Anthony Trucks is a former NFL Athlete, American Ninja Warrior on NBC, international speaker, host of the Aww Shift podcast, and the founder of Identity Shift coaching. He uses cutting-edge science and psychology to upgrade how you operate so you can elevate your life and business to reach your full potential. After being given away into foster care at three years old, being adopted into an all white family at 14, losing his NFL career to injury, and more, he learned how to shift at a very young age, and now his life mission is teaching others how to Make Shift Happen in their lives.
6:07 – Things you didn’t want to do.
7:29 – Adopted mother and only black kid in all white family. Wouldn’t be the Anthony Trucks you are today had you not gone through being given up by birth mother. Birth mother is a pathological liar. Looking up biological father.
15:44 – Clicking into “The Zone.” In this world, the returns come from actions.
19:01 – What were a couple of the most important actions that you took to bridge the gap. “Do I belong here?”.
21:22 – Dealing with adversity in the form of an injury in the NFL. What’s your process in dealing with adversity? The challenge of puzzles. Adversity is the mother of perseverance.
24:54 – American Ninja Warrior. Rekindling with an old flame and remarrying. Loved being a dad. Having an identity shift. A book by Joyce Myers.
34:53 – Who helped you change your life? Being alone with yourself. Steven Covey’s book, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” “Man’s Search for Meaning”.
37:25 – Knowledge Through The Decades. Attitude lesson of a newborn baby. The perspective of self.
42:46 – Attitude lesson from the age of 10? Creating worlds of what we think we deserve.
44:35 – Attitude lesson from the age of 20. Anything is possible, good or bad, if you don’t control it. What teammate had the best attitude?
46:11 – Attitude lesson from the age of 30? Apply the lessons that I’ve learned.
47:50 – Closing message of hope. Own your shift. Make shift happen.
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Bridging The GAP From Abandonment To The NFL With Anthony Trucks
We are going to be with former NFL player Anthony Trucks. He is a professional speaker, an author and a teacher of life. Anthony wrote a book called Identity Shift. Anthony, tell us what we’re going to learn.
They’re going to learn how to be able to take the crazy things life throws at us and turn them into amazing stuff, what I call making shift happen. No matter what you’ve gone through, where you’re at or what you want to achieve is always going to be a gap, which is great, between who you are and you want to be. That’s an identity gap. If you don’t understand how to change that, shift and adjust, you can do some creative, cool things. We talked about all about that and my story on the show.
Welcome to the show, where you come to find out the secrets about how to get from where you are, to how to get to where you’re going, and how to bridge the gap from who you are to how to bridge the gap to who you want to become. We have a guest that is going to give you the secrets, the tools, the mindset, and the identity shift that it is going to take to help you get from where you are to where you want to go. I’m so honored to bring into your life Mr. Anthony Trucks. Let’s go ahead and throw up a little something about Anthony.
We are all met with moments where we not only get to see who we are or we get to choose who we will become. It’s in those moments that we must realize that our new life is going to cost us our old one. When you decide to pay that price by giving up here, your old bad habits, your ego, your excuses, your lack of self-belief and your anger from past pain that you decide to experience life at a level.
If you ever get a chance to experience a life full of happiness, fulfillment, joy, peace, overwhelming gratitude, not only for the good, but also for the bad. Those times have strengthened you to endure there with a fire that hardened your will and resolve to create a life far bigger than the one you could have ever imagined a life where you get to finally know who you are, why you’re here and what you’re supposed to do with your life.
My name is Anthony Trucks and I believe we are all on our journey to get the answers to the questions that fuel our dreams and inspire us to create our legacies. You are the most powerful being on this planet and your created for a purpose far greater than your eyes could ever see. I know this because you close your eyes and you listen closely. You’ll hear your heart whispering, “It’s time to play bigger.” The question you have to ask yourself is, will you?
We are here with the one and only, Anthony Trucks. He is the creator of The Shift Method to help people choose the identity gaps that we are responsible for and the shortfalls on their path to success. Anthony is a loving father, husband, and man of faith, as well as a passionate dog dad and his family lives in Walnut Creek, California. He is a speaker. I’ve seen his stuff. He is an excellent speaker. He hosts the Aww Shift and Shift Starter podcasts and is a former NFL player and professional athlete with an amazing story. Anthony Trucks, welcome to the show.
I’m happy to be here. I’m excited to be here with you. I love your energy. I love the concept of the show. I hope I can leave some gold for people.
I think you’re definitely going to drop some bombs on us and you’re going to help people certainly bridge the gap in their life, their business, their relationships, all of that good stuff. Let’s jump right in, Anthony, your definition of attitude. How do you define attitude? How important is attitude? Most importantly, I want to know who your first attitude coach might’ve been.
I like when people ask me questions that I have not prepared or have any idea of an answer for because it’s going to come right from the heart. Attitude is the game-changer. It’s the separation between what I know to do, what I know I’m supposed to do, what someone’s told me to do and whether or not it gets done. I think it’s that one segmented piece of us that if you can tap into it and you can switch it on. That’s what allows people to make shift happen. That’s the thing. My first coach that was big on attitude was Don Pellum when I played with the Oregon Ducks.
I’m not going to lie. I hated him when I played for him. He was so difficult. He was so hard. He made us do things that didn’t make sense, but it got to the point where you could do it and you had a positive attitude with it. It made life easier. When I got to play with the Buccaneers later with Coach Jon Gruden, it was easy for me. I’d already dealt with somebody who taught us that navigating of the personal attitudes. I hope that answers your question. That’s my perspective on attitude.
Did you ever play with Casey Cunningham? He played for Gruden with the Buccaneers. Was it Casey Crawford? I can’t remember his name. A big-time mortgage guy now. He’s doing some amazing things. When you talk about Don Pellum making you do things you didn’t want to do, give me an example of what that was.
We would always have these obviously pregame meetings. The day before the game, the whole team has to show up and meetings would be like 2:00. The whole team was up at 2:00, but not for the linebackers. We had to be there like 10:00, 10 30. We watch film for hours. Granted, we watched film all week, but he’d make us get food and come in there three hours early. When grades were due by Friday, they were due for us by Tuesday.
He’s like, “You can get it on Monday and Tuesday, right? Why wait until Friday?” If you don’t have a sweat broken by the time practice starts, he’ll make you sweat after practice. The way that he used to make us do things, it’s like always as extra. At the end of the day, when I look back on it, those little things, it started ingraining in me to where you start showing up in life differently because it’s not something you have to do. It’s who you are to do those things now. Those intangibles, they apply themselves outside the game of sports and make other cool things happen.
Was he picking on the linebackers? Was he only doing this to the linebackers or was it everybody?
He was the linebacker coach. We had the coordinator. It’s only the LDs. It’s funny because all the other guys used to be like, “I couldn’t handle DP.” We’re like, “We can’t either. Can somebody come save us?”
In your personal life maybe, who was the biggest attitude influencer before you became who you became as a football player?
That would be my adoptive mom. I was given away at three years old. I experienced a whole lot of craziness growing up. About six years old, after three years in the system, I land into a family, which is my family now and that uniqueness. I’m the only black person in an all-white family. We grew up in a poor situation. However, I was a hard little kid. I was very unhappy, very closed off. It happens in foster care. If you look at any prison in America, 75% of our inmates are former foster kids, half the homeless population. Less than 1% of us go to college. I believe we get walled off and we get shut down. We don’t trust people. Our own moms and dads didn’t love us or they did some heinous things to us.
This woman came in, and I tell people she loved me out of my shell. She loves me to a level that doesn’t make logical sense. When it goes past logic, the only place that can go is a heart. Your brain can’t handle it. The heart finds a way to. I was like, “This woman loves me.” She helped me change the attitude I had around being this foster kid who didn’t fit in, wasn’t accepted, to where I had this attitude of, “I can probably do some great things.” It set me up on a trajectory that is vastly different than other counterparts of mine from the same situation.
I think you would know better than me. There’s not a lot of success stories out of the foster care system. I don’t know what it is, if 75% doesn’t go well and 25% are fortunate enough to have the experience. Do you have any statistics or any generalities of what the results are in foster care? I’d love to know the attitude it takes of a successful foster care parent because we may have some foster kids reading this.
We definitely do. There are 400,000 foster kids in the state of California. When we get to the rest of the country, it gets more. I think the interesting part of it is there’s not some statistic. I wish there was. I do know there are phenomenal organizations, some I sit on the board of, where the ideas like finally go back and be a voice that these kids can see. Growing up, I had no shining light. I didn’t know anybody that was doing anything great. Most of the time, foster kids were ashamed of it. I don’t want the world to know that I had this situation. It tucks itself away.
I want to say Simone Biles might’ve been in foster care. I might be wrong with that. I found out that some Olympian like I was, but you don’t know about it. It’s like a dark closet thing. There is a high rate of turnover with foster kids and houses because they come in and what most people don’t know is our attitudes in those emotional situations of these kids. It’s like, “I want to go to my real parents. They may not be good people for me. I want to go to them. How do I get kicked out of this house to go with them? Maybe the next house, they’ll drop me back off at home because the world doesn’t want me.”
We don’t know it doesn’t work that way. It was such a high turnover because we were bad. What ends up happening is you got these parents, the ones that make the change for us. They love us in ways that don’t make sense. It takes a while to crack. You realize we’ve been in different foster homes that said, “We’re going to keep you.” Different parents who love you and no one’s panned out. We don’t have a reason to trust anybody. It’s the world. The parents that do, the other ones that can show up in ways that are beyond what anybody else has done in our past.
I want to understand this. You were with your folks from 1 to 3 and then they turned you over?
Yeah. I bounced around. I might’ve been in about five houses before landing in my sixth house, which has been my family ever since.
I can’t imagine the trauma that can cause to a kid. Do you remember being three and making that transition? Do you remember it that far or did you have no idea?
This is what I’ve come to find. Whenever you have traumatic moments, your brain kicks on and you start remembering things. I could tell you the layout of the apartment of the house when my mom gave me away. I remember being given away. I remember getting in the car, driving out. I remember the first house I went to. We’re going to go to the end of the rainbow to see the leprechaun. It’s there. It’s locked in. As much as I’d like to not remember a lot of it, it is most definitely all there.
It gets into that concept of effective blaming. You would not be the Anthony Trucks you are now if you didn’t go through what was done. Maybe the voice that you share with people in your audiences and with the Gappers here on the show, that voice, message, ability to overcome is real in your life. Whatever our readers are thinking that was tough in their childhood, we have somebody that we can relate to see how he got past that. Last question, are your birth mother and father in your life or are they not?
No, my birth mother is what’s called a pathological liar. She’s a loopy bird. I haven’t talked to her since I was about twenty after I had my son in college. Here’s the interesting thing was when we were growing up, all my siblings, we had these visitations we were allowed to do in this town called Martinez. It was like this building, you go there, mom and dad show up and you get to hang out. I didn’t have the same dad as all three of my siblings. We’d go to show up. It was always them and their dad and me with nobody because mom wouldn’t show up. Never failed every single time, she would call afterwards and give me some crazy excuse as to why she wasn’t there.
At one point told me she owned Apple. She was with NASA. She was a Mensa member. She had all these crazy stories because I’d eat them up. She believed them. She was crazy. She believed all of them. It took me all of the years, but eventually, I severed rights and got adopted and had to go to court action civil rights. She left my life. We had a weird reconnection at a point when I was in college after I had my son. I’m now on national television playing sports, with the last name Trucks.
Most Trucks don’t look like me. I’m like, “She knew who I was.” That was the last time. My biological dad, oddly, I met him. It was weird. After I had my son, I connected with my real grandma. Somehow, I coaxed her into giving my biological dad’s real name. I’ve never known him. I found his name, looked it up. There were three in the country, and come to find him at the Marriott of Georgia. My first game, the next season, my true sophomore year, was going to be at Mississippi State, five hours away.
I’m going to meet my dad. I’d like to start, but I got a fifth-year senior in front of me. How do I beat up this guy that’s been there five years at the University of Oregon? I’m sitting there. I buckled down. I got the job. That’s a different story. I showed up in ways that didn’t make sense. It was beyond logic. I got the job. I got to have my first college start on national television. We won the game. I got a game and met my dad.
You and I both know because we’ve been around when a coach has invested in a fifth-year senior to let him go for a freshman, that’s hard to do. My guess is that you were taking some anger out on some people as you were going to get that spot. Would that be accurate?
It would be inaccurate. I’ve never been an angry football player. I’ve never been like Ray Lewis spit in your mouth, like the program. I’ve never been that dude. Here’s the thing though, when I want something, I will find a way. You’d want to call that the ghost of a different switch. It’s like an out of body experience. There’s a different level of where I lean into. I can do it to this day and work capacity. I do it when I get on stage. It’s like I am out of body and I roll. I call it that zone. That’s what it is. Can you click into it and do I click into it? I read the plays. I was learning everything in the weight room. I was out working every single time I touched that field. You could not slow me down. It turned into something. I made plays. It turned on me to start.
To bring this to our readers, some of our Gappers are starting at a company, in a relationship, building something and find themselves standing at the front of the bridge. It’s like you did as a freshman going, “How am I going to get and bridge that gap to where I want to be?” Can you give me 2 or 3 words when you think about yourself? You said, “I need to start. I need to be out this fifth-year player.” What was the secret formula? I know you said I outworked them all, but what else comes to your mind?
We’ll call it in hindsight. I call it the whole concept of making shift happen. That’s my thing. If you think about making shift happen, remove the F, you get what it means. In order to do that, the concept of what you’re trying to create has to be out of bounds, normalcy or what makes sense. It’s a whole idea or else it wouldn’t be a special word. It’d be like, “I make normalcy happen. I’m making some crazy stuff happen.” What has to happen at that moment is first, you have to realize that the person you are right now, that’s not the person that’s going to get the thing done, or you’d already have it. Logic tells you if I was that person, I’d already have it.
It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you, but in comparison to the goal you got, you got to have level up a little bit. There is nothing wrong and it’s not that tier. For me, what I did back then that I’ve now understood and codified is I could’ve figured out who do I got to be and how do I become that person? I’d like to say, “You decide I want to be this person.” You sit back and wake up one day and your eyes open, your feet touch the ground, and you’re that person. That’s not how it happens. It happens because you make investments.
If you want to ask the key, it’s an investment. If you think about investments, I want a return. I’m putting something in. I want the return. If I put some money in you, I want my money back and then some. The return comes in this world from actions. It’s the actions that create the outcome and achievement. The big part of it is the action’s investment return is a transformation or a shift into that human being.
Let’s say we’ll start whittling a chair right now. I’m not a chair whittler. If you gave me a year making chairs, you better not challenge my chair whittling ability. I’ve got the cuts, the scrapes. I’ve got the chairs sitting there. I’ve done the work and it sucked to build up to it, but I got there. When you ask, like, “What do you do at that precipice, that moment there?” It’s got to make shift happen. The goals must be wrapped around what actions I must take beyond who I see myself as right now, long enough and hard enough to where at some point that’s who I am.
When you look at the actions you’ve taken to get from the little boy who you were into Division 1 athlete into a professional athlete, what would you say are the 1 or 2 most important actions that you took? Whatever that story may be where you said, “I’ve made a jump,” but what were the actions that you took?
The biggest one was to convince myself I belong there. I’m being honest. When you’re leaving high school going to college, the question is inevitable. “Do I belong here?” When I was in the NFL, I question like, “Am I supposed to be here? I don’t know. Is this an accident?” Although you’re there and somebody chose you to be there, and they’re telling you, “Yeah,” it’s difficult sometimes for us to go, “Yeah. I belong here.” That was the first one, making sure that I belong there.
The second part of it was convincing myself. You convince yourself by showing up and doing small things every day to where you go, “Yeah. I belong here.” That’s it. As much as it sounds simple, it’s very difficult to do that. For me, you got to realize I had a lot of baggage from this foster care world of my mom didn’t think I mattered. She gave me away. Why should I believe I do? Whether or not anybody says, there’s that little voice in the back of my head.
Have you ever been riding a bike or driving and you stare at something and the next thing you know, you’ve drifted off towards it? You’re like in the lane. What I noticed is if we focus on that thing, somehow, we’ll drift off. If I don’t have a thought that I belong, that I don’t take actions, I’ll look at it and go, “I don’t belong here.” I’ll drift off towards that I don’t belong here without my actions. I’ll show up late. I’ll self-sabotage. I get a bad attitude. I won’t do things. I’ll blame it on coaches. I won’t take ownership and next then I’m out and I can go, “See, I knew it who I was,” or you go, “What are the things I got to do?”
It’s got turn that wheel, but then little by little, I start seeing that thing and sure enough, the same thing happens in a positive direction. I do show up. I am on time. I do the small little actions. It leads me to a point where I wake up one day and I couldn’t tell you it’s going to happen Wednesday at 5:00 on the fifth. You wake up one day and you look back and go, “I did it. I like this guy. I know who I am. I am this person,” but it’s a process.
Certainly, in your life, everything’s not peaches and cream and strawberries and Rosemarys. We focus on the show, our Season 1, we have ten attitude boosters, ten things that boost your attitude if you participate in them daily. When I read your story and have researched you, you’ve dealt with adversity. I know that you were in the NFL. You ended that career with an injury. What I would love to hear from you is how do you view adversity? I love adversity. It makes me alive. I eat adversity for breakfast. That’s my deal. I want to know what’s your process of dealing with adversity that helped you overcome because you’ve been through some stuff.
I think the thing with people is we don’t like it, but we appreciate it. I don’t know if that makes sense. I love actual puzzles, the weird little block things you get from the store. They have metal bars, those things. I thoroughly enjoy the challenge because I think it gets to find out more of who you are. There’s something special that happens once you realize, for the first time, possibly that you got vastly more in you than you comprehend. The only thing that extracts it is adversity. At the neuroscience level, when you are met with a crisis or verse your difficulty, your brain releases different proteins. When those proteins are released, they wire some of the synapses.
They also help adjust part of your genetic code a little bit. Adversity releases at a genetic level more of who you are. It’s a weird concept. For me, knowing that logically, I’m like, “Give it to me. I want to find out who I am.” I got this far off of things. I shouldn’t have been this far. I’m in bonus rounds. I think that’s the way I explain it. You play video games, probably, growing up. You beat the level. Now, like, “I got to get more mushrooms. We’re going to find where to shoot more ducks.” It’s bonus rounds. I lose nothing, but I have everything to gain.
I’m in the bonus rounds of life, statistically I’m in the bonus rounds and the best way for me to continue to keep getting more bonuses is to keep challenging myself and finding adversity. I’m like you. I can taste the adversity. It tastes good. In a weird way like I salivate at it. I love it. It feels hard, but it’s more of like, “Let’s see what you got, life. You’ve been trying to get me the whole time, but I got this.” I’m in that same ballpark of, I love it. It helps me find out who I am. At the end of it, I’m batting 10 for 10. I figured it out, day to day.
We’re with Anthony Trucks. He gave you some seriously good stuff about adversity. I’ve always said that adversity is the mother of perseverance. We all want to consider ourselves as people who persevere. I think what Anthony said about his view of adversity is that, “I’m growing. It creates growth in me. It makes me smarter. It makes me work harder.” There’s so much benefit when adversity comes. If you’re somebody that’s dealing with adversity now, I hope you reread on that because we all need to know that we’re not the people we are unless we go through some adversity, which is cool. Now I’m sure I saw that you were on American Gladiator. Is that true or not?
That is false. I was on American Ninja Warrior.
What was Ninja Warrior before Gladiator?
It was after. Gladiator stopped a few years back. American Ninja Warriors is where you have to hang and swing from your hands and hit buzzers and stuff.
Is that where they do the wall? What is it now? You run up the wall?
Yeah. You have to go through these obstacles.
Number one, tell me what made you do it? What was the process? How hard was it? What was the hardest obstacle? Give us that story.
It wasn’t a what. It was a who. My wife, who was my ex-wife, and at this time, we had gotten back and remarried after three years divorced. She decided she was going to throw my hat in the ring without telling me and enter me into this application online for a TV show for Ninja Warrior. Granted, at the time, I’m about 6’1”, and I was 240 pounds at that time. Most of the people in that show were about 5’8, 5’9, 160 pounds. They’re like, “All the big guys come up at 180 pounds.” I’m like, “I still got 60 pounds on that dude.”
I don’t have rock climber legs. I got football legs. I get this call one day. It might’ve been like February. They’re like, “Anthony Trucks, this is the producer from American Ninja Warrior. You’re going to be on TV in 30 days.” I look at my belly. I’m like, “Not this belly. This isn’t going to be on TV.” I had to figure out how to get myself one, to lose some weight quickly. That day I was on a diet. I then had to figure out how to train. I’d never even seen an obstacle. I’ve done monkey bars as a kid. I hadn’t done that stuff.
In college, we had this crazy coolest frank coach named Jim Red, who was phenomenal at making sure we had great grip strength and natural control. I had this weird body control and grip strength that was useful. I trained for about a whole month because I was so heavy, my elbows would hurt. I got about seven hours of time in. That’s not a lot when it comes to these things.
I show up in Los Angeles. We’re filming on the new Universal Studios where they filmed Bruce Almighty and all these different cool movies. They give you a tour in the backlot. We’re filming down there. I get up and it’s 3:00 in the morning, by the way. You get there at noon. It’s like 3:00 in the morning by the time you go live. This whole thing, it’s like, “All right, go.” You try not to fall in the water. My very first time through, there were six obstacles, the last one was that warped wall.
I watched guys that I was training with, both of them fell. One of the dudes was like a vet eight years in and one guy had been on every show. They fall on all these obstacles. I’m like, “What am I’m about to go out here and get wet in the first one? What are we doing?” I also came to find no football player had ever got through. They’re like, “No football player has ever gotten past two obstacles.” I’m like, “That makes it even more fun, guys.”
I went out there. It was obstacle one after the other. Methodically, I press through. The hardest one was one called battering ram. It’s these poles that have like these toilet paper rolls on poles. You get a jump off a trampoline, wrap your arms around it and then shimmy your body and slide down and then transition to the next one. You swing your body, release and grab and slide again. I’m so heavy. I’m trying to like not to fall off. This one, they all fell on.
I do I get from one to the next one, grab it and when I would land, I’d slide three feet because I’m so heavy. I do it again. I got boom to boom and then land. Next, I’ve got to get up a wall. I remember my wife and kids on the side watching me and I got up the wall and I became the first former NFL athlete to hit a buzzer. It was the only thing. It’s not that it’s difficult. It’s technically scary. You can’t make a mistake. If you do, you’re done. That was my experience in Ninja Warrior. It was a blast. I got to be on TV. My family got to hang out. It was a cool thing to do that on paper, which I absolutely should not have been able to do.
Possibly the most important piece of that story is you were divorced and you managed to make things come back together. What was the attitude it took to be in love, get married, get divorced and then find your way back with your soulmate or your twin flame or whatever? Tell us about that attitude.
We’ll call it the brief story. We were high school sweethearts. In fact, in the yearbook, we are the cutest couple in the yearbook. I’m the homecoming king. She’s been around. We’ve got to college. In college, we went different ways. I went to college in Oregon. She went to UC Davis. We got engaged because I was like, “I want to marry you.” The long-distance thing was difficult. Eventually, she came up to school with me at Oregon, but they had her major she wanted to do. Her family’s like, “Go up there, don’t get pregnant, go do school stuff.” Six months later, she’s pregnant.
Sophomore year, we have a kid. This kid is about to go to college in 2022. It’s super weird. We have this kid. I love being a dad because I now get to give back to a life in a way that wasn’t given to me. I’ve always loved being a dad. I never had a problem with it. I’ve had great joy with it. A couple of years go by and we’re doing college. No problem. Get to the pros. We’re good. I then tear my shoulder. I come home and all of a sudden, life hits a complete different switch on me.
I lose a sense of self because I’ve lost football, got this crisis of identity going on. She’s curious of other men out there that could be the guy. I’m neglecting. We have two brand new twins. She’s at home every day, while I’m at the gym, trying to build a business. She had a four-year-old and newborn twins and no husband around. Statistically, in America, there is a 50% chance of divorce. You add multiples to it, it takes up by 25%. When your family has been divorced, like her family was, and mine was, it adds on to it.
All these statistics of divorce, it’s almost like we were careening down that hill. The next thing you know, it comes to pass where like our marriage isn’t working out. She ends up stepping out. It breaks my soul. We go our separate ways and like everybody else, when you’re in the separation part, I hate her guts. I didn’t want her to die. If she never comes around again, I’m cool. If I ever see her face in my lifetime, I’m good again. I got these kids with her.
Three years go by with anger and spats and those long argumentative, text messages, poking holes, there’s all the stuff. It was what you would imagine it to be. After three years, I happened across a moment where my mom passed away. My adoptive mom passed from MS, seventeen-year battle. My brain started kicking into like, “I don’t like this life. I don’t like this guy.” I started personally doing work on Anthony. I started making my most pivotal proactive identity shift ever. I started to see who I was in ways I didn’t appreciate and like.
I made some real big decisions on who I wanted to be. Those decisions led to me understanding that she made a horrible choice and I take nothing from her on that. However, she didn’t get to that place by herself of even thinking she needed to make a choice. I should have been a good present husband. That doesn’t mean that she should have come and said, “You’re not being what I need,” and that conversation, but I got to take my ownership of my part in the process. That’s all I can do.
In doing that, I forgave her for the concept of the process of what she did because she wasn’t doing it to hurt me. She was doing it to help her. I think when people do things and they have these problems, “How could you do this to me?” I think from my childhood, my parents, my mom, clients and colleagues, people stealing money from me, people weren’t doing stuff to maliciously try to damage me. They were doing them for themselves and it hurt me. It’s a concept and understanding of that.
Also, on her side, she’d always been Catholic. I’d been Christian. She never went to church. I would go to church by myself with the kids. Her brother gave her this book by Joyce Meyers. I don’t know what the book is called. Her brother’s not the guy that’s a faith guy. Part of the joke is like he must’ve found it while breaking into a car or something. I don’t know where he got the book, but he put it next to her bed stand.
One day she woke up on a Sunday, no family, no friends, hungover and the book was there. She picked it up and she came to faith in a way that is powerful and amazing. I grew, and so we reconnected accidentally later in 2016. God put the marriage back together. Now, we have this super cool, bonded deep. I would go back through what we went through 70 times over to get what I have right now. That was the precursor to this brand new relationship and an amazing one at that.
Anthony, you’re about our 79th interview and I can’t say enough how your story and what you’re sharing with us aligns with exactly what we’re trying to do for people. When I think about what you’ve been talking about, I keep saying this, “In order to bridge the gap from who you are to who you want to be, you got to go through some shit when it’s all said and done.” You’re so relatable. I know that story you shared with us is a story that many people are living.
Thank you. It won’t surprise me if there are people going, “If I become a better me, maybe I could rekindle that.” I think there’s a message of hope in that story. Who did you lean on to rebuild Anthony Trucks? Who was your attitude coach? Who were your personal development guys? Who were you jumping all into going, “I need to change?” Who did you seek out and who helped you recreate yourself?
First, it was me. It was looking in the mirror and hating who I was. I’m being honest. I didn’t like the guy looking back at me. Most of the time, people realized that we’re never alone. We’re always with ourselves. If you are finding yourself in conversation with other people, time out drinking, partying, hanging out. Find a moment to look in and go, “Is it because you don’t like being alone? You don’t realize you don’t like who you’re alone with?” That was the first person who showed like, “I don’t like this dude.” When I started going out and seeking ways to improve myself, we’ll call it. I got improved myself. Sports, what do we do? We improve ourselves.
I improve my knowledge and my body. It’s the same thing. It’s no different in this world. The first book I picked up was one by Stephen Covey called The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I think a book that has to do with professional aspects, it helped me decode how to deal with humans. Put first what’s first. I hadn’t done that in the marriage. Seek first to understand, then be understood. I’d spent a lot of years blaming, but I couldn’t get my words in because the person opposite of me knew I didn’t understand their position.
All these ideas are to be proactive. I wasn’t doing it. That book was good at giving me the ability to understand like, “This is how I’m operating as a human. I’m not being very effective.” I read books like Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, the concepts of pain. When the guy went through might’ve been the Holocaust. He had this book to hold onto it, but it’s like making meaning of things. We’re humans as meaning-making machines.
The problem is, unfortunately, no moment has a meaning, but the one we give to it. I was giving things the wrong meaning and reasoning. That book was good to be like, “That’s where the meaning should be.” It made me perceive life in a different way, in the sense of like the things that had gone on in my life. If I’m honestly a man of faith that at the end of the day, they weren’t meant to break me but to build me. They were the things. I let them build me to a better guy and then I showed up differently. I have since, to the point where I now talk about it openly and I find that it helps other people.
What we’re going to do now is finish our interview. We’ve created this thing called knowledge through the decades. You’re not 40, are you?
Not yet. One day.
We’re only going to do a few of these then. What we want you to do is walk through your life and give us what you think the attitude lesson is of each decade of your life. You may not remember when you were born, but you’ve seen three children come into this world. I always like to ask our guests, what do you think the attitude lesson is of birth, of a newborn baby? When you had those kids, what attitudes shift, whether it was the first or those twins? I got twin grandbabies. What was the attitude lesson for you when you saw that life creation hit you?
I remember watching them come out. I was standing there. The funny thing is it expands upon the perspective of self. In the beginning, it’s just you. Now I am more deathly afraid of my kids out in the world that I have of myself. It’s now an extension beyond me, that is me. The attitude is like I got to do a couple of things. One, I got to be dialed. At the end of the day, whatever I do, this is going to affect another human being. I can’t be in the world, living their life. I got to be dialed personally.
Two, I think for me the big thing was I had to now realize there’s this human that whatever I do, even if it’s not directly, it will always indirectly affect them. It’s like how I treated my mom, how I’d show up in my life, what they see matters. I was twenty years old when my kid came out. My attitude was like, “I got to be dope.” It’s not just for me. I got to be dope for this guy and everybody else. I think that was the biggest thing for me, attitude-wise. It’s time to switch it on. Last piece, you never grasped the kind of love a parent has until you have a kid.
I’m going to be weird but I wish my real mom had the same love. She didn’t have it. There’s a different depth of love and understanding when it’s my kid. People talk about late nights. You don’t get any sleep. I get to be up and spend time with this person I love. It’s a different tick. My attitude was I’ve always enjoyed as a parent. Every morning, I get to walk in my house and see my children in their bed and go like, “Yeah, those are my people.”
Is your son going to play college football? Tell me about your twins. Tell me the gift that each three of them have.
My oldest son is vastly wise beyond his years. He’s a track guy. He’s not a football guy. He’s a good human. My youngest son was boxing in the city with grandma. My wife and I went out to the city to go eat dinner with them. It was him and his younger sister. He has a car and he can go places. We’re eating dinner and we get a notification, a little app that says that, “So-and-so returned home.” My wife looked, “He went to Chipotle.” She goes, “Do you think he got Tatum some food?” We didn’t tell him to and he didn’t have to.
I’m like, “I think he did.” She goes, “No, he wouldn’t do. He was about his money. He wouldn’t do that.” I go, “That guy, he thinks about what’s right. He doesn’t question. He does what’s right.” We look at his bank account because my wife can still do that. Sure enough, $20 was out, which means he got her food. He didn’t have to do it. No one had known, but like the dude went and bought his sister dinner. That’s the kind of guy he is. He’s also 4.2 GPA. He’s going to state. He’s going to school out here called De La Salle. He’s one of two athletes going to run state will be in Oregon, running for the nationals.
He’s an amazing gift of a human dude. I am proud to be his father. My daughter, Tatum, is a swimmer, which is not what any of us did growing up. She is the most creative, bubbly, random, weird personality. It’s a great, weird personality. You put her in front of a math book and she’s struggling. You put in front of a crayon, she’s going to paint pictures that’ll make you want to like put them on your refrigerator. She’s cool. She does her thing. She does what’s right and follows through. The gift of her is love. That’s her.
My youngest son is more like me. He is a football player. He’ll poke you with weird little jokes. He’s the guy that we had a football team and the coach’s statement was, “Every once in a while, you get a guy in your team that becomes the individual makes you a contender,” and that’s him. He’s got that motor. He has that knack for the ball in a sports way, but also in life, he’s got a different way of seeing things and at a level that I see it. It was very odd to see a boy who thinks the way he does. He’s a damn tornado. I love it. I tell him all the time, “You’re going to be a phenomenal adult, but we got to get you to adulthood without letting you get in jail or get in trouble for doing stupid stuff.” He’s going to be a killer in life.
Congratulations to you and your wife. I want to continue on knowledge to the decades. As painful and as tough as it may have been for when you were 10, 3rd and 4th grade, what was the attitude lesson from young Anthony Trucks when he was ten years old? What was the attitude lesson that you learned?
I have to go way back in hindsight. I wouldn’t say I was learning a lesson back then, but in hindsight, the lessons I could extract forward to now is a couple of things. In school, I was always the bad kid. At home, I never had this sense of anchor, but I do realize that if I would have had confidence and strength in myself, I could have accomplished vastly more. I was on the verge of going in a GATE program. I’ve always been pretty intelligent but never good at school. I never did the homework. I was that guy who was smart, but didn’t follow through in some ways. Going back, it’s like I didn’t have the confidence that I deserved much.
I think the lesson for me is that we create these weird worlds of what we believe we deserve and don’t deserve off of two things. One, how the people we respect frame it for us, how they treat us, and two, based on what we think we should have based on what we’ve already had. That’s the problem. Just because I’ve had something, it doesn’t mean anything more than I’ve had this thing. It doesn’t also mean I can’t have more, but if I gauge it and I measure off that, I’m like, “This is what I got. This must be all I deserve.”
I thought as a kid, “To be beaten, to be to not be taken care of, to be made fun of, that’s what I deserve.” I never thought past that. I was also gauging my strength of self off of the people that I held rapport with, which was my real mom. As far as I knew, to her, I was worthless. She never showed up. I did not have an anchored sense of belief in myself for any reason at those times.
I want to go to Oregon. You’re twenty. You’re having your kid. Maybe you’ve already touched on this, but the attitude lesson for you turning twenty.
Anything’s possible. This is the problem. Anything in a good, anything in a bad way. Between the age of 20 to 30, I’d had a kid. I played the NFL. I’d opened a gym business. I’d made $250,000 in a single contract consulting. I’d also lost my marriage. I’d fallen apart. I wanted to take my life at one point. Anything in life is possible if you don’t control it. A lot of us are leaves in the wind. We’re running through life and surviving each day. If you let your life let it go, it’ll careen in the direction it doesn’t need to go. For me, 20 to 30, I’d say that bubble there was for sure, like, “Dude, if you don’t handle this, anything’s possible, good and bad.”
As far as professional teammates who had the best attitude that you were ever around as a pro teammate and I’ll take a college teammate too, somebody had an impact on you.
Anthony Madison was a guy. He played for Alabama, played quarterback with the Steelers. We went to church together. He’s a good dude. He’s a guy that’s like, I wouldn’t meet his wife and then his girlfriend the next day. He was a solid human being and probably didn’t even know that I respected him at that level. I haven’t talked to him in years, but a great personality.
Let’s go to 30 years old. You remember turning 30, you remember where you were and when you look at your 30th birthday or turning 30, what do you think the attitude lesson is there?
That’s around the time when I turned my head back on and I got dialed again. My mom had passed away. I think 30 years old was more of like, “This is going to be a long ride if you don’t figure it out.” That was my like, “Let’s figure this thing out,” because the direction I was going was not the direction that was headed in an end result that I wanted to be in. That 30-year-old was like, “You’ve done the things. You’ve learned some stuff. Start taking the lessons and applying them.”
Anthony Trucks, you’ve been so good. I think there are some beautiful lessons. Thank you for being so open with our Gappers. Thanks for being so personal with us. I find the power is in the bellies of each of us in our truth. I think you’ve been great from the time when you talk about childbirth of that ultimate love, that depth of joy to be in that young kid who maybe doesn’t have the confidence or the strength of confidence that you need, or an anchor of confidence.
I thought that was a beautiful saying. To that 20-year-old that said, “There’s anything possible, good or bad.” If you don’t number six on the attitude boosters control your emotions to saying at 30, “It’s time to figure it out.” Gappers, if you’re trying to figure it out, I hope you share this show with people that you care about because there are answers on how you can bridge the gap from who you are, to who you want to be.
Anthony, what I’d like you to do at this point is times are tough for some and times aren’t tough for others, but the world is a crazy-ass place right now. I would love for you to give our Gappers one final message of hope, of what you would do to help them bridge the gap from where they are, to where they want to go from who they are, to who they want to become. I will say that Anthony has a brand-new book coming out called Identity Shift that you can get on Amazon. You can Google it as well if you want to even share a little bit about the book and the message of the book to help us with one last final attitude message of hope. We’d love to do it, and we’ll close it up from there.
You got to own your shift. There are three little segments there. One is own. Own that there is something you’ve got to work on. If you do not own, you got some to work on. You never give yourself permission to improve. The first thing is own that there’s something to work on. Although it may not be your fault, it is your responsibility to fix things. My life is a lot of things that were not my fault, but no one’s going to come in a big cape to come to save me. It’s your responsibility to fix what’s going on in your life.
Shift. Now that you know there’s something going on, you give yourself permission, you’ve got to do the work. You have to shift your perspective on the efforts you have to give, what you’ve already given and what you want to have. If you do that, you will then be able to make shift happen like I talk about. The book uncovers how to do this. It’s not just me telling the story. It’s this framework and process. It’s me walking people through exactly how to think through and actionably apply my Shift Method to their life.
It’s how to bridge that self-identity gap, which is so big. Anthony, thank you so much. This is going to be a wrap. It was an honor to talk to you. I can’t wait to see you on stage. Please go to Anthony’s website. I believe it’s AnthonyTrucks.com.
Anthony Trucks, we appreciate you. God bless you. It was such an honor to have you. Thank you very much.
- Identity Shift
- Anthony Trucks
- Aww Shift
- Shift Starter
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
- Man’s Search for Meaning
About Anthony Trucks
Anthony Trucks is a NFL Athlete, American Ninja Warrior and International Speaker who has been featured in Success, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. He is the creator of The Shift Method to help people close the “Identity Gaps” that are responsible for the shortfalls on their path to success. Anthony is a loving father, husband and man of faith, as well as a passionate dog dad, with his family in Walnut Creek, CA.
Anthony is the creator of The Shift Method to help people close the “Identity Gaps” that are responsible for the shortfalls on their path to success.