Aaron Kennard: I’m really thrilled to have on the line here a recent friend of mine, Mateo. And Mateo can you say your last name because I don’t think I know how to pronounce it.
Mateo Tabatabaiy: Mateo Tabatabaiy.
Aaron: Mateo Tabatabaiy. I think I actually was saying that right in my head. So, I’m excited about that and I’m excited to have you here. I really appreciate that. You’re in Denmark, I believe? Is that correct?
Aaron: Awesome. I’m really, really stoked to have you here and to be discussing, really what it means to live a truly amazing life. And so, as an intro, Mateo is a best-selling author. I was first introduced to him by finding his book on Amazon called the Mind-Made Prison. And he’s a global management engineer. He’s currently studying to become a clinical psychologist. And he’s writing his second book and he’s worked on it with people for the last seven years, oh, he’s worked with people for the last seven years. So, I think you’ve been working on your second book since you published your first one a few years ago. Is that correct Mateo?
Mateo: Yes, that’s correct. Well it’s been two years on the way. I write from a very experiential standpoint.
Mateo: And my new book has to do with what I’ve experienced and learned and the ways that I’ve grown in the last two years.
Aaron: Yes. Well, I just want to start by saying, thank you for the first book you wrote. I just stumbled upon it as I was publishing my first book actually, the Positive Thinking Secret, which just actually just came out this last week on Amazon. But I found your book and I was just intrigued. I read most of it within a day or two and it really just rung true to me and the message was just fantastic. And I was really impressed by the wisdom that I could just sense in it from what I heard in that book. So I just really recommend that people read the Mind-Made Prison. It’s really fantastic. Quick, easy ready but deep. I haven’t gone through it as thoroughly as I would like to because there’s still things, there’s exercises in there that you’ve put out, Mateo, that I think are just amazing that I would like to do with myself, exploring my rules more. There’s so many just awesome questions that you’ve posed in there, in that book that I think are so beneficial for us. And so, anyway, thank you for writing that. I’m a fan and I encourage everybody to go check out the Mind-Made Prison on Amazon and the Kindle version is pretty cheap, I think. And it’s awesome. So, thank you for that Mateo.
Mateo: Thank you so much.
Aaron: Yes. And as we jump in here, I’m really thrilled to have you here to talk and to discuss this topic because I’m impressed by the way you’ve lived as shown in what you and I are really interested in getting to know you better. So, as we jump out here, maybe just give us a brief intro on you. Who you are? What got you to the point of doing that book? And then we’ll dive deeper into some questions on really what it means to live a truly amazing life. So give us a brief intro on you.
Mateo: OK. I guess I was a pretty alternative kid growing up. I was kind of serious. I always pondered what I thought to be the bigger questions in life. How infinite is the universe? What is the meaning of life? All that good stuff. And then I just started in school and learned that I had to be fake. In order to survive, I had to fit in. I did that whole thing. And so then probably at the age of 16 or 17, I had some experiences that created a change in me and I remembered these bigger questions and that led into this big quest, or whatever you want to call it. For me it was mostly just desperation that led me into this quest at the time. And at some point, probably around three years ago, I decided to write a book which was a struggle in and of itself because all of my limited beliefs came up during the time up to writing…actually getting started with writing, I had all these limiting beliefs. You’re too young. You don’t have anything good to share. So, I just experienced all that. Wrote the book. It did a lot better than I had expected. A lot of people from all over the world wrote me. They loved it and, yeah, I guess, the rest of history.
Aaron: That’s cool. Well, it’s a short history. I think you’re still pretty young. I don’t know how old you are but you, I’m sure have so many amazing things to come in the future. So, that’s cool. Thanks for giving us this brief background. I want to dive more into some of that story. So, before we do though, let me just get a picture of what your life is now. What makes life amazing to you right now? I get the sense from your writings and from just the energy that I get from you that you really love life. Is that a fair assessment?
Mateo: I actually hate it Aaron.
Mateo: [laugh] No. I guess I really do. I really do love life. And sometimes life annoys me but even in those annoying moments I love it. That’s part of life for me. What is a perfect life from you, is that the question?
Aaron: What is it that makes life amazing to you right now? What makes it amazing?
Mateo: The first thing that comes up for me is just intimacy. The beautiful connections I have with people that I really love and my growing capacity to share something beautiful, vulnerability, being able to show my love for them. Being able to receive my love. So definitely my social circle, my family, those really important relationships in my life is a big part of it.
Aaron: Do you live around a lot of family in Denmark? Is that where you’re from?
Mateo: I’m not originally from Denmark. I was born here but I have only my mom, dad and sister here in Denmark. But very close ties to those three people. I have a few very close friends and that’s basically the social circle I’m talking about when I talk about these intimate relationships.
Mateo: Very important for me these people in my life.
Mateo: Also, also another big point, Aaron, is that I’m able to dedicate my life to this. I’m able to dedicate as much time as I can to the process of growth, to the process of constant and ongoing inquiry and going deeper and deeper into my psyche. Checking what’s really going on, just uncovering more and more limiting beliefs. More and more subtle ways that I stop myself. More and more subtle insecurity. I really, really love that process of growth. So, those are the two main things and the last one is, once I uncover these great things. I’ve always had this natural tendency and love to just share that with people, people that really want to create changes. Not people who don’t take responsibility but people who really want to change.
Aaron: Yes. That’s awesome. So, love and intimacy. Those intimate relationships, that growth, and then sharing and empowering those that want it? Does that sound like a review of what makes your life really meaningful and amazing right now? Is that right?
Mateo: Yes. Yes.
Aaron: That’s good. That’s very good. The reason I’m doing this interview process, this podcast, is as an experiment and a project for me partially and but also so that…becasue I’m studying this. I’m like you, I study this topic and this personal growth is so meaningful for me. Those three things you just said are very key for me too. And as you probably know, as I created that poster that’s on my website, the Truly Amazing Life poster, I’ve outlined what I call the 12 pillars of a truly amazing life. And you just highlighted three of the core essences of those. You obviously weren’t doing that based on that poster. It’s just from you heart what you said. But I’m interested in asking this best questions because I’m curious of how many people agree or see that. Or how universal those principles are, I guess you could say. And so far they’ve shown to be pretty universal. From the people that are living amazing that love life, those are the core things. So, loving, growing, sharing, giving, pretty core aspects from what I’m finding. And it’s cool to hear everybody’s different take on that but yours is unique to you. Those three things is different than what I’ve heard from…different in the sense that you focused on those three things, I guess I should say so. That’s cool. Thank you for sharing that. What I would go into then, you mentioned that you had this big experience when you were 16 or 17 and maybe that’s where we dive into. Because the next thing is, was it always this way for you or was there a time when it was different? That your life really didn’t seem as amazing? Or that you didn’t have this love and this passion for growth and this passion for sharing?
Mateo: Yes. Definitely. Growing up, my parents moved around a lot. So I went to probably 12, 13 different schools and universities in my life. That was pretty tough on me because I had to learn very quickly to be flexible. I didn’t get a chance to really create a lot of long-lasting friendships. I experienced being bullied in some of the places that I went to.
Aaron: Was this in different countries?
Mateo: Different countries and different schools. I had a pretty hectic…
Aaron: Growing up.
Mateo: …life growing up. Yes. And this led to me developing a façade, so to speak. A façade that allowed me to survive. I very quickly learned that I had to feed into what other people wanted and just give that to them. Because then they would like me. So, I dismissed who I truly was, my authentic self at a very young age. And I lived like that for many, many years. And at the age of 16, what actually happened was, it wasn’t a big life altering thing. But I had a girlfriend at the time who broke up with me. I just remembered I felt, my heart was completely broken. Thinking back it was rather my ego that was really shattered from that.
Mateo: And I was like, what, she broke up with me. And I just remember, I went out, I bought this little teddy bear. In complete neediness and out of desperation, I took the train 45 minutes to where she lived. I hadn’t told her I was going to come visit her. I rang her door and she opened the door. And when she saw me, she just looked at me in complete disappointment. And that disappointment, I could just feel it. And it really hurt in my heart. And that’s the moment when I decided, I’m going to do something. Why am I in this position with a girl who I’m not really even that much into? And she’s hurting me so much, and I feel so lonely, and I feel so needy? What happened?
Mateo: Somewhere along the line something went wrong. And I was obviously a pretty…for my age, probably what most teenagers think about, but it was like a decision like…
Mateo: …that led me into this self-improvement. In the beginning, it was mostly just, I wanted to take back control of women. That’s what started my journey.
Aaron: Yes. You’re were like, what, how did I get to this desperation place. I want to be in control.
Aaron: So, that ego-driven maybe thing led you to this…to where you’re living so much happier now then?
Aaron: That’s cool. I love hearing that. That’s a pretty young age and a lot of people don’t really hit these moments, aha moments until later. But I think everybody’s different. That’s really cool. So, tell me more? What did that do then from that point? What did your transformation look like after that?
Mateo: Well, I had some pretty interesting years after that because I decided to study this area of seduction. And at the age of 18, I decided to travel to Hawaii. The other side of the world for me. I just took my savings. I spent it all. I took a risk and I said, I need to learn something. I need to learn to improve myself. And still at this point it was from a very ego-driven place of, I just want to succeed with women. That was…
Aaron: Don Juan Demarco.
Mateo: Yes. Yes.
Aaron: You actually referenced that movie in your book. And I actually...
Aaron: And there were some very interesting points in that movie, but, yeah, continue on. That’s interesting.
Mateo: Yes. I’m happy to bring that up. Don Juan DeMarco was what I was trying to become. And I spent a few years just going out socializing, talking with people and it learned me a lot of things. It learned me to be able to socialize and talk with people and be in front of large groups, but it wasn’t healthy for me in many ways also because I got this view on people that they were just objects and were there for my satisfaction. So that was kind of the shadow side of what I was doing.
Mateo: And I became a pretty egotistical person who thought that the universe is here just to satisfy me. Everyone one in the universe is here to satisfy me.
Mateo: And that went on until probably around 21, 22. And that’s when I had a major, major shift.
Aaron: OK. So what happened then? Well, first of all, you’re going through this egotistical growth, whatever, woman seduction phase. Were you happy at the time? Or were you tormented or what was your basic state throughout those years?
Mateo: Well, what I did realize, Aaron, during that period of time which was probably one of the most valuable realization for me still in my life was that I was pretty successful financially. I was pretty successful with women. I worked out very diligently. So, I had the perfect fitness body. I had it all covered. Everything that you’re supposed to have to be happy. And still I just felt completely empty inside. And I had this voice that just said, Mateo, you just got to do it more. You just need a little bit more.
Mateo: And I did that for a while and then it just dawned on me, this is not doing it for me. I’m still empty inside. So that was a very, very valuable realization for me.
Aaron: That was about when you were about 21?
Mateo: Yeah around then. Around then I started accepting that I wasn’t going to be happy with these things which is a very young age to realize that.
Aaron: Yeah. I would say it is. A lot of people…yeah, that’s not very common. I would say for sure. So, then what happened? Well, first of all you said you had that major dawning. Was there some major event that happened that gave you that realization? Or was it just like waking up one day and finally realizing that this constant grasping for more wasn’t doing it for you?
Mateo: Yeah. I think it’s the latter. The second option that you said. I think it was just an accumulation of the quiet loneliness that was there all along, that emptiness I was trying to fill. Trying to find myself work through these external things.
Aaron: Yes. That’s good. That’s amazing to realize that really at such a young age. But I can see how that just kind of builds up, and builds up and finally it gets to a head, right? Does that sounds like that happened to you? It got to a point where you could no longer…you needed to take some action against that?
Mateo: Yes. Yes.
Aaron: That’s cool. So, you’re in your early 20s. Then what happened? Then where did you go? I think from there is when you went on your journey of growth, right? From exploration?
Mateo: Yes, that’s when I…
Mateo: I decided to move to Thailand. So, from one day to the next…actually, I was supposed to go to Argentina with a friend of mine. We were going to live there for a couple of months. We booked this really, really cool penthouse. Everything was set. But around a week or two before we were going to take the jump and actually fly there, I had a very strong gut feeling. And that was the first time in my life that I even encountered something that I would call intuition. But I had a very strong gut feeling of, this is not right for me. I shouldn’t go to Argentina. It’s just not right for me. And for some reason, I decided to trust that. I was petty immature at the time. So, I was surprised that I trusted that.
Mateo: That voice. And before I knew it, I ended up in Thailand. Two weeks later I was in Thailand. We rented this beautiful, kind of secluded place. And me and my friend went there originally to do martial arts. I was pretty heavy into martial arts at the time. And that journey to Thailand, those six months just took a completely different twist at doing martial arts.
Aaron: Interesting. And what was that?
Mateo: Yes. Well, it started by me sort of making fun of these wo-wo, new agey[?][20:13] people. I was making…
Aaron: That you saw in Thailand.
Mateo: Yes. And I was telling my friend, dude, there is this thing called rriki[?] healing. And it looks so weird. And they say they heal you. They put their hands on you. And it’s complete bullshit I told him.
Mateo: But it was like some part of me wanted to check it out and my rationalization at the time was, let’s go check it out because I just want to prove to myself what nonsense this is.
Mateo: So we went. We met up with this English guy actually. This British guy called Michael and his wife who’s a psychic. And I just thought, this is so weird. They gave us big hugs and big smiles. And it was completely foreign to me. I was coming from this really materialistic-driven, kind of Tony Robbins mindset. These people are giving super long hugs and something just shifted. Because this woman started telling me things about myself that no one knew, really private things. And she told me that I was here for this journey and there were some things I needed to do. And I think what she said, really resonated with some deeper knowledge in me. And slowly but surely, I started believing some of the knowledge that was coming from within me. Some of my truths that maybe I am here to help people. Maybe there’s more depth to me than this person that I’m pretending to be. And that’s what started everything.
Aaron: Interesting. That’s real interesting. So, you follow your gut one time. It sounds like the first time you really recognized yourself following your heart.
Aaron: And then that leads you to connecting with people who you think are crazy. And all of sudden that opens your mind to things you never even considered possible?
Mateo: Yes. Yes.
Aaron: That’s so cool. I love hearing stuff like that. I think it’s so common for people, not common, but it’s such a common thread that happens when we tend to as humans think we know it all as the ego just thinks it knows it all. And we get these things that we think are crazy that actually end up being the reality.
Aaron: Or the better truth, right? And that probably led you…that sounds like that led you then to just deeper study of yourself and to where now, fast-forward and you are highly in tuned with yourself. Very obviously interested in your personal growth and in shedding, or the ego, if that’s a way to say that or, I mean and compassion and things. So, I guess there’s been a transformation since that point when you met that lady, right?
Mateo: I’ve traveled the world in an intense and very wild pursuit. I can be very extreme. So, I’ve traveled the world and met all sorts of really weird shamans and master and some of them were really beneficial for me. Some were just completely useless but I’ve been very, very diligent about this stuff for the last couple of year. And I’m kind of just relaxing more because I also want to enjoy some of the simpler things in life.
Mateo: And just also be a human being.
Aaron: Because for a while there it had become your super intense passion to really explore yourself and explore the universe, if you will?
Mateo: Yes. And still is. I’m just trying to bring a little more balance into it. In this phase of my life, at least, Aaron.
Aaron: That’s cool. It sounds like there’s probably tons of stories to talk about in there and we don’t maybe have a ton of time to go over tons of them. So, maybe we’ll come back to the future. It’s cool to hear that path and maybe out of that what you just shared, could you boil down maybe one lesson or two that you learned through that that might be important to others. Just distill that down to one or two things maybe you learned through that that would help somebody.
Mateo: Yes. Two things and these are both pretty much when I tell these to people, they’re always in kind of shock and disbelief. And say, oh, it can’t be that simple. But two things, acceptance and self-compassion, self-love. So, learn to deal with whatever arises and you learn that nothing is bad. Even your shadows that you don’t like. Even those parts you’re like, bad boy, or bad girl. I don’t want anyone to see that. So, learn slowly. It sounds easier when I say it, it’s hard in practice. But…
Mateo: Acceptance and self-compassion. Just start being nice to yourself. Start loving yourself more. Even when you make mistakes, see how sweet you are when you want to present yourself perfectly. See how sweet you are when you are embarrassed. Just bring that sweetness to yourself.
Aaron: Yeah. So, forgiving yourself for whatever you might have just judged yourself for before?
Mateo: Yes. Forgiving yourself for being human.
Aaron: Yeah. Yeah. And when you say you learned those two things, those are such important concepts. And I really love what you said in your book on acceptance being one of the…I think I gathered from that being one of the most transformational beliefs for you to learn to…I believe you said this in your book, correct me if I’m wrong. But you said that learning acceptance was one of the most empowering beliefs that you learned when you realized that you could actually accept anything.
Aaron: Is that what you said in there?
Mateo: It probably is.
Aaron: Something like that.
Mateo: I have a hard time remembering what I say sometimes.
Aaron: But I mean, is that the essence of what…
Mateo: Yes. Yes.
Aaron: That because when you learn that you can accept anything, then you are free from the bondage of whatever happens in your life.
Aaron: Ant that is such a beautiful thing. And so, did you get that acceptance and self-love from that time in Thailand. And over that course, was it just kind of a daily, gradual, growth into more and more acceptance and self-love from there?
Mateo: Yes. For sure. For sure. And still is.
Aaron: [xx][27:01] Yes.
Mateo: I think it’s a path for life.
Aaron: Yep. That’s cool. I love that. I love hearing that. Well, we’re wrapping up here in a couple more minutes, maybe. So as we do wrap up, we could talk all day but you’ve got a book to write and I’ve got things to do. And people have got places to go. So, let’s wrap up with, tell me one book that you would most highly recommend to somebody in their quest for living a fulfilled, truly amazing life?
Mateo: OK. There is this book I heard about that apparently should be completely amazing. It’s called the Mind-Made Prison by somebody called Mateo.
Aaron: [laugh] I would recommend that book as an awesome book. And, of course, you’ve got to say that. Is there another one in addition to that that you might recommend?
Mateo: I would recommend, Thinking Clearly, by Jerry Stocking.
Aaron: Thinking Clearly, by Jerry Stocking. I haven’t heard of it. I’ll have to look into that. Let’s see, and just as we wrap up, I’m going to tell the listeners, they can go to your website at Mateo-t.com, is that correct?
Mateo: Yes. Is it called dash or a hyphen?
Aaron: Hyphen. Yes. I think either one, it’s the same. Mateo-t.com. That M-A-T-E-O dash, or hyphen, not an underscore T.com. So, if you want to get in touch with Mateo, I highly recommend it. He’s just intuitive. Go to his website and learn more about him. I think he would appreciate that. If you want to get in touch with him, that would be great. One other thing before we go Mateo, any final parting piece of advice that you would give the listeners out there?
Mateo: Not anything else than what I already said. Just start loving yourself more. Start accepting you and move from that place of acceptance to wherever you want to go. And also, I do offer private sessions and you can check that out on my website if there’s specific things people want to work on.
Aaron: And so, let’s just in the last minute here explore what does that look like? How can that help somebody if they were to book a private session with you, what kind of things could you help them with?
Mateo: Well, basically what I do is teach people how they do what they do. So, I teach them…or help them become of the judgments that are going on in them. That they don’t usually see before someone points them in that direction. I help them to see their limiting beliefs. I help them see all of the things that they usually don’t see. And that are controlling them because they don’t see them.
Aaron: Yeah. That is so powerful. I’ve had coaches and my mentors do that for me now and that’s why I continue to have them. Because unlocking those limiting beliefs is so key to freeing you from them. And just opening up your life for more fullness and joy. So, that’s awesome. We don’t have much time to discuss this but, I guess I would say, how do you uncover those? Just briefly. How is that that you can expose those for people? Is it just by hearing, just letting them explain themselves and you hearing the undertone of what their energy is? How is it that you can help people on that level?
Mateo: Well, there’s the wo-wo[?][30:28] side of it that I really can’t explain or understand.
Aaron: The intuition side of it, maybe?
Mateo: The intuition side of it. And then I listen to patterns and you can listen to patterns in the words people use and how they use the words. And what sort of places they’re gathering their information from. And that tells a lot about the person.
Aaron: Yes. That’s cool. Yes, that awesome. Yes, so go to Mateo’s website everybody that’s listening if you want to learn more about him. And look for his new book, Mateo Tabatabaiy. Tabatabaiy, did I say that right?
Mateo: Correct. Correct.
Aaron: And look for his book on Amazon. It sounds like you’re just finishing it up here in the next little bit?
Mateo: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It should be out in a few months.
Aaron: Do you know what it’s called yet or are you still working on that?
Mateo: I have no idea yet.
Aaron: That’s cool. Well, I for one am excited to hear it. And Mateo, thank you so much for your time. I look forward to the continued relationship and wish you the best in your next book.