Sometimes, what it takes to change your life for the better are just little yet meaningful changes. Jordan Levin enumerates ten good habits that can elevate your life. He explores the beauty of looking inward and the fulfillment of serving and connecting with others. Jordan also injects his own reflections to this topic as a deaf person, providing interesting anecdotes of how he copes with his disability. He looks back on his formative years, focusing on becoming the motivated man today who inspires others to move forward.
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Change The Course Of Your Life With These 10 Good Habits
Jordan is a coach, author, speaker, podcaster and Owner of CrossFit Bloomfield and was also born deaf. He is going to be taking us down a lane of a lot of interesting stories of his own life’s lessons, experiences around resilience, how he overcame disability and how he was relentless in the pursuit of dreams. He’s inspirational both to the gym where I go but also to others in the community. He has been connected to the disability community and other organizations in the area. He has a lot of great stories and messages to share with us. His goal is to help people excel in their endeavors and realize all good things start from within. I’m going to go ahead and stop sharing and let Jordan take over. That’s it. Welcome, thank you for joining us. Jordan, it’s all yours.
Thank you to everybody who is involved in this group to make this happen. I had a meeting with some of the . I was honored to be here. I hope that we can all learn something. We can learn from each other. That makes me happy. That’s the goal. I’m giving you a little bit of a brief intro of who I am, what I’m all about and then I am going to get into my presentation push, which is going to be focused on my ten good habits. We were going to get behind the food habits. It’s to help you develop those habits and recognize where you are not to try to help us focus on what’s coming ahead because a lot of times we tend to look back and think things in the past. I try it by not worrying about what happened in the past to go what’s going forward. For many of us, what did you have a disability or what I call abilities? I don’t consider myself with a disability. We all have abilities to think about this in time, whether you have a disability, you help friends and family with disabilities, I hope we could all learn from each other.
At the end of each section, I will instruct you to completely volunteer and participate. My name is Jordan Levin. I am profoundly deaf. What does that mean? That means if I do not have my human needs and an ill claim that used to be, I would not be able to hear anything. To be out to try to get your life without sound, I’m sure it’s not easy. I was born three months premature, 11 inches and 31 ounces. It’s back in 1976 when there was no hearing testing. Now, there’s much more hearing testing going on.
When I was born, the doctors told my parents that I probably have a 10% chance of survival. I’m here now and I understand because the first few months of my life, I was in the hospital. I was also on a respirator for the first two months. During that time that I was in the hospital, I had many complicated results, life-changing surgeries where it has a possibility of not coming out alive. From that point on, when I’ve got released from the hospital, my parents brought me home. That began this whole journey of, “How are we going to help Jordan develop?” One of the main concerns during those first couple of years was my physical development because I would have many complicated things coming up. It’s focused so much on my physical development and I was 2.5 years old when they found out I was deaf.
What happened? Why did they wait so long? They were so focused on my physical development. Think about when a doctor tells you that, “Your kid is deaf.” That’s a devastating diagnosis. Also, at that time, the doctors told my parents that I would probably never be able to speak or listen. How do you think my parents took that? They didn’t accept without further explanation. My parents became dedicated to understanding, researching and asking questions, and finding out what they could do to get me to be as normal as possible. As we know, it is no normal. Let’s throw that out the window. From that point on, they began to ask questions. The doctors said that I won’t be able to speak.
They took it upon themselves instead of, “What could you do?” We can find a couple of different doctors. We ended up conference in Toronto. I was 2.5 years old at this time. I have no speech. I’m not hearing anything. They went to this conference where this woman left such a joy and passion on my parents. She’s an older woman standing up there on stage and literally pounding her fist and said, “If someone told you your premature child cannot do something, don’t you believe it.” That became our mantra from that day forward. From that point, the doctor said, “Why don’t you come to my hearing center in Pasadena, California. A couple of weeks after that, we ended up in California for three weeks.
Living in truth will allow you to let your authentic self shine.
What are the most important concepts that she said to my parents were, “First and foremost, your hearing-impaired child has to be treated like any other child? That child has to be taught confidence that they could do anything that nothing is beyond their reach.” They took that advice although it was a mental struggle at times, huge determination never waited. I want you guys to think about this. Just because you put hearing aids on someone, it doesn’t mean they are going to be able to hear. The painstaking task of teaching me how to listen and speak will be my monumental one.
Basic sounds like babies when they speak, when they were saying, “Mama, papa.” I had to be taught every single sound enunciation of anything from day one. They are tedious. As a baby, you guys hear all of these sounds, you guys can begin to associate what those sounds were. I was not able to associate what the sounds are. At that time, I was also fitted with hearing aids and we only hear about 25% to 35%. I believe now it’s much higher for this. It’s probably in the 40% to 50% range. I’ve got these new hearing aids so I’m hoping that puts me up to that 60% or 70% range. I had to teach and force myself to listen more, especially with these new hearing aids. Like everything else, it takes time and practice. Let’s talk about the intonation. I’m going to keep your thought and think intonation and breath control. My mom would feed me skills on the piano and I would have to go be shipped there with her and practice sounds while she’s on the piano. Here’s what I want to do. Here’s a quick example of something with that control.
Everybody can give me favor while I teach you these guides that you are doing but you put your hand up and you say the word, put. You should be able to feel the P breath control on your hand. That’s how I learned how to get the proper breath. Another example, when I’m having a hard time saying certain words, my father came up and did a cool thing where he would put chocolate on the roof of my mouth. I loved chocolate. I still do.
I continue that with lip reading. I’m good at lip-reading. A lot of time, people will talk with their hands in front of them. That’s going to be hard for me but I finally admitted to my parents that my idea had a little bit of an issue with the way he covered his hand. This put a little bit of a gap. I was reaching my pronunciation a little bit in terms of hearing, which probably wasn’t the smartest idea. I can ask you to lip-read somebody with a toothbrush in their mouth, especially if you are looking at a mirror when you brush your teeth. I can still lip-read it. My cat and birds still give me trouble with lip reading. One of the things that we were told at the hearing center was I need to attend the schools to have the same opportunities as everybody else. If you talk to a teacher, you let them understand the importance of me being treated like everybody else. On top of all of this, during school, I had such a hard time in school not because I couldn’t hear but because you didn’t have understandable speech in terms of 3rd to 4th grade. If you fast forward to 11th grade, I happen to be ADHD.
We don’t find out about that until I was starting teen. That’s another story for another day. I’ve got one quick, funny story I want to tell you. Growing up, as you all know nowadays, we have closed captioning on the TV. In the early years, there was no closed caption on the TV. We have a big box. It looks like a VCR. What we would do is we would take the close-captioned box, put that inside every single truck that we went on. We will put this in a hockey skate box, wrapped in duct tape and we will carry that. I was able to participate in watching TV like everybody else. Interestingly enough, one day, I honestly do not remember what time or how old I was watching TV. Before the TV show began, it said, closed-captioned for the hearing impaired. I looked at my parents and I said, “I’m hearing impaired.” I didn’t pay attention to those things that it took me that long to be alive that perhaps maybe I have a disability but I always make sure I utilize my abilities.
To sum this up a little bit, looking back at all of this, I realized that I started to think of all of these good habits. For me to overcome adversity, I had to put out so many things over and over again until it was ingrained in me, which would allow me to become successful. For anybody who has a disability, successful or not successful, everybody needs to be able to walk our lives and appreciate the habits that they currently have in place or struggling with specific habits need to walk our lives so that we can change and make it better. I am grateful for all of the opportunities that I was given. It leads me to my first habit of gratitude. I’m going to give an example. When I looked back that I have gratitude for this, when I was in elementary school, the principal didn’t even bond me in that school.
That was a hard thing for my parents to understand but they knew with the one to call. The principal said, “Jordan is going to be in this school. He is going to be mainstreamed from there.” Think about this. Could you imagine an educated not hearing for the child do our abilities in their school? Only judge a book by its cover, which in DCI we are taught not to do. The magical moment particularly takes place in the habit of gratitude. Either has a truth to suck when one door shut or we keep grateful when we allow it to rise to the occasion and become problem solvers.
Before you go to bed at night, stop and remind yourself that you are a unique individual before you had your job.
We are going to become our own private investigators. I wish superhero skills started to show up and the moment we can be grateful for the call if you find through our challenges. Take a moment, maybe close your eyes for a second. Think about one thing you could acknowledge in the day that you can be grateful for. Think about that every morning when you wake up or before you would go to sleep. You could start off with something as simple as the bed that you sleep in or the bowl of cereal you eat in the morning. It could be significant to you and your family.
It is all about honoring where we are in building from there. Before you know it, you will find yourselves instinctively putting a foundation of gratitude. As I’m looking at this and I appreciate you all doing this, it seems that everybody seemed to be very much grateful for family. I completely agree with that. We’ve got some movement going around on this one. Fear seems to be number one so far. Friends and health right now are tied for second place. I like this one because I’m pretty sure you guys are putting the information there. Work is 3rd and the 4th, the money, it’s at the bottom. That’s interesting to think about.
My second habit is honesty. Living in truth will allow you to let your authentic self-shine. Most importantly, allow you to be yourself where you are and set realistic goals. If you are honest with yourself and with your own expectations, therefore, whoever needs to shift, the expectation that others will also be rooted in honesty. Every action reacts. Our choices, instead we put out into the world are not honest and true to ourselves. How does that impact those along deaf? When I think of that, a lot of times we tend to react to a situation. We are so quick to jump into that reaction that sometimes we don’t think about what we are saying before we say it. The truth of the matter is if you think this is good and I’m not saying go with your gut because what is true for yourself, you never want to assume anything because you don’t know what the person is going through. Sometimes you have to take a step back and think about yourself even if there are parts that need something else going on with the other person.
Did I look at that as a disability? No. If anything, these senses are more heightened whereas those that have all of these senses might be even or dull. I am much more aware of my surroundings. I’m always being honest with myself. That allowed me to be where I’m at now. I know what I can do and what I need to work on. I know that being honest with myself will allow other things to be open out of me too. When you create an honest expectation of yourself, that is what you will receive from others. Take a moment and share your statement to yourself that is honest and true. It might be I am great with people or my computer skills will surpass Bill Gates. If it is true and honest, leave and live it. Maybe the truth is as profound as, “I will always pick front row seats to witness my own potential.” Let’s do the next slide which talks about honesty. I will be able to see the result out. It’s an open-ended question. Go ahead, take a minute and think about something with being honest with yourself.
You cannot see the results. I’m not going to worry. I can take a look at it afterward. I appreciate you being honest with yourself. Habit number three which I call acknowledge your self-worth. What does that mean? You have the privilege and the opportunity to take up space in this world with your passion, insight and unique individuality. The only person who could take it out from you is you. If you put yourself down or shun yourself, you are only stealing from the value you can offer. If you are to hold someone else up on a pedestal, you are stealing from their ability to be part of a community. You needed them to feel lonely. Everyone is worthy of health, knowledge, friendship and opportunity. We don’t steal from others or ourselves. Instead, we can be equal and acknowledge that, as individuals, we are worth it. Who in here that someone is in the ‘80s or ‘90s? You automatically assume that that person must need assistance with something.
Why? We associate a number with the idea. We have already stored an individual’s ability before we’ve even got to know the individual. Being in the fitness industry, I have booked many people ranging from children to people in the ‘80s. I have also seen that age is just a number. I have also seen that “disability” is also just a word. Before you go to bed at night or if you are having one of those days, stop and remind yourself that you are you, a unique individual before you had your job, student, a spouse, a parent or what other people gave you. You will do it first before any of that. No one can take that away. That brings me to the next slide.
Again, I would appreciate it if you too will participate. You can now see your self-worth, you can see a couple of opportunities and you submit your information now. While you are doing this, think about it because we can let these things go by. We are so busy with everything that is going on. I do and try my habits. I don’t do it every day but I try to. I tried to take a couple of minutes, especially in the morning when I first wake up, I will sit at the edge of my bed and I will say to myself, “I acknowledge that I’m here and that I am going to make the best of my day.” Being present at that moment and time, I said, “I’m going to move on with my day.” I flip the switch and I look at my phone and go, “This is going on.” Whatever it is, it’s probably going to mess me up for the day but I don’t let it mess me up for the day when I’m getting that. What I always try is to be as positive as possible.
Acknowledging word of our however we can. Looks like we have some pretty good responses here. The higher percentage that people are not acknowledging their self-worth. It’s about 33% say monthly, at least 29% say times a week, 25% said at least once a week and we have 15%, they say every day. There are no right or wrong answers here. It’s just something to think about. Habit number four, mindfulness. Pay attention to single servings. That can start with slowing down when you eat which could lead to better digestion. It could be being more self-worth when things happened. When you do a video for a person’s stand, brushing your teeth, doubt in the eyes, when you move from mindfulness, it shows that you care about the small things, which turn into big things. Mindfulness allows room for knowledge and growth.
For someone with hope and knowledge of mindfulness will be indeed a passion. This could be something as simple as taking the time that you serving. It is as simple as taking the time but there could be people who were speaking to rather than looking at your phone in the middle of the conversation. Most habits take time because you change inadvertently. I’m often practicing mindfulness and we get a domino effect. When you chew slowly the digestion is better. When you acknowledge people doing a conversation in a room, she is cleared for an advert.
I attend that it’s hard to keep them but you can stick adversity when I was a kid. I don’t know anybody there. Even though I was brought up with the ways that I can look at myself stipend. At a certain point, kids do become aware of what makes one different from another. I understood maybe not in so many words but definitely through instinct that was advert by fear. They are above by the inability to ask questions in a kind, sensitive and sincere manner. It was awesome, proving to protect and isolate. Being mindful doing human interaction means breaking down walls. You have to be bringing people to get it. I decided to show the kids my superpower of lip reading. We tested how far down the hole I could reach someone’s gifts.
Doing human interaction means breaking down walls. You have to be bringing people to get it.
The kids had such a kick out of it. That was my immediate way of getting people comfortable with me. My mantra is leaving the room and shrink. We all be able to sit at the table. It’s all about how we care for ourselves and care for others. When you are about to care for one person, think about not only would you want to share it for yourself but you find others to receive. We go to the next slide of mindfulness. I believe, in this one, you can choose 3 to 4 options of where you think you have thought on the unskilled. If you don’t mind, take a little bit of time to do that. I’m going to continue with the next habit so we can keep the conversation going.
Habit number five, generosity. Being of service. Giving to others doesn’t always mean you are giving money then they get time to cost. Those things are quotable and honorable to do. However, when was the last time we slowed down and spent more quality time with a loved one or reached out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while? Hopefully, someone you are truly giving quality time, showing others to truly clear impacts more than you realize. Watch to some of your responses on mindfulness. I find this interesting. Looks like at the top of the scale is people feel that they are funny.
It seemed to be the highest one with this point. It goes into inquisitive, which I love because being inquisitive, I’m going to get what we are about to get to. If you are not being inquisitive, you are not going to get to where you are. Donating money and time for various organizations is something that most of us do and feel good about. What a better life looks like? You know you are in the field, no question about it, even after hours, you are bound to save others. I’m pressured about costs but not only because of methodology but because it has become a hub for people to hold each other accountable and create a sense of security.
It became a phase where non-charitable or charitable organizations can come with money and the word the spirit of truthfulness and hopes to lend a helping hand to those in need. It is proof that I grew up with the emotional burden lifted off my shoulders. This place where I see each individual run the ability onboard. I see a person who works from the ground up who achieved upper milestones. No one is that by the wayside. Diligence and cure are important to me that what I believe and we want to change as well. My job and purpose are to be able to ask, “How can I help you? Wherever we are sometimes, it boils down to opening the door for someone else. Saying thank you and when you can thank someone, you will appreciate them.
You ask yourself if you have a little bit more space in your mind and have some extra kind thoughts for someone or something else to back. That brings me to the next slide. Habit number six, movement. Movement, whether it be CrossFit, yoga, Zumba, work leg or going for a walk are so important for both our mental and physical wellbeing. Having internal shout when our physical body, mind, strong, healthy and mobile, you are producing endorphins which can gain positive attitudes if it’s everyone if you think that you have interaction with. I grew up playing sports. Anything from hockey to baseball to watersport, they would say a thing. At a very early age, children enter basic classes, gymnastics, swimming. Why? They need eye coordination.
The better on group assumption, it’s so true with the reaction. Indeed, for their lesson, it might didn’t work. The same with what someone else’s did. That would probably be even more vital to the development and sharpening of other senses than anyone, even me, ever realized. I will never forget I did not play ice skating. We still didn’t. Keep in mind, she can hear but not about ice skating. I asked her to hold my hands and I would lead the way skating backward. The rink was filled with people. The look of fear will flaw to the cause of her face. She put her hands in mine but not the way weaving in and out of the cloud.
When you’ve got to sports, you understand the meaning of teamwork and camaraderie. If someone has to sit out on the bench, you never looked at your team and work on what you don’t have. You figure out the plays and the strategy who could make what you do have. I learned to look up my body. It’s a team within a team of every sport, I would say at the time. If it was hockey, I could see the reflections of players of the plexiglass and sideboards. The smell and the fear of the players from warning signs with a bunch of where the players are a scape can be. I was able to get myself eyes in the back of my head. Let the arena work in conjunction with my other senses rather than be a place to play in. My wife was able to trust my ability to lead. Anyone can move even if someone has limited mobility. Focusing on living can be considered movement. Regardless of your abilities are the movement you can access. Your emotional well-being will shine that much broader.
The next slide talks about movement and how important in your life about the tendency to step above you. It is a continuous line and makes sure to get everybody out on game time. Habit number seven, showing appreciation. With every small achievement, even that means getting out of bed in the morning or a broad achievement such as a job promotion, be content and let yourself be in the moment before washing into the next challenge. Part of moving up is appreciating and respecting the duty. If you watch through any risk of missing out on the lessons, you will learn along the way and also respecting boundaries. Think about when a child learns to walk. Every step is a huge accomplishment, not the changes as we grow older. Steps look different. It’s important to recognize our personal space. We can keep sitting in an account for what was helpful or harmful on our duties and then we can grow even better in our future.
Habit number eight, taking a time out. Time outs are normally associated when a child does something wrong. You guys have heard that before. The word no in my mind has a negative connotation. We tend to pull back when we hear the word no. I’m trying to flip the switch a little bit in instilling that a no doesn’t have to be as strong as the word, no. Taking time out is something we need to shift with ourselves. Remember, we are individuals before we are employers, husbands, wives, buddies, etc. With those timeouts, we might have to come back if we can tap into our passions of being single and think about even just finding freedom in stillness.
A moment of stillness could be something remembered. Read easy by the execution of a good book or a yoga class, timeout to unwind, then you can be good. How did you unwind? Understand the timeouts are not selfish. They are selfless. The next time I talk about taking a time out, we got a bunch of different options. Habit number nine, letting go. An important one that I like. Recognizing what was holding you back. Maybe it’s thoughts and attributes that we may have had in the past and opportunities you know. Prove to yourself who you are yesterday and recognize who you are today. Sometimes, letting go means that it’s okay not everything that you do or to do this when the day was done.
Do your best to consume yourself. Would you share the good news and send it with your heart and well-being, let it go? If you cannot feel the ground below you and breathe the air around you, let it go. Regardless of what opportunities are, we are all human. What makes us happy doesn’t mean that it will prepare us years from now. I used to own a printing company. I was young, twenty-something. I still have an entrepreneurial spirit. I will always be wanting to own my own business with this team that will put up a good opportunity. I learned so much about management, production, delegation and maintain a client relationship. However, my passion for fitness and wellness has never left me. My personal health started to take a backseat to my career. If I was ever going to be the boss and owner and I wanted to be, I had to let something go that show was not going to be me. I have to switch gears and pivot.
Every step is a huge accomplishment, not the changes that happen along the way.
I know I was capable of building a business but the business that was known for me also has to be in alignment with my passion. By letting go, I was getting back. Think about something that you will be able to let go of and something you could grow. Maybe there’s a physical thing, space or it’s an emotion. On the next slide, we weren’t able to get far. I talked about letting go. There are two questions. What have you let go of and what do you want to let go? It’s an important point to think about because we hold out on to so many things and it consumes us. We have to learn when to stop and say to yourself like, “I can’t control that situation anymore. Time to let go and move on.”
Habit number ten, committing. Making up, your desk organizes. Commit to yourself. The passion you have put into play. You ask yourself, “What do you know to be able to commit to? What you cannot follow through with? What kinds of expectations do you hold on other people? Setting yourself up for success means your goals need to be achievable. I graduated from Michigan State University in 1999. I have had multiple careers after graduation. I have given to be in Colorado. I moved back to Michigan. I owned and sold a printing company. I moved to Miami Beach, Florida working retail for Target. Don’t ask me about that.
I became a real estate agent in Florida. That was not an interesting experience. I moved back to Michigan. In 2005, I became a food distributor. In 2007, I wasn’t making very much money, I had to get a job in Corporate America. In June of 2009, I become married to my wonderful wife. Years after searching for something that aligned with my passion, I started CrossFit Bloomfield. I saw the green light. I knew I was ready for my next journey. I committed myself, dedicated everything to making the gym thrive with my community and coaches. It also means that you will make mistakes along the way. It is how we grow and learn from our mistakes. These are a lesson to learn and define areas for improvement.
The last slide is talking about committing. There are a couple of things on there. To sum up, everything that we have learned here with the most important thing, it’s the foundation of anything that we do. It’s all about you. You are awesome. Only you can change you. What are you waiting for? What do you have to lose? Nothing. It is your time. One of the thoughts and quotes that has always guided me throughout my own time alone is a quote from Helen Keller, who was deaf and blind. She said, “Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all.” If you still look around the questions and whatnot, I truly appreciate it. Part of my idea is if you did not put it, that’s okay. You could always continue with it afterward. That’s what I hope for you. Adam, do you have anything?
I did want to open it up. If there are any questions people want to ask, they can self-unmute and ask or put it in the chat. We can read those as well.
This is Carolina. I have a question for you, Jordan. Early on, you were saying that you were able to read lips. I’m originally from Mexico City. Like me, there might be other people out there from different countries, which English is not our native language. The way we enunciate and pronounce things is maybe different in many different ways than others. How do you deal with people that is not a Native-born American?
It is not easy. I did take a little Spanish in high school. That was hard for me because I will be speaking the language but the pronunciation and enunciation of it believe it or not, through the years, I’ve got quite good. I’ve got word of what country that where it is from. I could call up someone from Mexico or friends in a different country. What’s funny about that is we are watching a British show that said, “Can you speak British with that habit?” I said. “Absolutely.” For anybody who has a thick beard with a heavy accent, it’s hard for me. That’s a challenge.
I don’t see any questions here in chat. Jordan, we will wrap up for the day. I appreciate you taking the time, speaking to the group, the team, and giving some of the stories in history as well as some of your ten tips. It’s very inspirational and interesting. I thank you for your time. Thank you to everyone that’s joining. Thanks again, Jordan. Thanks for our special guests as well. I hope everyone has a great rest of their day.
Thank you very much.
Congrats on your success, Jordan. Have a good one.
Thank you very much. I appreciate it. If anybody has any questions, feel free to go to my website and shoot me an email. If you guys have any upcoming events coming up, I’m happy to sit down and talk.