Hi. This is Morty Lefkoe with another edition of the weekly podcast, Conversations with Top Personal Development Bloggers. Every week we have a conversation with a blogger who has a slightly different take on personal development. There’s so much valuable material being offered by personal development bloggers. This is the best place to find out which ones might provide you with just what you’re looking for, what’s unique about each blogger, why they started writing their blog, how their personal experiences inform their writing, why you ought to be reading their blog and lots more.
Today I have the pleasure of talking to Vincent Schueller. Am I pronouncing your name right?
Victor: It’s Victor Schueller.
Morty: Victor Schueller? I missed it on both names.
Victor: That’s okay. I’ve been called worse things, Morty, so that’s pretty good.
Morty: Victor Schueller.
Victor: You got it.
Morty: You don’t pronounce it S-C-H-I-L-L-E-R? You pronounce it S-C-H-U, right?
Victor: It’s spelled S-C-H-U-E-L-L-E-R, but it’s pronounced Schueller, like S-C-H-I-L-L-E-R. Correct.
Morty: Victor Schueller. And the name of your blog is?
Victor: The name of my blog is just my name, Victorscueller.com.
Morty: You got it. So that’s how we go. What was the impetus to start your blog, Victor?
Victor: Actually my background is in chiropractic. I went to school for many, many, many years with the intention of becoming a chiropractor and I did. I did become a chiropractor. After I got out of chiropractic college, I went and began working at a chiropractic office. What I realized pretty quickly when I was working in the small office that I was is that it was a very toxic and negative work environment and it was an environment that I didn’t want to be in very much longer.
About the same time, I had a family member who was also going through some difficulty at work. She was dealing with what some people would classify as a workplace bully. She was having difficulties and she was contemplating leaving her job because of this other individual and I told my family member, I said just stay tight. Stay where you are. We’re going to try to get to the bottom of this. Really it came down to a fundamental question that I had in my mind, which is are people really, are they born on this earth, are we really meant to come here to be people who constantly bring out the negative and emphasize the negative and they’re drawn to negativity, or are we meant for something else.
I’d like to think that people were meant for what I would consider better purposes than that; to have positive interactions; but I was thinking that we kind of lost our way. I was thinking you know what? I want to be part of the solution. I want to help other people who may be struggling with difficult people or what you would classify as difficult people or dealing with a difficult situation. I want to help people.
That was sort of the start of it. It was just my desire to help people who want to reach that higher level of functioning within themselves. They know that they’re not performing to their full potential or they’re not feeling good about themselves when they’re negative or when they’re engaged in negative activity, and trying to help people by either providing an example, providing information on how they can, where they can find that information where they can perform at that level that they want to, or to share a story of someone else who has sort of risen above it and what they’ve done with themselves as a positive example for them to follow.
Morty: Got it. That’s interesting. That was a great background, a great impetus to get started.
Victor: It was, absolutely.
Morty: How long have you been writing the blog?
Victor: This fall it’s going to be four years. I started in the fall of 2010 with a very basic, simple blog and it’s grown into other things since then.
Morty: What’s your background in personal development? How did you get from chiropractic into the personal development field? I understand what the motive was, but do you have any particular background, or perhaps not, just your own experience?
Victor: It started off as just an interest really. I actually just had a conversation with someone last week because I was sharing the story of how I got started and how I got into personal development and it was kind of funny when I looked back at it and as I look back at it because really some people just say I have no business in it because I didn’t have any background. All I had was my personal experience.
I do recall that first year especially between 2010 and 2011, I didn’t do much except for a blog and do a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot of research, a lot of reading. Reading on culture in the workplace and reading on personal development topics and just trying to find what it was or what my niche was. I did have a strong background, and I still do; I have a very strong background in neurology and a very strong background in anatomy.
At first I thought when I go this route with personal development I’m going to have to kind of just leave that chiropractic stuff behind. As time went on, I kind of realized and kind of slapped myself across the face a couple times and thought you know what, Victor? This approach doesn’t make any sense because they really do fit together because our behavior begins with; depending on your theories, but the behavior; the brain is involved in our behavior in some way, somewhere, somehow. I’m thinking my gosh, I have a lot to offer with my background.
Sometimes personal development gurus and personal development individuals, they talk about the intangibles, the things that you can feel and the things that you can appreciate. I thought what a wonderful opportunity to be able to bring across the hard scientific part of it. As I’ve grown and evolved over the years, I’m kind of swinging back and forth, but I think I’m finally honing in on my sweet spot, which is I have a really good background on the hard stuff, the science stuff, and trying to take the more spiritual and the more intangible topics and kind of meld them together and approach it from an appreciation of both entities.
By doing that, I can talk about why people behave the way they do from a scientific standpoint but I can also through the other research and background and what I’ve learned over the years bring in that more spiritual aspect and merge the two together beautifully and I just love how it’s evolved over the years.
Morty: Very interesting. I’ve never heard anybody quite describe it that way. Does that include; one of your interests is brain plasticity, how you can actually change the brain’s wiring with your behavior?
Victor: Yes. Yes, it does.
Morty: That’s fascinating. I’ve read three or four books on that and that’s …
Victor: It’s truly cool stuff.
Morty: Brain plasticity is fascinating stuff.
Victor: It is; absolutely.
Morty: Do you have any specific personal experiences that have been useful in writing your blog as opposed to what you’ve studied or read or learned? Anything that’s changed your life that you found has been something very useful in being able to help others?
Victor: At one time it was a very, very difficult time in my life; actually in addition to my experience working as a professional, there is a deeper back story that actually melded together with my experience as a professional in the chiropractic realm that sort of helped me begin to understand how the way that we think really affects; and the way that we look at the world, the way we perceive the world, how it affects our behavior and how we can garner a larger understanding of how we perceive things to change our lives.
When I was sixteen years old, my mom and I were coming back from a shopping trip. We used to go shopping quite often and this was just a routine shopping trip. We weren’t more I don’t think than ten miles from home; we were traveling on a highway, and a gentleman who was stopped at the stop sign at an intersection, he didn’t see us and he pulled out right in front of us and killed my mother instantly.
Morty: Oh, gosh, I’m sorry.
Victor: I was in the car. It was just my mother and I, and I was in the car and I witnessed the whole thing and I had to watch my mother pass away right in front of my eyes and it was just a terrible thing that I had to go through. In the master plan of why we’re here and what we’re destined to do and what our purpose in life is, I genuinely believe it had a place in my life.
I went through about ten years of depression. Never sought any professional help or professional treatment for the depression and that was at the time I was finishing up high school, going into college, and they starting off on my professional career as a chiropractic student. I was right in the middle of the deepest depths of that depression when I was going through my undergraduate and then my post-graduate studies. I didn’t know if I’d ever get out of it.
I gained a lot of weight. I gained about a hundred pounds. I was close to two hundred and fifty pounds and I was just depressed and I couldn’t succeed at anything. Life was just terrible. One day in the spring of 2002 I, out of nowhere, I just looked at myself and it was like this voice was inside of me and it was screaming and it said Victor, you got to stop. You can’t continue to do this. You can’t continue to live life this way. You’ve got to change. This is enough.
It was just then and there, I got up, I went over to the kitchen, grabbed the phone book, called up a gym. I called and said how much was their membership. I went over there and signed up for a year’s membership and within a year, Morty, I went from, I weighed about two hundred and twenty-five pounds and down to one hundred fifty-eight pounds. I completely changed my outlook on life. I started doing much better in school. I started doing better in my social interactions. I felt better. I had more energy obviously and it really turned me around.
I could never figure out what that was; what that was that just; what was that spark? What was it that just initiated a change? As I’ve gone through this process of delving into personal development and thinking about human behavior and thinking about the neurology and the brain and all those things, I’ve begun to sort of reconstruct or reverse engineer that whole process of change and trying to figure out how I dug out of that hole without any sort of professional intervention; it was just like that; it was the change of a mindset very quickly. That’s probably the biggest experience that I’ve drawn off it that has been really transformative in this process.
Morty: Exciting; very interesting. Sorry to hear about your mom though. It was obviously a very difficult thing.
Victor: Thank you.
Morty: I, myself, survived depression for many years. It wasn’t until I developed my own work for eliminating beliefs that I was able to get rid of it. I wasn’t able to turn it around. I tried therapy and a few other things that didn’t work, so I can be very empathetic with the depressed people who show up.
Victor: That’s phenomenal that you were able to turn it around too. You know then how difficult that is and how hopeless it feels. You can’t do anything.
Morty: I was just talking to somebody who called just before our conversation who just started doing some work with us and just told him I totally get it. When you’re in the middle of it, nothing you say, there’s no words that can help. There’s nothing you can hold on to until you start to come out of it. When you’re out of it, you realize that there is another side and you can handle it, so it’s congratulations to you.
Victor: Thank you.
Morty: What would you say is your typical audience? Have you ever looked at your demographics? Male, female, ages or anything like that? Countries?
Victor: Yeah. Most of the people that I seem to attract are females and they’re between; they’re in their thirties and forties. That seems to be the strongest demographic that seems to follow me and read my work.
Morty: Is it primarily US? Is there any other particular countries that are big?
Victor: Very strongly in the US. I’m trying to think if there are any other countries. I get a lot of readership in India, in Canada. I would say those are probably the three biggest countries that I draw readers from.
Morty: I’ve got a pretty good sense of where your focus is, but would you say there’s a specific essence to your message on the blog? Is there one thing people come away with?
Victor: I’m not sure what they come away with, but I know what I’m aiming for.
Victor: Really it goes back to this idea that we’ve been imprinted with lots of beliefs and we’ve been imprinted with lots of things that we’ve come to believe to be true and that shapes our reality. Unfortunately for us, many times those perceived truths shape our reality in a way that promotes unpleasant outcomes, unpleasant feelings …
Victor: … and also promotes what I would deem a culture of violent behavior and violent action, whether it’s just unkind words to each other. Ultimately my message is really rooted in helping bring those beliefs to light, those perceptions, and trying to shatter them as truths and say you know what? This is an opinion or there’s no truth in it. It’s just dogma or it’s something that has been repeated from generation to generation to generation, but it’s being passed along for certain reasons, whether it’s a fear or whether it’s scarcity or whether; you name it; and trying to get to the bottom of it and point it out as BS and get people to discover a higher level of functioning within themselves; to rise above that, to reach a new level of functioning; one that promotes a positive interaction with other people and encouraging other people and decreasing the amount of violence that we have in our words and our actions toward each other.
Basically helping people dive into that perfect self that we have within us but we just have gotten away from it because of all of the other things that society has placed in our heads that we’ve come to believe and for whatever reason they’re being placed in our heads; and you can go really deep into where that’s coming from; but just helping people identify it and then find a new way of operating, a new way of living so that they can rise above that and live a life full of joy, happiness, peace, contentment and satisfaction knowing that you’re dialed into whatever your passion is.
Morty: You sound passionate about it and I’m inspired.
Victor: I love it. It’s fun.
Morty: You do. How often do you post, Victor?
Victor: Right now I post about once a week. I post once a week; however, I guess you could say I do post about twice a week because every week, on Fridays usually, I release a newsletter to my subscribers, my followers. In there I also have an article which is usually different from my usual blog post. If you’re checking out my blog, it’s once a week. If you’re a subscriber, a follower on my newsletter, then you get an additional article once a week as well.
Morty: Do you accept comments on your blog?
Victor: Absolutely. Yes, I do.
Morty: Do you generally respond to them?
Victor: I do. I make it a point to respond to every single comment when they come in.
Morty: Okay. You’ve been talking about what it is that you do, what your focus is, what people get from your blog. Is there any way to sort of frame it in terms of what’s unique? If you’re aware of any of the other personal development bloggers, there’s a sense in which a lot of people would say something similar to what you’re saying. What is unique about your blog? What would people get from your blog versus some other personal development blog?
Victor: I would say where I’m unique compared to other personal development bloggers is that I address both sides of the brain, the right and the left side. There’s hard science, and the science doesn’t always come through, but it’s an understanding of the science, it’s addressing the science and the hard along with the spirituality and the soft, if you want to call it hard versus soft. It’s a little bit of both. I don’t just talk about the spiritual side or spirituality. I also like to think about the science and the neurology and what’s driving the behavior, so I sort of try to merge both of those together.
Morty: Very good. That’s real clear. Thank you. What’s the single most important thing you’ve told people that’s made a difference in their lives? Has there been any particular message that’s really had an impact on people?
Victor: I think so. I think the message that seems to resonate well with people is just a mentality. There’s this pervasive mentality that is rooted in fear and scarcity. While the fear and the scarcity isn’t necessarily the main issue, it’s our physiological reaction to that mentality. There’s this pervasive mentality I believe in society where we’ve been handed down this concept of; I shouldn’t say concept; we’ve been handed down this mentality that you have to be fearful for threats and you have to look out for threats.
Trying to get people to understand that if you went back to the caveman days and were living a life of fear and scarcity where you did have real threats to your life and food really was scarce and there were scarce resources, understanding that that type of mentality has been handed off from generation to generation to generation to generation because that’s what allowed our ancestors to survive, but we’re living in a different world now. What’s happening is we’re allowing the threats; I shouldn’t say the threats; we’re allowing the violent actions and behaviors of people to be perceived as real life-threatening threats physiologically.
For example, if someone says something to us; they take a dig at us and say that was a stupid idea, what’s happening is we have a physiological response to that like we’re being threatened and so we respond with a stress response and in that stress response we perpetuate the violence. Getting people to understand how much of our daily actions and behaviors are rooted in the fear and scarcity mentality and getting to understand that it’s entirely up to us whether we want to perpetuate that or not has been instrumental in turning the corner for a lot of people. Actually it’s the topic of; it’s sort of a background topic of the most recent book that I wrote.
Morty: Wonderful. That’s great. Thank you so much for sharing that. Do you have a specific long-term goal for your blog itself? Is there something you’d like your blog itself to accomplish at some point?
Victor: Really the blog is written just to provide people with a voice that leads to some sense of calm for them, sense of inspiration. Really I want the blog to just serve as a resource for people who are looking to make a change in their life that is a positive change and improve their life in a greater way. That’s really the ultimate goal of the blog; is just to help people.
Morty: You might have already answered this, but this is just a little bit broader. What’s your mission in life and how does writing a blog contribute to it?
Morty: You’ve basically said what the blog is, but how does that contribute to what your life is about?
Victor: Really the blog fits into my life mission in that it provides another resource for people to connect with me. Ultimately my life goal, my life mission is to put an end to what I would call the violent interactions between other people. My ultimate goal is to facilitate and usher in peace across the world; that people learn how to talk to each other, interact with each other in a peaceful way.
We don’t have to go to war. We don’t have to become violent over our disagreements. It’s showing people a way to interact with other people in a way that is completely peaceful and where we can live together in harmony, we can all help each other, nobody is in poverty, nobody is starving, nobody is at war; that’s my ultimate life goal.
Morty: I’m inspired. Thank you.
Victor: Thank you.
Morty: Thank you for what you’re doing in the world; for helping to create a better world for me and everybody else. The final question is I think you’ve covered everything I can think of as specifics, but is there anything else you’d like our audience to know about you or your blog that you haven’t covered yet?
Victor: Yeah. I guess if what I’m saying resonates with you and it sounds interesting to you, if you go right to my blog, my website, I’ll offer what I would call a Victor 101. It’s a free five-day E-Course that I provide for people. When they do that, they basically get the stuff; when I go out to speak to groups and organizations it’s my basic message. It’s sort of like the core foundation of what I talk about, what I stand for. People are welcome to get that. It’s absolutely free.
Also, for people who are listening to this interview, I’d be more than happy to share with them a copy of my most recent book. I’ll be happy to share with them a free copy of my book. If they go to my website and they put in Victorschueller.com/interview, I’ll be happy to share a free copy of the book with them there.
Morty: Great. Thank you. So if they’re going to go to your website it’s V-I-C-T-O-R-S-C-H-U-E-L-L-E-R.com?
Victor: That’s correct.
Morty: That’s the blog?
Morty: And for a free copy of Victor’s latest book go to Victor S-C-H-U-E-L-L-E-R.com/interview?
Victor: You got it.
Morty: You got it. Thank you so, so much for your time today. I really appreciate it. I think that my readers and the readers of a lot of other personal development blogs will find something that interests them in your voice, in what you have to say, and in the particular way in which you say it. I’m inspired by your mission and I’m sure that a lot of other people are too. It’s probably why your blog has grown in popularity so well so far in only four years.
So good luck. I hope it continues to grow as fast and you’re able to reach many, many more people with your inspiring message.
Victor: Thank you, Morty. It’s been a pleasure being with you. Thank you so much for your efforts and your mission to get people to come together and explore really what is out there and some wonderful people that maybe people aren’t aware of. I really thank you for putting this together and putting this project together and making it go.
Morty: My pleasure. I’m sure it’s going to work out. Talk to you later.
Victor: Sure. Thank you.