Episode 09: Andy Torr - The League of Remarkable Men

This one is for the men.
We live the life we choose, or so we think.
Ever find yourself questioning those choices?
Do you spend your days on the hamster wheel of work and life, just so you can put food on the table?
Do you wonder why some guys seem so in control of their lives, while you feel like your life is running you?

Andy Torr specializes in helping family-oriented men turn their lives from an obstacle course into a meaningful adventure, one day at a time. He is the founder of The League of Remarkable Men, a community for men who are ready to level up in life and work. He is a father of three, a devoted yoga practitioner, and a former professional shark diver.    

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His next workshop is scheduled on Thursday, June 17 from 1-2:30 pm Eastern Time.  It's
titled "Beyond the Man Cave: 6 Keys to Unlocking the Kingdom" and you can register and find more information here: 

Email: [email protected]

andytorr.com/workshop.

If you miss this one, no worries. He'll be doing more in the future. 

https://andytorr.com

Thanks for listening.
If you wish to receive more podcast interviews, updates and useful info,
subscribe at www.Sharmannittoli.com and receive a special gift.

Transcript:

Sharman Nittoli: 0:00
Welcome to the Live bloom podcast where I interview people stepping out of their comfort zones to fulfill old dream seeds or plant new ones, regardless of age. I'm always interested in the challenges and successes of those people. And I also interview people who have specific interests or programs about things that could benefit us on our journey to our Bloom. Hey, I got a question for you. Do you spend your days on a hamster wheel of work and life? Just so you could put food on the table? Do you often feel stuck and overwhelmed? I know I do. Andy Torr did and when he figured it out, he made it his mission to help other men achieve and receive more in work and life with a program that he calls the League of Remarkable Men. And he's my guest today. Welcome, Andy.

Andy Torr: 0:51
Hi, Sharman. Thanks so much for having me.

Sharman Nittoli: 0:53
Oh, my pleasure. So let's start off by just giving my listeners just a little bit of background on where you've been, what you've been up to, and how you got into this.

Andy Torr: 1:06
Sure. I was working as a coach since 2017, started out as a business coach, I made a decision to leave my corporate job and do more of what my my passion was, which is working with people and helping them build better lives. And so I originally intended to help people build better businesses by giving them relationship marketing, coaching, and business strategy coaching. And over that time, I had the opportunity to speak with a lot of men in particular, who were the expression I like to use is they looked good on paper, everything was all good in their lives, they had decent amount of money, they had a business or a career, they had the family and they had ticked a lot of the boxes that men are supposed to tick in life in order to, to be approved of, I suppose. And I noticed that some of those men, quite a large portion of them, despite their external success, we're still feeling stuck, we're still feeling unfulfilled. Some of them were even bored. You know, they, they had so much abundance around them. And yet there was something internal that was driving them and and leading to a sense of dissatisfaction. And when I dove into that, through some deep conversations of what I realized is that there was a, I suppose a set of internal skills that men for the most part, are not taught anywhere else in life. And these are the skills that are really necessary for us to achieve a type of balance in our lives, a type of fulfillment. And without that we spend, like you said, we spend our days on the hamster wheel, we spend our days protecting and providing and accumulating things. And there's, there's no real purpose to it, other than the responsibility of providing for our families. And that's what leads to that sense of emptiness. So when I realized that not only was that a problem that I had myself, as I moved into my mid to late 40s, I was also seeing it all around me that there were a lot of men who had this problem, what I call the now what problem, they had reached a certain stage in their life where they had done everything that they had been told to do. They had checked off all the boxes on the man to do list, which we get early on in life, hey, if you want to be a man, you have to go and get an education, and find a career and make some money and get a house and start a family and settle down. And if you do all of those things, then you will have graduated into manhood. That's the expected thing that men are supposed to do we protect and we provide. All of that stuff is mechanically fairly easy to do by the time you're 35 to 40, most people have done it. But there's a big gap between those items on the checklist. And the next thing on the checklist which is retire. There's about a 30 year gap between start a family and retire, and no boxes to tick in that span of time. And that's where things get a little bit dangerous for men. Because we get into not the to dos' but the 'to don't list', right, don't lose your job, don't run out of money, don't mess up your marriage. Don't alienate your kids. Don't let any of the stuff that you've accumulated go. So you get into this, this resource protection this provider mode. And that's where a lot of men find themselves in midlife, spinning their wheels, and life feels a little bit like an obstacle course. And in my case, I found a way to move from that obstacle course into feeling like life was a bit more of a meaningful adventure. And I did that by rebalancing myself. Not just focusing on business mechanics, not just focusing on making money, but also introducing some really important themes of mindfulness, and mindset, and healthy movement and a good dose of emotional intelligence to help me in my relationships. And that provided a reset for me, in midlife, that put me back in the driver's seat, gave me a lot more choice, a lot less obligation, and a feeling of purpose and direction that I could then take into the second half of my life. And that's what I do with the League of remarkable man, I built a program around that experience, which I've seen in so many men, and invited men to come and mastermind with me for six months, and to build those internal skills to build that internal guidance system, so that they could find more meaning and more purpose and more adventure in life.

Sharman Nittoli: 5:51
And of course, I can relate to it because you don't have to be a man to feel that you know, but we, we have our separate challenges women and men, what it means to be feminine, what it means to be a woman, what it means to be a man, or manly, or what's expected of you, women are just changing their roles all the time, I get a big kick out of those movies. I see like, "Think Like a Man". What does that mean? That's a movie where the woman becomes totally successful, because she's gonna think like a man. As if that's a negative thing. You know? And then I also find people go through, "Oh, you like that movie? You know that movie Seven Year Itch?" You know where it is? It's almost like the old Peggy Lee song "Is that all there? Is? Is that all there is? Well, if that's all there is....". You know, and it's true that you will accomplish your goals to a point. And you ask yourself, Well, okay, I don't know why I'm not jumping up and down for joy right now, because this was on my list of things to do. And I did it, what else is there? And like, in my program, I always believe there's more, you know, there's that other thing, that other thing that would fulfill you so much, because we're not always fulfilled from our day gig, not always, we, we may be very good at it. And we may love getting the raises, and we may function well, but that's not the whole person, there's still something else that you may want to do that you may think is foolish, or cost too much money or, you know, any any of those things and, and yet, and yet, it's in your head, you want to do more, you just don't really know where to begin, you might even feel a little bit guilty, because the kids need that or they need this or the car needs this or we need a washing machine. But those are all things that will get replaced. But you can't replace that intangible,

Andy Torr: 7:56
.....absolutely intangible that everything comes from, that's the wellspring. And to your point, I don't mean for a moment to minimize the experience of women I know that women are having....

Sharman Nittoli: 8:06
...I was teasing.

Andy Torr: 8:07
The reason I chose to work directly with men is because women build community instinctively. You know, when something is not right, you will find groups of women talking about the thing that is not right. And masterminding on that and helping one another out, men tend to do the opposite. We tend to retreat into the man cave, push everything down, because we're not equipped with the skills to be able to identify, first of all, what's going on inside of me. Secondly, how do I communicate that. And then thirdly, there's very rarely a community in which it is safe and acceptable to have those deep and meaningful conversations. And honestly, one of the greatest compliments I got from a client was he told me that the League of remarkable men is a safe and comfortable place where he can have the kinds of conversations that he only ever has in his head. More than having those types of conversations. Yeah. And we can have fewer men very quietly in crisis. And that ultimately, that's that's the larger societal issue that I'm trying to address with this program is to give men a forum to be able to come out of their basements, their garages or their man caves and say, Hey, you know, this is this is hard for me, and have other men hold space for them, and to encourage them Because ultimately, we are all, all of us humans are going through the same thing. And we have a very gendered lens on our experience. So a community for men, it's just that safe and comfortable place for them to just unpack.

Sharman Nittoli: 9:36
And of course, a lot of groups and I have talked to a lot of people who have programs, a lot of them are dominated by women, they really are. There may be men in there, but but there are many groups that are specifically for women, or just happened to be for women because women will reach out. I need to talk I feel this I feel that we're very common. Trouble recognizing that you know, but I do think all of us go through a period of time where we bury, we bury it, there's a pert, there's a part of our life where the responsibilities can be overwhelming. We may have a family with a sibling, I mean, a child or someone in our family or a husband or a wife, who's needing who's physically not well, or child who's been challenged by something that is making life difficult for them. And so it does, we would feel like, Oh, this is just not a good time to pursue that thing that I want to do. And what happens, you know, days become weeks become months become years. And then, and I'll be honest with you, and I was like, 62, when I did my first solo CD, and I should have done it, when I was 25, I just, there was just stuff going on, I wasn't ready, I wasn't this, I had stuff to work through. And I'm glad that I did. And I'm grateful that I did. So when I talk with people trying to help them develop schedules to make that maytime I don't want anybody to wait to 62 to do that, you know, to live that, they plant the dream, and then they never nurture it, you know. So I think it's great, that's why I wanted you to come on the show, because I thought it was wonderful to have just a total male oriented program specific to men.

Andy Torr: 11:30
One of the things that I find, I'm sure this is true for women as well, but with with a lot of my clients who show up, they are they are they are drifting, they have done the things that they believe others expect them to do. And they have adopted these, these roles in life, like father or husband or employee or what have you. And all of those roles are very much defined by how other people see you, and by how you see yourself. And so one of the main things that we get into very early on in the program is purpose. So many men believe that their purpose is to protect and provide. It's not the reason they're here, it's not their life's purpose, it's a function, it's something that they do, it's a role that they play, but it's not the reason they live and they're alive. And when we we run into trouble when we as men or women make protecting and providing our primary reason for existing, because then we are pouring into others without pouring into ourselves for and and so therefore we're pouring from an empty cup. Yeah, that's an analogy I like to use, because my program is all about helping men fill up their own cup first, so that they can pour into others. And a big part of that is identifying what's your life's purpose, what is the guiding light in your life by which you can make decisions by which you can choose the direction of your life, so that you're moving in a direction of choice and not being pulled along, out of obligation to other people. And it's funny, you know, there are people who you would look at who look very successful, they've got lots of money, they've got a business, they've got a family, like everything is perfect on paper, but they don't have that purpose. And they don't feel fulfilled despite their quote unquote, success. And that call just gets louder and louder and louder as we get later on in life.

Sharman Nittoli: 13:20
Yes, it does. It does. And it doesn't go away. And it can be something big. You want to write a book, you want to do a movie, it can be something like that or it can be something very small. I mean, I know a woman who just wanted an hour and a half of uninterrupted reading every night. So she set up her chair, her area, she wanted to put a glass of sherry over there. And she said, "I just want to read the books by the great authors". I never did that. And so what she had to do was draw her boundaries, when you see me tell people when you see me in my area, my spot, unless you have blood coming out of your head, honor me with the time and I will do the same for you. Or recently I went to my insurance man whi had to make an insurance change on something and I've always thought, wow, that's that's a hard job, you know, nice guy, but I hadn't seen him since before COVID. And I went there. I couldn't even walk in the building, because it was filled with food, because he got totally involved with his purpose, which was to feed needy, help needy people. And he has two or three people doing his insurance work to keep the place going, but his purpose and he just surrendered to it and he has young kids, you know, but this is what he's doing. And he told me "I think that my kids are respecting what I'm doing. Seeing I have a purpose outside of them is really a healthy thing. So when I say I'm going here to do blah, blah, blah they respect it.

Andy Torr: 15:03
I think that's so important to be motivated in life is to have something that's larger than you. Yes, you know, this is a very important component of my own life's purpose, which is to expand myself, so that I can help other people expand, I expand my life, and then I help other people expand their lives, through my coaching and my mentoring and my community. I'm no good to anyone if I'm not expanding my life. So it's those little choices that I can make every day. Is this thing that I'm choosing expanding me? Or is it wasting my time? Is it diminishing me, and I just choose the activities that contribute to my growth, contribute to my expansion every single day, so that I can be in a place where I can offer service to other people. It doesn't have to be very, very specific, in terms of having a life's purpose. You don't have to identify a vocation, or a cause, or anything like that. You just have to make sure that you are first and foremost in in that purpose. Right. Before in addition to helping other people. I mean, almost all of us are here to help others. Yeah, But putting yourself in that picture first, in order to be able to help others is the piece that most people miss.

Sharman Nittoli: 16:16
And are you still practicing yoga?

Andy Torr: 16:18
Absolutely. Yeah.

Sharman Nittoli: 16:19
That's that's one of those things. I gather. Are you still diving with sharks?

Andy Torr: 16:27
I was with the sharks for a long time, that was one of my most memorable jobs that I ever had, which was working at the Vancouver Aquarium about 20 years ago. And I had two great loves, I love scuba diving. And I loved teaching people about marine conservation. And those two opportunities came together at the time, I have a zone of genius, that has been a thread through my life, which is to be able to take abstract concepts, and explain them in a way that makes sense to people. And that served me when I was teaching about marine conservation. It served me when I was working in higher education for a number of years. It also serves me as a coach because I can take abstract concepts about mindset, or mindfulness or emotional intelligence and make them relevant and relatable. So the the shark diving was just really fun, really exciting. I never had any misadventures in the in the

Sharman Nittoli: 17:22
Good to know.

Andy Torr: 17:24
But it was a lot of fun, and just gave me a great deal of joy at the time.

Sharman Nittoli: 17:29
And I think it would help our listeners to know that you do have family responsibilities. You are a father of three. And these are relatively young children, I believe so...

Andy Torr: 17:42
yes, yeah, my children are young. And you know, for the last year and a half, they've been at home with me doing virtual school. And so yeah, very, very nuclear family very hands on. And they are my greatest teachers, they teach me a lot.

Sharman Nittoli: 17:56
Yes,

Andy Torr: 17:57
you had mentioned a few minutes ago, the importance of setting boundaries. And I'm not sure whether you realize how few men know about setting boundaries in a relationship. It's not something that is taught to us, it's not something that comes instinctively for most men. And we tend to go into relationships blind, not understanding what boundaries are with our spouses, what boundaries are with our children, what boundaries are with our work. And so that's something that leads directly to overwhelm. Because we feel a sense of duty and responsibility to everybody around us. And we don't know how to say no, we don't know when to say decline, things that are unhealthy for us that that knock us out of our purpose, or knock us out of the center of our lives. And so that whole concept of setting boundaries and practicing that regularly, is a very important part of being up being a parent, certainly for me as a father. But it's also an important part of just having any relationship with anyone is know where you are, and what your values are, what your non negotiables are at a place.

Sharman Nittoli: 19:01
Right? That's true. And when you stop working a day job, which I retired a couple years ago. Now your time is your own. So how are you going to use it to do to do that thing that's been tugging at you, nagging at you to do you'd be surprised it's challenging, that's why that's why I help people develop those, those schedules, which.. yes, we want to see our grandchildren we want to see everybody but I kind of make it known, like morning is my time. So you know, let me.. hit me up at night or something like that. But I try to come up with a schedule - when am I going to take my walk? When am I going to do this, when am i going to go that, next thing you know, 24 hours is done. And so for me it's like am I closer? Did I, did I inch a little closer to those passions that were unfulfilled? You know, did I make time to learn a little bit that I make time to give back a little bit has my day been in balance and Um, it's challenging. It's challenging.

Andy Torr: 20:02
Yeah, we do love to sabotage ourselves don't we? We know we show that you have bad habits around around those sorts of things. And and, you know, if you trace those habits back, a lot of them go back to beliefs that we acquired in childhood. Yeah, ourselves about the world. And so one of the reasons why the League of Remarkable Men is a six month long program, is because we take that time to really go deep into some of those limiting beliefs and actually reprogram the operating system that is our mind that's driving some of those habits. And of course, our habits. And our beliefs are responsible for all of our results in life, those things that we do automatically, that we've just learned over a lifetime. Right.

Sharman Nittoli: 20:42
So you know, what we could, I would like you to introduce the program you have coming up, you have something coming up just next week, I believe.

Andy Torr: 20:50
Yeah, so I've got a workshop coming up on the 17th of June. And it's the topic of the workshop, it's called "A Life Well Lived - the Man's Guide to Finding Your Purpose". And the whole idea here is that we are going to spend 60 minutes together at 1pm on June 17. Eastern, to really dig deep into our purpose for being here that that overarching, what you might call a guiding light, a North Star for your life, that makes you feel as if you're here for a reason. And you're a big part of your own life story. And you're not just here to take care of all of the people around you. And once you can get clear on that purpose. And maybe even cast a vision for what the next few years of your life look like, then you actually have a framework for making decisions to move forward. Right. So if you see yourself, for example, as as as an author, and you can create a vision for yourself, a couple of years from now, having written a book, then you can hold that in your mind and motivate yourself more to write a book, rather than if you didn't know what your purpose was, if you didn't have clarity on what things were lining up for you. And you were just spinning your wheels every day and on that hamster wheel and just trying to get through the days. And maybe one day you would write a book. So we go from wishful thinking, or daydreaming to a purposeful intention and moving forward with some some purpose and some urgency.

Sharman Nittoli: 22:24
And so this is a one day workshop,

Andy Torr: 22:26
it's actually only only an hour. Yeah, we're just gonna, we're gonna talk about the importance of purpose. And we're gonna go through a purpose exercise that I use with clients, and do a little bit of mastermind and do a little bit of sharing with people who are on the call, and see if we can help the people on the call, just get a little bit of clarity towards Why am I here? What am I doing? What's the most important thing for me in my days, and then making choices against that guiding purpose, so that you're only doing things that are moving you forward and you're not doing things that are diminishing you.

Sharman Nittoli: 23:01
So I will have all this contact information on the page that will accompany this podcast. But maybe if somebody is just listening, you can tell them where to get in touch with you for this program.

Andy Torr: 23:13
Absolutely. Yep. Just check out Andytorr.com/workshop.

Sharman Nittoli: 23:21
It sounds great. It sounds very beneficial. Yeah, I have enjoyed this talk so much. And I'm sure you're going to have lots of people who are going to take advantage of it now that we're starting actually to come out of COVID pandemic, and we've been shut away. I think a lot of people are reevaluating how much how they want to reenter life, what they want to do with their time where they want their time, I really think people are going to reprioritize.

Andy Torr: 23:55
I completely agree with you. I think this has been a powerful time for spiritual renewal. Certainly for myself, and I think a lot of people have really questioned the lives that they've been living in the past because we've we've been forced to stop and reflect and evaluate. And we now have the opportunity to choose new directions. If we want that.

Sharman Nittoli: 24:14
If we want that. Yeah,

Andy Torr: 24:16
Well, this workshop will help anybody who's maybe not quite sure about a direction and not quite sure about where to go from here. And maybe they're struggling with that.

Sharman Nittoli: 25:21
o thank you so uch, Andy, for coming on the how. I've really learned a lot nd really enjoyed this talk. I o hope that some of our isteners are going to take dvantage of this workshop, ecause it sounds terrific. "What now?" question. Come on to the free workshop. It's just an hour of your time, and I'm sure you'll get some clarity out of it.

Andy Torr: 26:37
Well, it'sbeen an absolute pleasure to be here, Sharman. Thanks so much for having me. And I look forward to seeing some of your listeners on the workshop.

Sharman Nittoli: 26:44
Okay, happy blooming, everybody.

 
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