In today’s benefits market, brokers are responsible for every facet of the industry. From informing clients about the latest trends to ensuring they stay in compliance with the latest government regulations, the average broker’s list of responsibilities can seem like a daunting task.

To show advisers that there are no limits, author and owner of Iron Tamer Enterprise, LLC, Dave Whitley, demonstrated superhuman acts of strength through bending steel nails and breaking chain links using just sheer willpower to prove that no obstacle too difficult to overcome.

Dave Whitley performs during EBA's Workplace Benefit Summit in Boca Raton, Fla., on Sept. 18.
Dave Whitley performs during EBA's Workplace Benefit Summit in Boca Raton, Fla., on Sept. 18. Cort Olsen/EBA

“When I think about embodiment of the best qualities we have as humans, that sounds a lot like leadership, which is why I call this talk, ‘Superhuman Leadership Strategies,’ because leadership is the ability to help people achieve things that they don’t believe are possible,” Whitely said. “I think if we can develop our own individual superpowers to the point that we inspire people to believe they can do something that they don’t think they can do, then that is what leadership is all about.”

Whitely said to achieve superhuman status, brokers must focus their inspirations, imagination and affirmations in order to make their desired successes a reality.

Inspiration is the spark of an idea. The broker may have an idea, with no initial clue about how to accomplish it, but with a strong enough belief, there is a possibility that the idea can be pulled off.

“You become so obsessed [with the idea] you start to seek out mentors, influences and choose attributes from other people who are doing the things you want to do,” Whitely said.

For Whitely, as a kid growing up in the ’70s, he wanted to be “The Hulk” and, despite the fact he couldn’t become “The Hulk” through the means in which the character become superhumanly strong, he decided to find other means to achieve his goals through physical strife.

He was inspired to achieve his goal through real life body building to become just as strong as “The Hulk,” thereby affirming his childhood dream.

Creating reality
“Write [affirmations] out in positive language in present tense,” Whitely said. “Make sure whatever you describe assumes the feeling of the fulfilled desire, because your subconscious mind — where self-image resides— does not know the difference between something real and something imagined.”

Throughout Whitely’s speech, he performed acts of great strength — from ripping a phonebook in half to bending a six-inch nail in half to breaking a chain with just the strength of his chest. For his final performance, Whitely demonstrated the act of making a conscientious decision by believing he could drive a nail through a block of wood to pierce a balloon on the other end.

“Let us look at what, ‘decision,’ really means,” Whitely said. “We have de – meaning from – and caedere – meaning to cut. So, a true decision means you are so committed to achieving a result that you have cut yourself off from any other possibility.”

Despite several failures to break the balloon, Whitely eventually achieved his goal because of his decision to make his imagination a reality.

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