Marcus Kowal - MMA & Healing Through Meaning

The 24th episode of the Psychology Podcast with Daniel Karim features Marcus Kowal, fighter, entrepreneur, activist, and author.
When you trip over love, it is easy to get up. But when you fall in love, it is impossible to stand again.
Albert Einstein

Impossible… that was indeed the word that came to my mind when, in 2020, I tried to figure out what to do in order to get up, and into the world again after I lost one of the most important persons of my life.

Most people ask themselves half their lives, whether or not they will ever find “love” but only very few go a step further and think about what they can do to preserve it, once they found it.

But almost nobody thinks proactively about what they will do if they lose it.

This form of collective naivety is responsible for the circumstance that most of us, have to learn for ourselves, how to deal with true loss, in the moment, where something is taken from us, that we weren’t ready to give away.

Breaking points – is what I call these shock moments where we realize that our world as we knew it, isn’t there anymore.

How well we handle them, determines who we are going to be in the final analysis of our lives.

Victim, villain, or hero – those are the three big options that we can pick from when life confronts us with ultimate suffering or malevolence.

Hero – was the mode of being, that Marcus Kowal picked in 2016 when he learned that his youngest son Liam, was killed by a drunk driver.

As a professional MMA fighter, Marcus Kowal knew how to deal with pain, but when his innocent boy was taken from prematurely, his character was tested to a degree as few have ever been tested.

How do you preserve your faith in the goodness of being if you witness a tragedy of this scale?

Marcus Kowal, in the midst of his nightmare, decided once more to fight, but this time not in a cage, and not against a person, but against the system that was partially responsible for the loss of Liam.

He and his wife, consciously, decided, to infuse their suffering with meaning, by donating the organs of Liam, so that other babies, who are threatened by death, can live perhaps.

They did not stop there, Marcus and Mishel Eder’s founded Liam’s Life Foundation, a non-profit that is currently campaigning for legal restrictions that will make DUI-related deaths a tragedy of the past.

In our interview, we talked in-depth about his journey out of grief and into meaning and he courageously answered questions about the purpose of life, loss, and tragedy.

I share this interview with you for two reasons;

A) To provide you with a story of transcending hope that shows you that like Marcus, you have the power to turn even the darkest tragedy into a human triumph.

B) So that you can support Marcus Kowal’s and Mishas Elder’s noble mission of reducing the DUI deaths in the United States of America to zero.

For that – please go to Liam’s Life and support his organization however you can.

What is this episode about?

  • How to infuse suffering with meaning
  • How to mourn
  • How not to mourn
  • How to use pain as fuel
  • How to deal with loss
  • What to do when adversity hits you in the face
  • Relationship adversity secrets
  • What successful couples have in common
  • How to heal through meaning
  • How to stop messing up your own relationships