Adopting the Right Attitude: How Intentionality Leads to Positivity & Gratitude with Phil Franks

Phil Franks is the co-founder of Owl & Key, a lifestyle design agency aiming to help people design extraordinary lifestyle freedom. His co-founder is his wife and co-host of their podcast Unlocked, which further explores the work they’re doing and how you can apply it to your own life.

Phil was adopted when he was just six weeks old. The honest and open nature in which his adoptive parents treated that fact shaped much of Phil’s positivity and gratitude that extends into his world view today.

While he grew up here in Columbus, his dad was a military man and it meant that he was rarely in one spot for long during his childhood, living across America and even in Germany. It’s another perfect example of his positivity and finding the right way to look at things. Many people would find the short-lived relationships that come with frequent relocating to be a downer, but Phil appreciates the way in which it’s enriched his life.

Sport was a huge part of Phil’s life, too. From a young age, he was taught to follow his passions and that meant that he spent a lot of time playing baseball. He was so good that even the coach of his rival high school team saw his talent – to the point that he ended up pulling strings to get him onto a college roster. Phil acknowledges that he likely owes much of his baseball career to the kindness of this man.

We talk about the role that sport played in further shaping Phil’s approach to living an intentional life, as well as how his life seems designed to have led him to the career he now has, helping build the perfect lifestyles for others. We even get into the idea of nature vs. nurture and how we can feel secure when trusting in the universe and our own intuition. 

What Brett asks:

  • [00:01:40] Tell me about the early days. What was your childhood like?
  • [00:09:55] What was the impact of moving so often as a kid?
  • [00:20:50] What was challenging about being adopted?
  • [00:25:00] Have you ever spoken to your parents about why they chose to be so open with you about your adoption?
  • [00:30:15] What was life like as you moved into being a teenager and a young adult?
  • [00:39:30] How do you maintain trust in the universe and God?
  • [00:50:10] What are you doing with your life now?
  • [00:54:00] What qualifies you to do the work that you’re doing, how did you get to where you are, and how does it make you feel to be there?
  • [01:07:00] Any final thoughts?

Lessons for intentional living:

  • Phil has an amazing attitude towards the fact that he was adopted. As he said, it was never presented as anything other than a positive to him when he was younger. Now that he’s older, why would he choose to see things differently? It’s a perfect example of how an intentional action has turned into a blooming source of positivity and wellbeing for both himself and others.
  • Phil says that sport gave him direction. Sometimes, direction is all we need. If we know where we’re headed, then everything else often slots into place around us. Sometimes, when we feel lost, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by everything we need to address. Just picking a direction and starting to move is often all it takes to shake ourselves free of this paralysis. And, more often than not, our situation isn’t nearly as difficult to fix as we may have thought.