Be Big Enough to Change Your Circumstances
Eric Adams was 15 years old when the police beat him and his brother.
“They kicked us in the groin over and over again. We were urinating blood for seven days.”
He grew up.
And became a cop.
“I had no idea I was going to last for 22 years,” he said. “I thought I would be there a year. And then they’d say, ‘Get rid of this guy. This guy’s a troublemaker.’”
But that never happened.
He got promoted. “I was driven. The plan was to go in there with a mission. The mission was to find ways to make communities safe without being in disgrace.”
He asked himself, “How do you turn this noble profession into what it ought to be?”
It’s a hard question.
And it takes a lot of courage to be willing to solve these problems that are so much bigger than one person.
I wanted to know where that courage comes from for Eric, who is currently the Brooklyn Borough President.
Fact: If Brooklyn were its own city, would be the third-highest populated city in the United States, after L.A. and Chicago.
So it’s no small job.
And neither is Eric’s next undertaking… to run for mayor in 2021.
In this episode, you’ll hear Eric talk about how he changed his circumstances over and over again. And this isn’t just about politics. It’s about health, too. He was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. And reversed it.
- 3:50 | Why running for mayor is a serious undertaking. And how campaign fundraising works.
- 6:30 | The positive side of change. Eric explains how Brooklyn has changed over the years.
- 9:18 | Eric shares his first experience of racial discrimination.
- 11:32 | “You can’t sit back. You can’t think ‘Woe is me.’ You have to say, ‘Why not me? Why can’t I be the one who changes the way things are?’” – Eric Adams
- 12:26 | Eric shares the story of when he was beaten by cops at 15 years old.
- 14:02 | Eric says the problem with growing up is “we stop dreaming.”
- 14:45 | Book recommendation: “You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter” by Joe Dispenza.
- 15:15 | How to heal yourself emotionally.
- 16:58 | The impacts of PTSD and unhealed trauma.
- 18:12 | After a police officer shot an innocent black man dead, the leaders of the African American community in Brooklyn turned to Eric Adams. And 13 other people. They wanted them to go inside the police department. And change it from within. So Eric became a police officer. To start the change. I asked Eric what his strategy was once he got in.
- 24:04 | The frightening side of being a transit police officer. Eric shares stories about riots and violence.
- 27:38 | How Eric balanced his regular duties as a police officer with his mission of seeing corruption and abuse eliminated.
- 29:18 | What makes someone more driven than another.
- 30:05 | How to build community support in the face of opposition.
- 35:51 | In 1994, Eric ran for Congress. And lost. But he still accomplished something. He built a platform that got his message out. “I wanted a platform to talk about these issues,” he said. “I was noticing what was happening on the street. When you start to arrest people who are 14, 15 years old and they couldn’t spell their names, they couldn’t fill out a form, they couldn’t spell the name of their street, you start to say, ‘Something is wrong here.’”
- 37:12 | Eric saw the education system was failing people. He said, “We are producing broken children that are turning into broken adults. [This] feeds the systems of dysfunctionality that we should’ve dealt with early on in the lives of parents and children.”
- 38:17 | The economics of governing… Eric and I look at the impacts of Rudy Guiliani and Mike Bloomberg.
- 46:36 | “We need common sense in this country. That’s why people are frustrated.”–Eric Adams
- 47:55 | In 2006, Eric became a state senator. I wanted to know… “Was that boring for you?” Eric laughed. And told me why so many state houses are a mess. And how this led him to meditation.
- 50:37 | I asked Eric how he won his first campaign. He told me stories about standing up for families who lost loved one to senseless violence, racism, antisemitism and other acts of hate.
- 53:46 | Eric calls himself “the original disruptor.” He has story after story of changes he fought for. So many are shocking. He told me the police force used to keep a database of every person they “stopped and frisked.” Even if the person did nothing wrong, they took down their names. And held them. Eric was part of the force that passed a bill to make this clear racial injustice illegal.
- 57:08 | Subject change: I asked Eric about his type 2 diabetes diagnosis. And how he reversed it.
- 1:00:23 | Book recommendation: “How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease” by Dr. Michael Greger.
- 1:00:54 | The problem with dieting.
- 1:5:01 | Food is fuel. Eric says you need to ask yourself, “How are you fueling yourself?”
- 1:06:13 | Eric has used his new understanding of food to impact the community. He’s starting with school lunch menus. But I wanted to know, how do you make that change? What are the steps?
- 1:08:37 | Eric says, “I’m a big believer in healing the mind of a child.” Hear how Eric uses discretionary money to develop new programs that aid children.
- 1:10:25 | Eric’s not the only person who reversed his diabetes. He inspired his 80-year-old mother to change her diet and get well, too.
- 1:10:48 | Eric says, “Chronic disease hijacks your life.” It’s traumatizing. And everyone knows someone going through a chronic disease… which is why Eric is focussing on preventing disease. Not just giving people access to insurance and healthcare services. He wants people to know how to be healthy in the first place. “We don’t have to be held hostage by pharmaceutical companies that are destroying our families every day.” Eric explains how to shift the paradigm.
- 1:13:36 | Eric explains why cities are dysfunctional. And why money isn’t enough to save them.
- 1:16:44 | I run out of time and make Eric promise we’ll have a part 2. He told me he’s in the process of writing his book. Which goes through his health journey. And how you can create health for yourself.
Links & Resources: