“Life is just a continuum of learning.” - Omar Pinto
[smart_track_player url="http://traffic.libsyn.com/iammovementpodcast/EP_015_Conquering_Addiction_and_Transforming_Your_Life_with_Omar_Pinto.mp3" title="Conquering Addiction and Transforming Your Life with Omar Pinto" permalink="rockthomas.com/015" hashtag="IAmMovement " ]
Omar Pinto is a world–renowned Addiction Recovery Specialist and Life Transformation Coach whose journey started in his own struggle with drugs and alcohol. Today, Omar impacts people’s lives daily through his podcast, the Recovery Revolution, his thriving Facebook Communities and Life Coaching platforms.
Since its launch in February 2014, the Recovery Revolution podcast now boasts over 1.6 million downloads, and Omar has gone on to cultivate a thriving Facebook Community with over 5,500 members and a successful personal development and life coaching business under his own brand.
In this episode of the #IAmMovement Podcast, Rock and Omar discuss the incredible path from addiction to long-term recovery, how our personal narrative is formed, and why you need to learn to say yes and figure the rest out later. This is a half-hour of advice you can’t afford not to hear.
01:05 – Introduction to Omar and his story
04:41 – How your inner narrative takes shape
11:28 – The consequences of suppressing emotions, and how choosing to grow changes everything
22:22 – Omar’s “rock bottom” moment and the massive action that followed
27:35 – How the language you use affects your personal development
32:32 – Surrounding yourself with uplifting people and common values
35:31 – Omar’s “I Am” statements and how to get in touch
Note: some of the resources below may be affiliate links, meaning I get paid a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you use that link to make a purchase.
Enjoyed the Podcast? Be sure to subscribe on iTunes and leave a review. It means so much to hear your feedback and we’d love for you to help us spread the word!
The secrets to growing and learning continuously throughout your life.
How one moment can affect the story you tell yourself.
Stop overthinking and simply move.
And much more!
“Life is just a continuum of learning.” – Omar Pinto
“So when I overcomplicate things and I think too much and I get caught up in the “how,” I focus on the “what.” I wanted to leave a legacy for my daughter. That’s what I became clear on. I want to be the best version of me.” – Omar Pinto
“It was something about the idea of saying, ‘I am powerless, I am an addict, I’m an alcoholic’ that was not right. And all of a sudden something started to change and in me and I was like, ‘I am a person in long-term recovery.’” – Omar Pinto
“I am a part of the new recovery movement. I am a part of changing the language, the belief systems, the way we look, feel, and talk about recovery.” – Omar Pinto
“Whoever you are around, the people that you surround yourself with are gonna make a difference in your life. So you surround yourself with people that are gonna pull you up, not drag you down.” – Omar Pinto
Hi, I’m Rock Thomas, the founder of M1, the tribe of healthy, wealthy, and passionate people, also known as fulfillionaires. You’re listening to the I Am Movement podcast where we believe that the words that follow I am follow you. Join me and the world’s greatest thought leaders as we discuss the power of transformation and making success a part of your identity.
Rock Thomas: 00:32
Today I’m sitting with world-renowned addiction recovery specialist and life transformation coach Omar Pinto. Omar impacts people’s lives every day through his podcast, The Recovery Revolution, which has been downloaded over 1.6 million times. If you have an addiction and you’re looking for a way to break through, then stay tuned because Omar is going to show you how he broke through his. And today he’s a successful father and husband.
Rock Thomas: 01:01
Welcome to the show, Omar.
Omar Pinto: 01:03
Oh, Rock. I am excited to be here.
Rock Thomas: 01:10
Very nice, very nice. The I Am Movement. We talk a lot about the words that follow I am follow you. And we’re going to talk about your amazing transformation. And I think a lot of people will get out of your story a lot because you’re one of the guys who’s become transparent in what other people I think are hiding, which is we all have addictions.
Omar Pinto: 01:31
Rock Thomas: 01:32
Some of them are positive like working out and things like that. Some of them are hidden and some of them are less positive. So for those people that are listening, I want them to have an opportunity to understand that you’re as sick as your secrets. And as you release that and let it go, it often happens from an extreme emotional event which is something that happened to you that created a big transformation for you. So take us back maybe a little bit to your story as to who you were and why you felt you needed the liquid courage, and then how the transformation transpired.
Omar Pinto: 02:05
Well, it’s funny because so much of that has come to surface even in the last few years. So for those of you that are listening, life is just a continuum of learning. So one of the most important things that I have learned in my life is that growth has to be at the top of my value scale. The more I grow, the more value I have to offer, the more I can contribute, and the better I feel in general when I’m connecting with other people. And so in the last couple of years, I would say the last three years, is where I really started to discover what was it that made me tick who I was before, what was it that pushed me into the liquid courage, right, and then ultimately what that did to me.
Omar Pinto: 02:46
So for me, it was when I was a kid, I was picked on, I was bullied. I was made fun of. I tried to be a tough guy. I tried to take care of my sister. That was a big pivotal of my life that I talk about a lot, especially in my story, is when I tried to defend my sister when I was about eight years old, stood up for her. She was being picked on. And this kid punched me in the stomach, knocked the wind out of me. And I’d never been punched in the stomach in my life. I had no idea. I didn’t even know that was an option. I didn’t know standing up for my sister, getting punched in the stomach was an option. A part of me just thought he was just going to go, no problem, right? There was a part of me that assumed that I knew how to handle the situation and I didn’t. So what happened-
Rock Thomas: 03:30
Let me stop you there for a second-
Omar Pinto: 03:31
Rock Thomas: 03:31
Because you’re dropping a lot of content already. So you didn’t know what you didn’t know.
Omar Pinto: 03:36
Rock Thomas: 03:37
And a lot of people are living their life not knowing what they don’t know and thinking they’re playing with all the information. New information comes along and now you’re like, “What? I got to make a new decision.” Yes?
Omar Pinto: 03:47
Rock Thomas: 03:49
Omar Pinto: 03:49
Okay. So then what happened was the decision prior to that was that I could defend my sister. Not a problem.
Rock Thomas: 03:58
Omar Pinto: 03:59
From that moment, from getting punched in the stomach, a new decision was made, right?
Rock Thomas: 04:03
Omar Pinto: 04:03
I can’t defend my sister. And on top of that, I am weak. I’m scared. I’m small. And I’m never going to do this again. So that was the story. New story is I’m never going to stand up for myself. I’m never going to stand up for my sister. And I’m going to try and be invisible.
Rock Thomas: 04:19
Omar Pinto: 04:19
I want to become invisible because I don’t want confrontation. I never want to get punched in the stomach again.
Omar Pinto: 04:26
What did that do for me? It prevented me from participating in sports. It prevented me from really engaging with other kids for fear of this idea of a potential confrontation. I am naturally gregarious, and outgoing, and loud, and all these things, and I just stuffed that.
Rock Thomas: 04:46
Omar Pinto: 04:46
I suppressed all that and became this kind of shy, scared sort of kid, tried to go unnoticed, right? And what happens is that becomes a target for bullies.
Rock Thomas: 04:57
Omar Pinto: 04:58
You think you’re going to get away with something, but you’re not. You’re the kid that gets made fun of, that gets poked at, and constantly trying to be engaged, right, trying to get pulled out of a shell.
Rock Thomas: 05:10
You’re hoping they have other things that are distracting them like the cute girl down the hallway, the football game they have to play. Let me just sneak by here unnoticed. And then one day they’re bored or they see you and they’re like, “Oh, there’s Omar, let’s go smack him across the back of the head, see what he does.”
Omar Pinto: 05:28
Yeah, plenty of that, plenty of that. The spitballs across the room, that kind of stuff.
Rock Thomas: 05:32
And you shrank even more probably.
Omar Pinto: 05:34
I shrank even more. I tried to become as invisible as I could. And so the liquid-
Rock Thomas: 05:39
So tell us the inner narrative. What were you saying to yourself? You’re going to school. Give us a situation, typically.
Omar Pinto: 05:48
Oh, I hate school. I hate the other kids. I hate myself. I wish I was different. I wish I was a jock. I wish I was as big as that kid. I wish… It was always a constant me comparing myself to others and wishing I was somebody different.
Rock Thomas: 06:01
How long did that last for?
Omar Pinto: 06:04
Till I was 16, so eight years.
Rock Thomas: 06:07
Basically a living freaking hell for eight years.
Omar Pinto: 06:10
Rock Thomas: 06:11
Omar Pinto: 06:12
Rock Thomas: 06:13
Almost no break.
Omar Pinto: 06:14
And not only that, every year before I started a new school year, I would think to myself, “This is going to be different. This time it’s going to be different. The kids are going to be different. My classes are going to be different. I’m going to have a different experience this time. I’m going to be popular this year. I’m going to be…” And every year was the same thing. Same thing. I shrank-
Rock Thomas: 06:36
Yeah. You were in the delusion that the environment was going to create a new you.
Omar Pinto: 06:41
Rock Thomas: 06:42
But you brought your inner narrative with you-
Omar Pinto: 06:44
Rock Thomas: 06:44
And then you start to see the world through the same lens.
Omar Pinto: 06:47
Rock Thomas: 06:48
All this from one freaking event of trying to protect somebody you loved.
Omar Pinto: 06:54
Rock Thomas: 06:55
And the that you attached to that event.
Omar Pinto: 06:58
And this is what’s so important about me even telling that story because it’s… And when I coach people, when I’m helping people, I say most of the time, it’s one event. And it’s a lot of times something you’ve discounted as, “It couldn’t be that. That couldn’t be it.” For most of us, it’s like, “A kid gets punched on the playground and you’re telling me that’s going to affect you for the rest of your life.” Yeah, it did. I don’t know what else to tell you about it.
Rock Thomas: 07:27
No, it’s true. But people don’t realize it. They think that it’s something else. But it’s that little insecurity of we want to belong and we want to matter. And so then did you not have somebody you could talk to about this, and share your worries, and get some reframing?
Omar Pinto: 07:44
No, none of that, okay? As a matter of fact, I was terrified too. I already felt enough shame for being weak, scared, and small. I certainly didn’t want to talk to anybody about it. I didn’t want to discuss it with anyone. My dad tried. He tried to kind of like toughen me up. My dad was a little bit of a bully, so he kind of tried to toughen me up. But I resisted. I resisted because I was afraid, right?
Omar Pinto: 08:08
And so let’s just shift into when I actually did do something about it accidentally is when I drank for the first time and something magical happened. For whatever reason, the alcohol allowed me to let go of that story. It allowed me to let go of that emotional state. Those that, you’re scared, you’re weak, you’re small, you’re not good enough, right, you’re never going to be able to stand up for yourself.
Omar Pinto: 08:37
And all of a sudden I drink alcohol for the first time and it’s like, “Wait a minute, wait a minute. Why don’t I feel afraid right now? Why do I feel like being loud, like being funny, talking to this girl? I’m just going to go walk up and talk to this girl. I’m not terrified to talk to women.” Okay? And so now I’m, I’m able to walk up. I’m talking to everybody in the party. I make friends. And from that moment, new belief systems, new decisions made, “Aha, alcohol. That’s what was missing in my life. This is going to take care of all of my problems.” I go. I have a great time at the party. This is in the middle of my sophomore, the summertime between sophomore and junior year.
Omar Pinto: 09:19
I show up junior year, guess what? I walk on and I see the guys that were at that party, “Hey Omar, what’s up man? Dude, what’s up? What’s going on? Hey, come on over. Come on over.” Instantly the thing that I have been dreaming about my whole life, showing up to school, and this time it’s going to be different actually happened. It was different.
Rock Thomas: 09:44
Omar Pinto: 09:45
But the thing was, and like you said, you just said it perfectly, I am going to show up and my environment is going to be different, right? And that’s the assumption I made. My environment was different. No, I was different. The alcohol allowed me to create a shift in perspective. A shift in perception about me, about the world around me. So I was walking differently. I was no longer with my shoulders down, and head down, and trying to be not noticed. All of a sudden something happened, and I was just walking differently. I felt differently, different things.
Rock Thomas: 10:20
Yeah, and I mean there’s a psychological term called the lost child. And it’s a strategy used when we grow up in order to try to survive essentially. The amygdala, the fear part of the brain, of course you know this, but for our listeners, gets quietened with the alcohol. It’s like, “Hey, calm down fear, doubt and worry and shame. Go to sleep with this alcohol.” And then courage gets a place, and faith, and fun, and playfulness get to step front stage, and they get to act out. Then the world sees you with those players expressing themselves. And they go, “Omar is cool. He’s funny. We like hanging out with him.” You’d come back the next day, they respond differently. And now you’re in the process of creating new files, new belief systems. So then what happened?
Omar Pinto: 11:07
That’s exactly what happened. New files, new belief systems, of course, it’s all subconscious. I didn’t know any of this back then. I just thought, “Oh my God, I finally made it. I’m finally here. I’m finally at the place I always dreamed of being-
Rock Thomas: 11:20
Omar Pinto: 11:20
Popular, having friends, being invited to parties. “Hey, there’s a party on Friday, man. You coming?” “Absolutely.” Right? So then this whole new dynamic personality shows up. And at the forefront of it is alcohol has to be a part of this.
Rock Thomas: 11:38
Yeah, it’s your partner, man.
Omar Pinto: 11:40
It’s my partner. It’s my superpowers. It’s what gives me my confidence and my assuredness of who I am, and so that I can show up to these parties and be the best version of me. Craziness, craziness. But it worked in the beginning.
Rock Thomas: 12:00
Omar Pinto: 12:00
That was the first part of the transformation. And here’s the thing. Here’s the thing. I knew one thing. I knew how I felt with alcohol, but more importantly, I knew what I felt like without the alcohol. There was no way I was going back there. There was no way I was going back to that scared, shy, weak, bullied kid anymore, right? Now it’s my turn.
Omar Pinto: 12:21
And actually because you stuff all those emotions down so far because you’re repressing all of this anger, and bitterness, and resentment. I mean seriously, I was one of those kids that I watched, for example, those school shootings with the kids. It was like the trench coat mafia and that kind of stuff. And I just remember watching them and going, “You know what? I would never do something like that. But I understand.” I get the anger, the frustration, the bitterness, the resentment that just builds, builds, builds. And for some of us, we just stuff them down. They went out and actually took action. Very horrible, detrimental, life-changing, consequential actions. But when you stuff them down, it’s almost worse because when it actually comes out, it’s like a Jack in the box.
Rock Thomas: 13:09
Yeah, it’s uncontrollable. So as we’re breaking this down, Omar, what I’ve learned in personal development is you and I and everybody else seeks to belong to matter, and to connect, and to be loved. And failing that, the person goes out with a gun and shoots people in the school. Think about it. If he was popular or she, and belonged, and mattered and someone walked in the door and was like, “Hey, what’s up?” They wouldn’t go and get a gun. It’s because they became isolated. They felt alone, in solitary confinement. And the pain of that for humans, the human experience needs to connect. It needs to belong. Then they went out and they met their need by doing what they did. You used a different vehicle. You used alcohol.
Omar Pinto: 13:57
Rock Thomas: 13:57
Some people will use being the cheerleader. Some people use, scoring football, touchdowns, being the quarterback. Some girls, if they come across attention, and they can use their body, and they become a little bit slutty. They might use that. Everybody is looking for this strategy to belong and to matter.
Rock Thomas: 14:17
I think today you and I use growth and contribution to others as a way that we can impact and feel like we matter and belong. Would you agree with that?
Omar Pinto: 14:27
Absolutely. That’s what I started off with. It’s the thing. It’s the vehicle that’s allowed me to massively and radically transform my life so quickly over the last three years. It’s the most growth I’ve done in my entire life as soon as I kind of moved into the personal development space.
Omar Pinto: 14:45
But just to kind of finish up in the drinking part is to say that at some point I was the fun, gregarious, confident guy that could pick up girls, and showed up, and was a fun guy at the party. But after a while that repressed anger, and bitterness, and resentment would actually look for opportunities to bully other people, to pick fights, to insult people, to make them feel the way I felt when I was being picked on and bullied. So it started having the counter effect.
Omar Pinto: 15:15
And that’s when I first started to feel the consequences of like, “Huh, this is not working beautifully, perfectly. I’m now getting into fights. I’m now bullying people. I’m now becoming the person that was affecting my life so detrimentally.” And it started to push people away from me. It started pushing friends away from me. It started to lose girlfriends over it. And it started having a negative effect. Right?
Rock Thomas: 15:43
You behaved like a dick.
Omar Pinto: 15:45
Yes, absolutely. I became a dick.
Rock Thomas: 15:47
Not that you were, not that you were. You behaved as one, right?
Omar Pinto: 15:51
Yes, we’re not our behavior.
Rock Thomas: 15:53
The alcohol was present. So sometimes it can have a weird effect on you. So how did you navigate through all of that, through the wonderful man you are today?
Omar Pinto: 16:01
Well, the big thing was there was a 12-year period of time where it was an alcohol lifestyle. So there was definitely great moments. There was definitely shining moments so I want to just keep going.
Rock Thomas: 16:18
Omar Pinto: 16:18
There’s also consequences. I got a DY, all the fights, embarrassing my friends, losing friends, that kind of a thing.
Omar Pinto: 16:25
Then when I got into drugs, when I got into cocaine, specifically cocaine, the radical change in personality is ridiculous. I don’t know even know how to explain it. It’s a 10 X factor of going from being a dick to a complete asshole. I don’t know which is worse. But either way it is. It completely isolated me, everything that I felt when I was a kid being picked on and bullied, now with the drug use, becoming this massive jerk that everyone was just like, “I want nothing to do with that guy. Nothing-
Rock Thomas: 17:05
Omar Pinto: 17:06
Isolated again and get to that point where as I recognized that I’m so deep in the drug use, so deep in the drug abuse. I can’t stop using drugs. I can’t stop ruining my life. I can’t stop facing consequences. I want to stop using drugs, but I’m so hooked to them that I can’t see my way out.
Omar Pinto: 17:24
There is this moment in my life where I was like, “I just hope I don’t wake up tomorrow. I just hope I took enough drugs today and drank enough alcohol that I just don’t wake up because this is too hard. Life has become too…” I’m in my 30s. I’m only 31 years old. And I’ve just given up. I’ve got a wife who’s pregnant. I mean I have so much to live for, but I can’t see it. I can’t see it. All I can see is this inability to stop doing the drugs.
Rock Thomas: 17:51
Now how does a woman marry a guy who’s going through all of that? What was that like?
Omar Pinto: 17:58
Well, I mean you said we had 25 minutes, so I’m trying to keep it brief. But here’s the beautiful thing about that. When I came to Costa Rica… I moved to Costa Rica to start an online casino and sports book. And that’s when the drug use started. So I was about 30 years old. I was 29, moved to Costa Rica, came to open up an online casino and sports book, and got introduced to drugs. But I also got introduced to this beautiful Costa Rican girl. She’s nine years younger than me. She’s only 21 years old. And I show up as the guy from California.
Rock Thomas: 18:34
Omar Pinto: 18:34
I was a mortgage broker, very successful organized businessman. I may have partied when I was in the States, but I was a weekend warrior.
Rock Thomas: 18:45
Omar Pinto: 18:45
When it came to work, I had strong work ethic. I was a six day a week bust my ass in the mortgage business, in the real estate business. So there was a factor in there. It was like money was way up in the value scale, a lot more than partying and assing out.
Rock Thomas: 19:03
Okay. Oh wait. I mean wouldn’t you call that like a functioning alcoholic or a functioning drug addict?
Omar Pinto: 19:09
Rock Thomas: 19:09
I mean you get through your day and then at nighttime you turn into somebody else. But you pull your shit together in the morning and you make it happen because, A, you’re a winner and you need to win. And B, you also need to service your debt-
Omar Pinto: 19:24
Rock Thomas: 19:24
And service your addiction/debt, a boring and mortgaging your future. I mean you were a mortgage broker. You mortgaged your future literally, right? So you got it on all sides.
Omar Pinto: 19:39
But it’s true. There is this… When you don’t understand addiction, then if you have any kind of control whatsoever, then you just assume you’re not.
Rock Thomas: 19:48
Omar Pinto: 19:49
So during the week I had a strict policy of not partying, so I’d actually… Even at night, I’d come home, I’d go. I even went… I’d get up, go to the gym, go to the office, do my deal, come home and crash, right?
Rock Thomas: 20:03
Omar Pinto: 20:04
Rock Thomas: 20:05
Omar Pinto: 20:06
Weekends, who knows?
Rock Thomas: 20:09
Omar Pinto: 20:09
Game on, right?
Rock Thomas: 20:11
Omar Pinto: 20:11
Starting Friday was Friday, Saturday. And then on Sundays, yeah, we’d be like, “Okay dude, we’re just going to sleep all day. I’m going to get over this hangover, come back on Monday,” because I knew, I knew there was something in there in my brain that calculated really to be successful, you have to make a lot of money. And to make a lot of money you have to be sharp. You have to be on point. You have to be able to-
Rock Thomas: 20:35
Omar Pinto: 20:35
You have to be able to execute. So you’re only-
Rock Thomas: 20:37
You have a great personality. People like being around you. I’m sure you did very, very well. You charmed your lady. You got her pregnant. And then what happened?
Omar Pinto: 20:46
Well, the thing was she met that guy. And it gradually started to unravel when I started doing the drugs. Her hope was some way, somehow her standing by my side, her sticking there, her trying to figure out what the next move could be, that somehow I would gravitate back to the man that I was when I first came to Costa Rica. Meanwhile, year after year, I got worse and worse. When she was a few months pregnant…
Omar Pinto: 21:16
Well first we got engaged, “Maybe he’ll change.” No. Then we got married, “Okay, he’s got to change now.” Nope. “I’ll get pregnant. Then he’ll change.” Nope. So then finally a few months into the pregnancy, she’s like, “I can’t risk my daughter’s future with this clown, so I got to go. I got to bounce.” So her decision was, at that point, “My daughter has to take priority over Omar. It doesn’t look like he’s ever going to make it back to that guy.
Omar Pinto: 21:41
So she had hope. She had hoped that some way somehow I was going to figure it out. And it wasn’t until she left me. Because that was me, when we talk about the pivotal moment, that time where the burning boat moment for me was when she left. And I was like, “Oh my God, I didn’t think she’d ever leave,” because she didn’t. It doesn’t matter how bad I got. She was just trying, trying to finally it was like, she’s gone. And I’m like, “Oh my God.” And I had burned through all my friends. I’d cave the business. The casino went under. I mean I was in the typical rockstar cocaine rock bottom story, lost a business, lost a wife, lost my friends, ended up alone.
Omar Pinto: 22:22
The only thing I had left was this suggestion that a therapist had given me 10 months prior to that moment in my life where I was like, “I can’t do this anymore.” And he says, “You know what? You need to go to those 12-step meetings. You’re a drug addict. You need to go to 12-step meetings.” And I had what we call in 12-step fellowship, in AA, or NA that moment of clarity, that white light, spiritual awakening where it was like, “You know what? I think I need to go to one of those meetings. I might be a drug addict.” Okay?
Omar Pinto: 23:02
And immediately, that kind of moment, it sprung me into action. As soon as those two thoughts came into my mind, it wasn’t like, “Well, I think I’m going to go tomorrow. You know what? I think I’m going to call and find out.” No, it was I got in my car. I had woken up. It was the first thing I thought about. I got in my car, took massive action. I drove to the therapist’s office that gave me the suggestion. I go, “I need help. I can’t stop using drugs. I’m losing everything. I’ve lost everything. How do I get to one of those meetings?” “Here’s the directions. It starts in an hour. Go right now.” I got in my car. I drove there right now. Massive action. Sat in the chair. Sat down. “Hi, my name’s Omar. I’m an addict. Help me.” Massive action. Ask for help. These guys said, “We got you.”
Rock Thomas: 23:51
Omar Pinto: 23:51
That was the beginning of my massive transformation. It was in that moment.
Rock Thomas: 23:55
So check this out. You’ve given them the ultimate success formula that I believe in is number one, until you’re clear, you’re going to be scattered. Once you get clear, you need to make an internal commitment to yourself, “I’m going to do this,” or, “Consider it done,” or, “I’m not going to quit till it happens.” Once you do that, you scan the area for what’s available. You scanned, you looked, and you thought, “Hey, that conversation, AA.”
Rock Thomas: 24:25
And then the next thing is once you establish what’s available, you move, and you did exactly that. People sit there and think about it. Should I call? Shouldn’t I call? What if it’s that? Dadadada. What if they don’t like you? What if I’m embarrassed? No. Move. That massive action you call it, I call it movement. It’s walking a direction. Walk across the room. Ask for help. So you did all that.
Rock Thomas: 24:47
I say that because I think a lot of people complicate things.
Omar Pinto: 24:49
Rock Thomas: 24:50
And it’s really very simple. Get clear what you want, look for the resources, look for what’s missing, move, and gather them, and figure it out along the way.
Rock Thomas: 25:00
So you went from, “I’m an alcoholic. I’m a drug addict,” as your identity because you had so many references from it, “I’m a badass when I drink or I do drugs. I’m powerful when I drink or do drugs. I’m not afraid.” So you had all of those working in your favor to maintain that story. But then you had the downside of the hangovers, and the alienation, and the being a dick and an asshole all combined. And then eventually as all those negative addictions you borrow from your future, you ran out of runway, people were leaving you. You arrive there. What happens now?
Omar Pinto: 25:39
So at that moment, it was the time when my daughter was born. Okay? So in that moment when I was finally… She left. I finally went to a meeting. I asked for help. And then my daughter was born and from there, it was just go time. It was like, “Don’t ask questions.” It was like, “How? Okay, what do I do next? I’m here, I’m at the meeting. What do I do now?” “Okay, get a sponsor.” “Okay, what do I do now?” “Okay, do these step works.” “Okay, what do I do now?” “Show up every day. Do this.” “Okay, what do I do now? Okay.” So I just got myself a mentor, and I modeled the mentor. All right? And I’ve mastered the process.
Rock Thomas: 26:21
I’ve heard that somewhere.
Omar Pinto: 26:24
There’s so many correlations to M1 and the things that I’ve learned in there that I didn’t recognize that I was already doing them-
Rock Thomas: 26:32
Omar Pinto: 26:32
Until I got into… Say yes and figure it out later.
Rock Thomas: 26:35
Omar Pinto: 26:36
The first time I heard that, I’m like, “Where have I done that before?” Right? Because I have, and it works.
Rock Thomas: 26:42
Omar Pinto: 26:42
So when I over-complicate things, and I think too much, and I get caught up in how, then it’s done.
Rock Thomas: 26:48
Yup. Well you’re-
Omar Pinto: 26:49
What, I wanted to leave a legacy for my daughter. That’s what I became clear on.
Rock Thomas: 26:54
Omar Pinto: 26:54
What I became clear on, I want to leave a legacy for my daughter. I want to be the best version of me. I want to be the best father that I can be. I want to be the best example, the best man. When she’s looking for a husband, I want her to go, “I want him to be like my dad.” Okay, so what do I have to do to get there? And so I showed up. They told me what to do.
Omar Pinto: 27:14
And so fast forward, I mean, I’m 16 years clean and sober now. Go back four years and it’s when I launched my podcast on recovery. There was something that was missing. I was no longer growing, but I didn’t realize that’s what it was. I had stopped growing, so I became complacent. When I became complacent, I felt like I could no longer contribute the way I used to be able to contribute. I felt like when I showed up to the meetings and was sharing, I was like,
Rock Thomas: 27:40
I don’t feel alive, right?
Omar Pinto: 27:41
Yeah. I’m like, I’ve just lost my whole kind of like-
Rock Thomas: 27:46
Going through the motions, yeah.
Omar Pinto: 27:47
Yes, totally. And when you start going through the motions, eventually that boredom kicks in and you’re like-
Rock Thomas: 27:54
Yeah, you look for something else to get in trouble. So listen.
Omar Pinto: 27:58
Rock Thomas: 27:59
I’ve got a really important question for you. And we’ve gone over time, but we’re going to keep on going for a few more minutes is in AA they say, “I am an alcoholic,” and you know that I teach the words that follow I am follow you. And I’ve always had a bit of a challenge even though they’ve got success in that organization. What are your thoughts around that?
Omar Pinto: 28:20
My thoughts are very similar to yours. Once I got to that point where I launched the podcast, it was basically because I felt like there was something there that was missing for me. I needed to grow a little bit further. And what I found out is a lot of the language that they were using in there was really what was kind of pulling me away. It was something about the idea of being, I am powerless, I am an addict, I’m an alcoholic, and I was… And something was not resonating. I’m like, “I’m not that way anymore. I’m different.” Okay, I have a successful podcast, right? I have a following. I have a passion for living, and growing, and learning.
Omar Pinto: 29:01
And all of a sudden some started to change in me. And I was like, “Huh, I am a person in longterm recovery.” And when I moved into that direction, because there is, there is an I Am Movement in the recovery space that moves away from negative language-
Rock Thomas: 29:18
Omar Pinto: 29:18
Moves into empowering language which is I am a person in longterm recovery. It takes all the negativity
Rock Thomas: 29:24
I love it. I love it.
Omar Pinto: 29:26
Rock Thomas: 29:26
So glad to hear that.
Omar Pinto: 29:27
Yes. So as a matter of fact, I’m going to be going… Next week, I’m going to Vegas. I’m going to be speaking at Mobilize Recovery. And Mobilize Recovery is all about changing the dialogue; changing the way we talk about addiction, the way talk about recovery; bring in a very empowering, non-anonymous, okay, presence to the idea of lots of positivity, lots of empowerment, lots of growth, lots of change into the discussions and into the mindset behind recovery.
Omar Pinto: 30:00
So I’m super excited to be part of that movement. So I am a part of the new recovery movement. I am a part of changing the language, the belief systems, the way we look, feel, and talk about recovery. And that’s where really my podcast came from. It came from this desire that I didn’t even know exactly what it was that I wanted to change or I felt needed to change, I just knew something needed to. And that’s when I launched the podcast.
Rock Thomas: 30:27
You’re a beautiful human being. I love it.
Omar Pinto: 30:30
I love you, brother.
Rock Thomas: 30:31
I love you.
Rock Thomas: 30:33
Do you have to replace it with something? Do you have cravings? Do you go to a party and go, “Oh, I think about it”? What is that like?
Omar Pinto: 30:41
No, that’s all completely, completely… I’m a different person.
Rock Thomas: 30:46
Omar Pinto: 30:46
And I have different needs. And so for me, for example, I would never be thinking that in a party because I don’t go to alcohol drinking parties, that kind of thing. It doesn’t interest me. It’s almost like, “Hey, Rock, there’s this incredible Mormon convention, right, that’s happening. I’d love for you to come. I don’t know if you’re going to feel comfortable there because they’re not discussing anything you’d like to talk about, but you’re more than welcome to join us.”
Rock Thomas: 31:15
Omar Pinto: 31:16
Okay. For me, the party circuit, it died.
Rock Thomas: 31:20
Omar Pinto: 31:20
There’s nothing in there for me. There’s nothing in there… In other words, if I go there, I’m wasting my time.
Rock Thomas: 31:25
Well, I think that we go through transformations. For instance, I don’t eat meat anymore. And I don’t go to a restaurant, and go, “Man, I wish I could eat some meat.” I don’t miss it. It’s a choice. I drove a taxi in Australia when I was 20, 21. And I was bored, so I smoked cigarettes. I’m not a smoker and I don’t walk around going, “Man, I wish I could have a cigarette and light one up again.” So I can get that there could be that complete shift. It’s just I think the people that continue to go and continue to stay in that disempowered state, they look at it as they’re deprived and-
Omar Pinto: 32:03
Rock Thomas: 32:03
I think it’s a different space that you’re in. You’re kind of like, “Hey, you know what? That was a chapter in my life. It no longer serves me, and therefore I make these new choices now.”
Omar Pinto: 32:14
Not to say that if I was in an environment where I’m with my friends… For example, the people that are in the same personal development space that I am in, okay?
Rock Thomas: 32:24
Omar Pinto: 32:25
They’re not recovering alcoholics or drug addicts.
Rock Thomas: 32:28
Omar Pinto: 32:28
Right? So they drink.
Rock Thomas: 32:29
Omar Pinto: 32:30
But here’s the thing. We have things in common that we’re going to be able to discuss. For me, the alcohol, it doesn’t even play a role. If you’re drinking in front of me, I’m not sitting there going, “Oh man, I wish I could have a sip of that.”
Rock Thomas: 32:42
Omar Pinto: 32:44
It doesn’t even register. It doesn’t register.
Rock Thomas: 32:47
Right. Got it.
Omar Pinto: 32:48
For me, it would be no different than somebody drinking a Coca Cola in front of me.
Rock Thomas: 32:51
Yeah, yeah. Got it.
Omar Pinto: 32:52
Okay. It doesn’t create a trigger. So that for me, really the most important aspect is I am big on your circle of influence. So whoever you are around, the people that you surround yourself with are going to make a difference in your life. So you surround yourself with people that are going to pull you up, not drag you down.
Omar Pinto: 33:12
So if I’m at a party where everybody’s taking ecstasy and rave music’s going on and rock stars, then I recognize, “Okay, there’s no one here that I can actually connect with.” If I’m in a convention or if I’m somewhere where people are drinking, okay, alcohol, but the theme is also personal development, growth. We’re talking about, passive income. We’re talking about social media. We’re talking about the I Am Movement, okay? All of a sudden there’s things that we can talk about. And if somebody is acting out, if somebody decides to go a little bit overboard, I’m just going to steer away and I’ll just move to the person that’s clearly-
Rock Thomas: 33:52
I’m with you. I don’t shoot. I don’t chew gum. If somebody’s chewing gum is to me like, “Oh my God, I got to move away from that person, they’re chewing gum.” You know what I mean?
Rock Thomas: 34:02
So what are some of the most important things to you now? What is Omar focusing on now?
Omar Pinto: 34:10
So for me right now, what’s really been great is my speaking career. That’s what I’ve been focusing on specifically. For whatever reason, I hadn’t been able to… I’m a speaker. That’s who I am. I’m naturally gifted at speaking. But I just could not because I had opportunities to speak and sometimes I would show up and I’d kill it. And sometimes I’d show up and I’d fizzle. And I couldn’t figure out what was that missing piece. And so I hired a speaking coach.
Rock Thomas: 34:40
Omar Pinto: 34:41
Through the speaking coach, we figured out what was holding me back. And then as soon as that happened, it was like launch time, okay? So now I am actively seeking speaking because like I told you I’m going to Vegas. I’ll probably be speaking at another convention in October. So there’s these things that are happening that once…
Omar Pinto: 34:59
There’s two factors in this. Now when I want something, it’s like, “Okay, so what is it that I want? There’s this thing that I want.” And then I worry about the how. So I get very clear about the I want to be a public speaker. I remember when I… It happened probably in the pod. But I just remember going in one of the masterminds. It was like, “I want to be a public speaker. What is it going to take for me to be a public speaker?”
Omar Pinto: 35:24
So first I got to get clear, I want to be a public speaker. Okay, now how do I get there? And here’s the thing. The universe created the how. I interviewed somebody on my podcast who also had a speaking coaching platform, and boom, it just happened. It was like-
Rock Thomas: 35:46
Omar Pinto: 35:47
The universe is talking to me. This is hand delivered. Let’s roll with it. And things have just started to happen magically since then. Say yes, figure it out later.
Rock Thomas: 35:55
I love it. So who are you today?
Omar Pinto: 36:00
I am a coach. I am a gifted speaker. I am someone who inspires people all over the world. I am a person in longterm recovery. I’m a lot of things. But more than anything else, I’m outspoken and I care, right? So, so today, what my primary focus is the podcast which launches every Tuesday. It’s called the Recovery Revolution. My clients, I am a life transformation coach and addiction recovery specialist. So I have my coaching clients that consume a large part of my week, and now my speaking career. So a lot of what, who I am today is someone who wants to inspire as many people as I can in this world to change their lives, and to say yes and figure it out later.
Rock Thomas: 36:47
So Omar, how do people get hold of you if they want to talk to you, hire you, work with you, what’s the best way?
Omar Pinto: 36:54
The easiest way… I made it super simple. Omarpinto.com, it has all my coaching. It’s got my social media. It’s got the podcasts. It’s got everything there. Omarpinto.com, go there and reach out.
Rock Thomas: 37:07
All right, well I appreciate having you on our show. And I just want to remind everybody that the words that follow I am follow you. So make sure that you consciously and intentionally describe yourself. And even if you’re not there yet, you can use the word. Let’s say you want to grow on being more compassionate. You can say, “I am compassionate or I am becoming more and more compassionate.” You’re giving it energy. You’re giving it attention. And you can grow into a new version of yourself just as beautifully as Omar went from being this little kid that was bullied and afraid that he reinvented himself as this kind of party guy, drinker, and then the druggie. And then he’s now this beautiful soul that is in, what do you say, extended recovery?
Omar Pinto: 37:50
Rock Thomas: 37:51
Longterm recovery and inspiring others by focusing on his own personal growth and giving people the tools to grow through their personal situation. So Omar, I’m not going to say I am. I’m going to say you are a badass.
Omar Pinto: 38:08
Thank you, brother. I am a badass. I feel like a badass, and so are you.
Rock Thomas: 38:12
Thank you. I am a badass too. Thanks so much. I appreciate you being on the show.
Omar Pinto: 38:16
Much love, brother.
This is the I Am Movement podcast. To find out more about how you can join the I Am Movement and take your life to the next level, go to gom1.com.