out of control and we call that, “Let’s learn emotional self-regulation. What are the two emotions?”

I’m going to have to change the card, Jason, to regulate your emotions.

That’s from neuroscience. That’s backed. This information is coming along before you even set those too. There are two emotions that people cannot stand. I’ll go ahead and tell you that. People cannot tolerate fear and rejection. It takes people to that place.

There are two emotions that people cannot tolerate: fear and rejection. Share on X

You say to them, “You got to regulate your emotion.” That’s proper. They look at you and go, “Dr. Bill, how am I supposed to do that? Don’t tell me about it. What am I supposed to do? What do you mean regulate it?”

Language is everything in my work. We employ a technique called motivational interviewing. I’ll say to them, “Tell me a time when you felt rejected or afraid and you didn’t cause any harm to yourself or anybody else.” They’ll be like, “I did that.”

GAPers, first of all, tell me a time when you experienced these emotions of anger, loss, or fear and you didn’t cause any harm. Ask yourself that. If you’re reading, understand that they charge $500 an hour. You’re getting stuff just for subscribing, rating, and reviewing. That’s powerful. That’s a great technique.

You think of yourself as successful. Usually, everybody in addiction is like, “This is going to be the last time.” It’s a lie. You tell yourself. You’re living that lie and crushing yourself and that self-esteem. This is a way to start building upon that success one day at a time.

Regulating your emotions, number one is to ask yourself, “When have you experienced these without doing harm to yourself or others?” What’s another thing they can do to regulate their emotions?

You can also scale your emotions. On a level of 1 to 10, say you’re going to a party. There’s your husband’s ex-girlfriend. It’s like that F and B are over there. You can see it. It’s going to be a ten. What can you do to make that a 5, 3, 2 or 1? What does that look like and feel like? Also ask yourself, “Where do I experience this emotion in my body? I’m happy. Where is that?” “I’m happy because let’s say we went to dinner.” Take dinner out. Where is happiness in your body? You’re sinking that into your brain.

When you think about not getting a paycheck and you’re going broke, that’s probably a ten and then you say, “How can we make that look like a five?” People come up with answers for that.

What they’re doing is putting a cognitive thought to it instead of the feeling.

It’s because thoughts are things.

Also, a feeling. There’s the work that gets done right there.

I wish we had more time because I’m sure people want to do the work. If you do want to do the work and you believe that Brian is somebody that could help you bridge the gap from where you are to where you want to be and from who you are to whom you want to become, I don’t know if you’re available to help people. I know you’re employed by IU Health. You don’t have a side gig.

I do. I work in collaboration with kids, but I usually do some small practice with adults. It’s very small. I would suggest doing your work first. Do the workbook. Let’s go.

If they are reading this and they wanted to reach you, what could they do? Could they email you?

They can email me at I’m more than happy to help.

That was powerful and good. I hope that we have given you some real tools and questions on how you can control the emotions that are raging inside of you. We don’t want you to control them. We want you to regulate them. We’ve moved to a higher level. GAPers, regulating your emotions is one of what most people say is the most important attitude booster that they see on the card.

I hope that during our time with Brian, talking about your emotional needs for attention, affection, affirmation, and acceptance is something that hit home with you or will make you feel better about yourself. More importantly, not just will it affect you but everybody that you are around. We are into phase two, which is called Knowledge Through the Decades. This is a little game we play to have fun.

We’re going to walk you through your life. We’re going to take you from childbirth through 50 and ask you about the attitude lessons that you learned as you grew up through life. I know a lot of people don’t consider themselves as remembering their childbirth, but what do you believe the attitude lesson is of a newborn baby? If you remember your birth or the birth of your grandchildren, what’s the real attitude lesson you can take from an infant?

My birth was traumatic. I was premature and put in an incubator. For me, it was like, “Keep living.” That’s what I heard from Mom, “Just keep living.” It’s comical cause when we grew up, every birthday, you had to hear your birth story so that shaped me. They didn’t tell me the part like, “We’re going to Vegas. Stay here because the doctor ordered that.”

This is how cool the medicine was in the ‘60s. The premature is in an incubator and the doctor said, “Go to Vegas.” You’re freaking kidding me. My wife is a social worker and she falls on the floor. She’s like, “I can’t believe that.” That’s so awesome. I forgot that.

What my takeaway is I learned. That’s part of my hardwire. Congratulations. Your grandson was just born. What a fighter right away.

He’s naturally healthy. Nothing needed to happen.

It’s phenomenal. That’s what things are for me. Keep on going. We’re here for a purpose.

Keep on going. We're here for a purpose. Share on X

Keep living. If you’re a GAPer, possibly the best infant lesson we’ve had is, “God dang it, keep living. Don’t give up on yourself no matter how bad it is Think of my brother in an incubator where his parents are going to Vegas.” Weren’t you like 2 pounds?

I was 2 or 3 pounds. I had stitches all over me. They didn’t even take baby pictures of me. We had a contest at work like, “Send your baby picture.” I’m like, “I don’t have any.”

Did you have surgery when you were out of the womb or right away?

I had some growth on me that they cut up. Our older brothers like you looked like Frankenstein.

We’re going to take you from that unbelievable infant attitude lesson to being ten years old, which put you right around third grade.

What comes to my mind right away is my dear friend, Ed Schilling, who’s a basketball coach. A call out to him. His father just passed away. Ed and I used to play on the playground and he was a great athlete. He schooled me left and right. I said, “Come to my house and you can beat my brothers in basketball,” which he did. That attitude was I played football in the Salamanders at that age for Dad. I go out and compete at ten. I enjoy sports. We didn’t have too many video games. If we had them, we broke them and then we’re out playing basketball. We played sports. That’s what you and I did and our friends.

That attitude lesson is the value of competition and how to embrace it. Even though somebody’s better, 1) There’s always somebody better than you, no matter what it is but, 2) Leverage that person that’s better than you to gain pleasure by him beating the crap out of your older brothers. That’s a hell of an attitude lesson. There are people better than you. Get them on your side and leverage them to do better things. You graduated from Broad Ripple High School, the famous high school of David Letterman. You’re out of high school and you’re twenty. If you remember your 21st birthday, I always like to ask that. What was your attitude from 20 to 21? What’s the attitude lesson?

My attitude was adventure. I was in Taekwondo. In my adolescence, I didn’t make the basketball team. I was too short back then and they were great. I was a runner and I went into Taekwondo. I then became very fascinated with the Orient so I went to Korea.

Shout-out to John Bryan.

I was in the Army. I was a listed guy. Shout-out to my boys in the 516th Personnel Services Company. We had a good time.

Adventure at the right time, which is 20, not necessarily 50. When I was 20, I had 2 kids and I owned a business. If you’re a person that hasn’t experienced adventure and that has been grinding since age fourteen because you’ve had a hard life, with the attitude of adventure, maybe the right time is now. Maybe you’re 50 or 60 and it’s time to take that in. You’re happy you did that.

I’m extremely happy.

You’re out of the service. You’re 30. Do you remember your 30th birthday?

I do. I remember I’d worked in human service fields being a direct care staff, a behavioral analyst, and all these low-paying jobs. I’m like, “I need to get my education completed.” I ended up coming back from the service and got my Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, but it was time to move on and get into a Master’s degree program. That’s when I took that plunge and said, “Let’s get serious and learn about mental health and addiction.” I’m meeting my great wife and getting serious about life. That’s probably right before more graduate school goes in.

Thirty was like, “I got to get my shit together, focus on my career, and get some expertise.” For our GAPers out there, you may be sitting there floundering going, “I don’t have an expertise.” This might be the call to wake you up to say, “I can do better. There’s more in me. I’m fed up with who I am and where my results are.” Ultimately seeking, you will find riches and achievement when you focus your attention and narrow something into your expertise, which is what you did. If you haven’t done that, it is time to search. How do you help people find their passion or their future?

GAP Brian Bill | Emotional Needs
Emotional Needs: You will find riches and achievement when you focus your attention and narrow something into your expertise.


We have an exercise. It’s called motivational interviewing or card sorts. It’s a values clarification card sort and you have five categories. You have cards and you place out about 100 different values. That helps give some direction. We can do that at some time too if you like.

That’s good. Do you have that at home?

I do.

We’ll do it with the girls after the show. I like it. In 30, you got your shit together and things are going well. You turn 40.

40 is working with professionalism, learning all I can to be the best that I can be, and getting these initials per se. I was wanting that knowledge and was hungry for knowledge and experience. I got a lot of experience in a lot of great different places. I’ve done every type of care from psychiatric inpatient to home-based therapy and outpatient. I’ve seen a lot and done a lot. To me, that’s the best.

You quit drinking for a little while there during your 40s too. You laid off the booze, but he’s going to have a beer with me after this interview, which is cool. The bottom line is if you need help, get help. You don’t have to necessarily be stuck. How did you reconcile that? Were you like, “I think I’m good. I’ve studied this enough. I can control myself?”

There was a time when I was out of control of my life, but I went into therapy and met a great person and said, “I need to take care of my stuff.” I won’t get into my whole story, but it’s like when I sit across, go through this work and do this work, I feel obligated like, “This is what I want to become and this is what I want to do.”

The point is it’s not too late if you’re 40.

I’ve had people come in at 70 or 80 and do some work. It’s never too late.

You turned 50. Was I with you on your 50th?

You were not. I did a marathon up in Charlevoix, Michigan. I walked it. It was one of the slowest marathons I ever did. My theme is fitness. I’ve done 7 marathons and maybe 100 half marathons over time. It’s taken a toll on my joints. I look for movement in different ways. I enjoy that aspect of hiking and getting out. I’ve done that with groups of adults and kids as well too.

Physical fitness. The attitude thing is, “I got to take care of my body.” It goes down quickly.

It’s all about energy too. We’re from a lot of energy. My wife has an abundance of energy. She’s the only person in my life, and I’d say this at her funeral, that called me lazy. I’ve done all this physical fitness, and she’s like, “You’re lazy.”

She’s a lot older than you too. Hi, Carla.

Shout-out to her.

That was mean-spirited. I’m sorry, Carla. You’re the best. Here’s a deal. Here’s how I knew if Carla will read this and it’s that if she kicks my ass because I said that. For her being 70, she’s gorgeous. That was awesome. Thank you for being a part of the show.

It’s an honor to be here. Thank you.

The most important thing Brian talked about was the four emotional needs of attention, affection, affirmation, and acceptance. The question I have for you is how you are getting those four needs. Whom are you becoming to get those four needs? Are you meeting those needs? Who meets those needs for you? Are you able to meet those needs yourself?

If you answer that question, you do nothing else, you read every single episode and you address that issue with yourself, then the time that we’ve spent together has been well spent. I also think that it’s important you share that information with the people that you love most, possibly your spouse, children, employees, coworkers, or anybody that you care about.

Brian gave us a lot to think and converse about, especially with the people that we love most in our life. I hope that through this show and this specific episode, your life has been enhanced as we try to change the world one attitude at a time. Brian, what’s the last positive thought that you can leave our readers with? We got a GAPer. This is your one time to say, “Here’s my sweeping overall philosophy on happiness, life, and dysfunction.” What do you want our people to leave this episode with that they’ll remember you by?

It’s one of my favorite quotes by Lou Holtz. “If you think what you accomplished yesterday was important, then you haven’t accomplished anything today.” It’s all about going out and accomplishing today. Honor what you’ve done in the past but don’t live in it. Keep moving forward. Enjoy that journey for one and keep accomplishing.

Keep moving forward. Enjoy the journey and keep accomplishing. Share on X

I love that saying too. It also says, “If you want to be remembered tomorrow, do something great today.” We’re working on booster number six, control your emotions. I’m so happy I was here with my brother. You knocked it out of the park. Jason Jolliff from Studio J, thank you for producing this fine content. I’m reminding you that you cannot win in life, relationships, and business unless you win in your mind first. We will see you in the next upcoming episode.


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