Active members of our Break Diving community (www.breakdiving.org/community) are recognized with a blog post all about that person, in interview format! If you are an active member of our Break Diving Slack community or are currently enrolled in one of our awesome courses, we would love to brag to the world about you!
To get the ball rolling, I will (haha) interview myself. And yes, the idea is to brag brag brag! (But tastefully)
Break Diving Ten
1. Who are you in just a few sentences?
My name is Dr. Monroe Mann, PhD, Esq, MBA, ME, LLM, EMT. I’m the founder and executive director of Break Diving, Inc. This is a not-for-profit venture that has been nearly 20 years in the making, and one that I finally was able to put together in late 2016. Who am I? I’m someone who knows well the agony of defeat and what it feels like to have the rug pulled out from under himself many times. It is for this reason that I started Break Diving as a not-for-profit: I want to do everything and anything I can before I die to make sure that individuals around the world figure out what they are meant to do with their life, and never lose hope as they work to make it happen! Pursuing ones dream is exhausting and debilitating, haha!
2. What are your greatest accomplishments?
To this day, I still count my two greatest accomplishments as finishing US Army basic training, and seeing the very first copy of my first book arrive in the mail! Basic training taught me that there can be no excuses when success is a necessity, and seeing my first book (I was 23 years old) made me feel like such a rock star. However, there is one more recent accomplishment that is definitely in the top three: the film You Can’t Kill Stephen King, a film I co-wrote, co-directed, produced (along with Ronnie Khalil), and co-starred in. Why such a great accomplishment? If you have never produced a legit feature film with nearly 100 cast and crew, and a reasonably sized budget (of other people’s money), and never saw it finished and sold and make back your investors’ money… then you won’t know what a monumental undertaking it is. I’m so proud that we did it. We successfully produced a feature film from beginning to end with a fairly wide distribution in many territories worldwide. Cheers to that!
3. What are your biggest regrets and what have your learned? (You can’t say you don’t have any)
I have two big regret in my life to date. First, I was naive and emotionally immature in love with a girl who I lost because I didn’t realize what I had until it was gone. While everything happens for a reason, and while she certainly isn’t as perfect as I make her out to be in my head, and while I know I wouldn’t be where I am today had things had worked out, I still regret how it all unfolded. Second, I got really frustrated and upset with a potential employer once and withdrew my application after I had been offered the job, and I regret having done so, because I was really suited for the position, and management has since changed since. If I had just kept a cool head, I might well be working there today… What did I learn? From the first, I learned that no one is perfect, and before making any big decision, really consider all the pros and cons of staying and leaving. From the second, I learned that I should count to ten (or wait ten days, haha) before making any major decisions.
4. What do you feel is your mission in life?
My mission in life is simple, and I’ve known it for over 20 years: to inspire others to reach their potential and motivate them to do what they were meant to be doing. I am hoping that through Break Diving, I will be able to do this on a global scale.
5. How do you feel you can best help others?
By inspiring them. Those who have lost hope have died on the inside, and it’s a terrible terrible feeling. I want to inspire others in all ways I can: through writing, through speaking, through teaching, through coaching, and yes, even through my life. I want to be someone who practices what he preaches. I want people to look at me, and rather than be jealous, instead, be inspired to realize that they too can accomplish their dreams with but a little faith and hard work.
6. Where would you like to see yourself in ten years?
While my ten-year plan is constantly morphing, in general, in ten years, I am going to push to make Break Diving as internationally well-known and -respected as the Red Cross and The Ronald McDonald House. I am going to work my butt off to get a large enough following that I finally get published by a major New York publishing house, and see the book(s) rise to the top of the New York Times bestseller list. I am going to be well-known as an accomplished coder entrepreneur whose apps fuse psychology and success. I am also going to be known as an accomplished actor, filmmaker, public speaker, and musician. The reason why I say “going to” instead of “I’d like” is because of active confidence. Humility is great, but it doesn’t give you the momentum one needs to push forward. “I am going” is active, and means I’m going to get off my butt and make things happen. “I’d like to” is just a wish! Sure, “I’d like to” comes across as polite, but I’m out to change the world folks! Sometimes that means being pushy, haha! (in a polite way, of course!)
7. How has Break Diving helped you personally?
I could write a whole book on that question alone. Break Diving has helped me to become more humble, and focus more on others. Before I created this not-for-profit, it was all about me. Yes, I helped others through my consulting firm, and I loved giving free motivational speeches to actors and other artists in Manhattan, but in the end, it was about me making money first, helping others second. Now, however, that Break Diving is a 501c3 charitable organization, I am free to recognize the truth: that I am most happy when I am helping others, and not when I am out trying to ‘get ahead’ myself, regardless of how much money I make from it. While I certainly hope Break Diving becomes a huge success, if it does, I’d be most pleased because it means my lifelong dream of helping millions of people is really coming true. If as a by-product, I am able to make a living, and also see some of my own personal dreams come true as a result, that would be a bonus. But Break Diving has helped me to become, I guess, more giving than I ever was before.
8. What things can you do undeniably better than most everyone in the world?
I am a really really great motivational public speaker. And motivational writer. And I’m amazing at organizing complicated projects and bringing people together and leading the project to success. Those, I think, are my true greatest strengths. While I do think of myself as a great actor, filmmaker, musician, bicycle rider, etc., I believe my greatest strengths are: public speaking/teaching, writing motivational books and material, and project creation, management, and leading.
9. In what areas do you think you could improve the most?
I know that I get overly emotional when I encounter setbacks. Clearly, I don’t let the setbacks keep me from reaching my goals, because here I am, but I know that I would have better relationships with people (and perhaps see more success more quickly) if I could control my emotional ups and downs better. I do suffer from occasional depression, and so sometimes it’s hard to see the forest through the trees. But hey, I’m working on it, as I would expect any of you to do in the same situation! 😀
10. Got any projects or websites you want to promote?
Well, I’d love anyone reading this to join the free Break Diving Slack community at http://www.breakdiving.org/community. I’d also love folks to check out my new app at http://www.mymusic.bio, where users can share the story of their life through the music that helped shape it. My books can be found at http://www.amazon.com/Monroe-Mann/e/B001JPA96K. And if anyone wants to sign up to my personal email list, they can find it at http://www.monroemann.com.
Would you like to see your story up here too, with your answers to the Break Diving Ten? If so, first be sure to join our free online community (www.breakdiving.org/community) and get involved by making posts, helping others, and sharing the good vibes! You can also enroll in one of our course or become a coaching client of Break Diving. Active members who show that they embody the Break Diving philosophy of No Rules, No Excuses, No Regrets (and of helping others) will be invited to share their story here on our blog!