Noa Shaw Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Business Podcast
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Introducing Noa Shaw
Noa Shaw is todays guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
Now 14 years sober, Noa Shaw has truly turned his life around.
One things for sure his life hasn’t been easy, with a drugs and alcohol dependency taking grip at an early age.
Throughout his teens and the majority of his adult life his daily routine revolved around selling or taking drugs.
But eight years ago his life took a turn for the better when he wandered into a SoulCycle studio that was just opening up in Los Angeles.
SoulCycle is a fitness company that is the gold standard in cycling workouts.
After his first workout, he was hooked.
How The Dots Joined Up For Noa
For three months, he attended every day – sometimes two workouts per day. He lost 100 pounds and got himself into shape both physically and mentally.
The team at SoulCycle saw something in Noa and they invited him to audition as a fitness instructor.
Now at 57 years old, he is the oldest SoulCycle instructor on the planet.
And here in New York City, Noa has built a dedicated following of riders that are inspired by him on a regular basis.
Today, he’s one of Soul Cycle’s most popular instructors and teaches sold-out classes in NYC multiple times a week.
As a certified life coach, he guides his clients to become better versions of themselves by helping them identify and understand their purpose in order to achieve what they want in life.
But it took many twists, turns, and trips to rehab for Noa to discover his calling: to help and be of service to others.
In caring for others, Noa found healing for himself.
So does everyone have the opportunity to find something that works for them, or does life need to say “Ok now its your turn to make it work”
And where does he see the biggest issues with making a difference to other people.
Their mindset or who they surround themselves with?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr Noa Shaw.
Books By Noa
During the show we discussed such weighty subjects with Noa Shaw such as:
How he has always had the ability to save people from their selves and see the pain in themselves. A real super talent that has changed his life.
We share the story of how he became an alcoholic at such and early age and the realisation that he was an alcoholic.
Noa tells a story of the moment when he 100% understood that he had to change after hearing terrible news from his Dad over the phone
Noa reveals who would be the ideal customer for his book and what they would get from it straight way.
How To Connect With Noa Shaw
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here– enjoy
Full Transcription Of Noa Shaw Interview
Life shouldn’t be hard life should be a fun filled adventure every day. So now start joining up dots tap into your talents, your skills, your God given gifts and tell your boss, you don’t deserve me. I’m out of here. It’s time for you to smash that alarm clock and start getting the dream business and life you will of course, are dreaming off. Let’s join your host, David Ralph from the back of his garden in the UK, or wherever he might be today with another jam packed episode of the number one hit podcast. Join Up Dots.
David Ralph [0:42]
Yes, hello there. Good morning. Thank you for being here with us on the Join Up Dots podcast. Yes, the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots podcast has been going for a squillion years now it seems like Well, today’s guest has got a fascinating stories, a story that has really seen him turn his life around. He’s now been 14 years sober. And one thing for sure his life hasn’t been easy with drugs and alcohol dependency taking grip and early age. Now throughout your teens and the majority of his adult life his daily routine revolved around selling or taking drugs. But eight years ago, his life took a turn for the better when he wanted into a soulcycle studio that was just opening up in Los Angeles. Now soulcycle is a fitness company that is the gold standard in cycling workouts. And after his first workout, he was hooked. Now for three months he attended every day, sometimes two workouts per day, he lost 100 pounds and got himself into shape both physically and mentally. And the team at soulcycle saw something get him and they invited him to audition as a fitness instructor. Now at 57 years old, he is the oldest soulcycle instructor on the planet. And in New York City. He’s built a dedicated following of riders that are inspired by him on a regular basis. Today, he’s one of soulcycle, his most popular instructors and teachers sold out classes multiple times a week. But his whole story took many twists, turns and trips to rehab for him to discover his calling to help and be of service to others. And in caring for others. He found healing for himself. So does everyone had the opportunity to find something that truly works for them when they want it? Or does life need to say okay, now it’s your turn to make it work? And where does he see the biggest issues with making a difference to other people their mindset? Or who they surround themselves with? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Noa Shaw. Good morning.
Noa Shaw [2:50]
Good morning, David honoured to be on the show. Looking forward to our conversation, sitting around the virtual pub with some virtual club sodas, and having a great conversation about life and hopefully helping some people in the process.
David Ralph [3:05]
Now I’m sure we’re going to because you have got a story and a half may and I’ll be honest, I’ve spoken to for about a minute and a half, two minutes, three minutes before we’ve connected. And your lovely guy, your lovely guy. And I’ll also be honest, when I first saw you, I thought he was a bit of a scary guy do do people get put off by the tattoos and the bald head and, and the wrap look because you’re about as far away from what I look like as possible?
Noa Shaw [3:33]
Well, you know, it’s an interesting conundrum, or not conundrum. It’s an interesting effect of my life. Even at a very young age. I had this ability and decoding abilities, it’s something that I don’t understand is that people who were in pain are attracted to me and come for healing. When I was in high school when I was in grade school, when I was a very young age everybody started calling me uncle now because I just had that like that calming presence I could solve your problems I could help guide you. And that lasted for high school and college and only became 30 and everybody started nicknaming me papa. And there’s a great long story but we won’t get into it but like everybody because I’ve always had this like ability to attract people who are hurting and I think anybody that’s not that’s put off by my appearance isn’t taking a second to just you know they’re judging the book by the car. Yeah, and that’s that I know we know that’s never a good idea. And even some people who’ve met me have come take my class and said you know your meet I heard your music was good but I saw your picture and I didn’t know what to expect I thought you were gonna be and there’s a lot of you know, a lot of soulcycle or a lot of fitness instructors that are really grew up in like yellow their clients are yellow the classes and very tough and angry and I’m just like, I tell people this and I explain it this way. I’m a teddy bear. If you know me, I’m an absolute teddy bear. Like I’m easy. I love to hug. I love to be warm and comfortable, I want to like I want to help heal you. And but I’m a, I’m a grizzly bear, if you vote with my family or friends, like, I have a history of my back history is growing up in New York, there was a lot of violence. So I’m not afraid of it. And I, by no chance do I practice it. But I’m very protective of those of those people around me and anybody that’s in my field of love. I’m very protective, but I’m just generally a big old teddy bear.
David Ralph [5:27]
Well, one of the things that jumped out and I started reading your book, stop thinking thoughts that scare you. And even in the first few chapters, it was very obvious to me, but you had, I would say, a bloody good childhood, you had like, everything lined up for you, you had parents that adored themselves, you had a place where your friends and family would like to come home to and say, Can I, you know, can I spend more time at your house? And you kind of very early aid, started screwing with the perfection of it? Have you reflected why it’s so obvious to you now? Why? Because I’m proceeding through the book. And I haven’t got to a point yet when I go, Ah, that’s why that’s the reason.
Noa Shaw [6:13]
Well, I, it’s it’s hard. It’s not a reason. There were many, there were many things that contributed to me doing that. The feeling of isolation of being and we’ve moved a lot when I was young, we did nine schools in 12 years in three different states. So being the new kid was a separator was an ability to play into my worst fears that I was different than everybody else. And that I was less than everybody else. I felt weird. I felt, you know, disillusioned with who I am. Everybody was Ken and David and Bob and jack. And I was Noah. And it was it was a weird name and a weird time now everybody’s you know, I walked down the streets. And mothers are calling NO and NO. And I turned it on because it was a crazy Bobby their name, but it wasn’t in 70s. And I had weird hair, everybody had nice straight blonde or brown hair. And I had big curly black hair. So that feeling of being separate from everybody being different from everybody caused pain. There was also you know, looking back when I discovered there was also when I was very young, when I was 11, there was a sexual assault by when I now refer to to the sexual assault from the older sister of a friend of mine. Now for many, many decades, I told that as a cool story. How like, you know, macho I was that I was having sex at 11 years old with this my friend’s older sister, who was 14. And then about three or four years ago, a friend of mine loved us that sexual assault and I was like I had never framed it that way. Because my mind didn’t want to I needed anything I could to sound cool. I needed to hold on to because I needed you to like me, and I wanted you to accept me. So as I’ve gotten older, and I begin to look back, I think, you know, the sense of self worth was terrible, low self esteem, feeling of being different. So it didn’t matter how amazing my parents were, and they are to this day, they’re both alive Lockwood. And I’ve come through COVID but, you know, that didn’t matter to me as much as trying to get you to like me, because I didn’t like me. So I had to work doubly hard to get you to like me, so I started messing everything up because that’s my my priorities were askew.
David Ralph [8:25]
What I like, you know, I like yeah, and if it’s any consolation, my my my grandson is called a janela. Because I like the word Noah. And but mum’s name begins with a in the dad’s rip j so they put Genova together. And he’s gonna spend his life with people saying, How do you spell that? How do you spell that? So, so you were blessed to just get no, you always had something really interesting on it. And I loved it because it really tapped into something of the pureness about you and I suppose it takes you back to that that feeling of being something more than yourself when you were, you know Papa and, and saving people, you you knock the height off your team, and then it becomes Hawaiian for freedom. And that seems to me to be a real statement of intent that you were freeing yourself from, from your story you were becoming who you should be.
Noa Shaw [9:23]
Well, you know, I’ve actually never had anybody say that to me and it really makes a lot you’re really good at this. David, you should have a podcast
David Ralph [9:31]
right now on board. I will take that on board and I will start a podcast straight away.
Noa Shaw [9:36]
You know, I didn’t just I didn’t just knock it off. If you read my story, I knocked it off. It was it was sort of knocked off for me and the situation I was, I was in I was living in Maui and everybody spelled My name with and without an age. And then of why NVMe I was living with started calling me Kiowa, which is a very honorific Hawaiian name, which means ocean freedom and so it It sort of became who I was when I was in Hawaii. I just got used to it. And I guess, you know, yes, there, there must be some psychological thread for me, freeing myself from the NOAA, which I didn’t like. But you know, it’s interesting. I’ve literally literally all these years, 30 years later, it’s something that I’ve never been questioned about in that manner. And I really, I really love that you both that it’s an interesting dynamic to look at, you know, the one we look back, and we don’t see the things we do, but you get an outsider’s perspective. And they say something and you have somebody look at me like, No, no, no, no, I was like, just doing that for kicks. But I think the jet the obert, obviously, people will just brush it off very quickly. But I think if you take the time and say, Okay, what does that person saying to me with love and kindness, and charity? And how can I process that and maybe stop and take a look at that, that’s a beautiful way to look at it. Thank
David Ralph [10:51]
you. We all basically our essence want to be free from ourselves. And something that jumped out was that feeling of not connecting, but desperately wanting to can connect? Because I’ve had the sort of opposite. I’ve never really connected with people. And I like that I liked being different. If, if everybody was wearing a black uniform, I would wear a grey uniform and get away with it. And when I started my first job, everybody had to wear the bank’s uniform. And I never did I there was always something about me that wanted to push against being part of everybody else. Now, are you still like that now? Or are you more in peace with yourself and thinking, Hey, you know, if you like me, you like me, if you don’t like me, you don’t like me, and there’s enough people in the world but love me.
Noa Shaw [11:44]
I’ve been given a beautiful gift, which is a state of grace. And I live as much as possible, obviously, day to day life, life happens. But I’m in a state of grace, where I’m really good with who I am. I’m really aware of who I am and what I’m about. And that gives me great freedom, and gives me great power. I had a sponsor and a sponsor many years ago, and I I sort of, you know, bristle at authority. And I went into a Alcoholics Anonymous, I’m very open with the fact that I’m sober. And they started kept hearing this word humility, and I didn’t like it. And I thought of humility is like humbling myself before somebody. And my friend, Johnny came a rest in peace. He said, I was talking to him about this one night, he said, Noah, humility merely means an accurate assessment of self. Like knowing what your strengths are, knowing where you could be stronger, not weaknesses, but where areas where you want to build up, you know, an accurate sense of self is a very clear way for me to live, like I know where I’m where I need to work on what I need to work on what communication or people’s skills or whatever it is at work, workload or motivation. But I have some things that I do really well, I have the ability to help people. So on balance, I’m very, I’m very much at peace in life. You know, I think that’s the best way I can put it.
David Ralph [13:12]
That struggle that people have. And we see it time and time again, where the thing that they should be doing is right under their nose, they can’t see it’s their blind spot. Take us back to the popper days in college or in school, when you had that ability to help people in pain. Now you’re using that as a super skill, you’re using that as a talent. And it’s something that for many people is so easy, because I can just do it. You know, I was somebody’s gonna pay me for that. Why should I be doing that? It’s just something I can always do. How did you bring that into the business? And how did you not reject it? Because it is so easy for you?
Noa Shaw [13:56]
Well, it happened to me about little, little, almost close to 14 years ago. I was you know, I’d been a massive cocaine dealer in New York City in the 70s. I mean, people are like, Oh, I sold coke. And they sold, you know, an ounce here or there. I dealt large amounts of cocaine. And then in 2000, year 2000, we have something called New York called a weed delivery service, a marijuana delivery service. And I opened up the first one ever in the history of La in the year 2000. I had 3000 clients in 90 days, and it only exploded from there. And I was sitting in rehab and I had a moment of clarity, a bright light moment, a god shot whatever you want to call it. And I had came to this bright realisation that I had put so much pain into the world. You know how many people who had sold cocaine or weed to had like Miss child support payments or didn’t pay their rent, how many people got hooked on cocaine and died and strung out, like what the amount of pain that I brought to this world was a measurable and I felt the weight of that and I realised In that moment, the only the only way that I could live comfortably, and it was very came very crystal clear and like one shot to me in this moment that the only way I could do anything with my life was to help people constantly being in search of help opportunities to help people every day, everywhere that I went, always being in service. And, you know, up until the day I got arrested for marijuana dealing, and I’m sitting in a hallway, handcuffed to a bench in the jail in Hollywood, California. And there was a lady lady police officers sitting next to me sitting next to me. And I was and I looked at her and I said, you seem like you’re going through something. She goes, Yeah, you know, I’m going through this wonder if I should take the sergeant’s test. My good enough. I ended up speaking to her for 30 minutes, coaching her on how on her mindset to take the sergeant’s exam?
David Ralph [15:56]
Well, let me jump into their what made her just start talking to you on that and and not just, you know, say, you know, shall up you’re, you’re gonna see the judge in five minutes. Well, what why did you do that?
Noa Shaw [16:10]
It’s, it’s, I don’t know, because it’s who I am. Because people open up to me at levels. I can’t even explain it to you. I just, it’s this gift. I don’t know what it is. It’s, it’s not you can’t count it or or colour clarify it to really say it is this. I just looked over and I see I see. It’s like, you know, the little movie, right? I see dead people and see people in pain. I see people who are in pain, I can tell by their face by their body language by their energy, their their giving off. It’s all very, and not innocuous the way way the way the way it is, it’s you know, it’s just something that I feel. And I could just see her and she just started talking to me and I talked back. And you know, I guess she just saw the humanity in me and I saw the command. You know, she’s used to people sitting on that bench, looking at her with disdain and anger and screaming and yelling, what she’s gone through. And here was somebody who just approached her like a human and said, I don’t care if you’re the cop, and I’m the criminal. Like we’re both humans. And we just talked we lovely talk for about a half an hour. And she was as I was taken away has good luck to you. And she goes, you need the good luck. Good luck to you. Do well, on this arduous exam, you’re gonna crush it, you’re gonna have a great time. And, you know,
David Ralph [17:24]
and you know, did she get it?
Noa Shaw [17:26]
I don’t know. I wish I was I was a little preoccupied with my arrest and facing 15 years in prison to look her up at that point. Yeah,
David Ralph [17:33]
probably properly. But you could go back now and a hunter down, I suppose.
Noa Shaw [17:37]
I bet I bet she did get it. I’m gonna, I’m gonna go ahead and say yes. Because she just needed a little she does need, we all just need a little help. We need to see. Everybody wants to be seen. We want to be seen. And we want to be we want to know that there’s somebody in this world, whether we know them or not, that cares about us. And that sees us and sees what’s going on with us. So that’s what I did to her. I saw her as a human being. I didn’t see her as a competency as the enemy. I just saw this woman.
David Ralph [18:07]
But But what’s what’s this lightened a heightened state of awareness. Did you only get to this point, really, because of the realisation that you have been causing pain to so many pieces? Does he do something for him? There you go.
Noa Shaw [18:26]
Yeah, this is a year before. This is a year before I had that realisation. I’ve always been like this. It wasn’t until I had that bright light moment a year later sitting in rehab, that I realised it was not something I do. It was something that was my mission in life. It was my mantra. It was my credo that I had to do this. That was a survival as a matter of my mental, spiritual and physical survival that I pursue helping people as my goal in life. None other not didn’t do it to get rich didn’t do it to go work or find a job. It was just, I was gonna, I was gonna go work in a loading dock, I was still gonna find a way to help people like I had to, I had to pursue it to stay on that path.
David Ralph [19:10]
And how old were you at this stage? Because you’re 57 now I believe? Yeah.
Noa Shaw [19:14]
David Ralph [19:16]
Okay, you’re 44. So so we’re talking about, you know, that there was that story in the book, and I’m trying to sort of grab to grapple with it. And I think it was about 14, I think you had your first drink when you was 10, which to be honest, surprises me shocks me. Because I know what my kids are like at the moment, and I don’t go anywhere near it. And by the time you were 14, you was in a band with your mate rusty. And you looked over at him going to school one morning and you said I’m an alcoholic. And it was just like a realisation and he looked back at you and said, yeah, we both or something like that. I powerful I am too.
Noa Shaw [19:54]
Yeah, yeah. And he died and he died of alcoholism and drug addiction and strangely enough He died in the city. In Chicago, I ended up going there to get sober I got so originally started by this, the journey that I’m on now as sobriety. In Chicago many years ago, there have been some slips in between, but he ended up overdosing on cocaine and alcohol. And that same city, when neither one of us from Chicago had any connection to Chicago. So it’s a very strange twist of fate. But we were just, we were resigned to it. And I was myself. And I think he was as well that we were just, this is who we were,
David Ralph [20:30]
what I can’t understand when when I was reading it, I couldn’t understand how you were getting it enough to become, you know, I could understand kids nicking a bit from the house when the mom and dad are out on that. But actually, to get enough to become an alcoholic by the time you’re 14, because I remember the first time I went to America, I was 25. And based question my age friend to get a drink, you know, and you were 14?
Noa Shaw [20:58]
Well, first of all, in New York, and the greatest surrounding areas, well, I mean, the liquor store that we went to all the time, was called Ship to Shore liquors. And that had an alcoholic named Charlie, who was the guy that lived in the back of liquor store. And I, what I realised now is he was probably in his 40s or 50s, but he looked in his 60s or 70s, the big gin rummy nose, and, you know, the typical, and he would sell us anything we wanted, he didn’t care. And so we had many avenues to get alcohol, there was always a lot of alcohol around my house, that, you know, from by the time I was, you know, 10 growing up my, my family, my father became successful, I was doing very well, and they had lots of parties, and they would buy booze. By the cases, you know, by by the cases and their ROI B, they’d always order extra. So they would have bottles of red wine and bottles of bourbon and Jen liquor and tequila and whatever, whatever you could imagine. So I can I can take it, I could take as much as I wanted. And as soon as I was old enough to drive, I could drive out go, he’s 16 years old, I looked, I looked at the driver, the drinking age was 18 at that point, and there was no drinking age in New York City there was but nobody cared about it, I go to any bar, any liquor store, any nightclub in New York City at 1516 years old, and walk right through the door and having an incredible night, you know, drugs,
David Ralph [22:18]
getting the money from at 1414
Noa Shaw [22:23]
there was always money around the house and you know, I was selling weed here or there. And I would always sell enough to make to make a good make make a nice living for a 14 year old. I was always you know, there were I would do whatever it took, you know, we would run around we would do scams, you know, we’d steal car radios, sell those, whatever was, whatever was popular for thieving and minor criminal stuff. At that point, we would just find things to sell. And I’d steal the mother’s jewellery upon that, you know, it just whatever I needed to do
David Ralph [22:53]
something in a funny way. You’ve always been entrepreneurial, you’ve always been able to find value and turn it into something.
Noa Shaw [23:01]
Oh, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. I can I can I have great when I want something bad enough, I can hustle my way towards anything. You know that there’s a there’s a hot when there’s the especially when it came to alcohol and drugs, there was a hunger inside of me that had to be fed to had this big gaping hole of pain in my in my life in my heart and my soul and my spirit. And I needed to fill that it wasn’t a question of do I want to, it had to be felt there was this beast, it was a hole and it was a beast. And it had to be fed through alcohol and drugs just to numb myself so that I could not like myself a little less.
Jim Carrey [23:41]
Let’s hear from Jim Carrey. And we’ll be back with Noah, my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father,
David Ralph [24:03]
not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love. Now, obviously, we’re gonna send you back in time at the end of the show to speak with your younger self. But do you look at it and think to yourself, actually, it’s my story? Yes, there’s been parts of it that I wish maybe hadn’t. But if I hadn’t, I don’t think I could truly be where I am today with the insight of what I’ve got today.
Noa Shaw [24:35]
When when I joined up the dots of my life, the pathway to where I am now is critical in creating the ability to help others on a much larger scale, because I’m able to help people who are really dark depths of pain, or have really gone to some dark places and I’m able to pulled them up because I tell them and they vary. And I’m always willing to share this. I’ve been there. Yeah, no, I’m not. There was a about that 10 years ago or so there was a big rush on it became very, like a cool thing for, you know, middle aged housewives to become life coaches, you know, and that that’s fine. And that’s wonderful. And they help their friends and that stuff, but like, I’m able to pierce through people’s shields, because we all feel like our pain is unique. When we get in that painful spot, we feel like nobody understands me, nobody will know this pain. Nobody can talk to me. And I can speak to them in a language of shared pain and shared experience and say, I’ve done that. Here’s how we’re going to we are together going to get you out. So those dots all line up, I you know, I always give credit to my life, where for wherever I am I give gratitude. In June of last year, in the height of the pandemic, I had a heart attack. And somebody came to visit me they were allowing one round one visitor and and the person said, I’m so sorry, you had this heart attack. I said, I’m not I’m glad I had the heart attack. And they were like, what do you mean by that? And I said, better off I have this heart attack than somebody who’s indigent or barely making their bills that you know, can’t afford to like Miss days or be locked up or has kids and doesn’t have anybody to watch for them and can’t stay in the hospital for a week. I have insurance. I’m covered. I’m good. I’ve loaded friends check. Never me, I have everybody taken care of my life. So I’m blessed to have it if no, if somebody else, if it meant that somebody else didn’t have to have it, that I’m happy to have it.
David Ralph [26:39]
I like the logic of that. But that’s not logical, is it? You know, they’re not sharing heart attacks around thinking, Oh, he’s halfway through a Netflix, Netflix binge watch. Let’s wait till the end before we give him a heart attack. Oh, no. It’s an it’s a nice sentiment.
Noa Shaw [26:58]
But there’s an energy that travels in this world. You know, it’s there’s an energy that travels in this world. And I’m not saying, you know, law logically, or literally, um, somebody else didn’t get a heart attack? Because I did. I’m just I was just glad to be going through it. You know, I’ve always been, I’ve been of a mind since I’ve put my life together that if you can learn to love your own life, okay. Right. Yeah, every, every moment, if you can learn to be grateful for the healthcare and the coverage I was getting in a country that has terrible health care and terrible coverage, that if I can find the gratitude, and even the darkest times, my life will be full. So somehow,
David Ralph [27:39]
it was your darkest times. Now when you look back, because, to be honest, I’ve had, I’ve been like Julie Andrews, compared to you, you know, I’ve never smoked, I’ve hardly drunk. I’ve never taken drugs, you know, I’ve been really sort of whiter than white. And I’ve still had times when I think Oh, God, I would never want to go back to that again. So how dark were your dark times.
Noa Shaw [28:02]
I mean, there were I’ve had three suicide attempts. I’ve had, you know, those were the those were probably even though I’ve gone through things that people would consider darker, like other people trying to kill me contracts out of my life, being stabbed, being shot at things like that. It was really the suicide attempts when I was at such a dark place, that I didn’t want to die, but I didn’t want to live Yeah, you just don’t want to go on anymore, when you just don’t want to open your eyes one more day, when you think that just the brutality of living one more days, so insanely painful, that you’re just like, you know, EFF it, I’m just going to try and kill myself. And don’t your heart’s not really my my heart was in it. That’s why I didn’t succeed because I didn’t give it all the planning and thought, but I made these like half assed attempts.
David Ralph [28:55]
And I agree with that just jumping in there. I know a couple of people that have tried to commit suicide. And I’ve said, If you really want to do it, you will do it. You know, what, mainly they need help, you know, if I if I wanted to kill myself, now, I could be dead within a minute, without getting too dark. I could get and be dead within 20 minutes if I wanted to within 10 minutes. And so you can see that actually, it was a cry for help to yourself, or was it a cry to help for other people to listen?
Noa Shaw [29:29]
You know, I think it was both. I think it’s a both and I believe that um, I you know why I wanted somebody to notice me. And I just wanted to stop the pain. I wanted both to be true at the same time. So, you know, again, if you feel so lonely and you feel so dark, and so by yourself when you’re in that state that you can’t believe that anybody gives a shit whether you live or die. You know, and including yourself. So a cry for help is a is a is an interesting phrase, because they always say that. And I don’t know if it really is a very good way to speak that speak about that. Because it’s not a cry for help. It’s just a cry. And I don’t know, if I don’t know, if I do want to help, I just didn’t want to live anymore. I just didn’t want to feel what it felt to be me my existence was so brutally painful on a spiritual and psychological level, that I just just wanted to stop. Whether that was other people helped me or not, and, and, you know, it just, I just didn’t want to be me.
David Ralph [30:41]
I always think about the parents. Well, you know, imagine because your parents, lovely people, they love each other, they love you, you’ve referenced that numerous times. And although your pain will be dealt with, their pain will just be starting. And that’s the bit that I always think about.
Noa Shaw [31:01]
Well, there’s a story, I think it’s in the book about when I’m in when I’m in one of those places. And I call my father who had seen me a week before in Utah, and I had woken up in a blackout in Chicago, and every everything they had given me to put my life back on track and money in a car and clothing, an apartment and a job. They’d helped me with all of it. And I called him from Chicago. Now, these are loving people, and I’m a love child. And I said, Dad, he said, Oh my God, we call called collect. He goes, where are you? And I said, I’m in Chicago. He goes, What the fuck you’re doing in Chicago? I’m sorry, if I swear, I apologise. Um, he said, What are you doing in Chicago? I said, I don’t know. He said, Where’s the cars is gone, where’s the money, it’s gone, where’s all the clothing gone? Where’s the apartments gone. And I said, Dad, I think I’m going to kill myself. And my father said, Noah, if that’s what you got to do. That’s what you got to do. And he hung up on me. Now, when you’re the police, when you’re so dark, and you’ve caused so much pain to your parents, and everybody that your father and mother have agreed that everybody including you will be in less pain if you’re dead. That’s a really, really profound moment in my life.
David Ralph [32:16]
And how did you feel when the phone went dead? Did you just look at the receiver and then put it down and, and go and get a drink? Or Oh, what did you do in those moments afterwards?
Noa Shaw [32:28]
I in that moment, when he hung up on me, I was absolutely numb. I couldn’t believe what I had heard. And I, I just I remember just as much as I can remember, I remember just standing there, like staring at the phone, like lighting a cigarette and like not believing what I had heard. But it was real. And I found a phonebook. And I had the only thing I had in my wallet was an insurance card from a couple of years before when I’d worked for my father that he kept active. And I just went down to rehab and the yellow pages on the phone book. And I just called them and said, Do you take this insurance? And he said, Yes. I said, Okay, I’m on my way. And I just went to I just went to rehab. And I usually went to rehab just to just to hide out and just to hear myself, get some food, get some clothing, get some stability, or my parents trust back, which I did. You know, I stayed stayed in rehab for a long time. But that moment was is in is indelible. It’s etched upon my, my heart and my soul for the rest of my life. I’ll never forget that. And it’s, you know, the one when I’m speaking to people that story I tell so that I can get their attention very quickly that whatever you think you’ve done whatever pain you think you’re in, my father told me to kill myself. Always Trump’s pretty much anything ever. Anybody can say to me?
David Ralph [33:56]
And have you ever mentioned it again? Have you ever, you know, over dinner said, Oh, German, but
Noa Shaw [34:01]
we’ve all we’ve talked about it a lot. Yeah. He said it was the worst, most brutal moment of his life.
David Ralph [34:08]
And why? I feel like I had to do that as a caring father. If you actually asked him, What did I do that really tipped you over to that point?
Noa Shaw [34:21]
There was because he had reached the end of his rope. There was nothing else he did couldn’t think of another thing to do. That would help me because they tried everything. They tried every little bit of love and to the absolute point of just mental and spiritual and physical exhaustion. And he didn’t think you could help me anymore. And he was just sad, but he just knew he knew instinctively how much pain I was in. And he knew how much pain my mother and him were in as well. And the people who loved me my grandparents at that time were alive, because everybody was so I want to say frustrated but it was deeper than that they were confounded and They just didn’t they thought I was beyond help. He thought I was really beyond help. I am so, so far away from the person I am now. It’s almost unimaginable to me when I try and remember that to think that I was beyond any form of rational help that anybody who loved me to give they tried, they’d love me nearly to death.
David Ralph [35:25]
The greatest gift you’ve ever received, was that phone call, do you think?
Noa Shaw [35:29]
Absolutely. Yeah. I said for and when retrospect a number of years afterwards, I said, that was the day my parents cut the umbilical cord. Yeah. And I was finally just Okay, now, what are you going to do? What are you going to do? It’s just you now, it’s me alone in the world? What are you going to do?
David Ralph [35:48]
As I say, there’s two stages to growing up, don’t lay one when they cut the cord, and one when your parents die, and then you’re finally on your own. And hopefully, that’s, that’s going to be a long time in the future for both of us. Okay, so let’s move it on a little bit to more sort of positive, because A is positive in a roundabout way, but it’s also sort of quite dark as well. Um, you walked into soulcycle and soulcycle, they’re sitting there and they’re pedalling around like lunatics. And they’re not actually getting anywhere. But what was it about the fact that had such a big connection, but you fought Yeah, I’m gonna give this a go.
Noa Shaw [36:27]
preface the story of by finding soulcycle with me having an appointment with my doctor a week Previous to that, when my doctor said, I have some great news, you’re not gonna feel a thing. And I said, Oh, am I getting a shot? And he said, No, you’re about to have a heart attack, that’s gonna be so massive. Your heart’s gonna explode. You’re not going to grab your arm, you’re not going to grab your chest, you’re gonna be dead before you hit the ground. I said, Well, that’s great news. He said, I love you and I care about you. But there’s nothing to be done at this point. I know nothing. Nothing you can do can change this.
David Ralph [36:57]
And he’s even me when a cheery optimist he was.
Noa Shaw [37:01]
He was he was he was very real. And he was a great guy. He was very loving, very kind guy who got me through a lot of dark times. But he was just like, I love you. I hope I hope it goes well. But I don’t think I’ll ever see you again. And I shook his hand, I got a big hug. And I walked out. And I sort of was like, Well, that was awkward. You drove drove him, you know, McDonald’s or whatever plays in order to you know, double Big Macs and a large fries and a diet coke because I was staying healthy. And through a series of events I will attribute to a power greater than myself. I went out to buy a pair of underwear. I was at my house. And their Super Bowl was the day before it was a Monday, Super Bowls day before and there was the Super Bowl advert with David Beckham showing off all his tattoos and his underwear. Now, I had been sitting next to David Beckham for a bunch of those tattoos because my friend, Mark Mahoney had done those tattoos. So I said, You know what, I’m going to support David as he needed my support. I’m going to go buy some underwear. And I was taking the escalator to go to h&m to buy the underwear and it reached the top and there was a big sign that said soulcycle grand opening. And I’d known about soulcycle did a friend of mine had helped open it help help found it as the as one of the original instructors. So I walked in and I said hi are the owners here? And they were like, yeah, that’s I walked up and just when i’m noah the Oh my God, oh, your papa. Oh my god, you helped us open this up. You know, because of you. We have Stacey and this is great. Do you want to come ride? And I was like, all right. Sure. I was I was fat. I was sweating from a conversation. And they said, Come back at three o’clock. We have a great teacher, you’ll join class, I went home, changed into my four XL shorts and my four XL t shirt and I could barely put on shoes. I couldn’t really, I had to slide into all my shoes and I went back I took class. And about midway through class, I had a revelation. And after all I’d been through the suicide attempts, the attempts on my life, the danger, the violence, the car, crash the walkway, all these things. I had this thought in my mind, like really, you’re going to go through all that. But you’re going to die because you ate too much. And it just felt so ridiculous that that would be my downfall was being fat bullets. No. fat. Yes. So I started writing really hard. I started writing with this fury. I said, Well, if I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die going really, really fast and really hard and really working out. You know, and moving around in the bike was not easy because I was so overweight, but I was just I always had a sense of rhythm. I was a dancer when I was younger, my mother’s a dancer, and she taught me so I could do the moves. I could do some of the moves and I would get exhausted and I could pick it up again. But I just refuse to die. And but I was aware that I was going to die. I picked a bike which is the front row by the corner. Which was closest to the door leading out of the studio. Because in my mind, I figured if I do die during class, I want them to be able to take my body out very easily. So it’s not to disrupt the class. I was being considerate. I wanted to have a you know, I wanted to be considerate with my death. So but I just wrote in the next day, I came back on the road twice and twice, and then three times and two times. And they’re just, you know, little over 90 days, Lawson’s is about 100 pounds. And what are you now and now that 200 I’ve been I’ve got 210, maybe, again gained about 20 years old, because because of injury and pandemic, so I’m on I’m on a road to recovery, I haven’t been able to ride the bike in a couple years, because I had my right kneecap replaced. So I’ve gained 2030 pounds, I could I could lose that I’m that I’m on the path losing, I just have to do some physical rehab. To get me back on the bike and riding again, as
David Ralph [40:58]
you know, what fascinates me about that story was that the preceding story was the doctor saying there’s nothing you can do. And you’re gonna die from a heart attack and straight to the ground, and then that will be it. Now most people at that stage would go hang on, the doctor has told me this a better place safe, I better, I better just start eating lettuce instead of jumping onto a bike and cycling like a lunatic. Was this really a death wish again? Or was this without getting too spiritual? Was this something telling you? It was going to be all right?
Noa Shaw [41:39]
I, I don’t I can’t. It’s funny, because nobody’s ever asked me that question. You’re very good at this. David. Again, you should think about starting upon. A, you know, it wasn’t it was just a desire to live. And an absolute lack of desire to die. You know, here I was somebody who had been suicidal for so many years, or had suicidal ideations or thoughts are not wanting to live. I was like, I’m going to live, I’m going to live to the fullest. And if this kills me, great, but they’re not going to say no, it died in a collapse in the McDonald’s parking lot. Or, you know, in the lettuce aisle at the supermarket. You know, I was gonna be like, I was gonna die. And I was gonna go hard, but I wasn’t, I didn’t think I was gonna die. I didn’t really ever think of that, you know, I thought about it like it might happen. That’s why I booked the bike I did. But I just wanted to push myself, I just wanted to be, I wanted to feel alive again. And I wanted to feel my blood pumping, and get those endorphins. And I guess on a very basic level, you know, there was just there was more survive. You know, I’ve never I’ve never been a flight guy in the fight or flight response. I’ve never been a flight guy. I’m always a fight guy. You know, and whether it’s, you know, spiritually, emotionally, physically, I’m the guy that fights and I will fight. You know, I will fight death. If it as you know, sort of, in a very broad term.
David Ralph [43:07]
But when in your early days, you kind of gave up on the fight, didn’t you really you just allowed things to take you over?
Noa Shaw [43:16]
Yeah, I wouldn’t run away from it. But I would just become numb, stay in full status. And I would allow things to happen. And I would just go with the flow of you know, I’m a miserable human being. Nobody wants to be around me. Nobody loves me. Nobody cares about me. I’m worthless, I’m unlovable. I have this event that happened to me when I was about 11 years old. Where I was going to go on a ski trip with my with my class at school. And we low loaded out of this boss and I was the new kid again. So I sitting by myself. And these two girls popped up over there, they were sitting in front of me, they popped up, looked back at me and they said, You’re ugly, and we don’t like you. And they sat down, they started laughing. I remember that to this day. You know, I remember that feeling to this day, I could draw their faces. And if I was an artist, I can remember that I can remember exactly how small I felt how tiny I was. And I you know, I’m a firm believer in that a lot of our lives. And our behaviours are created at such a young age. And moments like that, when they’re young that seem like very quick moments can have very profound effects on the rest of our lives and how we behave as adults, even to this day.
David Ralph [44:29]
Let’s hear from Steve Jobs, he created a Join Up Dots. He also created Apple as a sort of side hustle, but this is his main thing here is
Steve Jobs [44:37]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college, but it was very, very clear looking backwards. 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something. your gut, destiny life, karma Whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [45:12]
So when you listen to those words, like I asked literally all my guests, do you think, yeah, he’s nailed it. That’s exactly how life and success and the journey is formed.
Noa Shaw [45:26]
I, you know, I completely I’ve never heard that before. But it’s you know very much how I’ve lived. You know, how I’ve lived, how I live. Now, I couldn’t, didn’t have the ability when I was in the pain in the dark places to look back. But now that I’ve been given the gifts that I have, of this life, this beautiful life that I get to live, I look back, and I thank God for everything I went through, because it has given me the gift of helping others. And that’s that, to me, is the greatest gift I’ve ever been given is the ability to help and to have to find my purpose in life, you know, to find that my direction and what my calling is, was so profound for me. And it still is every day, you know, every day I I believe in God, I don’t know what God is, it’s not long white robes and a beard, my God is, is nothing that I can give a tangible aspect to. But I say a simple prayer in the morning and the night I say, God, please let me help people. Night, God, thank you, please let me help people. And that’s it. You know, I just asked for the opportunity to help people, because that’s what else is there greater. I don’t ask for boats, or cars, or cash or success or monetary things, I think the greatest gift and I believe this to be true for everybody. One of the greatest things, the greatest thing we can do in our lives is to be of service to our fellow humans. So if I’m constantly reaching in that way, and I only can reach that way, and I could only have that state of mind because of the dots that brought me here to this moment. And I know if I know when completed surety that I will have a peaceful good life. If I continue to connect those dots in the future, just continue to connect the dots in that manner.
David Ralph [47:18]
In your book, you quote, Led Zeppelin and I don’t often see Led Zeppelin as the sort of profound motivational speeches. But standing on a hill in the mountain of dreams, telling myself it’s not as hard, hard as it seems from going to California. Life is hard, isn’t it, but it’s still worthwhile experiencing the goods and Bad’s because you can’t move forward without it.
Noa Shaw [47:47]
It’s not as hard as it seems. That’s the that’s the line about it. You know, standing on a mountain is great, and it’s beautiful. And you see it and you realise you’re at the top of this mountain, everything’s wonderful. And when you look back, you realise that nothing that we go through is really hard. When I work with my clients, and I work as a life coach, and we talk about that or not. But I always have them change one thing I always have when they say, Well, this is really hard for me, I say let’s change that one word, because the words we use have a very profound effect on how we process things, and how we act on things. So if I say, oh, David, this bit we’re about to do, it’s gonna be really hard. And you’re gonna, you’re gonna immediately go into a bit of reticence to it because nobody wants something to be hard. But if I say, David, if we change that word to challenging, if we look at this, as this is one of your challenges, you’re more likely to bow up and look at as like, okay, I’ve been challenged. Now let’s attack that. Let’s move through that challenge. And let’s find some litigation. I would love to know, like, yes, you may have challenges, but I’m with you. Now. You’ve it’s not just your challenge. It’s our challenge, my challenge and your challenge to get you through this bit. And you’re going to find freedom on the other side. It’s not as hard as it seems, it’s gonna be okay. And it’s all going to be worth it.
David Ralph [49:09]
And so for the people out there listening, stop thinking thoughts that scare you. Who’s it for?
Noa Shaw [49:16]
It’s for everybody. It’s for everybody. We all do it. We all default and everything we do, we default to this this fearful place, whether it’s massive in our lives or small, we’ll meet somebody and we’ll say, Oh, I don’t know this is gonna work out, it’s gonna work out. I don’t know, how well I get that job I want I don’t know, if I’m gonna get the job I want. It’s always it’s always this sort of negative, fearful place that we go to First, we made that end up in a positive place. But I think when we stop that train of thought, and its tracks, we go, okay, you know, why am I thinking the worst outcome of this? You know, why do we go god this is the pandemic was really you know, it’s never gonna end isn’t it? Never going to be normal. This is horrible and trapped in my apartment, you know, lock downs and stuff like that, it became created this real sense of crisis in people. And this was never going to end and it’s going to, you know, there won’t be a new normal, there will just be a new, but everybody I know for myself, especially, I can speak you know, more of me, almost everybody that I work with, we have this tendency to think into the future, when we look in the future, we look with fear. And we look in that when we want. This is something I say quite often, when I look back on my life, I look at you know, often times will look with regret. And when I look at forward, I will look with fear, making it essential for me to be at peace to live in the moment. Yeah, to really love this moment. Because as soon as I look forward, I look with fear, because it’s unknown. And I think the wild the worst could happen, that could happen, but also the worst could happen. So you want to eliminate that, why bother with it? Why? Why am I going to look at what’s going to happen later, in my day, or my week or my life, or look back at things that happened and like really regret that decision, because it doesn’t make a difference, because you can’t go back and undo it. You know, that’s why there’s so many movies about time machines. And because the great wishes he could go forward and change things or predict things or you can go back and fix things. When the reality is right now without a time machine. All we can take care of is what were the where, where you’re standing in that moment. What you’re living in is that only this moment is the only thing that’s true.
David Ralph [51:30]
But the only thing I can do at this moment is move us to the end of the show. And this is the bit of the show that we call the Sermon on the mic when we’re going to send you back in time to have a one on one with the young Noah. And if you could go back into a room and he’s sitting there waiting for you. What age Noah, would you like to speak to him? What advice would you give him? Well, we’re gonna find out because we’re gonna play the music. And when it’s paid, it’s your time to talk. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [52:03]
We go with the speed of the show does sir man on the mind, man.
Noa Shaw [52:21]
Noa. You’re 10 years old. We’ve moved for the fourth time. And I know that what you’re feeling is a lot of confusion. And you’re not comfortable being who you are. And you’ve just tried drinking. I can see you sitting there sitting in my apartment. My eyes are closed. I’m picturing you. I know the way you move. And I know the way you think and what you feel. And it’s it’s scary. There’s a lot of fear, running through your mind a lot of comfortability about who you are awkwardness that you’re named by your parents about being new all the time, and you’re going to start very soon, you’re going to start trying to buy friends with candy, and then you’re going to buy friends with drugs. And if you have a journey ahead of you, you have a real tough journey ahead of you. But I want you to know that at the end. When you get to be a certain age, it’s all gonna make sense. And you’re going to be blessed with this chance to help people and helping people you will find is the greatest gift you can ever be given. Now you won’t be given this gift because you did everything right. You’ll be given this gift because you did. Not everything wrong, but you made a lot of choices that made things a lot more difficult than they had to be. But those difficulties being created from your choices will cause pain in you. And then when you heal will give you the ability to help others heal from their pain. People will trust you to help them because of how much you’ve lived through. You’re a good kid, your sweet child is super smart. I know you genius level IQ and you can. You’ve already started to pick up bits of other languages and life seems crazy and great and beautiful. You’re going to read every night of your life before you go to sleep. And that’s going to be a gift because when the education doesn’t happen in schools, you’ve teach yourself to like to learn about the world history through the books you read. So you’re never going to give up on that. And just keep going and just keep fighting and when the times get tough just know the beautiful times are ahead and you are going to be loved and you’re going to lose love. And you’re going to think you love some girls and turned out not to be Love, but it’s all part of this grand, beautiful experience you’re about to have. So hang in there. Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up. And I’ll be here waiting for you at the end.
David Ralph [55:12]
Now, what’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with you, sir?
Noa Shaw [55:17]
Instagram, Instagram, Noah Shaw, 26. And oh, a sa JW two sticks. I answer all of my direct messages. And I love people to get a hold of me. I have a website, no shop comm or you can buy my book and everything is on the book, stop thinking thoughts that scare you available on Amazon,
David Ralph [55:37]
we will have over links on the show notes to make it as easy as possible for everybody out. Now, thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots. And please come back again, when you’ve got more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our pasts is the best way to build our futures now ashore. Thank you so much,
Noa Shaw [55:58]
David Ralph, cheers, man Have a beautiful day.
David Ralph [56:02]
Mr. Noah Shaw, a powerful story of finding yourself and sort of redemption and joining up the dots and realising that the lessons all take you somewhere. And that’s the big point of Join Up Dots. It’s the sort of mantra it’s the message. But even if you’re in a crappy time, you’re actually moving forward to something and that crappy time will teach you and I can’t just can’t see how it can’t do. You know, I’m a poster boy for that. And everything that I do now has been more to do with the rubbish van, the good stuff, and you can just move through and make things happen for yourself. For everybody who’s out there wanting to change their life and get things going you can come across to Join Up Dots and go through our free tools. We’ve got assessments, we’ve got guides, and we’re adding more and more over time. And that is at Join Up dots.com until next time, my friends you look after yourself, you be happy. And I’ll see you again. Cheers. See ya. Bye bye.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you or wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.