September 18

Episode 1356: Interview with Alan Cox About Changing the Narrative Around Mental Health

Inspired Stewardship Podcast, Interview


Join us today for the Interview with Alan Cox, founder of the mental well-being app EverYellow...

This is the interview I had with entrepreneur and app inventor Alan Cox.  

In today’s podcast episode, I interview Alan Cox.  I ask Alan to talk about how he developed his mental health app EverYellow.  I also ask about how his faith journey influenced how he views mental health.  Alan also shares with you how we can really achieve mental well-being if we just focus on the fact that it’s a journey and continuum, not a destination.

Join in on the Chat below.

Episode 1356: Interview with Alan Cox About Changing the Narrative Around Mental Health

[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining us on episode 1, 356 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.

[00:00:07] Alan Cox: Hey, I'm Alan Cox. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence and impact the world by using your time, your talent, and your treasures to live out your calling. Having the ability to live a more fulfilling and mentally healthy life is key.

[00:00:26] And one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this, the Inspired Stewardship Podcast with my good friend, Scott Maderer.

[00:00:41] In all the times that I was struggling, I was completely disconnected from any kind of faith or spirituality. But in, in the process of, you know, after that, After that event, which led me on my path to transformation, I literally studied [00:01:00] everything from, you know, Taoism, Buddhism, all kinds of different things.

[00:01:06] Scott Maderer: Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true calling. In the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you can impact the world.

[00:01:37] In today's podcast episode, I interview Alan Cox. I ask Alan to talk about how he developed his mental health app, EverYellow. I also ask about how his faith journey influenced how he views mental health. Alan also shares with you how we can really achieve mental well being if we just focus on the fact that it's a journey and a continuum, not a destination.[00:02:00]

[00:02:00] I've got a new book coming out called Inspired Living. Assembling the puzzle of your call by mastering your time, your talent, and your treasures. You can find out more about it and sign up inspiredstewardship. com. Inspired Living.

[00:02:19] That's InspiredStewardship. com, Inspired Living. Alan is a mental health changemaker on a mission to transform the narrative around mental health and empower millions of people to achieve mental fitness. With over 30 years of experience in entrepreneurship and innovation, Alan combines his professional expertise with his personal mental health journey to bring a unique lens to addressing the mental health challenges that plague our society.

[00:02:47] Surviving an abusive childhood and decades of poor mental health, Alan has faced multiple major setbacks, including a near death experience in an earthquake. Over the past decade, Alan has immersed himself in the study of the [00:03:00] mind, exploring Taoism, Buddhism, psychology, and neuroscience. His journey has taken him to Thailand, where he spent time with Buddhist monks, furthering his understanding of mental well being.

[00:03:11] Alan's commitment to helping others achieve mental fitness, combined with his extensive experience in entrepreneurship and innovation, led to the creation of the groundbreaking mobile app, EverYellow. He believes that everyone has the potential to live a more fulfilling life, and with the right tools and mindset, achieving mental fitness is more accessible than we might realize.

[00:03:38] Welcome to the show,

[00:03:39] Alan Cox: Alan. Hey, I'm really glad to be here, Scott. How are you?

[00:03:43] Scott Maderer: I'm doing fantastic, and I'm looking forward to talking to you today. I talked a little bit about, in the intro, about some of your background, and how you grew up, and these sorts of things. And we mentioned the app, EverYellow.

[00:03:58] But can you unpack for the [00:04:00] listeners a little bit more about your own journey and why you've decided to put this app out in the world? What is it that drove you to do this?

[00:04:10] Alan Cox: Yeah it's hard to encapsulate it all in a simple sentence really, because it those things that just build up and manifest over time.

[00:04:21] The very short story I guess is Up until I was about about the age of 40, I I had an abusive childhood. I struggled with mental health for most of my adult life. There's been some really bad times during that and there's been suicide attempts and thank God that didn't work.

[00:04:53] Then I nearly. [00:05:00] the 20 between 20 and 40 years of age, I've been in entrepreneurship, running businesses, and that has its own set of challenges. What really brought things to a head was when I nearly got killed in the Canterbury earthquakes, had a very traumatic event there at a time when I would have probably needed to have taken time out and counseling and what have you.

[00:05:27] I had to step into being a leader because our offices were trashed. We had to somehow find a new location to work from. Ultimately that led to my business. basically going bankrupt. And that then led to me having a major mental breakdown. And really, that was the turning point in my life, actually, because my prognosis was very poor.[00:06:00]

[00:06:00] And yeah, There was an event happened that really turned on the lights for me and that led me to a path of transformation and I really discovered that there's a place to be that's much better than just being. Normal. Do you know what I mean? Like where where most people are and they don't consider themselves mentally unwell or depressed or whatever they just on the treadmill of life, right?

[00:06:40] And I discovered a place that kind of transcended that and through that kind of transformation. I also learned a whole lot of stuff around psychology and neuroscience. And I also [00:07:00] discovered really disappointingly that most of the mental well being apps out there Just don't work and that's just not me saying that from a competitor perspective there's go and Google it there's plenty of research studies that have been done that show that there's no evidence that these apps work.

[00:07:23] There's the retention rate on these apps is diabolically low. So I got to a point where I started to understand that there are literally billions of people in the world that need help with their. Mental being and their resilience and they that they need some guidance to get to that better place, but they're not being served by these digital products.

[00:07:50] So I had been toying on the idea for a while, and then at the same time, there was, do you know when you're in that state where you're [00:08:00] toying with ideas, but you haven't really got the, I don't know, the confidence or maybe you're procrastinating, and but then. Mental health really started becoming an issue especially post COVID, right?

[00:08:17] And we saw we learned of people like Avicii and Anthony Bourdain taking their life. And then I really started thinking, look this is a serious problem. And then, finally, a very close friend of mine took his life as well, unfortunately. And and at that time. My consulting job, it was going well, but it was actually bringing me down just it was in the kind of the government sphere and it it was, it's actually hurting my wellbeing.

[00:08:52] So I thought I'll stuff this I'm going to do it and that, that really was that was really the catalyst for starting [00:09:00] EverYellow.

[00:09:02] Scott Maderer: When was the the earthquake event? When, how long ago?

[00:09:06] Alan Cox: Two, 2011.

[00:09:08] Scott Maderer: Okay. So 2011, because there were there were a couple of different triggers that you put in there of things that made you begin to realize what, what helped you wake up to the fact that let me ask that a different way.

[00:09:24] You mentioned you grew up in an abusive home, you had suicide attempts and these sorts of things. Did you think of yourself as having. Mental health concerns or or were you just normal in your own mind?

[00:09:39] Alan Cox: That's a really good question because I think that when you are struggling, I think, especially for me British male with Talk, talk to be that stoic [00:10:00] stiff up a little bit yeah, I'm not like, it's funny because even though I had been to see doctors and I was on antidepressants and all these kinds of things, it never really occurred to me that I was.

[00:10:20] I had a mental illness kind of thing. I know, I obviously knew that I needed help. But yeah, it was it's hard to describe. And I think it's why I think it's why you do get a situation where just so many people that are struggling don't even perceive that there's something wrong and.

[00:10:48] And underlying that, there's their kind of mental resilience is actually very low and their [00:11:00] and their kind of mental toolkit is actually not great. And then when something comes along that challenges that that's when they can go to a really hard place

[00:11:13] Scott Maderer: so a lot of times I think that's important to call out is this idea that we can be struggling, but we feel like I got it together. I'm doing okay. Even though we're in that place where we're already struggling and then like you said, all it takes is that one more event or that one big trigger, that one push.

[00:11:38] that recognizes, oh, wait a minute maybe I'm not doing it so good. Maybe I didn't have it all together after all, because part of what you're talking about too, if I'm understanding correctly with resilience and these sorts of things, it's not just the quote dealing with the emergency, it's what can we do before we ever got to that place of having that.[00:12:00]

[00:12:00] Emergency or that breaking point. Is that right?

[00:12:04] Alan Cox: Yeah. And I think one of the really big things that I discovered is that there are definitely things like physical things that are present in your brain. That are in some way abnormal because of the life that you've had over a prolonged period of time, right?

[00:12:33] So just some examples of that is that your hippocampus, which is critical for processing information, right? And therefore how you interpret situations and think about the world and what that your hippocampus. will be shrunk to some degree. And if you've been [00:13:00] depressed for a long period of time, it could be shrunken by 20, 30%.

[00:13:05] And there's a whole bunch of these things, right? You're I call it the mental operating system in your brain, right? There's you, if you think of, if you think of a computer program it needs two things, right? It needs the actual software itself, the coding that says if this, then that.

[00:13:32] And it also has the data, right? And the trouble is over our lifetimes, both of those things get corrupt, right? The data is like our thoughts, feelings and attitudes towards things, right? So in my case, for many years I thought that I was unworthy. I thought that I could not be a success. My [00:14:00] parents didn't love me, those kinds of things.

[00:14:02] And not, and they would have they're big beliefs to have, right? And then on top of that, you've got a faulty piece of software that is, Saying like something like, if someone looks at you a certain way or talks to you in a certain way, that means this, because you're unworthy, right?

[00:14:28] So it's all this stuff working together. So you've got these physical changes, you've got like chemical changes. And so there's that was the big wake up call for me was that there's actually real stuff. that is is occurring. That's making you the way you are. And all of that stuff can be reversed, right?

[00:14:54] And that was really enlightening for

[00:14:57] Scott Maderer: me. Yeah. I have a background. My, my, [00:15:00] one of my degrees is actually in genetics and the question that I've always had, where you want to ask about genetics is is it nature or nurture, right? Is it the genetics or is it the environment?

[00:15:10] And the funny thing is geneticists answered that question. A long time ago. And the answer to that question is yes, because it's both, it's never one or the other. And you're talking about the same thing here, is it's not just. our brain and our physiology and it's not just our beliefs and it's not just our environment.

[00:15:29] It's how all of that stuff and our history and our past, all of that stuff works together in this big old ball of stuff that we call a brain soup that we call our thoughts. And then it all feeds back yeah. Positively or negatively, but it can feed back in these loops that cause us to act out our programming, so to speak.

[00:15:52] Absolutely. Can you share a little bit too about your own faith journey and how that kind of [00:16:00] intersected and fit into this journey that you did towards the app?

[00:16:07] Alan Cox: Yeah I guess faith, God all of those it can all mean different things to different people, right? I would say that until my transformation happened I basically grew up in a, like a completely non religious family and also completely non spiritual, right?

[00:16:34] And so in, in all the times that I was struggling, I was completely disconnected from any kind of faith or spirituality. But in, in the process of After that event, which led me on my path to transformation, I literally studied [00:17:00] everything from Daoism, Buddhism, all kinds of different things even, it might sound strange, but even looking at parts of science that science just cannot explain you might have to help me here, but there's this there's this thing I think it's called quantum entanglement.

[00:17:26] Have you heard about that? Yeah, quantum

[00:17:28] Scott Maderer: mechanics and quantum entanglement. Yeah.

[00:17:30] Alan Cox: Yes. And basically what quantum entanglement says is that it doesn't matter how far away two particles are in an instant, they can transfer information. And that's. That's according to science. That's not possible because nothing can go fast on the speed of light.

[00:17:50] We don't know how it works.

[00:17:50] Scott Maderer: We just know it does.

[00:17:53] Alan Cox: So I think just through all of that stuff I've become a lot more [00:18:00] aware that we're all connected and there's. There's something out there beyond us. And that was actually really calming and helpful to me I, I don't believe, for example, that If I call out to the universe, they're going to help me win lotto on Saturday, right?

[00:18:28] I don't believe that.

[00:18:30] Scott Maderer: So you don't believe the universe is a cosmic vending machine that you can put in a corner and get what you want out?

[00:18:35] Alan Cox: Not quite but what I do believe is that we. Humans and the universe are probably connected in a way that's beyond our imagination and and yeah so that's where I'm at with that.

[00:18:57] Scott Maderer: And I do believe that in some ways the energy we put out into [00:19:00] the universe reflects back to us but Oh, of course. Yeah. But that's not the same as I can win the lottery on Friday because I visualize winning the lottery on Friday. Yeah I would agree with that. You talked earlier about kind of the operating system and the software and the hardware and the data and how that works together.

[00:19:23] I think for a lot of us deep down inside, we have that inner voice that that data that you were talking about that kind of speaks out to us as I'm not worthy, or I'm not good enough, or whatever it is, it shows up in different ways for different people. Why do you think how does that programming happen for us, if that makes sense?

[00:19:49] Alan Cox: From a. So first of all, you're right that some of it is genetic. [00:20:00] Depending on who you read or believe I think it's estimated somewhere between 20, 30%. Of your makeup is genetic, right? So for example, if you're people in your family had mental health problems or mental illnesses 20, 30% of that will be carried of your makeup will be carried forward.

[00:20:25] But the bulk of it really is. is a process called mental conditioning, right? And mental conditioning can be used in both a positive way and a negative way. Now, the problem that we have with our brain is that We have a very old reptilian part of our brain that doesn't serve us very well today [00:21:00] let me just explain many years ago, when we were like cavemen, hunters and gatherers, we would, have had to, we would always have to be on very high alert for dangers around us.

[00:21:15] Whether it's like neighboring tribes or dangerous animals. If a bus is rushling, it might be a lion. Yeah.

[00:21:22] And so it's we've got this, like in a radar that's always going saying what is there that's going to hurt me, right? We don't have a system saying what is that, what is out there that's going to make me feel good about myself, right?

[00:21:44] And so basically what happens throughout our lifetime, that radar we have these experiences, whether it's falling off a bike, whether it's been smacked or [00:22:00] verbally abused all of these things, we experience all of these things through life, but sadly, we, humans have. really bad tendency to take notice of the bad stuff.

[00:22:19] And that's the stuff that we store away. And that's the stuff that this reptilian brain puts down these circuits in your brain that says, look, this is dangerous, or all these kinds of things. And so really, it's just small, tiny pieces over our lifetime. And When we, from the time we went to kindergarten and we then went through school we never had anyone say to us, Hey, look, when you feel like this, it's actually this physical thing that's going on in [00:23:00] your brain.

[00:23:00] So just. Don't worry about it. Let it go, right? Or there's a gazillion things that we can learn about our brain, right? If you get bullied by somebody, it's probably more about what's going on in the life of the bully than you. So don't let it affect you, right? We never got that education, right?

[00:23:21] So that's why over a period of time, we learn Lots of false beliefs about ourselves, the world around us and how and how we should interoperate, how we should react with that so that, that's basically how it works, I

[00:23:45] Scott Maderer: think. I think sometimes even just recognizing that like you said, that, that inner voice.

[00:23:51] It's trying to protect us. May or may not always be doing it the best way but it's not evil [00:24:00] it's a survival characteristic. It's trying to protect us. Exactly right, yeah. Unfortunately, sometimes it's doing it in a way that's not good, but I think most of the way it's doing it anyway.

[00:24:09] Yeah, so when you talk about the, that kind of reprogramming of our minds I think the first glance at first glance, most people would go, okay that must be really hard to do. That must take a lot of work. It must be really difficult. Can you talk about some of the tips or techniques, or what are some of the small actions that we can take that can help us start breaking down that programming, identifying it and maybe reprogramming?

[00:24:38] How we feel about the

[00:24:39] Alan Cox: world. That's a really good question. And it is a really big subject, and I'd like to perhaps just start with an analogy, right? Imagine, if you think of your brain as being like a series of these... Trodden paths. [00:25:00] That's the way we naturally go, right? So imagine you're standing in the entrance to a field with long grass, and there's a well trodden pathway going to the top left hand corner of the field.

[00:25:15] That's the way you're going to walk because that's the way everyone walks. And that's what you do every day. But you basically think I really should be going to the top right hand corner, not that corner, right? So when you, if you start doing that, it's You start flattening the grass and it takes time, but every step you take you're flattening that pathway and making it a little bit easier every single time you tread it, right?

[00:25:47] And eventually that becomes. The default pathway and the old pathway has grown back and disappeared. That is exactly what happens in our [00:26:00] brain, right? Without, with these neural connections that basically form the circuitry in our brain that's determines how we operate. So with that in mind, without oversimplifying it, all we need to do is continuously take small steps in trying to forge those new pathways, right?

[00:26:25] So how do you do that? One of the simplest things you could do is just simply start to read and educate yourself about the mind by by a book about positive psychology, about neuroscience or even if you're not into books, just go on YouTube and instead of doom scrolling on social media watch some videos on like there was, I remember there was one video that I saw where [00:27:00] they actually showed under a an electron microscope, a neural pathway forming to a new place, right?

[00:27:10] And when you actually see it, you think, Oh my God, right? And so they're just some of the things. So I think a big thing is education, right? Start feeding yourself with the truth about how your mind works, right? The second thing you can do is start to capture and challenge the thoughts and reactions that you're having on a daily basis.

[00:27:39] So for example, let's just say that you have a feeling that I probably shouldn't apply for this new job because I probably won't, I'm probably not good enough, right? Start actually to take control of that and [00:28:00] get a pen and paper out and say what are all the reasons that I think I'm not good enough?

[00:28:05] And then every one of those reasons. argue with it, and say, no, bugger that, I can actually do that thing, right? So that's one thing you could do, and even things like you say, driving along the road, and Someone comes on along and cuts in front of you and I met when that used to happen to me, I would gesticulate and go on the hooter and swear

[00:28:38] Scott Maderer: and call them number one.

[00:28:39] So tell them. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:28:41] Alan Cox: And when things like that happen, and these things happen all throughout the day, right? And I've got another wonderful story like that about my wife, actually, I'll share in a minute. But when those things happen, [00:29:00] you will obviously have that reaction. You can't stop it, right?

[00:29:06] But when you, but the first step is to recognize it. Just recognize, say, Hey, Alan, what's going on here? What, why that, that person, we don't know what's going on in their life. We don't know why they did that. They probably wasn't trying to kill me. They don't

[00:29:26] Scott Maderer: They probably didn't see you or were in a big hurry or whatever.

[00:29:30] Alan Cox: Yeah. Something else. So the first thing is just recognizing it and you will have all the adrenaline running and all that. And then the more you do that. You basically form this habit, right? And then eventually and I'm quite serious now, if something like that happens to me today I can have quite serious things happen like that.

[00:29:53] And I have no physical or mental reaction whatsoever. I just, it just is a non [00:30:00] event for me. And that is just training and creating these new habits. And I just wanted to mention I used. I used to get really irritated at my wife when I used to feel like I'm into coffee, right?

[00:30:17] And I'd have my, say, my grinder, my beans going through the grinder, and I'd be, I'd move away from the bench and the grinder's going, and the beans have actually gone all the way through, and the grinder's still going, and she would lean over and turn off the grinder. And I'd get really frustrated, and I'd say, look, why are you trying to control me?

[00:30:37] And now I just think she just turned off the grinder. Yeah, she saw the giant grinder guy. She just turned it off. That's fine. That's Sally and Probably because she just didn't

[00:30:49] Scott Maderer: like hearing the grinder running when it didn't

[00:30:51] Alan Cox: need to be. Exactly right. And we literally have thousands of these [00:31:00] tendencies that bring us down that you've just got to start noticing.

[00:31:06] and challenging. And think what is a better way of responding

[00:31:10] Scott Maderer: to this? At a core root we tend to judge ourselves by our intentions, because we know what we meant. That's why we say it. Somebody's, oh, I'm so mad at what you said. That's not what I meant. That's literally what we'll say.

[00:31:23] That's not what I meant, but when somebody else does it, we judge the base just off their actions, just off what we see, because we can't know what they intended. So we it's like

[00:31:36] reading an email how often have you read an email and you're like. Man, this person must be mad. Then you go talk to them, or you pick up the phone and call them, and they're like, No, I'm not mad. What are you talking about? I just wrote a stupid email. I'm not mad. Yeah, but we read into these things a lot of times once we're not really there.

[00:31:56] Yeah,

[00:31:57] Alan Cox: and that happens an awful lot in business, right? [00:32:00] Absolutely. You send off an email, and you don't get a response. And I remember the early years when I was in sales, I would basically not follow up on things, thinking, oh they, they don't, they're not interested. They just don't care. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:32:13] The truth is they've probably got a million things on their plate and you've fallen off the radar. Doesn't mean anything else other than that. Or it went

[00:32:22] Scott Maderer: to spam or whatever, or is it the bottom of their 30, 000 unread emails in their inbox? So when you think about mental fitness and mental wellbeing, what are some of the misconceptions people have about mental health or mental fitness?

[00:32:45] Alan Cox: I think the biggest misconception that persists is that mental health and mental being are a binary thing that you are either mentally healthy or mentally [00:33:00] well or you're not. And that's really. A very kind of dangerous understanding that like basically permeates everything like I even hear people say, Oh yeah, he's got mental health as if that's a bad thing.

[00:33:19] But everyone has mental health, and it is a spectrum. And let's just make this real for everybody if you think of. A mental well being spectrum from one to ten, where one is as bad as you can be, probably suicidal and a quick caveat here. I'm not talking about mental illnesses, say, schizophrenia.

[00:33:47] I'm just talking about mental well being. So mental number one is about as bad as you can be. Number ten, like you're more enlightened than the Dalai Lama, right? Around the [00:34:00] three mark is. where you transition from being mentally well to mentally unwell, right? If you say, I'm not feeling too good and they'll do an assessment.

[00:34:10] If they're a good doctor if you're a four out of 10, they'll say, look, you just need to rest up or whatever they'll say. The trouble is that most, if you look at like the bell curve of mental wellbeing, most of us are between four and six. It's like I can talk to an audience and say, just statistically speaking, if I get like 8 of you to stand up, you could all do with help, right?

[00:34:46] Simple as that, because you're all struggling. You're all needlessly, you're all needlessly struggling. But moreover, it's not only about struggling, it's about missing out [00:35:00] on the fruits of what being a, say, a, an 8, 9 or 10 give you. And that's really what I woke up to is that when you move up to that heightened level of mental wellbeing, so that you are like, eight or nine.

[00:35:22] It's incredible the impact that has on your life. You get a lot more you get a lot more work done in less time. Your relationships improve. You become more creative. You have better ideas. I could go on and on. And I think Yeah, I would put it into two categories, right?

[00:35:46] That if you're, I think people think that if they're not mentally unwell, then they're just okay, right? And from a certain lens, they are [00:36:00] just okay. But what they are is they are, if you can imagine walking just walking every day on a, like a mouse wheel, right? And, you can't even see what's in front of you because the mouse wheel is just going round and round.

[00:36:17] When you step off the mouse wheel and start observing what's outside a life gets a lot easier and b you get a lot more joy and fulfillment out of life as well. And I think many people just don't understand that.

[00:36:36] Scott Maderer: And I think That idea of a continue of is important too, because I think another way we can think of it as a binary state is I'm well, or I'm unwell, and that's how I'll always be if I'm a three then that's just, I'm a three I can't change that, but the reality is you could be a three today and a [00:37:00] two tomorrow, or you could be a three today and a four tomorrow you can move up and down that continuum too, like you were talking about earlier but we can take deliberate actions to move us up or down it.

[00:37:11] in a positive way if we need to. When you think about that way that we look at ourselves as I'm doing okay. Cause you've used that expression several times and that's even how people will answer the question how you doing? I'm okay.

[00:37:33] Yeah. What is the other way of looking at that, that could help us move to doing better than okay funnily enough if you actually. Again, think of that scale in, in, in mental [00:38:00] In categorization when you look at say, scientific papers on categorization there's five areas that you can be with your mental well being.

[00:38:16] Alan Cox: There's very poor, okay, good, very good, right? And. I think that's a really good way of thinking about what okay means because you're just okay that's not, it's not good or very good, right? That I think that's how I'd like your audience to understand themselves is if they're okay, that they're actually, their life is probably harder than it needs to be, and they're missing out on a lot of joy and fulfillment basically.

[00:38:56] Scott Maderer: So I've got a few questions that I like to ask all of my guests, but before [00:39:00] I go there, is there anything else about the work you do or the app that you think it's really important for folks to

[00:39:07] Alan Cox: hear? I think the most important thing is that. It actually works. We've been really diligent in how we designed this in the sense that from I would not be interested in running this business if the app did not work for people.

[00:39:28] In our latest round of testing using like a, an external research platform, we found that 78% of people significantly improve their wellbeing within within one week. And we also found that our retention rates are about 15 times what the best of the other apps are. We also, we're also an impact enterprise where we put people's wellbeing [00:40:00] Above profits, right?

[00:40:02] So we, we have an always free version of the app. Like we believe that money or absence of finances should never be a barrier to wellbeing. So there is really no reason not to give it a try and. And we also have an enterprise or an organizational offering that goes into businesses, into schools, and it just has a big impact on the communities in those places.

[00:40:36] Scott Maderer: So my brand is inspired stewardship, but I run things through that lens of stewardship. And yet that's one of those words that like leadership and a lot of other words, it means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. So when you hear the word stewardship, what does that word mean to you?

[00:40:51] And how do you think about that word?

[00:40:56] Alan Cox: I think that [00:41:00] for me what it really means is that I stewardship is all really about ethical responsibility and sustainability. And in the context of what I'm doing, what that really means is that we have to I am the steward of a vehicle that can have Enormous impact on people's lives and it is my responsibility to, to make sure that every decision that I make is in the benefit of the human that's using it, rather than thinking about what is going to line my pockets a bit further, that stewardship.

[00:41:50] So

[00:41:52] Scott Maderer: this is my favorite question that I like to ask everybody. Imagine for a minute, I invented this magic machine and with the machine, I was able to [00:42:00] pull you from where you are today and transport you into the future, maybe 150, maybe 250 years. And through the power of this machine, you were able to look back and see your entire life and see all of the connections, all of the ripples, all of the impacts you've left behind.

[00:42:15] What impact do you hope you've left behind in the world?

[00:42:20] Alan Cox: It might sound a bit kind of cliche, but it would really be that the world overall is a better place through. the impact of my work. And I'll just explain that is that when we become mentally higher up elevated in your mental wellbeing, it not only permeates your life, but it also permeates the lives of people around you, the communities around you.

[00:42:52] And it creates a ripple effect, right? So already today[00:43:00] if I was to, if I was to die tomorrow, I would already know that I have positively impacted the lives of thousands of people. And so I've already succeeded in that respect. But if I could look forward. The timeframe that you're talking about is that there would be millions of people that are mentally strong.

[00:43:28] They are living much better lives and the decisions that they're making and the ripple effect that they're making is just making the world a better place.

[00:43:40] Scott Maderer: So what's on the roadmap? What's coming next for you as you continue on your journey and live out the rest of the year?

[00:43:46] Alan Cox: That's a good question.

[00:43:47] So we've been working really hard to get our app to a point where we are completely confident to start pulling the levers. Like we [00:44:00] haven't really been doing any marketing, like even though the app has been in the app store for about a year and a half now, we haven't been marketing or pulling any levers.

[00:44:11] We were aware of. like certain issues with the app and things like that, where they have all now been remedied. And and when I say issues, I'm just talking about like tech, technical issues. That when we're now in a very exciting position where we're going to start pulling the levers, right?

[00:44:32] So we're going to start doing things like partnerships, marketing. Social media, all these kinds of things. So it's a very up until now, it's been about building. Now it's all about telling the world.

[00:44:47] Scott Maderer: That's scaling. You can find out more about Alan and about the app over at every yellow.

[00:44:55] com. Of course, I'll have a link to that over in the show notes as well. I will say I've been using [00:45:00] the app and playing with it the last couple of months after I got to know Alan and really enjoying it and finding it really powerful, Alan, is there anything else you'd like to share with the listener?

[00:45:11] Alan Cox: Yeah, I think it would just be to say that again, it might sound a bit cliche, but seriously, you only get one chance at life, right? And if I could just urge you to at no cost, just give the app a try for one week 10 minutes a day for one week, and just see if You get something from it because the vast majority of people, they do get something from it and it makes a shift happen that sends them on a new path so just give it a go.

[00:45:57] Scott Maderer: Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship [00:46:00] Podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode please do us a favor, go over to InspiredStewardship.

[00:46:20] com slash iTunes rate, all one word, iTunes rate. It'll take you through how to leave a rating and review and how to make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so that you can get every episode as it comes out in your feed. Until next time, invest your time, your talent, and your treasures, develop your influence, and impact the world.

In today's episode, I ask Alan about:

  • How he developed his mental health app EverYellow... 
  • How his faith journey influenced how he views mental health...
  • How we can really achieve mental well-being if we just focus on the fact that it’s a journey and continuum, not a destination...
  • and more.....

Some of the Resources recommended in this episode: 

I make a commission for purchases made through the following link.

In all the times that I was struggling, I was completely disconnected from any kind of faith or spirituality. But in, in the process of, after that event, which led me on my path to transformation, I literally studied everything from Taoism to Buddhism, all kinds of different things. - Alan Cox

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You can connect with Alan using the resources below:

Let Me Know What you Think Below....

About the author 


Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

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