Triena McGuirk: So we’re sitting here today with Zuora and Lasic. He is coming to share his journey. He’s got such a remarkable journey of, um, immigrating to Canada and growing up here with his experiences in his family of origin and what that really has meant for him in, in his journey. And I’m doing, um, some, some things that we carry on our past and.
Triena McGuirk: I’m just really excited to hear what you have to share and your journey with perspective taking and, you know, walking with the darkness that we all walk in and how do we get out of it and prosper and create the life that we want to create for ourselves. So welcome. Thank you so much.
Zoran Lazic: you. Thank you for giving me the opportunity.
Muhammad Kermalli: You could say something, kids, um, you know, it’s hard to tell, right. Or they don’t know how to articulate or represent
Zoran Lazic: themselves so
Muhammad Kermalli: well, this is all right. So that’s where I like, um, what’s the word would be like, um, like I focus in on like, you know, if I had to represent because the kids, man, they get,
Zoran Lazic: yeah.
Zoran Lazic: One of my grandkids, I got, I’ve got four grandkids. One of my grandkids couldn’t hear very well, so he would get angry because he couldn’t express himself. He couldn’t hear to talk. So he would call me, Hey, Hey, I don’t know if I explained it. And as time went on, I was wondering, why is he calling me? Hey, because all they could hear was that tone.
Zoran Lazic: And I would always say to them, Hey, Hey, Hey. And then all of a sudden he would say, Hey, Hey, and that’s, that’s how we that’s. That’s still, they call me today. So when I would go to his says, kindergarten class, here you go, Hey, Hey, Hey, you know, you know, there’s a, you know, and then he would say, Hey, Hayes, he, I guess he thought, Hey, Hey, he’s where grandparents buddies.
Zoran Lazic: He calls me, Hey, when he seen that movie, there was a movie. I forget what it was more on there or something. Um, there was a chicken and it was called hay hay. And he goes, that’s not, Hey, Hey,
Zoran Lazic: he’s about nine. Now. They all have the special nature
Muhammad Kermalli: of my
Zoran Lazic: mind works. Yeah. That makes sense. So he couldn’t hear all they could hear was that like certain tones. And he could hear me say, Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey, that’s so funny.
Zoran Lazic: You said for forebrain. And they all have special sort of local to our here and to our New York city. Oh wow. So our son lives in New York city. He went to Africa for two and a half years in the peace Corps. Okay. Yeah. Part of Mozambique. So he built the school and stuff like that, and he was going to work for ’em at the embassy and he became a teacher.
Zoran Lazic: He now I’m going to go be a teacher. So he’s a teacher in New York city and he’s got a double master’s degree now. Now he’s going to be a principal. So I went to Boston university and he went to peace Corps. Then he went to Columbia university. So he’s a, he’s the brain compassionate. Yeah. Forgiveness.
Zoran Lazic: Makes me remember,
Muhammad Kermalli: write it on my head.
Zoran Lazic: I got it on my arms.
Muhammad Kermalli: Well, like you’ve got, uh, I mean, when we were talking to midway about said like, okay, an interesting story in terms of, okay, this is how you do what you do today, but it’s interesting how, like you said, it all connects back to some starting point and that’s all we’re going to do right now to get back
Zoran Lazic: into that starting point.
Zoran Lazic: And you know what? I wouldn’t change a thing. Yeah, good. I don’t remember everything because I wouldn’t be right here.
Muhammad Kermalli: That’s often a question that often comes on, someone’s talking and going. So, and you say, I wouldn’t change a thing. Some say, you’re only saying that because you’re here now. Whereas I’m just saying, I’ve heard that sent to me cause they’re like, oh, you only say that because you got through.
Muhammad Kermalli: But what about the rest of us who are there,
Zoran Lazic: but they wouldn’t change a thing. So because you wouldn’t be there.
Muhammad Kermalli: So while you’re going through it though, are you thinking to yourself, come on really now? Why me stuff like that? Well,
Zoran Lazic: yeah, you’re saying, well, I don’t know about, I don’t know if I would say why me, I would just say, you know, what did I do?
Zoran Lazic: I don’t know something about what’s going on rather than why me and I know. Yeah, I get it. I just wouldn’t change a thing. You know, my mother being this way and all that kind of stuff all the way up to here. Right. This is why I want to maybe work with kids or, uh, have the center with blah, you know, all that kind of stuff.
Zoran Lazic: Maybe I wouldn’t do that. Yeah. So that was just when I was younger, I would be the pain, no pain, no
Muhammad Kermalli: gain.
Triena McGuirk: I mean, when I was a kid, but then as I got older and then I got out of that pain and, and flourished without ever pathway open from that pain. Then as I get older now, and I’m in the pain, I’m like, all right, you’re in it.
Triena McGuirk: This is going to be the dirt. This is okay. This is
Zoran Lazic: so people only say that for physical to get in shape, there’s no gain, no pain, no pain, no gain, but it has to be for everything. Right. So that was the no gain, no pain. I mean, no, no pain, no gain. Part of my life was to be right here. So you had that
Triena McGuirk: mindset like all the time, like you never
Zoran Lazic: from early.
Zoran Lazic: I mean being alone, you’re living your brain
Muhammad Kermalli: when you’re sitting
Zoran Lazic: there going through what you’re doing and you read and stuff
Muhammad Kermalli: from the time that you’re a kid. Yep. Um, well, let’s start by telling us a little bit about your background, man, if you don’t mind. Yeah.
Zoran Lazic: So were you born in you? Weren’t I was born in Germany.
Zoran Lazic: My mother went there to work. I don’t know if I was not that I wasn’t a want a child or anything, but I don’t know. Maybe not. So I got that feeling, but anyways, they went from, they went from Germany. They got together. This goes later on. As I found out my dad was wasn’t my father, but they went from Germany to Canada.
Zoran Lazic: That was about six years old. Let’s say. And then, um, you know, we, we moved around the city a lot every year, probably from. The beginning till 15, 7, 8 times different houses all the time. Yeah. I just didn’t understand all the time. Every school. And back then you moved from St. Claire to, you know, a couple of main streets over.
Zoran Lazic: It was like the end of the world. Right. And the city was, you know, S uh, shepherd was farm back then. So we would move around and every year in the summertime, but I was build by myself. That’s where the dogs came in, you know? And you’re always in your kids. So you’re always learning how to gain friends.
Zoran Lazic: But at that moment, it was bad because you’re always learning how to gain friends. So you’d be walking around downtown young street and stuff all by yourself, because you just, you don’t know anyone, you don’t know anyone, which was good after, because I could go by myself. Well,
Muhammad Kermalli: when you look back at it, you’re like, oh, You know, this was what I gained, or this is what I
Zoran Lazic: learned, but a lot of
Muhammad Kermalli: families that come in, they settled down in these, these pods, these sections, which are affordable and all this stuff.
Muhammad Kermalli: Right. Um, brings back a lot of memories. But when we’re going through that at that time, and then we’re moving around, uh, not everybody moves around. Some people just stay in one place and they try to get that stability for the family. So for one reason or another, you’re moving around.
Zoran Lazic: Why you’re moving around.
Muhammad Kermalli: When, when you’re thinking that go back to that kid, whatever six months old, it’s hard to recall. But if you were to try to recall, w what, how did you make sense of it? Or did you have a question and just not ask,
Zoran Lazic: like, what was sure you asked the, why are we moving? It’s just my job. We got a job somewhere else, or it was always moving, moving.
Zoran Lazic: You didn’t get it. He just didn’t get it. But the, the home wasn’t even stable. Right. So nevermind living in a place for years, it just didn’t happen. Drinking gambling just fi like the violent parts. So today I don’t really stand for violence at home. It goes back to those days, you know, the milk is cold. I set up before and the throw the milk against the wall.
Zoran Lazic: Like, what’s the big deal. It was just Colt. So warm it up or I’m pushing buttons on the radio. You know, my father, I thought, who would my father back then would kick it and smashing the radio and say, no, you can’t move it. Like, what’s the big deal. I’m just a kid like changing stations. So the fear again, you know, and you didn’t question, you just went and you just dealt with it yourself.
Muhammad Kermalli: So, um, while you, you just talked about, you’re walking around downtown
Zoran Lazic: on youngster. Yeah. Well, 13, 14.
Muhammad Kermalli: Was it just to get away from it.
Zoran Lazic: It’s just, well, I have to do something and you don’t want to stay home and it will, you know, he just walked around, see what was going on, learning how to walk around all by yourself, I guess, not really looking for people or anything, just, just walking around, you’ll take the bus, you know, it would take, it would take from where I was half an hour, an hour to get downtown.
Zoran Lazic: That was our part of the day you walk around to get back. That was your day. Yeah.
Triena McGuirk: Yeah. I remember following, um, creeks in Brampton, like falling the creeks for kilometers and just
Zoran Lazic: that stuff. Well, when you’re going
Muhammad Kermalli: through school and you’re like you said, you were making new friends now, so you’re, you’re a social person.
Muhammad Kermalli: So we’re all looking for a group to kind of belong with and, you know, get with it. Um, and as one group of friends you make, and now it’s time to move here. So you’re seeking to make new friends. Did you ever in that. In that endeavor to try and find new friends and new groups get invited into things that you’re like, oh my God.
Muhammad Kermalli: You know? And because there are influences that are around and it’s kind of like, I don’t want to say it’s a gamble because you never know. But when you’re looking for,
Zoran Lazic: sometimes you get invited into a group and did a lot of
Muhammad Kermalli: stuff. And, um, you, you don’t realize that that’s not necessarily the kind of influence you, you you’re actually seeking, but
Zoran Lazic: now that’s your group.
Zoran Lazic: Oh yeah. You get into a lot of stuff, stealing drugs just to get through. And it’s just, you know, I don’t want to say we were like that. It’s just, we were like that. I’m not saying because we were in poverty. It’s just, I, I, I don’t know why.
Muhammad Kermalli: I don’t know. So we would steal because there are other leaders of the
Zoran Lazic: group that we would steal from a store let’s say, and we would get caught.
Zoran Lazic: Yeah. And the person would say, it’s not that you stole, it’s how you stole. You’re only seven years old, but the way you did it was very like the way, you know, you hit it very well, blah, blah, blah. So it was more about how you did it versus how you did it. Right. So that’s what they, they’re more concerned about the fact that you have like, such a developed skill for that, because, you know, as you were growing up, you know, I take this, take that and you get better.
Zoran Lazic: And then you develop more skills and you’re only eight years old or 7, 8, 9 years old. Right. So, but those, some of the skills, maybe you don’t want to develop, so you’re a good business, but it’s something else. Not that you call them learning, that’s learning. That was a good learning. Right. You know how to be deceitful, but in a.
Zoran Lazic: Intelligent way. So you’re still intelligent. It’s just that, you know, you didn’t direct it to
Triena McGuirk: read situations.
Zoran Lazic: You learn how to sell. You’re still good. Like, and those things, it’s just that it’s a different kind of misdirected skill
Muhammad Kermalli: fine. But when we’re going through it at that time, a lot of people stick to that.
Muhammad Kermalli: They don’t realize you’re hold on a second. Yeah. Breaking that cycle. Exactly. And it’s this idea of, this is my idea of using my mind and will they justify like these guys, uh, you know, antiestablishment, whatever, whatever you want to call it. And they’re like, all of these are, these are businesses. They have enough money that it’s almost like I’m coming to take, what’s already mine.
Muhammad Kermalli: And they, we find a way to justify it.
Zoran Lazic: So you’re still bettering. So you’re still bettering yourself. Like you’re making you’re better, but not better in that way. And you’re bettering yourself and being deceitful or, or stealing and stuff.
Muhammad Kermalli: So. That’s how you, that was one phase. And today you’re a guy who believes, okay, you got integrity.
Muhammad Kermalli: You’re doing all these things. When does it start occurring to this eight year old or six year old that, Hey, hold on a second. This is not it.
Zoran Lazic: I took it years after it still took time. Because every time you move, do you want it to fit in? And every time you fit in, you fit in with the group that you fit in before.
Zoran Lazic: What do you mean? So the, the immigrants, people that couldn’t speak, they didn’t have money, a single family, a single parent family, maybe. And that’s how we became a group or the family. And you was, for some reason you would always just, and we were just, that’s stealing was just like, we’re not gonna read, you know, what are we going to do?
Zoran Lazic: So you have to do something. And instead of we didn’t read the, do not, you know, reading a book or, you know, things like that, you’re influenced by everything else. That’s out there. And you say, okay, this is the only way you’re going to get. As by stealing or by, you know, in that direction versus your
Triena McGuirk: experience.
Triena McGuirk: I knew a lot of kids, they say that there’s a form of acceptance or like a social currency.
Zoran Lazic: Well, my mother never pushed me. 50% was enough for her. No. Okay. Just get 50% of school. Don’t worry about it. And I was wondering after, like, why, why don’t you want me to get 80 or go to university or something? And then as I grew older, it was her control that if I did go to school and get more intelligent, I wouldn’t, I would, I would move away or something.
Zoran Lazic: Right. So that was how she kept me down. Let’s say. And then. The whole world sort of is like that. Everybody’s keeping you down then the wealthy people are keeping you down. And then , you started doing these things because you think, well, everybody’s keeping me down, you know, why do we have this? And why are we in Ontario housing, blah, blah, blah.
Zoran Lazic: I guess everybody’s keeping us down and had nothing to do with it. I guess my mother was making me believe that, but why wouldn’t, I want to believe what you said. Yeah. You
Muhammad Kermalli: know, and maybe even she believed it because it was something that was, yeah. Right. Fear could go up. The, it could go up the line as well, like in terms of what she was afraid of or what she was influenced to think.
Muhammad Kermalli: You know where she got her
Zoran Lazic: information from. So she was afraid all the time constantly. She was, she
Triena McGuirk: your mom born and raised in Germany,
Zoran Lazic: herself. She’s your Slavia. And so she went through the war and she was moving. Yeah. To have your bags packed when the Germans came in or Russians or wherever it was, you have to grab your bag and you leave.
Zoran Lazic: So maybe that’s one of the reasons why we moved every year. So you’re not established. Maybe I don’t, I don’t know. You don’t want to think about it. And she was always afraid of people in uniforms and that kind of stuff. So that fear she put into you, but that wasn’t like, it was the way to go when I think about it now.
Zoran Lazic: But at that time, the quite, when I believe her, and then you figure out after it’s not your dad anymore, you know, moving all over the place. Now, Y w like when I remember the violence, it was. Uh, I was one of those kids with, you know, like I said it before, where she would throw my father’s clothes out the window, throw a suitcase on the lawn and stuff that that was every week or every other three, four days.
Zoran Lazic: Was that constantly. So why would I want to not hang out with, with, with friends and stuff like that, but when we moved, it always cut that part off. So I’d always have to start all over again. As I think about it, every three or four months, when I would meet friends, my mother would always find something negative about them or they didn’t say hi to me.
Zoran Lazic: They’re rude. I don’t know something, anything to try to insert a wedge. Yeah. Even with dogs they’re too hairy. It’s not cleaning. I don’t know something. So it was always after I, like, after I thought about it, I was like, why is it every three or four months? Something negative always happens about a friend.
Zoran Lazic: Cause that’s probably my late teens. Okay. Cause it was every three months or four months, roughly. Why? Well, like why shall we say something negative about my friends? You’re going out to my chair. He didn’t say hi, like something simple. Like, but maybe you didn’t hear him or
Triena McGuirk: maybe he thought you were busy or
Zoran Lazic: that she was really about respect and this kind of thing, but overboard.
Zoran Lazic: So those are the,
Muhammad Kermalli: those are the early years were boring. And then when you move into your teenage years, it’s a consistent pattern. You’re moving around constantly.
Zoran Lazic: And then we moved that 10. Uh, my father at the time that I thought it was my father, he went to back home for vacation. We moved, we went from Toronto to Vancouver.
Zoran Lazic: Oh, wow. Because she said I had enough while he was on vacation. Yeah. So I didn’t know. It was a secret he’s going on vacation. Okay. Got it. Okay. We’re packing up. And we flew to, we like, it was over, that’s a significant, so we went to Vancouver and then in a hotel room or a motel, she said, well, you don’t have to tell you something.
Zoran Lazic: It’s not really your father. And I was like, well, what do you mean? So that was about 10.
Triena McGuirk: And he was he out of your life after
Zoran Lazic: that point or 15? And I kind of one or twice, I might see him. He ended up living in a building next door to us. Why
Muhammad Kermalli: are you going through this? I’m just wondering about like what your thoughts are at that time.
Muhammad Kermalli: That’s what I’m trying to figure
Zoran Lazic: out where everything isn’t real now. Like,
Muhammad Kermalli: is it, is it your, would you say surreal? Would you say angry? Would you say, what would you
Zoran Lazic: say? What was an angry? It was more. I don’t want to say depressed, but it was like, what do you mean? It’s not my dad. Yeah.
Muhammad Kermalli: You can say it with a smile and laugh at it a
Zoran Lazic: little bit.
Zoran Lazic: Then it was hard
Triena McGuirk: foundation that you didn’t have, even though it was very chaotic and always shifting and changing. You did have the person who you thought was your dad. He did have your mom and you all moved together.
Zoran Lazic: Yeah. So all this emotional support, like a bonding now what? Yeah. So it was cut off.
Zoran Lazic: Yeah. Just like that. And so it was another thing it’s a loss. Yeah. You know, it’s like, you know, so it was another thing
Muhammad Kermalli: at that moment. What does that person say to themselves? What do you do to deal with that? What did you think to yourself?
Zoran Lazic: I’m not sure. I, I probably can’t remember. It’s just, it was a, like, why would you do that for why don’t you just tell me before. What’s the big deal. So what she explained was that to come to Canada, you have to be a family as a single mother, she couldn’t come to Canada. So they got, uh, they got together and said, look, we’re going to go to Canada, whatever happens, happens.
Zoran Lazic: So they got married as a convenience to be able to come to Canada and then whatever happened happened. So I didn’t know that until I was 10. So you’re caught in this, it was an arrangement
Muhammad Kermalli: really. And you’ve thought of this as like a S uh, a stable point that you could focus on and you turned out okay.
Muhammad Kermalli: That wasn’t part of the plan or, yeah. So,
Zoran Lazic: so you ended up going more with friends outside more and more and more for that reason as well. And your mother’s always working. And she was a cleaning lady, housekeeper taking care of other people. So you’re not alone, but you have a lot of time on your own. So your 10, 11, 12.
Zoran Lazic: Walking around here. You’re you’re you’re, I’m not like a man. I’m just a kid at that point in
Muhammad Kermalli: time. What would you say your goals were? What were you thinking about in terms of the future? Or were you
Zoran Lazic: just looking at the present? There was no future, right? It was just that, that moment you were looking at the future and like you had your dream, this is what I’m wondering, you had dreams.
Zoran Lazic: What were your dreams back then to be famous? You know what everybody else kind of has to be successful. There’s, you know, the, have these, you to get through stuff to have magical powers, I guess all this kind of stuff that you have as a kid, right? Fantasy. Yeah. Those kinds of things. And then you realize after that, you can do it within reason.
Zoran Lazic: Like you can’t jump off the building, but you can do it up here if you change your perspective. So that’s what that helped me.
Triena McGuirk: Right? You said you like around 18, you noticed the shift when, how you noticed the 1718. So what was w what was the antecedent. Matt brought that perspective shift for
Zoran Lazic: you? Like what happened?
Zoran Lazic: Well, I started reading books about, you know, self-help books, you know, perspective and stuff for word saying
Zoran Lazic: I’m like, so what happened just before
Triena McGuirk: that?
Triena McGuirk: say something fancy in this smart
Zoran Lazic: one.
Muhammad Kermalli: I need to learn these things. It’s really not. I am
Zoran Lazic: interested to know what that is. I really want to
Muhammad Kermalli: know that maybe the light at this point. Yeah. It’s the good stuff
Triena McGuirk: is
Muhammad Kermalli: the real stuff.
Zoran Lazic: I guess back then there was, I just started reading books.
Muhammad Kermalli: Come on. You just said you didn’t want to read books
Zoran Lazic: and you want it to hang out. No, she was talking about 1817, but I was talking about was a 12, 13, 14, 15, eventually. What? Just like that? Well, no, not just like that.
Zoran Lazic: I’m trying to think it’s hard. Uh, did it just get boring, hanging out with people doing the Saturday? I still hung out with them. Yeah. It’s just you just, or did it
Muhammad Kermalli: happen stance? Was there a book that was interesting or,
Zoran Lazic: yeah, I didn’t really read a lot of books until. There was a moment you’re alone.
Zoran Lazic: You’re alone. Let’s say I was watching TV and they have infomercials and one was about self-help and I say, well, let me see that book. Okay. And I read the book and it was like, Hey, this helps like, uh, you know, there’s, you know, uh, how the brain works and stuff, you know, you go for the lesser pain and pain and pleasure, blah, blah, blah.
Zoran Lazic: So you always go for the pleasure part versus the pain part. Right. And if you can control that part, if there’s two pains, you always go through the lesser pain just naturally. So that’s what, you know, you thought about. What’s what I was doing. So why don’t I push through and make it all ah, positive? I can, right?
Zoran Lazic: That was that. I don’t know if it was Anthony. Rob is one of those guys. I read a book and it was like, wow, this is amazing. Yes. Your perspective. And then from then on I read books like all the time after, and the guys would call me, you know, one of the guys say, you’re, you’re like motivating us about, Hey, you know, you can do it.
Zoran Lazic: And you know, one of the guys, one of the friends, yeah. As in my teens and twenties, because I would always be saying, Hey, uh, you know, it’s your perspective or this or that. Yeah. Because I’ll be reading these books and listening to tapes. I ordered some tapes now that I remember, and I would say, Hey, you know, we can do this and you can do this.
Zoran Lazic: And, you know, we
Triena McGuirk: can do like to change and
Zoran Lazic: create what we want. Let’s start a business, let’s do something. We can do it. And they would say, yeah, you’re the bill to be the motivator guy of the business. So those things, it’s just that I was doing that. Not everybody else was for a first week or month or whatever.
Zoran Lazic: Oh yeah. And then after he gets back to. Worrying about the minor things too. Right? What has to be
Muhammad Kermalli: an
Zoran Lazic: intrinsic experience? You’re saying no, no, no, come on. That was one of the hardest things to do was change my perspective.
Muhammad Kermalli: So this is really interesting. So thanks for asking that because it’s yeah. All of a sudden there’s something along the way for you.
Muhammad Kermalli: It was, you read a book and you, it just happened. What I wonder about is for a lot of people that when we go through it, a lot of us you’ve gone through it. We’ve all gone through it. It’s it was there. You could have decided not to pick up the book. You could have decided not to look at that opportunity and just let it pass.
Muhammad Kermalli: And what I wonder is I’m amazed
Zoran Lazic: at why did I do, like, why did I choose that book? Or why did I go ahead and
Muhammad Kermalli: read it? No, what I wonder about is a lot of times those opportunities, every story I hear, there’s always an opportunity and it’s like standing there right beside you and your peripheral, you just noticed it.
Muhammad Kermalli: At that point. What I’m curious about is I’m wondering where there all was opportunities there. I love how it works, but there’s always these opportunities and they’re always beside us. It’s just the day we decided to look over and go, I guess I’ll pick them up.
Triena McGuirk: Hey, I’m an opportunity
Zoran Lazic: perspective. Wasn’t but our perspective wasn’t that there are opportunities.
Zoran Lazic: Our perspective was there’s no opportunities out there. So we say there’s no opportunities. So what do we look like? We’re not even looking for it.
Muhammad Kermalli: There’s an opportunity.
Zoran Lazic: That’s what I find. As you start thinking about opportunities, then you start finding opportunities because you start seeing them.
Zoran Lazic: Right. But your perspective is it governs what you see in there. I’m in a hole and that’s the way it is. Yeah. I just got to claw my way out and there’s an opportunities and there’s that sometimes
Muhammad Kermalli: people
Triena McGuirk: just say I’m in a hole and that’s my life. And I can’t
Muhammad Kermalli: out. Right. So they say that
Zoran Lazic: and they don’t see the, so it’s the hardest.
Zoran Lazic: One of the hardest things to do is, is to change your mind, your perspective and view things differently. We call, sorry, I keep going back and forth. Right? I mean, it was hard. It was hard. And it took years and years. And one thing led to another book and other dah, dah, dah, and then it went back and then you fall off the wagon, you go back and back back, and then you say, well, I’m not reading anymore.
Zoran Lazic: You got to go back because I’m starting to waver to drift back into my thoughts like I was before. But
Muhammad Kermalli: there was a awareness with you that, okay, I’m falling off. I’m not reading right.
Zoran Lazic: You’re able to take that stuff on the wall. You know, you have things on the wall to remind you every day, you know, even today I still have stuff all over the walls, you know, the past doesn’t equal the future and, and you know, stuff like that, some quotes, some Henry Ford quotes and all that stuff, I’d have all over the walls.
Zoran Lazic: So when I got out of bed, there’s just that on the walls. And I read now I read, uh, three or four things that are written every day. I read that and I read it before I go to bed. So I say to myself, it’s gonna be a great day, not as a parrot, but to say, this is going to be
Triena McGuirk: amazing, that habit you created what we digest first thing in the morning.
Triena McGuirk: And right before we go to sleep, our brain is most perceptible to information and creating. So that’s why it’s so important that you feed your brain something some positive. Early in the morning because it’s going to embed itself so much more. So I
Zoran Lazic: believe in that, but yeah, when I was 10 to 15, 17, 18, you don’t believe in that.
Zoran Lazic: Right. You’re just believing, this is the way my genes are, whatever this is where I was born. That’s it. But it’s not it. You can change.
Triena McGuirk: It was your first, like actually you had this, like this, a piffy at 18 and, and read the book. What was your first actionable, um, kind of change that you did moving from?
Triena McGuirk: You know, the, the peer groups that were not necessarily always involved in positive things. What was your first action will change with that perspective change? What do you mean? Like, what did you do differently in your, like, how did you show up differently? Because you weren’t involved
Zoran Lazic: in yeah. You try to do not afraid.
Zoran Lazic: Let’s say one little thing. What was your first lesson, I guess? Right.
Zoran Lazic: I think you take a chance, you know, back then it was take a chance, you know, sing a dance. They a chance. So before I would not take any chances, even just to say hi to someone, you didn’t take a chance, anything. So with some simple things, but it was the hardest thing to do because people might say you’re shy, blah, blah, but you’re not.
Zoran Lazic: You just, you’re afraid to say hi, let’s say it’s that simple. And you might not get in return, but in your mind, you’re going to give me the worst return possible. But meanwhile, you could be saying, Hey, this is a great. But up here because of your upbringing, let’s say I wasn’t brought up to think that way.
Zoran Lazic: I was brought up to think, be paranoid don’t trust people, fear, blah, blah, blah. So when I would say something, why would I not think that you are going to be negative towards me? So I had to get over that part to be able to move forward. And that was really hard and it doesn’t happen. No, it was years. It was time.
Zoran Lazic: And then I read a quote, you know, fear is false evidence appearing real. And that was like, wow, that was another light bulb, really, you know, without being like reckless. I know if I jump off the building, I’m sure I might make it.
Triena McGuirk: There’s a natural fear to protect us, but
Zoran Lazic: it’s the fear to go ahead. It was the fear to put yourself out there.
Zoran Lazic: That was the fear from saying hi to doing anything. You have to put yourself out there. But once you get noticed, you put your say high, you, you become more, more, you start telling people your ideas and then things start changing. Because now you’re not afraid to say things. And if they say I don’t like it, it doesn’t mean it’s bad.
Zoran Lazic: They just don’t like it. But you always saw. So as I grew up, I w I was like, I grew up as a pleaser because I had to please my mother. So she would calm down and it wouldn’t get violent and stuff. So I had to, you know, not do things I wanted to do, but to be pleasing. And as I got older, it became, I was a pleaser.
Zoran Lazic: Like, what do you wanna do? Yeah to make you feel good, so you can calm down. That’s just the way I grew up. Yeah. And then I recognized, like, I’m a pleaser, like why? Yeah. From my brothers
Triena McGuirk: and that when you were in that state and it builds, you know, for lack of a better word, a form of resentment at times, because your needs,
Zoran Lazic: then it builds up and then you get, you know, hard and by, you know, you get frustrated.
Zoran Lazic: Like my grandson couldn’t hear, he just couldn’t express himself. So I couldn’t express myself or say what I want to do. It was always to please the person. So they would calm down neutralize the situation. So I was always neutralizing the situation at 10 years old. Um, what would kind of rewards
Muhammad Kermalli: that you started noticing when you just started making these shifts?
Muhammad Kermalli: So usually that’s the, this gotta be a reward. You gotta notice a change, right? Uh, otherwise we will drop the idea. So you start reading, you start changing perspective. What were the first things, you know, Changing as a result of the change you made.
Zoran Lazic: Well, while you change, you become more confident, I think, is that what you’re asking about?
Zoran Lazic: Well, you’re different. You’re
Muhammad Kermalli: just what you’re saying is just the way, so here you are, you’re you thinking this, you read this book and I know it’s hard to recall. Exactly. I’m trying to think about it. Yeah. But think about this and, and I’m curious about this, that you there’s gotta be, you know, like the pleasure you get a reward, you get the upside, you’ll
Zoran Lazic: taste the freedom.
Zoran Lazic: What was the, what was the
Muhammad Kermalli: first recollection you have? I was like, wow, that worked. And I did something different and I got a different outcome or I didn’t even have to be the first one. But one of the things you started noticing changing, cause something
Zoran Lazic: had to change in terms of what I was blaming everybody.
Zoran Lazic: It was always your fault. Once I said it was my fault. And I changed then I seen change
Muhammad Kermalli: was the change. So let’s say that’s what I’m wondering.
Zoran Lazic: Well, people were, I guess, different towards you because you were different towards them. Give me an example. It feels more friendly towards you. I would get that in return.
Zoran Lazic: Got it. It’s simple things. Right. But it’s a big, but then after smiling became hiding, when you get nervous, you would smile just to cover up rather than saying, Hey, you know, this is bothering me. And then that would become my habit. So I didn’t like that part. So you smile. So a lot of times people get nervous.
Zoran Lazic: Right, right back then they call me some people would call me, you know, guy smiley because I was always smiling. But you would stick to that plan. Yeah. And then some teachers would say, what are you smiling for so much? What do you like, what’s wrong with you? So you’d like either way, nothing, you just, you were quiet and you just smile.
Zoran Lazic: And it was hard for that part, but it was always nice. I don’t know if the teachers liked you or whatever. We were the immigrants let’s say back then. And you did well, but without trying and like geography or something, it was just good at some of those things that was so much, and you were Germany, but geography was just, I could remember for some reason I had a good memory and I would remember.
Zoran Lazic: Okay. And when you did well, and, but you didn’t study, it would get the teacher very upset for some reason. I don’t understand why just for those rates and your immigrant, blah, blah, blah. And they would try to fail you. This is what my mother told me. You’re an immigrant. They’re trying to fail you. Maybe I couldn’t speak English.
Zoran Lazic: So, you know, for that part, um, it was more about how I interacted with people. Their response to me was, was, was changing.
Muhammad Kermalli: So you’ve seen the change in the feedback that you’re getting and the change that
Zoran Lazic: you’re making and you weren’t afraid, or, or, you know, a little bit at a time, right. And then one day you just take a chance, see what happens and you took that chance and whatever it was.
Zoran Lazic: And they said, wow, it does work. And then you take a more chance and more chance than as 10 years, 1520, it goes by the chances get bigger, bigger, bigger. And then you reach a point where like, why wasn’t I thinking of this before? Like, what’s the big deal. That’s what I’m wondering, what, like, what’s the big deal, but it was the fear.
Zoran Lazic: I think it was the fear, fear, fear, cripples, you, you know, fear of even just saying hi, like you lost that chance of who knows what kind of person you are, you know, what it could have led to or anything. So you don’t take a chance. And then we don’t take a chance your, your, your jail, you don’t go anywhere.
Triena McGuirk: She was like breaking a cycle. Right. Because you could’ve easily perpetuated that negative thought process. Like Lynn brought that into your relationship with your kids.
Zoran Lazic: Well, yeah, I was on a, like, down spiral. I was,
Triena McGuirk: that’s why we’re programmed. And we don’t know always, you know what, our programming front based on our experiences and our home life, you know, if it’s good or bad, it’s just, it is what it is.
Triena McGuirk: That’s all we know. Right. So you’ve really broken that cycle with that shift starting with your age,
Zoran Lazic: but I did self-medicate okay. So the journey though, I mean, at eight years old, I started smoking. So, I mean, it did self-medicate I don’t want to drink. Yeah, I guess I drank, but not a lot. It was more about the drugs.
Zoran Lazic: And then eventually I just, I don’t know, just had enough, I guess, eventually not everybody says that.
Muhammad Kermalli: Oh, I had enough. They stay with them. It’s just too much.
Zoran Lazic: So I do see a psychiatrist right over about 12, 12, 14 years. Okay. What he says to me is that you should be under a bridge, like living there for what you’ve gone through.
Zoran Lazic: So what you’ve done is amazing for that. Um, it was just, I had friends. You need to leave, you know, what are you doing around us? You need to, if you want to truce do business, like, what are you doing here with us? Stuff like that as I was older. And then as I had a daughter with the leverage, and then as I got married later, that was the leverage and all the support systems on the.
Zoran Lazic: After it’s just at the beginning, there were lots of times where it wasn’t, this it’s amazing. And, uh, I went back to my perspective of before, because of some incident, as I forget it, this isn’t working, right. You’d go back and do the same habits. And then I says, okay, let’s try it again. And then you’d go back and say, okay, let’s try it again,
Muhammad Kermalli: doing bad
Triena McGuirk: habits
Zoran Lazic: as you’re growing and then eventually habits.
Zoran Lazic: And so there was always that reward. So, and that’s why you would do the drugs, I guess, to get that reward of, I don’t have to think about it
Triena McGuirk: socially things. You there’s so many currencies attached to it too. There’s
Zoran Lazic: you don’t have to think about it. Yeah, it was was drank you’re on drugs. You can be friendly now, whatever it was, you don’t have to think about it anymore.
Zoran Lazic: You don’t think about that. Fear. It blocks the fear and you have no fear. And as your question.
Muhammad Kermalli: So if you’re doing it, obviously you’re making changes, right? You realize, we realize that we’re making the change. And when we make the changes, there’s a change in the response and the outcome and things are moving along.
Muhammad Kermalli: What would you say? But it, we, you, you said yourself, there were times you would fall off the wagon. Can you talk a little bit about that? Because if things are going so well, why would we do something to fall off the wagon? It doesn’t happen by accident. So if you think about it, can you go back to, and I’ve done this so many times too.
Muhammad Kermalli: I’m wondering how the same reasons, but w you know, if things are going right,
Zoran Lazic: how do you fall off the wagon again? Well, there’s always a situation. There’s always a roadblock. So back then I would let that situation or roadblock control me rather than me just working my way round.
Zoran Lazic: Someone doesn’t say hi, like from the basic thing, right? Okay. This doesn’t work. They’re rude. It’s got nothing to do. Maybe they had a hard day that’s right. But you know, it does work, you know, but at that moment you’ve had a, you’ve had you’re the elephant with the string. You pull, pull, pull. Okay. Forget it.
Zoran Lazic: Hey, I can do this. You Pope. Oh, forget it. Because it gets you, you pull a little bit more, it doesn’t work yet. And then one day you pull that string. Just that little more. And it breaks. I said, wow, this was amazing. But it was so hard to go that extra mile because you always go back to loosening up the way you were before.
Zoran Lazic: So you loosen up. Okay. Like, you’re go, go, go, pull, pull, pull. Uh, I’m tired. This is a lot of work. Ah, forget. I just want to relax. Let’s go back to the way it was because it was relaxing and I have to think about things.
Zoran Lazic: So you’re drained all the time. You’re you’re draining. You’re thinking, oh, this is too much. I’m tired. I just wonder like stare at the wall at the grass
Triena McGuirk: back to the things that are familiar to us because there’s comfort and familiarity. Okay. Even if that familiarity is highly dysfunctional, like going back drinking or using drugs
Zoran Lazic: or whatever word is familiar, the reward reward is comforting
Triena McGuirk: and familiar.
Triena McGuirk: So even though we know it’s maladaptive in the long-term and to our own detriment, but it serves its purpose, but it is, it’s just like with
Zoran Lazic: anything you want to be an athlete, it’s hard. You’ve got to put in the effort and then you’d get, nah, I can’t do it. Yeah. You just gotta keep going and you go back to, but it’s hard.
Zoran Lazic: So this is a mental hard thing. And then there’s commercials and people around you saying you can. You weren’t born into money. Yeah. You didn’t go to university, stuff like that. Uh, you got to step on people like all these small sayings and then they ruin you. And then you start saying, wait a minute here.
Zoran Lazic: Why am I saying these, these sayings? I have to say other sayings, as you get older, you start thinking, I can say this, you know, every day’s a good day, you know, whatever. And you start saying those things, but you’re brought up with same tattoos, but you’re brought up saying the wealthy were born that way.
Zoran Lazic: Yeah. They have an education they’ve been taught that blah, blah, blah. They’re an immigrant. Where are you going? Who are you? You know what I mean? What do you think you are reading that book? You know, I’ve been told that, what are you reading now? What do you think you’re like smart or something? I’m like, what do you mean?
Zoran Lazic: Right. It’s just a book. Like, why can’t I read? Right. So you’re brought up thinking, this is the box and money doesn’t grow on trees that you have to steal. You have to steal, you have to take away a like that
Muhammad Kermalli: crab mentality. When you hear like, you know, when there’s a crab, trying to pull themselves out the rest of the crabs, pull them, pull them back down.
Muhammad Kermalli: And there’s this ostracizing that goes on. I know exactly what you mean. And uh, but when it’s happening right life, that’s not what clicks in our mind that this is what’s going on. So we do get pulled back in and then we’re like, oh,
Zoran Lazic: hold on a second. But that may be that you get that comfort feeling. We don’t see it as pulling back.
Zoran Lazic: And we see it as a it’s comfortable now. Right? And to get out of your comfort zone, you know, you got to turn on the air conditioning or the heat or something. And then it gets too hot. It gets too successful or something happens. And my wife would say, I mean, you deserve it. And I would think, but it’s going to good.
Zoran Lazic: I’m not comfortable. It’s fierce. And you have to go back to your comfort level, which was whatever it was for you at that at that time. So you do things to sabotage, I guess yourself. And you say things maybe, and as to get back to that six year old and eight year old to feel comfort and stuff. That’s what I find is
Muhammad Kermalli: interesting is that like, while we break the cycle, the breaking of the cycle is not one move.
Muhammad Kermalli: No, it’s like, you got a break and then you fall back. Then you gotta break again. Then you gotta break again and you gotta break again. And then it gets
Zoran Lazic: a little
Zoran Lazic: So I tell, you know, I want to have a talk with my psychiatrist, say, oh, this was the straw that broke my back. He says, well, wasn’t, that was what were the other things that built up to that, you know? And it wasn’t, and I’ve thought about it. What wasn’t that it was all the other stuff that built, built, built, but now it’s Mount Everest.
Muhammad Kermalli: So it wasn’t that even when we get to those points, we don’t have that psychiatrist to tell us.
Zoran Lazic: We’re not in that boat, but some people don’t think they, they need to go, this is it. This is the other thing. I mean, why would I go, I can handle
Muhammad Kermalli: it. So what got you to think that it’s okay to go family back then?
Muhammad Kermalli: It wasn’t the same as how we see therapy
Zoran Lazic: today. I mean, it was a big secret back then and there was a big secret. Right.
Muhammad Kermalli: But you knew, right. So
Zoran Lazic: how are you okay with it? I wasn’t afraid I didn’t want to go either, but it was, I just had to go, it was starting to have meltdowns and it just wasn’t working out.
Zoran Lazic: I was getting depressed, right
Muhammad Kermalli: stuff. Well, when did you start saying, Hey, I got to go or I’ll go this time. What got you to think that? Well, family early. Okay. So you had some influence there?
Zoran Lazic: Yeah. My wife was having a major operation. Okay. I didn’t think she was going to make it. My mother was saying I was abusing my, my daughter and that was in a custody battle.
Zoran Lazic: She was on the mother side saying I was brainwashing. It just, it was really bad. And the police would say, well, why wouldn’t I believe your mother for her? Right. My wife used to, well, she still does, uh, a deaf and hard of hearing that teacher. And she would do sign language. And my mother would say, that’s a cult.
Zoran Lazic: Those are cult signs. So she would tell the police, these guys aren’t in a cult. They do all these signs and they have kids, blah, blah, blah. So they come to our house, you know, all those little things. I was going to have a meltdown. So that’s about all that. So how hard it was then that’s all good. But at that moment it was bad.
Zoran Lazic: It was, it was, it was, I mean, they’re coming in your house, but your mother’s on their side because you broke away, let’s say, yeah. And you’re in a call. Like, why wouldn’t they believe them until they came to the house and said like, what’s she talking about? Like, there’s no cult signs, like what’s going on here.
Zoran Lazic: And then she did it again. And then eventually they would say, well, if you do it again, we have to charge her. ’cause this is, this is, I mean, they investigated dada.
Muhammad Kermalli: So it, it, it’s all of that leads to the opportunity of going to a therapist
Zoran Lazic: from, yeah. That part, just to keep it simple, it’d be like all that, that pushed me
Muhammad Kermalli: over the edge.
Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. To that point, which gets you so much further. Like, we don’t see it as that necessarily like, oh, thank you
Zoran Lazic: for that. But, but it was a, it was a good thing.
Triena McGuirk: Yeah. So what open up, you said something opened up after you went through that experience. What opened up? You said I’m just going back a few minutes ago, you were saying by bad experience, going through the separation and divorce.
Triena McGuirk: And that was kind of something that
Zoran Lazic: we call leverage,
Muhammad Kermalli: leverage leverage
Zoran Lazic: by that I got leveraged from my daughter because now I didn’t have to worry about what anybody said. I just have to make sure she was safe. So that was the leverage. And then I quit everything. I didn’t have to care what anybody thought that was my leverage.
Zoran Lazic: Okay. And then I quit all the drugs, like all that. Because that was my leverage. I could do it now without having to explain in detail, I don’t want to drink anymore or smoke anymore, whatever it was. I just had to say, I can’t do it in front of me. It was an easier way to get out of that. That was my leverage right now.
Zoran Lazic: It was easier instead of explaining what to do it. Yeah. So, you know, it was leveraged, right.
Muhammad Kermalli: Is it because you didn’t want to do it? It was because of your daughter. Yeah, it was both. It was
Triena McGuirk: to say, I don’t want to do it because of my dog, all the
Zoran Lazic: guys, you know, they wouldn’t swear in front of her if I didn’t want to smoke.
Zoran Lazic: Hey, I don’t worry about it. It’s okay. You know, I got my daughter with me and I’d carry her around in the, uh, the carrier and this was in my thirties. So it’s, as I was growing, I would leave and come back, leave and come back, leave and come back, leave and come back. And then one day it was over. I just left.
Zoran Lazic: But at that moment helped me. It was in my early thirties when I broke the string or the chain right from my mother. Which was you’re 30 and you’re living at, you know, your you’ll move back home because it was comfortable, but he didn’t like it, but it was comfortable. So even if it was painful, it was still comfortable.
Zoran Lazic: It was what you, you knew, you know what that syndrome, right? You want to get away. But when you’re away, it’s not, it’s not comfortable to go back
Muhammad Kermalli: and say, you would go back and you went back home. What do you mean too? I went
Zoran Lazic: back and live with my mother again. Got it. So I move out and go back, right? Oh, it’s not working or it’s not comfortable.
Zoran Lazic: It’s just, it was like, you’re addicted to that feeling of, I don’t know, you’re depressed, but I mean, you don’t want to be depressed, but you become depressed because so used to it, that feeling of what’s happening, it’s all bad. So you always go to that because it’s familiar, it’s a comfort zone and the comfort zone, you have to break out of that.
Zoran Lazic: And that’s what’s the hard part is
Triena McGuirk: because sometimes the things that are comforting are actually toxic for us.
Zoran Lazic: So your friends and stuff you’re comfortable. Yeah. You don’t want to go somewhere else and do something new because now it’s new. You have to learn it. It may not work. It gets complicated. This is comfortable.
Zoran Lazic: I’m just going to relax. And then later on in life, you complain, why am I always relaxing? So you move and you say, why it’s uncomfortable and go back. And then one day you have some, some extra leverage and you say, forget it, this isn’t working out. And you just, when you get that feeling of, I got to go back, so I’m going to push another day and then another day, another day, another day, and then you forget about that.
Muhammad Kermalli: So it wasn’t any more that you were only just focusing on yourself, you were also
Zoran Lazic: not focusing on, you had some leverage, leverage, leverage was leverage. So you need leverage for anything. What if you don’t have leverage, how do you, how about you find leverage? So how do you find leverage? Like, so, you know, I found leverage in, uh, like I said, I, uh, she smelled like smoke and I was like, Wait a minute here.
Zoran Lazic: She’s a child who, what, she shouldn’t smell like smoke. So that was my leverage. And every day, you know, I just quit right there about 25 years, let’s say, and I just quit. And, uh, that was my leverage. I would always think of her when I want to smoke, like what it has to do with her thought of that. That was a motivation leverage.
Zoran Lazic: So I had to get it from the outside. And then eventually I motivated myself eventually as time went on, way more,
Triena McGuirk: we’ve spoken about this is that when I had to take action on something, you know, I had more love and a bigger and just, um, you know, dedication to do well by my son, much more than I
Zoran Lazic: did myself.
Zoran Lazic: But when you’re a kid, the leverage might be somebody famous than they, they became famous or, or they started a business from nothing. That’s my leverage. Anybody could do it. That’s right. That’s your leverage. So that’s why I go back to find something anybody could do. You know, the idea was, you know, anybody could do it, you find it.
Zoran Lazic: You have to find some leverage, some kind of leverage, any kind of leverage to, and then the fear was leveraged there. So leverage could be the opportunity, right? He just didn’t see that opportunity. Maybe just didn’t see the leverage that was right there. And, uh, you know, I would always blame everybody
Muhammad Kermalli: else.
Muhammad Kermalli: My dad always used to say, seek, and you shall find, yeah. Referring to a parking spot. We never we’d be looking for a parking spot in a really busy place. He’d be like, seek. And you shall find, I keep six, still sticks in my head. We were talking about parking spots, but
Zoran Lazic: it’s for everything. But if you’re not
Muhammad Kermalli: looking at you find the parking spot right, then, then it’d be like, seek, seek.
Muhammad Kermalli: But if
Zoran Lazic: you’re not looking, how are you going to find it? You’re not looking to seek it. Right. You know, you don’t know you fall in until you hit the ground. Or you don’t know you’re sleeping until you wake up. So that’s like, you know, like you don’t know, they want you to find out and say, wow, I’ve been sleeping all this time.
Zoran Lazic: And then you get upset with yourself and that’s the leverage. I’m going to make sure, you know, to move forward. We do this
Muhammad Kermalli: when you would call it, fall off the bandwagon or fall off the wagon. You ever look back at a past version of yourself and say, oh, look at that person. That person had it all together.
Muhammad Kermalli: And here I am again.
Zoran Lazic: Do you ever do that? I don’t know if I had it altogether. It was, uh, it was, it was up and down constantly
Muhammad Kermalli: back. Did you ever look back and go, how do I get there
Zoran Lazic: again? No, because I never want to go back there. Well, I’m talking about like when you were
Muhammad Kermalli: making progress and then you would say you’d fall off right now when you’re off.
Muhammad Kermalli: When you fall off, do you ever look at the person that was doing well before and going? I don’t get
Zoran Lazic: back to that. No, because I wanted to get. More than that. Sure. So I never went back to that. I always was like, how am I going to get to there? But not like that.
Muhammad Kermalli: Right. Oh, okay. Right. How do
Zoran Lazic: I get there that, you know, that point, but not like that, to be able to, instead of go here.
Zoran Lazic: Yeah. And you fall off again. So how did I, what happened? I got to get to that, but not fall off again. So I don’t want to be like that. I want to be a little bit more something, you know, what am I doing? You’re using your own
Muhammad Kermalli: self as your reference now, as you start moving along, that’s what I keep hearing.
Muhammad Kermalli: It’s you really, you’re using yourself as the reference. You’re not really looking at anywhere
Zoran Lazic: else. So I eventually learned that, um, I’m my competition, right? That’s a good point. Yeah. So there’s growth and not at all that kind of great stuff, but I’m always competing. Let’s say where myself, I call it iterations
Muhammad Kermalli: so that I don’t feel like sometimes it’s like, you know, when we try to go.
Muhammad Kermalli: Back or better. Sometimes we do get better in some ways, but in other ways, we’re not that other version was still better in some other ways. So I can still learn from that. And then there’s just iterations and this iteration stronger on this, but maybe weaker on this. And then the third iteration is stronger on
Zoran Lazic: here, but there’s lots of times where you’re like, what for, but I just relax, you know, watch the grass grow.
Zoran Lazic: Like, why am I always thinking about moving forward and you know, more and more and more and more and more like, well, whoa, before, so
Muhammad Kermalli: after your daughter gets you past this point, you start feeling like
Zoran Lazic: you’re not, you’re hitting that. And then you have family, you know, you got, you know, you get married. And then the, you know, my wife was a big supporter.
Zoran Lazic: I mean, you have to have some support. Yes, definitely like a support. And then the psychiatrist, like, I don’t really, you don’t have a lot of friends. Let’s say it was more, you know, after, cause they never had a family. So I always wanted.
Muhammad Kermalli: You talked about singing in touch with a group of
Zoran Lazic: friends still today.
Zoran Lazic: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Like every, let’s say there’s a birthday or something. All the things that you are doing, you know, we can just still go to the birthday parties every once in a while. You know, it’s just, just because, you know, we, we don’t have the same lifestyle or the same idea or whatever it is this maybe we can’t hang out.
Zoran Lazic: Right. Yeah. That’s what I learned over over time. So as soon as we meet five years, three years later, we just continue on just like it was back then. Right. We just continue on it. Wasn’t nothing, no animosity or anything. Like where were you? And all that stuff. No, we just continue on. There was no, you know, who are you seeing?
Zoran Lazic: Like where are you hanging out with? It was just space and we just continue on and was like nothing ever happened. Well,
Muhammad Kermalli: but the most important part was that you were there for each other, even at that time, even though whatever else was going on. And the other activity, the more important part was that you were reaching.
Zoran Lazic: Yeah. So we were there. We were family, I guess, right? Yeah. Your chosen family. And that’s the most valuable part of that. And that was the hard part is too. So you have to leave your, your mother’s family to break up. Then you have to leave your friends, family, and that to move on. Now you’ve got your family, you’ve got your family.
Zoran Lazic: But the thing was, when I was younger, some of the friends would say, you know, what are you doing? Hanging out here, drinking and smoking every day. Like you keep talking about business and all this stuff, you can’t do that here with us. You got to leave. If you want to be that you got to go and hang out and talk to people that are in business.
Zoran Lazic: You’re not gonna learn business here. Right? Like, how am I going to learn business really positive?
Triena McGuirk: That’s great. But I was kind of like a form of rejection for like positive push
Zoran Lazic: to say, well, you’re not going to learn business sitting in the laundry room, smoking weed and drinking every night. No, like you could some call
Muhammad Kermalli: you out or calling you up
Zoran Lazic: and you have.
Zoran Lazic: We’re not doing anything. So it was more about putting your ideas into action and learning about what you were saying, you know, they were, yeah.
Triena McGuirk: They heard it. Any of your business ideas into action.
Zoran Lazic: Yeah. That’s where I’m at now. Okay. Well, I had lots of different businesses, right? I had lots of different businesses to start and, and it wouldn’t work at the start and wouldn’t work and started winning work and start more work.
Zoran Lazic: It’s just that I kept going back to dogs all the time. All your businesses were dog. No. I had a, uh, media business. I used to do websites and then I had a, um, selling business. We would sell the, say anything. We could stuff like that. Right now. We just keep trying to think of something that was passionate for you.
Zoran Lazic: Who would just, it was so simple, but it wasn’t at that moment. What do I want to like dogs? What do you mean when you say it wouldn’t work and it just went hard and if this isn’t working, let’s try a different business. So I would stop and try different business. What was the. To stop and try something new again.
Zoran Lazic: I mean, in the
Muhammad Kermalli: business, like when you would get hard, what do you
Zoran Lazic: mean? It wasn’t progressing as fast enough. It wasn’t, it wasn’t worried, I guess this, or maybe I don’t want to do this anymore. It’s just, it’s not, it’s not there. Or I’ve learned what I needed to learn. Let’s go and try something else.
Muhammad Kermalli: But I think I also see that it wasn’t something that you were passionate about.
Muhammad Kermalli: That’s what a lot of it comes up at that moment when it gets hard. It’s always that that gets us through or gets us to start focusing back on that. Like what happened? Why am I doing
Zoran Lazic: this? What am I really? This wasn’t. Yeah, it was good. Good, good. Uh, this is I’m burning out on it. It just doesn’t work. Yeah, it was work, then it became work, came work.
Zoran Lazic: Yeah. It wasn’t like, oh yeah. Let’s
Muhammad Kermalli: pick up things at every one of those junctures, like you
Zoran Lazic: take with you to learn. Right. And then when I started this business, that was one of the hardest things. What is this business? So we work with dogs, I train dogs and we have a facility. We have daycare for dogs. We still have boarding.
Zoran Lazic: It’s just with the COVID. We went from 11 employees to, to oh, wow. So you’re not boarding, we’re only open eight to five, but we did move to young street, young and Lawrence, which is amazing. I’m just saying, so walking up and down there years ago, there’s never a, but never thought that I would be right there was that the book, the Alchemist is that actually in my nightstand book that I remembered that it was a good one to
Muhammad Kermalli: come back to.
Muhammad Kermalli: But it, and it was always right there. Yeah. But like, you know, in a
Zoran Lazic: different iteration of yourself, it was just one of the hardest things to do was to have your own idea. Yeah. And for people to support you. So you have to have the family, friends let’s say, or some other support, like a psychiatrist to help you.
Zoran Lazic: Everybody was supporting a little bit differently and you support your, they would help you. You can do it or don’t worry about it versus having the fear and worry. You’re always worried. So I, so let’s say I’m driving and someone cuts me off. I mad, but I don’t know what day they’ve had. Right. Maybe they’re maybe they were going to the hospital for their child in the middle of the rage.
Zoran Lazic: No, I don’t do that anymore.
Zoran Lazic: So now I don’t do that because I’m thinking after, well, what if they had to get an emergency? Like, why am I blaming them? Just take my time. Yeah. So I would always be. You could like, I would always snap no quick. Right? So I wasn’t at peace and all that kind of stuff. He just was always blaming other people.
Zoran Lazic: It’s not because
Muhammad Kermalli: the person cut you off it’s because someone else,
Zoran Lazic: yeah. Well, what was, yeah. Like, why am I at this state that, and you come in front of them, like, what’s the big deal? Well, so it was so personal. You cut me off. Right? So look, what’s the big deal. Why, why is that so hard? It’s gotta be some other things that are going on.
Zoran Lazic: Yeah. Know, it’s not your fault. So, uh, so one of the hardest things was to always say it’s so it was my fault. Do you still go walking on young street? Well, I take the dogs for a walk. Yeah. Oh, like
Muhammad Kermalli: before you’re, when you’re walking, do you ever see kids walking around and going, looking at a kid or looking at somebody going, you know, cause there are, do you ever see that around you?
Muhammad Kermalli: Like you’re like, okay. I remember that person that’s that reminds me of me
Zoran Lazic: sometimes. I don’t want to remember. I. Like a lot of stuff. I don’t remember. Like a lot of it it’s just that there was good days, but a lot of bad days. That’s
Muhammad Kermalli: what you say when you forgive you also like
Zoran Lazic: completely, I forgot a lot of stuff.
Zoran Lazic: I mean, I don’t talk about, like, I don’t think I’ve ever talked about some of the stuff I’ve talked about. Not even to anybody really. I don’t really talk about it. Just, uh, I don’t feel, I need to talk about it. It just brings back stuff. I don’t remember. And then I remember, and maybe like, uh, when I, my mother told me this isn’t your father, do you want to know him?
Zoran Lazic: And I would say, no, not really. Like, w what’s the point now? Like why? Like, I don’t want to know him. Did he make
Triena McGuirk: any initiative or to stay in
Zoran Lazic: contact with, you know, he was in like Europe, he’s running all over the place. Who was he? I don’t know. All I know is his mind was that he was a musician or something.
Zoran Lazic: I was like, oh, okay. So w why telling me now? I was like, all, this was like a big lie, and now you want to fix it with, uh, telling me who, like I forget it. And she was like every three or four years. Do you want to know what he’s doing? No, not really. Like, what’s it going to make a difference with us now?
Zoran Lazic: Can I ask you
Muhammad Kermalli: something? Um, cause I’ve wanted to ask you this. And a lot of times with parents and, and children, this happens, like I hear it a lot. I’ve even had the same thoughts myself.
Zoran Lazic: Okay. Like, yeah. And
Muhammad Kermalli: you’re saying things and I’m like, wow, this is hitting the same note over and over again
Zoran Lazic: with me.
Muhammad Kermalli: And, uh, I wonder, cause you talk about changing perspective. So now I’m asking like this iteration of. Um, with your mom, cause I’ve heard you make reference to it repeatedly. Like how would you change your perspective on your mom then? Because if that’s, what,
Zoran Lazic: if that’s maybe all the tapes, my perspective of her net, I mean differently with your
Muhammad Kermalli: mom, because that’s the way when you would go back, she would still be there for you.
Muhammad Kermalli: She brought you to this point. Yeah. She made this arrangement with this other stranger for you, maybe she was controlling. Maybe she just loved you and wanted to protect
Zoran Lazic: So I just didn’t like the way I just didn’t like what she did. Right. Not the person she was. But then I would think about while the war that, uh, whatever.
Zoran Lazic: And then as I grew, I didn’t take it personally anymore, but that took so many years of trying to understand that this was her lifestyle. Right. And in her mind she was doing the best she could. But in my mind it was the worst thing. So I have to break that cycle if possible. And, uh, it wasn’t the greatest thing.
Zoran Lazic: I mean, she didn’t make it, she got COVID right at the beginning and she didn’t make it right. She was in a long-term care facility. But even to that day, she was still, there was no budget. No, there was no, it was still up here. Okay. You know, what are you doing? I mean, I had a business and she didn’t even know she didn’t care.
Zoran Lazic: I show her the building, you know, I, all I wanted her to say was, this is amazing. Yeah. She never said that ever. And I would say, I mean, you didn’t even say it was a good dad and her response was while they didn’t say you were a bad one. I was like, what, what do you mean? So all those things goes back to, he just wanted, I guess, hurt to say, wow.
Zoran Lazic: Right. Yeah. But she never said, well, yeah. Like for anything, unless it was geared towards us being.
Zoran Lazic: So she never really said, wow, like, you know, look at this place. Or, uh, oh, uh, you know, I’d give her like, uh, in the early years, like a calendar you’d have a calendar, your business just, you know, and she wouldn’t even, he wouldn’t even hang it up and I’m like, what’s like, what, why don’t you do that? Right.
Zoran Lazic: Why wouldn’t you just say, at least, you know, he did good. Something, any of that? I don’t know something. Yeah. So it was never that, so maybe that was, uh, she gave me the leverage negative leverage, I guess, you know, for that stuff. But you never got that because you were always neutralizing her situation. So she would be, so you would please.
Zoran Lazic: So when you get upset sadness
Triena McGuirk: to that, that she lived in whole
Zoran Lazic: life was bad. It was, she could have you going get all kinds of that cycle for her. So she was always in a negative upset mood all the time, constantly
Muhammad Kermalli: Tony Robbins. Right. And one of my favorite lines, I think that that is attributed to him is change, expectation to appreciation.
Muhammad Kermalli: And the world changes in an instant. Yeah. Right. So we have these expectations of our parents to say this to us. And then when they don’t. It’s like, like everyone else can say it, but if they don’t right, then it’s like, that’s the expectation for it. But because it’s apparent. Yeah. It’s my right to expect that from my parents.
Muhammad Kermalli: Right. And then when that doesn’t
Zoran Lazic: happen. Right. And then when you’re growing up, because I’m an only child you’re, you’re expected to fix things you’re 10 or 12. Like, I don’t know how to fix this drawer. I just want to go and hang out with my friends. Well, why don’t you fix this? You need to do that. You need to do stuff around the house.
Zoran Lazic: Like, uh, like, uh, like your, the, the, the amount of the hosts, which was hard again. So he couldn’t really do hang out with your friends, but you didn’t want to stay home and fix things. So you were kind of stuck. Can
Muhammad Kermalli: I have experience, right? You could probably say I learned something from the head.
Zoran Lazic: What did I learn from that?
Zoran Lazic: How to fix
Muhammad Kermalli: things and whatever else, like it, wasn’t fun, but that’s what you.
Zoran Lazic: And, and it was very demanding and it was a lot of guilt. There was a lot of guilt. There was a lot of guilt. You didn’t do this for me. Why can’t you do this? It was a guilt constantly. And that’s, what’s a controlling thing. So she controlled through guilt.
Zoran Lazic: So that’s why I don’t put, I try not to put guilt on my kids. Yes. I try to explain no guilt. I don’t want to give you a guilt trip. You know, I don’t want to do that. It’s just that sometimes my wife might say you starting to sound like your mother
Zoran Lazic: To give it a guilt trip or something to, whoa, wait a minute here. So you’re always, you’re always correcting yourself. I mean, for some reason you always go back to the simplest way, which is that
Triena McGuirk: we were programmed, right? So like in the first five years of our lives, our brain is hardwired for life for that.
Triena McGuirk: So it, what had happens to us in those five years are so fundamental to who we are, the rest of our journey. So it’s the rest of our journey is often times when we have such negative experiences, hard-wiring us, the rest of Virginia is often undoing, but
Zoran Lazic: we don’t realize you have to work for things. Does it just come to you, you have to work for us.
Zoran Lazic: So what you said earlier was you work, work, work, and then you find that opportunity or the leverage because you’ve worked, whatever it is, work, work, work, work, work, work with marriage, friends, anything you have to work at it. Even just being in shape or a basket, whatever it is, you have to work at it.
Zoran Lazic: You’re not just born with that talent. You have to work at it.
Muhammad Kermalli: I love that. I love that. Uh, and we work on it, but I also think that it’s there inside of us. We got to work on it to develop it, but it’s
Zoran Lazic: yeah, there’s always something you say, you know what, eventually this is what I need to do. You always have this feeling that says, I got to do this.
Zoran Lazic: This is what I’m going to
Triena McGuirk: do your story now, because I didn’t know you before we came in to the room, really? We had a brief conversation and you mentioned something about dogs. Um, when we were sitting down a few, like prior to coming in here and it was about how, um, When you’re training them, you don’t reward them with like food or treats, but it’s any kind of reward is affection and love and, uh, or compassion, depending on what the moment is with the dog.
Triena McGuirk: And I just, I just see that connection too, with like, that’s also another shift from how you were raised to see what you’re doing in your,
Zoran Lazic: so for me, the hunger shouldn’t be a motivator. Yeah. So as you’re, you know, grew up in poverty, let’s say hunger, shouldn’t be a motivator, but when you want to teach a dog, something, a lot of people will use hunger as a motivator for me is like, you can’t do that.
Zoran Lazic: That’s abusive for me, but a lot of great things are done with treats or food rewards. So I don’t knock them. Yeah. It’s just that for me, I can’t do that. I want to give them affection and I there’s a different relationship between us. I want to gain their. Which is the reward is a social report, the food reward.
Zoran Lazic: So there’s always a reward relationship, right? The relationship building is so important when you and the dog or the cat or whatever it is, but dogs work great for me. So when I go and I teach people, they’ll always say, why don’t you use treats? I just don’t because I want to do the, I guess what, you
Triena McGuirk: always have affection with you.
Zoran Lazic: Yeah. And I can’t carry food everywhere I go. And all that stuff. There’s no way it’s not practical. And it’s harder. It’s just that a lot of people want the quick way, which is I bribe you. Yeah. But that,
Muhammad Kermalli: I’m just saying I can’t help, but see all of these things from your past, can you keep using them as leverage, uh, to do what you’re doing today and how it all comes back and then. So the last word is when, you know, you said earlier as well, that you wouldn’t change a thing about all of it
Zoran Lazic: now.
Muhammad Kermalli: Seriously.
Muhammad Kermalli: So, you know, but now I wouldn’t change. Take a look at the present. You wouldn’t change
Zoran Lazic: one thing at all. I’m about to check you on this, but go ahead and change. Well, even that, right, when you just thought, you know, I can’t say right, you wouldn’t change, but then I would have the family I have, I wouldn’t have the kids.
Zoran Lazic: I wouldn’t have the stuff. So many variables, so many things. Maybe I would have done stump differently maybe, but I don’t know. Maybe not. Right. So when I really think about it, yeah, maybe it would have changed, but nah, not really. Yeah, but nothing’s a hundred percent. Cause later on today I might say, you know what?
Zoran Lazic: I may be able to change that. Yeah.
Muhammad Kermalli: Like you go back and tinker with
Zoran Lazic: one little thing, that’s going to ruin everything else. All of this that you have. We don’t know that how the, so eventually I became happy with how my mother treated me or content or, you know, I dealt with it because this is how I am now.
Zoran Lazic: I wouldn’t be like this.
Triena McGuirk: It’s just
Zoran Lazic: right. Know all the mistakes, all those things at the time was brutal. Yeah. That’s amazing now isn’t it now? Yeah. Now, because I can look back, right. I had, oh yeah. So what we learn as time goes on is I shouldn’t have to wait five years to laugh at what I’m doing now, which is the hard part, right?
Zoran Lazic: Because every time I think about it. So, so, so I kind of understand dying a thousand times. If I think about it a thousand times every time I think about that bad part, I’ve died a thousand times. So maybe that’s some of the reasons why I don’t go back to the past. Cause I keep dying a thousand times. I don’t want to, I just want to move forward now.
Zoran Lazic: I don’t want to go back all the time. I just want to move forward if possible. So that’s why I really don’t talk about it, but the past, well, um, it’s so true, but
Muhammad Kermalli: you’re able to reflect on it and start seeing how it all adds up and takes you to where you are today. Again, it’s no, no, it wasn’t done without a lot of hard work on your part to
Zoran Lazic: do it is the hardest
Muhammad Kermalli: thing to do, but you did it.
Muhammad Kermalli: And I, as I was hoping, you could give a message to people who struggle with changing perspective. That’s what, the biggest thing I
Zoran Lazic: get out of today. Sure. Don’t live in the fear. Don’t be afraid of. Make change your friend. Let’s say don’t, don’t, don’t be afraid to change or don’t be afraid of anything within reason.
Zoran Lazic: Yeah. Just do it then move
Triena McGuirk: on. Action. Courage. You’re in
Zoran Lazic: action. The fear of putting yourself out there saying, you know, they’re greatly just do it. Yeah. Put yourself out there. And if it doesn’t work doesn’t mean it didn’t work forever. It’s just that didn’t work. Try something else. Try this, try that, try this.
Zoran Lazic: Eventually you might get to that part, but you can’t get there. You know the thing you have to put your foot forward and go that way if possible. So don’t let fear guide you, take a chance, put yourself out there and see what happens. It’s very true. You know? So when I went to young street, I put these big awnings.
Zoran Lazic: Oh, and you know, it’s got the company name and all that stuff. And I was like, oh my God, somebody would walk by and see, like, what is this? So it’s not like I put myself out there because there’s a young street now. And I counted the cars about 58,000 cars a day would pass by the center. Like, we’re like, we’re right on young people.
Zoran Lazic: The sidewalk is right there. 58,000. So 1.6 million a month, just cars. Yeah. Nevermind the people in the cars, they might have foot traffic. Right. So when I thought he was a lot of advertising. Yeah. So it was like, like I’m out there. The
Muhammad Kermalli: first, the reason to increase the rent. It’s already, it’s already, it’s already, it’s already there.
Muhammad Kermalli: It’s already marked,
Zoran Lazic: but you put yourself out there and that neighborhood, you know, there’s different expectations, right? You know, so you put yourself out there the first couple of months, I was like, oh, I should have put that up there. And there was, yeah, it’s amazing now. And then people would say, oh yeah, the cars they’re purple.
Zoran Lazic: And I wanted them to be able to notice it. So yeah. You know where the purple awnings are. Yeah. And we’re right at the corner of wool, born and young. Right. So we have the side of the building in the front beautiful access. So it was, if you continue
Muhammad Kermalli: to stay true to
Zoran Lazic: yourself, that’s possible. It is possible, but you don’t know, you know, yourself, I guess, maybe evolve.
Zoran Lazic: So, you know what I mean? You always grow, I guess
Muhammad Kermalli: I really appreciate no problem walking us down that path. And it’s a it’s I think it’s fantastic. I’ll take a chance. And, uh, I’ve learned so much from it on changing perspective and how we got to take ownership
Zoran Lazic: of that. Um, that’s right. It’s about the ownership.
Zoran Lazic: It’s always our fault.
Triena McGuirk: So many ways, like we all have similar stories and similar. Regardless of where we come from. Like the three of us come from totally different places, but the same thing,
Zoran Lazic: but what I’ve learned also is why is my emergency more important than your emergency? And everybody’s got an emergency.
Zoran Lazic: Yeah. So I should look at yours rather than me or my emergency. I’ve got to get there first. Like I do. I know what your emergency is, everything through the lens of compassion. Right? So it’s about, you know, the perspective and about, uh, the experience