Everyday Spartan: How Pete Cohen Inspires People to Use Their Inner Genius
We’re following the adventures of eight incredible people as they travel the globe and transform their lives through Spartan. Check out our NEW series — Everyday Spartan — and get inspired today.
Pete Cohen: The (Far from Ordinary) Everyday Spartan
Pete Cohen does lots of things well. He writes well, he coaches well, he makes funny jokes. But one thing he doesn’t do well? Sit back and let his life unfold as it is. He’s not so good at that. In fact, he’s horrible at it. But at Spartan, we don’t see this as something that needs to change. Rather, we see this as the sign of an Everyday Spartan.
Pete has become a leader in his own life — An Inspirator, as he calls himself. He defines inspirator as someone who has chosen to take ownership of his or her own life, make bold and brave choices, and lead with courage and compassion.
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We could go on and on about Pete’s accolades and accomplishments…He is one of the world’s leading inspirational keynote speakers and business coaches, an author of 18 published books, and a professional coach to some of the world's most impressive companies, like IBM and Pfizer. But these aren't the only things that make Pete so special. His outlook and go-get-em attitude puts him head and shoulders above most and fuels his drive to be better, every single day.
How Supporting His Wife Through Cancer Led Pete Cohen to Be An Inspirator
Unfortunately, Pete’s wife was diagnosed with a rare type of brain cancer eight years ago and given only 18 months to live. He identifies this moment as his biggest struggle. “I needed help,” he declared. So, when they visited various doctors, he asked what most scared spouses would: “What do we do?”
One doctor gave him an incredibly helpful piece of advice and Pete utilized this to get him through. “Find someone who has lived through this and do what they did. Ask questions, get answers.” They did just that and as a result of hard work, research and treatment, his wife is not only surviving but thriving – five years cancer-free. “This made me happier and more grateful to be alive. I became more excited about the future and the possibilities that are there to positively impact the lives of others.”
Pete uses the power of his story, and that of the archetypal hero's journey, in much of his work. In his new book, Inspirators: Leading the Way In Leadership, he uses examples of movie heroes (who attain power, fall from power, and rise back up) to help individuals find their way in the midst of pain and struggle.
Why Pete Cohen Inspires Others to Use Their 'Inner Genius'
“I want to inspire people around the world to create a life where they see themselves as the writer, actor, director and producer of their own movie,” he said. “Struggles are an opportunity to grow. People just need to know how to use their inner genius.”
So what is the 'inner genius'? Despite what it sounds like, it's not your IQ, where you went to school, what level of degree you have, or simply put, your smarts. It's the antidote to what Pete calls our inner critic or the 'negative duck', that voice that quacks at you and tells you you can’t or you’re not worthy. The inner genius is the antidote. It’s your inner light supported by your core values which contribute to your TRUE self — the self that the world needs to see.
Related: Everyday Spartan: How Kressa Peterson's Spartan Grit Helped Her Invent Shower Toga
As a practice, Pete lets his inner genius shine through, no matter what. Even when he’s jumping into freezing cold pond water in Pittsfield, VT he’s finding a way to smile and make the best of it. “The fact that I love to challenge myself every single day mentally, physically, and emotionally…I think that’s what makes me an Everyday Spartan. Thinking and acting like a Spartan warrior keeps me on track and focused on the big things that I’m looking to achieve with my life. I’m 50 next year and I’m looking to make the next 50 years incredible!”
We can't wait to see what else Pete has up his sleeve as he inspires others with his inner genius, both on and off the OCR racecourse. Aroo, Pete!