LM 16 | Paying Kindness Forward


Everyone has received help, and everyone has given help in return, no matter how small it seems. Joseph McClendon III joins Tanya Memme in this episode to talk about the time in his life when he got help from a stranger that jump-started his journey of helping others reach their goals faster. Joseph is a Doctor of Neuropsychology and one of the most sought after Ultimate Performance Specialists in the industry. Join in as he discusses everyone’s common wants and the different roads to success that each one can traverse and still get to the same destination. Learn how and why simply changing your approach towards the world can change everything for you and the people around you.

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Paying Kindness Forward With Joseph McClendon III

I am honored to have Joseph McClendon III. I know how busy you are. Thank you for coming in. I had to write down all of your accolades because you have so many. You’re the most sought-after ultimate performance specialist. You’ve also presented to over 4.5 million viewers.

It’s live people, not just viewers.

I’ve seen you speak. You are incredible. I saw you a few years ago and I will never forget it. You also have a Doctorate in Neuropsychology. You taught at the University of California, UCLA. What I do love the most about the things I read about you, you said that you hold the keys to what everyone wants.

I know it sounds grand and flamboyant, but it’s the truth. It is from my standpoint, having been a mentor and a coach for many years. Everybody wants the same thing. We want more happiness. We want better bodies. We want more money. We want a better lifestyle and better relationships. All of those things are centered around something that I call the 60/20/20 rule of achievement and success and abundance. It’s 60% psychology, what goes on between our ears. It’s 20% energy and emotion and 20% attractiveness. Those things are the key. If you make a shift in any one of them, even a little bit of shift, you change the trajectory of your outcome.

Let’s go way back to the beginning. I want to know how you came up with that through your life because I’m sure there’s a whole story behind that. Tell me how this all began for you.

I grew up not too far from here. I grew up in a place called Lancaster, California. I want to say I had a great childhood. My father was in the service and a disciplined guy. He taught me good work ethic and everything. When I was 17.5 years old, three grown men tried to take my life because of the color of my skin and they left me for dead. Long story short, that left me feeling worthless. It left me feeling like there was something wrong with me and I became homeless. I lived in a cardboard box at a drive-in at seventeen.

Where was your father?

My father was in the Air Force. He’d retired out there and he’d moved to a place called Ridgecrest, California further out there.

He had to go and you chose to stay.

When we feel better and start to feel hopeful, we'll do more, and then we'll have more. Click To Tweet

I chose to stay there but nobody knew I was homeless, not even my family. That drove me to a point that I was close to suicidal.

Why didn’t you tell anybody?

Because of my pride. That is psychology. That was my psychology, my pride and nobody knew.

What happened that day when you were taken?

What changed with me was this, I was homeless for about 4.5 months. It doesn’t seem like a long time but every day when you’re homeless is an eternity. Something happened to me. Somebody gave me a book. Somebody that I didn’t know. It was a kind stranger. He gave me a book and the book was called Think and Grow Rich. I always tell people that I got the book, I read the book, and I did the exercises because I was desperate. The exercises set me on a path. I went back to the person because he changed my life. Within weeks, everything changed. Mostly, what changed was my self-esteem and my opinion of myself or my belief about myself. When I went back to the gentleman to thank him, I said, “What do I do for you?” That’s the way I was raised. I was raised that you pay it forward. What he said to me was, “You do the same thing that I’ve done for you for as many people as you possibly can for the rest of your life.” By this time, I was getting close to 18, 19 years old. I didn’t take it seriously then but as time went on, I did. That’s why I do what I do right now. I first realized I had my own challenges and that’s why I went after psychology as my major.

You went back to school then.

Yes. I always say, “A physician heal thyself.” Those of us that are in this line of work, we’re honest with ourselves. We started it because we needed to fix ourselves, and I did. I studied traditional psychology first and then I moved into neuropsychology, which fascinated me. The difference is in traditional therapy, I have one way of interacting with you and that is through my voice. Neuropsychology look at neuro as your five senses. As a neuropsychologist, I have five ways to enter your world on a personal level and help you get your outcome. I was driving in here and I drove past my office. I had an office here in Los Angeles where I helped people get over their fears, phobias and emotional challenges for years while I was teaching at UCLA. I enjoyed it and I still do. I’ve moved on to bigger audiences now but that’s where it all started. I love doing it. At the risk of sounding too noble, my passion in life is to do what that guy said to me, to give back as much as possible.

Did you know at a young age that you were meant to do something great?

I did. I was raised that way. My parents taught me and my siblings that we were special and we were meant to be something. They taught us that and I believed that with the exception of let’s say in this country and all over the world, there is a constant badgering of our souls to keep us down, to keep us feeling like we’re not enough and all those things. I was able to resist that up until that point moderately. At that point, it shattered it for me. I don’t use myself as some shining example of the way that things should be, but I do use myself as an example of what’s possible because somebody helped me and I’m here to help other people.

LM 16 | Paying Kindness Forward

Paying Kindness Forward: Everybody wants the same thing. More happiness, better bodies, more money, a better lifestyle, and better relationships.


That was what changed and why you do what you’re doing. You did know at a young age that you were meant for something.

It was all because of the input of my parents. I remember when I was 6 or 7 years old, I thought I’m going to do something great. I don’t know what it is but I’m going to do something great. I believe that.

There are a lot of people suffering and they have no direction. What’s the first step? It’s hard and you went through it.

It’s simple but not easy. To answer your question, the first thing I say to people is, “First off, relax and chill out.” People say this all the time, “What would you say to your younger self?” You’re your younger self now because you’re going to be older so say it to you now. If I was going to say something to my younger self it would be, “Chill out. Everything is going to be fine. Relax and go after it.”

How do you say that when you’re homeless?

Even then. What happens is when we are in turmoil, when we are in a challenge, we’re only looking at the challenge. We’re only looking at what’s wrong and that creates what I call the antithesis of awesomesauce. It creates this flood of chemicals and solutions, endorphins and adrenaline in our body that causes us to remain feeling bad. As soon as we go, “Let me look at what I want,” even if we don’t believe it, if we keep looking at what we want, then those same chemicals I call awesomesauce change. We feel better and we start to feel hopeful. We’ll do more and then we’ll have more.

Did you start to feel hopeful at all before he gave you the book or was it the book?

It was the book. From a psychological standpoint, the book changed my focus instead of feeling sorry for myself. I have the right to do that, as we all do. Bad is bad. Bad stuff happens. We have five senses. One of them and probably the most prominent one in most people is what we look at. I always say, “Whatever you look at with your eyes open or your eyes closed is what you’re going to feel. What you’re going to feel is what you’re going to do.” People drive into telephone poles because they’re looking at the pole. They don’t want to look at that pole. They get scared and it locks their body into doing that. Using that same philosophy, look at what you want. People would come into my office all the time and they go, “I don’t want to feel this way.” I go, “How can I help you?” They go, “I’m depressed. I don’t want to feel this way.” I go, “What do you want?” They go, “I’m suicidal. I don’t want to feel this way.” I go, “What do you want?” They go, “I told you, I hate myself. I hate my life.” I go, “What do you want?” They get angry with me.

They’re not answering your question.

There are many roads to success with the pursuit of money as the slowest.  Click To Tweet

Here’s what it is. They’re telling me what they don’t want. Because they’re looking at what they don’t want with their mind, that’s the way they feel. I tell them, “Share with me what do you want.” I’ll interrupt their pattern, “Share it with me.” They go, “I want to be happy.” As soon as they do that, I know the chemicals are flowing. I’ll say, “Tell me what that’s like.” I’m making this quick but I’m taking them through the process of helping them and look at what they want. That’s what changes people. Through neurolinguistics or what I call neural encoding, I anchor that in them so that they automatically default to that versus what they were defaulting to before.

One of the biggest steps that you can tell somebody is to change your frame of mind.

Chill and relax first. I’ll ask you this, have you ever been sitting in your house somewhere and you go, “I’ve got to get an ink pen out of the kitchen.” You stand up and you go in the kitchen and then you’re in the kitchen going, “Why did I come in here?”

That’s me.

That’s everybody. In the neural psychology field, that is something that we call a pattern interrupt or a mind shift or a break. Whatever you’re focused on in the moment and something radical happens or you stand up and a sound happens or something, four things happen in that moment. Number one, you’re no longer in that mindset. You’re taken away from that. Number two, you create what’s called a scotoma, which is a blank spot in the mind. Number three, that scotoma is a vacuum and it’s going, “What?” It’s curiosity. Number four, you’re highly suggestible in that moment. If you make yourself feel bad on purpose and think about what you don’t want, and then shake yourself out. You create that scotoma and then make yourself happy, and then you put the happiness in there. The very thing that would make you sad or unresourceful from the beginning, it now makes you happy.

You’re awesome. I’m soaking it up. I know that he gave you the book and there was that moment and you’re like, “I’m going to pay it forward.” There are plenty of times when people help other people and those people still don’t feel like they need to help anyone. What about you, inside of you? There’s got to be more that has caused you to keep going, helping and devoting your life to making a difference in other people’s lives.

I had a great upbringing and great parents who taught us to give back. That’s a part of who we are. To take that a step further. All of us like helping other people. I don’t care how selfish you are. That’s part of the human condition. That old saying, “The secret to living is giving.” The more we do and the more we recognize that we’re helping somebody else, the better we feel. For me, I would say it’s my upbringing but then I also had the conditioning. Remember, I was eighteen by the time that happened. I was still a selfish teenager. It was all about me. You’re going through it. What I say to people is this, “Try it out and experiment.”

Give even if you feel you don’t have anything.

That’s a good point because most people feel like, “I’ll give when I have enough.” It’s the other way around. Don’t get me wrong. I love having money. It’s great. I like nice stuff and everything. There are many roads to success, but the pursuit of money is the slowest. It’s the number one thing that most of us are pursuing these days. Only the upper 5% of people are financially abundant. The upper 1% or 0.5% are the ones that are healthy, wealthy, and all those things. Associated with pursuing money is crime, failed relationships, poor health, obesity, stress, and all of those things. I’m not saying don’t go after it. I’m saying let’s go after it in a different way. It’s easy for somebody on the other side that has money to go, “It’s not about the money.” It is about the money.

LM 16 | Paying Kindness Forward

Paying Kindness Forward: It’s not what you know, it’s what you do with what you think, how you feel, and how you physically approach the world that changes everything.


That’s what happens. It’s like, “Yeah, because you got it.”

It is about the money when you don’t have it. I’m just saying, “Happily go after it and you do it faster.” My brand is Further Faster. Do you want what you want sooner rather than later? The answer for everybody is, “Absolutely, yes.” The methodology in doing so is much simpler than we’ve been led to believe. It’s not what you know. It’s what you think, how you feel, and how you physically approach the world when you go in the world. That’s what changes everything. You’ll do it happily. You’ll get it faster. You’ll feel better about it. The greatest part about it is that we affect other people around us that they get inspired by us as well. I appreciate you and admire what you do. You told me your story about why you do this here. You’re doing it and you’re changing lives, and that’s affecting people.

I’m not getting paid to do this. This is my passion project.

Think of the lives that you’re changing. I’m honored to be on your show and to do this. You’re making a difference. In this day and age, unless you’ve been living under a rock, there’s so much negativity. There’s so much pounding down on us and causing us to feel worse.

I’ll tell you something that’s happened to me. I’ve had my computer stolen. I’ve had two of my friends that owe me a substantial amount of money and I can’t get ahold of them. That’s gone. I’ve had this resounding feeling of people taking and stealing. What do you say to people like that? What do you say to people that think that it’s okay to steal? That’s what they did to me.

I left a post on Instagram about that. The quote that I read was, “Never argue with people that Harriet Tubman would have left behind.” Harriet Tubman ran the Underground Railroad and all those things. There were a lot of slaves during those days that argued with her and even turned her in. She wouldn’t argue with them. She’ll go, “You go do your thing.” I would say to you, don’t try and change them. Don’t say anything to them. Don’t argue with them. Physician heal thyself. The work needs to be done with you. It starts with chill and to say these words, “This too shall pass.” I had some jerks break into my home and stole everything that I value.

Mine is nothing compared to you.

I was doing a seminar in Florida and I heard about it over the phone. The sheriff called me and said that these guys are in my house. It devastated me. My mom passed away years ago and she was a singer. I had all my recordings of her, everything of my possession. It was in a safe and they took everything. It devastated me for about twenty seconds. Something came over me. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not happy that they stole my stuff. I calmed down and I was centered enough that I was able to tell the sheriff something that about 3 or 4 months later I was able to get some of the stuff back.

Here’s my point, I have a default and it’s what I tell people, “Let’s work on your default so that when bad things happen, you default to a place of centeredness and recognize that this too shall pass.” It’s part of life. This is an episode and it’s going to go on. Those haters, those energy vampires, and those attention thugs, they’re going to do what they do. Sometimes, you’re going to bounce off of them but you’re going to be okay. As long as you’re looking at what you want, as long as you’re doing the right thing, and as long as you’re helping people, whatever your religious belief is, God is going to find a way for you. You’re going to be fine. This didn’t happen here for you because you were focused on the bad people. You’re focusing on what you can do.

As long as you're looking at what you want, doing the right thing, and helping people, God is going to find a way for you. Click To Tweet

I’m making a difference because that’s what it’s about for me too. You are incredible. You are one of the most phenomenal speakers I have ever heard. What do you love most about what you do?

That same thing again about helping people. I have the privilege of doing large seminars. I’m in front of easily 15,000 people every month and sometimes more. The most important part and the thrill of that is not being on stage, it’s when I’m finished and when I’m walking offstage. I practice what I preach. I say, “Don’t teach theory.” I tell people that you’ve got to reward yourself. That’s the happiest time for me, when it’s done and it’s over. My thing is I say, “Tell, show, try, do.” I’m not going to just give you a motivational speech. I don’t care if it’s 45 minutes. The event you’re in, that was 4 days long and it was 15 hours a day, 45 minutes, or 15 hours a day, 4 days, 6 days or whatever.

You were on a couple of days during that event.

You’re going to walk away with something that you’re going to use, not just an experience, not just being motivated. You’re going to walk away with a skill or a tool. That’s what I’m all about. I want to give everything that I’ve learned in terms of methodology to get a result. One of my events that I do with my own, I say to people, “Bring me your worst nightmare, fear, memory, anything that when you think about it causes you to be unresourceful. At one point in that day, you’re not going to be able to feel it again. It’s not going to be something that I do to you. It’s going to be something that I’ll tell you and show you. We try it together. You’re going to get a result and then you’re going to go home with that tool.”

You take on private clients as well.

I don’t.

You’re busy and it’s like, “I can’t.”

I would love to. There are two reasons why I don’t anymore. One is my schedule. I value my time. The second is I’m not cheap.

I was thinking that too.

LM 16 | Paying Kindness Forward

Think and Grow Rich

I’ve had the privilege of working with Academy Award-winning movie stars and actors and actresses and Grammy winners and things like that. They’re my great friends and my clients. It’s time-consuming. That’s one-on-one. In my stage, I like to work with bigger or larger groups of people.

Go through what it’s like a day in your life. What do you do? What’s your morning ritual?

It depends on whether I’m home or not. Let’s go through a pleasurable day when I’m home. I only sleep about 4.5 to 5 hours a night. It’s part of what I teach. I won’t teach theory. I wake up excited and energized. I have a morning ritual that takes me about twenty minutes that I do every morning. I’m a single dad. My son lives with me part-time. When he’s with me, I wake him up, get him ready for school. He’s at that age where he’s starting to kick me to the curb. It’s crazy. I take him to school. I’m a musician. In fact, what brought me to Hollywood in the first place was music. I had a deal with CBS Records back in the olden days. I have a music studio in my home. I go in there and I play music for a little while. I come out and I go about my day, the phone calls, the interviews, the things that I do. I then pick the kid up and hang out with him. That’s an ideal day with me.

That sounds like a perfect day to me. You’re also an author. You’ve written numerous books. Where can we learn more about you? Where can we buy your books?

You can find me on my website, which is JosephMcClendon.com or on Instagram. What I’m doing is I’m pumping out content on Instagram, which is @IAmJosephMcClendon. You can join me at any of my events. If you go to my website, you can see some of the events that I’m doing as well.

Thank you so much. I know how busy you are. Thank you for taking the time out of your schedule for this.

It’s my pleasure. Thank you for having me.

If you love this interview, make sure that you watch all of the other Life Master interviews. We have a podcast on iTunes. You can find us on the EverTalk TV platform on Roku, on Apple TV. That’s it. Check us out. Thank you again. We’ll be back again with another episode.

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About Joseph McClendonIII

LM 16 | Paying Kindness ForwardJoseph McClendon III is a Doctor of Neuropsychology and one of the most sought after Ultimate Performance Specialists in the industry.

His unique brand of Tell, Show, Do teaching and coaching creates rapid personal change that effectively moves people to take more consistent action and go Further Faster with their personal and business achievements.

Joseph holds several certifications in the neurosciences arena. He taught at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) for seven years and is frequently called upon to lecture at other higher learning institutions like Harvard University and many Fortune 500 companies in the United States as well as across Europe and Australia.

Joseph has delivered hundreds of workshops, coaching sessions, keynote addresses, seminars and training programs, and one-on-one therapeutic interventions and has presented to well over 3 million people around the globe. His remarkable ability to go straight to the core of the challenge and effect rapid change makes him a unique commodity in business, health and wellness, and personal improvement.

In 1986, Joseph met and teamed up with best-selling author and speaker Anthony Robbins. After mastering the technology, he became extremely proficient in assisting people to overcome the fears, phobias, and emotional challenges that hindered their lives and progress. From there, he went on to design a dynamic line of human change technology products and services.

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