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Since starting The Dirova CEO, one of the most popular questions I get asked is, "What are your favorite episodes? And what are your favorite guests?" Now, I don't think about it in terms of that. I think about moments and insights. So in this episode, we're going to do something a little bit different. I'm going to show you four moments from The Dirova CEO that genuinely changed my life and changed how I think about one of my core beliefs that I then actioned that made my life better. The other thing that you mention in your book, That Little Voice in Your Head, is this concept of neuroplasticity.
Guest Speakers And Their Topics
Mo Gawdat - Retrain Your Brain (00:35)
It says it on the back of the book. It says, "Retrain your brain for maximum happiness." This concept that we can retrain our brain physiologically seems like nonsense. I can't change my arm. When someone starts that you can actually change your brain. You can change your arm. I can change my arm, of course. What, tattoo? No, you work out. That's true. When you work out, you're building muscles in your arms. That same exact process is exactly what happens inside our brains. It's called neuroplasticity. The only difference is that you don't see it. You don't see it visibly. You can see your muscles growing because that's the function that they need to grow to perform. But in your brain, what actually happens, again, like computers, it's almost as if you loaded a new piece of software, a new piece of operating system on your brain, literally, for everyone listening to us right now, at the end of this conversation, their brain will be wired differently than when it started. Every single instance of anything that you do, literally rewires the hardware itself, the neurons that fire together, wire together. Imagine the old days of the switchboard. Steve wants to call his mom. You crank your phone, and the operator says, "Hi, how can I help you?" You say, "Can you please connect me to that number?" And she would literally take a wire and patch you and your mom's phones together. After a while, the operator constantly, every time you call, you ask for your mom. So, the operator goes, "Why am I even wasting my time on this? Let me just patch that wire to his mom all the time." So that's exactly what happens in our brains. If you perform a certain function, your brain starts to build networks that make that function easier to perform in the future. If you do it one time, it becomes a little easier. If you do it 20 times, it becomes permanent. And there are tons of studies. If you take a simple task like tapping your finger on the table, and you're requested to do that, say, 20 times every hour, after a few days, you'll find that you're so much better at tapping your finger on the table, and you can do it much faster, and you can do it consistently, and you can do it in the background. Gamers know that for cert. The problem with neuroplasticity is, if you tell your brain to wire for tapping your finger, it will. If you tell it to wire for solving complex mathematical equations, it may take a little longer, but it will. If you tell it to wire for hating people, it will become very good at hating. If you tell it to wire for fearing the end of the world because of what the media is telling you, it's going to become very good at fearing the world. I know some of these people. I know, absolutely, and you don't want them in your life. The challenge of our modern world is that we think that this brain is supposed to be there to make us successful. First of all, it's not the primary function of the brain. The primary function of the brain is to make you safe. The secondary function that we push humans to invent iPhones and create podcasts and have amazing things, that's a secondary function. But believe it or not, before that secondary function, your brain is supposed to make you happy, because happy is the ultimate form for you to perform in life. If you're not happy, you're not as effective as you could be at achieving survival. Think about it. If you're grumpy all the time at work, people don't like you. You're not focused. No one wants to help you. You're wasting most of your time, your brain cycles, thinking about the negative and so you're not innovative or creative and so on and so forth. It degrades your performance. Happy is a better place for you to be at work because it will make your customers want to do business with you, it will make your colleagues want to help you out, it will make your boss welcome you in their team and so on and so forth. We are social animals by definition and we want to have that in our life. The easiest way to connect and to open up and to discover the world is to be in a happy place that's a primary function of your brain. It's hard for some people, because we can all think of someone in our lives who has certain wiring, very stubborn wiring, that almost seems impossible to unwire. I don't think we all have that ourselves as well, certain wiring in our brains where something happens and our reaction to that thing might be to catastrophize to the end of the world. That feels like it's a certain set of wiring where trigger and then the brain goes through the circuitry and it goes catastrophe panic. The answer to that I found was to actually guide that person or yourself, if that's yourself, to the opposite of your wiring. If my wiring is to look at everything and see what's wrong with it, I should deliberately force my brain to look for what's right with it. When I was coming here, it was very busy in the morning and so I came late if you remember. My brain's immediate reaction is, "Oh, what's going to happen? I'm going to be late for Steve." That's the immediate reaction of a brain because something is wrong. So it looks for what's wrong. I could also say, "What is good about that? What is good about being a little late?" He's been recording for the last few days, so it may give him a little bit of extra time. Do you want to know the truth? I was so happy you were late because I was late. So I was doing upstairs reading the book and I was thinking, "I just hope he's like 15 minutes late." He's not coming at perfect, so I carried on going and going and going and I just finished as you arrived. So it's perfect. You see, that is the truth. That's the truth that your brain tries to deny you from seeing and interestingly, you can't train your brain. So basically what you can do is for every thought, for every negative thought that your brain gives you, task it with the task of giving you a positive one. Not two positive ones. Nine, I say. Nine. Yeah, because in reality, if you look at life around you, more than 90% of life is okay. For your brain to contribute more than that as negative is not fair. Right? So if literally if your brain says, "Hey, by the way, this studio is a little warm, what else is about this studio?" My friend Steve is there. The lighting is perfect. The crew is amazing. The coffee is not that bad. You guys got me honey. I can go on for hours. And the idea is by training your brain to look for that, what are you actually doing? You're firing the neurons together. And exactly your book basically says, "It is the answer." The answer is when you find that gratitude journal that you kept for years every day, what was it telling you? It was training your brain to look for what's right. That your brain every night that you did it was like, "Okay, it seems he's going to be asking to call his mom a lot more often. It seems he's going to be asking for good things a lot more often. I might as well observe them. I might as well find them." And so yes, you said some people are impossible to rewire. They're impossible to rewire if they've been practicing a certain wiring for 21 years. It's not going to take 21 seconds to rewire anyone, including me and you. It will take 21 days, let's say, for your brain to recognize I need different wiring. And it will take maybe 21 months for your brain to say, "And I don't need the old wiring anymore." And the game here is, "Can you actually keep doing that? Can you keep tapping your finger in a way that trains your brain that this is the wiring that you need?" Like, "Can I keep going to the gym and working on my guns?" Yeah. Believe it or not, the research will tell you that a big part of being athletic is wiring of your brain, not your muscles. For your brain to be able to say, "I will go even if I feel a little tired. I will go even if I feel a little busy. I will go and I will do the right exercises even if the last push is a little painful." A lot of people will hear that and go, "What's the evidence for this? What's the evidence for neuroplasticity? Is that science?" Oh, there is a ton of science behind neuroplasticity. Anything between neuroplasticity and neurogenesis is when neuroplasticity is to rewire the connections between the neurons. Neurogenesis is to actually create new neurons when, if you're hit with a ball, for example, and part of your brain is damaged, how we can recreate that. Right? If you have a stroke and how you recreate that. And ample evidence, one of the very famous stories is Matthew Ricard, when we spoke about him in the beginning. Matthew's brain looks different than the average human brain. His insula is much bigger in relative comparison, his prefrontal cortex is bigger and it fires more often. It's simply because of the constant neuroplasticity of, "I need you to meditate. I need you to stay quiet. I need you." I mean, some of Matthew's journeys would last four years in isolation. Can you meditate for four years? Be in isolation in hermitage for four years. Right? And so at that level, your brain starts to do very different things. And by the way, that's not unusual. Many farmers around the world live in isolation for a very long time. Believe it or not, you and I, when we spend a long time on airplanes, I chose a long time ago to not watch a lot of stuff on, you know, I maybe watch one movie, but not the entire trip. The other bits of silence, that's actually a form of meditation. My absolute wonderful friend, Jamie Nelson, the photographer, if you know him, he photographs indigenous tribes and the way he does it is he would go and spend a few months outside their premises, their village, if you want. In silence, camping out there, he doesn't speak their language. He's just sitting there waiting for them to accept him. And then he would start to communicate to them in sign language because he doesn't speak their language. And he's one of the wisest people I know. And I said, "How did you become this wise?" He never studied any of those things. And the reality is, is because he's in constant reflection and meditation. He's sitting out there. And he's spending hours and days in reflection and meditation, right? Because you're sitting alone. All of those things are our habits. And all of us have the chance to do it. So you, you could be on the tube for a commute of 40 minutes a day, and you could be in that commute cursing life. And that's a very good 40 minute exercise to work and another 40 minute going back. Or you could be spending the 40 minutes in gratitude. You could be first for, you know, for spending the 40 minutes listening to music. Could be doing whatever what you will do for 40 minutes a day. We'll rewire your brain. It really isn't like a paradigm shifting thought that our brains are in this constant growth and evolution. But when we look at, as you said, my muscles are, my muscles are changing state size, growing more fibers to achieve their objective in a different way. And of course, my brain is as well. And when you think about that, it's really liberating because you realize that you're not stuck with who you are. Absolutely not. So let's choose what's which parts of it are we going to grow? I think that's the whole point. And we grow it with our actions and our thoughts. Yeah, repetitive action, thoughts and memories. Believe it or not, one of the interesting things is if you take a memory in the past, yeah, and you think about it over and over and over, it's as if you're have it's happening over and over and you're growing the neurons that are needed or you're growing the connections between the neurons that are needed to trigger that memory. Think happy memories. If you sit next to your partner and focus on one thing that they do and go like they say do this, they do this, they do this, they do this, they do this and forget that they do 100 other things that you love and appreciate, your neuroplasticity is making you completely obsessed about that one thing. And you can only see that one thing. And eventually, you know, some of my friends after a breakup, I go like, so what happened then they'll say one thing. It's like just you could they obsess about it over and over because your brain is growing to say, he needs to think about this, right? I'm going to make it easier to think about this. I'm going to make it faster, more accessible. One of the things I've heard you talk about a lot is your, your journey and your evolving relationship with sex and sexuality and how that changed from when you were very young, through the period when you were drinking a lot till today.
Africa Brooke - How To Overcome A Sexless Relationship (13:21)
Can you talk to me about that evolution and what you've learned about those topics that might benefit me? Yes, absolutely. So I'm going to sort of keep referring to my sobriety and that period of my life because it was so transformative and it revealed so much to me, so much that I could have never imagined at the time. So something that also happened when I got sober, I think this was about a year into my sobriety. I realized just how much sexual shame I was holding, so much of it. And I initially sort of wanted to fix it, wanted to do something about it. What are some surface level things that I can do? What can I read? What can I sort of dive into? How can I deal with it from where I am now as a 25 year old? But I quickly realized that I actually had to trace it back to see where it even comes from. And I realized just like so many things, it did come from my childhood. Being raised in a Christian home, I learned again not directly, more so indirectly, that being a sexual being was not something that was off God. It was not something that was supposed to be a part of who I am. Pleasure was never discussed. Sex was never discussed. Even intimacy in general, I never saw my parents hold hands. I never saw my parents hold hands. I never saw them kiss. I never saw them hug. I never saw any sort of affection. But I knew that they loved each other. I knew that they cared about each other. But affection and intimacy, I just never saw that, not for a moment. When I sort of wanted to really understand where a lot of this sexual shame was stemming from, or just more so even outside of sex, intimacy, intimacy feeling very disconnected to other people when it came to intimacy, but also from myself. I realized that I could only be expressive as a sexual being if I was drunk or if I was high, if I was in that place where of course my inhibitions are low, but I had no insecurities. I didn't have to feel like I'm doing something wrong. I didn't have to feel like my pleasure was wrong. But then when I got sober, all of those things came to the surface and then I had to look that in the eye. So that also became something that I started sharing over time as well as sort of sharing my journey with sobriety. I then started sharing the things that were revealed as a byproduct of me getting sober and sexual shame was a huge one, was a big part of that. My relationship with sex has evolved a lot. Yeah. Over time, I think it was early, in my early years influenced by porn. Yes. Me too. Me too. That's the way I went into the game. I just didn't try to be those male porn stars. Right. And I think over time, and I think this is a wider issue in our society specifically, I've got to be honest with men. Yes. What they think that what they think sex is in terms of this kind of very aggressive, often dominating transactional encounter. And then there's again, I'm just talking really I don't give a fuck. Please do. Please. I'm seeing a lot in my close friends, they're all in relate there often in relationships, not all of them, where they're having problems with their sexual relationship with their partner. They're basically saying things to me. And I'd say this is crazy. I'd say 75 to 80% of my male friends are saying, my partner doesn't want to have sex. She doesn't like having sex. Yeah. And I was there at 1.2. My partner said that's an 8.1.2. Yeah. And I took it on face value. I thought they don't like sex. What I came to learn is that wasn't true. But what I'd learned to be sex and what I was bringing as sex, this kind of aggressive, whatever, was not the language that they spoke. And I feel like I'm surrounded by men that need to start seeing sex as a language. Because then you can ask yourself, well, actually, she's speaking Spanish and I'm speaking English. It's not she doesn't like English. She speaks a different language. Yes. Yes. That's a lot. I'm just dumping that on you. No, no, no, no. No, that resonates. And I'm really glad that you said this because I think you're speaking something that is on so many people's minds or something that they've just never really put language to. And a big part of my awakening, if you will, and really addressing that sexual shame is because I also learned sex from porn at 10 years old, 10 years old. So by the time that I had sex for the first time when I was 14, it was very much like a porn performance to put it very simply. And I speak to so many people, men and women, about this very specific thing. A lot of us learn that we should perform that sex should be driven by orgasm and ejaculation and this sort of production, if you will, which is not actually accurate for most people when it comes to what really actually feels pleasurable, especially for women. So I started to realize when I got sober that every time that I was having sex, for example, I faked every single orgasm. It was all a before I didn't know much about my body because I'd learned from porn. And because the men that I was with had also learned from porn, we were just in a performance and no one's actually talking about it. Right. So in times when I was in relationships and I made myself think I don't want to have sex, I don't want to have sex anymore. It actually was not that I didn't want to have this type of pornified sex. That's what I actually meant. So what you just said is really important. And I realized that's when I found tantric sex, actually. Yeah, that's when I found tantric sex around 2018. Because I realized that I had always felt like sex was being done to me. Yes. That I was not a part of it. And that is how most women feel. I felt like I needed to apologize for my path of men. Yeah, because that's what that's what I came to learn. Yeah. Was that the reason why the person I was with had turned around to me and said, I don't like having sex is and when we got talking about it, after I acted like, I mean, let me be clear. The first time she said that, I did not understand my little chitney and little monkey brain went, like I was emasculated by it. Yes. It made me feel what is this something that I was, I didn't do. Go step-son, right? Of course. Ended up breaking up with this person, got back with this person a year later, when I was maybe a bit more mature, I apologized and I said, I want to have a conversation. And I also said to her that I'm going to be here, regardless of whether we have sex or not. Yes. And then she could, she had a safe enough space to start talking to me about it. And what I discovered is she'd been with, she'd had three previous boyfriends over the course of seven years. Her view of sex was this person comes and takes from you treats you like this object. And she was with him for five years, treats you like an object, takes what they want from you. And then he was actually going and cheating on her as well. Right. So not only was he taking, he was then like hurting her and that cycle just repeated. Her relationship with what sex is was really, really toxic. She didn't like that. Yes. She didn't want that anymore. Yes. And that's what she and me probably referred to as this word sex. So it was kind of like learning a new language of sex and what it actually is that meant. Yes. She went from the place of like, I don't have sex anymore to absolutely loving to have sex. I didn't think it was possible. I thought if they don't like sex, dump them. Yes. You know what I mean? And go find someone that will let me take. Yes. And you know what you've articulated that so beautifully in terms of sex being a language. And it's going to look different for every single person because something that I realized is that I could tell when I was with a man sexually, I could tell if it was like a script almost like a play by play. Like this is exactly the method. We do this. We do that switch into this switch into that. It wasn't sort of flowing and very intuitive as to what's actually needed in that moment, which reminded me of porn. And I would also realize actually, and this is something that I've spoken about so much because I ended up starting a sexual wellness company called Cherry Revolution over time. And I realized that even some of the positions I would get in were very much like porn because certain positions in porn are like that because the camera is there, not because it's comfortable, because that's the shot for the viewer to be able to see it. So when I started to see that I'm starting to replicate this in my most intimate, private moments, but we're both doing it, I made myself believe that I didn't enjoy sex. So then drinking and drugs and everything that came with it, I felt like those were the moments that I could be fully expressive without needing to perform, which is very interesting, because you would think it would be the opposite that I would then perform more. But I felt as if I could actually speak my mind. If I didn't enjoy something, can we try this? Can I do this instead? Or I just want to give where I just want to receive? Can we be slower? And then when I was so, but I felt like I couldn't say those things, because if I say to you as my partner, I might be emasculating you, I might be embarrassing you, you might think something is wrong. So I would just perform and you're performing as well. And then it just causes a huge disconnect. So Tantric sex was the first thing that I came across that made me realize and really articulated that sex is actually not a specific destination. Did you know that you can actually enjoy sex without a ejaculation that you can have a full body orgasm that you can be very slow, that foreplay can be the main thing that you do, that you can experience orgasm without penetration, just so many different ways of articulating that experience of sex. And it's just that an experience. And that changed so much for me. It's such a narrative violation for so many people who've spent the whole life watching porn and then recreating it. This idea that you can have an orgasm from touch. Like you can use energy to cause someone orgasmic pleasure. Yeah, I just that's it's a really important topic that I think people need to talk about a lot more. And I think just just saying to someone that's listening to this, that might be in a relationship where they're not there in a sexless relationship. Just proposing the idea that what if you both just speak, just say there was 10 languages, what if you're just speaking the wrong language? Right. You know what I mean? And what approach would you then take? You'd probably try and learn the language. Yes. Yes. And also communicate to them what language you speak and see how you can be bilingual, I guess. Yes. You know what it reminds me of, are you familiar with love languages and that whole thing? Yes. I realize that a lot of people expect someone to give in the way that they like to receive. So no one really says, okay, how do you like to receive love? How do you like to give love? And the moment that I started asking those questions, even though I believe me, I fucking cringed in the beginning, I'm like, you get used to it. Yeah. And if they run off, yeah, it's Steven, it's been a game changer to just ask the person that I'm dating or my current partner to be like, how do you like to be loved? How do you like to receive love? And how do you like to give it? Because just those simple questions can change so much. And then you can use the same with sex. What do you like and what do you not like? What have you changed your mind about? What do you like to do now and again, or maybe not so much sometimes? How much time do you need? How does your arousal actually work? And I know that some people might not know how to answer these questions for themselves. So it's actually very good to start asking yourself those questions before speaking about it with someone else. Because I think we get into relationships and make so many assumptions based on our individual experiences in our worldview. And we expect the person we're with to reflect the exact same thing back to us. But we don't ask questions. I watched a lot of interviews of you before you arrived here today. And I think in pretty much all of them, you said, I'm a normal guy. I'm a regular guy. And I get that.
Bear Grylls - How To Build Resilience (26:16)
I get that. I understand what you're saying. However, well, it's not false modesty. I don't want I'm not going to let people build builds me into something I'm not. And I think it's like older. I know the frailty is more and more. And I'm not ashamed of them. I'm doing I mean, it's okay. Many mistakes, many, many show it's okay. Otherwise, things become all too you know, that how it's hard to relate to, you know, but you you got through SaaS selection. Just I got through all these it just, you know, and people turned turned to you and said things and as they turned back and quit, right? That that for me is a filtering process of something. Yeah, whatever that's something is resili it all it is is something we can control. It's not a filtering of talent. It's not filtering of your your brilliant, your through, you're not through, you know, it's a genius of selection for the special forces. It's all about heart and spirit. And we can all have that. That's not a God given talent. That's a muscle that builds with walking through the door of failure time and time again and keep getting back up. You know, so I like that. That's why I say I am an ordinary person. That's why I also say just to so many things because, you know, yes, I pass out. Yes, you reach the top of this man or yes, you do, but it's always just and that's okay, you know, and it's also often by standing on the shoulders of many giants who have helped me, you know, many, many times, you know, if I think of SS selection, you know, that time there was so many times where somebody somebody just kind of believed me in a critical time, you know, it might be something where two corporals running something go, do all that guy, do all that, you know, a bit of luck falls on inside somebody backs you, you know, or, you know, you, I don't know, just the more I look back on so many so cool achievements, the more I see the hand of good people in critical moments. But as you know, you have to win the hearts of those people in the first place, but also the role of just that dogged determination to keep going. And that's not a thing of being brilliant. It's just trying to keep going, often sliding another step back, but keep moving forward. And you say that to, you know, I've got three boys now, three teenagers. And I think if you said to them, well, one thing does your dad say to you day after day before you go to school, it's always just, you know, don't give up, don't give up, be kind, you know, be determined, never give up. And they roll their eyes. But you know what, one day they'll know that it's a key thing of key thing of life, you know, you don't have to be the best to do your best. Did that resilience muscle, as you call it, grow over time? Of course, it's like everything. It's like the little, little seas to the mighty oaks, you know, we had, how do we build it? Just inch by inch. And, and that's a great thing, because it's not something only some people can have, you know, it's universal for us all. We can all become people think it's a God given gift to someone be resilient. Resilience is that muscle, and you build it by failing and trying to stay positive and, and trying to get back your feet and going again. You know, I look back and I remember being really excited about being picked for the fourth 11 football team as a linesman. It wasn't even in the team, you know, and it was like, my job was to bring on the oranges at half time, you know, but it was like, and I remember my dad was the only dad on the side of the pitch cheering me on. I thought it was so embarrassing. He's not, I'm not even in the team. And dad said, you know, he's come to kind of, but actually those little steps of like, I'm going to do this. I'm going to bring on those oranges. You know, you're never going to forget it's going to be great. And it's incremental, tiny little things. But how many to fight for things? You know, it's how often do we see at school though, the, the school hero actually in life doesn't always do that brilliantly. And why is that? It's because they've got, you know, schools rewarded that, but they've never tested this. You know, where little Johnny, who doesn't have that, doesn't get the awards is a linesman brings on the oranges. Yeah, whatever it is, struggles doesn't even get noticed, never wins anything, but never gives up and keeps doing his best and still doesn't really get noticed. But it doesn't matter. But when he leaves school, this might not be the biggest thing, but this is like ninja like, you know, that, that resilience muscle inside is strong. And as you know, and as I know, in life, that's the one that is going to carry you further. And, and the unseen people at school often do better in life. It's like, don't peek too early. Don't peek at 14. I certainly didn't. I sat here with you, Bank. I've been thinking about this idea of resilience and what it really means. And as we sit here today, my current hypothesis is basically resilience is the story. It's kind of this contract you have with yourself, this self story about who you are. And in those moments when no one is looking, I was talking to you, Bank about me being on the running machine and knowing I've got two minutes to go because I said before I started, I'd run until 45 minutes, but my legs are hurting and they're cramping and I could give up and walk away and no one's going to know because no one's here. But what I, I alter my own self story in a way. And I send a message to myself that I am the type of person that gives up when it's tough. So is it really, do you relate to that? And it's kind of like you're crafting this story about who you are to yourself with every small decision you make. Doing the lines and job, you said, I'm going to do it the best I possibly can. And although it's not what I wanted, I'm going to, I'm going to give it everything I can and not give up. Yeah. Yeah. Does that relate? And also, I think the thing of giving up is that, you know, what is it? It's that thing of temporary pleasure long term. Yeah, that's not true. And for me, I just, I developed a thing where whenever people are quitting or complaining, I like those moments. For me, it was like, okay, there's all the chat in the bravado. There's always that beginning. I was full of that, but bring it down, put the squeeze on, you know, we like grapes, squeeze this, you see what's inside. Bring the squeeze, bring the squeeze. Now we see characters, see what people are like. And for me, it just became whenever I saw people quitting or complaining, especially complaining. You see it so much just in the military, you see it on big expeditions, you see it even when we're filming TV shows, you know, when it gets hard, you know, and you're hungry and you're scared and you're up against it and you're dehydrated. You know, those are the moments. And for me, it just became a trigger when everyone's complaining and giving up, it's the time to give more, you know, just, you don't have to give more in the early times, just wait until it's, and that's how you separate yourselves in business and in life and in relationship, you know, in the big moments, you know, look at a relationship when this, when you're under that real pain, everyone's throwing it, you know, are you going to really throw that nasty comment or going to hold it and just try and be gracious and kind in those big moments, you know. And I like that it wasn't, you know, it wasn't complicated to think about under pressure. It was just like, whenever anything's going wrong, that's the time to give more rather than give up. And I held onto that many difficult moments, you know, across many different arenas. And it's helped me, you know, I remember this guy said we once said, and you do anything for another 10 seconds. I like that, you know, when it's, you're in that moment, you're key going another 10 seconds. That makes you different, though. You've got to admit, because most people don't want another 10 seconds. Yeah. Well, it hurts. It hurts. I'm not saying it's not going to hurt. It's going to hurt. But that fire inside, it's in us all, you know, it's just you've got to dig sometimes. But it's a great truth to know that it's there. When you dig, you know, it's there. And I think, as you say, once you get used to this, you start to practice it, the muscle gets stronger. And then you almost seek out tough times. You know, this is a chance to shine, you know. And as you say, that's how you separate yourselves in life, you know, you're going to reach these points, but in those big moments, what are you going to go this way? How are you going to act in those big moments? And it's always what separates, you know, reaching those summits for not reaching those summits.
Mel Robins - What to do when you're feeling stuck (34:20)
When you look back on the person you are now, and the tremendous wisdom that you've just demonstrated, just speaking to me just then, do you recognize the male that was, couldn't get out of bed, was feeling depressed, couldn't find, you know, described to herself as you did, as being lazy? Do you recognize that person? And what's at the very essence in the engine room that drove that change? Was it passion? Was it finding your calling? Um, because I know you weren't this person, you couldn't have been this person. Well, dude, it's also been 31 years. I mean, come on, I've had a, I've like, basically been changing for as long as you've been alive for crying out loud. And also, human beings are designed to grow. But not everybody seems to, because you have, they don't understand being stuck. Yeah, interesting. See, being stuck is one of the most universal feelings of the human experience. And nobody understands what it is. What is it? Oh, it's amazing when you hear this. It's like, so remember how we've talked about how, uh, the human beings have this crazy amount of natural intelligence wired into us. And inside your body, we've talked about one of the signals anxiety. Anxiety is a signal that means pay attention. That's why you go into fight or flight. You're in an alert mode. Okay. That's all it is. It's a signal, an alarm system. And your body has a sophisticated system of signals and alarms. And they're all tied to fundamental needs. Anxiety is tied to your fundamental need for safety. That's why it's a signal. Let's talk about your most important fundamental needs. Let's go right back to psychology 101, Maslow's hierarchy of needs. You need food or else you die. So when you need food, what is the signal that your body sends you? When you need water, what is the signal? When you need, air, yeah, you catching your breath. When you need rest, what do you feel? When you need connection, what do you feel? Lonely. Human beings are designed to grow. When you stop growing, what do you feel? Stuck. Yeah. I was going to say stagnant, but I guess stuck is, yeah. We're stagnant. We're still trapped, I guess, is young. Yeah. Feeling stuck is a signal that you've stopped growing. That's it. And when most people feel stuck since they don't understand that it's tied to a fundamental need for growth, we believe it's an existential crisis and we blow up our lives. For most human beings, what actually will get you feeling like you're not stuck is having something in the future that you're looking forward to. Or taking a class where you're learning something or changing a routine so that you try a new class at the gym. Learning anything gets you back in touch with a fundamental need. It makes you start to feel like things are moving. And from that place, a feeling a little bit more empowered, you'll be able to make better decisions about what big things need to change in your life. And you would also describe that as a moment where your life has an absence of purpose. I think about various examples, Olympians that come back from the Olympics and they're like 80% chance of depression after they've, you know, and then I think about people who have, yeah, lost purpose in their lives for whatever reason, been fired from their jobs or whatever, all people that are in jobs that are, you know, absence of purpose completely, that feeling of being stuck and then you certainly talk to us about the importance of goals and ambitions going forward when humans don't have that forward ambition or that thing to look forward to in the future. And their current situation lacks purpose. They become very psychologically disorientated, be the way I'd describe it. I have a different take on purpose. I think everybody's purpose is exactly the same. What is that? I think your purpose is to share your true self, to be fully seen. And for the Olympian, when you are training and you're in that arena, that is an experience of being seen. And for most people that are lacking purpose, they feel profoundly invisible. And being seen fundamentally comes back to whether or not you even see yourself. And when you start to feel empowered and you start to see yourself and meet you where you are, what happens is every day that you're able to stand with yourself to accept where you are, to give yourself the compassion, to give yourself the support and the love and the respect and the worthiness that you deserve, you're going to go out into the world and share more of yourself. That Olympic athlete is sharing more of themselves. And so I think our purpose in life is to come back home to ourselves, to reconnect with ourselves, and to empower ourselves, to go back out into the world and share our stories and share our experiences and share our full selves with the rest of the world. And look, if I can save anybody, the heartache and the headaches that caused myself, that's a life well lived. You know, if I can laugh at myself along the way, if I can punch a wall and drink a gin martini and then share with you like, okay, this, and then get out because how I got out of that, because I could have been in that cycle, the old mal would have been there for a month. Everybody's out to get me. I never get recognized why even bother. It doesn't matter. And it allows me to share in real time that I feel all the shit, but I don't like to stay there. And this is not toxic positivity. It is important when you're disappointed to allow yourself to feel disappointed. It is important when you lose something to give yourself the grace to grieve for as long as you need to. It is important to have a good cry, to have a good scream, to draw, it's important to feel the highs and the lows you're meant to feel at all. But you can shorten the length of time you stay down. And what always helps me is I just kept saying what I've said a couple times during this. I say to myself, I refuse to believe that if I'm a good person and that if I'm working hard, I refuse to believe that this doesn't work out. I refuse to believe that I'm not going to be okay. I know that this moment is going to pass. And I know that I will look back on this moment five years from now and I'll see exactly what I was meant to learn and redirecting your focus to what actually matters. And the fact that you believe in your heart, that you got the mindset, you got the work ethic, you got the ability to figure this shit out and to keep going. And that eventually if you do what's meant for you is going to find you, you will be rewarded for all this in the way that you're meant to be rewarded. That's amazing. It's an amazing feeling because you can pick yourself up no matter what happens. I spent so long being dysregulated, having a nervous system that was constantly on edge, like what it felt like to be me any moment in my life, whether I was sitting in a classroom or I was sitting at that law from bait stamping or I'm sitting as a young mom with postpartum depression or I'm sitting in yet another job I don't like is it felt like being in a car at a stoplight that had a green signal. And the emergency break was on and the gas was floored and I was going nowhere, like just the engine revved in the sense that I needed to go but not being able to go. And when I finally started to get control of my own thinking, when I finally started to understand anxiety and how to quiet it in my mind and then how to quiet it in my body, when I finally got serious about understanding trauma and healing it in my nervous system first through EMDR, through therapy, through guided MDMA sessions, I finally had the experience of being in my body and being safe and being okay and I hadn't had that in a really long time. And I'm so aware of when I'm not in my body now, I'm so aware of when my nervous system starts to go on edge that my tolerance for staying there is zero because I live for far too long feeling on edge, anxious, dysregulated, self-loathing that when I dip into that space and everybody you dip into that space once a day, if not like I used to live there. And so when I start to dip into that dysregulated anxious on edge intense space, it's like get this out of my body. We got to get back into my new default, which is grounded, centered in control of what I'm thinking, what I'm going to do next. And it's a fluid situation. But you just gave me the insight as to why it's so quick for me now, because I've made a commitment to myself that after spending 30 years that way, 40 almost, that I don't want to live another year that way, another week that way, another full day that way. Now, do I have things that happen in my life that are tough that put me into a mode where I'm anxious and on edge? And of course, do I disassociate when I get really awful? Of course. But I now have the tools to bring myself back into my body, to give myself the encouragement, the assurance, the support that I need so that I can face whatever is happening and know that I'm not only going to be okay, I'm actually going to be awesome eventually. Quick one, as you might know, crafted one of the sponsors of this podcast and crafted are a jewelry brand, and they make really meaningful pieces of jewelry. The really wonderful thing about crafted jewelry is it's super affordable. It looks amazing. The pieces hold tremendous meaning, and they are really well made. I think I've worn this piece for almost a year. It hasn't broken, hasn't changed color, because it's really, really good quality, and it costs roughly 50 quid. People will be surprised when they hear that they'll probably assume that all of my jewelry is like solid gold and costs thousands and thousands of pounds. But what's the point when you can achieve the exact same effect from a piece of jewelry that's high quality and costs 50 quid? That's why I buy crafted. Quick one, for many years, people have been asking for a coffee-flavored heel, and quite recently, he'll release the iced coffee caramel flavor of their ready-to-drink heels. And I've just become hooked on it over the last couple of weeks. I've been on a really interesting journey with heel, which I've described and talked about a little bit on this podcast. I started with the berry-ready-to-drinks that I moved over to the protein-salted caramel, because it's 100 calories, and it gives you all of your essential vitamins and minerals, but also gives you the 20-odd grams of protein you need. And now, I'm balanced between them both. I drink mostly the banana-flavored ready-to-drink. I've got really into the iced coffee caramel flavor of heels ready-to-drink. And now I'm drinking that as well as the protein. Make sure you try the new ready-to-drink flavors. The caramel flavor is amazing. The new banana flavor as well is amazing. And obviously, as I said, the iced coffee caramel flavor has been a real smash hit, so check it out. Let me know what you think on social media. I see all of your tags and Instagram posts and tweets about heel.