Zero Adversity Training


It’s Not What Happens, But How You Respond to What Happens That Ultimately Determines the Substance and Quality of Your Personal and Professional Life

In 1987, Michael J. Russ was pursuing a commissioned sales career, unaware that he was under the influence of a thought virus, struggling against inevitable change, and attempting to exert control and influence over situations and circumstances that were beyond his ability to modify.

These moves were unfulfilling, demoralizing, and drained personal resources he needed to achieve success. When he realized how his perceptions, responses, and inner conversations had been depleting personal resources to the point of physical and emotional exhaustion, he developed a personalized solution he now refers to as Zero AdversityTM.

Zero Adversity at Lynn University Conservatory of Music

What is Zero AdversityTM?

It’s the dialogue/training Michael uses to share his approach and response to events which reduce stress; manage the flow of time, energy, and productivity; and cultivate greater work-life balance.

The two practical methods that comprise Zero AdversityTM are:

The Zero AdversityTM Method

When exposed to unfortunate, challenging, and crisis situations, this practical 3-step method serves as a framework you apply to stimulate perceptions and expedited responses which sustain the force and integrity of personal resources and generate gratifying outcomes.

The Self-Talk System

You have thousands of inner conversations each day. When these conversations conflict with intentions, goals, and objectives, they undermine them and erode confidence and moral. This straight-forward system helps you shift your inner conversation from the background to the foreground where it becomes a driving force that supports you and your actions.

Suggested Zero AdversityTM dialogue topic areas for students and adults include:

  • Managing Change
  • Achieving Peak Efficiency
  • Strengthening Confidence & Self-Image
  • Leadership
  • Bullying
  • Neutralizing Crisis
  • Self-Esteem
  • Achieving Team Cohesion
  • Sales Success
  • Overcoming Adversity
  • Handling Peer Pressure

Each Zero AdversityTM dialogue is curated for your specific audience, timeframe, topic, objectives, and challenges, to ensure an inspiringly relevant presentation that elevates awareness and connects with the hearts and minds of attendees.

 Outcomes from applying the methods presented during Zero AdversityTM include:

  • A greater command of time, energy, & attitude.
  • Increased mental flexibility and agility.
  • Expanded productivity.
  • A greater balance between personal and professional life.
  • Deeper relational connections.
  • A personalized approach to life challenges.
  • Greater happiness, freedom, and fulfillment.
  • Additional clarity, confidence, and control during challenges.
  • A shift in focus towards what we can control and what is possible.
  • A focused, supportive, and purposeful inner conversation.
  • The ability to immediately recognize when events require no response.
  • The clarity to eliminate past adversity and manage future adversity.

Who Can Benefit?

The experience of adversity is universal, so the methods presented can be applied by everyone, regardless of age.

Students in higher education are experiencing new manifestations of adversity: financial worries, life decisions, peer pressure, test anxiety, and living independently. Zero Adversity™ gives them methods they can personalize to efficiently dispense with the stuff that prevents them from living and succeeding on their terms.

 Go Beyond Motivation to Application

When you become stuck in quicksand, you don’t need motivation; you need a rope! Zero AdversityTM is a tangible tool anyone can apply to pull themselves through unfortunate and challenging events in a positive and healthy way.

People are more likely to take action when concepts are practical and easy to use. In part one of his dialogue, Michael uses inspiring anecdotes, visuals, and personal experiences to share his methods. In part two, he pivots to demonstrating how attendees can apply them to make everyday life less stressful and much more productive and fulfilling.

Expose your audience to something they would never expect—an uplifting interactive dialogue that conveys practical, relevant, and expedient methods they can apply to counter the stuff that robs them of their time, happiness, and freedom.

With Zero AdversityTM, anything is possible.


Michael’s dialogue is adapted from Zero Adversity: 3 Practical Steps to Freedom, Fulfillment, and Creating an Authentic Life, the international bestselling book that documents how he developed and applied his methods to free himself from the stuff that gets in the way of experiencing the very best life has to offer. (Quantity discounts for his books are available upon request.)

To inquire about exposing your students, employees, leaders, executives, administrators, or attendees to Zero Adversity™, please call 850-866-6965 or send an email to

Praise for Zero Adversity™

Do you think students at other colleges & universities would benefit from hearing Michael speak?   (Yes) 100% (No) 0% ~FSU, Panama City, Florida–Student Feedback

Hearing Michael speak was perfect timing for me! ~Silvia J, Lynn University, Conservatory of Music

“I AM going to work hard, I CAN be the best, I HAVE what it takes, and I WILL succeed! ~ Facebook post from a Lynn University music student after experiencing Zero Adversity™

I brought Michael in to help me create a more cohesive group of employees and he was amazing! They are still quoting him. ~Laurie Kelly, General Manager, Tides of Destin.

Thank you for a motivating and inspiring presentation to our Sports & Golf Sales teams. Your messages about Powerful Sales and Powerful Self-Talk were right on target and very well received by our cast members. A number of people came up to me in the days following and told me they were committed to improving their self-talk, sales and interpersonal skills. You should be very proud to be able to create such positive influences on people’s lives and a companies businesses performance. ~Steve Harker, Manager of Golf Sales & Performance, Walt Disney World Golf

Thank you for a wonderful inspiring teaching to the classes last week. When you speak to large groups, I am sure you wonder if what you said was heard and whether it made a difference in anybody’s life. Well, in our case at the college, both are true. The students are still talking about your very practical and systematic approach to making positive life changes. I know the students heard because they are correcting each other as they seek to keep their inner conversations consistent with their spoken goals. ~Kent J. Brown, Executive Director, Professional Golfers Career College, 2003

The Young Rider Graduate Program was one of the most influential weekends of my dressage career. Your information and words of wisdom would have taken me a lifetime to figure out on my own. I truly enjoyed having you as a speaker and wanted to thank you for talking with us. ~Hillary M

“After Michael showed me how his process could be applied to my stressful work situation, I immediately felt a huge weight lifted from my shoulders.” K. S., Registered Nurse

Thank you so much for speaking at our Women’s Council of Realtors® luncheon. Since we are a new chapter, we really needed to have a good meeting with a great speaker and wow, you were great! ~ Jo Ann Revel, CRS,GRI, Managing Broker, Coldwell Banker United, Realtors

Zero Adversity™ gives one a framework for dealing with life’s curve balls.~ Saul Pressner, Dmd, NYC, NY

A simple talk with a huge impact. ~ Renate De Angelo, Master Certified Coach

Michael, presenting speaking at the Unscripted Power Event in North Hampton, Massachusetts in 2015


Testimonials after hearing Zero Adversity™ at the Take Back Your Health Conference, in Los Angeles, CA, in 2015

Zero Adversity™ Training presents:


Hack Your Inner Conversation for Even Greater Success

Your Inner conversation is a personal dialogue that influences every aspect of your life. As the saying goes, whether you think you can or think you cannot, you are right! Your inner conversation plays a huge role in achieving intentions, goals, and dreams and should not be ignored.

The inner conversation, also referred to as self-talk, is best defined as the thoughts and words you use about you and what you are doing, both in your head and in conversation. 

What makes self-talk so vitally important is that it impacts absolutely every aspect of your life: happiness, resilience, productivity, achievement, personal and professional relationships, attitude, and how you approach and respond to adversity. 

Most importantly, your inner conversation reinforces what you believe to be true about yourself–be it positive or negative.

Negative self-talk adversely impacts intentions, goals, and dreams faster than the speed of light and inhibits achievement when it reinforces doubt, fear, and scarcity.

A positive inner conversation generates an atmosphere where optimism, creativity, hope, possibilities, and miracles reign and thrive.

The direction of your self-talk impacts:

  • Establishing and maintaining a solid “can do” mindset.
  • Greater prosperity and abundance.
  • Intimacy.
  • Achievement.
  • Creativity, focus, and attention. 
  • The way you manage change.
  • Securing a job and career.
  • Your ability to overcome adversity.
  • Building and nurturing self-confidence.

Regardless of your intentions, assessing your internal conversation is where everything begins. If your inner conversation fails to align with your intentions, you will be standing squarely in the way of your own progress.

This keynote is a must if you want to give your people the practical mechanics they need to be able to design self-talk that supports them in every way. This presentation covers: what it is, how it works, and how they can transform their self-talk into a dynamically vibrant powerhouse!

Studies show that attendees can only later recall 15% of the material they are exposed to. Michael counters this statistic by following one basic premise: keep it practical, simple, and connected to the heart! People learn when information is conveyed through their heart, not their brain. There are no complicated explanations or detailed analysis. Once the mechanics of self-talk are revealed through inspiring personal stories and examples, he dives right into demonstrating how attendees can create a vibrant inner conversation of their own.

People learn when information is conveyed through their heart, not their brain. There are no complicated explanations or detailed analysis. Once the mechanics of self-talk are revealed through inspiring personal stories and examples, Michael passionately dives into demonstrating how attendees can hack their current inner conversation and design a vibrant dialogue of their very own.

Understanding the Inner Conversation is huge for leaders

Understanding the inner workings of the inner conversation is great for people in positions of leadership because it enables them to spot negative self-talk and take appropriate action before it impacts productivity and morale.

Team cohesion and morale are severely impacted by negative self-talk. When the entire team has been exposed to an understanding of self-talk, it generates an atmosphere where negative self-talk cannot exist and a cohesive inner conversation can thrive.

This practical keynote presentation can be combined with the Zero Adversity® Method or given individually. Call 850-866-6965 or email to get information how you can expose your participants to this dialogue. 

I heard Dennis Waitley, Zig Ziglar, and others speak, however, your message on self-talk was so practical and helpful. I have applied it to my golf game, my relationship with my wife and children, and my business.~Kent Brown, Golf Instructor/Golf Industry Consultant